Functional coordination and HuR-mediated regulation of mRNA stability during T cell activation.

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Global mRNA abundance depends on the balance of synthesis and decay of a population of mRNAs. To account for this balance during activation of T cells, we used metabolic labeling to quantify the contributions of RNA transcription and decay over a 4 h time course during activation of leukemia-derived Jurkat T cells. While prior studies suggested more than half of the changes in mRNA abundance were due to RNA stability, we found a smaller but more interesting population of mRNAs changed stability. These mRNAs clustered into functionally related subpopulations that included replicative histones, ribosomal biogenesis and cell motility functions. We then applied a novel analysis based on integrating global protein-RNA binding with concurrent changes in RNA stability at specific time points following activation. This analysis demonstrated robust stabilization of mRNAs by the HuR RNA-binding protein 4 h after activation. Our unexpected findings demonstrate that the temporal regulation of mRNA stability coordinates vital cellular pathways and is in part controlled by the HuR RNA binding protein in Jurkat T cells following activation.





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Blackinton, Jeff G, and Jack D Keene (2016). Functional coordination and HuR-mediated regulation of mRNA stability during T cell activation. Nucleic Acids Res, 44(1). pp. 426–436. 10.1093/nar/gkv1066 Retrieved from

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