The CstF polyadenylation factor is a multisubunit complex required for efficient cleavage and polyadenylation of pre-mRNAs. Using an RNase H- mediated mapping technique, we show that the 64-kDa subunit of CstF can be photo cross-linked to pre-mRNAs at U-rich regions located downstream of the cleavage site of the simian virus 40 late and adenovirus L3 pre-mRNAs. This positional specificity of cross-linking is a consequence of CstF interaction with the polyadenylation complex, since the 64-kDa protein by itself is cross-linked at multiple positions on a pre-mRNA template. During polyadenylation, four consecutive U residues can substitute for the native downstream U-rich sequence on the simian virus 40 pre-mRNA, mediating efficient 64-kDa protein cross-linking at the downstream position. Furthermore, the position of the U stretch not only enables the 64-kDa polypeptide to be cross-linked to the pre-mRNA but also influences the site of cleavage. A search of the GenBank database revealed that a substantial portion of mammalian polyadenylation sites carried four or more consecutive U residues positioned so that they should function as sites for interaction with the 64-kDa protein downstream of the cleavage site. Our results indicate that the polyadenylation machinery physically spans the cleavage site, directing cleavage factors to a position located between the upstream AAUAAA motif, where the cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor is thought to interact, and the downstream U-rich binding site for the 64-kDa subunit of CstF.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology