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snRNPs

Friday 7 January 2005

The splicing of pre-mRNA into the mature product occurs in a multicomponent complex constituted by small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs) and proteins such as splicing factors and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNPs) proteins.

The hnRNP proteins (hnRNPs) are a family of at least 20 polypeptides whose precise role in RNA processing remains to be fully defined.

Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) complexes are the structures that contain hnRNAs and their associated proteins. The hnRNPs are directly involved in mRNA synthesis and maturation.

Their protein content consists of 2 principal categories: a family of 3 related major species with common structural features, the so-called A1-A2, B1-B2, C1-C2 core proteins, and a more heterogeneous population of polypeptides designated D to U.