Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Genome Biology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research

RIP-seq analysis of eukaryotic Sm proteins identifies three major categories of Sm-containing ribonucleoproteins

Zhipeng Lu1, Xiaojun Guan34, Casey A Schmidt2 and A Gregory Matera12*

Author Affiliations

1 Departments of Biology and Genetics, Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280, USA

2 Curriculum in Genetics & Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280, USA

3 Center for Bioinformatics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280, USA

4 Current address: Sequenom, San Diego, CA 92121, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Genome Biology 2014, 15:R7  doi:10.1186/gb-2014-15-1-r7

Published: 7 January 2014

Abstract

Background

Sm proteins are multimeric RNA-binding factors, found in all three domains of life. Eukaryotic Sm proteins, together with their associated RNAs, form small ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes important in multiple aspects of gene regulation. Comprehensive knowledge of the RNA components of Sm RNPs is critical for understanding their functions.

Results

We developed a multi-targeting RNA-immunoprecipitation sequencing (RIP-seq) strategy to reliably identify Sm-associated RNAs from Drosophila ovaries and cultured human cells. Using this method, we discovered three major categories of Sm-associated transcripts: small nuclear (sn)RNAs, small Cajal body (sca)RNAs and mRNAs. Additional RIP-PCR analysis showed both ubiquitous and tissue-specific interactions. We provide evidence that the mRNA-Sm interactions are mediated by snRNPs, and that one of the mechanisms of interaction is via base pairing. Moreover, the Sm-associated mRNAs are mature, indicating a splicing-independent function for Sm RNPs.

Conclusions

This study represents the first comprehensive analysis of eukaryotic Sm-containing RNPs, and provides a basis for additional functional analyses of Sm proteins and their associated snRNPs outside of the context of pre-mRNA splicing. Our findings expand the repertoire of eukaryotic Sm-containing RNPs and suggest new functions for snRNPs in mRNA metabolism.