Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of narLink to Publisher's site
Nucleic Acids Res. 1990 April 25; 18(8): 2025–2032.
PMCID: PMC330678

Schizosaccharomyces U6 genes have a sequence within their introns that matches the B box consensus of tRNA internal promoters.


The gene for the U6 small nuclear RNA (snRNA) in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is interrupted by an intron whose structure is similar to those found in messenger RNA precursors (pre-mRNAs) (1). This is the only known example of a split snRNA gene from any organism--animal, plant, or yeast. To address the uniqueness of the S. pombe U6 gene, we have investigated the structures of the U6 genes from five Schizosaccharomyces strains and three other fungi. A fragment of the U6 coding sequence was amplified from the genomic DNA of each strain by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The sizes of the PCR products indicated that all of the fission yeast strains possess intron-containing U6 genes; whereas, the U6 genes from the other fungi appeared to be uninterrupted. The sequences of the Schizosaccharomyces U6 gene fragments revealed that each had an intron of approximately 50 base pairs in precisely the same position. In addition to the splice sites and putative branch point regions, a sequence immediately upstream of the branch point consensus was found to be conserved in all of the Schizosaccharomyces U6 genes. This sequence matches the consensus for the B box of eukaryotic tRNA promoters. These results raise the interesting possibility that synthesis of U6 RNA in fission yeast might involve the use of internal promoter elements similar to those found in other genes transcribed by RNA polymerase III.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (2.0M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Tani T, Ohshima Y. The gene for the U6 small nuclear RNA in fission yeast has an intron. Nature. 1989 Jan 5;337(6202):87–90. [PubMed]
  • Bringmann P, Appel B, Rinke J, Reuter R, Theissen H, Lührmann R. Evidence for the existence of snRNAs U4 and U6 in a single ribonucleoprotein complex and for their association by intermolecular base pairing. EMBO J. 1984 Jun;3(6):1357–1363. [PubMed]
  • Hashimoto C, Steitz JA. U4 and U6 RNAs coexist in a single small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle. Nucleic Acids Res. 1984 Apr 11;12(7):3283–3293. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Rinke J, Appel B, Digweed M, Lührmann R. Localization of a base-paired interaction between small nuclear RNAs U4 and U6 in intact U4/U6 ribonucleoprotein particles by psoralen cross-linking. J Mol Biol. 1985 Oct 20;185(4):721–731. [PubMed]
  • Brow DA, Guthrie C. Spliceosomal RNA U6 is remarkably conserved from yeast to mammals. Nature. 1988 Jul 21;334(6179):213–218. [PubMed]
  • Krämer A. Fractionation of HeLa cell nuclear extracts reveals minor small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Dec;84(23):8408–8412. [PubMed]
  • Montzka KA, Steitz JA. Additional low-abundance human small nuclear ribonucleoproteins: U11, U12, etc. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Dec;85(23):8885–8889. [PubMed]
  • Tyc K, Steitz JA. U3, U8 and U13 comprise a new class of mammalian snRNPs localized in the cell nucleolus. EMBO J. 1989 Oct;8(10):3113–3119. [PubMed]
  • Riedel N, Wise JA, Swerdlow H, Mak A, Guthrie C. Small nuclear RNAs from Saccharomyces cerevisiae: unexpected diversity in abundance, size, and molecular complexity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Nov;83(21):8097–8101. [PubMed]
  • Tollervey D. High level of complexity of small nuclear RNAs in fungi and plants. J Mol Biol. 1987 Jul 20;196(2):355–361. [PubMed]
  • Gold HA, Craft J, Hardin JA, Bartkiewicz M, Altman S. Antibodies in human serum that precipitate ribonuclease P. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Aug;85(15):5483–5487. [PubMed]
  • Gold HA, Topper JN, Clayton DA, Craft J. The RNA processing enzyme RNase MRP is identical to the Th RNP and related to RNase P. Science. 1989 Sep 22;245(4924):1377–1380. [PubMed]
  • Green MR. Pre-mRNA splicing. Annu Rev Genet. 1986;20:671–708. [PubMed]
  • Sharp PA. Splicing of messenger RNA precursors. Science. 1987 Feb 13;235(4790):766–771. [PubMed]
  • Maniatis T, Reed R. The role of small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles in pre-mRNA splicing. Nature. 1987 Feb 19;325(6106):673–678. [PubMed]
  • Guthrie C, Patterson B. Spliceosomal snRNAs. Annu Rev Genet. 1988;22:387–419. [PubMed]
  • Singh R, Reddy R. Gamma-monomethyl phosphate: a cap structure in spliceosomal U6 small nuclear RNA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Nov;86(21):8280–8283. [PubMed]
  • Kunkel GR, Maser RL, Calvet JP, Pederson T. U6 small nuclear RNA is transcribed by RNA polymerase III. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Nov;83(22):8575–8579. [PubMed]
  • Reddy R, Henning D, Das G, Harless M, Wright D. The capped U6 small nuclear RNA is transcribed by RNA polymerase III. J Biol Chem. 1987 Jan 5;262(1):75–81. [PubMed]
  • Das G, Henning D, Reddy R. Structure, organization, and transcription of Drosophila U6 small nuclear RNA genes. J Biol Chem. 1987 Jan 25;262(3):1187–1193. [PubMed]
