Visualization of RNA-protein interactions in living cells: FMRP and IMP1 interact on mRNAs

Oliver Rackham, Chris M Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)


Protein expression depends significantly on the stability, translation efficiency and localization of mRNA. These qualities are largely dictated by the RNA-binding proteins associated with an mRNA. Here, we report a method to visualize and localize RNA-protein interactions in living mammalian cells. Using this method, we found that the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) isoform 18 and the human zipcode-binding protein 1 ortholog IMP1, an RNA transport factor, were present on common mRNAs. These interactions occurred predominantly in the cytoplasm, in granular structures. In addition, FMRP and IMP1 interacted independently of RNA. Tethering of FMRP to an mRNA caused IMP1 to be recruited to the same mRNA and resulted in granule formation. The intimate association of FMRP and IMP1 suggests a link between mRNA transport and translational repression in mammalian cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3346-55
Number of pages10
JournalThe EMBO Journal
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


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