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Mol Cell Biol. 1991 Nov; 11(11): 5417–5425.
PMCID: PMC361678

Regulation of IMP dehydrogenase gene expression by its end products, guanine nucleotides.


To study the regulation of IMP dehydrogenase (IMPDH), the rate-limiting enzyme of guanine nucleotide biosynthesis, we examined the effects of nucleosides, nucleotides, nucleotide analogs, or the IMPDH inhibitor mycophenolic acid (MPA) on the steady-state levels of IMPDH mRNA. The results indicated that IMPDH gene expression is regulated inversely by the intracellular level of guanine ribonucleotides. We have shown that treatment with guanosine increased the level of cellular guanine ribonucleotides and subsequently reduced IMPDH steady-state mRNA levels in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Conversely, MPA treatment diminished the level of guanine ribonucleotides and increased IMPDH mRNA levels. Both of these effects on the steady-state level of IMPDH mRNA could be negated by cotreatment with guanosine and MPA. The down regulation of IMPDH gene expression by guanosine or its up regulation by MPA was not due to major changes in transcriptional initiation and elongation or mRNA stability in the cytoplasm but rather was due to alterations in the levels of the IMPDH mRNA in the nucleus. These results suggest that IMPDH gene expression is regulated by a posttranscriptional, nuclear event in response to fluctuations in the intracellular level of guanine ribonucleotides.

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