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Nature. 2000 Sep 21;407(6802):401-5.

The protein Aly links pre-messenger-RNA splicing to nuclear export in metazoans.

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Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


In metazoans, most pre-messenger RNAs contain introns that are removed by splicing. The spliced mRNAs are then exported to the cytoplasm. Recent studies showed that splicing promotes efficient mRNA export, but the mechanism for coupling these two processes is not known. Here we show that Aly, the metazoan homologue of the yeast mRNA export factor Yralp (ref. 2), is recruited to messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) complexes generated by splicing. In contrast, Aly does not associate with mRNPs assembled on identical mRNAs that already have no introns or with heterogenous nuclear RNP (hnRNP) complexes. Aly is recruited during spliceosome assembly, and then becomes tightly associated with the spliced mRNP. Aly shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm, and excess recombinant Aly increases both the rate and efficiency of mRNA export in vivo. Consistent with its splicing-dependent recruitment, Aly co-localizes with splicing factors in the nucleus. We conclude that splicing is required for efficient mRNA export as a result of coupling between the splicing and the mRNA export machineries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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