The outcome of an inflammatory response depends upon the coordinated regulation of a variety of both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and other proteins. Regulation of these inflammation mediators can occur at multiple levels, including transcription, mRNA translation, post-translational modifications, and mRNA degradation. Post-transcriptional regulation has been shown to play an important role in controlling the expression of these mediators, allowing for normal initiation and resolution of the inflammatory response. Many inflammatory mediators have unstable mRNAs due, in part, to the presence of AU-rich elements in their 3′-untranslated regions. Increasing numbers of RNA-binding proteins have been identified that can bind to these AU-rich elements and then regulate the stability and/or translation of the mRNA. This review summarizes current knowledge about the role of several RNA-binding proteins that act through AU-rich elements to post-transcriptionally regulate the biosynthesis of proteins involved in inflammation. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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