Chemistry and Biochemistry
La-Related Protein 1 (LARP1) is an RNA-binding protein that regulates the stability and translation of mRNAs encoding the translation machinery, including ribosomal proteins and translation factors. These mRNAs are characterized by a 5ʹ-terminal oligopyrimidine (TOP) motif that coordinates their temporal and stoichiometric expression. While LARP1 represses TOP mRNA translation via the C-terminal DM15 region, the role of the N-terminal La-Module in the recognition and translational regulation of TOP mRNAs remains elusive. Herein we show that the LARP1 La-Module also binds TOP motifs, although in a cap-independent manner. We also demonstrate that it recognizes poly(A) RNA. Further, our data reveal that the LARP1 La-Module can simultaneously engage TOP motifs and poly(A) RNA. These results evoke an intriguing molecular mechanism whereby LARP1 could regulate translation and stabilization of TOP transcripts.
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