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Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Sep;21(17):5879-88.

Structural and functional analysis of an mRNP complex that mediates the high stability of human beta-globin mRNA.

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Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Human globins are encoded by mRNAs exhibiting high stabilities in transcriptionally silenced erythrocyte progenitors. Unlike alpha-globin mRNA, whose stability is enhanced by assembly of a specific messenger RNP (mRNP) alpha complex on its 3' untranslated region (UTR), neither the structure(s) nor the mechanism(s) that effects the high-level stability of human beta-globin mRNA has been identified. The present work describes an mRNP complex assembling on the 3' UTR of the beta-globin mRNA that exhibits many of the properties of the stability-enhancing alpha complex. The beta-globin mRNP complex is shown to contain one or more factors homologous to alphaCP, a 39-kDa RNA-binding protein that is integral to alpha-complex assembly. Sequence analysis implicates a specific 14-nucleotide pyrimidine-rich track within its 3' UTR as the site of beta-globin mRNP assembly. The importance of this track to mRNA stability is subsequently verified in vivo using mice expressing human beta-globin transgenes that contain informative mutations in this region. In combination, the in vitro and in vivo analyses indicate that the high stabilities of the alpha- and beta-globin mRNAs are maintained through related mRNP complexes that may share a common regulatory pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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