Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Death Differ. 2015 May;22(5):815-25. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2014.176. Epub 2014 Oct 24.

Transformer 2β and miR-204 regulate apoptosis through competitive binding to 3' UTR of BCL2 mRNA.

Author information

Department of Stress Science, Institute of Health Biosciences, Tokushima University Graduate School, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan.


RNA-binding proteins and microRNAs are potent post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Human transformer 2β (Tra2β) is a serine/arginine-rich-like protein splicing factor and is now implicated to have wide-ranging roles in gene expression as an RNA-binding protein. RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP) with an anti-Tra2β antibody and microarray analysis identified a subset of Tra2β-associated mRNAs in HCT116 human colon cancer cells, many of which encoded cell death-related proteins including Bcl-2 (B-cell CLL/lymphoma 2). Tra2β knockdown in HCT116 cells decreased Bcl-2 expression and induced apoptosis. Tra2β knockdown accelerated the decay of BCL2α mRNA that encodes Bcl-2 and full-length 3' UTR, while it did not affect the stability of BCL2β mRNA having a short, alternatively spliced 3' UTR different from BCL2α 3' UTR. RIP assays with anti-Tra2β and anti-Argonaute 2 antibodies, respectively, showed that Tra2β bound to BCL2α 3' UTR, and that Tra2β knockdown facilitated association of miR-204 with BCL2α 3' UTR. The consensus sequence (GAA) for Tra2β-binding lies within the miR-204-binding site of BCL2 3' UTR. Mutation of the consensus sequence canceled the binding of Tra2β to BCL2 3' UTR without disrupting miR-204-binding to BCL2 3' UTR. Transfection of an anti-miR-204 or introduction of three-point mutations into the miR-204-binding site increased BCL2 mRNA and Bcl-2 protein levels. Inversely, transfection of precursor miR-204 reduced their levels. Experiments with Tra2β-silenced or overexpressed cells revealed that Tra2β antagonized the effects of miR-204 and upregulated Bcl-2 expression. Furthermore, TRA2β mRNA expression was significantly upregulated in 22 colon cancer tissues compared with paired normal tissues and positively correlated with BCL2 mRNA expression. Tra2β knockdown in human lung adenocarcinoma cells (A549) increased their sensitivity to anticancer drugs. Taken together, our findings suggest that Tra2β regulates apoptosis by modulating Bcl-2 expression through its competition with miR-204. This novel function may have a crucial role in tumor growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center