A ferritin-responsive internal ribosome entry site regulates folate metabolism. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cytoplasmic serine hydroxymethyltransferase (cSHMT) enzyme levels are elevated by the expression of the heavy chain ferritin (H ferritin) cDNA in cultured cells without corresponding changes in mRNA levels, resulting in enhanced folate-dependent de novo thymidylate biosynthesis and impaired homocysteine remethylation. In this study, the mechanism whereby H ferritin regulates cSHMT expression was determined. cSHMT translation is shown to be regulated by an H ferritin-responsive internal ribosome entry site (IRES) located within the cSHMT mRNA 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR). The cSHMT 5'-UTR exhibited IRES activity during in vitro translation of bicistronic mRNA templates, and in MCF-7 and HeLa cells transfected with bicistronic mRNAs. IRES activity was depressed in H ferritin-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts and elevated in cells expressing the H ferritin cDNA. H ferritin was shown to interact with the mRNA-binding protein CUGBP1, a protein known to interact with the alpha and beta subunits of eukaryotic initiation factor eIF2. Small interference RNA-mediated depletion of CUGBP1 decreased IRES activity from bicistronic templates that included the cSHMT 3'-UTR in the bicistronic construct. The identification of this H ferritin-responsive IRES represents a mechanism that accounts for previous observations that H ferritin regulates folate metabolism.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

altmetric score

  • 3

citation count

  • 33

complete list of authors

  • Woeller, Collynn F||Fox, Jennifer T||Perry, Cheryll||Stover, Patrick J

publication date

  • October 2007