The assembly of the spliceosome is an ATP-dependent process. The splicing factor PRP16 contains variations of several motifs that define the eIF-4A-like ATP-dependent RNA helicase family. The protein has now been purified and shown to exhibit RNA-dependent ATPase activity. PRP16 is required specifically for the second catalytic step of the splicing reaction in vitro. This function requires ATP binding and/or hydrolysis, which appears to be concomitant with release of the protein from the spliceosome. PRP16 may be the prototype for a set of splicing factors which use ATP to drive a cycle of conformational changes.