We systematically screened a genomic DNA library to identify proteins of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus using an expression cloning method. One gene product, which we named FAU-1 (P. furiosus AU-binding), demonstrated the strongest binding activity of all the genomic library-derived proteins tested against an AU-rich RNA sequence. The protein was purified to near homogeneity as a 54 kDa single polypeptide, and the gene locus corresponding to this FAU-1 activity was also sequenced. The FAU-1 gene encoded a 472-amino-acid protein that was characterized by highly charged domains consisting of both acidic and basic amino acids. The N-terminal half of the gene had a degree of similarity (25%) with RNase E from Escherichia coli. Five rounds of RNA-binding-site selection and footprinting analysis showed that the FAU-1 protein binds specifically to the AU-rich sequence in a loop region of a possible RNA ligand. Moreover, we demonstrated that the FAU-1 protein acts as an oligomer, and mainly as a trimer. These results showed that the FAU-1 protein is a novel heat-stable protein with an RNA loop-binding characteristic.
- RNA-binding protein
- stem—loop structure
↵1 Present address and address for correspondence: Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0017, Japan (e-mail ).
↵2 Present address: Celestar Lexico-Sciences, Inc., MTG D17, 1-3 Nakase, Chiba 261-0023, Japan.
The nucleotide sequence data for the FAU-1 protein from Pyrococcus furiosus has been deposited in the DDBJ, EMBL, GenBank® and GSDB Nucleotide Sequence Databases under the accession number AB055587.
Abbreviations used: BS3, bis(sulphosuccinimidyl) suberate; FAU-1, P. furiosus AU-binding; FAU-1H, His-tagged FAU-1; NCBI, National Centre for Biotechnology Information; ORF, open reading frame.
- The Biochemical Society, London ©2003