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Assembly of the spliceosome is a step-wise process and involves sequential binding of snRNAs to the pre-mRNA to form pre-splicing complex A2-1. Subsequent dissociation of U4 from the spliceosome is accompanied by formation of complex A1 (Genes Dev. 1, 1014-1027, 1987). We show that the 3' region of the intron sequence is not required for efficient assembly of the yeast spliceosome. Truncated precursor mRNA retaining only four or five nucleotides 3' to the TACTAAC box formed pre-splicing complex A1, kinetically the last pre-mRNA containing splicing complex identified. The subsequent cleavage--ligation reaction requires at least 23 nucleotides on the 3' side of the TACTAAC box in a sequence-independent manner. Immunoprecipitation with anti-PRP19 antibody showed that association of PRP19 with the spliceosome was also independent of the 3' region of the intron.