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Oncogene. 2003 Sep 11;22(39):8012-20.

Members of the poly (rC) binding protein family stimulate the activity of the c-myc internal ribosome entry segment in vitro and in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK.


The 5' untranslated region of the proto-oncogene c-myc contains an internal ribosome entry segment and c-Myc translation can be initiated by cap-independent as well as cap-dependent mechanisms. In contrast to the process of cap-dependent initiation, the trans-acting factor requirements for cellular internal ribosome entry are poorly understood. Here, we show that members of the poly (rC) binding protein family, poly (rC) binding protein 1 (PCBP1), poly (rC) binding protein 2 (PCBP2) and hnRNPK were able to activate the IRES in vitro up to threefold when added in combination with upstream of N-ras and unr-interacting protein. The interactions of PCBP1, PCBP2 and hnRNPK with c-myc-IRES-RNA were shown to be specific by ultraviolet crosslinking analysis and electrophoretic mobility shift assays, while immunoprecipitation of the three proteins using specific antibodies followed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction showed that they were able to bind c-myc mRNA. c-myc-IRES-mediated translation from the reporter vector was stimulated by cotransfection of plasmids encoding PCBP1, PCBP2 and hnRNPK. Interestingly, the mutated version of the c-myc IRES that is prevalent in patients with multiple myeloma bound hnRNPK more efficiently in vitro and was stimulated by hnRNPK to a greater extent in vivo.

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