Biochimica et biophysica acta 2016 12 031860(2) 205-217 pii 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2016.12.001
Even though splicing repression by hnRNP complexes bound to exonic sequences is well-documented, the responsible effector domains of hnRNP proteins have been described for only a select number of hnRNP constituents. Thus, there is only limited information available for possible varying silencer activities amongst different hnRNP proteins and composition changes within possible hnRNP complex assemblies. In this study, we identified the glycine-rich domain (GRD) of hnRNP proteins as a unifying feature in splice site repression. We also show that all four hnRNP D isoforms can act as genuine splicing repressors when bound to exonic positions. The presence of an extended GRD, however, seemed to potentiate the hnRNP D silencer activity of isoforms p42 and p45. Moreover, we demonstrate that hnRNP D proteins associate with the HIV-1 ESSV silencer complex, probably through direct recognition of "UUAG" sequences overlapping with the previously described "UAGG" motifs bound by hnRNP A1. Consequently, this spatial proximity seems to cause mutual interference between hnRNP A1 and hnRNP D. This interplay between hnRNP A1 and D facilitates a dynamic regulation of the repressive state of HIV-1 exon 3 which manifests as fluctuating relative levels of spliced vpr- and unspliced gag/pol-mRNAs.