The U6 and U5 snRNA (small nuclear ribonucleic acid) genes were identified in Taenia solium with the aim of characterizing their sequence and genomic structures. They are contained within a shared 1,009-nt tandem genomic repeat and present at approximately 3 copies per haploid genome. The U6 snRNA gene shares 92 and 95% sequence similarity with the U6 homologs from humans and Schistosoma mansoni, respectively. The U5 snRNA gene of T. solium is 70% similar to the human U5 sequence in the 5′ stem and loop 1 domains. The U6 and U5 snRNA genes are on complementary genomic strands and separated by 458 nt at their “heads” and 306 nt at their “tails.” The nucleotides upstream of the U6 gene lack a recognizable TATA box and proximal sequence elements (PSEs), and the putative gene promoter for U5 snRNA does not resemble vertebrate examples. There are short blocks of similarity between the sequences upstream of the U5 and U6 snRNA genes, and these may be sites of shared transcription factor binding at the respective RNA polymerase II and III promoters. It is possible that this unusual allied U5/U6 snRNA genomic repeat may help mediate coordinated regulation of expression of the 2 snRNAs.

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