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Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 Nov 30;46(21):11169-11183. doi: 10.1093/nar/gky915.

Proteomic profiling and functional characterization of post-translational modifications of the fission yeast RNA exosome.

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RNA Group, Department of Biochemistry, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.


The RNA exosome is a conserved multi-subunit complex essential for processing and degradation of several types of RNAs. Although many of the functions of the RNA exosome are well established, whether the activity of this complex is regulated remains unclear. Here we performed a proteomic analysis of the RNA exosome complex purified from Schizosaccharomyces pombe and identified 39 post-translational modifications (PTMs), including phosphorylation, methylation, and acetylation sites. Interestingly, most of the modifications were identified in Dis3, a catalytic subunit of the RNA exosome, as well as in the exosome-associated RNA helicase, Mtr4. Functional analysis of selected PTM sites using modification-deficient and -mimetic versions of exosome subunits revealed substitutions that affected cell growth and exosome functions. Notably, our results suggest that site-specific phosphorylation in the catalytic center of Dis3 and in the helical bundle domain of Mtr4 control their activity. Our findings support a view in which post-translational modifications fine-tune exosome activity and add a layer of regulation to RNA degradation.

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