Interactions between UPF1, eRFs, PABP and the exon junction complex suggest an integrated model for mammalian NMD pathways.
ABSTRACT: Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) represents a key mechanism to control the expression of wild-type and aberrant mRNAs. Phosphorylation of the protein UPF1 in the context of translation termination contributes to committing mRNAs to NMD. We report that translation termination is inhibited by UPF1 and stimulated by cytoplasmic poly(A)-binding protein (PABPC1). UPF1 binds to eRF1 and to the GTPase domain of eRF3 both in its GTP- and GDP-bound states. Importantly, mutation studies show that UPF1 can interact with the exon junction complex (EJC) alternatively through either UPF2 or UPF3b to become phosphorylated and to activate NMD. On this basis, we discuss an integrated model where UPF1 halts translation termination and is phosphorylated by SMG1 if the termination-promoting interaction of PABPC1 with eRF3 cannot readily occur. The EJC, with UPF2 or UPF3b as a cofactor, interferes with physiological termination through UPF1. This model integrates previously competing models of NMD and suggests a mechanistic basis for alternative NMD pathways.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) is a surveillance mechanism that degrades aberrant mRNAs. A complex comprising SMG1, UPF1, and the translation termination factors eRF1 and eRF3 (SURF) is assembled in the vicinity of a premature termination codon. Subsequently, an interaction with UPF2, UPF3b, and the exon junction complex induces the formation of the decay-inducing complex (DECID) and triggers NMD. We previously identified the RNA helicase DHX34 as an NMD factor in C. elegans and in vertebrates. Here, we investigate the mechanism by which DHX34 activates NMD in human cells. We show that DHX34 is recruited to the SURF complex via its preferential interaction with hypophosphorylated UPF1. A series of molecular transitions induced by DHX34 include enhanced recruitment of UPF2, increased UPF1 phosphorylation, and dissociation of eRF3 from UPF1. Thus, DHX34 promotes mRNP remodeling and triggers the conversion from the SURF complex to the DECID complex resulting in NMD activation.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a eukaryotic post-transcriptional gene regulation mechanism that eliminates mRNAs with the termination codon (TC) located in an unfavorable environment for efficient translation termination. The best-studied NMD-targeted mRNAs contain premature termination codons (PTCs); however, NMD regulates even many physiological mRNAs. An exon-junction complex (EJC) located downstream from a TC acts as an NMD-enhancing signal, but is not generally required for NMD. Here, we compared these "EJC-enhanced" and "EJC-independent" modes of NMD with regard to their requirement for seven known NMD factors in human cells using two well-characterized NMD reporter genes (immunoglobulin ? and ?-Globin) with or without an intron downstream from the PTC. We show that both NMD modes depend on UPF1 and SMG1, but detected transcript-specific differences with respect to the requirement for UPF2 and UPF3b, consistent with previously reported UPF2- and UPF3-independent branches of NMD. In addition and contrary to expectation, a higher sensitivity of EJC-independent NMD to reduced UPF2 and UPF3b concentrations was observed. Our data further revealed a redundancy of the endo- and exonucleolytic mRNA degradation pathways in both modes of NMD. Moreover, the relative contributions of both decay pathways differed between the reporters, with PTC-containing immunoglobulin ? transcripts being preferentially subjected to SMG6-mediated endonucleolytic cleavage, whereas ?-Globin transcripts were predominantly degraded by the SMG5/SMG7-dependent pathway. Overall, the surprising heterogeneity observed with only two NMD reporter pairs suggests the existence of several mechanistically distinct branches of NMD in human cells.