The translation of polioviral mRNA occurs through an internal ribosomal entry site (IRES). Several RNA-binding proteins, such as polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB) and poly(rC)-binding protein (PCBP), are required for the poliovirus IRES-dependent translation. Here we report that a poliovirus protein, 3Cpro (and/or 3CDpro), cleaves PTB isoforms (PTB1, PTB2, and PTB4). Three 3Cpro target sites (one major target site and two minor target sites) exist in PTBs. PTB fragments generated by poliovirus infection are redistributed to the cytoplasm from the nucleus, where most of the intact PTBs are localized. Moreover, these PTB fragments inhibit polioviral IRES-dependent translation in a cell-based assay system. We speculate that the proteolytic cleavage of PTBs may contribute to the molecular switching from translation to replication of polioviral RNA.
The synthesis of picornavirus polyproteins is initiated cap independently far downstream from the 5' end of the viral RNA at the internal ribosome entry site (IRES). The cellular polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB) binds to the IRES of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). In this study, we demonstrate that PTB is a component of 48S and 80S ribosomal initiation complexes formed with FMDV IRES RNA. The incorporation of PTB into these initiation complexes is dependent on the entry of the IRES RNA, since PTB and IRES RNA can be enriched in parallel either in 48S or 80S ribosomal complexes by stage-specific inhibitors of translation initiation. The formation of the ribosomal initiation complexes with the IRES occurs slowly, is temperature dependent, and correlates with the incorporation of PTB into these complexes. In a first step, PTB binds to the IRES, and then the small ribosomal subunit encounters this PTB-IRES complex. Mutations in the major PTB-binding site interfere simultaneously with the formation of initiation complexes, translation efficiency, and PTB cross-linking. PTB stimulates translation directed by the FMDV IRES in a rabbit reticulocyte lysate depleted of internal PTB, and the efficiency of translation can be restored to the original level by the addition of PTB. These results indicate that PTB plays an important role in the formation of initiation complexes with FMDV IRES RNA and in stimulation of internal translation initiation with this picornavirus.
PTB (polypyrimidine tract binding protein) participates in cellular regulatory functions in the nucleus and the cytoplasm. It binds to internal ribosome entry sites to facilitate their use in cap-independent translation. It binds to polypyrimidine tracts in pre-mRNA introns to repress inclusion of exons. It binds to the 3′ untranslated regions of mRNAs to stabilize the message. These RNAs have various structures, yet PTB binds to all of them. Here, RNAs with structured or unstructured polypyrimidine tracts are bound to the full length PTB1 protein and two protein sub-domains, each containing two RNA Recognition Motifs. Hairpin loops from c-src and GABAA γ2 pre-mRNAs and from the 3′ terminus of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) were compared to a single-stranded polypyrimidine tract from GABAA γ2 pre-mRNA. We conclude that PTB1 RNA binding function is modular: the N-terminal RRMs preferentially bind to short (U/C) tracts displayed in loops, while RRM3/RRM4 preferentially binds to longer flexible RNA sequences. Since it can bind to short and long polypyrimidine tracts, structured or single-stranded, PTB takes on the role of a versatile adaptor protein that facilitates formation of RNA:protein regulatory complexes.
When oxygen supply is restricted, protein synthesis is rapidly abrogated owing to inhibition of global translation. However, HIF-1α protein expression can persist during hypoxia, owing to an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) in the 5′-untranslated region of its mRNA. Here, we report on the molecular mechanism of HIF-1α IRES-mediated translation during oxygen deprivation. Using RNA affinity chromatography and UV-crosslinking experiments, we show that the polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB) can specifically interact with the HIF-1α IRES, and that this interaction is enhanced in hypoxic conditions. Overexpression of PTB enhanced HIF-1α IRES activity, whereas RNA interference-mediated downregula-tion of PTB protein expression inhibited HIF-1α IRES activity. Furthermore, hypoxia-induced stimulation of the HIF-1α IRES was reduced in cells in which PTB function was downregulated. In agreement with these results, the IRES activity of HIF-1α IRES deletion mutants that are deficient in PTB-binding could not be stimulated by oxygen deprivation. All together, our data suggest that PTB plays a stimulatory role in the IRES-mediated translation of HIF-1α when oxygen supply is limited.
Polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB) is a major hnRNP protein with multiple roles in mRNA metabolism, including regulation of alternative splicing and internal ribosome entry site-driven translation. We show here that a fourfold overexpression of PTB results in a 75% reduction of mRNA levels produced from transfected gene constructs with different polyadenylation signals (pA signals). This effect is due to the reduced efficiency of mRNA 3′ end cleavage, and in vitro analysis reveals that PTB competes with CstF for recognition of the pA signal's pyrimidine-rich downstream sequence element. This may be analogous to its role in alternative splicing, where PTB competes with U2AF for binding to pyrimidine-rich intronic sequences. The pA signal of the C2 complement gene unusually possesses a PTB-dependent upstream sequence, so that knockdown of PTB expression by RNA interference reduces C2 mRNA expression even though PTB overexpression still inhibits polyadenylation. Consequently, we show that PTB can act as a regulator of mRNA expression through both its negative and positive effects on mRNA 3′ end processing.
The regulation of cap-independent translation directed by the internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) present in some viral and cellular RNAs is poorly understood. Polypyrimidine-tract binding protein (PTB) binds specifically to several viral IRESs. IRES-directed translation may be reduced in cell-free systems that are depleted of PTB and restored by reconstitution of lysates with recombinant PTB. However, there are no data concerning the effects of PTB on IRES-directed translation in vivo. We transfected cells with plasmids expressing dicistronic transcripts in which the upstream cistron encoded PTB or PTB deletion mutants (including a null mutant lacking amino acid residues 87 to 531). The downstream cistron encoded a reporter protein (chloramphenicol acetyltransferase [CAT]) under translational control of the poliovirus IRES which was placed within the intercistronic space. In transfected BS-C-1 cells, transcripts expressing wild-type PTB produced 12-fold more reporter protein than similar transcripts encoding the PTB null mutant. There was a 2.4-fold difference in CAT produced from these transcripts in HeLa cells, which contain a greater natural abundance of PTB. PTB similarly stimulated CAT production from transcripts containing the IRES of hepatitis A virus or hepatitis C virus in BS-C-1 cells and Huh-7 cells (37- to 44-fold increase and 5 to 5.3-fold increase, respectively). Since PTB had no quantitative or qualitative effect on transcription from these plasmids, we conclude that PTB stimulates translation of representative picornaviral and flaviviral RNAs in vivo. This is likely to reflect the stabilization of higher ordered RNA structures within the IRES and was not observed with PTB mutants lacking RNA recognition motifs located in the C-terminal third of the molecule.
Polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB) participates in a variety of functions in eukaryotic cells, including alternative splicing, mRNA stabilization, and internal ribosomal entry site (IRES) mediated translation initiation. Its mechanism of RNA recognition is determined in part by the novel geometry of its two C-terminal RNA Recognition Motifs (RRM3 and RRM4), which interact with each other to form a stable complex (PTB1:34). This complex itself is unusual among RRMs, suggesting that it performs a specific function for the protein. In order to understand the advantage it provides to PTB, the fundamental properties of PTB1:34 are examined here as a comparative study of the complex and its two constituent RRMs. Both RRM3 and RRM4 adopt folded structures that NMR data show to be similar to their structure in PRB1:34. The RNA binding properties of the domains differ dramatically. The affinity of each separate RRM for polypyrimidine tracts is far weaker than that of PTB1:34, and simply mixing the two RRMs does not create an equivalent binding platform. 15N-NMR relaxation experiments show that PTB1:34 has slow, microsecond motions throughout both RRMs including the interdomain linker. This is in contrast to the individual domains, RRM3 and RRM4, where only a few backbone amides are flexible on this timescale. The slow backbone dynamics of PTB1:34, induced by packing of RRM3 and RRM4, could be essential for high affinity binding to a flexible polypyrimidine tract RNA and also provide entropic compensation for its own formation.
