The Y14 protein communicates to the cytoplasm the position of exon-exon junctions

V. N. Kim, J. Yong, N. Kataoka, L. Abel, M. D. Diem, G. Dreyfuss

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164 Scopus citations


We recently described an RNA-binding protein, Y14, that binds preferentially to spliced mRNAs and persists in the cytoplasm. Y14 is part of a multi-protein complex that also contains the mRNA export factor TAP. This suggests that splicing imprints the mRNA with a unique set of proteins that communicate the history of the transcript to the cytoplasm. Here, using microinjection of pre-mRNAs into Xenopus oocyte nuclei followed by immunoprecipitation of RNase-fragmented mRNAs from the cytoplasm, we show that Y14 is stably bound to sequences immediately up-stream of exon-exon junctions. This feature appears to be unique to Y14. Using monoclonal antibodies that we produced against Aly/REF, another component recently reported to be an mRNA export factor, we show that Aly/REF is associated with spliced mRNAs in the nucleus but is not detectable on mRNAs in the cytoplasm. Thus, we propose that the splicing-dependent binding of Y14 provides a position-specific molecular memory that communicates to the cytoplasm the location of exon and intron boundaries. This novel mechanism may play an important role in post-splicing events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2062-2068
Number of pages7
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 17 2001


  • Aly
  • Nuclear transport
  • Splicing
  • Y14
  • mRNA

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