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J Mol Biol. 2002 Feb 1;315(5):965-74.

Suppression of 15-lipoxygenase synthesis by hnRNP E1 is dependent on repetitive nature of LOX mRNA 3'-UTR control element DICE.

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Biomedizinisches Forschungszentrum (BMFZ) University Clinics Charité, Augustenburger Platz 1, Humboldt-University Berlin, D-13353, Germany.


Cytidine-rich 15-lipoxygenase differentiation control element (15-LOX DICE) is a multifunctional cis-element found in the 3'-UTR of numerous eukaryotic mRNAs. It binds KH domain proteins of the type hnRNP E and K, thus mediating mRNA stabilization and translational control. Translational silencing is caused by formation of a simple binary complex between DICE and recombinant hnRNP E1 (E1). Electromobility shift assays and sucrose gradient centrifugation demonstrate that rabbit 15-LOX DICE, which is composed of ten subunits of the sequence (CCCCPuCCCUCUUCCCCAAG)10=10R, is able to bind up to ten molecules of E1. Protein/RNA interaction was studied with different subunits and submotifs of the 10R structure. Binding appears to be dependent on the degree of polymerization of the C-clusters (1R<2R<4R<10R), but not on their order. The minimal motif, which still functioned in E1 binding, contained two C-clusters (CCCCPuCCCUCUU). For efficient translational control, E1 binding is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition. Translational inhibition by E1 is only observed when at least a dimeric 2R configuration of the DICE is present in the 3'-UTR of a reporter mRNA. We conclude that binding of at least two E1 molecules activate or expose a binding site to enable the complex to interact with the 5'-end of the mRNA and the translational machinery. DICE-motifs are widely distributed in nature. The UTR database UTRnr contains 78 entries of mRNAs with 15-LOX DICEs. Most DICEs were two- to fourfold repetitive, but also highly repetitive structures were found, as in quail myelin protein mRNA (31 repeats) and hyperglycemic hormone mRNA of two crayfish species (nine and 11 repeats).

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