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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Cell type-dependent gene regulation by Staufen2 in conjunction with Upf1

Takashi Miki1, Yasunao Kamikawa1, Sadamu Kurono23, Yuka Kaneko23, Jun Katahira14* and Yoshihiro Yoneda14*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Frontier Bioscience, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, Japan

2 Joint Research Laboratory of Molecular Signature Analysis, Division of Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka, Japan

3 Laboratory Chemicals Division, Wako Pure Chemical Industries, Ltd., Chuo, Osaka japan

4 Department of Biochemistry, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, Japan

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BMC Molecular Biology 2011, 12:48  doi:10.1186/1471-2199-12-48

Published: 16 November 2011

Abstract

Background

Staufen2 (Stau2), a double-stranded RNA-binding protein, is a component of neuronal RNA granules, which are dendritic mRNA transport machines. Although Stau2 is thought to be involved in the dendritic targeting of several mRNAs in neurons, the mechanism whereby Stau2 regulates these mRNAs is unknown. To elucidate the functions of Stau2, we screened for novel binding partners by affinity purification of GST-tagged Stau2 from 293F cells.

Results

Three RNA helicases, RNA helicase A, Upf1 and Mov10, were identified in Stau2-containing complexes. We focused our studies on Upf1, a key player in nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. Stau2 was found to bind directly to Upf1 in an RNA-independent manner in vitro. Tethering Stau2 to the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of a reporter gene had little effect on its expression in HeLa cells. In contrast, when the same tethering assay was performed in 293F cells, we observed an increase in reporter protein levels. This upregulation of protein expression by Stau2 turned out to be dependent on Upf1. Moreover, we found that in 293F cells, Stau2 upregulates the reporter mRNA level in an Upf1-independent manner.

Conclusions

These results indicate that the recruitment of Stau2 alone or in combination with Upf1 differentially affects the fate of mRNAs. Moreover, the results suggest that Stau2-mediated fate determination could be executed in a cell type-specific manner.