U4 and U6 small nuclear RNAs reside in a single ribonucleoprotein particle, and both are required for pre-mRNA splicing. The U4/U6 and U5 small nuclear ribonucleoproteins join U1 and U2 on the pre-mRNA during spliceosome assembly. Binding of U4 is then destabilized prior to or concomitant with the 5' cleavage-ligation. In order to test the role of U4 RNA, we isolated a functional spliceosome by using extracts prepared from yeast cells carrying a temperature-sensitive allele of prp2 (rna2). The isolated prp2 delta spliceosome contains U2, U5, U6, and possibly also U1 and can be activated to splice the bound pre-mRNA. U4 RNA does not associate with the isolated spliceosomes and is shown not to be involved in the subsequent cleavage-ligation reactions. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the role of U4 in pre-mRNA splicing is to deliver U6 to the spliceosome.