Human cytoplasmic serine hydroxymethyltransferase is an mRNA binding protein. Academic Article uri icon


  • The 5' untranslated region (UTR) of the human cytoplasmic serine hydroxymethyltransferase (cSHMT) message is alternatively spliced, creating a full-length 5' UTR (LUTR) encoded within exons 1-3 and a shorter UTR (SUTR) that results from excision of exon 2. The role of the 5' UTRs in cSHMT expression was investigated by fusing the cSHMT 5' UTRs to the 5' end of the luciferase gene. Human cSHMT protein at 10 microM inhibits in vitro translation of cSHMT 5' UTR-luciferase fusion mRNA templates by more than 90%, but does not inhibit translation of the luciferase message lacking the UTR. Translation inhibition is independent of amino acid and folate substrate binding to the cSHMT enzyme. The cSHMT SUTR-luciferase mRNA binds to the cSHMT.glycine.5-formyltetrahydrofolate ternary complex with an apparent K(d) of 10 microM. Gel mobility shift assays demonstrate that the human cSHMT protein binds to the cSHMT LUTR-luciferase fusion mRNA in the presence and absence of glycine and 5-formyltetrahydrofolate pentaglutamate. The fusion cSHMT SUTR-luciferase message at 65 microM inhibits the cSHMT-catalyzed cleavage of allothreonine as a partial mixed type inhibitor, reducing both k(cat) and K(m) by 40 and 75%, respectively, while tRNA has no effect on cSHMT catalysis. These studies indicate that the cSHMT protein can bind mRNA, and displays increased affinity for the 5' untranslated region of its mRNA.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Liu, X||Reig, B||Nasrallah, IM||Stover, PJ

publication date

  • September 2000