The mRNA stability factor HuR inhibits microRNA-16 targeting of COX-2.
ABSTRACT Commonly observed in colorectal cancer is the elevated expression of the prostaglandin (PG) synthase COX-2. In normal intestinal epithelium, the COX-2 mRNA is targeted for rapid decay through the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) adenylate- and uridylate (AU)-rich element (ARE), whereas in tumors ARE-mediated decay is compromised. Here we show that the COX-2 ARE can mediate degradation through microRNA (miRNA)-mediated regulation. We identified miR-16 to bind the COX-2 3'-UTR and inhibit COX-2 expression by promoting rapid mRNA decay. In colorectal cancer cells and tumors, miR-16 levels were decreased approximately twofold and miR-16 expression in cancer cells attenuated COX-2 expression and PG synthesis. The COX-2 ARE is also bound by the RNA-binding protein HuR. In colorectal cancer tumors, HuR is overexpressed and localized within the cytoplasm, where it promotes ARE-mRNA stabilization. Under conditions of HuR overexpression, miR-16 was unable to promote rapid mRNA decay through the COX-2 ARE. Ribonucleoprotein immunoprecipitation of HuR showed direct association with miR-16 that was reversed when cytoplasmic trafficking of HuR was inhibited. Furthermore, this interaction between HuR and miR-16 promoted the downregulation of miR-16. These new results identify miR-16 as a central posttranscriptional regulator of COX-2 and show the ability of elevated levels of HuR to antagonize miR-16 function. Along with insight into altered ARE-mediated mRNA decay observed in colorectal cancer, these findings provide a new explanation for tumor-derived loss of miR-16.
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ABSTRACT: The cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme catalyzes the rate-limiting step of prostaglandin formation in pathogenic states and a large amount of evidence has demonstrated constitutive COX-2 expression to be a contributing factor promoting colorectal cancer (CRC). Various genetic, epigenetic, and inflammatory pathways have been identified to be involved in the etiology and development of CRC. Alteration in these pathways can influence COX-2 expression at multiple stages of colon carcinogenesis allowing for elevated prostanoid biosynthesis to occur in the tumor microenvironment. In normal cells, COX-2 expression levels are potently regulated at the post-transcriptional level through various RNA sequence elements present within the mRNA 3' untranslated region (3'UTR). A conserved AU-rich element (ARE) functions to target COX-2 mRNA for rapid decay and translational inhibition through association with various RNA-binding proteins to influence the fate of COX-2 mRNA. Specific microRNAs (miRNAs) bind regions within the COX-2 3'UTR and control COX-2 expression. In this chapter, we discuss novel insights in the mechanisms of altered post-transcriptional regulation of COX-2 in CRC and how this knowledge may be used to develop novel strategies for cancer prevention and treatment.Recent results in cancer research. Fortschritte der Krebsforschung. Progrès dans les recherches sur le cancer 01/2012; 191:7-37. DOI:10.1007/978-3-642-30331-9_2
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ABSTRACT: Posttranscriptional gene regulation is a rapid and efficient process to adjust the proteome of a cell to a changing environment. RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are the master regulators of mRNA processing and translation and are often aberrantly expressed in cancer. In addition to well-studied transcription factors, RBPs are emerging as fundamental players in tumor development. RBPs and their mRNA targets form a complex network that plays a crucial role in tumorigenesis. This paper describes mechanisms by which RBPs influence the expression of well-known oncogenes, focusing on precise examples that illustrate the versatility of RBPs in posttranscriptional control of cancer development. RBPs appeared very early in evolution, and new RNA-binding domains and combinations of them were generated in more complex organisms. The identification of RBPs, their mRNA targets, and their mechanism of action have provided novel potential targets for cancer therapy.Comparative and Functional Genomics 05/2012; 2012:178525. DOI:10.1155/2012/178525 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Beyond the well-known function of poly(A) tail length in mRNA stability, recent years have witnessed an explosion of information about how changes in tail length and the selection of alternative polyadenylation sites contribute to the translational regulation of a large portion of the genome. The mechanisms and factors mediating nuclear and cytoplasmic changes in poly(A) tail length have been studied in great detail, the targets of these mechanisms have been identified--in some cases by genome-wide screenings--and changes in poly(A) tail length are now implicated in a number of physiological and pathological processes. However, in very few cases have all three levels--mechanisms, targets and functions--been studied together.Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 06/2012; 19(6):577-85. DOI:10.1038/nsmb.2311 · 11.63 Impact Factor