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, 131 (7), 1273-86

RNA-binding Protein Dnd1 Inhibits microRNA Access to Target mRNA


RNA-binding Protein Dnd1 Inhibits microRNA Access to Target mRNA

Martijn Kedde et al. Cell.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are inhibitors of gene expression capable of controlling processes in normal development and cancer. In mammals, miRNAs use a seed sequence of 6-8 nucleotides (nt) to associate with 3' untranslated regions (3'UTRs) of mRNAs and inhibit their expression. Intriguingly, occasionally not only the miRNA-targeting site but also sequences in its vicinity are highly conserved throughout evolution. We therefore hypothesized that conserved regions in mRNAs may serve as docking platforms for modulators of miRNA activity. Here we demonstrate that the expression of dead end 1 (Dnd1), an evolutionary conserved RNA-binding protein (RBP), counteracts the function of several miRNAs in human cells and in primordial germ cells of zebrafish by binding mRNAs and prohibiting miRNAs from associating with their target sites. These effects of Dnd1 are mediated through uridine-rich regions present in the miRNA-targeted mRNAs. Thus, our data unravel a novel role of Dnd1 in protecting certain mRNAs from miRNA-mediated repression.

Comment in

  • A Dead End for microRNAs
    RF Ketting. Cell 131 (7), 1226-7. PMID 18160032.
    Dead end (Dnd1) is an RNA-binding protein that mediates germ-cell viability and suppresses the formation of germ-cell tumors. Kedde et al. (2007) now provide evidence tha …

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