Science, Vol.371, No.6535, 1220-+, 2021
Structure of the activated human minor spliceosome
The minor spliceosome mediates splicing of the rare but essential U12-type precursor messenger RNA. Here, we report the atomic features of the activated human minor spliceosome determined by cryo-electron microscopy at 2.9-angstrom resolution. The 5' splice site and branch point sequence of the U12-type intron are recognized by the U6atac and U12 small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs), respectively. Five newly identified proteins stabilize the conformation of the catalytic center: The zinc finger protein SCNM1 functionally mimics the SF3a complex of the major spliceosome, the RBM48-ARMC7 complex binds the g-monomethyl phosphate cap at the 5' end of U6atac snRNA, the U-box protein PPIL2 coordinates loop I of U5 snRNA and stabilizes U5 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP), and CRIPT stabilizes U12 snRNP. Our study provides a framework for the mechanistic understanding of the function of the human minor spliceosome.