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Publications in RNA by NOMIS researchers

Published in

September 4, 2023

Pharmacologic depletion of RNA-binding motif 39 (RBM39) using aryl sulfonamides represents a promising anti-cancer therapy but requires high levels of the adaptor protein DCAF15. Consequently, novel approaches to deplete RBM39 in an DCAF15-independent manner are required. Here, we uncover that RBM39 autoregulates via the inclusion of a poison exon into its own pre-mRNA and identify the cis-acting elements that govern this regulation. We also determine the NMR solution structures of RBM39’s tandem RNA recognition motifs (RRM1 and RRM2) bound to their respective RNA targets, revealing how RRM1 recognises RNA stem loops whereas RRM2 binds specifically to single-stranded N(G/U)NUUUG. Our results support a model where RRM2 selects the 3’-splice site of a poison exon and the RRM3 and RS domain stabilise the U2 snRNP at the branchpoint. Our work provides molecular insights into RBM39-dependent 3’-splice site selection and constitutes a solid basis to design alternative anti-cancer therapies. © 2023, Springer Nature Limited.

Research field(s)
Health Sciences

Heterogenous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) are abundant proteins implicated in various steps of RNA processing that assemble on nuclear RNA into larger complexes termed 40S hnRNP particles. Despite their initial discovery 55 years ago, our understanding of these intriguing macromolecular assemblies remains limited. Here, we report the biochemical purification of native 40S hnRNP particles and the determination of their complete protein composition by label-free quantitative mass spectrometry, identifying A-group and C-group hnRNPs as the major protein constituents. Isolated 40S hnRNP particles dissociate upon RNA digestion and can be reconstituted in vitro on defined RNAs in the presence of the individual protein components, demonstrating a scaffolding role for RNA in nucleating particle formation. Finally, we revealed their nanometer scale, condensate-like nature, promoted by intrinsically disordered regions of A-group hnRNPs. Collectively, we identify nuclear 40S hnRNP particles as novel dynamic biomolecular condensates.

Research field(s)
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology