Identification of a novel cis-acting RNA element involved in nuclear export of hY RNAs.
SourceRna : a Publication of the Rna Society, 7, 5, (2001), pp. 741-52
Article / Letter to editor
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Rna : a Publication of the Rna Society
Ro RNPs are small cytoplasmic RNA-protein complexes of unknown function that have been found in all metazoan cells studied so far. In human cells, Ro RNPs consist of one of four small RNA molecules, termed hY RNAs and at least two well-characterized proteins, Ro60 and La. In previous Xenopus laevis oocyte microinjection studies, we showed that an intact Ro60 binding site (Stem-loop 1) is a prerequisite for efficient nuclear export of hY1 RNA, whereas an intact La-binding site promotes nuclear retention (Simons et al. RNA, 1996, 2:264-273). Here we present evidence that the distal half (Stem 2) of the conserved base-paired stem structure found in all hY RNAs also plays a critical role in the export process. A minimal RNA molecule containing this region, L1S2 RNA, competes effectively for the export of full-length hY1 RNAs and is itself exported very rapidly in a Ro60-independent and RanGTP-dependent manner. Mutational analyses of this RNA shows that a 5'/3' terminal double-stranded stem structure (>10 bp) of no specific nucleotide sequence constitutes a novel nuclear export element (NEE). Cross-competition studies indicate that this type of NEE may also be involved in export of other classes of RNAs. Like full-length hY1 RNA, L1S2 RNA also competes for export of ET-202 RNA, an RNA that was selected for its efficient nuclear export in the presence of the nuclear transport inhibitor, VSV Matrix protein (Grimm et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 1997, 94:10122-10127). However, export of L1S2 RNA is strongly inhibited by VSV-M protein, showing that these RNAs use partially overlapping, but not identical export pathways. We propose that export of Y RNAs is mediated by two contiguous cis-acting elements in the 5'/3' double-stranded stem region that is conserved between different Y RNAs.
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