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Genetics. 2008 Aug;179(4):1945-55. doi: 10.1534/genetics.108.091256. Epub 2008 Aug 9.

Synthetic genetic array analysis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae provides evidence for an interaction between RAT8/DBP5 and genes encoding P-body components.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.


Coordination of the multiple steps of mRNA biogenesis helps to ensure proper regulation of gene expression. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae DEAD-box protein Rat8p/Dbp5p is an essential mRNA export factor that functions at the nuclear pore complex (NPC) where it is thought to remodel mRNA/protein complexes during mRNA export. Rat8p also functions in translation termination and has been implicated in functioning during early transcription. We conducted a synthetic genetic array analysis (SGA) using a strain harboring the temperature-sensitive rat8-2 allele. Although RAT8 had been shown to interact genetically with >15 other genes, we identified >40 additional genes whose disruption in a rat8-2 background causes synthetic lethality or dramatically reduced growth. Included were five that encode components of P-bodies, sites of cytoplasmic mRNA turnover and storage. Wild-type Rat8p localizes to NPCs and diffusely throughout the cell but rat8-2p localized to cytoplasmic granules at nonpermissive temperature that are distinct from P-bodies. In some genetic backgrounds, these granules also contain poly(A)-binding protein, Pab1p, and additional mRNA export factors. Although these foci are distinct from P-bodies, the two merge under heat-stress conditions. We suggest that these granules reflect defective mRNP remodeling during mRNA export and during cytoplasmic mRNA metabolism.

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