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J Cell Biol. 2008 Jul 14;182(1):89-101. doi: 10.1083/jcb.200801196.

Deadenylation is prerequisite for P-body formation and mRNA decay in mammalian cells.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Deadenylation is the major step triggering mammalian mRNA decay. One consequence of deadenylation is the formation of nontranslatable messenger RNA (mRNA) protein complexes (messenger ribonucleoproteins [mRNPs]). Nontranslatable mRNPs may accumulate in P-bodies, which contain factors involved in translation repression, decapping, and 5'-to-3' degradation. We demonstrate that deadenylation is required for mammalian P-body formation and mRNA decay. We identify Pan2, Pan3, and Caf1 deadenylases as new P-body components and show that Pan3 helps recruit Pan2, Ccr4, and Caf1 to P-bodies. Pan3 knockdown causes a reduction of P-bodies and has differential effects on mRNA decay. Knocking down Caf1 or overexpressing a Caf1 catalytically inactive mutant impairs deadenylation and mRNA decay. P-bodies are not detected when deadenylation is blocked and are restored when the blockage is released. When deadenylation is impaired, P-body formation is not restorable, even when mRNAs exit the translating pool. These results support a dynamic interplay among deadenylation, mRNP remodeling, and P-body formation in selective decay of mammalian mRNA.

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