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EMBO J. 2005 Apr 20;24(8):1584-95. Epub 2005 Mar 31.

Translation of aberrant mRNAs lacking a termination codon or with a shortened 3'-UTR is repressed after initiation in yeast.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan.


A novel mRNA surveillance for mRNA lacking a termination codon (nonstop mRNA) has been proposed in which Ski7p is thought to recognize stalled ribosomes at the 3' end of mRNA. Here we report our analysis of translation and decay of nonstop mRNAs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Although the reduction of nonstop mRNAs was only 4.5-fold, a level that is sufficient for residual protein synthesis, translation products of nonstop mRNAs were hardly detectable. We show that nonstop mRNAs were associated with polysomes, but not with Pab1p. We also show that ribosomes translating nonstop mRNA formed stable and heavy polysome complexes with mRNA. These data suggest that ribosome stalling at the 3' end of nonstop mRNA may block further rounds of translation, hence repressing protein synthesis. Furthermore, it was found that the 5' --> 3' decay pathway was accelerated for nonstop mRNA decay in the absence of Ski7p. We also found that translation of aberrant mRNAs with a shortened 3'-UTR was repressed, suggesting that an improper spatial distance between the termination codon and the 3' end of mRNA results in translation repression.

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