Tissue Distribution of AU-rich mRNA-binding Proteins Involved in Regulation of mRNA Decay

Jin Yu Lu, Robert J. Schneider

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112 Scopus citations


Short lived cytokine and proto-oncogene mRNAs are destabilized by an A+U-rich element (ARE) in the 3′-untranslated region. Several regulatory proteins bind to AREs in cytokine and proto-oncogene mRNAs, participate in inhibiting or promoting their rapid degradation of ARE mRNAs, and influence cytokine expression and cellular transformation in experimental models. The tissue distribution and cellular localization of the different AU-rich binding proteins (AUBPs), however, have not been uniformly characterized in the mouse, a model for ARE mRNA decay. We therefore carried out immunoblot and immunohistochemical analyses of the different AUBPs using the same mouse tissues. We show that HuR protein, a major AUBP that stabilizes the ARE mRNAs, is most strongly expressed in the thymus, spleen (predominantly in lymphocytic cells), intestine, and testes. AUF1 protein, a negative regulator of ARE mRNA stability, displayed strong expression in thymus and spleen cells within lymphocytic cells, moderate expression in the epithelial linings of lungs, gonadal tissues, and nuclei of most neurons in the brain, and little expression in the other tissues. Tristetraprolin, a negative regulator of ARE mRNA stability, displayed a largely non-overlapping tissue distribution with AUF1 and was predominantly expressed in the liver and testis. KH-type splicing regulatory protein, a presumptive negative regulator of ARE mRNA stability, was distributed widely in murine organs. These results indicate that HuR and AUF1, which functionally oppose each other, have generally similar distributions, suggesting that the balance between HuR and AUF1 is likely important in control of short lived mRNA degradation, lymphocyte development, and/or cytokine production, and possibly in certain aspects of neurological function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12974-12979
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 26 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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