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Lai, WS, Kennington, EA and Blackshear, PJ (2002) Interactions of CCCH zinc finger proteins with mRNA: non-binding tristetraprolin mutants exert an inhibitory effect on degradation of AU-rich element-containing mRNAs. J. Biol. Chem. 277:9606-13
Tristetraprolin (TTP), the prototype of a small family of CCCH tandem zinc finger (TZF) domain proteins, is a physiological stimulator of instability of the mRNAs encoding tumor necrosis factor-alpha and granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor in certain cell types. TTP stimulates mRNA turnover after binding to class II AU-rich elements (AREs) within the 3'-untranslated regions of both mRNAs. In turn, this binding is dependent upon the key CCCH residues in the TZF domain. To evaluate other primary sequence requirements for ARE binding in this novel mRNA-binding domain, we mutated many of the conserved residues within the TZF domain of human TTP and evaluated the effects of these mutations on RNA binding in a cell-free system and TTP-induced mRNA instability in cell transfection experiments. These mutations revealed a number of conserved amino acids that were required for binding and begin to define the primary protein sequence requirements for this novel mRNA-binding motif. Unexpectedly, all of the point mutations that prevented TTP binding to RNA also caused an increase in steady-state levels of ARE-containing mRNAs in cell transfection experiments. Actinomycin D experiments suggested that this effect was due to inhibition of mRNA turnover. Although expression of the mutant form of TTP could also inhibit the destruction of tumor necrosis factor-alpha mRNA by wild-type TTP, the primary mechanism did not involve heterodimerization with wild-type TTP because the 293 cells used in these studies express no detectable endogenous TTP. These data suggest that TTP may act, at least in part, by physically interacting with an enzyme activity or protein complex and functionally stimulating its ability to deadenylate class II ARE-containing mRNAs.
Amino Acid Sequence; Binding Sites; Cell Line; DNA-Binding Proteins; Dimerization; Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/genetics; Humans; Immediate-Early Proteins/chemistry; Immediate-Early Proteins/metabolism; Interleukin-3/genetics; Molecular Sequence Data; Mutation; RNA, Messenger/metabolism; Structure-Activity Relationship; Tristetraprolin; Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/genetics; Zinc Fingers
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