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Gene. 1997 Dec 19;204(1-2):115-20.

Cloning and characterization of human CIRP (cold-inducible RNA-binding protein) cDNA and chromosomal assignment of the gene.

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Department of Clinical Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan.


Cold stress induces in microorganisms the synthesis of several proteins that are involved in various cellular processes such as transcription, translation and recombination. Recently, the cold-inducible RNA-binding protein (Cirp) was found to be induced in rodent cells by mild cold stress (32 degrees C). Cirp consists of an N-terminal RNA-binding domain and a C-terminal Gly-rich domain, and plays an essential role in cold-induced suppression of cell proliferation. We report here the cloning of a cDNA encoding an 18-kDa protein with 95.3% identity in an amino-acid sequence to that of mouse Cirp. The human CIRP gene has been mapped to the chromosomal locus 19p13.3 by fluorescence in-situ hybridization. CIRP mRNA is constitutively expressed in all cell lines examined, including K562, HepG2, NC65, HeLa, T24, and NEC8 cells. In all of them, the levels of CIRP mRNA and protein were increased within 12 h after a temperature down-shift from 37 degrees C to 32 degrees C. These results demonstrated that CIRP is a cold-shock protein in human cells. Identification of CIRP may provide a clue to the regulatory mechanisms of cold responses in human cells.

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