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is an mRNA degradation pathway that regulates gene expression and mRNA quality. A complex network of macromolecular interactions regulates NMD initiation, which is only partially understood. According to prevailing models, NMD begins by the assembly of the SURF (SMG1-UPF1-eRF1-eRF3) complex at the ribosome, followed by UPF1 activation by additional factors such as UPF2 and UPF3. Elucidating the interactions between NMD factors is essential to comprehend NMD, and here we demonstrate biochemically and structurally the interaction between human UPF2 and eukaryotic release factor 3 (eRF3). In addition, we find that UPF2 associates with SURF and ribosomes in cells, in an UPF3-independent manner. Binding assays using a collection of UPF2 truncated variants reveal that eRF3 binds to the C-terminal part of UPF2. This region of UPF2 is partially coincident with the UPF3-binding site as revealed by electron microscopy of the UPF2-eRF3 complex. Accordingly, we find that the interaction of UPF2 with UPF3b interferes with the assembly of the UPF2-eRF3 complex, and that UPF2 binds UPF3b more strongly than eRF3. Together, our results highlight the role of UPF2 as a platform for the transient interactions of several NMD factors, including several components of SURF.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) is a eukaryotic quality control pathway, involving conserved proteins UPF1, UPF2 and UPF3b, which detects and degrades mRNAs with premature stop codons. Human UPF2 comprises three tandem MIF4G domains and a C-terminal UPF1 binding region. MIF4G-3 binds UPF3b, but the specific functions of MIF4G-1 and MIF4G-2 are unknown. Crystal structures show that both MIF4G-1 and MIF4G-2 contain N-terminal capping helices essential for stabilization of the 10-helix MIF4G core and that MIF4G-2 interacts with MIF4G-3, forming a rigid assembly. The UPF2/UPF3b/SMG1 complex is thought to activate the kinase SMG1 to phosphorylate UPF1 in vivo. We identify MIF4G-3 as the binding site and in vitro substrate of SMG1 kinase and show that a ternary UPF2 MIF4G-3/UPF3b/SMG1 complex can form in vitro. Whereas in vivo complementation assays show that MIF4G-1 and MIF4G-2 are essential for NMD, tethering assays reveal that UPF2 truncated to only MIF4G-3 and the UPF1-binding region can still partially accomplish NMD. Thus UPF2 MIF4G-1 and MIF4G-2 appear to have a crucial scaffolding role, while MIF4G-3 is the key module required for triggering NMD.
Project description:Upf1, Upf2, and Upf3 are the principal regulators of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), a cytoplasmic surveillance pathway that accelerates the degradation of mRNAs undergoing premature translation termination. These three proteins interact with each other, the ribosome, the translation termination machinery, and multiple mRNA decay factors, but the precise mechanism allowing the selective detection and degradation of nonsense-containing transcripts remains elusive. Here, we have determined the crystal structure of the N-terminal mIF4G domain from Saccharomyces cerevisiae Upf2 and identified a highly conserved region in this domain that is essential for NMD and independent of Upf2's binding sites for Upf1 and Upf3. Mutations within this conserved region not only inactivate NMD but also disrupt Upf2 binding to specific proteins, including Dbp6, a DEAD-box helicase. Although current models indicate that Upf2 functions principally as an activator of Upf1 and a bridge between Upf1 and Upf3, our data suggest that it may also serve as a platform for the association of additional factors that play roles in premature translation termination and NMD.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) pathway promotes the rapid degradation of mRNAs containing premature termination codons (PTCs). In yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the activity of the NMD pathway depends on the recognition of the PTC by the translational machinery. Translation termination factors eRF1 (Sup45) and eRF3 (Sup35) participate not only in the last step of protein synthesis but also in mRNA degradation and translation initiation via interaction with such proteins as Pab1, Upf1, Upf2 and Upf3. RESULTS: In this work we have used previously isolated sup45 mutants of S. cerevisiae to characterize degradation of aberrant mRNA in conditions when translation termination is impaired. We have sequenced his7-1, lys9-A21 and trp1-289 alleles which are frequently used for analysis of nonsense suppression. We have established that sup45 nonsense and missense mutations lead to accumulation of his7-1 mRNA and CYH2 pre-mRNA. Remarkably, deletion of the UPF1 gene suppresses some sup45 phenotypes. In particular, sup45-n upf1Delta double mutants were less temperature sensitive, and more resistant to paromomycin than sup45 single mutants. In addition, deletion of either UPF2 or UPF3 restored viability of sup45-n double mutants. CONCLUSION: This is the first demonstration that sup45 mutations do not only change translation fidelity but also acts by causing a change in mRNA stability.
