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A cyclophilin functions in pre-mRNA splicing

Oxford University Press
Publication Date
  • Article
  • Biology


We report that the cyclophilin USA-CyP is part of distinct complexes with two spliceosomal proteins and is involved in both steps of pre-mRNA splicing. The splicing factors hPrp18 and hPrp4 have a short region of homology that defines a high affinity binding site for USA-CyP in each protein. USA-CyP forms separate, stable complexes with hPrp18 and hPrp4 in which the active site of the cyclophilin is exposed. The cyclophilin inhibitor cyclosporin A slows pre-mRNA splicing in vitro, and we show that its inhibition of the second step of splicing is caused by blocking the action of USA-CyP within its complex with hPrp18. Cyclosporin A also slows splicing in vivo, and we show that this slowing results specifically from inhibition of USA-CyP. Our results lead to a model in which USA-CyP is carried into the spliceosome in complexes with hPrp4 and hPrp18, and USA-CyP acts during splicing within these complexes. These results provide an example of the function of a cyclophilin in a complex process and provide insight into the mechanisms of action of cyclophilins.

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