• RNA / Volume 8 / Issue 01 / January 2002, pp 69-82
  • Copyright © 2002 RNA Society
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/ (About DOI), Published online: 11 January 2002

Identification of domains in apobec-1 complementation factor required for RNA binding and apolipoprotein-B mRNA editing

a1 Department of Cell Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA


The C-to-U editing of apolipoprotein-B (apo-B) mRNA is catalyzed by an enzyme complex that recognizes an 11-nt mooring sequence downstream of the editing site. A minimal holoenzyme that edits apo-B mRNA in vitro has been defined. This complex contains apobec-1, the catalytic subunit, and apobec-1 complementation factor (ACF), the RNA-binding subunit that binds to the mooring sequence. Here, we show that ACF binds with high affinity to single-stranded but not double-stranded apo-B mRNA. ACF contains three nonidentical RNA recognition motifs (RRM) and a unique C-terminal auxiliary domain. In many multi-RRM proteins, the RRMs mediate RNA binding and an auxiliary domain functions in protein–protein interactions. Here we show that ACF does not fit this simple model. Based on deletion mutagenesis, the RRMs in ACF are necessary but not sufficient for binding to apo-B mRNA. Amino acids in the pre-RRM region are required for complementing activity and RNA binding, but not for interaction with apobec-1. The C-terminal 196 amino acids are not absolutely essential for function. However, further deletion of an RG-rich region from the auxiliary domain abolished complementing activity, RNA binding, and apobec-1 interaction. The auxiliary domain alone did not bind apobec-1. Although all three RRMs are required for complementing activity and apobec-1 interaction, the individual motifs contribute differently to RNA binding. Point mutations in RRM1 or RRM2 decreased the Kd for apo-B mRNA by two orders of magnitude whereas mutations in RRM3 reduced binding affinity 13-fold. The pairwise expression of RRM1 with RRM2 or RRM3 resulted in moderate affinity binding.

(Received September 24 2001)
(Revised October 17 2001)
(Accepted October 25 2001)

Key Words: ACF; apo-B; apobec-1; RNA editing.

c1 Reprint requests to: Donna M. Driscoll, Department of Cell Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue #NC-10, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA; e-mail: driscod@ccf.org.
p1 Present address: PTC Therapeutics, Incorporated, South Plainfield, New Jersey 07080, USA.