An RNA guanine quadruplex regulated pathway to TRAIL-sensitization by DDX21

Ewan K.S. McRae, Steven J. Dupas, Evan P. Booy, Ramanaguru S. Piragasam, Richard P. Fahlman, Sean A. Mckenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


DDX21 is a newly discovered RNA G-quadruplex (rG4) binding protein with no known biological rG4 targets. In this study we used label-free proteomic MS/MS to identify 26 proteins that are expressed at significantly different levels in cells expressing an rG4-binding deficient DDX21 (M4). MS data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD013501. From this list we validate MAGED2 as a protein that is regulated by DDX21 through rG4 in its 5'-UTR. MAGED2 protein levels, but not mRNA levels, are reduced by half in cells expressing DDX21 M4. MAGED2 has a repressive effect on TRAIL-R2 expression that is relieved under these conditions, resulting in elevated TRAIL-R2 mRNA and protein in MCF-7 cells, rendering them sensitive to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. Our work identifies the role of DDX21 in regulation at the translational level through biologically relevant rG4 and shows that MAGED2 protein levels are regulated, at least in part, by the potential to form rG4 in their 5'-UTRs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-57
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • DDX21
  • MAGED2
  • Proteomics
  • Quadruplex
  • RNA
  • TRAIL-R2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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