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J Biol Chem. 2009 Apr 24;284(17):11216-23. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M901229200. Epub 2009 Mar 3.

Tristetraprolin mediates interferon-gamma mRNA decay.

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  • 1Centers for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Translational Research and Immunology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.


Tristetraprolin (TTP) regulates expression at the level of mRNA decay of several cytokines, including the T cell-specific cytokine, interleukin-2. We performed experiments to determine whether another T cell-specific cytokine, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), is also regulated by TTP and found that T cell receptor-activated T cells from TTP knock-out mice overproduced IFN-gamma mRNA and protein compared with activated T cells from wild-type mice. The half-life of IFN-gamma mRNA was 23 min in anti-CD3-stimulated T cells from wild-type mice, whereas it was 51 min in anti-CD3-stimulated T cells from TTP knock-out mice, suggesting that the overexpression of IFN-gamma mRNA in TTP knock-out mice was due to stabilization of IFN-gamma mRNA. Insertion of a 70-nucleotide AU-rich sequence from the murine IFN-gamma 3'-untranslated region, which contained a high affinity binding site for TTP, into the 3'-untranslated region of a beta-globin reporter transcript conferred TTP-dependent destabilization on the beta-globin transcript. Together these results suggest that TTP binds to a functional AU-rich element in the 3'-untranslated region of IFN-gamma mRNA and mediates rapid degradation of the IFN-gamma transcript. Thus, TTP plays an important role in turning off IFN-gamma expression at the appropriate time during an immune response.

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