Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Microbiology and Physiological Systems
First Thesis Advisor
Allan Jacobson, Ph.D.
Gene Expression, Cell Nucleus, Feedback, Biochemical, Nuclear Proteins, RNA Stability, RNA Precursors, RNA-Binding Proteins, Saccharomyces cerevisiae
mRNA degradation is a fundamental process that controls both the level and the fidelity of gene expression. Using a combination of bioinformatic, genomic, genetic, and molecular biology approaches, we have shown that Edc3p, a yeast mRNA decay factor, controls the stability of the intron-containing YRA1 pre-mRNA. We found that Edc3p-mediated degradation of YRA1 pre-mRNA: 1) is a component of a negative feedback loop involved in the autoregulation of YRA1, 2) takes place in the cytoplasm, 3) is independent of translation, 4) occurs through a deadenylation-independent decapping and 5΄ to 3΄ exonucleotic decay mechanism, and 5) is controlled by specific cis-acting elements and trans-regulatory factors. Cis-regulation of YRA1 pre-mRNA degradation is complicated and precise. Sequences in exon1 inhibit YRA1 pre-mRNA splicing and/or promote pre-mRNA export in a size-dependent but sequence-independent manner. Sequences in the intron dictate the substrate specificity for Edc3p-mediated decay. Five structurally different but functionally interdependent modules were identified in the YRA1 intron. Two modules, designated Edc3p-responsive elements (EREs), are required for triggering an Edc3p-response. Three other modules, designated translational repression elements (TREs), are required for repressing translation of YRA1 pre-mRNA. TREs enhance the efficiency of the response of the EREs to Edc3p by inhibiting translation-dependent nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). Trans-regulation of YRA1 pre-mRNA is governed by Yra1p, which inhibits YRA1 pre-mRNA splicing and commits the pre-mRNA to nuclear export, and the RNP export factors, Mex67p and Crm1p, which jointly promote YRA1 pre-mRNA export. Mex67p also appears to interact with sequences in the YRA1 intron to promote translational repression and to enhance the Edc3p response of YRA1 pre-mRNA. These results illustrate how common steps in the nuclear processing, export, and degradation of a transcript can be uniquely combined to control the expression of a specific gene and suggest that Edc3p-mediated decay may have additional regulatory functions in eukaryotic cells.
Dong, S. Transcript-Specific Cytoplasmic Degradation of YRA1 Pre-mRNA Mediated by the Yeast EDC3 Protein: A Dissertation. (2007). University of Massachusetts Medical School. GSBS Dissertations and Theses. Paper 352. DOI: 10.13028/ckcv-mt21. https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/gsbs_diss/352
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