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EMBO J. Feb 1, 1996; 15(3): 630–639.
PMCID: PMC449981

Cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein complexes containing human LINE-1 protein and RNA.

Abstract

P40 is the protein encoded by the first open reading frame (ORF1) of the human LINE-1 (L1Hs) retrotransposon; it is 338 amino acids long, has a leucine zipper motif and has been found in human teratocarcinoma cell lines and some tumor cells. In this report, we describe properties of p40 in the human teratocarcinoma cell lines NTera2D1 and 2102Ep. The results indicate that: (i) most of p40 occurs in large multimeric cytoplasmic complexes, (ii) L1Hs RNA is associated with the p40 complexes, (iii) the complexes are dissociated by ribonuclease and (iv) p40 is a novel RNA-binding protein. Cross-linking experiments with full-length and truncated p40 produced in Escherichia coli also showed that: (i) p40 itself can form a multimeric complex larger than 250 kDa, (ii) the leucine zipper motif and the region conserved among the predicted ORF1 polypeptides of mammalian LINE-1s participate in complex formation and (iii) the amino terminal region is important for the stability of complex formation. Analysis of the amino acid sequence of p40 suggests that long segments of the molecule can assume an alpha-helical configuration including the leucine zipper and the conserved region. The evidence presented here suggests that the p40 complex is a ribonucleoprotein complex containing L1Hs RNA(s) and that protein-protein interactions in which alpha-helix structures participate, for example coiled-coils, may occur in the complex.

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Selected References

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