By construction and screen of mouse nucleolar cDNA library, a novel mammalian small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNA) was identified. The novel snoRNA, 70 nt in length, displays structural features typical of C/D box snoRNA family. The snoRNA possesses an 11-nt-long rRNA antisence element and is predicted to guide the 2′-O-methylation of mouse 28S rRNA at G4043, a site unknown so far to be modified in vertebrates. The comparison of functional element of snoRNA guides among eukaryotes reveals that the novel snoRNA is a mammalian counterpart of yeast snR38 despite highly divergent sequence between them. Mouse and human snR38 and other cognates in distant vertebrates were positively detected with slight length variability. As expected, the rRNA ribose-methylation site predicted by mouse snR38 was precisely mapped by specific-primer extension assay. Furthermore, our analyses show that mouse and human snR38 gene have multiple variants and are nested in the introns of different host genes with unknown function. Thus, snR38 is a phylogenetically conserved methylation guide but exhibits different genomic organization in eukaryotes.
- rRNA methylation