The RNA-binding protein HuR binds to acetylcholinesterase transcripts and regulates their expression in differentiating skeletal muscle cells.

Abstract

During myogenic differentiation, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) transcript levels are known to increase dramatically. Although this increase can be attributed in part to increased transcriptional activity, posttranscriptional mechanisms have also been implicated in the high levels of AChE mRNA in myotubes. In this study, we observed that transfection of a luciferase reporter construct containing the full-length AChE 3'-untranslated region (UTR) resulted in significantly higher (5-fold) luciferase activity in differentiated myotubes versus myoblasts. RNA-electrophoretic mobility shift assays (REMSAs) performed with a full-length AChE 3'-UTR probe and the AU-rich element revealed that the intensity of RNA-binding protein complexes increased as myogenic differentiation proceeded. Using several complementary approaches including supershift REMSA, mRNA-binding protein pull-down assays, and immunoprecipitation followed by reverse transcription-PCR, we found that the mRNA-stabilizing protein HuR interacts directly with AChE transcripts. Stable overexpression of HuR in C2C12 cells increased the expression of endogenous AChE transcripts as well as that of the luciferase reporter construct containing the AChE 3'-UTR. In vitro stability assays performed with protein extracts from these cells versus controls resulted in a slower rate of AChE mRNA decay. The down-regulation of HuR expression mediated through small interfering RNA further confirmed the role of HuR in the regulation of AChE mRNA levels. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that HuR interacts with the AChE 3'-UTR to regulate posttranscriptionally the expression of AChE mRNA during myogenic differentiation.

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@article{DeschnesFurry2005TheRP, title={The RNA-binding protein HuR binds to acetylcholinesterase transcripts and regulates their expression in differentiating skeletal muscle cells.}, author={Julie Desch{\^e}nes-Furry and Guy B{\'e}langer and James Mwanjewe and John A. Lunde and Robin J Parks and Nora I. Perrone-Bizzozero and Bernard J. Jasmin}, journal={The Journal of biological chemistry}, year={2005}, volume={280 27}, pages={25361-8} }