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Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 22;6:37311. doi: 10.1038/srep37311.

Harnessing short poly(A)-binding protein-interacting peptides for the suppression of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay.

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Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.


Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a cellular process that eliminates messenger RNA (mRNA) substrates with premature translation termination codons (PTCs). In addition, NMD regulates the expression of a number of physiological mRNAs, for example transcripts containing long 3' UTRs. Current models implicate the interaction between cytoplasmic poly(A)-binding protein (PABPC1) and translation termination in NMD. Accordingly, PABPC1 present within close proximity of a termination codon antagonizes NMD. Here, we use reporter mRNAs with different NMD-inducing 3' UTRs to establish a general NMD-inhibiting property of PABPC1. NMD-inhibition is not limited to PABPC1, but can also be achieved by peptides consisting of the PABP-interacting motif 2 (PAM2) of different proteins when recruited to an NMD-inhibiting position of NMD reporter transcripts. The short PAM2 peptides efficiently suppress NMD activated by a long 3' UTR, an exon-junction complex (EJC) and individual EJC components, and stabilize a PTC-containing β-globin mRNA. In conclusion, our results establish short PABPC1-recruiting peptides as potent but position-dependent inhibitors of mammalian NMD.

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