Multimerization of Staufen1 in live cells.
Département de Biochimie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada.
Transport of mRNA is an efficient mechanism to target proteins to specific regions of a cell. Although it is well documented that mRNAs are transported in ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes, several of the mechanisms involved in complex formation and localization are poorly understood. Staufen (Stau) 1, a double-stranded RNA-binding protein, is a well accepted marker of mRNA transport complexes. In this manuscript, we provide evidence that Stau1 self-associates in live cells using immunoprecipitation and bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) assays. The double-stranded RNA-binding domains dsRBD3 and dsRBD4 contributed about half of the signal, suggesting that Stau1 RNA-binding activity is involved in Stau1 self-association. Protein-protein interaction also occurred, via dsRBD5 and dsRBD2, as shown by in vitro pull-down, yeast two-hybrid, and BRET assays in live cells. Interestingly, Stau1 self-association contributes to the formation of oligomeric complexes as evidenced by the coexpression of split Renilla luciferase halves covalently linked to Stau1 in a protein complementation assay (PCA) combined with a BRET assay with Stau1-YFP. Moreover, we showed that these higher-order Stau1-containing complexes carry RNAs when the RNA stain SYTO 14 was used as the energy acceptor in the PCA/BRET assay. The oligomeric composition of Stau1-containing complexes and the presence of specific mRNAs have been confirmed by biochemical approaches involving two successive immunoprecipitations of Stau1-tagged molecules followed by qRT-PCR amplification. Altogether, these results indicate that Stau1 self-associates in mRNPs via its multiple functional domains that can select mRNAs to be transported and establish protein-protein interaction.
Pubmed ID: 20075165