2023 journal article
Optimization of Biotinylated RNA or DNA Pull-Down Assays for Detection of Binding Proteins: Examples of IRP1, IRP2, HuR, AUF1, and Nrf2
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES, 24(4).
Investigation of RNA- and DNA-binding proteins to a defined regulatory sequence, such as an AU-rich RNA and a DNA enhancer element, is important for understanding gene regulation through their interactions. For in vitro binding studies, an electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) was widely used in the past. In line with the trend toward using non-radioactive materials in various bioassays, end-labeled biotinylated RNA and DNA oligonucleotides can be more practical probes to study protein-RNA and protein-DNA interactions; thereby, the binding complexes can be pulled down with streptavidin-conjugated resins and identified by Western blotting. However, setting up RNA and DNA pull-down assays with biotinylated probes in optimum protein binding conditions remains challenging. Here, we demonstrate the step-by step optimization of pull-down for IRP (iron-responsive-element-binding protein) with a 5'-biotinylated stem-loop IRE (iron-responsive element) RNA, HuR, and AUF1 with an AU-rich RNA element and Nrf2 binding to an antioxidant-responsive element (ARE) enhancer in the human ferritin H gene. This study was designed to address key technical questions in RNA and DNA pull-down assays: (1) how much RNA and DNA probes we should use; (2) what binding buffer and cell lysis buffer we can use; (3) how to verify the specific interaction; (4) what streptavidin resin (agarose or magnetic beads) works; and (5) what Western blotting results we can expect from varying to optimum conditions. We anticipate that our optimized pull-down conditions can be applicable to other RNA- and DNA-binding proteins along with emerging non-coding small RNA-binding proteins for their in vitro characterization.