, Volume 60, Issue 10, pp 2219-2227

The multi-KH protein vigilin associates with free and membrane-bound ribosomes

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The-multi-KH domain protein vigilin has been identified by ex vivo experiments as both a tRNA- and/or mRNA-binding protein. We show here that in vitro under conditions previously shown to allow tRNA binding, recombinant vigilin also binds to selected mRNA species and ribosomal RNA. An in vivo link of vigilin to mRNA and rRNA was elucidated by several approaches. (i) Coexpression/costimulation of vigilin was found with many other proteins independently of whether their mRNA was translated on free or membrane-bound ribosomes. (ii) A close codistribution of vigilin with free ribosomes was seen in the cytoplasm while nucleoli were a major organelle of vigilin accumulation in the nucleus. (iii) Furthermore, free and membrane-bound ribosomes can be enriched for vigilin which suggests that this binding does not depend on the class of mRNA translated. Therefore, we suggest that vigilin does not distinguish between free or membrane-bound ribosomes but is generally necessary for the localization of mRNAs to actively translating ribosomes.

Received 20 June 2003; received after revision 25 July 2003; accepted 29 July 2003