Am J Cancer Res. 2020 Aug 1;10(8):2480-2494. eCollection 2020.
The expression of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) is dysregulated in colorectal cancer (CRC) and in other types of cancer. Among the RBPs, the insulin-like growth factor-2 messenger RNA binding protein (IGF2BP1-3) family is involved in the development of the colon and the progression of CRC. However, the regulation of mRNA fate by IGF2BP3 in CRC remains less well understood. Here, we show that IGF2BP3 interacts with ELAVL1 to coregulate a cohort of genes involved in the cell cycle and cell
proliferation. Mechanistically, recognition of these mRNAs by the IGF2BP3/ELAVL1 complex leads to prolonged half-lives of the mRNA molecules and increased expression of the target genes, thereby driving CRC cell proliferation. Interestingly, knockdown of either IGF2BP3 or ELAVL1 impairs the IGF2BP3/ELAVL1 complex-enhanced mRNA stability, suggesting a functional interdependency between IGF2BP3 and ELAVL1 in CRC. Our findings reveal the molecular mechanism by which IGF2BP3 regulates mRNA stability and identify the cooperativity of the IGF2BP3/ELAVL1 complex as a novel therapeutic target in CRC.