Translation of most eukaryotic mRNAs and many viral RNAs is enhanced by their poly(A) tails. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) contains a positive-stranded RNA genome which does not have a poly(A) tail but has a stretch of 98 nucleotides (X region) at the 3′-untranslated region (UTR), which assumes a highly conserved stem-loop structure. This X region binds a polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB), which also binds to the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) in HCV 5′-UTR. These RNA-protein interactions may regulate its translation. We generated a set of HCV RNAs differing only in their 3′-UTRs and compared their translation efficiencies. HCV RNA containing the X region was translated three- to fivefold more than the corresponding RNAs without this region. Mutations that abolished PTB binding in the X region reduced, but did not completely abolish, enhancement in translation. The X region also enhanced translation from another unrelated IRES (from encephalomyocarditis virus RNA), but did not affect the 5′-end-dependent translation of globin mRNA in either monocistronic or bicistronic RNAs. It did not appear to affect RNA stability. The free X region added in trans, however, did not enhance translation, indicating that the translational enhancement by the X region occurs only in cis. These results demonstrate that the highly conserved 3′ end of HCV RNA provides a novel mechanism for enhancement of HCV translation and may offer a target for antiviral agents.
The cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 plays an important role in controlling the eukaryotic cell cycle. The 5′-untranslated region of the p27 mRNA harbors an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) which may facilitate synthesis of p27 in certain conditions. In this study, the RNA-associated protein CUGBP1 was shown to interact with the human p27 5′-untranslated region. Overexpression of CUGBP1 inhibited endogenous p27 expression and reduced translation initiation through the p27 IRES. In contrast, repression of CUGBP1 by siRNA transfection enhanced p27 protein levels and stimulated p27 IRES activity. Addition of recombinant CUGBP1 repressed p27 IRES reporter mRNA translation in vitro. At last, our finding showed that cytosolic form of CUGBP1 binds efficiently to the p27 5′-untranslated region.
p27Kip1; cell cycle; IRES; CUGBP1; 5′-untranslated region
p27kip1 regulates cell proliferation by binding to and inhibiting the activity of cyclin-dependent kinases and its expression oscillates with cell cycle. Recently, it has been suggested from studies using the traditional dicistronic DNA assay that the expression of p27kip1 is regulated by internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-mediated translation initiation, and several RNA-binding protein factors were thought to play some role in this regulation. Considering the inevitable drawbacks of the dicistronic DNA assay, which could mislead a promoter activity or alternative splicing to IRES as previously demonstrated, we decided to reanalyze the 5′-untranslated region (5′-UTR) sequence of p27kip1 and test whether it contains an IRES element or a promoter using more stringent methods, such as dicistronic RNA and promoterless dicistronic and monocistronic DNA assays. We found that the 5′-UTR sequence of human p27kip1 does not have any significant IRES activity. The previously observed IRES activities are likely generated from the promoter activities present in the 5′-UTR sequences of p27kip1. The findings in this study indicate that transcriptional regulation likely plays an important role in p27kip1 expression, and the mechanism of regulation of p27 expression by RNA-binding factors needs to be re-examined. The findings in this study also further enforce the importance that more stringent studies, such as promoterless dicistronic and monocistronic DNA and dicistronic RNA tests, are required to safeguard any future claims of cellular IRES.
Among the targets of the repressive splicing regulator, polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB) is its own pre-mRNA, where PTB-induced exon 11 skipping produces an RNA substrate for nonsense-mediated decay (NMD). To identify additional PTB-regulated alternative splicing events, we used quantitative proteomic analysis of HeLa cells after knockdown of PTB. Apart from loss of PTB, the only change was upregulation of the neuronally restricted nPTB, resulting from decreased skipping of nPTB exon 10, a splicing event that leads to NMD of nPTB mRNA. Compared with knockdown of PTB alone, simultaneous knockdown of PTB and nPTB led to larger changes in alternative splicing of known and newly identified PTB-regulated splicing events. Strikingly, the hematopoietic PTB paralog ROD1 also switched from a nonproductive splicing pathway upon PTB/nPTB knockdown. Our data indicate crossregulation between PTB and its paralogs via nonproductive alternative splicing and a large degree of functional overlap between PTB and nPTB.
