UPF1 association with the cap-binding protein, CBP80, promotes nonsense-mediated mRNA decay at two distinct steps.
ABSTRACT: Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is an mRNA surveillance mechanism that in mammals generally occurs upon recognition of a premature termination codon (PTC) during a pioneer round of translation. This round involves newly synthesized mRNA that is bound at its 5' end by the cap-binding protein (CBP) heterodimer CBP80-CBP20. Here we show that precluding the binding of the NMD factor UPF1 to CBP80 inhibits NMD at two steps: the association of SMG1 and UPF1 with the two eukaryotic release factors (eRFs) during SURF complex formation at a PTC, and the subsequent association of SMG1 and UPF1 with an exon-junction complex. We also demonstrate that UPF1 binds PTC-containing mRNA more efficiently than the corresponding PTC-free mRNA in a way that is promoted by the UPF1-CBP80 interaction. A unifying model proposes a choreographed series of protein-protein interactions occurring on an NMD target.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated messenger RNA decay (NMD) generally degrades mRNAs that prematurely terminate translation as a means of quality control. NMD in mammalian cells targets newly spliced mRNA that is bound by the cap-binding protein heterodimer CBP80/20 and one or more post-splicing exon junction complexes during a pioneer round of translation. NMD targets mRNA that initiates translation using the encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) internal ribosome entry site (IRES), therefore NMD might target not only CBP80/20-bound mRNA but also its remodelled product, eIF4E-bound mRNA. Here, we provide evidence that NMD triggered by translation initiation at the EMCV IRES, similar to NMD triggered by translation initiation at an mRNA cap, targets CBP80/20-bound mRNA but does not detectably target eIF4E-bound mRNA. We show that EMCV IRES-initiated translation undergoes a CBP80/20-associated pioneer round of translation that results in CBP80/20-dependent and Upf factor-dependent NMD when translation terminates prematurely.
Project description:The nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) pathway promotes rapid degradation of mRNAs containing premature translation termination codons (PTCs or nonsense codons), preventing accumulation of potentially detrimental truncated proteins. In metazoa, seven genes (upf1, upf2, upf3, smg1, smg5, smg6, and smg7) have been identified as essential for NMD; here we show that the zebrafish genome encodes orthologs of upf1, upf2, smg1, and smg5 to smg7 and two upf3 paralogs. We also show that Upf1 is required for degradation of PTC-containing mRNAs in zebrafish embryos. Moreover, its depletion has a severe impact on embryonic development, early patterning, and viability. Similar phenotypes are observed in Upf2-, Smg5-, or Smg6-depleted embryos, suggesting that zebrafish embryogenesis requires an active NMD pathway. Using cultured cells, we demonstrate that the ability of a PTC to trigger NMD is strongly stimulated by downstream exon-exon boundaries. Thus, as in mammals and plants but in contrast to invertebrates and fungi, NMD is coupled to splicing in zebrafish. Our results together with previous studies show that NMD effectors are essential for vertebrate embryogenesis and suggest that the coupling of splicing and NMD has been maintained in vertebrates but lost in fungi and invertebrates.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) controls the quality of eukaryotic gene expression and also degrades physiologic mRNAs. How NMD targets are identified is incompletely understood. A central NMD factor is the ATP-dependent RNA helicase upframeshift 1 (UPF1). Neither the distance in space between the termination codon and the poly(A) tail nor the binding of steady-state, largely hypophosphorylated UPF1 is a discriminating marker of cellular NMD targets, unlike for premature termination codon (PTC)-containing reporter mRNAs when compared with their PTC-free counterparts. Here, we map phosphorylated UPF1 (p-UPF1)-binding sites using transcriptome-wide footprinting or DNA oligonucleotide-directed mRNA cleavage to report that p-UPF1 provides the first reliable cellular NMD target marker. p-UPF1 is enriched on NMD target 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) along with suppressor with morphogenic effect on genitalia 5 (SMG5) and SMG7 but not SMG1 or SMG6. Immunoprecipitations of UPF1 variants deficient in various aspects of the NMD process in parallel with Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments reveal that ATPase/helicase-deficient UPF1 manifests high levels of RNA binding and disregulated hyperphosphorylation, whereas wild-type UPF1 releases from nonspecific RNA interactions in an ATP hydrolysis-dependent mechanism until an NMD target is identified. 3' UTR-associated UPF1 undergoes regulated phosphorylation on NMD targets, providing a binding platform for mRNA degradative activities. p-UPF1 binding to NMD target 3' UTRs is stabilized by SMG5 and SMG7. Our results help to explain why steady-state UPF1 binding is not a marker for cellular NMD substrates and how this binding is transformed to induce mRNA decay.
