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Genetics. 2001 Aug;158(4):1445-55.

The yeast cytoplasmic LsmI/Pat1p complex protects mRNA 3' termini from partial degradation.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.


A key aspect of understanding eukaryotic gene regulation will be the identification and analysis of proteins that bind mRNAs and control their function. Recently, a complex of seven Lsm proteins and the Pat1p have been shown to interact with yeast mRNAs and promote mRNA decapping. In this study we present several observations to indicate that the LsmI/Pat1 complex has a second distinct function in protecting the 3'-UTR of mRNAs from trimming. First, mutations in the LSM1 to LSM7, as well as PAT1, genes led to the accumulation of MFA2pG and PGK1pG transcripts that had been shortened by 10-20 nucleotides at their 3' ends (referred to as trimming). Second, the trimming of these mRNAs was more severe at the high temperature, correlating with the inability of these mutant strains to grow at high temperature. In contrast, trimming did not occur in a dcp1 Delta strain, wherein the decapping enzyme is lacking. This indicates that trimming is not simply a consequence of the inhibition of mRNA decapping. Third, the temperature-sensitive growth of lsm and pat1 mutants was suppressed by mutations in the exosome or the functionally related Ski proteins, which are required for efficient 3' to 5' mRNA degradation of mRNA. Moreover, in lsm ski double mutants, higher levels of the trimmed mRNAs accumulated, indicating that exosome function is not required for mRNA trimming but that the exosome does degrade the trimmed mRNAs. These results raise the possibility that the temperature-sensitive growth of the lsm1-7 and pat1 mutants is at least partially due to mRNA trimming, which either inactivates the function of the mRNAs or makes them available for premature 3' to 5' degradation by the exosome.

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