IGF-I 3' untranslated region: strain-specific polymorphisms and motifs regulating IGF-I in osteoblasts.

PMID 23183171


Reduced IGF-I is associated with low bone mass in humans and mice. C3H/He/J (C3H) mice have higher skeletal IGF-I and greater bone mass than C57BL/6J (B6). We hypothesized that strain-related genotypic differences in Igf1 affected skeletal function. The Igf1 coding region is nonpolymorphic, but its 3' untranslated region (UTR) is polymorphic between C3H and B6. Luciferase-Igf1 3' UTR reporter constructs showed that these polymorphic regions did not affect UTR function. IGF-I splice variants give rise to a common mature IGF-I peptide, but different E peptides. We identified two splice products, exon 4+6 (Ea) and exon 4+5+6 (Eb, mechano-growth factor) and found that their abundance was unchanged during osteoblastic differentiation. The Igf1 3' UTR encoded by exon 6 contains alternative polyadenylation sites. Proximal site use produces a short 3' UTR of approximately 195 bases, whereas distal site usage results in an approximately 6300-base UTR. Although Igf1 mRNA levels did not change during osteoblastic differentiation, distal polyadenylation site usage was increased in B6 cells but not in C3H. The resulting long Igf1 RNA isoform is less stable and has decreased translation efficiency, which may be one mechanism contributing to decreased IGF-I in B6 vs. C3H mice. Although the long UTR contains a conserved [GU](18) repeat, which is a positive regulator of UTR activity, it is also targeted by negative regulators, miR-29 and miR-365. These microRNAs are increased in B6 and C3H cells during osteoblastic differentiation. Differential expression of the long Igf1 3' UTR isoform may be a possible mechanism for enhanced IGF-I regulation in B6 vs. C3H mice.