Assembly of U7 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle and histone RNA 3 ' processing in Xenopus egg extracts

Berndt Muller, Julia Link, Carl Smythe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In animals, replication-dependent histone genes are expressed in dividing somatic cells during S phase to maintain chromatin condensation. Histone mRNA 3'-end formation is an essential regulatory step producing an mRNA with a hairpin structure at the 3'-end. This requires the interaction of the U7 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle (snRNP) with a purine-rich spacer element and of the hairpin-binding protein with the hairpin element, respectively, in the 3'-untranslated region of histone RNA. Here, we demonstrate that bona fide histone RNA 3' processing takes place in Xenopus egg extracts in a reaction dependent on the addition of synthetic U7 RNA that is assembled into a ribonucleoprotein particle by protein components available in the extract. In addition to reconstituted U7 snRNP, Xenopus hairpin-binding protein SLBP1 is necessary for efficient processing. Histone RNA 3' processing is not affected by addition of non-destructible cyclin B, which drives the egg extract into M phase, but SLBP1 is phosphorylated in this extract. SPH-1, the Xenopus homologue of human p80-coilin found in coiled bodies, is associated with U7 snRNPs. However, this does not depend on the U7 RNA being able to process histone RNA and also occurs with U1 snRNPs; therefore, association of SPH1 cannot be considered as a hallmark of a functional U7 snRNP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24284-24293
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number32
Early online date25 May 2000
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2000


  • pre-messenger-RNA
  • hairpin binding-protein
  • coiled bodies
  • cell-cycle
  • stem-loop
  • germinal vesicle
  • end formation
  • invitro
  • 3'-end


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