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Wang G.,Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Molecular Engineering | Wang G.,Shanxi University | Jiang B.,Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Molecular Engineering | Jiang B.,Shanxi University | And 6 more authors.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2013

Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a cellular response mechanism that eliminates aberrant mRNA transcripts and thereby prevents the production of potentially deleterious C-terminally truncated proteins. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-related protein kinase SMG1 is considered to be an essential factor in the NMD pathway. We demonstrate that the brain-enriched microRNA, miRNA-125 (miRNA-125a and miRNA-125b) is a bona fide negative regulator of SMG1 in humans. Down-regulation of SMG1 expression is mediated by miRNA-125 binding to a microRNA response element in the 3' untranslated region of SMG1 mRNA, which leads to degradation of the SMG1 mRNA. In human cells, overexpression of miR-125 represses the endogenous levels of SMG1 protein and suppresses the NMD pathway; however, knockdown of miR-125 up-regulates the NMD pathway. These results suggest the existence of an RNA circuit linking the microRNA and NMD pathways. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Xu L.,Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Molecular Engineering | Xu L.,Shanxi University | Hao Y.,Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Molecular Engineering | Hao Y.,Shanxi University | And 9 more authors.
Biochemistry and Cell Biology | Year: 2013

One factor involved in eukaryotic translation termination is class 1 release factor in eukaryotes (eRF1), which functions to decode stop codons. Variant code species, such as ciliates, frequently exhibit altered stop codon recognition. Studies revealed that some class-specific residues in the eRF1 N-terminal domain are responsible for stop codon reassignment in ciliates. Here, we investigated the effects on stop codon recognition of chimeric eRF1s containing the N-terminal domain of Euplotes octocarinatus and Blepharisma japonicum eRF1 fused to Saccharomyces cerevisiae M and C domains using dual luciferase read-through assays. Mutation of class-specific residues in different eRF1 classes was also studied to identify key residues and motifs involved in stop codon decoding. As expected, our results demonstrate that 3 pockets within the eRF1 N-terminal domain were involved in decoding stop codon nucleotides. However, allocation of residues to each pocket was revalued. Our data suggest that hydrophobic and class-specific surface residues participate in different functions: modulation of pocket conformation and interaction with stop codon nucleotides, respectively. Residues conserved across all eRF1s determine the relative orientation of the 3 pockets according to stop codon nucleotides. However, quantitative analysis of variant ciliate and yeast eRF1 point mutants did not reveal any correlation between evolutionary conservation of class-specific residues and termination-related functional specificity and was limited in elucidating a detailed mechanism for ciliate stop codon reassignment. Thus, based on isolation of suppressor tRNAs from Euplotes and Tetrahymena, we propose that stop codon reassignment in ciliates may be controlled by cooperation between eRF1 and suppressor tRNAs. © 2013 Published by NRC Research Press.

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