Prostaglandin A2-mediated stabilization of p21 mRNA through an ERK-dependent pathway requiring the RNA-binding protein HuR

Xiaoling Yang, Wengong Wang, Jinshui Fan, Ashish Lal, Dongmei Yang, Heping Cheng, Myriam Gorospe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Treatment with the stress agent prostaglandin A2 (PGA 2) induces expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21. Here, we present evidence that p21 expression increases through PGA 2-triggered stabilization of the p21 mRNA and further show that these events require the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase ERK. Binding experiments using either endogenous p21 mRNA or in vitro-labeled p21 transcripts revealed a specific PGA2-dependent association of the p21 mRNA with the RNA-binding protein HuR. Interestingly, although inhibition of the ERK pathway did not prevent the PGA2-triggered increase in cytoplasmic HuR, it did impair the formation of endogenous and in vitro [HuR-p21 mRNA] complexes and further prevented the PGA2-mediated stabilization of the p21 mRNA, suggesting that ERK-mediated events were required for binding HuR to the p21 mRNA and preventing its decay. RNA interference-based knockdown of HuR abundance further served to demonstrate the contribution of HuR-mediated p21 mRNA stabilization toward enhancing p21 expression after PGA2 treatment. Collectively, our results indicate that PGA2 stabilizes the p21 mRNA through an ERK-independent increase in cytoplasmic HuR levels and an ERK-dependent association of HuR with the p21 mRNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49298-49306
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 19 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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