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J Biol Chem. 2004 Nov 19;279(47):48716-24. Epub 2004 Sep 8.

Targeted knockdown of the RNA-binding protein CRD-BP promotes cell proliferation via an insulin-like growth factor II-dependent pathway in human K562 leukemia cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Microbiology, and Immunology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.


The c-myc mRNA coding region determinant-binding protein (CRD-BP) was first identified as a masking protein that stabilizes c-myc mRNA in a cell-free mRNA degradation system. Thus, CRD-BP is thought to promote cell proliferation by maintaining c-Myc at critical levels. CRD-BP also appears to be an oncofetal protein, based upon its expression during mammalian development and in some tumors. By using K562 leukemia cells as a model, we show that CRD-BP gene silencing by RNA interference significantly promoted proliferation, indicating an inhibitory effect of CRD-BP on proliferation. Unexpectedly, CRD-BP knockdown had no discernible effect on c-myc mRNA levels. CRD-BP is also known as insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) mRNA-binding protein-1. It has been reported to repress translation of a luciferase reporter mRNA containing an IGF-II 5'-untranslated region known as leader 3 but not one containing IGF-II leader 4. CRD-BP knockdown markedly increased IGF-II mRNA and protein levels but did not alter translation of luciferase reporter mRNAs containing 5'-untranslated regions consisting of either IGF-II leader 3 or leader 4. Addition of antibody against IGF-II to cell cultures inhibited the proliferative effect of CRD-BP knockdown, suggesting that regulation of IGF-II gene expression, rather than c-myc mRNA levels, mediates the proliferative effect of CRD-BP knockdown. Thus, we have identified a dominant function for CRD-BP in cell proliferation of human K562 cells, involving a possible IGF-II-dependent mechanism that appears independent of its ability to serve as a c-myc mRNA masking protein.

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