Structural basis of dimerization and nucleic acid binding of human DBHS proteins NONO and PSPC1

Gavin J. Knott, Yee Seng Chong, Daniel M. Passon, Xue Hai Liang, Evelyne Deplazes, Maria R. Conte, Andrew C. Marshall, Mihwa Lee, Archa H. Fox, Charles S. Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The Drosophila behaviour/human splicing (DBHS) proteins are a family of RNA/DNA binding cofactors liable for a range of cellular processes. DBHS proteins include the non-POU domain-containing octamer-binding protein (NONO) and paraspeckle protein component 1 (PSPC1), proteins capable of forming combinatorial dimers. Here, we describe the crystal structures of the human NONO and PSPC1 homodimers, representing uncharacterized DBHS dimerization states. The structures reveal a set of conserved contacts and structural plasticity within the dimerization interface that provide a rationale for dimer selectivity between DBHS paralogues. In addition, solution X-ray scattering and accompanying biochemical experiments describe a mechanism of cooperative RNA recognition by the NONO homodimer. Nucleic acid binding is reliant on RRM1, and appears to be affected by the orientation of RRM1, influenced by a newly identified 'β-clasp' structure. Our structures shed light on the molecular determinants for DBHS homo- and heterodimerization and provide a basis for understanding how DBHS proteins cooperatively recognize a broad spectrum of RNA targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-535
Number of pages14
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2022


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