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Mol Cell Biol. 1993 October; 13(10): 6114–6123.
PMCID: PMC364671

PUB1: a major yeast poly(A)+ RNA-binding protein.


The expression of RNA polymerase II transcripts can be regulated at the posttranscriptional level by RNA-binding proteins. Although extensively characterized in metazoans, relatively few RNA-binding proteins have been characterized in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Three major proteins are cross-linked by UV light to poly(A)+ RNA in living S. cerevisiae cells. These are the 72-kDa poly(A)-binding protein and proteins of 60 and 50 kDa (S.A. Adam, T.Y. Nakagawa, M.S. Swanson, T. Woodruff, and G. Dreyfuss, Mol. Cell. Biol. 6:2932-2943, 1986). Here, we describe the 60-kDa protein, one of the major poly(A)+ RNA-binding proteins in S. cerevisiae. This protein, PUB1 [for poly(U)-binding protein 1], was purified by affinity chromatography on immobilized poly(rU), and specific monoclonal antibodies to it were produced. UV cross-linking demonstrated that PUB1 is bound to poly(A)+ RNA (mRNA or pre-mRNA) in living cells, and it was detected primarily in the cytoplasm by indirect immunofluorescence. The gene for PUB1 was cloned and sequenced, and the sequence was found to predict a 51-kDa protein with three ribonucleoprotein consensus RNA-binding domains and three glutamine- and asparagine-rich auxiliary domains. This overall structure is remarkably similar to the structures of the Drosophila melanogaster elav gene product, the human neuronal antigen HuD, and the cytolytic lymphocyte protein TIA-1. Each of these proteins has an important role in development and differentiation, potentially by affecting RNA processing. PUB1 was found to be nonessential in S. cerevisiae by gene replacement; however, further genetic analysis should reveal important features of this class of RNA-binding proteins.

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