A regulated RNA binding protein also possesses aconitase activity.
A clone for the iron-responsive element (IRE)-binding protein (IRE-BP) has been transfected and expressed in mouse fibroblasts. The IRE-BP gene product binds IREs with high affinity and specificity. Amino acid alignments reveal that the IRE-BP is 30% identical to mitochondrial aconitase. The 18 active site residues of mitochondrial aconitase are identical to those in the IRE-BP, suggesting that the IRE-BP may possess aconitase activity. After purification of native IRE-BP and immunoaffinity purification of transfected and expressed IRE-BP, we demonstrate that the purified IRE-BP has aconitase activity.