Background--Although transcription is the initial process of gene expression, posttranscriptional gene expression regulation has also played a critical role for fine-tuning gene expression in a fast, precise, and cost-effective manner. Although the regulation of sodium channel a-subunit (SCN5A) mRNA expression has been studied at both transcriptional and pre-mRNA splicing levels, the molecular mechanisms governing SCN5A mRNA expression are far from clear. Methods and Results--Herein, we show that, as evidenced by ribonucleoprotein immunoprecipitation assay, RNA binding protein Hu antigen R/ELAV like RNA binding protein 1 (HuR/ELAVL1) and myocyte enhancer factor-2C (MEF2C) transcription factor mRNA are associated. HuR positively regulated transcription factor MEF2C mRNA expression by protecting its mRNA from degradation. As demonstrated by both chromatin immunoprecipitation-quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay and an electrophoretic mobility shift assay, MEF2C enhanced SCN5A transcription by binding to a putative MEF2C binding site within SCN5A promoter region. Overexpression of HuR increased the expression of SCN5A mRNA, and this effect was attenuated by the presence of MEF2C small interfering RNA in cardiomyocytes. Conclusions--In conclusion, our results suggested that HuR participates in a combined network at the DNA and RNA levels that regulates SCN5A mRNA expression. HuR upregulates MEF2C mRNA expression by protecting MEF2C mRNA from degradation, and consequently, the elevated MEF2C enhances SCN5A mRNA transcription.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The present work was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grant R01 HL104025.
© 2018 The Authors.
- Sodium channel α-subunit
- Transcription factors
- Transcriptional regulation