Binding of the Human Prp31 Nop Domain to a Composite RNA–Protein Platform in U4 snRNP
Although highly homologous, the spliceosomal hPrp31 and the nucleolar Nop56 and Nop58 (Nop56/58) proteins recognize different ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particles. hPrp31 interacts with complexes containing the 15.5K protein and U4 or U4atac small nuclear RNA (snRNA), whereas Nop56/58 associate with 15.5K–box C/D small nucleolar RNA complexes. We present structural and biochemical analyses of hPrp31-15.5K-U4 snRNA complexes that show how the conserved Nop domain in hPrp31 maintains high RNP binding selectivity despite relaxed RNA sequence requirements. The Nop domain is a genuine RNP binding module, exhibiting RNA and protein binding surfaces. Yeast two-hybrid analyses suggest a link between retinitis pigmentosa and an aberrant hPrp31-hPrp6 interaction that blocks U4/U6-U5 tri-snRNP formation.