It has been reported previously that the 5′ untranslated region of the mRNA encoding Apaf-1 (apoptotic protease-activating factor 1) has an internal ribosome entry site (IRES), whose activity varies widely among different cell types. Here it is shown that the Apaf-1 IRES is active in rabbit reticulocyte lysates, provided that the system is supplemented with polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB) and upstream of N-ras (unr), two cellular RNA binding proteins previously identified to be required for rhinovirus IRES activity. In UV cross-linking assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assays with individual recombinant proteins, the Apaf-1 IRES binds unr but not PTB; however, PTB binding occurs if unr is present. Over a range of different cell types there is a broad correlation between the activity of the Apaf-1 IRES and their content of PTB and unr. In cell lines deficient in these proteins, overexpression of PTB and unr stimulated Apaf-1 IRES function. This is the first example where an IRES in a cellular mRNA has been shown to be functionally dependent, both in vitro and in vivo, on specific cellular RNA binding proteins. Given the critical role of Apaf-1 in apoptosis, these results have important implications for the control of the apoptotic cascade.
Initiation of translation of the human hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA genome occurs by internal ribosome entry into the 5' noncoding region (5'NCR) in a cap-independent manner. The internal ribosome entry site of the HCV 5'NCR has been previously defined to encompass almost the entire 5'NCR. Here we report the interaction of polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB) at three distinct regions within the 5'NCR by UV cross-linking assays. All three regions contain a consensus polypyrimidine tract motif. The evidence for the interaction of recombinant PTB at multiple sites within the 5'NCR is based on the use of 5'NCR mutants as competitors and by direct UV cross-linking of the mutant RNAs. Furthermore, the PTB isomers from HeLa nuclear extracts interact with the HCV 5'NCR, as shown by immunoprecipitation of a UV cross-linked complex with anti-PTB serum. Immunodepletion of PTB from translation lysates suggested the functional requirement for PTB during translation initiation of the HCV RNA. Addition of purified PTB to immunodepleted lysates did not restore translation mediated by the HCV 5'NCR, indicating the requirement of PTB-associated factors that were removed during immunodepletion.
Mutations critical for the central nervous system (CNS) attenuation of the Sabin vaccine strains of poliovirus (PV) are located within the viral internal ribosome entry site (IRES). We examined the interaction of the IRESs of PV type 3 (PV3) and Sabin type 3 (Sabin3) with polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB) and a neural cell-specific homologue, nPTB. PTB and nPTB were found to bind to a site directly adjacent to the attenuating mutation, and binding at this site was less efficient on the Sabin3 IRES than on the PV3 IRES. Translation mediated by the PV3 and Sabin3 IRESs in neurons of the chicken embryo spinal cord demonstrated a translation deficit for the Sabin3 IRES that could be rescued by increasing PTB expression in the CNS. These data suggest that the low levels of PTB available in the CNS, coupled to a reduced binding of PTB on the Sabin3 IRES, leads to its CNS-specific attenuation. This study also demonstrates the use of the chicken embryo to easily investigate translation of RNA within a neuron in the CNS of an intact living organism.
Regulation of mRNA translation is an important mechanism determining the level of expression of proteins in eukaryotic cells. Translation is most commonly initiated by cap-dependent scanning, but many eukaryotic mRNAs contain internal ribosome entry segments (IRESs), providing an alternative means of initiation capable of independent regulation. Here, we show by using dicistronic luciferase reporter vectors that the 5′-UTR of the mRNA encoding human insulin receptor (hIR) contains a functional IRES. RNAi-mediated knockdown showed that the protein PTB was required for maximum IRES activity. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays confirmed that PTB1, PTB2 and nPTB, but not unr or PTB4, bound to hIR mRNA, and deletion mapping implicated a CCU motif 448 nt upstream of the initiator AUG in PTB binding. The IR-IRES was functional in a number of cell lines, and most active in cells of neuronal origin, as assessed by luciferase reporter assays. The IRES was more active in confluent than sub-confluent cells, but activity did not change during differentiation of 3T3-L1 fibroblasts to adipocytes. IRES activity was stimulated by insulin in sub-confluent cells. The IRES may function to maintain expression of IR protein in tissues such as the brain where mRNA translation by cap-dependent scanning is less effective.
Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), a cellular enzyme involved in glycolysis, binds specifically to several viral RNAs, but the functional significance of this interaction is uncertain. Both GAPDH and polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB) bind to overlapping sites in stem-loop IIIa of the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) of Hepatitis A virus (HAV), a picornavirus. Since the binding of GAPDH destabilizes the RNA secondary structure, we reasoned that GAPDH may suppress the ability of the IRES to direct cap-independent translation, making its effects antagonistic to the translation-enhancing activity of PTB (D. E. Schultz, C. C. Hardin, and S. M. Lemon, J. Biol. Chem. 271:14134–14142, 1996). To test this hypothesis, we constructed plasmids containing a dicistronic transcriptional unit in which the HAV IRES was placed between an upstream GAPDH-coding sequence and a downstream Renilla luciferase (RLuc) sequence. Transfection with this plasmid results in overexpression of GAPDH and in RLuc production as a measure of IRES activity. RLuc activity was compared with that from a control, null-expression plasmid that was identical except for a frameshift mutation within the 5′ GAPDH coding sequence. In transfection experiments, GAPDH overexpression significantly suppressed HAV IRES activity in BSC-1 and FRhK-4 cells but not in Huh-7 cells, which have a significantly greater cytoplasmic abundance of PTB. GAPDH suppression of HAV translation was greater with the wild-type HAV IRES than with the IRES from a cell culture-adapted virus (HM175/P16) that has reproducibly higher basal translational activity in BSC-1 cells. Stem-loop IIIa RNA from the latter IRES had significantly lower affinity for GAPDH in filter binding experiments. Thus, the binding of GAPDH to the IRES of HAV suppresses cap-independent viral translation in vivo in African green monkey kidney cells. The enhanced replication capacity of cell culture-adapted HAV in such cells may be due in part to reduced affinity of the viral IRES for GAPDH.
The response to amino acid starvation involves the global decrease of protein synthesis and an increase in the translation of some mRNAs that contain an internal ribosome entry site (IRES). It was previously shown that translation of the mRNA for the arginine/lysine amino acid transporter Cat-1 increases during amino acid starvation via a mechanism that utilizes an IRES in the 5′ untranslated region of the Cat-1 mRNA. It is shown here that polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB) and an hnRNA binding protein, heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein L (hnRNP L), promote the efficient translation of Cat-1 mRNA during amino acid starvation. Association of both proteins with Cat-1 mRNA increased during starvation with kinetics that paralleled that of IRES activation, although the levels and subcellular distribution of the proteins were unchanged. The sequence CUUUCU within the Cat-1 IRES was important for PTB binding and for the induction of translation during amino acid starvation. Binding of hnRNP L to the IRES or the Cat-1 mRNA in vivo was independent of PTB binding but was not sufficient to increase IRES activity or Cat-1 mRNA translation during amino acid starvation. In contrast, binding of PTB to the Cat-1 mRNA in vivo required hnRNP L. A wider role of hnRNP L in mRNA translation was suggested by the decrease of global protein synthesis in cells with reduced hnRNP L levels. It is proposed that PTB and hnRNP L are positive regulators of Cat-1 mRNA translation via the IRES under stress conditions that cause a global decrease of protein synthesis.
A cellular protein, previously described as p55, binds specifically to the plus strand of the mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) leader RNA. We have purified this protein and determined by partial peptide sequencing that it is polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB) (also known as heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein [hnRNP] I), a nuclear protein which shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm. PTB plays a role in the regulation of alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs in normal cells and translation of several viruses. By UV cross-linking and immunoprecipitation studies using cellular extracts and a recombinant PTB, we have established that PTB binds to the MHV plus-strand leader RNA specifically. Deletion analyses of the leader RNA mapped the PTB-binding site to the UCUAA pentanucleotide repeats. Using a defective-interfering RNA reporter system, we have further shown that the PTB-binding site in the leader RNA is critical for MHV RNA synthesis. This and our previous study (H.-P. Li, X. Zhang, R. Duncan, L. Comai, and M. M. C. Lai, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94:9544–9549, 1997) combined thus show that two cellular hnRNPs, PTB and hnRNP A1, bind to the transcription-regulatory sequences of MHV RNA and may participate in its transcription.
