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Introduction to RNA Binding Proteins

Two neuron-specific families of RNA binding proteins, termed Nova and Hu, were identified as Paraneoplastic Neurologic Degeneration target antigens. Nova is a target antigen in a subcortical motor degeneration associated with breast and lung cancer. The Nova genes are a family of novel, highly conserved nuclear RNA binding proteins related to the Fragile X mental retardation protein, FMRP, while the Hu genes are homologues of a Drosophila n-RBP termed elav. We are pursuing descriptive, biologic and biochemical approaches to defining the function of these RNA binding proteins in the brain, in tumor cells, and paraneoplastic neurologic disease Dredge KB, Polydorides AD, Darnell RB. Nature Rev Neurosci 2:43-50, 2001.