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REVIEW: KH-Domain Poly(C)-Binding Proteins as Versatile Regulators of Multiple Biological Processes

I. B. Nazarov1,a,b*, E. I. Bakhmet1, and A. N. Tomilin1

1Institute of Cytology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 194064 St. Petersburg, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received October 16, 2018; Revised November 10, 2018; Accepted November 10, 2018
Five known members of the family of KH-domain poly(C)-binding proteins (Pcbp1-4, hnRNP-K) have an unusually broad spectrum of cellular functions that include regulation of gene transcription, regulation of pre-mRNA processing, splicing, mRNA stability, translational silencing and enhancement, the control of iron turnover, and many others. Mechanistically, these proteins act via nucleic acid binding and protein–protein interactions. Through performing these multiple tasks, the KH-domain poly(C)-binding family members are involved in a wide variety of biological processes such as embryonic development, cell differentiation, and cancer. Deregulation of KH-domain protein expression is frequently associated with severe developmental defects and neoplasia. This review summarizes progress in studies of the KH-domain proteins made over past two decades. The review also reports our recent finding implying an involvement of the KH-factor Pcbp1 into control of transition from naïve to primed pluripotency cell state.
KEY WORDS: Pcbp1-4, hnRNP-K, gene expression, cell cycle, cancer, embryonic development, pluripotent stem cells

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297919030039