The adenosine-uridine binding factor recognizes the AU-rich elements of cytokine, lymphokine, and oncogene mRNAs

Paul Gillis, James S. Malter

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Selective mRNA degradation is an important control point in the transient expression of a variety of mRNAs coding for growth regulators. A variety of labile mRNAs coding for lymphokines, cytokines, and oncogenes contain within their 3′-untranslated region an AU-rich region shown to destabilize these messages. We recently identified a cytosolic protein, adenosine-uridine binding factor (AUBF), which complexes with four tandem AUUUA reiterations of a synthetic RNA transcript. We now show that AUBF forms RNase T1-resistant band-shifted complexes with a variety of in vitro transcribed mRNAs including granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interferon-γ, interleukin-3, c-fos, and v-myc. Formation of complexes was specifically inhibited by AUUUA containing RNA, but not by irrelevant RNA. After brief ultraviolet light-induced cross-linking, AUBF-RNA complexes with the exception of c-/os comigrated on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Mutations within the AUUUA motifs demonstrate that both nucleotide sequence and secondary structure are important in AUBF-AUUUA RNA complex formation. Based upon these data, we suggest AUBF may interact with a variety of labile mRNAs with multiple AUUUA reiterations or single reiterations within an AU-rich 3′-untranslated region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3172-3177
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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