• Authors: Shadrina O. et al.
  • Year: 2020
  • Journal: Biochimie 171-172 110-123
  • Applications: in vitro / DNA / jetPRIME
  • Cell type: Microglial cells


Human Ku heterodimeric protein composed of Ku70 and Ku80 subunits plays an important role in the non-homologous end-joining DNA repair pathway as a sensor of double strand DNA breaks. Ku is also involved in numerous cellular processes, and in some of them it acts in an RNA-dependent manner. However, RNA binding properties of the human Ku have not been well studied. Here we have analyzed interactions of a recombinant Ku heterodimer with a set of RNAs of various structure as well as eCLIP (enhanced crosslinking and immunoprecipitation) data for human Ku70. As a result, we have proposed a consensus RNA structure preferable for the Ku binding that is a hairpin possessing a bulge just near GpG sequence-containing terminal loop. 7SK snRNA is a scaffold for a ribonucleoprotein complex (7SK snRNP), which is known to participate in transcription regulation. We have shown that the recombinant Ku specifically binds a G-rich loop of hairpin 1 within 7SK snRNA. Moreover, Ku protein has been co-precipitated from HEK 293T cells with endogenous 7SK snRNA and such proteins included in 7SK snRNP as HEXIM1, Cdk9 and CTIP2. Ku and Cdk9 binding is found to be RNA-independent, meanwhile HEXIM1 and Ku co-precipitation depended on the presence of intact 7SK snRNA. The latter result has been confirmed using recombinant HEXIM1 and Ku proteins. Colocalization of Ku and CTIP2 was additionally confirmed by confocal microscopy. These results allow us to propose human Ku as a new component of the 7SK snRNP complex.