Analysis of a structured intronic region of the LMP2 pre-mRNA from EBV reveals associations with human regulatory proteins and nuclear actin.


Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology, Iowa State University, 2437 Pammel Drive, Ames, IA, 50011, USA. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : The pre-mRNA of the Epstein-Barr virus LMP2 (latent membrane protein 2) has a region of unusual RNA structure that partially spans two consecutive exons and the entire intervening intron; suggesting RNA folding might affect splicing-particularly via interactions with human regulatory proteins. To better understand the roles of protein associations with this structured intronic region, we undertook a combined bioinformatics (motif searching) and experimental analysis (biotin pulldowns and RNA immunoprecipitations) of protein binding.
RESULTS : Characterization of the ribonucleoprotein composition of this region revealed several human proteins as interactors: regulatory proteins hnRNP A1 (heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1), hnRNP U, HuR (human antigen R), and PSF (polypyrimidine tract-binding protein-associated splicing factor), as well as, unexpectedly, the cytoskeletal protein actin. Treatment of EBV-positive cells with drugs that alter actin polymerization specifically showed marked effects on splicing in this region. This suggests a potentially novel role for nuclear actin in regulation of viral RNA splicing.


Actin,EBV,Epstein–Barr virus,Herpes virus,HuR,LMP2,PSF,RNA,Splicing,hnRNP A1,hnRNP U,

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