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Eur J Cell Biol. 2012 Jun-Jul;91(6-7):464-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2011.07.002. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

Cold shock Y-box protein-1 participates in signaling circuits with auto-regulatory activities.

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Department of Nephrology, Hypertension, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Leipziger Strasse 44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany.


The cold shock protein Y-box (YB) binding-1 is an example of a highly regulated protein with pleiotropic functions. Besides activities as a transcription factor in the nucleus or regulator of translation in the cytoplasm, recent findings indicate extracellular effects and secretion via a non-classical secretion pathway. This review summarizes regulatory pathways in which YB-1 participates, all iterating auto-regulatory loops. Schematics are developed that elucidate the cold shock protein activities in (i) fine-tuning its own expression level following platelet-derived growth factor-B-, thrombin- or interferon-γ-dependent signaling, (ii) as a component of the messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) complex for interleukin-2 synthesis in T-cell commitment/activation, (iii) pro-fibrogenic cell phenotypic changes mediated by transforming growth factor-β, and (iv) receptor Notch-3 cleavage and signal transduction. Emphasis is put forward on subcellular protein translocation mechanisms and underlying signaling pathways. These have mostly been analysed in cell culture systems and rarely in experimental models. In sum, YB-1 seems to fulfill a pacemaker role in diverse diseases, both inflammatory/pro-fibrogenic as well as tumorigenic. A clue towards potential intervention strategies may reside in the understanding of the outlined auto-regulatory loops and means to interfere with cycling pathways.

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