A sequence-specific RNA binding complex expressed in murine germ cells contains MSY2 and MSY4
Braun, Robert E.
Fajardo, Mark A.
Davies, Holly G.
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The protamine mRNAs are stored for up to 8 days as translationally repressed ribonucleoprotein particles during murine spermatogenesis. Translational repression of the protamine 1, Prm1, mRNA is controlled by sequences in its 3'-untranslated region (UTR). In this study we used the yeast three-hybrid system to clone Msy4, which encodes a novel member of the Y box family of nucleic acid binding proteins. MSY4 specifically binds to a site within the 5' most 37 nucleotides in the Prm1 3' UTR. Msy4 is highly expressed in the testis, and the protein is detected in the cytoplasm of germ cells in both the testis and the ovary, where repressed messages are stored. Analysis of a previously described 48/50-kDa binding activity in testis extracts by electrophoretic mobility shift assays and immunoprecipitation indicates the activity is composed of MSY4 and MSY2, another mouse Y box protein. Polysome analysis demonstrates MSY4 is associated with mRNPs, consistent with MSY4 having a role in storing repressed messages.