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Trim25 is an RNA-specific activator of Lin28a/TuT4-mediated uridylation

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1265-1272
Number of pages8
JournalCell Reports
Issue number4
Early online date6 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2014


RNA binding proteins have thousands of cellular RNA targets and often exhibit opposite or passive molecular functions. Lin28a is a conserved RNA binding protein involved in pluripotency and tumorigenesis that was previously shown to trigger TuT4-mediated pre-let-7 uridylation, inhibiting its processing and targeting it for degradation. Surprisingly, despite binding to other pre-microRNAs (pre-miRNAs), only pre-let-7 is efficiently uridylated by TuT4. Thus, we hypothesized the existence of substrate-specific cofactors that stimulate Lin28a-mediated pre-let-7 uridylation or restrict its functionality on non-let-7 pre-miRNAs. Through RNA pull-downs coupled with quantitative mass spectrometry, we identified the E3 ligase Trim25 as an RNA-specific cofactor for Lin28a/TuT4-mediated uridylation. We show that Trim25 binds to the conserved terminal loop (CTL) of pre-let-7 and activates TuT4, allowing for more efficient Lin28a-mediated uridylation. These findings reveal that protein-modifying enzymes, only recently shown to bind RNA, can guide the function of canonical ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes in cis, thereby providing an additional level of specificity.

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