Indexed on: 18 Dec '15Published on: 18 Dec '15Published in: Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Alternative polyadenylation (APA) has been found to be involved in tumorigenesis, development, and cell differentiation, as well as in the activation of several subsets of immune cells in vitro. Whether APA takes place in immune responses in vivo is largely unknown. We profiled the variation in tandem 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) in pathogen-challenged zebrafish and identified hundreds of APA genes with ∼ 10% being immune response genes. The detected immune response APA genes were enriched in TLR signaling, apoptosis, and JAK-STAT signaling pathways. A greater number of microRNA target sites and AU-rich elements were found in the extended 3' UTRs than in the common 3' UTRs of these APA genes. Further analysis suggested that microRNA and AU-rich element-mediated posttranscriptional regulation plays an important role in modulating the expression of APA genes. These results indicate that APA is extensively involved in immune responses in vivo, and it may be a potential new paradigm for immune regulation.