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J Cell Biol. 1997 Feb 24;136(4):761-73.

A mouse cytoplasmic exoribonuclease (mXRN1p) with preference for G4 tetraplex substrates.

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Institute of General Microbiology, University of Bern, Switzerland.


Exoribonucleases are important enzymes for the turnover of cellular RNA species. We have isolated the first mammalian cDNA from mouse demonstrated to encode a 5'-3' exoribonuclease. The structural conservation of the predicted protein and complementation data in Saccharomyces cerevisiae suggest a role in cytoplasmic mRNA turnover and pre-rRNA processing similar to that of the major cytoplasmic exoribonuclease Xrn1p in yeast. Therefore, a key component of the mRNA decay system in S. cerevisiae has been conserved in evolution from yeasts to mammals. The purified mouse protein (mXRN1p) exhibited a novel substrate preference for G4 RNA tetraplex-containing substrates demonstrated in binding and hydrolysis experiments. mXRN1p is the first RNA turnover function that has been localized in the cytoplasm of mammalian cells. mXRN1p was distributed in small granules and was highly enriched in discrete, prominent foci. The specificity of mXRN1p suggests that RNAs containing G4 tetraplex structures may occur in vivo and may have a role in RNA turnover.

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