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J Biol Chem. 1999 Nov 26;274(48):33973-8.

Developmental regulation of RNA transcript destabilization by A + U-rich elements is AUF1-dependent.

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Hematology Research Laboratory, Children's Hospital of Orange County, Orange, California 92868, USA.


The developmental immaturity of neonatal phagocytic function is associated with decreased accumulation and half-life (t((1)/(2))) of granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) mRNA in mononuclear cells (MNC) from the neonatal umbilical cord compared with adult peripheral blood. The in vivo t((1)/(2)) of GM-CSF mRNA is 3-fold shorter in neonatal (30 min) than in adult (100 min) MNC. Turnover of mRNA containing a 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) A + U-rich element (ARE), which regulates GM-CSF mRNA stability, is accelerated in vitro by protein fractions enriched for AUF1, an ARE-specific binding factor. The data reported here demonstrate that the ARE significantly accelerates in vitro decay of the GM-CSF 3'-UTR in the presence of either neonatal or adult MNC protein. Decay intermediates of the GM-CSF 3'-UTR are generated that are truncated at either end of the ARE. Furthermore, the t((1)/(2)) of the ARE-containing 3'-UTR is 4-fold shorter in the presence of neonatal (19 min) than adult (79 min) MNC protein, reconstituting developmental regulation in a cell-free system. Finally, accelerated ARE-dependent decay of the GM-CSF 3'-UTR in vitro by neonatal MNC protein is significantly attenuated by immunodepletion of AUF1, providing new evidence that this accelerated turnover is ARE- and AUF1-dependent.

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