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J Cell Biochem. 2007 Apr 15;100(6):1477-92.

Tristetraprolin recruits functional mRNA decay complexes to ARE sequences.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.


AU-rich elements (AREs) in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of numerous mammalian transcripts function as instability elements that promote rapid mRNA degradation. Tristetraprolin (TTP) is an ARE-binding protein that promotes rapid mRNA decay through mechanisms that are poorly understood. A 31 nucleotide ARE sequences from the TNF-alpha 3' UTR promoted TTP-dependent mRNA decay when it was inserted into the 3' UTR of a beta-globin reporter transcript, indicating that this short sequence was sufficient for TTP function. We used a gel shift assay to identify a TTP-containing complex in cytoplasmic extracts from TTP-transfected HeLa cells that bound specifically to short ARE sequences. This TTP-containing complex also contained the 5'-3' exonuclease Xrn1 and the exosome component PM-scl75 because it was super-shifted with anti-Xrn1 or anti-PMscl75 antibodies. RNA affinity purification verified that these proteins associated specifically with ARE sequences in a TTP-dependent manner. Using a competition binding assay, we found that the TTP-containing complex bound with high affinity to short ARE sequences from GM-CSF, IL-3, TNF-alpha, IL-2, and c-fos, but did not bind to a U-rich sequence from c-myc, a 22 nucleotide poly U sequence or a mutated GM-CSF control sequence. High affinity binding by the TTP-containing complex correlated with TTP-dependent deadenylation and decay of capped, polyadenylated transcripts in a cell-free mRNA decay assay, suggesting that the TTP-containing complex was functional. These data support a model whereby TTP functions to enhance mRNA decay by recruiting components of the cellular mRNA decay machinery to the transcript.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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