Journal article

Expression of active iron regulatory factor from a full-length human cDNA by in vitro transcription/translation

Iron regulatory factor (IRF), also called iron responsive element-binding protein (IRE-BP), is a cytoplasmic RNA-binding protein which regulates post-transcriptionally transferrin receptor mRNA stability and ferritin mRNA translation. By using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the sequence published by Rouault et al. (1990) a probe was derived which permitted the isolation of three human IRF cDNA clones. Hybridization to genomic DNA and mRNA, as well as sequencing data indicated a single copy gene of about 40 kb specifying a 4.0 kb mRNA that translates into a protein of 98,400 dalton. By in vitro transcription of a assembled IRF cDNA coupled to in vitro translation in a wheat germ extract, we obtained full sized IRF that bound specifically to a human ferritin IRE. In vitro translated IRF retained sensitivity to sulfhydryl oxidation by diamide and could be reactivated by beta-mercaptoethanol in the same way as native placental IRF. An IRF deletion mutant shortened by 132 amino acids at the COOH-terminus was no longer able to bind to an IRE, indicating that this region of the protein plays a role in RNA recognition. Placental IRF has previously been shown to migrate as a doublet on SDS-polyacrylamide gels. After V8 protease digestion the heterogeneity was located in a 65/70 kDa NH2-terminal doublet. The liberated 31 kDa COOH-terminal polypeptide was found to be homogeneous by amino acid sequencing supporting the conclusion of a single IRF gene.


    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, Genetics Unit, Epalinges.


    Record created on 2008-02-25, modified on 2016-08-08


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