RNA binding and intramolecular interactions modulate the regulation of gene expression by nuclear factor 110

Trevor W. Reichman, Michael B. Mathews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Nuclear factor 110 (NF110) belongs to the nuclear factor 90 (NF90) family of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) binding proteins that regulate gene expression at the transcriptional level in vertebrates. The proteins are identical at their N terminus, which functions as a negative regulatory region, but have distinct C termini as a result of alternate splicing. Maximal transcriptional activity of NF110 requires its C-terminal domain and a central domain that contains a nuclear localization signal and two dsRNA-binding motifs (dsRBMs). We find that dsRNA binding is reduced by RGG and GQSY motifs present in the C-terminal region. To directly evaluate the role of RNA binding in transactivation, we conducted site-directed mutagenesis to substitute conserved residues in one or both of the dsRBMs. The mutations reduced the ability of NF110 to stimulate gene expression to an extent that paralleled the mutants' reduced ability to bind dsRNA. Full activity was restored when the dsRBM-containing region of NF110 was replaced with the RNA-binding region of the protein kinase PKR. Finally, NF110-mediated transactivation was inhibited by cotransfection of a plasmid encoding an artificial highly structured RNA. These data suggest that NF110 and its homologs are regulated by cis-acting domains present in some of the protein isoforms, and via interactions with RNAs that bind to their dsRBMs. We propose a model in which structured RNAs regulate gene expression by modulating transcription through interactions with members of the NF90 protein family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-554
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology


  • Gene expression
  • ILF3
  • NF90
  • dsRNA
  • dsRNA binding protein


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