Axonal localization of neuritin/CPG15 mRNA is limited by competition for HuD binding. Academic Article uri icon


  • HuD protein (also known as ELAVL4) has been shown to stabilize mRNAs with AU-rich elements (ARE) in their 3' untranslated regions (UTRs), including Gap43, which has been linked to axon growth. HuD also binds to neuritin (Nrn1) mRNA, whose 3'UTR contains ARE sequences. Although the Nrn1 3'UTR has been shown to mediate its axonal localization in embryonic hippocampal neurons, it is not active in adult dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Here, we asked why the 3'UTR is not sufficient to mediate the axonal localization of Nrn1 mRNA in DRG neurons. HuD overexpression increases the ability of the Nrn1 3'UTR to mediate axonal localizing in DRG neurons. HuD binds directly to the Nrn1 ARE with about a two-fold higher affinity than to the Gap43 ARE. Although the Nrn1 ARE can displace the Gap43 ARE from HuD binding, HuD binds to the full 3'UTR of Gap43 with higher affinity, such that higher levels of Nrn1 are needed to displace the Gap43 3'UTR. The Nrn1 3'UTR can mediate a higher level of axonal localization when endogenous Gap43 is depleted from DRG neurons. Taken together, our data indicate that endogenous Nrn1 and Gap43 mRNAs compete for binding to HuD for their axonal localization and activity of the Nrn1 3'UTR.© 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

publication date

  • November 2017