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Cell. 2008 Apr 18;133(2):303-13. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.02.031.

SKAR links pre-mRNA splicing to mTOR/S6K1-mediated enhanced translation efficiency of spliced mRNAs.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, 240 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Different protein complexes form on newly spliced mRNA to ensure the accuracy and efficiency of eukaryotic gene expression. For example, the exon junction complex (EJC) plays an important role in mRNA surveillance. The EJC also influences the first, or pioneer round of protein synthesis through a mechanism that is poorly understood. We show that the nutrient-, stress-, and energy-sensing checkpoint kinase, mTOR, contributes to the observed enhanced translation efficiency of spliced over nonspliced mRNAs. We demonstrate that, when activated, S6K1 is recruited to the newly synthesized mRNA by SKAR, which is deposited at the EJC during splicing, and that SKAR and S6K1 increase the translation efficiency of spliced mRNA. Thus, SKAR-mediated recruitment of activated S6K1 to newly processed mRNPs serves as a conduit between mTOR checkpoint signaling and the pioneer round of translation when cells exist in conditions supportive of protein synthesis.

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