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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Post-transcriptional regulation of RNase-L expression is mediated by the 3'-untranslated region of its mRNA.

RNase-L mediates critical cellular functions including antiviral, pro-apoptotic, and tumor suppressive activities; accordingly, its expression must be tightly regulated. Little is known about the control of RNASEL expression; therefore, we examined the potential regulatory role of a conserved 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) in its mRNA. The 3'-UTR mediated a potent decrease in the stability of RNase-L mRNA, and of a chimeric beta-globin-3'-UTR reporter mRNA. AU-rich elements (AREs) are cis-acting regulatory regions that modulate mRNA stability. Eight AREs were identified in the RNase-L 3'-UTR, and deletion analysis identified positive and negative regulatory regions associated with distinct AREs. In particular, AREs 7 and 8 served a strong positive regulatory function. HuR is an ARE-binding protein that stabilizes ARE-containing mRNAs, and a predicted HuR binding site was identified in the region comprising AREs 7 and 8. Co-transfection of HuR and RNase-L enhanced RNase-L expression and mRNA stability in a manner that was dependent on this 3'-UTR region. Immunoprecipitation demonstrated that RNase-L mRNA associates with a HuR containing complex in intact cells. Activation of endogenous HuR by cell stress, or during myoblast differentiation, increased RNase-L expression, suggesting that RNase-L mRNA is a physiologic target for HuR. HuR-dependent regulation of RNase-L enhanced its antiviral activity demonstrating the functional significance of this regulation. These findings identify a novel mechanism of RNase-L regulation mediated by its 3'-UTR.[1]


  1. Post-transcriptional regulation of RNase-L expression is mediated by the 3'-untranslated region of its mRNA. Li, X.L., Andersen, J.B., Ezelle, H.J., Wilson, G.M., Hassel, B.A. J. Biol. Chem. (2007) [Pubmed]
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