Intrinsic Disorder in Human RNA-Binding Proteins

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Intrinsic Disorder, Protein-rna Interactions, Protein-dna Interactions, PTM, Disordered Proteins

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Although RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are known to be enriched in intrinsic disorder, no previous analysis focused on RBPs interacting with specific RNA types. We fill this gap with a comprehensive analysis of the putative disorder in RBPs binding to six common RNA types: messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), small nuclear RNA (snRNA), non-coding RNA (ncRNA), ribosomal RNA (rRNA), and internal ribosome RNA (irRNA). We also analyze the amount of putative intrinsic disorder in the RNA-binding domains (RBDs) and non-RNA-binding-domain regions (non-RBD regions). Consistent with previous studies, we show that in comparison with human proteome, RBPs are significantly enriched in disorder. However, closer examination finds significant enrichment in predicted disorder for the mRNA-, rRNA- and snRNA-binding proteins, while the proteins that interact with ncRNA and irRNA are not enriched in disorder, and the tRNA-binding proteins are significantly depleted in disorder. We show a consistent pattern of significant disorder enrichment in the non-RBD regions coupled with low levels of disorder in RBDs, which suggests that disorder is relatively rarely utilized in the RNA-binding regions. Our analysis of the non-RBD regions suggests that disorder harbors posttranslational modification sites and is involved in the putative interactions with DNA. Importantly, we utilize experimental data from DisProt and independent data from Pfam to validate the above observations that rely on the disorder predictions. This study provides new insights into the distribution of disorder across proteins that bind different RNA types and the functional role of disorder in the regions where it is enriched.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Molecular Biology, v. 433, issue 21, art. 167229