Nucleolin mediates MicroRNA-directed CSF-1 mRNA deadenylation but increases translation of CSF-1 mRNA

Ho Hyung Woo, Terri Baker, Csaba Laszlo, Setsuko K. Chambers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


CSF-1 mRNA 3′UTR contains multiple unique motifs, including a common microRNA (miRNA) target in close proximity to a noncanonical G-quadruplex and AU-rich elements (AREs). Using a luciferase reporter system fused to CSF-1 mRNA 3′UTR, disruption of the miRNA target region, G-quadruplex, and AREs together dramatically increased reporter RNA levels, suggesting important roles for these cis-acting regulatory elements in the down-regulation of CSF-1 mRNA. We find that nucleolin, which binds both G-quadruplex and AREs, enhances deadenylation of CSF-1 mRNA, promoting CSF-1 mRNA decay, while having the capacity to increase translation of CSF-1 mRNA. Through interaction with the CSF-1 3′UTR miRNA common target, we find that miR-130a and miR-301a inhibit CSF-1 expression by enhancing mRNA decay. Silencing of nucleolin prevents the miRNA-directed mRNA decay, indicating a requirement for nucleolin in miRNA activity on CSF-1 mRNA. Downstream effects followed by miR-130a and miR-301a inhibition of directed cellular motility of ovarian cancer cells were found to be dependent on nucleolin. The paradoxical effects of nucleolin on miRNA-directed CSF-1 mRNA deadenylation and on translational activation were explored further. The nucleolin protein contains four acidic stretches, four RNA recognition motifs (RRMs), and nine RGG repeats. All three domains in nucleolin regulate CSF-1 mRNA and protein levels. RRMs increase CSF-1 mRNA, whereas the acidic and RGG domains decrease CSF-1 protein levels. This suggests that nucleolin has the capacity to differentially regulate both CSF-1 RNA and protein levels. Our finding that nucleolin interacts with Ago2 indirectly via RNA and with poly(A)-binding protein C (PABPC) directly suggests a nucleolin-Ago2-PABPC complex formation on mRNA. This complex is in keeping with our suggestion that nucleolin may work with PABPC as a double-edged sword on both mRNA deadenylation and translational activation. Our findings underscore the complexity of nucleolin's actions on CSF-1 mRNA and describe the dependence of miR-130a- and miR-301a-directed CSF-1 mRNA decay and inhibition of ovarian cancer cell motility on nucleolin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1661-1677
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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