Stabilization of Interleukin-2 mRNA by the c-Jun NH2-Terminal Kinase Pathway

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Science  19 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5371, pp. 1945-1949
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5371.1945

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Signaling pathways that stabilize interleukin-2 (IL-2) messenger RNA (mRNA) in activated T cells were examined. IL-2 mRNA contains at least two cis elements that mediated its stabilization in response to different signals, including activation of c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK). This response was mediated through a cis element encompassing the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) and the beginning of the coding region. IL-2 transcripts lacking this 5′ element no longer responded to JNK activation but were still responsive to other signals generated during T cell activation, which were probably sensed through the 3′ UTR. Thus, multiple elements within IL-2 mRNA modulate its stability in a combinatorial manner, and the JNK pathway controls turnover as well as synthesis of IL-2 mRNA.

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