MAPKAP kinase 2 blocks tristetraprolin-directed mRNA decay by inhibiting CAF1 deadenylase recruitment.
Marchese FP., Aubareda A., Tudor C., Saklatvala J., Clark AR., Dean JL.
Tristetraprolin (TTP) directs its target AU-rich element (ARE)-containing mRNAs for degradation by promoting removal of the poly(A) tail. The p38 MAPK pathway regulates mRNA stability via the downstream kinase MAPK-activated protein kinase 2 (MAPKAP kinase 2 or MK2), which phosphorylates and prevents the mRNA-destabilizing function of TTP. We show that deadenylation of endogenous ARE-containing tumor necrosis factor mRNA is inhibited by p38 MAPK. To investigate whether phosphorylation of TTP by MK2 regulates TTP-directed deadenylation of ARE-containing mRNAs, we used a cell-free assay that reconstitutes the mechanism in vitro. We find that phosphorylation of Ser-52 and Ser-178 of TTP by MK2 results in inhibition of TTP-directed deadenylation of ARE-containing RNA. The use of 14-3-3 protein antagonists showed that regulation of TTP-directed deadenylation by MK2 is independent of 14-3-3 binding to TTP. To investigate the mechanism whereby TTP promotes deadenylation, it was necessary to identify the deadenylases involved. The carbon catabolite repressor protein (CCR)4.CCR4-associated factor (CAF)1 complex was identified as the major source of deadenylase activity in HeLa cells responsible for TTP-directed deadenylation. CAF1a and CAF1b were found to interact with TTP in an RNA-independent fashion. We find that MK2 phosphorylation reduces the ability of TTP to promote deadenylation by inhibiting the recruitment of CAF1 deadenylase in a mechanism that does not involve sequestration of TTP by 14-3-3. Cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA stability is increased in CAF1-depleted cells in which it is no longer p38 MAPK/MK2-regulated.