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PLoS One. 2016 Feb 12;11(2):e0149571. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149571. eCollection 2016.

Nuclear Export of Pre-Ribosomal Subunits Requires Dbp5, but Not as an RNA-Helicase as for mRNA Export.

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Abteilung für Molekulare Genetik, Institut für Mikrobiologie und Genetik, Göttinger Zentrum für Molekulare Biowissenschaften (GZMB), Georg-August Universität Göttingen, Germany.


The DEAD-box RNA-helicase Dbp5/Rat8 is known for its function in nuclear mRNA export, where it displaces the export receptor Mex67 from the mRNA at the cytoplasmic side of the nuclear pore complex (NPC). Here we show that Dbp5 is also required for the nuclear export of both pre-ribosomal subunits. Yeast temperature-sensitive dbp5 mutants accumulate both ribosomal particles in their nuclei. Furthermore, Dbp5 genetically and physically interacts with known ribosomal transport factors such as Nmd3. Similar to mRNA export we show that also for ribosomal transport Dbp5 is required at the cytoplasmic side of the NPC. However, unlike its role in mRNA export, Dbp5 does not seem to undergo its ATPase cycle for this function, as ATPase-deficient dbp5 mutants that selectively inhibit mRNA export do not affect ribosomal transport. Furthermore, mutants of GLE1, the ATPase stimulating factor of Dbp5, show no major ribosomal export defects. Consequently, while Dbp5 uses its ATPase cycle to displace the export receptor Mex67 from the translocated mRNAs, Mex67 remains bound to ribosomal subunits upon transit to the cytoplasm, where it is detectable on translating ribosomes. Therefore, we propose a model, in which Dbp5 supports ribosomal transport by capturing ribosomal subunits upon their cytoplasmic appearance at the NPC, possibly by binding export factors such as Mex67. Thus, our findings reveal that although different ribonucleoparticles, mRNAs and pre-ribosomal subunits, use shared export factors, they utilize different transport mechanisms.

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