mAbs raised against the human nuclear matrix (anti-NM)1 mAbs have been used to investigate the role of nuclear matrix antigens in pre-mRNA processing. The three anti-NM mAbs used in this study recognize antigens that are highly localized to nuclear matrix speckles. Surprisingly, all three of these mAbs preferentially immunoprecipitate splicing complexes containing exon sequences. The anti-NM mAbs efficiently immunoprecipitate the exon product complex but not complexes containing the lariat product after the second step of splicing. Two of the anti-NM mAbs completely inhibit pre-mRNA splicing in vitro. However, none of the anti-NM mAbs appear to recognize factors stably associated with splicing snRNPs. The three anti-NM mAbs predominantly react with distinct high molecular weight antigens, which belong to a class of nuclear proteins that selectively precipitate with Ser-Arg protein-splicing factors in the presence of high Mg2+ concentrations. Immunological, biochemical, and cell biological data indicate that two of the NM antigens are related to the defined set of Ser-Arg proteins. The results suggest the existence of an extended Ser-Arg family as a component of the nuclear matrix.

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