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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Jan 16;378(3):584-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.11.091. Epub 2008 Dec 4.

hnRNP L is required for the translation mediated by HCV IRES.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Institute of Nanosensor and Biotechnology, Dankook University, 126, Jukjeon-dong, Suji-gu, Yongin 448-701, Republic of Korea.


Translation of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA is initiated by internal loading of the ribosome into the HCV internal ribosome entry site (IRES). Previously, heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein L (hnRNP L) was shown to bind specifically to the 3' border region of the HCV IRES and enhance HCV mRNA translation. Here, we provide evidence for the functional requirement of hnRNP L for the HCV IRES-mediated translation initiation using specific RNA aptamers. In vitro selection techniques were employed to isolate RNA aptamers against hnRNP L, which were shown to contain consensus sequences with repetitive ACAC/U. The hnRNP L-specific RNA aptamers efficiently inhibited the in vitro translation reactions mediated by the HCV IRES in rabbit reticulocyte lysates. RNA ligands with only (ACAU)5 or (AC)10 nucleotide sequences could also specifically bind to hnRNP L, and specifically and effectively impeded in vitro translation reactions controlled by the HCV IRES. Importantly, the hnRNP L-specific RNA aptamers inhibited the HCV IRES function in cells in a dose-dependent manner, and the aptamer-mediated inhibition of the HCV IRES was considerably relieved by the addition of hnRNP L-expressing vector. These results strongly demonstrate the functional requirement of cellular hnRNP L for the HCV IRES activity.

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