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J Cell Biol. 2001 Apr 16;153(2):307-18.

An exclusively nuclear RNA-binding protein affects asymmetric localization of ASH1 mRNA and Ash1p in yeast.

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  • 1Medical College of Wisconsin, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, USA. rlong@mcw.edu


The localization of ASH1 mRNA to the distal tip of budding yeast cells is essential for the proper regulation of mating type switching in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A localization element that is predominantly in the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) can direct this mRNA to the bud. Using this element in the three-hybrid in vivo RNA-binding assay, we identified a protein, Loc1p, that binds in vitro directly to the wild-type ASH1 3'-UTR RNA, but not to a mutant RNA incapable of localizing to the bud nor to several other mRNAs. LOC1 codes for a novel protein that recognizes double-stranded RNA structures and is required for efficient localization of ASH1 mRNA. Accordingly, Ash1p gets symmetrically distributed between daughter and mother cells in a loc1 strain. Surprisingly, Loc1p was found to be strictly nuclear, unlike other known RNA-binding proteins involved in mRNA localization which shuttle between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. We propose that efficient cytoplasmic ASH1 mRNA localization requires a previous interaction with specific nuclear factors.

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