Doctor of Philosophy, Stanford University, BIOC-PHD (2013)
Bachelor of Science, University of Wisconsin Madison, Biochemistry (2005)
A growing body of evidence supports the existence of an extensive network of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) whose combinatorial binding affects the post-transcriptional fate of every mRNA in the cell-yet we still do not have a complete understanding of which proteins bind to mRNA, which of these bind concurrently, and when and where in the cell they bind. We describe here a method to identify the proteins that bind to RNA concurrently with an RBP of interest, using quantitative mass spectrometry combined with RNase treatment of affinity-purified RNA-protein complexes. We applied this method to the known RBPs Pab1, Nab2, and Puf3. Our method significantly enriched for known RBPs and is a clear improvement upon previous approaches in yeast. Our data reveal that some reported protein-protein interactions may instead reflect simultaneous binding to shared RNA targets. We also discovered more than 100 candidate RBPs, and we independently confirmed that 77% (23/30) bind directly to RNA. The previously recognized functions of the confirmed novel RBPs were remarkably diverse, and we mapped the RNA-binding region of one of these proteins, the transcriptional coactivator Mbf1, to a region distinct from its DNA-binding domain. Our results also provided new insights into the roles of Nab2 and Puf3 in post-transcriptional regulation by identifying other RBPs that bind simultaneously to the same mRNAs. While existing methods can identify sets of RBPs that interact with common RNA targets, our approach can determine which of those interactions are concurrent-a crucial distinction for understanding post-transcriptional regulation.
View details for DOI 10.1101/gr.153031.112
View details for Web of Science ID 000319803700012
The vast landscape of RNA-protein interactions at the heart of post-transcriptional regulation remains largely unexplored. Indeed it is likely that, even in yeast, a substantial fraction of the regulatory RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) remain to be discovered. Systematic experimental methods can play a key role in discovering these RBPs--most of the known yeast RBPs lack RNA-binding domains that might enable this activity to be predicted. We describe here a proteome-wide approach to identify RNA-protein interactions based on in vitro binding of RNA samples to yeast protein microarrays that represent over 80% of the yeast proteome. We used this procedure to screen for novel RBPs and RNA-protein interactions. A complementary mass spectrometry technique also identified proteins that associate with yeast mRNAs. Both the protein microarray and mass spectrometry methods successfully identify previously annotated RBPs, suggesting that other proteins identified in these assays might be novel RBPs. Of 35 putative novel RBPs identified by either or both of these methods, 12, including 75% of the eight most highly-ranked candidates, reproducibly associated with specific cellular RNAs. Surprisingly, most of the 12 newly discovered RBPs were enzymes. Functional characteristics of the RNA targets of some of the novel RBPs suggest coordinated post-transcriptional regulation of subunits of protein complexes and a possible link between mRNA trafficking and vesicle transport. Our results suggest that many more RBPs still remain to be identified and provide a set of candidates for further investigation.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0012671
View details for Web of Science ID 000281687300015
View details for PubMedID 20844764