UMMS Affiliation

Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology



Document Type



Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal; *Genes, Fungal; Introns; Nucleic Acid Precursors; Protein Biosynthesis; *RNA Splicing; RNA, Fungal; RNA, Messenger; Ribosomes; Saccharomyces cerevisiae


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, the accelerated turnover of mRNAs transcribed from genes containing early nonsense mutations, is dependent on the product of the UPF1 gene in yeast. Mutations that inactivate UPF1 lead to the selective stabilization of mRNAs containing early nonsense mutations but have no effect on the half-lives of almost all other mRNAs. Since the transcripts of nonsense alleles are not typical cellular constituents, we sought to identify those RNAs that comprise normal substrates of the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway. Many yeast pre-mRNAs contain early in-frame nonsense codons and we consider it possible that a role of this pathway is to accelerate the degradation of pre-mRNAs present in the cytoplasm. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that, in a strain lacking UPF1 function, the CYH2, RP51B, and MER2 pre-mRNAs are stabilized 2- to 5-fold and are associated with ribosomes. We conclude that a major source of early nonsense codon-containing cytoplasmic transcripts in yeast is pre-mRNAs and that the UPF1 protein may be part of a cellular system that ensures that potentially deleterious nonsense fragments of polypeptides do not accumulate.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Aug 1;90(15):7034-8. Link to article on publisher's website

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.