Three recognition events at the branch-site adenine

Charles C. Query, Scott A. Strobel, Phillip A. Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


An adenosine at the branch site, the nucleophile for the first transesterification step of splicing, is nearly invariant in mammalian pre-mRNA introns. The chemical groups on the adenine base were varied systematically and assayed for formation of early spliceosome complexes and execution of the first and second steps of splicing. Recognition of constituents of the adenine is critical in formation of a U2 snRNP-containing complex on a minimal branch-site oligonucleotide. Furthermore, the efficiencies of the first and second chemical steps have different dependencies on the functional groups of the adenine. In total, the chemical groups on the adenine base at the branch site are differentially recognized during at least three different processes in the splicing of pre-mRNA. Moreover, a protein, p14, interacts with the adenine in a base-specific fashion and may mediate early recognition of this base.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1392-1402
Number of pages11
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenine analogs
  • Nucleophile
  • RNA splicing
  • Site-specific modifications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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