Deadenylases are best known for degrading the poly(A) tail during mRNA decay. The deadenylase family has expanded throughout evolution and, in mammals, consists of 12 Mg 2+ -dependent 3'-end RNases with substrate specificity that is mostly unknown. Pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 7 (PCH7) is a unique recessive syndrome characterized by neurodegeneration and ambiguous genitalia. We studied 12 human families with PCH7, uncovering biallelic, loss-of-function mutations in TOE1, which encodes an unconventional deadenylase. toe1-morphant zebrafish displayed midbrain and hindbrain degeneration, modeling PCH-like structural defects in vivo. Surprisingly, we found that TOE1 associated with small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) incompletely processed spliceosomal. These pre-snRNAs contained 3' genome-encoded tails often followed by post-transcriptionally added adenosines. Human cells with reduced levels of TOE1 accumulated 3'-end-extended pre-snRNAs, and the immunoisolated TOE1 complex was sufficient for 3'-end maturation of snRNAs. Our findings identify the cause of a neurodegenerative syndrome linked to snRNA maturation and uncover a key factor involved in the processing of snRNA 3' ends.
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