PloS one

Characterization of a family of novel cysteine- serine-rich nuclear proteins (CSRNP).

PMID 17726538


Gene array analysis has been widely used to identify genes induced during T cell activation. Our studies identified an immediate early gene that is strongly induced in response to IL-2 in mouse T cells which we named cysteine- serine-rich nuclear protein-1 (CSRNP-1). The human ortholog was previously identified as an AXIN1 induced gene (AXUD1). The protein does not contain sequence defined domains or motifs annotated in public databases, however the gene is a member of a family of three mammalian genes that share conserved regions, including cysteine- and serine-rich regions and a basic domain, they encode nuclear proteins, possess transcriptional activation domain and bind the sequence AGAGTG. Consequently we propose the nomenclature of CSRNP-1, -2 and -3 for the family. To elucidate the physiological functions of CSRNP-1, -2 and -3, we generated mice deficient for each of these genes by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells. Although the CSRNP proteins have the hallmark of transcription factors and CSRNP-1 expression is highly induced by IL-2, deletion of the individual genes had no obvious consequences on normal mouse development, hematopoiesis or T cell functions. However, combined deficiencies cause partial neonatal lethality suggesting that the genes have redundant functions.