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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 1999 Jan;29(1):1-9.

An atypical iron-responsive element (IRE) within crayfish ferritin mRNA and an iron regulatory protein 1 (IRP1)-like protein from crayfish hepatopancreas.

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Department of Physiological Mycology, University of Uppsala, Sweden.


A putative crayfish iron-responsive element (IRE) is present in the 5'-untranslated region of the crayfish ferritin mRNA. The putative crayfish IRE is in a cap-proximal position and shares most of the structural features of the consensus IRE, but the RNA stem-loop structure contains a bulge of a guanine instead of a cytosine at the expected position, so far thought to be a hallmark of IREs. By using an electromobility shift assay this IRE was shown to specifically bind purified recombinant human iron regulatory protein 1 (IRP1) as well as a factor(s) present in a homogenate of crayfish hepatopancreas, likely to be a crayfish IRP1 homologue. With mutations in the crayfish IRE, the affinity of IRP to IRE was drastically decreased. A cDNA encoding an IRP1-like protein was cloned from the hepatopancreas of crayfish. This protein has sequence similarities to IRP, and contains all the active-site residues of aconitase, two putative RNA-binding regions and a putative contact site between RNA and IRP. These results show that a crayfish IRE, lacking the bulged C, can bind IRP1 in vitro and that an IRP1-like protein present in crayfish hepatopancreas may have both aconitase and RNA-binding activities.

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