Expression cloning and characterization of a novel gene that encodes the RNA-binding protein FAU-1 from Pyrococcus furiosus

Akio Kanai, Hanako Oida, Nana Matsuura, Hirofumi Doi

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18 Citations (Scopus)


We systematically screened a genomic DNA library to identify proteins of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus using an expression cloning method. One gene product, which we named FAU-1 (P. furiosus AU-binding), demonstrated the strongest binding activity of all the genomic library-derived proteins tested against an AU-rich RNA sequence. The protein was purified to near homogeneity as a 54 kDa single polypeptide, and the gene locus corresponding to this FAU-1 activity was also sequenced. The FAU-1 gene encoded a 472-amino-acid protein that was characterized by highly charged domains consisting of both acidic and basic amino acids. The N-terminal half of the gene had a degree of similarity (25%) with RNase E from Escherichia coli. Five rounds of RNA-binding-site selection and footprinting analysis showed that the FAU-1 protein binds specifically to the AU-rich sequence in a loop region of a possible RNA ligand. Moreover, we demonstrated that the FAU-1 protein acts as an oligomer, and mainly as a trimer. These results showed that the FAU-1 protein is a novel heat-stable protein with an RNA loop-binding characteristic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-261
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 May 15



  • Archaea
  • RNA-binding protein
  • Stem-loop structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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