Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay is the process by which mRNAs bearing premature stop codons are recognized and cleared from the cell. While considerable information has accumulated regarding recognition of the premature stop codon, less is known about the ensuing mRNA suppression. During the characterization of a second, distinct translational surveillance pathway (nonstop mRNA decay), we trapped intermediates in nonsense mRNA degradation. We present data in support of a model wherein nonsense-mediated decay funnels into the nonstop decay pathway in C. elegans. Specifically, our results point to SKI-exosome decay and pelota-based ribosome removal as key steps facilitating suppression and clearance of prematurely-terminated translation complexes. These results suggest a model in which premature stop codons elicit nucleolytic cleavage, with the nonstop pathway disengaging ribosomes and degrading the resultant RNA fragments to suppress ongoing expression.
- Andrew Z Fire
- Joshua A Arribere
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Rachel Green, Reviewing Editor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, United States
© 2018, Arribere & Fire
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