Analysis of the RNA recognition motifs of human neuronal ELAV-like proteins in binding to a cytokine mRNA.

Research paper by K K Sakai, Y Y Kitagawa, G G Hirose

Indexed on: 18 Mar '99Published on: 18 Mar '99Published in: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications


Human neuronal Elav-like proteins contain three RNP-type RNA recognition motifs (RRMs). Previous reports demonstrated that a single RRM of the proteins is not sufficient to bind to the uridine-rich stretch in the 3' untranslated region of mRNAs and that the bi-RRM peptide consisting of the first two RRMs is necessary for the binding. The present study was designed to examine the potential contributions of the first two RRMs when binding to a cytokine mRNA. Deletions of the internal or terminal amino acid residues of the first RRM (RRM1) of the HuC/ple21 ELAV-like protein completely abolished RNA binding. However, removal of any region of the second RRM (RRM2) except for the eight amino acid residues, which correspond to the potent fourth beta-sheet structure of RRM2, did not affect RNA binding. Conjugation of the eight amino acid residues to RRM1 enhanced the RNA binding as well as the entire RRM2, indicating that the octapeptide of RRM2 can be compensated for by the binding function of RRM2. The present study also showed that the substitutions of glutamic acid at 42 for aspartic acid and leucine at 44 for phenylalanine in the first potent alpha-helix structure of RRM1, as were seen in another ELAV-like protein Hel-N1, markedly affected the RNA binding.