3'-UTR-located inverted Alu repeats facilitate mRNA translational repression and stress granule accumulation

Terry Fitzpatrick, Sui Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alu repeats within human genes may potentially alter gene expression. Here, we show that 3'-UTR-located inverted Alu repeats significantly reduce expression of an AcGFP reporter gene. Mutational analysis demonstrates that the secondary structure, but not the primary nucleotide sequence, of the inverted Alu repeats is critical for repression. The expression levels and nucleocytoplasmic distribution of reporter mRNAs with or without 3'-UTR inverted Alu repeats are similar; suggesting that reporter gene repression is not due to changes in mRNA levels or mRNA nuclear sequestration. Instead, reporter gene mRNAs harboring 3'-UTR inverted Alu repeats accumulate in cytoplasmic stress granules. These findings may suggest a novel mechanism whereby 3'-UTR-located inverted Alu repeats regulate human gene expression through sequestration of mRNAs within stress granules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-369
Number of pages11
JournalNucleus (United States)
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • 3' untranslated region
  • Alu
  • Inverted repeats
  • MRNA
  • Stress granules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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