Project description:The nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) pathway promotes the rapid degradation of mRNAs containing premature stop codons (PTCs). In Caenorhabditis elegans, seven genes (smg1-7) playing an essential role in NMD have been identified. Only SMG2-4 (known as UPF1-3) have orthologs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here we show that the Drosophila orthologs of UPF1-3, SMG1, SMG5 and SMG6 are required for the degradation of PTC-containing mRNAs, but that there is no SMG7 ortholog in this organism. In contrast, orthologs of SMG5-7 are encoded by the human genome and all three are required for NMD. In human cells, exon boundaries have been shown to play a critical role in defining PTCs. This role is mediated by components of the exon junction complex (EJC). Contrary to expectation, however, we show that the components of the EJC are dispensable for NMD in Drosophila cells. Consistently, PTC definition occurs independently of exon boundaries in Drosophila. Our findings reveal that despite conservation of the NMD machinery, different mechanisms have evolved to discriminate premature from natural stop codons in metazoa.
Project description:Eukaryotic mRNAs with premature translation-termination codons (PTCs) are recognized and eliminated by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). NMD substrates can be degraded by different routes that all require phosphorylated UPF1 (P-UPF1) as a starting point. The endonuclease SMG6, which cleaves mRNA near the PTC, is one of the three known NMD factors thought to be recruited to nonsense mRNAs via an interaction with P-UPF1, leading to eventual mRNA degradation. By artificial tethering of SMG6 and mutants thereof to a reporter mRNA combined with knockdowns of various NMD factors, we demonstrate that besides its endonucleolytic activity, SMG6 also requires UPF1 and SMG1 to reduce reporter mRNA levels. Using in vivo and in vitro approaches, we further document that SMG6 and the unique stalk region of the UPF1 helicase domain, along with a contribution from the SQ domain, form a novel interaction and we also show that this region of the UPF1 helicase domain is critical for SMG6 function and NMD. Our results show that this interaction is required for NMD and for the capability of tethered SMG6 to degrade its bound RNA, suggesting that it contributes to the intricate regulation of UPF1 and SMG6 enzymatic activities.
Project description:Smg1 is a PI3K-related kinase (PIKK) associated with multiple cellular functions, including DNA damage responses, telomere maintenance, and nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). NMD degrades transcripts that harbor premature termination codons (PTCs) as a result of events such as mutation or alternative splicing (AS). Recognition of PTCs during NMD requires the action of the Upstream frameshift protein Upf1, which must first be phosphorylated by Smg1. However, the physiological function of mammalian Smg1 is not known. By using a gene-trap model of Smg1 deficiency, we show that this kinase is essential for mouse embryogenesis such that Smg1 loss is lethal at embryonic day 8.5. High-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) of RNA from cells of Smg1-deficient embryos revealed that Smg1 depletion led to pronounced accumulation of PTC-containing splice variant transcripts from approximately 9% of genes predicted to contain AS events capable of eliciting NMD. Among these genes are those involved in splicing itself, as well as genes not previously known to be subject to AS-coupled NMD, including several involved in transcription, intracellular signaling, membrane dynamics, cell death, and metabolism. Our results demonstrate a critical role for Smg1 in early mouse development and link the loss of this NMD factor to major and widespread changes in the mammalian transcriptome.