Phylogenetic comparison and splice site conservation of eukaryotic U1 snRNP-specific U1-70K gene family

Tao Fan, Yu Zhen Zhao, Jing Fang Yang, Qin Lai Liu, Yuan Tian, Das Debatosh, Ying Gao Liu, Jianhua Zhang, Chen Chen*, Mo Xian Chen*, Shao Ming Zhou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Eukaryotic cells can expand their coding ability by using their splicing machinery, spliceosome, to process precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA) into mature messenger RNA. The mega-macromolecular spliceosome contains multiple subcomplexes, referred to as small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs). Among these, U1 snRNP and its central component, U1-70K, are crucial for splice site recognition during early spliceosome assembly. The human U1-70K has been linked to several types of human autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. However, its phylogenetic relationship has been seldom reported. To this end, we carried out a systemic analysis of 95 animal U1-70K genes and compare these proteins to their yeast and plant counterparts. Analysis of their gene and protein structures, expression patterns and splicing conservation suggest that animal U1-70Ks are conserved in their molecular function, and may play essential role in cancers and juvenile development. In particular, animal U1-70Ks display unique characteristics of single copy number and a splicing isoform with truncated C-terminal, suggesting the specific role of these U1-70Ks in animal kingdom. In summary, our results provide phylogenetic overview of U1-70K gene family in vertebrates. In silico analyses conducted in this work will act as a reference for future functional studies of this crucial U1 splicing factor in animal kingdom.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12760
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date17 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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