HuR and mRNA stability

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2001 Feb;58(2):266-77. doi: 10.1007/PL00000854.


An important mechanism of posttranscriptional gene regulation in mammalian cells is the rapid degradation of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) signaled by AU-rich elements (AREs) in their 3' untranslated regions. HuR, a ubiquitously expressed member of the Hu family of RNA-binding proteins related to Drosophila ELAV, selectively binds AREs and stabilizes ARE-containing mRNAs when overexpressed in cultured cells. This review discusses mRNA decay as a general form of gene regulation, decay signaled by AREs, and the role of HuR and its Hu-family relatives in antagonizing this mRNA degradation pathway. The influence of newly identified protein ligands to HuR on HuR function in both normal and stressed cells may explain how ARE-mediated mRNA decay is regulated in response to environmental change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Surface*
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • ELAV Proteins
  • ELAV-Like Protein 1
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA Stability*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Carrier Proteins
  • ELAV Proteins
  • ELAV-Like Protein 1
  • ELAVL1 protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins