MRNA Decay Factor AUF1 Maintains Normal Aging, Telomere Maintenance, and Suppression of Senescence by Activation of Telomerase Transcription

Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA.
Molecular cell (Impact Factor: 14.46). 05/2012; 47(1):5-15. DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.04.019
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Inflammation is associated with DNA damage, cellular senescence, and aging. Cessation of the inflammatory cytokine response is mediated in part through cytokine mRNA degradation facilitated by RNA-binding proteins, including AUF1. We report a major function of AUF1-it activates telomerase expression, suppresses cellular senescence, and maintains normal aging. AUF1-deficient mice undergo striking telomere erosion, markedly increased DNA damage responses at telomere ends, pronounced cellular senescence, and rapid premature aging that increases with successive generations, which can be rescued in AUF1 knockout mice and their cultured cells by resupplying AUF1 expression. AUF1 binds and strongly activates the transcription promoter for telomerase catalytic subunit Tert. In addition to directing inflammatory cytokine mRNA decay, AUF1 destabilizes cell-cycle checkpoint mRNAs, preventing cellular senescence. Thus, a single gene, AUF1, links maintenance of telomere length and normal aging to attenuation of inflammatory cytokine expression and inhibition of cellular senescence.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-infected cells express two noncoding RNAs called EBV-encoded RNA (EBER) 1 and EBER2. Despite their high abundance in the nucleus (about 10(6) copies), the molecular function of these noncoding RNAs has remained elusive. Here, we report that the insertion into EBER1 of an RNA aptamer that binds the bacteriophage MS2 coat protein allows the isolation of EBER1 and associated protein partners. By combining MS2-mediated selection with stable isotope labeling of amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) and analysis by mass spectrometry, we identified AUF1 (AU-rich element binding factor 1)/hnRNP D (heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein D) as an interacting protein of EBER1. AUF1 exists as four isoforms generated by alternative splicing and is best known for its role in destabilizing mRNAs upon binding to AU-rich elements (AREs) in their 3' untranslated region (UTR). Using UV crosslinking, we demonstrate that predominantly the p40 isoform of AUF1 interacts with EBER1 in vivo. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays show that EBER1 can compete for the binding of the AUF1 p40 isoform to ARE-containing RNA. Given the high abundance of EBER1 in EBV-positive cells, EBER1 may disturb the normal homeostasis between AUF1 and ARE-containing mRNAs or compete with other AUF1-interacting targets in cells latently infected by EBV.
    RNA 09/2012; 18(11):2073-82. DOI:10.1261/rna.034900.112 · 4.62 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Onset of metabolic acidosis leads to a pronounced increase in renal expression of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK). This response, which is mediated in part by stabilization of PEPCK mRNA, is effectively modeled by treating LLC-PK(1)-F(+)-9C cells with an acidic medium. siRNA knockdown of HuR prevented the pH-responsive increase in PEPCK mRNA half-life suggesting that HuR is necessary for this response. A recruitment assay, using a reporter mRNA in which the pH-response elements of the PEPCK 3'-UTR were replaced with six MS2 stem-loop sequences, was developed to test this hypothesis. The individual recruitment of a chimeric protein containing the MS2 coat protein and either HuR or p40AUF1 failed to produce a pH-responsive stabilization. However, the concurrent expression of both chimeric proteins was sufficient to produce a pH-responsive increase in the half-life of the reporter mRNA. siRNA knockdown of AUF1 produced slight increases in basal levels of PEPCK mRNA and protein, but partially inhibited the pH-responsive increases. Complete inhibition of the latter response was achieved by knockdown of both RNA binding proteins. The results suggest that binding of HuR and AUF1 have opposite effects on basal expression, but they may interact to mediate the pH-responsive increase in PEPCK mRNA. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis indicated that treatment with acidic medium caused a decrease in phosphorylation of HuR, but may increase phosphorylation of the multiple AUF1isoforms. Thus, the pH-responsive stabilization of PEPCK mRNA requires the concurrent binding of HuR and AUF1 and may be mediated by changes in their extent of covalent modification.
    AJP Renal Physiology 09/2012; 303(11). DOI:10.1152/ajprenal.00400.2012 · 4.42 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A hallmark trait of cellular senescence is the acquisition of a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). SASP factors include cytokines and their receptors (IL-6, IL-8, osteoprotegerin, GM-CSF), chemokines and their ligands (MCP-1, HCC4), and oncogenes (Gro1 and Gro2), many of them encoded by mRNAs whose stability and translation are tightly regulated. Using two models of human fibroblast senescence (WI-38 and IDH4 cells), we report the identification of RNA-binding protein NF90 as a post-transcriptional repressor of several SASP factors. In 'young', proliferating fibroblasts, NF90 was highly abundant, associated with numerous SASP mRNAs, and inhibited their expression. By contrast, senescent cells expressed low levels of NF90, thus allowing SASP factor expression to increase. NF90 elicited these effects mainly by repressing the translation of target SASP mRNAs, since silencing NF90 did not increase the steady-state levels of SASP mRNAs but elevated key SASP factors including MCP-1, GROa, IL-6, and IL-8. Our findings indicate that NF90 contributes to maintaining low levels of SASP factors in non-senescent cells, while NF90 reduction in senescent cells allows SASP factor expression to rise.
    Aging 10/2012; 4(10). · 4.89 Impact Factor
Show more


Available from