Letter | Published:

Rescue of a splicing defective mutant by insertion of an heterologous intron

Nature volume 286, pages 634637 (07 August 1980) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

It is now widely accepted that the primary transcripts of many eukaryotic genes contain intervening sequences (introns)1–3. These introns, which vary considerably in length, have been found in both coding and noncoding regions4–15. They are removed from the primary transcript in one or more steps by a process called RNA splicing16. The role of RNA splicing, the size and position of introns and the signals which modulate the splicing process are under intense investigation. These studies have been greatly facilitated by the use of viral mutants or viral–eukaryotic recombinant molecules. The SV40 system has been of particular value in elucidating certain genetic elements which are critically involved in the splicing process17–21. Further insight into the biological significance of the splicing process has come from a mutant from which precisely one intron has been removed (intron-minus mutant, dl-2350). This deletion mutant has the potential to circumvent the need for splicing. However, the inability of dl-2350 to accumulate late viral transcripts indicates that splicing is a requirement for the biogenesis of stable mRNA22. This finding is supported by studies using the mouse βmaj globin gene inserted into SV40. The inserted portions contained either the complete globin gene23 or a segment encompassing the intron plus the entire 3′ end of the gene24. As polyadenylation is known to precede splicing2,3, the possibility exists that every transcript possesses sequences near the 3′ end that are directly involved in the splicing process. We report here that, to test this possibility as well as to pursue the question of whether the splicing event and/or defined sequences in the intron are required for the biogenesis of mRNAs, we inserted an isolated intron lacking its own genomic 5′ and 3′ ends into the intron-minus mutant previously described. The experimental protocol provided for obtaining both possible orientations of the insert relative to the late genomic region. Investigation of the transcriptional products indicated that stable mRNA was produced only by the mutant containing the intron in the sense orientation.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    , , , & Proc. natn Acad. Sci U.S.A. 75, 1309–1313 (1978).

  2. 2.

    , & Cell 14, 971–982 (1978).

  3. 3.

    , , & Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S A. 75, 5344–5348 (1978).

  4. 4.

    et al. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 76, 6196–6200 (1979).

  5. 5.

    et al. Cell 18, 533–543 (1979).

  6. 6.

    et al. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 76, 2253–2257 (1979).

  7. 7.

    et al. Cell 18, 545–558 (1979).

  8. 8.

    , & Nucleic Acids Res. 6, 2997–3008 (1979).

  9. 9.

    et al. Nature 282, 567–574 (1979).

  10. 10.

    , , & Science 206, 337–344 (1979).

  11. 11.

    et al. Nature 278, 428–434 (1979).

  12. 12.

    et al. Cell 18, 829–842 (1979).

  13. 13.

    et al. Cell 14, 237–245 (1978).

  14. 14.

    et al. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 75, 6185–6191 (1978).

  15. 15.

    et al. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 74, 4406–4410 (1977).

  16. 16.

    , & Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 74, 3171–3175 (1977).

  17. 17.

    & Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 76, 71–75 (1979).

  18. 18.

    , , & Cell 18, 85–92 (1979).

  19. 19.

    , , , & Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 75, 4853–5847 (1978).

  20. 20.

    , & Nucleic Acids Res. 6, 3387–3398 (1979).

  21. 21.

    , , & Nucleic Acids Res. 8, 127–142 (1980).

  22. 22.

    , , & Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 76, 4317–4321 (1979).

  23. 23.

    & Cell 18, 1299–1302 (1979).

  24. 24.

    & Nature 281, 35–40 (1979).

  25. 25.

    , & Cell 15, 1125–1132 (1978).

  26. 26.

    et al. J. biol. Chem. 253, 3643–3647 (1978).

  27. 27.

    et al. Cell, 15, 687–701 (1978).

  28. 28.

    & J. natn. Cancer Inst. 41, 351–357 (1968).

  29. 29.

    & Virology 60, 466–475 (1974).

  30. 30.

    & J. Virol. 8, 516–524 (1971).

  31. 31.

    J. molec. Biol. 98, 503–517 (1975).

  32. 32.

    et al. Science 200, 494–502 (1978).

  33. 33.

    et al. Nature 273, 113–120 (1978).

  34. 34.

    , & Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 74, 5350–5354 (1977).

  35. 35.

    & FEBS Lett. 106, 5–7 (1979).

  36. 36.

    , , , & Nature 283, 220–224 (1980).

  37. 37.

    Cell, 15, 1109–1123 (1978).

  38. 38.

    & Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 71, 942–946 (1974).

  39. 39.

    J. molec. Biol. 17, 117–130 (1966).

  40. 40.

    , , , & Cell 14, 655–671 (1978).

  41. 41.

    , , , , & Cell 19, 671–681 (1980).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Laboratory of Molecular Virology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20205

    • Peter Gruss
    •  & George Khoury

Authors

  1. Search for Peter Gruss in:

  2. Search for George Khoury in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/286634a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.