Heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) binds miR-122, a mature liver-specific microRNA required for hepatitis C virus replication

Baochang Fan, F. X.Reymond Sutandy, Guan Da Syu, Stefani Middleton, Guanghui Yi, Kuan Yi Lu, Chien Sheng Chen, C. Cheng Kao

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Heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) binds to the 5' untranslated region of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and is required for HCV RNA replication. The hnRNP K binding site on HCV RNA overlaps with the sequence recognized by the liver-specific microRNA, miR-122. A proteome chip containing ∼17,000 unique human proteins probed with miR-122 identified hnRNP K as one of the strong binding proteins. In vitro kinetic study showed hnRNP K binds miR-122 with a nanomolar dissociation constant, in which the short pyrimidine-rich residues in the central and 3' portion of the miR-122 were required for hnRNP K binding. In liver hepatocytes, miR-122 formed a coprecipitable complex with hnRNP K. High throughput Illumina DNA sequencing of the RNAs precipitated with hnRNP K was enriched for mature miR-122. SiRNA knockdown of hnRNP K in human hepatocytes reduced the levels of miR-122. These results show that hnRNP K is a cellular protein that binds and affects the accumulation of miR-122. Its ability to also bind HCV RNA near the miR-122 binding site suggests a role for miR-122 recognition of HCV RNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2878-2886
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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