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Nucleic Acids Res. 2019 Apr 8;47(6):3045-3057. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz043.

RNA surveillance by uridylation-dependent RNA decay in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

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Department of Biochemistry, The University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street, London, ON N6A 5C1, Canada.
Department of Pathology, The University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street, London, ON N6A 5C1, Canada.


Uridylation-dependent RNA decay is a widespread eukaryotic pathway modulating RNA homeostasis. Terminal uridylyltransferases (Tutases) add untemplated uridyl residues to RNA 3'-ends, marking them for degradation by the U-specific exonuclease Dis3L2. In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Cid1 uridylates a variety of RNAs. In this study, we investigate the prevalence and impact of uridylation-dependent RNA decay in S. pombe by transcriptionally profiling cid1 and dis3L2 deletion strains. We found that the exonuclease Dis3L2 represents a bottleneck in uridylation-dependent mRNA decay, whereas Cid1 plays a redundant role that can be complemented by other Tutases. Deletion of dis3L2 elicits a cellular stress response, upregulating transcription of genes involved in protein folding and degradation. Misfolded proteins accumulate in both deletion strains, yet only trigger a strong stress response in dis3L2 deficient cells. While a deletion of cid1 increases sensitivity to protein misfolding stress, a dis3L2 deletion showed no increased sensitivity or was even protective. We furthermore show that uridylyl- and adenylyltransferases cooperate to generate a 5'-NxAUUAAAA-3' RNA motif on dak2 mRNA. Our studies elucidate the role of uridylation-dependent RNA decay as part of a global mRNA surveillance, and we found that perturbation of this pathway leads to the accumulation of misfolded proteins and elicits cellular stress responses.

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