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RNA. 2002 Jan;8(1):69-82.

Identification of domains in apobec-1 complementation factor required for RNA binding and apolipoprotein-B mRNA editing.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195, USA.


The C-to-U editing of apolipoprotein-B (apo-B) mRNA is catalyzed by an enzyme complex that recognizes an 11-nt mooring sequence downstream of the editing site. A minimal holoenzyme that edits apo-B mRNA in vitro has been defined. This complex contains apobec-1, the catalytic subunit, and apobec-1 complementation factor (ACF), the RNA-binding subunit that binds to the mooring sequence. Here, we show that ACF binds with high affinity to single-stranded but not double-stranded apo-B mRNA. ACF contains three nonidentical RNA recognition motifs (RRM) and a unique C-terminal auxiliary domain. In many multi-RRM proteins, the RRMs mediate RNA binding and an auxiliary domain functions in protein-protein interactions. Here we show that ACF does not fit this simple model. Based on deletion mutagenesis, the RRMs in ACF are necessary but not sufficient for binding to apo-B mRNA. Amino acids in the pre-RRM region are required for complementing activity and RNA binding, but not for interaction with apobec-1. The C-terminal 196 amino acids are not absolutely essential for function. However, further deletion of an RG-rich region from the auxiliary domain abolished complementing activity, RNA binding, and apobec-1 interaction. The auxiliary domain alone did not bind apobec-1. Although all three RRMs are required for complementing activity and apobec-1 interaction, the individual motifs contribute differently to RNA binding. Point mutations in RRM1 or RRM2 decreased the Kd for apo-B mRNA by two orders of magnitude whereas mutations in RRM3 reduced binding affinity 13-fold. The pairwise expression of RRM1 with RRM2 or RRM3 resulted in moderate affinity binding.

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