ELAV(L1)ating Insight into Dynamic mRNA-Protein Interactions in Innate Immunity
Rothamel, Katherine Loraine
Upon pathogen detection, the innate immune system triggers signaling events leading to upregulation of pro-inflammatory and anti-microbial mRNA transcripts. RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) interact with these critical mRNAs and regulate their fates at the post-transcriptional level. One such RBP is ELAVL1. While significant progress has been made in understanding how ELAVL1 regulates mRNAs, its target repertoire and binding distribution within an immunological context remain poorly understood. We overlapped four high-throughput approaches to define its context-dependent targets and determine its regulatory impact during immune activation. ELAVL1 transitions from binding overwhelmingly intronic sites to 3’ UTR sites upon immune stimulation of cells-binding previously and newly-expressed mRNAs. We find that ELAVL1 mediates the RNA stability of genes that regulate pathways essential to pathogen sensing and cytokine production. Our findings reveal the importance of examining RBP regulatory impact under dynamic transcriptomic events to understand their post-transcriptional regulatory roles within specific biological circuitries.