The yeast STM1 protein binds G*G multiplex nucleic acids in vitro and associates with ribosomes in vivo

Laura Diane Nelson, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The formation of triple helical, or triplex DNA has been suggested to occur in several cellular processes such as transcription, replication, and recombination. Our laboratory previously found proteins in HeLa nuclear extracts and in S. cerevisiae whole cell extracts that avidly bound a Purine-motif (Pu) triplex probe in gel shift assays, or EMSA. In order to identify a triplex DNA-binding protein, we used conventional and affinity chromatography to purify the major Pu triplex-binding protein in yeast. Peptide microsequencing and data base searches identified this protein as the product of the STM1 gene. Confirmation that Stm1p is a Pu triplex-binding protein was obtained by EMSA using both recombinant Stm1p and whole cell extracts from stm1Δ yeast. Stm1p had previously been identified as G4p2, a G-quartet DNA- and RNA-binding protein. To study the cellular role and identify the nucleic acid ligand of Stm1p in vivo, we introduced an HA epitope at either the N- or C-terminus of Stm1p and performed immunoprecipitations with the HA.11 mAb. Using peptide microsequencing and Northern analysis, we positively identified a subset of both large and small subunit ribosomal proteins and all four rRNAs as associating with Stm1p. DNase I treatment did not affect the association of Stm1p with ribosomal components, but RNase A treatment abolished the association with all ribosomal proteins and RNA, suggesting this association is RNA-dependent. Sucrose gradient fractionation followed by Western and EMSA analysis confirmed that Stm1p associates with intact 80S monosomes, but not polysomes. The presence of additional, unidentified RNA in the Stm1p-immunoprecipitate, and the absence of tRNAs and elongation factors suggests that Stm1p binds RNA and could be involved in the regulation of translation. Immunofluorescence microscopy data showed Stm1p to be located throughout the cytoplasm, with a specific movement to the bud during the G2 phase of the cell cycle. A dramatically flocculent, large cell phenotype is observed when Stm1p has a C-terminal HA tag in a protease-deficient strain background. When STM1 is deleted in this background, the same phenotype is not observed and the deletion yeast grow very slowly compared to the wild-type. These data suggest that STM1 is not essential, but plays a role in cell growth by interacting with an RNP complex that may contain G*G multiplex RNA.

Subject Area

Cellular biology|Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Nelson, Laura Diane, "The yeast STM1 protein binds G*G multiplex nucleic acids in vitro and associates with ribosomes in vivo" (2002). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3046066.