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RNA. 2004 Dec;10(12):1888-99.

A synthetic A tail rescues yeast nuclear accumulation of a ribozyme-terminated transcript.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biology, Brandeis University, 415 South Street, Waltham, MA 02454, USA.


To investigate the role of 3' end formation in yeast mRNA export, we replaced the mRNA cleavage and polyadenylation signal with a self-cleaving hammerhead ribozyme element. The resulting RNA is unadenylated and accumulates near its site of synthesis. Nonetheless, a significant fraction of this RNA reaches the cytoplasm. Nuclear accumulation was relieved by insertion of a stretch of DNA-encoded adenosine residues immediately upstream of the ribozyme element (a synthetic A tail). This indicates that a 3' stretch of adenosines can promote export, independently of cleavage and polyadenylation. We further show that a synthetic A tail-containing RNA is unaffected in 3' end formation mutant strains, in which a normally cleaved and polyadenylated RNA accumulates within nuclei. Our results support a model in which a polyA tail contributes to efficient mRNA progression away from the gene, most likely through the action of the yeast polyA-tail binding protein Pab1p.

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