Genome-based identification of spliceosomal proteins in the silk moth Bombyx mori

Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2010 Dec;75(4):231-63. doi: 10.1002/arch.20390.


Pre-messenger RNA splicing is a highly conserved eukaryotic cellular function that takes place by way of a large, RNA-protein assembly known as the spliceosome. In the mammalian system, nearly 300 proteins associate with uridine-rich small nuclear (sn)RNAs to form this complex. Some of these splicing factors are ubiquitously present in the spliceosome, whereas others are involved only in the processing of specific transcripts. Several proteomics analyses have delineated the proteins of the spliceosome in several species. In this study, we mine multiple sequence data sets of the silk moth Bombyx mori in an attempt to identify the entire set of known spliceosomal proteins. Five data sets were utilized, including the 3X, 6X, and Build 2.0 genomic contigs as well as the expressed sequence tag and protein libraries. While homologs for 88% of vertebrate splicing factors were delineated in the Bombyx mori genome, there appear to be several spliceosomal polypeptides absent in Bombyx mori and seven additional insect species. This apparent increase in spliceosomal complexity in vertebrates may reflect the tissue-specific and developmental stage-specific alternative pre-mRNA splicing requirements in vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of 15 eukaryotic taxa using the core splicing factors suggest that the essential functional units of the pre-mRNA processing machinery have remained highly conserved from yeast to humans. The Sm and LSm proteins are the most conserved, whereas proteins of the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle are the most divergent. These data highlight both the differential conservation and relative phylogenetic signals of the essential spliceosomal components throughout evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bombyx / classification
  • Bombyx / genetics*
  • Bombyx / metabolism*
  • Genome, Insect*
  • Insect Proteins / genetics*
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phylogeny
  • Spliceosomes / metabolism*


  • Insect Proteins