Tau mRNA is axonally localized mRNA that is found in developing neurons and targeted by an axonal localization signal (ALS) that is located in the 3′UTR of the message. The tau mRNA is trafficked in an RNA-protein complex (RNP) from the neuronal cell body to the distal parts of the axon, reaching as far as the growth cone. This movement is microtubule-dependent and is observed as granules that contain tau mRNA and additional proteins. A major protein contained in the granule is HuD, an Elav protein family member, which has an identified mRNA binding site on the tau 3′UTR and stabilizes the tau message and several axonally targeted mRNAs. Using GST-HuD fusion protein as bait, we have identified four proteins contained within the tau RNP, in differentiated P19 neuronal cells. In this work, we studied two of the identified proteins, i.e. IGF-II mRNA binding protein 1 (IMP-1), the orthologue of chick β-actin binding protein-ZBP1, and RAS-GAP SH3 domain binding protein (G3BP). We show that IMP-1 associates with HuD and G3BP-1 proteins in an RNA-dependent manner and binds directly to tau mRNA. We also show an RNA-dependent association between G3BP-1 and HuD proteins. These associations are investigated in relation to the neuronal differentiation of P19 cells.
- Neuronal cells
- Tau mRNA