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Mol Cell. 2008 Oct 24;32(2):247-58. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2008.10.003.

Polyadenylation linked to transcription termination directs the processing of snoRNA precursors in yeast.

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Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Pawinskiego 5a, 02-106 Warsaw, Poland.


Transcription termination by RNA polymerase II is coupled to transcript 3' end formation. A large cleavage and polyadenylation complex containing the major poly(A) polymerase Pap1 produces mRNA 3' ends, whereas those of nonpolyadenylated snoRNAs in yeast are formed either by endonucleolytic cleavage or by termination, followed by trimming by the nuclear exosome. We show that synthesis of independently transcribed snoRNAs involves default polyadenylation of two classes of precursors derived from termination at a main Nrd1/Nab3-dependent site or a "fail-safe" mRNA-like signal. Poly(A) tails are added by Pap1 to both forms, whereas the alternative poly(A) polymerase Tfr4 adenylates major precursors and processing intermediates to facilitate further polyadenylation by Pap1 and maturation by the exosome/Rrp6. A more important role of Trf4/TRAMP, however, is to enhance Nrd1 association with snoRNA genes. We propose a model in which polyadenylation of pre-snoRNAs is a key event linking their transcription termination, 3' end processing, and degradation.

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