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Characterization and functional implications of the RNA binding properties of nuclear factor TDP-43, a novel splicing regulator of CFTR exon 9.

Buratti E., Baralle F.E.

Variations in a polymorphic (TG)m sequence near exon 9 of the human CFTR gene have been associated with variable proportions of exon skipping and occurrence of disease. We have recently identified nuclear factor TDP-43 as a novel splicing regulator capable of binding to this element in the CFTR pre-mRNA and inhibiting recognition of the neighboring exon. In this study we report the dissection of the RNA binding properties of TDP-43 and their functional implications in relationship with the splicing process. Our results show that this protein contains two fully functional RNA recognition motif (RRM) domains with distinct RNA/DNA binding characteristics. Interestingly, TDP-43 can bind a minimum number of six UG (or TG) single-stranded dinucleotide stretches, and binding affinity increases with the number of repeats. In particular, the highly conserved Phe residues in the first RRM region play a key role in nucleic acid recognition.

J. Biol. Chem. 276:36337-36343(2001) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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