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Biochemistry. 1993 Aug 17;32(32):8268-75.

Interaction of polypyrimidine tract binding protein with the encephalomyocarditis virus mRNA internal ribosomal entry site.

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Department of Microbiology, State University of New York, Stony Brook 11794.


Translation of encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) mRNA occurs in a cap-independent manner, requiring instead a cis-acting element termed the internal ribosomal entry site (IRES). Binding of a 57-kDa ribosome-associated protein (p57) to the EMCV IRES has been found to correlate with cap-independent translation. p57 has recently been reported to be very similar, if not identical, to the polypyrimidine tract binding protein (pPTB), a spliceosome-associated factor possibly involved in U2 snRNP/pre-mRNA complex formation of 3'-splice-site recognition. The interaction between purified pPTB and the EMCV IRES was characterized in this study using nitrocellulose filter binding and UV cross-linking assays. pPTB bound the EMCV IRES with high affinity (Kd = 40 nM at 25 degrees C, pH 5.5, 80 mM ionic strength). pPTB also bound strongly to RNA fragments containing either the 5'-end, 3'-end, or an internal stem-loop of the IRES. The binding properties of 16 RNA variants derived from the IRES revealed however that purified pPTB bound with less specificity than pPTB in a mixture of cytoplasmic HeLa cell polypeptides. The addition of HeLa extract to purified pPTB increased the binding specificity, suggesting that factors within the extract alter the binding specificity of pPTB. The binding of pPTB to the full-length IRES and three IRES-derived fragments was studied in detail. Complex formation was optimal at low pH and was driven entirely by entropy. As many as four ion pairs are formed upon binding, with electrostatic interactions accounting for approximately 35% of the total free energy of complex formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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