Function of conserved domains of hnRNP A1 and other hnRNP A/B proteins

EMBO J. 1994 Nov 15;13(22):5483-95.


hnRNP A1 is a pre-mRNA binding protein that antagonizes the alternative splicing activity of splicing factors SF2/ASF or SC35, causing activation of distal 5' splice sites. The structural requirements for hnRNP A1 function were determined by mutagenesis of recombinant human hnRNP A1. Two conserved Phe residues in the RNP-1 submotif of each of two RNA recognition motifs appear to be involved in specific RNA-protein interactions and are essential for modulating alternative splicing. These residues are not required for general pre-mRNA binding or RNA annealing activity. The C-terminal Gly-rich domain is necessary for alternative splicing activity, for stable RNA binding and for optimal RNA annealing activity. hnRNP A1B, which is an alternatively spliced isoform of hnRNP A1 with a longer Gly-rich domain, binds more strongly to pre-mRNA but has only limited alternative splicing activity. In contrast, hnRNP A2 and B1, which have 68% amino acid identity with hnRNP A1, bind more weakly to pre-mRNA and have stronger splice site switching activities than hnRNP A1. We propose that specific combinations of antagonistic hnRNP A/B and SR proteins are involved in regulating alternative splicing of distinct subsets of cellular premRNAs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein A1
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Group A-B*
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoproteins
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Nucleic Acid Denaturation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA Precursors / metabolism*
  • RNA Splicing*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Ribonucleoproteins / chemistry
  • Ribonucleoproteins / classification
  • Ribonucleoproteins / genetics
  • Ribonucleoproteins / physiology*


  • Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein A1
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Group A-B
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoproteins
  • RNA Precursors
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • hnRNP A2