A self-splicing RNA excises an intron lariat

Cell. 1986 Jan 31;44(2):213-23. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(86)90755-5.


We have investigated the in vitro self-splicing of a class II mitochondrial intron. A model pre-mRNA containing intron 5 gamma of the oxi 3 gene of yeast mitochondrial DNA undergoes an efficient intramolecular rearrangement reaction in vitro. This reaction proceeds under conditions distinct from those optimal for self-splicing of class I introns, such as the Tetrahymena nuclear rRNA intron. Intron 5 gamma is excised as a nonlinear RNA indistinguishable from the in vivo excised intron product by gel electrophoresis and primer extension analysis. Studies of the in vitro excised intron product strongly indicate that it is a branched RNA with a circular component joined by a linkage other than a 3'-5' phosphodiester. Two other products, the spliced exons and the broken form of the lariat, were also characterized. These results show that the class II intron products are similar to those of nuclear pre-mRNA splicing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kinetics
  • Magnesium / physiology
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • RNA Splicing*
  • RNA, Fungal / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Spermidine / physiology
  • Temperature
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Fungal
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Magnesium
  • Spermidine