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J Virol. 1995 Dec;69(12):8027-34.

In vitro selection of RNA ligands for the ribosomal L22 protein associated with Epstein-Barr virus-expressed RNA by using randomized and cDNA-derived RNA libraries.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Princeton University, Lewis Thomas Laboratory, New Jersey 08544-1014, USA.


The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-expressed RNA 1 (EBER1) associates tightly with the ribosomal protein L22. We determined the general requirements for an RNA to bind L22 in a SELEX experiment, selecting RNA ligands for L22 from a randomized pool of RNA sequences by using an L22-glutathione S-transferase fusion protein. The selected sequences all contained a stem-loop motif similar to that of the region of EBER1 previously shown to interact with L22. The nucleotides were highly conserved at three positions within the stem-loop and identical to the corresponding nucleotides in EBER1. Two independent binding sites for L22 could be identified in EBER1, and mobility shift assays indicated that two L22 molecules can interact with EBER1 simultaneously. To search for a cellular L22 ligand, we constructed a SELEX library from cDNA fragments derived from RNA that was coimmunoprecipitated with L22 from an EBV-negative whole-cell lysate. After four rounds of selection and amplification, most of the clones that were obtained overlapped a sequence corresponding to the stem-loop between nucleotides 302 and 317 in human 28S ribosomal RNA. This stem-loop fulfills the criteria for optimal binding to L22 that were defined by SELEX, suggesting that human 28S ribosomal RNA is likely to be a cellular L22 ligand. Additional L22 binding sites were found in 28S ribosomal RNA, as well as within 18S ribosomal RNA and in RNA segments not present in sequence databases. The methodology described for the conversion of a preselected cellular RNA pool into a SELEX library might be generally applicable to other proteins for the identification of cellular RNA ligands.

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