1. Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
  2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
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Polypyrimidine tract binding protein 1 protects mRNAs from recognition by the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway

  1. Zhiyun Ge
  2. Bao Lin Quek
  3. Karen L Beemon
  4. J Robert Hogg  Is a corresponding author
  1. National Institutes of Health, United States
  2. Johns Hopkins University, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 37
  • Views 2,725
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Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e11155 doi: 10.7554/eLife.11155

Abstract

The nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) pathway degrades mRNAs containing long 3'UTRs to perform dual roles in mRNA quality control and gene expression regulation. However, expansion of vertebrate 3'UTR functions has required a physical expansion of 3'UTR lengths, complicating the process of detecting nonsense mutations. We show that the polypyrimidine tract binding protein 1 (PTBP1) shields specific retroviral and cellular transcripts from NMD. When bound near a stop codon, PTBP1 blocks the NMD protein UPF1 from binding 3'UTRs. PTBP1 can thus mark specific stop codons as genuine, preserving both the ability of NMD to accurately detect aberrant mRNAs and the capacity of long 3'UTRs to regulate gene expression. Illustrating the wide scope of this mechanism, we use RNA-seq and transcriptome-wide analysis of PTBP1 binding sites to show that many human mRNAs are protected by PTBP1 and that PTBP1 enrichment near stop codons correlates with 3'UTR length and resistance to NMD.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Zhiyun Ge

    Biochemistry and Biophysics Center, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Bao Lin Quek

    Department of Biology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Karen L Beemon

    Department of Biology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. J Robert Hogg

    Biochemistry and Biophysics Center, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, United States
    For correspondence
    j.hogg@nih.gov
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Elisa Izaurralde, Max Planck Institute Development Biology, Germany

Publication history

  1. Received: August 26, 2015
  2. Accepted: January 7, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: January 8, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: February 12, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

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