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Mol Cell. 2008 Jul 11;31(1):91-103. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2008.04.030.

Nuclear mRNA surveillance in THO/sub2 mutants is triggered by inefficient polyadenylation.

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  • 1Centre for mRNP Biogenesis and Metabolism, Aarhus University, C.F. Møllers Alle, Building 130, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


The yeast THO complex and the associated RNA helicase Sub2p are important mRNP maturation factors. Transcripts produced in THO/sub2 mutants are subject to degradation by a surveillance mechanism that involves the nuclear RNA exosome. Here we show that inefficient polyadenylation forms the basis of this accelerated mRNA decay. A genetic screen reveals extensive interactions between deletions of THO subunits and mRNA 3' end processing mutants. Nuclear run-ons strengthen this link by showing premature transcription termination close to polyadenylation sites in THO/sub2 mutants in vivo. Moreover, in vitro, pre-mRNA substrates are poorly polyadenylated and consequently unstable in extracts from THO/sub2 mutant strains. Decreased polyadenylation correlates with a specific downregulation of the poly(A)-polymerase cofactor Fip1p by the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway. Both polyadenylation defects and Fip1p instability depend on the nuclear exosome component Rrp6p and its activator Trf4p. We suggest that removal of aberrant mRNA is facilitated by direct regulation of polyadenylation activity.

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