Gene regulation at the post-transcriptional level is frequently based on cis- and trans-acting factors on target mRNAs. We found a C-rich element (CRE) in mu-opioid receptor (MOR) 3′-untranslated region (UTR) to which poly (rC) binding protein 1 (PCBP1) binds, resulting in MOR mRNA stabilization. RNA immunoprecipitation and RNA EMSA revealed the formation of PCBP1-RNA complexes at the element. Knockdown of PCBP1 decreased MOR mRNA half-life and protein expression. Stimulation by forskolin increased cytoplasmic localization of PCBP1 and PCBP1/MOR 3′-UTR interactions via increased serine phosphorylation that was blocked by protein kinase A (PKA) or (phosphatidyl inositol-3) PI3-kinase inhibitors. The forskolin treatment also enhanced serine- and tyrosine-phosphorylation of AU-rich element binding protein (AUF1), concurrent with its increased binding to the CRE, and led to an increased interaction of poly A binding protein (PABP) with the CRE and poly(A) sites. AUF1 phosphorylation also led to an increased interaction with PCBP1. These findings suggest that a single co-regulator, PCBP1, plays a crucial role in stabilizing MOR mRNA, and is induced by PKA signaling by conforming to AUF1 and PABP.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Geneva Davis for editorial assistance with the manuscript. This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health National Institutes of Drug Abuse [Grants DA000564 , DA001583 , DA011806 , DA011190 , DA013926 ]; and by the A & F Stark Fund of the Minnesota Medical Foundation. The authors declare no conflict of interest.
- 3′-Untranslated region
- Mu opioid receptor
- Protein kinase A signaling
- RNA binding protein
- RNA stability