Concentration and Localization of Coexpressed ELAV/Hu Proteins Control Specificity of mRNA Processing

E. Zaharieva, I.U. Haussmann, U. Braeur, M. Soller

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)
    64 Downloads (Pure)


    Neuronally coexpressed ELAV/Hu proteins comprise a family of highly related RNA binding proteins which bind to very similar cognate sequences. How this redundancy is linked to in vivo function and how gene-specific regulation is achieved have not been clear. Analysis of mutants in Drosophila ELAV/Hu family proteins ELAV, FNE, and RBP9 and of genetic interactions among them indicates that they have mostly independent roles in neuronal development and function but have converging roles in the regulation of synaptic plasticity. Conversely, ELAV, FNE, RBP9, and human HuR bind ELAV target RNA in vitro with similar affinities. Likewise, all can regulate alternative splicing of ELAV target genes in nonneuronal wing disc cells and substitute for ELAV in eye development upon artificially increased expression; they can also substantially restore ELAV's biological functions when expressed under the control of the elav gene. Furthermore, ELAV-related Sex-lethal can regulate ELAV targets, and ELAV/Hu proteins can interfere with sexual differentiation. An ancient relationship to Sex-lethal is revealed by gonadal expression of RBP9, providing a maternal fail-safe for dosage compensation. Our results indicate that highly related ELAV/Hu RNA binding proteins select targets for mRNA processing through alteration of their expression levels and subcellular localization but only minimally by altered RNA binding specificity
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3104-3115
    JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
    Issue number18
    Early online date29 Jun 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015


    • adult
    • alternative RNA splicing
    • animal experiment
    • animal tissue
    • Article
    • binding affinity
    • biological functions
    • cellular distribution
    • concentration (parameters)
    • controlled study
    • embryo
    • eye development
    • gene expression regulation
    • gene interaction
    • gene targeting
    • gonad
    • in vitro study
    • lethal mutant
    • nerve cell plasticity
    • nonhuman
    • priority journal
    • protein expression
    • protein function
    • protein localization
    • protein RNA binding
    • RNA processing
    • sex differentiation


    Dive into the research topics of 'Concentration and Localization of Coexpressed ELAV/Hu Proteins Control Specificity of mRNA Processing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this