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Cysteine Oxidation Regulates the RNA-Binding Activity of Iron Regulatory Protein 2▿ †

By Kimberly B. Zumbrennen, Michelle L. Wallander, S. Joshua Romney and Elizabeth A. Leibold


Iron regulatory protein 2 (IRP2) is an RNA-binding protein that regulates the posttranscriptional expression of proteins required for iron homeostasis such as ferritin and transferrin receptor 1. IRP2 RNA-binding activity is primarily regulated by iron-mediated proteasomal degradation, but studies have suggested that IRP2 RNA binding is also regulated by thiol oxidation. We generated a model of IRP2 bound to RNA and found that two cysteines (C512 and C516) are predicted to lie in the RNA-binding cleft. Site-directed mutagenesis and thiol modification show that, while IRP2 C512 and C516 do not directly interact with RNA, both cysteines are located within the RNA-binding cleft and must be unmodified/reduced for IRP2-RNA interactions. Oxidative stress induced by cellular glucose deprivation reduces the RNA-binding activity of IRP2 but not IRP2-C512S or IRP2-C516S, consistent with the formation of a disulfide bond between IRP2 C512 and C516 during oxidative stress. Decreased IRP2 RNA binding is correlated with reduced transferrin receptor 1 mRNA abundance. These studies provide insight into the structural basis for IRP2-RNA interactions and reveal an iron-independent mechanism for regulating iron homeostasis through the redox regulation of IRP2 cysteines

Topics: Articles
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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