Theoretical studies on RNA recognition by Musashi 1 RNA-binding protein

Here we studied the association complexes of Musashi1 with different RNA motifs, using molecular dynamics simulations

The RNA-binding protein Musashi1 (MSI1) is involved in the maintenance and self-renewal of neuronal progenitor and stem cells. Alongside its endogenous role, it has been shown to enhance the replication of Zika virus (ZIKV), suggesting a crucial role of MSI1:RNA complexes in ZIKV-induced neurotropism.

This paper uses computational modeling to study association complexes of the RNA-binding protein Musashi 1 (MSI1) with different target RNAs. MSI1 has two RNA-binding domains that exhibit different affinities to bind single-stranded #RNA molecules. Here, we investigate MSI1:RNA complexes using different RNA pentamer motifs, employing molecular dynamics simulations with binding free energy calculations.

Understanding these RNA-protein complexes is important to explain MSI1-mediated congenital neuropathology, such as microcephaly.

Joint work with Thanyada Rungrotmongkol and Nitchakan Darai (Chulalongkorn University), as well as Peter Wolschann (Universität Wien)

Posted by Michael T. Wolfinger on . updated