The spliceosome is a multi-subunit RNA–protein complex involved in the removal of non-coding segments (introns) from between the coding regions (exons) in precursors of messenger RNAs (pre-mRNAs). Intron removal proceeds via two transesterification reactions, occurring between conserved sequences at intron–exon junctions. A tightly regulated, hierarchical assembly with a multitude of structural and compositional rearrangements posed a great challenge for structural studies of the spliceosome. Over the years, X-ray crystallography dominated the field, providing valuable high-resolution structural information that was mostly limited to individual proteins and smaller sub-complexes. Recent developments in the field of cryo-electron microscopy allowed the visualisation of fully assembled yeast and human spliceosomes, providing unprecedented insights into substrate recognition, catalysis, and active site formation. This has advanced our mechanistic understanding of pre-mRNA splicing enormously.
Review Article| November 12 2018
Structural studies of the spliceosome: past, present and future perspectives
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Wojciech P. Galej; Structural studies of the spliceosome: past, present and future perspectives. Biochem Soc Trans 17 December 2018; 46 (6): 1407–1422. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BST20170240
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