The PITSLRE protein kinases are members of the p34cdc2 superfamily, with >20 different isoforms expressed from two linked genes in humans. PITSLRE homologues have been identified in mouse, chicken, Drosophila, Xenopus, and possibly Plasmodium falciparum, suggesting that their function may be well conserved. A possible role for a caspase processed PITSLRE isoform has been suggested by studies of Fas- and TNF-induced cell death. However, the function of these kinases in proliferating cells is still unknown. Here we demonstrate that the 110 kDa PITSLRE isoforms (p110) are localized to both the nucleoplasm and nuclear speckles, and that these isoforms specifically interact in vitro and in vivo with the RNA-binding protein RNPS1. RNPS1 is also localized to nuclear speckles, and its over expression disrupts normal nuclear speckle organization by causing the aggregation of many nuclear speckles into approximately 6 'mega' speckles. This type of nuclear speckle aggregation closely resembles what occurs when cells are treated with several transcriptional inhibitors. These data indicate that the PITSLRE p110 isoforms interact with RNPS1 in vivo, and that these proteins may in turn influence some aspect of transcriptional and/or splicing regulation.
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