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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2001 Feb;58(2):266-77.

HuR and mRNA stability.

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Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06536, USA.


An important mechanism of posttranscriptional gene regulation in mammalian cells is the rapid degradation of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) signaled by AU-rich elements (AREs) in their 3' untranslated regions. HuR, a ubiquitously expressed member of the Hu family of RNA-binding proteins related to Drosophila ELAV, selectively binds AREs and stabilizes ARE-containing mRNAs when overexpressed in cultured cells. This review discusses mRNA decay as a general form of gene regulation, decay signaled by AREs, and the role of HuR and its Hu-family relatives in antagonizing this mRNA degradation pathway. The influence of newly identified protein ligands to HuR on HuR function in both normal and stressed cells may explain how ARE-mediated mRNA decay is regulated in response to environmental change.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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