The mammalian intestinal epithelium is one of the most rapidly self-renewing tissues in the body, and its integrity is preserved through strict regulation. The RNA-binding protein (RBP) ELAV-like family member 1(CELF1), also referred to as CUG-binding protein 1(CUGBP1), regulates the stability and translation of target mRNAs and is implicated in many aspects of cellular physiology. We show that CELF1 competes with the RBP HuR to modulate MYC translation and regulates intestinal epithelial homeostasis. Growth inhibition of the small intestinal mucosa by fasting in mice was associated with increased CELF1/Myc mRNA association and decreased MYC expression. At the molecular level, CELF1 was found to bind the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of Myc mRNA and repressed MYC translation without affecting total Myc mRNA levels. HuR interacted with the same Myc 3'-UTR element, and increasing the levels of HuR decreased CELF1 binding to Myc mRNA. In contrast, increasing the concentrations of CELF1 inhibited formation of the [HuR/Myc mRNA] complex. Depletion of cellular polyamines also increased CELF1 and enhanced CELF1 association with Myc mRNA, thus suppressing MYC translation. Moreover, ectopic CELF1 overexpression caused G1-phase growth arrest, whereas CELF1 silencing promoted cell proliferation. These results indicate that CELF1 represses MYC translation by decreasing Myc mRNA association with HuR and provide new insight into the molecular functions of RBPs in the regulation of intestinal mucosal growth.