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In addition to regulating gene transcription, polyamines also potently modulate gene expression posttranscriptionally. Posttranscriptional gene regulation, which includes processes such as mRNA transport, turnover, and translation, involves specific mRNA sequences (cis-element) that interact with transacting factors such as RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and microRNAs. U- or AU-rich elements (ARE) are the best characterized cis-acting sequences located in the 3'-untranslated regions of many labile mRNAs. Several RBPs, including AUF1, BRF1, TTP, and KSRP, promote ARE-mRNA decay through the recruitment of the ARE-bearing mRNA to sites of mRNA degradation, whereas RBPs such as HuR, HuB, HuC, and HuD stabilize target mRNAs and stimulate their translation. HuR is one of the best-studied RBPs and has emerged as a key regulator of posttranscriptional control of gene expression and its activity is tightly regulated by cellular polyamines. Ribonucleoprotein immunoprecipitation assays and biotin pull-down assays are two major methods used extensively in experiments investigating the roles and mechanisms of cellular polyamines in the posttranscriptional regulation and are described in detail in this chapter.


Lan Xiao, Jian-Ying Wang. Posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression in epithelial cells by polyamines. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2011;720:67-79

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PMID: 21318867

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