Cell-Penetrating Peptide TAT-HuR-HNS3 Suppresses Proinflammatory Gene Expression via Competitively Blocking Interaction of HuR with Its Partners

Ke Wang, Haibin Tong, Yitian Gao, Lan Xia, Xin Jin, Xiaoxue Li, Xianlu Zeng, Istvan Boldogh, Yueshuang Ke, Xueqing Ba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines are commonly regulated by RNA-binding proteins at posttranscriptional levels. Human Ag R (HuR)/embryonic lethal abnormal vision-like 1 (ELAVL1) is one of the well-characterized RNA-binding proteins that increases the stability of short-lived mRNAs, which encode proinflammatory mediators. HuR employs its nucleocytoplasmic shuttling sequence (HNS) domain, interacting with poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1), which accounts for the enhanced poly-ADP-ribosylation and cytoplasmic shuttling of HuR. Also by using its HNS domain, HuR undergoes dimerization/ oligomerization, underlying the increased binding of HuR with proinflammatory cytokine/chemokine mRNAs and the disassociation of the miRNA-induced silencing complex from the targets. Therefore, competitively blocking the interactions of HuR with its partners may suppress proinflammatory mediator production. In this study, peptides derived from the sequence of the HuR-HNS domain were synthesized, and their effects on interfering HuR interacting with PARP1 and HuR itself were analyzed. Moreover, cell-penetrating TAT-HuR-HNS3 was delivered into human and mouse cells or administered into mouse lungs with or without exposure of TNF-α or LPS. mRNA levels of proinflammatory mediators as well as neutrophil infiltration were evaluated. We showed that TAT-HuR-HNS3 interrupts HuR-PARP1 interaction and therefore results in a lowered poly- ADP-ribosylation level and decreased cytoplasmic distribution of HuR. TAT-HuR-HNS3 also blocks HuR dimerization and promotes Argonaute 2-based miRNA-induced silencing complex binding to the targets. Moreover, TAT-HuR-HNS3 lowers mRNA stability of proinfl ammatory mediators in TNF-α-treated epithelial cells and macrophages, and it decreases TNFα -induced inflammatory responses in lungs of experimental animals. Thus, TAT-HuR-HNS3 is a promising lead peptide for the development of inhibitors to treat inflammation-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2376-2389
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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