RRM (RNA-recognition motif) domain is important for the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression including RNA processing. In our previous study, we found one anther- and/or pollen-specific gene (LjRRM1, previously named as LjMfb-U93) in model legume, Lotus japonicus. Because of the richness of genomic information of another model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, for functional analysis, we identified and characterized the orthologous genes in A. thaliana. By comparison of the partial nucleotide sequence of LjRRM1 to the public database, we identified three homologous genes (AtRBP45a, AtRBP45b, and AtRBP45c) in A. thaliana genome. Based on promoter analysis, both AtRBP45a and AtRBP45c were specifically expressed in immature anther tissues (tapetum cells) and mature pollen grains of transgenic plants. This expression pattern of AtRBP45a and AtRBP45c is quite similar to that of LjRRM1, indicating that AtRBP45a and AtRBP45c would be orthologous to LjRRM1. Because in another previous experiment, it was shown that proteins having RRM domains were related to pre-mRNA maturation, and as a conclusion, it is possible that LjRRM1, AtRBP45a, and AtRBP45c genes encoding RNA-binding proteins are functionally involved in the repression of translation in mature pollen grains in L. japonicus and A. thaliana.
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