An erythroid-enriched endoribonuclease (ErEN) involved in α-globin mRNA turnover

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Messenger RNA (mRNA) decay utilizes both exoribonucleolytic and endoribonucleolytic enzymes where the latter are generally more prone to be transcript-specific. An erythroid-enriched endoribonuclease, ErEN, can destabilize the α-globin mRNA through directing a site-specific cleavage within the 3′ untranslated region (3′ UTR) both in vitro and in vivo. ErEN activity is sequence- and/or local structure-specific as the minimal recognition/cleavage sequence can be conferred onto a heterologous RNA and mutations at the cleavage site immunize the mRNA from ErEN hydrolysis. Interestingly, the ErEN cleavage activity is regulated by an mRNA stability complex (α-complex). An interaction between the α-complex and the poly(A)-binding protein (PABP) accentuates α-complex binding to a region overlapping the ErEN cleavage site and further prevents premature ErEN-mediated decay. At present the identity of ErEN remains elusive, yet its identification will provide mechanistic and functional insights into the general processes of endoribonuclease-mediated mRNA turnover and erythropoiesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-136
Number of pages6
JournalProtein and Peptide Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry


  • Endoribonuclease
  • ErEN
  • Erythropoiesis
  • mRNA decay
  • α-globin


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