HuR/ELAVL1 RNA binding protein modulates interleukin-8 induction by muco-active ribotoxin deoxynivalenol

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HuR/Elav-like RNA binding protein 1 (ELAVL1) positively regulates mRNA stability of AU-rich elements (ARE)-containing transcript such as pro-inflammatory cytokines. Ribotoxic stresses can trigger the production of pro-inflammatory mediators by enhancing mRNA stability and the transcriptional activity. We investigated the effects of ribotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) on HuR translocation and its involvement in the regulation of the pro-inflammatory interleukin-8 (IL-8) mRNA stability. Exposure to the muco-active DON induced nuclear export of both endogenous and exogenous HuR RNA binding protein in human intestinal epithelial cells.Moreover, the interference with HuR protein production suppressed ribotoxic DON-induced IL-8 secretion and its mRNA stability. Cytoplasmic HuR protein interacted with IL-8 mRNA and the complex stabilization was due to the presence of 3′-untranslated region of the transcript. Partly in terms of IL-8-modulating transcription factors, HuR protein was demonstrated to be positively and negatively associated with DON-induced early growth response gene 1 (EGR-1) and activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3), respectively. HuR was a critical mechanistic link between ribotoxic stress and the pro-inflammatory cytokine production, and may have a broader functional significance with regard to mucosal insults since ribotoxic stress responses are also produced upon interactions with the diverse environment of gut.

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