Identification of RNA associated with soluble glucocorticoid-receptor complexes of HeLa cells was performed by immunoprecipitation of receptor complexes with a monoclonal antibody raised against rat liver glucocorticoid receptor. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of RNA extracted from immunoprecipitates of cytosolic complexes revealed the presence of eight RNA bands, consisting of 28S, 18S, and small RNAs, including 5.8S, 5S and tRNA. A comparison of RNA species immunoprecipitated by monoclonal anti-glucorcorticoid receptor antibody and IgG purified from normal mouse serum showed that four small RNAs were preferentially recovered after immunoprecipitation with anti-glucocorticoid receptor antibody. When these species were analyzed on sequencing gels, their nucleotide lengths coincided with those of 7-3, 7S, U2, and U1 RNA. Immunoprecipitation of nuclear extracts containing glucocorticoid-receptor-RNA complexes showed that the same set of small RNAs was preferentially immunoprecipitated by anti-glucocorticoid receptor antibody. The four small RNAs we detected represented minor species in whole extracts, and their preferential immunoprecipitation by anti-glucorcorticoid receptor antibody was prevented by removal of glucocorticoid-receptor complexes from HeLa cell extracts. We conclude that 7-3, 7S, U2, and U1 RNA are associated with glucocorticoid-receptor complexes in vitro, and hypothesize that post-transcriptional effects of glucocorticoids may in part be mediated through interaction of receptor complexes with these small RNAs.
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