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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Protamine-1 and -2 mRNA in round spermatids is associated with RNA-binding proteins.

RNA-binding proteins in round spermatids have previously been assigned to the coding sequence of Prm1- and Prm2-mRNA. To further characterize this protein-RNA interaction, prior to cDNA synthesis, microdissected cell profiles were digested with different proteases exhibiting a specific cleavage site followed by both conventional and real-time quantitative PCR. Best results were obtained with proteinase K and A followed by factor Xa protease, genenase I, and proteases V8. While enterokinase revealed PCR signals solely for Prm2, no amplification signal was obtained using chymotrypsin. These data suggest a protein segment rich in basic amino acids to be important for the binding to Prm1- and Prm2-mRNA. The fact that phenanthroline treatment instead of protease digestion also resulted in amplification signals suggests the involvement of zinc-finger-like protein-RNA interactions. Employing different primer pairs, RNA-binding proteins were shown to be localized at the 5' end of Prm1- and Prm2-mRNA. Since protein-RNA interactions are a common principle of posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression, the combination of microdissection, protease digestion, and real-time quantitative PCR provides a suitable tool for its investigation in a cell type-specific manner. Furthermore, the presence of RNA-binding proteins within the coding sequence of mRNAs demands proteinase K treatment prior to cDNA synthesis, a compelling necessity for the study of gene expression.[1]


  1. Protamine-1 and -2 mRNA in round spermatids is associated with RNA-binding proteins. Steger, K., Fink, L., Klonisch, T., Bohle, R.M., Bergmann, M. Histochem. Cell Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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