Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by mutations in the SMN (survival of motor neurons) gene and there is a correlation between disease severity and levels of functional SMN protein. Studies of structure-function relationships in SMN protein may lead to a better understanding of SMA pathogenesis. Self-association of the spinal muscular atrophy protein, SMN, is important for its function in RNA splicing. Biomolecular interaction analysis core analysis now shows that SMN self-association occurs via SMN regions encoded by exons 2b and 6, that exon 2b encodes a binding site for SMN-interacting protein-1 and that interaction occurs between exon 2- and 4- encoded regions within the SMN monomer. The presence of two separate self-association sites suggests a novel mechanism by which linear oligomers or closed rings might be formed from SMN monomers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology