Intrinsically disordered regions of nucleophosmin/B23 regulate its RNA binding activity through their inter- and intra-molecular association

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Nucleophosmin (NPM1/B23) is a nucleolar protein implicated in growth-associated functions, in which the RNA binding activity of B23 plays essential roles in ribosome biogenesis. The C-terminal globular domain (CTD) of B23 has been believed to be the RNA binding domain because the splicing variant B23.2 lacking the CTD binds considerably less efficiently to RNA. However, the recognition of target RNAs by B23 remains poorly understood. Herein, we report a novel mechanism by which B23 recognizes specific RNA targets. We observed that the nucleolar retention of B23.3 lacking the basic region of B23.1 was lower than that of B23.1 because of its low RNA binding activity. Circular dichroism measurements indicated that the basic region and adjacent acidic regions of B23 are intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). Biochemical analyses revealed that the basic IDR alone strongly binds to RNA with low specificity. The excessive RNA binding activity of the basic IDR was restrained by intra-molecular interaction with the acidic IDR of B23. Chemical cross-linking experiments and fluorescent labeling of bipartite tetracysteine-tagged proteins suggested that the inter- and intra-molecular interactions between the two IDRs contribute to the regulation of the RNA binding activity of CTD to control the cellular localization and functions of B23.


  • Nucleic acids research

    Nucleic acids research 42(2), 1180-1195, 2014-01

    Oxford University Press



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