Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 10325428
Nucleic Acids Res. 1999 Jun;27(11):2377-86
The Drosophila repressor splicing factor 1 (RSF1) comprises an N-terminal RNA-binding region and a C-terminal domain rich in glycine, arginine and serine residues, termed the GRS domain. Recently, RSF1 has been shown to antagonize splicing factors of the serine/arginine-rich (SR) family and it is, therefore, expected to play a role in processing of a subset of Drosophila pre-mRNAs through specific interactions with RNA. To investigate the RNA-binding specificity of RSF1, we isolated RSF1-binding RNAs using an in vitro selection approach. We have identified two RNA target motifs recognized by RSF1, designated A (CAACGACGA)- and B (AAACGCGCG)-type sequences. We show here that the A-type cognate sequence behaves as an SR protein-dependent exonic splicing enhancer. Namely, three copies of the A-type ligand bind SR proteins, stimulate the efficiency of splicing of reporter pre-mRNAs several fold and lead to inclusion of a short internal exon both in vitro and in vivo. However, three copies of a B-type ligand were much less active. The finding that RSF1 acts as a potent repressor of pre-mRNA splicing in vitro led us to propose that the equilibrium between a limited number of structurally-related general splicing activators or repressors, competing for common or promiscuous binding sites, may be a major determinant of the underlying mechanisms controlling many alternative pre-mRNA process-ing events.