Roles of AUF1 isoforms, HuR and BRF1 in ARE-dependent mRNA turnover studied by RNA interference

Nucleic Acids Res. 2004 Feb 19;32(4):1279-88. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkh282. Print 2004.


HT1080 cells stably expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) linked to a 3' terminal AU-rich element (ARE) proved to be a convenient system to study the dynamics of mRNA stability, as changes in mRNA levels are reflected in increased or decreased fluorescence intensity. This study examined whether mRNA stability can be regulated by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeted to AU-binding proteins (AUBPs), which in turn should reveal their intrinsic role as stabilizers or destabilizers of ARE-mRNAs. Indeed, siRNAs targeting HuR or BRF1 decreased or increased fluorescence, respectively. This effect was abolished if cells were treated with both siRNAs, thus indicating antagonistic control of ARE-mRNA stability. Unexpectedly, downregulation of all four AUF1 isoforms by targeting common exons did not affect fluorescence whereas selective downregulation of p40AUF1/p45AUF1 strongly increased fluorescence by stabilizing the GFP-ARE reporter mRNA. This observation was fully confirmed by the finding that only selective reduction of p40AUF1/p45AUF1 induced the production of GM-CSF, an endogenous target of AUF1. These data suggest that the relative levels of individual isoforms, rather than the absolute amount of AUF1, determine the net mRNA stability of ARE-containing transcripts, consistent with the differing ARE-binding capacities of the isoforms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Surface / genetics
  • Antigens, Surface / physiology
  • Butyrate Response Factor 1
  • Cell Line
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • ELAV Proteins
  • ELAV-Like Protein 1
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / genetics
  • Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein D0
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein D / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein D / genetics
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein D / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immediate-Early Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Immediate-Early Proteins / genetics
  • Immediate-Early Proteins / physiology
  • Protein Isoforms / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / physiology
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA Stability*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / pharmacology
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Regulatory Sequences, Ribonucleic Acid*


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Butyrate Response Factor 1
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • ELAV Proteins
  • ELAV-Like Protein 1
  • ELAVL1 protein, human
  • HNRPD protein, human
  • Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein D0
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein D
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Regulatory Sequences, Ribonucleic Acid
  • ZFP36L1 protein, human
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor