Published on Dec. 1, 2000 in Genes Dev volume 14.
PubMed ID: 11114884
We screened a human cDNA library for proteins that bind mRNA cap methyltransferase (MT) and isolated nuclear transporter importin-alpha (Impalpha). This direct association was confirmed by glutathione S-transferase (GST) pulldown, coimmunoprecipitation, and nuclear colocalization. In gel shift assays, MT selectively bound RNA containing 5'-terminal GpppG, and binding was inhibited by GpppG and not by m(7)GpppC. Impalpha markedly enhanced MT binding to GpppG-RNA and stimulated MT activity. MT/RNA/Impalpha complexes were dissociated by importin-beta, which also blocked the stimulation of cap methylation by Impalpha. The presence of RanGTP but not RanGDP prevented these effects of importin-beta. These findings indicate that importins play a novel role in mRNA biogenesis at the level of cap methylation.