Cell stress and translational inhibitors transiently increase the abundance of mammalian SINE transcripts

Wen man Liu, Wen ming Chu, Prabhakara V Choudary, Carl W. Schmid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

237 Scopus citations


The abundance of Alu RNA is transiently increased by heat shock in human cell lines. This effect Is specific to Alu repeats among Pol III transcribed genes, since the abundance of 7SL, 7SK, 5S and U6 RNAs is essentially unaffected by heat shock. The rapid Induction of Alu expression precedes the heat shock induction of mRNAs for the ubiquitin and HSP 70 heat shock genes. Heat shock mimetics also transiently induce Alu expression indicating that increased Alu expression Is a general cell-stress response. Cyclo-heximide treatment rapidly and transiently increases the abundance of Alu RNA. Again, compared with other genes transcribed by Pol III, this increase is specific to Alu. However, as distinguished from the cell stress response, cycloheximlde does not Induce expression of HSP 70 and ublqultln mRNAs. Puromy-cin also increases Alu expression, suggesting that this response is generally caused by translational inhibition. The response of mammalian SINEs to cell stress and translational inhibition is not limited to SINEs which are Alu homologues. Heat shock and cyclohexi-mide each transiently induce Pol III directed expression of B1 and B2 RNAs in mouse cells and C-element RNA in rabbit cells. Together, these three species exemplify the known SINE composition of placental mammals, suggesting that mammalian SINEs are similarly regulated and may serve a common function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1758-1765
Number of pages8
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 25 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics


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