Using RNase protection and oligonucleotide hybridization experiments, we have shown that U1 precursors are derived by transcription of 3' flanking sequences. A labeled SP6 transcript of one of the true U1 genes (pD2) was able to protect a subset of the 3' flanking sequences present in HeLa cytoplasmic U1 RNA. However, not all U1 precursors were protected using this probe, suggesting that variant U1 precursor 3' tail sequences are expressed in HeLa cells. This conclusion has been confirmed by hybridization of HeLa RNA samples with specific oligonucleotide probes representing variant U1 3' flanking sequences. Interestingly, these variant tail sequences contain the putative Sm antigen binding site, A(U)3-6G. The conservation of this flanking sequence through evolution suggests a possible functional role for these precursor tails in ordering protein binding to U1 RNA.

This content is only available as a PDF.