Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 372, Issue 1–2, pp 137–147 | Cite as

HuR–hnRNP interactions and the effect of cellular stress

  • Christina Papadopoulou
  • Vassiliki Ganou
  • Meropi Patrinou-Georgoula
  • Apostolia Guialis


The heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) constitute an important group of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that play an active role in post-transcriptional gene regulation. Here, we focus on representative members of the hnRNP group of RBPs, namely hnRNP A1 and hnRNP C1/C2, which participate mainly in RNA splicing, as well as on HuR, a prototype of the AU-rich element-binding proteins (ARE-BP), which has an established role in regulating the stability and translation of target mRNAs. HuR and most hnRNPs are primarily localized in the nucleoplasm, and they can shuttle between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Herein, we have extended our recently reported findings on the ability of HuR to associate with the immunopurified from mammalian cell extracts hnRNP and mRNP complexes by the application of an anti-HuR antibody that selects HuR–RNP complexes. We find that the protein components precipitated by the anti-HuR antibody are very similar to the hnRNP-HuR complexes reported previously. The in vivo association of HuR and hnRNP proteins is examined in the presence and the absence of thermal stress by confocal microscopy of intact cells and by in situ nuclear matrix preparation. We find notable heat-induced changes of HuR and of hnRNP A1, which exit the nucleus and co-localize to large cytoplasmic foci that represent heat-induced stress granules. The functional implications of HuR–hnRNP interactions in stressed and unstressed cells are discussed.


RNA-binding proteins ARE-binding proteins Heat stress Stress granules Nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling 





Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein


RNA-binding protein


RNA recognition motif


RNA-binding domain


hnRNP K homology




Adenosine-uridine-rich element


AU-binding factor 1


Embryonic lethal abnormal vision


Human antigen R


3′-Untranslated region


T cell internal antigen-1




Stress granules


Processing bodies




Mitogen-activated protein kinase-interacting kinase1/2


MAP-kinase kinase 3/6


Nuclear matrix



The work was supported by a research grant (PENED- 03 ED264) co-financed by EU-European Social Fund (75 %) and the Greek Ministry of Development-GSRT (25 %). We thank Dr. Marija Marko for her assistance with the confocal microscope and the critical reading of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

11010_2012_1454_MOESM1_ESM.tif (108 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 107 kb)
11010_2012_1454_MOESM2_ESM.doc (26 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 25 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christina Papadopoulou
    • 1
  • Vassiliki Ganou
    • 1
  • Meropi Patrinou-Georgoula
    • 1
  • Apostolia Guialis
    • 1
  1. 1.RNA Processing Program, Institute of Biological Research and BiotechnologyNational Hellenic Research FoundationAthensGreece

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