An RNA-binding protein gene (rbp1) from Drosophila melanogaster, encoding an RNA recognition motif and an Arg-Ser rich (RS) domain, has been characterized. The predicted amino acid sequence of rbp1 is similar to those of the human splicing factor ASF/SF2, the Drosophila nuclear phosphoprotein SRp55, and the Drosophila puff-associated protein B52. Northern and immunohistochemical analyses showed that rbp1 is expressed at all stages in all tissues and that the RBP1 protein is localized to the nucleus. Consistent with a role in mRNA metabolism, indirect immunofluorescence reveals that the RBP1 protein colocalizes with RNA polymerase II on larval salivary gland polytene chromosomes. RBP1 protein made in Escherichia coli was tested for splicing activity using human cell extracts in which ASF has been shown previously both to activate splicing and to affect the choice of splice sites in alternatively spliced pre-mRNAs. In these assays, RBP1 protein, like ASF, is capable of both activating splicing and switching splice site selection. However, in each case, clear differences in the behavior of the two proteins were detected, suggesting that they have related but not identical functions. The general nuclear expression pattern, colocalization on chromosomes with RNA polymerase II, the similarity to ASF/SF2, SRp55, and B52, along with the effect on alternative splicing shown in vitro, suggest that rbp1 is involved in the processing of precursor mRNAs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology