Peri-implantation lethality in mice lacking the Sm motif- containing protein Lsm4

Emilio Hirsch, Toshitaka Oohashi, Marianne Ahmad, Stefan Stamm, Reinhard Fässler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) are particles present only in eukaryotic cells. They are involved in a large variety of RNA maturation processes, most notably in pre-mRNA splicing. Several of the proteins typically found in snRNPs contain a sequence signature, the Sm domain, conserved from yeast to mammals. By using a promoter trap strategy to target actively transcribed loci in murine embryonic stem cells, a new murine gene encoding an Sm motif-containing protein was identified. Database searches revealed that it is the mouse orthologue of Lsm4p, a protein found in yeast and human cells and putatively associated with U6 snRNA. Introduction of the geo reporter gene cassette under the control of the murine Lsm4 (mLsm4) endogenous promoter showed that the gene was ubiquitously transcribed in embryonic and adult tissues. The insertion of the geo cassette disrupted the mLsm4 allele, and homozygosity for the mutation led to a recessive embryonic lethal phenotype, mLsm4-null zygotes survived to the blastocyst stages, implanted into the uterus, but died shortly thereafter. The early death of mLsm4p-null mice suggests that the role of mLsm4p in splicing is essential and cannot be compensated by other Lsm proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1062
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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