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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2008 Oct;65(20):3168-81. doi: 10.1007/s00018-008-8252-6.

Diverse molecular functions of Hu proteins.

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Department of Genetics, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


Hu proteins are RNA-binding proteins involved in diverse biological processes. The neuronal members of the Hu family, HuB, HuC, and HuD play important roles in neuronal differentiation and plasticity, while the ubiquitously expressed family member, HuR, has numerous functions mostly related to cellular stress response. The pivotal roles of Hu proteins are dictated by their molecular functions affecting a large number of target genes. Hu proteins affect many post-transcriptional aspects of RNA metabolism, from splicing to translation. In this communication, we will focus on these molecular events and review our current understanding of how Hu proteins mediate them. In particular, emphasis will be put on the nuclear functions of these proteins, which were recently discovered. Three examples including calcitonin/calcitonin gene-related peptide, neurofibromatosis type 1, and Ikaros will be discussed in detail. In addition, an intriguing theme of antagonism between Hu proteins and other AU-rich sequence binding proteins will be discussed.

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