• RNA-Binding Protein HuR Regulates Rac1 Nucleocytoplasmic Shuttling Through Nucleophosmin in the Intestinal Epithelium

      Liu, L.; Xiao, L.; Chung, H.K.; Kwon, M.S.; Li, X.-X.; Wu, N.; Rao, J.N.; Wang, J.-Y. (Elsevier Inc, 2019)
      Background & Aims: The mammalian intestinal epithelium is a rapidly self-renewing tissue in the body, and its homeostasis is tightly regulated via well-controlled mechanisms. The RNA-binding protein HuR is essential for maintaining gut epithelial integrity, and targeted deletion of HuR in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) disrupts mucosal regeneration and delays repair after injury. Here, we defined the role of HuR in regulating subcellular distribution of small guanosine triphosphatase Rac1 and investigated the implication of nucleophosmin (NPM) as a molecular chaperone in this process. Methods: Studies were conducted in intestinal epithelial tissue-specific HuR knockout (IE-HuR-/-) mice and cultured IEC-6 cells, derived from rat small intestinal crypts. Functions of HuR and NPM in vitro were investigated via their gene silencing and overexpression. Results: The abundance of cytoplasmic Rac1 in the small intestinal mucosa increased significantly in IE-HuR-/- mice, although HuR deletion did not alter total Rac1 levels. HuR silencing in cultured IECs also increased the cytoplasmic Rac1 levels, without an effect on whole-cell Rac1 content. In addition, HuR deficiency in the intestinal epithelium decreased the levels of NPM in IE-HuR-/- mice and cultured IECs. NPM physically interacted with Rac1 and formed the NPM/Rac1 complex. NPM silencing decreased the NPM/Rac1 association and inhibited nuclear accumulation of Rac1, along with an increase in cytoplasmic abundances of Rac1. In contrast, ectopically expressed NPM enhanced Rac1 nuclear translocation and restored Rac1 subcellular localization to near normal in HuR-deficient cells. Conclusions: These results indicate that HuR regulates Rac1 nucleocytoplasmic shuttling in the intestinal epithelium by altering NPM expression. © 2019 The Authors