Damage to intestinal epithelium limits the use of ionizing radiation (IR) in cancer therapy. Prostaglandins (PGs), generated through the action of cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and COX-2 protect the intestinal stem cells from IR. In previous studies, we demonstrated that the RNA-binding protein CUGBP2 regulates the stability and translation of COX-2 mRNA by interacting with AU-rich sequences in 3' UTR. Here, we demonstrate a dynamic antagonistic relationship between CUGBP2 and COX-2. Both CUGBP2 and COX-2 are rapidly induced after IR in intestinal crypt epithelial cells in mice, but CUGBP2 protein expression is observed immediately and COX-2 protein expression is delayed. In contrast, administration of bacterial lipopolysaccharide induced COX-2 expression and PGE(2), resulting in the inhibition of CUGBP2 expression and radioprotection of the intestine. These effects were reversed by NS398, a COX-2-specific inhibitor, suggesting that lipopolysaccharide-mediated inhibition of CUGBP2 is a PG-dependent mechanism. Furthermore, CUGBP2 expression is higher in COX-1(-/-) and COX-2(-/-) mice than wild-type controls at basal conditions, which is further increased after IR.