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RNA. 2005 Dec;11(12):1795-802.

Ge-1 is a central component of the mammalian cytoplasmic mRNA processing body.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Havard Medical School, the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.


The mRNA processing body (P-body) is a cellular structure that regulates gene expression by degrading cytoplasmic mRNA. The objective of this study was to identify and characterize novel components of the mammalian P-body. Approximately 5% of patients with the autoimmune disease primary biliary cirrhosis have antibodies directed against this structure. Serum from one of these patients was used to identify a cDNA encoding Ge-1, a 1,401-amino-acid protein. Ge-1 contains an N-terminal WD 40 motif and C-terminal domains characterized by a repeating psi(X(2-3)) motif. Ge-1 co-localized with previously identified P-body components, including proteins involved in mRNA decapping (DCP1a and DCP2) and the autoantigen GW 182. The Ge-1 C-terminal domain was necessary and sufficient to target the protein to P-bodies. Following exposure of cells to oxidative stress, Ge-1-containing P-bodies were found adjacent to TIA-containing stress granules. During the recovery period, TIA returned to the nucleus while Ge-1-containing P-bodies localized to the perinuclear region. siRNA-mediated knock-down of Ge-1 resulted in loss of P-bodies containing Ge-1, DCP1a, and DCP2. In contrast, Ge-1-containing P-bodies persisted despite knock-down of DCP2. Taken together, the results of this study show that Ge-1 is a central component of P-bodies and suggest that Ge-1 may act prior to the 5(')-decapping step in mRNA degradation.

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