Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 266–277

HuR and mRNA stability

  • C. M. Brennan
  • J. A. Steitz*

DOI: 10.1007/PL00000854

Cite this article as:
Brennan, C. & Steitz*, J. CMLS, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2001) 58: 266. doi:10.1007/PL00000854


An important mechanism of posttranscriptional gene regulation in mammalian cells is the rapid degradation of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) signaled by AU-rich elements (AREs) in their 3′ untranslated regions. HuR, a ubiquitously expressed member of the Hu family of RNA-binding proteins related to Drosophila ELAV, selectively binds AREs and stabilizes ARE-containing mRNAs when overexpressed in cultured cells. This review discusses mRNA decay as a general form of gene regulation, decay signaled by AREs, and the role of HuR and its Hu-family relatives in antagonizing this mRNA degradation pathway. The influence of newly identified protein ligands to HuR on HuR function in both normal and stressed cells may explain how ARE-mediated mRNA decay is regulated in response to environmental change.

Key words. AU-rich element; ELAV; Hu proteins; stress; nuclear export; mRNA stability. 

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel, 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. M. Brennan
    • 1
  • J. A. Steitz*
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, 295 Congress Avenue, New Haven (Connecticut 06536, USA), Fax +1 203 624 8213, e-mail: joan.steitz@yale.edu US

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