Identification of a target RNA motif for RNA-binding protein HuR

Isabel López De Silanes, Ming Zhan, Ashish Lal, Xiaoling Yang, Myriam Gorospe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

434 Scopus citations


HuR, a protein that binds to specific mRNA subsets, is increasingly recognized as a pivotal posttranscriptional regulator of gene expression. Here, HuR was immunoprecipitated under conditions that preserved HuR-RNA interactions, and HuR-bound target mRNAs were identified by cDNA array hybridization. Analysis of primary sequences and secondary structures shared among HuR targets led to the identification of a 17- to 20-base-long RNA motif rich in uracils. This HuR motif was found in almost all mRNAs previously reported to be HuR targets, was located preferentially within 3′ untranslated regions of all unigene transcripts examined, and was conserved in >50% of human and mouse homologous genes. Importantly, the HuR motif allowed the successful prediction and subsequent validation of novel HuR targets from gene databases. This study describes an HuR target RNA motif and presents a general strategy for identifying target motifs for RNA-binding proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2987-2992
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 2 2004


  • cDNA array
  • Gene expression
  • mRNA stability
  • Posttranscriptional
  • Ribonucleoprotein complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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