An open reading frame element mediates posttranscriptional regulation of tropoelastin and responsiveness to transforming growth factor β1

Mancong Zhang, Richard A. Pierce, Hiroshi Wachi, Robert P. Mecham, William C. Parks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Elastin, an extracellular component of arteries, lung, and skin, is produced during fetal and neonatal growth. We reported previously that the cessation of elastin production is controlled by a posttranscriptional mechanism. Although tropoelastin pre-mRNA is transcribed at the same rate in neonates and adults, marked instability of the fully processed transcript bars protein production in mature tissue. Using RNase protection, we identified a 10-nucleotide sequence in tropoelastin mRNA near the 5' end of the sequences coded by exon 30 that interacts specifically with a developmentally regulated cytosolic 50-kDa protein. Binding activity increased as tropoelastin expression dropped, being low in neonatal fibroblasts and high in adult cells, and treatment with transforming growth factor βl (TGF-β1), which stimulates tropoelastin expression by stabilizing its mRNA, reduced mRNA-binding activity. No other region of tropoelastin mRNA interacted with cellular proteins, and no binding activity was detected in nuclear extracts. The ability of the exon-30 element to control mRNA decay and responsiveness to TGF-β1 was assessed by three distinct functional assays: (i) insertion of exon 30 into a heterologous gene conferred increased reporter activity after exposure to TGF-β1; (ii) addition of excess exon 30 RNA slowed tropoelastin mRNA decay in an in vitro polysome degradation assay; and (iii) a mutant tropoelastin cDNA lacking exon 30, compared to wild-type cDNA, produced a stable transcript whose levels were not affected by TGF-β1. These findings demonstrate that posttranscriptional regulation of elastin production in mature tissue is conferred by a specific element within the open reading frame of tropoelastin mRNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7314-7326
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Volume19
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 1999

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