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Nucleic Acids Res. 1982 November 11; 10(21): 6797–6808.
PMCID: PMC326965

Identification of splicing signals in introns of yeast mitochondrial split genes: mutational alterations in intron bI1 and secondary structures in related introns.


Four mitochondrial mutations are known to block excision of intron I1 of the cob gene in S.cerevisiae. The nucleotide sequence alteration of one of them, M4873, has been determined. It is a deletion of 1 bp in a run of five G's at a distance of 30 to 34 bp upstream to the 3' splice point. Reversion is found to occur by restoration of the run of five G's either by insertion of 1 G (wild type reversion) or by transition A leads to G next to this run of G's (pseudo-wild type reversion). The effect of mutation and reversion on RNA splicing indicates that the run of five G's is of critical importance for intron I1 excision, possibly in participating in the formation of a splice signal with a helical structure. This presumption is confirmed by the observation that this sequence is part of a larger sequence of some 80 bp next to the 3' splice point which is conserved to some extend in the four mitochondrial introns (bI1, aI1, aI2, aI5) that survive after excision as circular RNAs. Most striking is the conservation of this sequence at the level of secondary structure.

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