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Cell. 2001 Dec 14;107(6):751-62.

Functional link between the mammalian exosome and mRNA decapping.

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Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.


Mechanistic understanding of mammalian mRNA turnover remains incomplete. We demonstrate that the 3' to 5' exoribonuclease decay pathway is a major contributor to mRNA decay both in cells and in cell extract. An exoribonuclease-dependent scavenger decapping activity was identified that follows decay of the mRNA and hydrolyzes the residual cap. The decapping activity is associated with a subset of the exosome proteins in vivo, implying a higher-order degradation complex consisting of exoribonucleases and a decapping activity, which together coordinate the decay of an mRNA. These findings indicate that following deadenylation of mammal mRNA, degradation proceeds by a coupled 3' to 5' exoribonucleolytic activity and subsequent hydrolysis of the cap structure by a scavenger decapping activity.

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