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Pou1f1, the key transcription factor related to somatic growth in tilapia (Orechromis niloticus), is regulated by two independent post-transcriptional regulation mechanisms

Wang, Dongfang, Qin, Jingkai, Jia, Jirong, Yan, Peipei, Li, Wensheng
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2017 v.483 pp. 559-565
3' untranslated regions, Oreochromis niloticus, blood serum, fish, gene expression regulation, gene overexpression, genes, microRNA, starvation, transcription factors
This study aims to determine the post-transcriptional regulation mechanism of the transcription factor pou1f1 (pou class 1 homeobox 1), which is the key gene for pituitary development, somatic growth in vertebrates, and transcription of several hormone genes in teleost fish. MicroRNA miR-223-3p was identified as a bona fide target of pou1f; overexpression of miR-223-3p in primary pituitary cells led to the down-regulation of pou1f1 and downstream genes, and inhibition of miR-223-3p led to the up-regulation of pou1f1 in Nile tilapia dispersed primary pituitary cells. An adenylate-uridylate-rich element (AU-Rich element) was found in the 3′UTR of pou1f1 mRNA, and deletion of the AU-Rich element led to slower mRNA decay and therefore more protein output. A potential mutual relationship between miR-223-3p and the AU-rich element was also investigated, and the results demonstrated that with or without the AU-Rich element, miR-223-3p induced the up-regulation of a reporter system under serum starvation conditions, indicating that miR-223-3p and the AU-Rich element function independent of each other. This study is the first to investigate the post-transcriptional mechanism of pou1f1, which revealed that miR-223-3p down-regulated pou1f1 and downstream gene expressions, and the AU-Rich element led to rapid decay of pou1f1 mRNA. MicroRNA miR-223-3p and the AU-Rich element co-regulated the post-transcriptional expression of pou1f1 independently in Nile tilapia, demonstrating that pou1f1 is under the control of a dual post-transcription regulation mechanism.