The hepatitis B virus posttranscriptional regulatory element (PRE) is an RNA element that increases the expression of unspliced mRNAs, apparently by facilitating their export from the nucleus. We have identified a cellular protein that binds to the PRE as the polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB), which shuttles rapidly between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Mutants of the PRE with mutations in PTB binding sites show markedly decreased activity, while cells that stably overexpress PTB show increased PRE-dependent gene expression. Export of PTB from the nucleus, like PRE function, is blocked by a mutant form of Ran binding protein 1 but not by leptomycin B. Therefore, PTB is important for PRE activity and appears to function as an export factor for PRE-containing mRNAs.
The polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB), a homodimer that contains four RRM-type RNA binding domains per monomer, plays important roles in both the regulation of alternative splicing and the stimulation of translation initiation as directed by the internal ribosome entry sites of certain picornaviruses. We have used chemical shift mapping experiments to probe the interactions between PTB-34, a recombinant fragment that contains the third and fourth RRM domains of the protein, and a number of short pyrimidine-rich RNA oligonucleotides. The results confirm that the RNAs interact primarily with the β-sheet surface of PTB-34, but also reveal roles for the two long flexible linkers within the protein fragment, a result that is supported by mutagenesis experiments. The mapping indicates distinct binding preferences for RRM3 and RRM4 with the former making a particularly specific interaction with the sequence UCUUC.
Polypyrimidine-tract binding protein (PTB) is an RNA binding protein with multiple functions in the regulation of RNA processing and IRES-mediated translation. We report here overexpression of PTB in a majority of epithelial ovarian tumors revealed by immunoblotting and tissue microarray (TMA) staining. By Western Blotting, we found that PTB was overexpressed in 17out of 19 ovarian tumor specimens compared to their matched normal tissues. By TMA staining, we found PTB expression in 38 out of 44 ovarian cancer cases but only in 2 out of 9 normal adjacent tissues. PTB is also overexpressed in SV40 large T antigen immortalized ovarian epithelial cells compared to normal human ovarian epithelial cells. Using doxycycline-inducible small interfering RNA technology, we found that knockdown of PTB expression in the ovarian tumor cell line A2780 substantially impaired tumor cell proliferation, anchorage-independent growth and in vitro invasiveness. These results suggest that overexpression of PTB is an important component of the multi-step process of tumorigenesis, and might be required for the development and maintenance of epithelial ovarian tumors. Moreover, because of its novel role in tumor cell growth and invasiveness, shown here for the first time, PTB may be a novel therapeutic target in the treatment of ovarian cancer.
Epithelial ovarian cancer; polyprimidine tract-binding protein; RNA interference; tissue microarray; tumorigenesis
Splicing of exon 6B from the β-tropomyosin pre-mRNA is repressed in nonmuscle cells and myoblasts by a complex array of intronic elements surrounding the exon. In this study, we analyzed the proteins that mediate splicing repression of exon 6B through binding to the upstream element. We identified the polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB) as a component of complexes isolated from myoblasts that assemble onto the branch point region and the pyrimidine tract. In vitro splicing assays and PTB knockdown experiments by RNA interference demonstrated that PTB acts as a repressor of splicing of exon 6B. Using psoralen experiments, we showed that PTB acts at an early stage of spliceosome assembly by preventing the binding of U2 snRNA on the branch point. Using UV cross-linking and immunoprecipitation experiments with site-specific labeled RNA in PTB-depleted nuclear extracts, we found that the decrease in PTB was correlated with an increase in U2AF65. In addition, competition experiments showed that PTB is able to displace the binding of U2AF65 on the polypyrimidine tract. Our results strongly support a model whereby PTB competes with U2AF65 for binding to the polypyrimidine tract.
