Peptidylglycine alpha-amidating monooxygenase (PAM; EC 18.104.22.168) catalyzes the COOH-terminal alpha-amidation of peptidylglycine substrates, yielding amidated products. We have previously reported a putative regulatory RNA binding protein (PAM mRNA-BP) that binds specifically to the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of PAM-mRNA. Here, the PAM mRNA-BP was isolated and revealed to be La protein using affinity purification onto a 3' UTR PAM RNA, followed by tandem mass spectrometry identification. We determined that the core binding sequence is approximately 15-nucleotides (nt) long and is located 471 nt downstream of the stop codon. Moreover, we identified the La autoantigen as a protein that specifically binds the 3' UTR of PAM mRNA in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, La protein overexpression caused a nuclear retention of PAM mRNAs and resulted in the down-regulation of endogenous PAM activity. Most interestingly, the nuclear retention of PAM mRNA is lost upon expressing the La proteins that lack a conserved nuclear retention element, suggesting a direct association between PAM mRNA and La protein in vivo. Reporter assays using a chimeric mRNA that combined luciferase and the 3' UTR of PAM mRNA demonstrated a decrease of the reporter activity due to an increase in the nuclear localization of reporter mRNAs, while the deletion of the 15-nt La binding site led to their clear-cut cytoplasmic relocalization. The results suggest an important role for the La protein in the modulation of PAM expression, possibly by mechanisms that involve a nuclear retention and perhaps a processing of pre-PAM mRNA molecules.