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Communication of the Position of Exon-Exon Junctions to the mRNA Surveillance Machinery by the Protein RNPS1

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Science  07 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5536, pp. 1836-1839
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062786

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Abstract

In mammalian cells, splice junctions play a dual role in mRNA quality control: They mediate selective nuclear export of mature mRNA and they serve as a mark for mRNA surveillance, which subjects aberrant mRNAs with premature termination codons to nonsense-mediated decay (NMD). Here, we demonstrate that the protein RNPS1, a component of the postsplicing complex that is deposited 5′ to exon-exon junctions, interacts with the evolutionarily conserved human Upf complex, a central component of NMD. Significantly, RNPS1 triggers NMD when tethered to the 3′ untranslated region of β-globin mRNA, demonstrating its role as a subunit of the postsplicing complex directly involved in mRNA surveillance.

  • * Present address: Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309–0347, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed: E-mail: joan.steitz{at}yale.edu.

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