Staufen1-mediated mRNA decay induces Requiem mRNA decay through binding of Staufen1 to the Requiem 3′UTR

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Requiem (REQ/DPF2) was originally identified as an apoptosis-inducing protein in mouse myeloid cells and belongs to the novel Krüppel-type zinc finger d4-protein family of proteins, which includes neuro-d4 (DPF1) and cer-d4 (DPF3). Interestingly, when a portion of the REQ messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR), referred to as G8, was overexpressed in K562 cells, β-globin expression was induced, suggesting that the 3′UTR of REQ mRNA plays a physiological role. Here, we present evidence that the REQ mRNA 3′UTR, along with itstrans-acting factor, Staufen1 (STAU1), is able to reduce the level of REQ mRNA via STAU1-mediated mRNA decay (SMD). By screening a complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA) expression library with an RNA–ligand binding assay, we identified STAU1 as an interactor of the REQ mRNA 3′UTR. Specifically, we provide evidence that STAU1 binds to putative 30-nucleotide stem–loop-structured RNA sequences within the G8 region, which we term the protein binding site core; this binding triggers the degradation of REQ mRNA and thus regulates translation. Furthermore, we demonstrate that siRNA-mediated silencing of either STAU1 or UPF1 increases the abundance of cellular REQ mRNA and, consequently, the REQ protein, indicating that REQ mRNA is a target of SMD.

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