A critical assessment of the utility of protein-free splicing systems

Duncan J. Smith, Maria M. Konarska

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


U2 and U6 snRNAs form part of the catalytic spliceosome and represent strong candidates for components of its active site. Over the past decade it has become clear that these snRNAs are capable of catalyzing several different chemical reactions, leading to the widespread conclusion that the spliceosome is a ribozyme. Here, we discuss the advances in both protein-free and fully spliceosomal systems that would be required to conclude that the reactions observed to be catalyzed by protein-free snRNAs are related to splicing and question the reliability of snRNA-only systems as tools for mechanistic splicing research. Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • RNA catalysis
  • Splicing
  • snRNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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