Turnover of the branched RNA intermediates and products of pre-mRNA splicing is mediated by the lariat-debranching enzyme Dbr1. We characterized a homolog of Dbr1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Drn1/Ygr093w, that has a pseudo-metallophosphodiesterase domain with primary sequence homology to Dbr1 but lacks essential active site residues found in Dbr1. Whereas loss of Dbr1 results in lariat-introns failing broadly to turnover, loss of Drn1 causes low levels of lariat-intron accumulation. Conserved residues in the Drn1 C-terminal CwfJ domains, which are not present in Dbr1, are required for efficient intron turnover. Drn1 interacts with Dbr1, components of the Nineteen Complex, U2 snRNA, branched intermediates, and products of splicing. Drn1 enhances debranching catalyzed by Dbr1 in vitro, but does so without significantly improving the affinity of Dbr1 for branched RNA. Splicing carried out in in vitro extracts in the absence of Drn1 results in an accumulation of branched splicing intermediates and products released from the spliceosome, likely due to less active debranching, as well as the promiscuous release of cleaved 5'-exon. Drn1 enhances Dbr1-mediated turnover of lariat-intermediates and lariat-intron products, indicating that branched RNA turnover is regulated at multiple steps during splicing.
Keywords: Dbr1; Nineteen Complex; branched RNA; splicing.
© 2014 Garrey et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.