Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

BORIS/CTCFL is an RNA-binding protein that associates with polysomes

Babatunji W Ogunkolade1, Tania A Jones1, Johan Aarum1, Jaroslaw Szary1, Nicholas Owen1, Diego Ottaviani1, Muhammad A Mumin1, Shyam Patel1, Christopher A Pieri1, Andrew R Silver2 and Denise Sheer1*

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma, Queen Mary University of London, Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, E1 2AT, UK

2 Centre for Digestive Diseases, Queen Mary University of London, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, 4 Newark Street, London, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cell Biology 2013, 14:52  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-14-52

Published: 26 November 2013



BORIS (CTCFL), a paralogue of the multifunctional and ubiquitously expressed transcription factor CTCF, is best known for its role in transcriptional regulation. In the nucleus, BORIS is particularly enriched in the nucleolus, a crucial compartment for ribosomal RNA and RNA metabolism. However, little is known about cytoplasmic BORIS, which represents the major pool of BORIS protein.


We show, firstly, that BORIS has a putative nuclear export signal in the C-terminal domain. Furthermore, BORIS associates with mRNA in both neural stem cells and young neurons. The majority of the BORIS-associated transcripts are different in the two cell types. Finally, by using polysome profiling we show that BORIS is associated with actively translating ribosomes.


We have demonstrated the RNA binding properties of cellular BORIS and its association with actively translating ribosomes. We suggest that BORIS is involved in gene expression at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels.

CTCF; Ribosomes; Nucleoli; WNT signalling