Messenger RNA translation is regulated by RNA-binding proteins and small non-coding RNAs called microRNAs. Even though we know the majority of RNA-binding proteins and microRNAs that regulate messenger RNA expression, evidence of interactions between the two remain elusive. The role of the RNA-binding protein GLD-1 as a translational repressor is well studied during Caenorhabditis elegans germline development and maintenance. Possible functions of GLD-1 during somatic development and the mechanism of how GLD-1 acts as a translational repressor are not known. Its human homologue, quaking (QKI), is essential for embryonic development. Here, we report that the RNA-binding protein GLD-1 in C. elegans affects multiple microRNA pathways and interacts with proteins required for microRNA function. Using genome-wide RNAi screening, we found that nhl-2 and vig-1, two known modulators of miRNA function, genetically interact with GLD-1. gld-1 mutations enhance multiple phenotypes conferred by mir-35 and let-7 family mutants during somatic development. We used stable isotope labelling with amino acids in cell culture to globally analyse the changes in the proteome conferred by let-7 and gld-1 during animal development. We identified the histone mRNA-binding protein CDL-1 to be, in part, responsible for the phenotypes observed in let-7 and gld-1 mutants. The link between GLD-1 and miRNA-mediated gene regulation is further supported by its biochemical interaction with ALG-1, CGH-1 and PAB-1, proteins implicated in miRNA regulation. Overall, we have uncovered genetic and biochemical interactions between GLD-1 and miRNA pathways.
Akay, A., Craig, A., Lehrbach, N., Larance, M., Pourkarimi, E., Wright, J. E., Lamond, A., Miska, E., & Gartner, A. (2013). RNA-binding protein GLD-1/quaking genetically interacts with the mir-35 and the let-7 miRNA pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans. Open Biology, 3, . https://doi.org/10.1098/rsob.130151