SMN-mediated assembly of RNPs: a complex story

Trends Cell Biol. 2002 Oct;12(10):472-8. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(02)02371-1.


Although many RNA-protein complexes or ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) assemble spontaneously in vitro, little is known about how they form in the environment of a living cell. Insight into RNP assembly has come unexpectedly from functional analyses of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, a gene product that is affected in the neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy. These studies show that the assembly of spliceosomal U-rich small nuclear RNPs in vivo depends on the activity of two large protein complexes, one of which contains the SMN protein. These complexes might also facilitate the assembly of other cellular RNPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • Humans
  • Motor Neurons / metabolism*
  • Muscular Atrophy, Spinal / genetics
  • Muscular Atrophy, Spinal / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ribonucleoproteins / metabolism*
  • SMN Complex Proteins


  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • SMN Complex Proteins