Splicing by the spliceosome involves branching and exon ligation. The branching reaction leads to the formation of the catalytic step I spliceosome (C complex). Here we report the cryo–electron microscopy structure of the human C complex at an average resolution of 4.1 angstroms. Compared with the Saccharomyces cerevisiae C complex, the human complex contains 11 additional proteins. The step I splicing factors CCDC49 and CCDC94 (Cwc25 and Yju2 in S. cerevisiae, respectively) closely interact with the DEAH-family adenosine triphosphatase/helicase Prp16 and bridge the gap between Prp16 and the active-site RNA elements. These features, together with structural comparison of the human C and C* complexes, provide mechanistic insights into ribonucleoprotein remodeling and allow the proposition of a working mechanism for the C-to-C* transition.
Zhan Xiechao Chuangye Yan Zhang Xiaofeng 雷建林 施一公