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J Immunol. 2004 Jun 15;172(12):7263-71.

The role of mRNA turnover in the regulation of tristetraprolin expression: evidence for an extracellular signal-regulated kinase-specific, AU-rich element-dependent, autoregulatory pathway.

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Department of Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.


Tristetraprolin (TTP) is a regulator of TNF-alpha mRNA stability and is the only trans-acting factor shown to be capable of regulating AU-rich element-dependent mRNA turnover at the level of the intact animal. Using the THP-1 myelomonocytic cell line, we demonstrated for the first time that TTP is encoded by an mRNA with a short half-life under resting conditions. Using pharmacologic inhibitors of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, we show that the induction of TTP by LPS activation is mediated through changes in transcription, mRNA stability, and translation. A coordinate increase in both TTP and TNF-alpha mRNA stability occurs within 15 min of LPS treatment, but is transduced through different mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. This regulation of TTP and TNF-alpha mRNA stability is associated with the finding that TTP binds these mRNA under both resting and LPS-activated conditions in vivo. Finally, we demonstrate that TTP can regulate reporter gene expression in a TTP 3' untranslated region-dependent manner and identify three distinct AU-rich elements necessary to mediate this effect. Thus, TTP regulates its own expression in a manner identical to that seen with the TNF-alpha 3' untranslated region, indicating that this autoregulation is mediated at the level of mRNA stability. In this manner, TTP is able to limit the production of its own proteins as well as that of TNF-alpha and thus limit the response of the cell to LPS.

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