Recent work identified an RNA binding protein whose presence in brain tumors correlated with translational repression of Glut1 expression. RNase T1 mapping demonstrated that this protein bound an AU-rich response element (AURE) in the Glut1 3'UTR. Facilitated by its differential expression in brain tumor cytosols, we identified this Glut1 RNA binding protein as hnRNP A2. Studies further demonstrated that hnRNP A2 was the major Glut1 RNA binding activity in other cell lines. Recombinant hnRNP A2 exhibited equivalent Glut1 RNA binding specificity, quite distinct from the related AURE binding protein hnRNP A1. These data indicate that hnRNP A2 is the Glut1 AURE binding protein whose cytoplasmic expression in gliomas is associated with translational repression and mRNA instability. Using this approach, we also identified the other major Glut1 3'UTR RNA binding activity as hnRNP L. Stimuli (hypoxia and hypoglycemia) which increase Glut1 mRNA stability selectively decreased polysomal levels of hnRNP A2 and L. Immunoprecipitation demonstrated that hnRNP A2 and L exist as a complex in vivo. As a result of these and other studies, we conclude that hnRNP A2 and L associate in vivo and independently bind the 3'UTR of Glut1 mRNA.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.