Progressive lengthening of 3′ untranslated regions of mRNAs by alternative polyadenylation during mouse embryonic development

Zhe Ji, Ju Youn Lee, Zhenhua Pan, Bingjun Jiang, Bin Tian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

375 Scopus citations

Abstract

The 3′ untranslated regions (3' UTRs) of mRNAs contain c/s-acting elements for posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression. Here, we report that mouse genes tend to express mRNAs with longer 3′ UTRs as embryonic development progresses. This global regulation is controlled by alternative polyadenylation and coordinates with initiation of organogenesis and aspects of embryonic development, including morphogenesis, differentiation, and proliferation. Using myogenesis of C2C12 myoblast cells as a model, we recapitulated this process in vitro and found that 3′ UTR lengthening is likely caused by weakening of mRNA polyadenylation activity. Because alternative 3′ UTR sequences are typically longer and have higher AU content than constitutive ones, our results suggest that lengthening of 3′ UTR can significantly augment posttranscriptional control of gene expression during embryonic development, such as microRNA-mediated regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7028-7033
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume106
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 28 2009

Keywords

  • Post-translational gene regulation
  • mRNA processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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