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Open Access Research article

A novel EB-1/AIDA-1 isoform, AIDA-1c, interacts with the Cajal body protein coilin

Hongzhi Xu and Michael D Hebert*

Author Affiliations

Department of Biochemistry, The University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson, MS 39216-4505, USA

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BMC Cell Biology 2005, 6:23  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-6-23

Published: 29 April 2005

Abstract

Background

Cajal bodies (CBs) are nuclear suborganelles that play a role in the biogenesis of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs), which are crucial for pre-mRNA splicing. Upon nuclear reentry, Sm-class snRNPs localize first to the CB, where the snRNA moiety of the snRNP is modified. It is not clear how snRNPs target to the CB and are released from this structure after their modification. Coilin, the CB marker protein, may participate in snRNP biogenesis given that it can interact with snRNPs and SMN. SMN is crucial for snRNP assembly and is the protein mutated in the neurodegenerative disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Coilin knockout mice display significant viability problems and altered CB formation. Thus characterization of the CB and its associated proteins will give insight into snRNP biogenesis and clarify the dynamic organization of the nucleus.

Results

In this report, we identify a novel protein isoform of EB-1/AIDA-1, termed AIDA-1c, that interacts with the CB marker protein, coilin. Northern and nested PCR experiments reveal that the AIDA-1c isoform is expressed in brain and several cancer cell lines. Competition binding experiments demonstrate that AIDA-1c competes with SmB' for coilin binding sites, but does not bind SMN. When ectopically expressed, AIDA-1c is predominantly nuclear with no obvious accumulations in CBs. Interestingly, another EB-1/AIDA-1 nuclear isoform, AIDA-1a, does not bind coilin in vivo as efficiently as AIDA-1c. Knockdown of EB-1/AIDA-1 isoforms by siRNA altered Cajal body organization and reduced cell viability.

Conclusion

These data suggest that specific EB-1/AIDA-1 isoforms, such as AIDA-1c, may participate in the regulation of nucleoplasmic coilin protein interactions in neuronal and transformed cells.