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J Biol Chem. 1999 Nov 26;274(48):34389-95.

Mutational analysis of a heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2 response element for RNA trafficking.

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  • 1Biochemistry Department, The University of Queensland, Qld 4072, Australia.


Cytoplasmic transport and localization of mRNA has been reported for a range of oocytes and somatic cells. The heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A2 response element (A2RE) is a 21-nucleotide segment of the myelin basic protein mRNA that is necessary and sufficient for cytoplasmic transport of this message in oligodendrocytes. The predominant A2RE-binding protein in rat brain has previously been identified as hnRNP A2. Here we report that an 11-nucleotide subsegment of the A2RE (A2RE11) was as effective as the full-length A2RE in binding hnRNP A2 and mediating transport of heterologous RNA in oligodendrocytes. Point mutations of the A2RE11 that eliminated binding to hnRNP A2 also markedly reduced the ability of these oligoribonucleotides to support RNA transport. Oligodendrocytes treated with antisense oligonucleotides directed against the translation start site of hnRNP A2 had reduced levels of this protein and disrupted transport of microinjected myelin basic protein RNA. Several A2RE-like sequences from localized neuronal RNAs also bound hnRNP A2 and promoted RNA transport in oligodendrocytes. These data demonstrate the specificity of A2RE recognition by hnRNP A2, provide direct evidence for the involvement of hnRNP A2 in cytoplasmic RNA transport, and suggest that this protein may interact with a wide variety of localized messages that possess A2RE-like sequences.

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