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Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Aug;30(16):3970-80. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00624-10. Epub 2010 Jun 14.

Analysis of CUGBP1 targets identifies GU-repeat sequences that mediate rapid mRNA decay.

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Center for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Translational Research, Department of Microbiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


CUG-repeat binding protein 1 (CUGBP1) mediates selective mRNA decay by binding to GU-rich elements (GREs) containing the sequence UGUUUGUUUGU found in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of short-lived transcripts. We used an anti-CUGBP1 antibody to immunoprecipitate CUGBP1 from HeLa cytoplasmic extracts and analyzed the associated transcripts using oligonucleotide microarrays. We identified 613 putative mRNA targets of CUGBP1 and found that the UGUUUGUUUGU GRE sequence and a GU-repeat sequence were both highly enriched in the 3' UTRs of these targets. We showed that CUGBP1 bound specifically to the GU-repeat sequence and that insertion of this sequence into the 3' UTR of a beta-globin reporter transcript conferred instability to the transcript. Based on these results, we redefined the GRE to include this GU-repeat sequence. Our results suggest that CUGBP1 coordinately regulates the mRNA decay of a network of transcripts involved in cell growth, cell motility, and apoptosis.

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