Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, December 2014 Volume1 Article 25


Copyright © 2014 Obenoskey, Lane, Atkin, and Kebaara


The nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) pathway is a specialized pathway that triggers the rapid degradation of select mRNAs. Initially, identified as a pathway that degrades mRNAs with premature termination codons, NMD is now recognized as a pathway that also regulates some natural mRNAs. Since natural mRNAs do not typically contain premature termination codons, these mRNAs contain features that target them to NMD. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae mRNAs with a typically long 3’UTRs are usually degraded by NMD, however in some conditions a constitutively expressed SSY5 mRNA with multiple NMD targeting signals including an atypically long 3’-UTR is an exception. We investigated the features of the SSY5 mRNAs that conferimmunity to NMD. We found that the SSY5 mRNA 3’-UTRs are sufficient to target NMD insensitive mRNA to the pathway. Replacing the SSY5 3’-UTRs with the cyc1-512 3’-UTRs, known to target mRNAs to NMD or with the CYC1 3’-UTR, known not to target mRNAs to NMD, resulted in production of SSY5 mRNAs that were regulated by NMD. These observations suggest that the SSY5 mRNAs require sequences both within the 5’-UTR and/or ORF as well as the 3’-UTR to escape decay by NMD.

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