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J Cell Biol. 2017 Oct 2;216(10):3073-3085. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201612125. Epub 2017 Sep 6.

Cadherin complexes recruit mRNAs and RISC to regulate epithelial cell signaling.

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Department of Cancer Biology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL
Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.
Department of Cancer Biology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL.
Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL.
Department of Cancer Biology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL


Cumulative evidence demonstrates that most RNAs exhibit specific subcellular distribution. However, the mechanisms regulating this phenomenon and its functional consequences are still under investigation. Here, we reveal that cadherin complexes at the apical zonula adherens (ZA) of epithelial adherens junctions recruit the core components of the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) Ago2, GW182, and PABPC1, as well as a set of 522 messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and 28 mature microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs), via PLEKHA7. Top canonical pathways represented by these mRNAs include Wnt/β-catenin, TGF-β, and stem cell signaling. We specifically demonstrate the presence and silencing of MYC, JUN, and SOX2 mRNAs by miR-24 and miR-200c at the ZA. PLEKHA7 knockdown dissociates RISC from the ZA, decreases loading of the ZA-associated mRNAs and miRNAs to Ago2, and results in a corresponding increase of MYC, JUN, and SOX2 protein expression. The present work reveals a mechanism that directly links junction integrity to the silencing of a set of mRNAs that critically affect epithelial homeostasis.

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