Hormonal regulation of mRNA stability and RNA-protein interactions in the pituitary


    Regulating gene expression from DNA to protein is a complex multistage process with multiple control mechanisms. Transcriptional regulation has been considered the major control point of protein production in eukaryotic cells; however, there is growing evidence of pivotal posttranscriptional regulation for many genes. This has prompted extensive investigations to elucidate the mechanisms controlling RNA processing, mRNA nuclear export and localization, mRNA stability and turnover, in addition to translational rates and posttranslational events. The regulation of mRNA stability has emerged as a critical control step in determining the cellular mRNA level, with individual mRNAs displaying a wide range of stability that has been linked to discrete sequence elements and specific RNA-protein interactions. This review will focus on current knowledge of the determinants of mRNA stability and RNA-protein interactions in the pituitary. This field is rapidly expanding with the identification of regulated cis-acting stability-modifying elements within many mRNAs, and the cloning and characterization of trans-acting proteins that specifically bind to their cognate cis elements. We will present evidence for regulation of multiple pituitary genes at the level of mRNA stability and some examples of the emerging data characterizing RNA-protein interactions.

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