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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2003 Oct 21;118(1-2):1-9.

Isolation and characterization of brain Y-box protein: developmentally regulated expression, polyribosomal association and dendritic localization.

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Department of Biochemistry, College of Pharmacy, Nihon University, Narashinodai, Funabashi, Chiba 274-8555, Japan.


Y-box proteins are DNA- and RNA-binding proteins and control specific gene expression at both transcriptional and translational levels. Particularly in germ cells, it has been reported that Y-box proteins bind to paternal or maternal mRNAs to form mRNPs, mask them from translation and control cell maturation. In this study, we cloned cDNA for a Y-box protein from rat brain. A deduced amino acid sequence of the protein was very similar to that of several other Y-box proteins, and we termed the protein rBYB1 (rat brain Y-box protein 1). rBYB1 was found to be considerably expressed in the cytoplasm of pre- and early postnatal brains, and then decreased to adult levels with brain development. Further, we found rBYB1 to be distributed in both polyribosomal and nonpolyribosomal (mRNP) fractions on a sucrose density gradient, and to be associated with polyribosomes via RNA in the higher-density fractions. Moreover, rBYB1 was localized in dendrites of the primary hippocampal neurons. We compared these sucrose gradient and intracellular rBYB1 localization results with those for fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which is known to be an mRNA-binding and polyribosome-associating translational regulator distributed in neuronal dendrites. Our results suggest that in the brain of prenatal and newborn animals, rBYB1 may function in storage and/or translational regulation of mRNAs involved in the rapid progress of the postnatal brain, and in mature neurons, it may also participate in the control of protein synthesis in dendrites.

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