Prolyl isomerases are defined by a catalytic domain that facilitates the cis-trans interconversion of proline residues. In most cases, additional domains in these enzymes add important biological function, including recruitment to a set of protein substrates. Here, we report that the N-terminal basic tilted helix bundle (BTHB) domain of the human prolyl isomerase FKBP25 confers specific binding to double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). This binding is selective over DNA as well as single-stranded oligonucleotides. We find that FKBP25 RNA-association is required for its nucleolar localization and for the vast majority of its protein interactions, including those with 60S pre-ribosome and early ribosome biogenesis factors. An independent mobility of the BTHB and FKBP catalytic domains supports a model by which the N-terminus of FKBP25 is anchored to regions of dsRNA, whereas the FKBP domain is free to interact with neighboring proteins. Apart from the identification of the BTHB as a new dsRNA-binding module, this domain adds to the growing list of auxiliary functions used by prolyl isomerases to define their primary cellular targets.
© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.