RACK1 identified as the PCBP1-interacting protein with a novel functional role on the regulation of human MOR gene expression


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Jane L. Ko, Department of Biological Sciences, Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Ave., South Orange, NJ 07079, USA. E-mail: jane.ko@shu.edu


Poly C binding protein 1 (PCBP1) is an expressional regulator of the mu-opioid receptor (MOR) gene. We hypothesized the existence of a PCBP1 co-regulator modifying human MOR gene expression by protein–protein interaction with PCBP1. A human brain cDNA library was screened using the two-hybrid system with PCBP1 as the bait. Receptor for activated protein kinase C (RACK1) protein, containing seven WD domains, was identified. PCBP1-RACK1 interaction was confirmed via in vivo validation using the two-hybrid system, and by co-immunoprecipitation with anti-PCBP1 antibody and human neuronal NMB cell lysate, endogenously expressing PCBP1 and RACK1. Further co-immunoprecipitation suggested that RACK1-PCBP1 interaction occurred in cytosol alone. Single and serial WD domain deletion analyses demonstrated that WD7 of RACK1 is the key domain interacting with PCBP1. RACK1 over-expression resulted in a dose-dependent decrease of MOR promoter activity using p357 plasmid containing human MOR promoter and luciferase reporter gene. Knock-down analysis showed that RACK1 siRNA decreased the endogenous RACK1 mRNA level in NMB, and elevated MOR mRNA level as indicated by RT-PCR. Likewise, a decrease of RACK1 resulted in an increase of MOR proteins, verified by 3H-diprenorphine binding assay. Collectively, this study reports a novel role of RACK1, physically interacting with PCBP1 and participating in the regulation of human MOR gene expression in neuronal NMB cells.