Genome-wide screen reveals APC-associated RNAs enriched in cell protrusions

Nature. 2008 May 1;453(7191):115-9. doi: 10.1038/nature06888.


RNA localization is important for the establishment and maintenance of polarity in multiple cell types. Localized RNAs are usually transported along microtubules or actin filaments and become anchored at their destination to some underlying subcellular structure. Retention commonly involves actin or actin-associated proteins, although cytokeratin filaments and dynein anchor certain RNAs. RNA localization is important for diverse processes ranging from cell fate determination to synaptic plasticity; however, so far there have been few comprehensive studies of localized RNAs in mammalian cells. Here we have addressed this issue, focusing on migrating fibroblasts that polarize to form a leading edge and a tail in a process that involves asymmetric distribution of RNAs. We used a fractionation scheme combined with microarrays to identify, on a genome-wide scale, RNAs that localize in protruding pseudopodia of mouse fibroblasts in response to migratory stimuli. We find that a diverse group of RNAs accumulates in such pseudopodial protrusions. Through their 3' untranslated regions these transcripts are anchored in granules concentrated at the plus ends of detyrosinated microtubules. RNAs in the granules associate with the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumour suppressor and the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). APC is required for the accumulation of transcripts in protrusions. Our results suggest a new type of RNA anchoring mechanism as well as a new, unanticipated function for APC in localizing RNAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions / genetics
  • 3' Untranslated Regions / metabolism
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Polarity
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein / metabolism
  • Genome / genetics
  • Genomics*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Microtubules / chemistry
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Pseudopodia / genetics*
  • Pseudopodia / metabolism*
  • RNA / analysis
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA / isolation & purification
  • RNA / metabolism*
  • RNA Transport*


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein
  • Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein
  • RNA

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE10230