The glycine arginine-rich domain of the RNA-binding protein nucleolin regulates its subcellular localization

Ella Doron, Indrek Koppel, Ofri Abraham, Ida Rishal, Terika P Smith, Courtney N Buchanan, Pabitra K Sahoo, Juan A. Oses-Prieto, Riki Kawaguchi, Stefanie Alber, Eitan Erez Zahavi, Pierluigi Di Matteo, Agostina Di Pizio, Didi Andreas Song, Nataliya Okladnikova, Dalia Gordon, Shifra Ben-Dor, Rebecca Haffner-Krausz, Giovanni Coppola, Alma L. BurlingamePavel Jungwirth, Jeffery L. Twiss, Michael Fainzilber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nucleolin is a multifunctional RNA Binding Protein (RBP) with diverse subcellular localizations, including the nucleolus in all eukaryotic cells, the plasma membrane in tumor cells, and the axon in neurons. Here we show that the glycine arginine rich (GAR) domain of nucleolin drives subcellular localization via protein-protein interactions with a kinesin light chain. In addition, GAR sequences mediate plasma membrane interactions of nucleolin. Both these modalities are in addition to the already reported involvement of the GAR domain in liquid-liquid phase separation in the nucleolus. Nucleolin transport to axons requires the GAR domain, and heterozygous GAR deletion mice reveal reduced axonal localization of nucleolin cargo mRNAs and enhanced sensory neuron growth. Thus, the GAR domain governs axonal transport of a growth controlling RNA-RBP complex in neurons, and is a versatile localization determinant for different subcellular compartments. Localization determination by GAR domains may explain why GAR mutants in diverse RBPs are associated with neurodegenerative disease.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere107158
Number of pages22
JournalThe EMBO Journal
Volume40
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Sep 2021

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