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Fragile X mental retardation protein recognizes a G quadruplex structure within the survival motor neuron domain containing 1 mRNA 5′-UTR

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Abstract

G quadruplex structures have been predicted by bioinformatics to form in the 5′- and 3′-untranslated regions (UTRs) of several thousand mature mRNAs and are believed to play a role in translation regulation. Elucidation of these roles has primarily been focused on the 3′-UTR, with limited focus on characterizing the G quadruplex structures and functions in the 5′-UTR. Investigation of the affinity and specificity of RNA binding proteins for 5′-UTR G quadruplexes and the resulting regulatory effects have also been limited. Among the mRNAs predicted to form a G quadruplex structure within the 5′-UTR is the survival motor neuron domain containing 1 (SMNDC1) mRNA, encoding a protein that is critical to the spliceosome. Additionally, this mRNA has been identified as a potential target of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), whose loss of expression leads to fragile X syndrome. FMRP is an RNA binding protein involved in translation regulation that has been shown to bind mRNA targets that form G quadruplex structures. In this study we have used biophysical methods to investigate G quadruplex formation in the 5′-UTR of SMNDC1 mRNA and analyzed its interactions with FMRP. Our results show that SMNDC1 mRNA 5′-UTR forms an intramolecular, parallel G quadruplex structure comprised of three G quartet planes, which is bound specifically by FMRP both in vitro and in mouse brain lysates. These findings suggest a model by which FMRP might regulate the translation of a subset of its mRNA targets by recognizing the G quadruplex structure present in their 5′-UTR, and affecting their accessibility by the protein synthesis machinery.

Graphical abstract: Fragile X mental retardation protein recognizes a G quadruplex structure within the survival motor neuron domain containing 1 mRNA 5′-UTR

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Feb 2017, accepted on 31 May 2017 and first published on 14 Jun 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7MB00070G
Citation: Mol. BioSyst., 2017, Advance Article
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    Fragile X mental retardation protein recognizes a G quadruplex structure within the survival motor neuron domain containing 1 mRNA 5′-UTR

    D. S. McAninch, A. M. Heinaman, C. N. Lang, K. R. Moss, G. J. Bassell, M. Rita Mihailescu and T. L. Evans, Mol. BioSyst., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7MB00070G

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