The question remains: is the spliceosome a ribozyme?

Nat Struct Biol. 2000 Oct;7(10):850-4. doi: 10.1038/79598.


The two phosphoryl transfer steps of pre-mRNA splicing are catalyzed within the large ribonuclear protein machine called the spliceosome. The highly dynamic nature of the spliceosome has presented many challenges to a structural and mechanistic understanding of its catalytic core. While much evidence supports the popular hypothesis that the catalytic steps of pre-mRNA splicing are mediated by spliceosomal RNA, a role for protein in catalysis cannot yet be ruled out. A highly conserved protein, Prp8, is a component of the catalytic core. We review data consistent with the hypothesis that Prp8 functions as a cofactor to an RNA enzyme.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Catalysis
  • Catalytic Domain
  • RNA Precursors / metabolism
  • RNA Splicing
  • RNA, Catalytic / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Spliceosomes / metabolism*


  • RNA Precursors
  • RNA, Catalytic
  • RNA, Messenger