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Characterization of Novel Ribosome-Associated Endoribonuclease SLFN14 from Rabbit Reticulocytes

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journal contribution
posted on 02.06.2015, 00:00 by Vera P. Pisareva, Ilham A. Muslimov, Andrew Tcherepanov, Andrey V. Pisarev
Turnover of mRNA is a critical step that allows cells to control gene expression. Endoribonucleases, enzymes cleaving RNA molecules internally, are some of the key components of the degradation process. Here we provide a detailed characterization of novel endoribonuclease SLFN14 purified from rabbit reticulocyte lysate. Schlafen genes encode a family of proteins limited to mammals. Their cellular function is unknown or incompletely understood. In reticulocytes, SLFN14 is strongly overexpressed, represented exclusively by the short form, all tethered to ribosomes, and appears to be one of the major ribosome-associated proteins. SLFN14 binds to ribosomes and ribosomal subunits in the low part of the body and cleaves RNA but preferentially rRNA and ribosome-associated mRNA. This results in the degradation of ribosomal subunits. This process is strictly Mg2+- and Mn2+-dependent, NTP-independent, and sequence nonspecific. However, in other cell types, SLFN14 is a full-length solely nuclear protein, which lacks ribosomal binding and nuclease activities. Mutational analysis revealed the ribosomal binding site and the aspartate essential for the endonucleolytic activity of protein. Only few endoribonucleases participating in ribosome-mediated processes have been characterized to date. Moreover, none of them are shown to be directly associated with the ribosome. Therefore, our findings expand the general knowledge of endoribonucleases involved in mammalian translation control.