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Background: There is evidence that several messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are bifunctional RNAs, i.e. RNA transcript carrying both protein-coding capacity and activity as functional non-coding RNA via 5' and 3' untranslated regions (UTRs). Results: In this study, we identified a novel bifunctional RNA that is transcribed from insulin receptor substrate-1 (Irs-1) gene with full-length 5'UTR sequence (FL-Irs-1 mRNA). FL-Irs-1 mRNA was highly expressed only in skeletal muscle tissue. In cultured skeletal muscle C2C12 cells, the FL-Irs-1 transcript functioned as a bifunctional mRNA. The FL-Irs-1 transcript produced IRS-1 protein during differentiation of myoblasts into myotubes; however, this transcript functioned as a regulatory RNA in proliferating myoblasts. The FL-Irs-1 5'UTR contains a partial complementary sequence to Rb mRNA, which is a critical factor for myogenic differentiation. The overexpression of the 5'UTR markedly reduced Rb mRNA expression, and this reduction was fully dependent on the complementary element and was not compensated by IRS-1 protein. Conversely, knockdown of FL-Irs-1 mRNA increased Rb mRNA expression and enhanced myoblast differentiation into myotubes. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the FL-Irs-1 transcript regulates myogenic differentiation as a regulatory RNA in myoblasts.


  • BMC Cell Biology

    BMC Cell Biology 16(1), 8, 2015-03-11

    BioMed Central


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