Messenger RNA turnover directed by A + U-rich elements (AREs) involves selected ARE-binding proteins. Whereas several signaling systems may modulate ARE-directed mRNA decay and/or post-translationally modify specific trans-acting factors, it is unclear how these mechanisms are linked. In THP-1 monocytic leukemia cells, phorbol ester-induced stabilization of some mRNAs containing AREs was accompanied by dephosphorylation of Ser83 and Ser87 of polysome-associated p40AUF1. Here, we report that phosphorylation of p40AUF1 influences its ARE-binding affinity as well as the RNA conformational dynamics and global structure of the p40 AUF1-ARE ribonucleoprotein complex. Most notably, association of unphosphorylated p40AUF1 induces a condensed RNA conformation upon ARE substrates. By contrast, phosphorylation of p40AUF1 at Ser 83 and Ser87 inhibits this RNA structural transition. These data indicate that selective AUF1 phosphorylation may regulate ARE-directed mRNA turnover by remodeling local RNA structures, thus potentially altering the presentation of RNA and/or protein determinants involved in subsequent trans-factor recruitment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology