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Deborah L. Hodge, Ph.D.
Studies on interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) expression have concluded that regulation of this protein is complex and involves both transcriptional regulation of the IFN-gamma gene as well as post-transcriptional control of the IFN-gamma mRNA. Of these control mechanisms, posttranscriptional regulation is the least understood. Early studies performed in our laboratory have shown that IL-12 in combination with IL-2 stabilizes IFN-gamma mRNA expression. We have extended that observation and found that one mechanism by which IL-12 controls IFN-gamma mRNA expression involves nuclear retention of preexisting IFN-gamma transcripts. This retention is relieved in response to secondary stimulation and results in rapid nucleo-cytoplasmic shutting of the IFN-gamma mRNA with subsequent protein synthesis. Our current work has focused on close examination of the IFN-gamma mRNA for potential cis-acting elements responsible for regulation of the mRNA. We are particularly interested in the 3’untranslated region of the IFN-gamma mRNA that contains multiple AU-rich elements. These elements are currently being investigated for their regulatory potential.
This page was last updated on 4/9/2014.