Project description:Non-sense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a mechanism of translation-dependent mRNA surveillance in eukaryotes: it degrades mRNAs with premature termination codons (PTCs) and contributes to cellular homeostasis by downregulating a number of physiologically important mRNAs. In the NMD pathway, Upf proteins, a set of conserved factors of which Upf1 is the central regulator, recruit decay enzymes to promote RNA cleavage. In mammals, the degradation of PTC-containing mRNAs is triggered by the exon-junction complex (EJC) through binding of its constituents Upf2 and Upf3 to Upf1. The complex formed eventually induces translational repression and recruitment of decay enzymes. Mechanisms by which physiological mRNAs are targeted by the NMD machinery in the absence of an EJC have been described but still are discussed controversially. Here, we report that the DEAD box proteins Ddx5/p68 and its paralog Ddx17/p72 also bind the Upf complex by physical interaction with Upf3, thereby interfering with the binding of EJC. By activating the NMD machinery, Ddx5 is shown to regulate the expression of its own, Ddx17 and Smg5 mRNAs. For NMD triggering, the adenosine triphosphate-binding activity of Ddx5 and the 3'-untranslated region of substrate mRNAs are essential.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), which is best known for degrading mRNAs with premature termination codons (PTCs), is thought to be triggered by aberrant translation termination at stop codons located in an environment of the mRNP that is devoid of signals necessary for proper termination. In mammals, the cytoplasmic poly(A)-binding protein 1 (PABPC1) has been reported to promote correct termination and therewith antagonize NMD by interacting with the eukaryotic release factors 1 (eRF1) and 3 (eRF3). Using tethering assays in which proteins of interest are recruited as MS2 fusions to a NMD reporter transcript, we show that the three N-terminal RNA recognition motifs (RRMs) of PABPC1 are sufficient to antagonize NMD, while the eRF3-interacting C-terminal domain is dispensable. The RRM1-3 portion of PABPC1 interacts with eukaryotic initiation factor 4G (eIF4G) and tethering of eIF4G to the NMD reporter also suppresses NMD. We identified the interactions of the eIF4G N-terminus with PABPC1 and the eIF4G core domain with eIF3 as two genetically separable features that independently enable tethered eIF4G to inhibit NMD. Collectively, our results reveal a function of PABPC1, eIF4G and eIF3 in translation termination and NMD suppression, and they provide additional evidence for a tight coupling between translation termination and initiation.
Project description:The splicing factor SRSF1 promotes nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), a quality control mechanism that degrades mRNAs with premature termination codons (PTCs). Here we show that transcript-bound SRSF1 increases the binding of NMD factor UPF1 to mRNAs while in, or associated with, the nucleus, bypassing UPF2 recruitment and promoting NMD. SRSF1 promotes NMD when positioned downstream of a PTC, which resembles the mode of action of exon junction complex (EJC) and NMD factors. Moreover, splicing and/or EJC deposition increase the effect of SRSF1 on NMD. Lastly, SRSF1 enhances NMD of PTC-containing endogenous transcripts that result from various events. Our findings reveal an alternative mechanism for UPF1 recruitment, uncovering an additional connection between splicing and NMD. SRSF1's role in the mRNA's journey from splicing to decay has broad implications for gene expression regulation and genetic diseases.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a cellular surveillance pathway that recognizes and degrades mRNAs with premature termination codons (PTCs). The mechanisms underlying translation termination are key to the understanding of RNA surveillance mechanisms such as NMD and crucial for the development of therapeutic strategies for NMD-related diseases. Here, we have used a fully reconstituted in vitro translation system to probe the NMD proteins for interaction with the termination apparatus. We discovered that UPF3B (i) interacts with the release factors, (ii) delays translation termination and (iii) dissociates post-termination ribosomal complexes that are devoid of the nascent peptide. Furthermore, we identified UPF1 and ribosomes as new interaction partners of UPF3B. These previously unknown functions of UPF3B during the early and late phases of translation termination suggest that UPF3B is involved in the crosstalk between the NMD machinery and the PTC-bound ribosome, a central mechanistic step of RNA surveillance.