Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 76, Issue 1, pp 147–161 | Cite as

PUM1 and PUM2 exhibit different modes of regulation for SIAH1 that involve cooperativity with NANOS paralogues

  • Marcin Sajek
  • Damian Mikolaj Janecki
  • Maciej Jerzy Smialek
  • Barbara Ginter-Matuszewska
  • Anna Spik
  • Slawomir Oczkowski
  • Erkut Ilaslan
  • Kamila Kusz-Zamelczyk
  • Maciej Kotecki
  • Jacek Blazewicz
  • Jadwiga Jaruzelska
Original Article


Pumilio (PUM) proteins are RNA-binding proteins that posttranscriptionally regulate gene expression in many organisms. Their PUF domain recognizes specific PUM-binding elements (PBE) in the 3′ untranslated region of target mRNAs while engaging protein cofactors such as NANOS that repress the expression of target mRNAs through the recruitment of effector complexes. Although the general process whereby PUM recognizes individual mRNAs has been studied extensively, the particulars of the mechanism underlying PUM–NANOS cooperation in mRNA regulation and the functional overlap among PUM and NANOS paralogues in mammals have not been elucidated. Here, using the novel PUM1 and PUM2 mRNA target SIAH1 as a model, we show mechanistic differences between PUM1 and PUM2 and between NANOS1, 2, and 3 paralogues in the regulation of SIAH1. Specifically, unlike PUM2, PUM1 exhibited PBE-independent repression of SIAH1 3′UTR-dependent luciferase expression. Concordantly, the PUF domains of PUM1 and PUM2 showed different EMSA complex formation patterns with SIAH1 3′UTRs. Importantly, we show direct binding of NANOS3, but not NANOS2, to SIAH1 3′UTR, which did not require PBEs or the PUF domain. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report, showing that an NANOS protein directly binds RNA. Finally, using NANOS1 and NANOS3 constructs carrying mutations identified in infertile patients, we show that these mutations disrupt repression of the SIAH1-luciferase reporter and that the central region in NANOS1 appears to contribute to the regulation of SIAH1. Our findings highlight the mechanistic versatility of the PUM/NANOS machinery in mammalian posttranscriptional regulation.


3′UTR RNA-binding proteins Posttranscriptional gene regulation 



This work was supported by the National Science Center Poland (Grant no. 2011/01/B/NZ2/04833 to BGM and ETIUDA scholarship no. 2014/12/T/NZ1/00497 to MS) and Ministry of Science and Higher Education (Grant no. N N401318439 to JJ). We thank Dr. Witold Filipowicz, Dr. Thomas Tuschl, Dr. Damian Brauze, Christine Rickards-Rostworowska, and Dr. Miroslawa Siatecka for the helpful discussions and for commenting on the manuscript.

Author contributions

MS conducted the experiments and prepared the figures, DMJ conducted the experiments and prepared the figures, MJS conducted the experiments, BGM analysed the results, AS conducted the experiments, SO performed the bioinformatic search for PUM mRNA targets, EI conducted experiments, KKZ conducted the experiments, MK conducted the experiments and prepared the manuscript, JB designed software to bioinformatically select PUM mRNA targets, and JJ conceived the experiments and prepared the manuscript. All authors reviewed the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Supplementary material

18_2018_2926_MOESM1_ESM.docx (20.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 20813 kb)
18_2018_2926_MOESM2_ESM.docx (38 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 37 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcin Sajek
    • 1
  • Damian Mikolaj Janecki
    • 1
  • Maciej Jerzy Smialek
    • 1
  • Barbara Ginter-Matuszewska
    • 1
    • 5
  • Anna Spik
    • 1
  • Slawomir Oczkowski
    • 2
  • Erkut Ilaslan
    • 1
  • Kamila Kusz-Zamelczyk
    • 1
  • Maciej Kotecki
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jacek Blazewicz
    • 2
    • 4
  • Jadwiga Jaruzelska
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Human GeneticsPolish Academy of SciencesPoznanPoland
  2. 2.Institute of Computing SciencesPoznan University of TechnologyPoznanPoland
  3. 3.Department of Developmental, Molecular and Chemical BiologyTufts University Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Bioorganic ChemistryPolish Academy of SciencesPoznanPoland
  5. 5.Department of Histology and EmbryologyUniversity of Medical SciencesPoznańPoland

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