Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2008;3(10):e3609. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003609. Epub 2008 Oct 31.

UPF1, a conserved nonsense-mediated mRNA decay factor, regulates cyst wall protein transcripts in Giardia lamblia.

Author information

Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.


The Giardia lamblia cyst wall is required for survival outside the host and infection. Three cyst wall protein (cwp) genes identified to date are highly up-regulated during encystation. However, little is known of the molecular mechanisms governing their gene regulation. Messenger RNAs containing premature stop codons are rapidly degraded by a nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) system to avoid production of non-functional proteins. In addition to RNA surveillance, NMD also regulates thousands of naturally occurring transcripts through a variety of mechanisms. It is interesting to know the NMD pathway in the primitive eukaryotes. Previously, we have found that the giardial homologue of a conserved NMD factor, UPF1, may be functionally conserved and involved in NMD and in preventing nonsense suppression. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that NMD factors can regulate some naturally occurring transcripts in G. lamblia. We found that overexpression of UPF1 resulted in a significant decrease of the levels of CWP1 and cyst formation and of the endogenous cwp1-3, and myb2 mRNA levels and stability. This indicates that NMD could contribute to the regulation of the cwp1-3 and myb2 transcripts, which are key to G. lamblia differentiation into cyst. Interestingly, we also found that UPF1 may be involved in regulation of eight other endogenous genes, including up-regulation of the translation elongation factor gene, whose product increases translation which is required for NMD. Our results indicate that NMD factor could contribute to the regulation of not only nonsense containing mRNAs, but also mRNAs of the key encystation-induced genes and other endogenous genes in the early-diverging eukaryote, G. lamblia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center