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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Dec;86(24):9788-92.

Primary structures of the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2, B1, and C2 proteins: a diversity of RNA binding proteins is generated by small peptide inserts.

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Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208.


We have isolated cDNAs for the major heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A2, B1, and C2 proteins and determined their nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences. The A2 and B1 cDNAs are identical except for a 36-nucleotide in-frame insert in B1. Similarly, the sequence of the C2 protein cDNA is related to that of C1 in that C2 contains an extra 39 in-frame nucleotides. Therefore, the B1 amino acid sequence is identical to A2 except for the insertion of 12 amino acids near its amino terminus, and C1 and C2 are also identical to each other except for an extra 13 amino acids near the middle of C2. All three proteins are members of a large family of RNA binding proteins that contain the consensus sequence-type RNA binding domain (CS-RBD). The A2 and B1 proteins have a modular structure similar to that of the hnRNP protein A1: they contain two CS-RBDs and a glycine-rich auxiliary domain at the carboxyl terminus. The CS-RBDs of A2 and B1 have approximately 80% amino acid identity with those of A1, whereas the glycine-rich auxiliary domain is considerably more divergent with less than 30% of the amino acids being identical. These findings indicate that the addition of small peptides, probably by alternative pre-mRNA splicing, generates some of the diversity apparent among hnRNP proteins.

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