Nucleic acids research

Novel RNA chaperone domain of RNA-binding protein La is regulated by AKT phosphorylation.

PMID 25520193


The cellular function of the cancer-associated RNA-binding protein La has been linked to translation of viral and cellular mRNAs. Recently, we have shown that the human La protein stimulates IRES-mediated translation of the cooperative oncogene CCND1 in cervical cancer cells. However, there is little known about the underlying molecular mechanism by which La stimulates CCND1 IRES-mediated translation, and we propose that its RNA chaperone activity is required. Herein, we show that La binds close to the CCND1 start codon and demonstrate that La's RNA chaperone activity can change the folding of its binding site. We map the RNA chaperone domain (RCD) within the C-terminal region of La in close proximity to a novel AKT phosphorylation site (T389). Phosphorylation at T389 by AKT-1 strongly impairs its RNA chaperone activity. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the RCD as well as T389 is required to stimulate CCND1 IRES-mediated translation in cells. In summary, we provide a model whereby a novel interplay between RNA-binding, RNA chaperoning and AKT phosphorylation of La protein regulates CCND1 IRES-mediated translation.