The 5′-untranslated region of Bag-1 mRNA contains an internal ribosome entry segment (IRES) and the translation of Bag-1 protein can be initiated by both cap-dependent and cap-independent mechanisms. In general, cellular IRESs require non-canonical trans-acting factors for their activity, however, very few of the proteins that act on cellular IRESs have been identified. Proteins that interact with viral IRESs have also been shown to stimulate the activity of cellular IRESs and therefore the ability of a range of known viral trans-acting factors to stimulate the Bag-1 IRES was tested. Two proteins, poly r(C) binding protein 1 (PCBP1) and polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB), were found to increase the activity of the Bag-1 IRES in vitro and in vivo. The regions of the Bag-1 IRES RNA to which they bind have been determined, and it was shown that PCBP1 binds to a short 66 nt section of RNA, whilst PTB interacts with a number of sites over a larger area. The minimum section of the RNA that still retained activity was determined and both PCBP1 and PTB interacted with this region suggesting that these proteins are essential for Bag-1 IRES function.
The expression of polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB) is up-regulated in many types of cancer. Here, we studied the role of PTB in the growth of non small cell lung cancer cells. Data showed that PTB overexpression inhibited the growth of H1299 cells at least by inhibiting DNA synthesis. Quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot analyses showed that PTB overexpression in H1299 cells specifically induced the expression of p19Ink4d, an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinase 4. Repression of p19Ink4d expression partially rescued PTB-caused proliferation inhibition. PTB overexpression also inhibited the growth and induced the expression of p19Ink4d mRNA in A549 cells. However, Western blot analyses failed to detect the presence of p19Ink4d protein in A549 cells. To address how PTB induced p19Ink4d in H1299 cells, we showed that PTB might up-regulate the activity of p19Ink4d gene (CDKN2D) promoter. Besides, PTB lacking the RNA recognition motif 3 (RRM3) was less effective in growth inhibition and p19Ink4d induction, suggesting that RNA-binding activity of PTB plays an important role in p19Ink4d induction. However, immunoprecipitation of ribonuclearprotein complexes plus quantitative real-time PCR analyses showed that PTB might not bind p19Ink4d mRNA, suggesting that PTB overexpression might trigger the other RNA-binding protein(s) to bind p19Ink4d mRNA. Subsequently, RNA electrophoretic mobility-shift assays revealed a 300-base segment (designated as B2) within the 3′UTR of p19Ink4d mRNA, with which the cytoplasmic lysates of PTB-overexpressing cells formed more prominent complexes than did control cell lysates. Insertion of B2 into a reporter construct increased the expression of the chimeric luciferase transcripts in transfected PTB-overexpressing cells but not in control cells; conversely, overexpression of B2-containing reporter construct in PTB-overexpressing cells abolished the induction of p19Ink4d mRNA. In sum, we have shown that PTB plays as a negative regulator in H1299 cell proliferation at least by inducing p19Ink4d expression at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels.
Polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB) is an abundant vertebrate hnRNP protein. PTB binding sites have been found within introns both upstream and downstream of alternative exons in a number of genes that are negatively controlled by the binding of PTB. We have previously reported that PTB binds to a pyrimidine tract within an RNA processing enhancer located adjacent to an alternative 3′-terminal exon within the gene coding for calcitonin and calcitonin gene-related peptide. The enhancer consists of a pyrimidine tract and CAG directly abutting on a 5′ splice site sequence to form a pseudoexon. Here we show that the binding of PTB to the enhancer pyrimidine tract is functional in that exon inclusion increases when in vivo levels of PTB increase. This is the first example of positive regulation of exon inclusion by PTB. The binding of PTB was antagonistic to the binding of U2AF to the enhancer-located pyrimidine tract. Altering the enhancer pyrimidine tract to a consensus sequence for the binding of U2AF eliminated enhancement of exon inclusion in vivo and exon polyadenylation in vitro. An additional PTB binding site was identified close to the AAUAAA hexanucleotide sequence of the exon 4 poly(A) site. These observations suggest a dual role for PTB in facilitating recognition of exon 4: binding to the enhancer pyrimidine tract to interrupt productive recognition of the enhancer pseudoexon by splicing factors and interacting with the poly(A) site to positively affect polyadenylation.