Background: The human TAR RNA-binding protein, TRBP, was first identified and cloned based on its high affinity binding to the small hairpin trans-activation responsive (TAR) RNA of HIV-1. TRBP has more recently been found to be a constituent of the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) serving as a Dicer co-factor in the processing of the ~70 nucleotide pre-microRNAs(miRNAs) to 21-25 nucleotide mature miRNAs.
Findings: Using co-immunoprecipitation and protein-identification by mass spectrometry, we characterized intracellular proteins that complex with TRBP. These interacting proteins include those that have been described to act in protein synthesis, RNA modifications and processing, DNA transcription, and cell proliferation.
Conclusions: Our findings provide a proteome of factors that may cooperate with TRBP in activities such as miRNA processing and in RNA interference by the RISC complex.