A phosphorylated cytoplasmic autoantigen, GW182, associates with a unique population of human mRNAs within novel cytoplasmic speckles

Mol Biol Cell. 2002 Apr;13(4):1338-51. doi: 10.1091/mbc.01-11-0544.


A novel human cellular structure has been identified that contains a unique autoimmune antigen and multiple messenger RNAs. This complex was discovered using an autoimmune serum from a patient with motor and sensory neuropathy and contains a protein of 182 kDa. The gene and cDNA encoding the protein indicated an open reading frame with glycine-tryptophan (GW) repeats and a single RNA recognition motif. Both the patient's serum and a rabbit serum raised against the recombinant GW protein costained discrete cytoplasmic speckles designated as GW bodies (GWBs) that do not overlap with the Golgi complex, endosomes, lysosomes, or peroxisomes. The mRNAs associated with GW182 represent a clustered set of transcripts that are presumed to reside within the GW complexes. We propose that the GW ribonucleoprotein complex is involved in the posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression by sequestering a specific subset of gene transcripts involved in cell growth and homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Autoantigens / chemistry*
  • Autoantigens / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism*
  • DNA, Complementary / metabolism
  • Expressed Sequence Tags
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • HeLa Cells
  • Hereditary Sensory and Motor Neuropathy / blood
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Phosphorylation
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Rabbits
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transfection


  • Autoantigens
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • TNRC6A protein, human
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins