Isolation and characterization of the U1 and U2 snRNAs in the silk gland of the fifth instar larval stage silk moth Bombyx mori

Julie M Sierra-Montes, Florida International University


In isolation and characterization studies, expression level U1 and U2 snRNA isoforms were obtained from the 5th instar larval stage silk gland (SG). The DNA content of the SG cells is approximately 200,000-fold higher compared to the usual (2N) somatic cells of B. mori due to endoreduplication. In this study, the existence of U1 and U2 snRNA isoforms in the SG of the organism is investigated. Bombyx mori U1 and U2-specific RT-PCR libraries from the silk gland were generated. Five U1 and eight U2 isoforms were isolated and characterized. Nucleotide differences, structural alterations, as well as protein and RNA interaction sites were analyzed in these variants. For the U1 snRNA variants, they were compared to the previously reported BmN isoforms. In all these U-snRNA variants, polymorphic sites do not predominate at the core of known functional sequences, which were interspecifically conserved. Variant sites and inter-species differences are located in moderately conserved regions. Free energy (ΔG) values for the entire U1 and U2 snRNA secondary structures and for the individual stem/loops domains of the isoforms were generated and compared to determine their structural stability. This will be the first time that U1 and U2 variants are shown specific for a development stage (larval) other than embryonic or adult. Using phylogenetic analysis, evolutionary trees were generated for the U1 and U2 snRNAs using animal, plant, protista and fungal species. The resulting trees were boostrapped for robustness and rooted with the self-splicing RNA group II intron sequence from the cyanobacterium Calothrix. Using phylogenetic analyses, possible structural and functional evolutionary interdependence between the U1 and U2 snRNAs was investigated.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Genetics

Recommended Citation

Sierra-Montes, Julie M, "Isolation and characterization of the U1 and U2 snRNAs in the silk gland of the fifth instar larval stage silk moth Bombyx mori" (2004). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3151971.