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Open Access Research

Nuclear protein IK undergoes dynamic subcellular translocation and forms unique nuclear bodies during the cell cycle

Liyan Hu1, Feikun Yang1, Xianan Liu1, Dazhong Xu1 and Wei Dai12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Environmental Medicine, New York University Langone Medical Center, Tuxedo, NY, 10987, USA

2 Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, New York University Langone Medical Center, Tuxedo, NY, 10987, USA

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Biomarker Research 2013, 1:11  doi:10.1186/2050-7771-1-11

Published: 18 February 2013

Abstract

IK is a nuclear protein containing a unique domain named RED due to the presence of a repetitive arginine (R), aspartic (E), and glutamic acid (D) sequence. To date, the function of this protein remains largely unknown despite of a couple of previous studies in the literature. Here we report that depletion of IK via RNA interference results in mitotic arrest. We also demonstrate that IK undergoes dynamic translocation during interphase and mitosis. In particular, IK is primarily present in some interphase cells as nuclear foci/bodies which do not co-localize with nucleoli, PMA bodies and Cajal bodies. Pull-down analysis coupled with mass spectrometry reveals that IK is associated with DHX15, a putative ATP-dependent RNA helicase. Our results strongly suggest that IK may participate in pre-mRNA splicing and that it may be a useful biomarker for a new nuclear structure in the cell.