  • Moenne A, Camier S, Anderson G, Margottin F, Beggs J, Sentenac A. The U6 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is transcribed by RNA polymerase C (III) in vivo and in vitro. EMBO J. 1990 Jan;9(1):271–277. [PubMed]
  • Potashkin J, Frendewey D. Splicing of the U6 RNA precursor is impaired in fission yeast pre-mRNA splicing mutants. Nucleic Acids Res. 1989 Oct 11;17(19):7821–7831. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Potashkin J, Li R, Frendewey D. Pre-mRNA splicing mutants of Schizosaccharomyces pombe. EMBO J. 1989 Feb;8(2):551–559. [PubMed]
  • Brow DA, Guthrie C. Splicing a spliceosomal RNA. Nature. 1989 Jan 5;337(6202):14–15. [PubMed]
  • Sharp S, DeFranco D, Dingermann T, Farrell P, Söll D. Internal control regions for transcription of eukaryotic tRNA genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1981 Nov;78(11):6657–6661. [PubMed]
  • Hofstetter H, Kressman A, Birnstiel ML. A split promoter for a eucaryotic tRNA gene. Cell. 1981 May;24(2):573–585. [PubMed]
  • Nischt R, Thüroff E, Küfer NF. Molecular cloning of a ribosomal protein gene from the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Curr Genet. 1986;10(5):365–370. [PubMed]
  • Saiki RK, Gelfand DH, Stoffel S, Scharf SJ, Higuchi R, Horn GT, Mullis KB, Erlich HA. Primer-directed enzymatic amplification of DNA with a thermostable DNA polymerase. Science. 1988 Jan 29;239(4839):487–491. [PubMed]
  • Sanger F, Nicklen S, Coulson AR. DNA sequencing with chain-terminating inhibitors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1977 Dec;74(12):5463–5467. [PubMed]
  • Käufer NF, Simanis V, Nurse P. Fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe correctly excises a mammalian RNA transcript intervening sequence. Nature. 1985 Nov 7;318(6041):78–80. [PubMed]
  • Mertins P, Gallwitz D. Nuclear pre-mRNA splicing in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe strictly requires an intron-contained, conserved sequence element. EMBO J. 1987 Jun;6(6):1757–1763. [PubMed]
  • Goodall GJ, Filipowicz W. The AU-rich sequences present in the introns of plant nuclear pre-mRNAs are required for splicing. Cell. 1989 Aug 11;58(3):473–483. [PubMed]
  • Russell P, Nurse P. Negative regulation of mitosis by wee1+, a gene encoding a protein kinase homolog. Cell. 1987 May 22;49(4):559–567. [PubMed]
  • Watanabe Y, Lino Y, Furuhata K, Shimoda C, Yamamoto M. The S.pombe mei2 gene encoding a crucial molecule for commitment to meiosis is under the regulation of cAMP. EMBO J. 1988 Mar;7(3):761–767. [PubMed]
  • Kleinschmidt AM, Pederson T, Tani T, Ohshima Y. An intron-containing Schizosaccharomyces pombe U6 RNA gene can be transcribed by human RNA polymerase III. J Mol Biol. 1990 Jan 5;211(1):7–9. [PubMed]
  • Das G, Henning D, Wright D, Reddy R. Upstream regulatory elements are necessary and sufficient for transcription of a U6 RNA gene by RNA polymerase III. EMBO J. 1988 Feb;7(2):503–512. [PubMed]
  • Lobo SM, Hernandez N. A 7 bp mutation converts a human RNA polymerase II snRNA promoter into an RNA polymerase III promoter. Cell. 1989 Jul 14;58(1):55–67. [PubMed]
  • Kunkel GR, Pederson T. Transcription of a human U6 small nuclear RNA gene in vivo withstands deletion of intragenic sequences but not of an upstream TATATA box. Nucleic Acids Res. 1989 Sep 25;17(18):7371–7379. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Krol A, Carbon P, Ebel JP, Appel B. Xenopus tropicalis U6 snRNA genes transcribed by Pol III contain the upstream promoter elements used by Pol II dependent U snRNA genes. Nucleic Acids Res. 1987 Mar 25;15(6):2463–2478. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Carbon P, Murgo S, Ebel JP, Krol A, Tebb G, Mattaj LW. A common octamer motif binding protein is involved in the transcription of U6 snRNA by RNA polymerase III and U2 snRNA by RNA polymerase II. Cell. 1987 Oct 9;51(1):71–79. [PubMed]
  • Kunkel GR, Pederson T. Upstream elements required for efficient transcription of a human U6 RNA gene resemble those of U1 and U2 genes even though a different polymerase is used. Genes Dev. 1988 Feb;2(2):196–204. [PubMed]
  • Mattaj IW, Dathan NA, Parry HD, Carbon P, Krol A. Changing the RNA polymerase specificity of U snRNA gene promoters. Cell. 1988 Nov 4;55(3):435–442. [PubMed]
  • Reddy R. Transcription of a U6 small nuclear RNA gene in vitro. Transcription of a mouse U6 small nuclear RNA gene in vitro by RNA polymerase III is dependent on transcription factor(s) different from transcription factors IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC. J Biol Chem. 1988 Nov 5;263(31):15980–15984. [PubMed]
  • Ribes V, Dehoux P, Tollervey D. 7SL RNA from Schizosaccharomyces pombe is encoded by a single copy essential gene. EMBO J. 1988 Jan;7(1):231–237. [PubMed]
  • Brennwald P, Liao X, Holm K, Porter G, Wise JA. Identification of an essential Schizosaccharomyces pombe RNA homologous to the 7SL component of signal recognition particle. Mol Cell Biol. 1988 Apr;8(4):1580–1590. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Epstein P, Reddy R, Henning D, Busch H. The nucleotide sequence of nuclear U6 (4.7 S) RNA. J Biol Chem. 1980 Sep 25;255(18):8901–8906. [PubMed]

Articles from Nucleic Acids Research are provided here courtesy of Oxford University Press