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RNA Biol. 2013 Jun;10(6):1057-65. doi: 10.4161/rna.24569. Epub 2013 Apr 16.

Functional characterization of Upf1 targets in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

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Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, UAM-CSIC Madrid, Spain.


Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a highly conserved mechanism of mRNA degradation. NMD eliminates mRNAs containing premature termination codons (PTCs), preventing the production of truncated proteins with possible deleterious effects. However, there is mounting evidence that NMD factors, like Upf1, Upf2 and Upf3, participate in general regulation of gene expression, affecting the expression of genes lacking PTCs. We have used the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe to identify mRNAs directly regulated by NMD. Using a combination of genetic and biochemical approaches, we have defined a population of fission yeast mRNAs specifically regulated by Upf1. We show that other components of the Upf complex, Upf2 and Upf3, are required for binding of Upf1 to its RNA targets and for the proper response of fission yeast to oxidative stress. Finally, we investigated the physiological importance of this phenomenon, and demonstrate that the Upf1-dependent downregulation of some of its direct targets is necessary for normal resistance to oxidative stress.


NMD; fission yeast; mRNA binding

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