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is responsible for the degradation of mRNAs with a premature termination codon (PTC). The role of this system in cancer is still quite poorly understood. In the present study, we evaluated the functional consequences of NMD activity in a subgroup of colorectal cancers (CRC) characterized by high levels of mRNAs with a PTC due to widespread instability in microsatellite sequences (MSI). In comparison to microsatellite stable (MSS) CRC, MSI CRC expressed increased levels of two critical activators of the NMD system, UPF1/2 and SMG1/6/7. Suppression of NMD activity led to the re-expression of dozens of PTC mRNAs. Amongst these, several encoded mutant proteins with putative deleterious activity against MSI tumorigenesis (e.g., HSP110DE9 chaperone mutant). Inhibition of NMD in vivo using amlexanox reduced MSI tumor growth, but not that of MSS tumors. These results suggest that inhibition of the oncogenic activity of NMD may be an effective strategy for the personalized treatment of MSI CRC.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) is a messenger RNA quality-control pathway triggered by SMG1-mediated phosphorylation of the NMD factor UPF1. In recent times, the RNA helicase DHX34 was found to promote mRNP remodelling, leading to activation of NMD. Here we demonstrate the mechanism by which DHX34 functions in concert with SMG1. DHX34 comprises two distinct structural units, a core that binds UPF1 and a protruding carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) that binds the SMG1 kinase, as shown using truncated forms of DHX34 and electron microscopy of the SMG1-DHX34 complex. Truncation of the DHX34 CTD does not affect binding to UPF1; however, it compromises DHX34 binding to SMG1 to affect UPF1 phosphorylation and hence abrogate NMD. Altogether, these data suggest the existence of a complex comprising SMG1, UPF1 and DHX34, with DHX34 functioning as a scaffold for UPF1 and SMG1. This complex promotes UPF1 phosphorylation leading to functional NMD.
Project description:Epigenetic silence in cancer frequently altered signal-transduction pathways during the early stages of tumor development. Recent progress in the field of cancer epigenetics has led to new opportunities for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. We previously demonstrated that novel identified nuclear factor MARVELD1 was widely expressed in human tissues, but down-regulated by promoter methylation in multiple cancers. This study was carried out to determine the biological and clinical significance of MARVELD1 gene silencing in lung cancer. Here, we found the reduced MARVELD1 expression significantly correlated with diagnostic histopathology and malignant degree of lung cancers. DNA hypermethylation and histone deacetylation synergistically inactivated MARVELD1 gene in lung cancer cells. Moreover, MARVELD1 modulated the efficiency of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) through interaction with NMD core factor SMG1. The decreased MARVELD1 level in lung cancer reduces NMD efficiency through diminishing the association between NMD complex component UPF1/SMG1 and premature termination codons containing mRNA (PTC-mRNA). The results suggested that MARVELD1 silencing is an appealing diagnostic biomarker for lung cancer and epigenetic silencing of MARVELD1 gene links with the regulatory mechanism of NMD pathway in lung cancer, which may be required for tumorigenesis.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is an essential eukaryotic process regulating transcript quality and abundance, and is involved in diverse processes including brain development and plant defenses. Although some of the NMD machinery is conserved between kingdoms, little is known about its evolution. Phosphorylation of the core NMD component UPF1 is critical for NMD and is regulated in mammals by the SURF complex (UPF1, SMG1 kinase, SMG8, SMG9 and eukaryotic release factors). However, since SMG1 is reportedly missing from the genomes of fungi and the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, it remains unclear how UPF1 is activated outside the metazoa. We used comparative genomics to determine the conservation of the NMD pathway across eukaryotic evolution. We show that SURF components are present in all major eukaryotic lineages, including fungi, suggesting that in addition to UPF1 and SMG1, SMG8 and SMG9 also existed in the last eukaryotic common ancestor, 1.8 billion years ago. However, despite the ancient origins of the SURF complex, we also found that SURF factors have been independently lost across the Eukarya, pointing to genetic buffering within the essential NMD pathway. We infer an ancient role for SURF in regulating UPF1, and the intriguing possibility of undiscovered NMD regulatory pathways.