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The mammalian homologue of Prp16p is overexpressed in a cell line tolerant to Leflunomide, a new immunoregulatory drug effective against rheumatoid arthritis

  • DAGMAR ORTLEPP (a1), BERNHARD LAGGERBAUER (a2) (a3), STEFAN MÜLLNER (a4), TILMANN ACHSEL (a2), BERND KIRSCHBAUM (a1) and REINHARD LÜHRMANN (a2)...

Abstract

Prp2p, Prp16p, Prp22p, and Prp43p are members of the DEAH-box family of ATP-dependent putative RNA helicases required for pre-mRNA splicing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Recently, mammalian homologues of Prp43p and Prp22p have been described, supporting the idea that splicing in yeast and man is phylogenetically conserved. In this study, we show that a murine cell line resistant to the novel immunoregulatory drug Leflunomide (AravaTM) overexpresses a 135-kDa protein that is a putative DEAH-box RNA helicase. We have cloned the human counterpart of this protein and show that it shares pronounced sequence homology with Prp16p. Apart from its N-terminal domain, which is rich in RS, RD, and RE dipeptides, this human homologue of Prp16p (designated hPrp16p) is 41% identical to Prp16p. Significantly, homology is not only observed within the phylogenetically conserved helicase domain, but also in Prp16p-specific sequences. Immunofluorescence microscopy studies demonstrated that hPrp16p co-localizes with snRNPs in subnuclear structures referred to as speckles. Antibodies specific for hPrp16p inhibited pre-mRNA splicing in vitro prior to the second step. Thus, like its yeast counterpart, hPrp16p also appears to be required for the second catalytic step of splicing. Taken together, our data indicate that the human 135-kDa protein identified here is the structural and functional homologue of the yeast putative RNA helicase, Prp16p.

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Corresponding author

Reprint requests to: Reinhard Lührmann, Institut für Molekularbiologie und Tumorforschung, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Emil-Mannkopff-Straße 2, D-35037 Marburg, Germany; e-mail: luehrmann@imt.uni-marburg.de.

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