Mammalian Staufen (Stau)1 is an RNA binding protein that is thought to function in mRNA transport and translational control. Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) degrades abnormal and natural mRNAs that terminate translation sufficiently upstream of a splicing-generated exon-exon junction. Here we describe an mRNA decay mechanism that involves Stau1, the NMD factor Upf1, and a termination codon. Unlike NMD, this mechanism does not involve pre-mRNA splicing and occurs when Upf2 or Upf3X is downregulated. Stau1 binds directly to Upf1 and elicits mRNA decay when tethered downstream of a termination codon. Stau1 also interacts with the 3′-untranslated region of ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf)1 mRNA. Accordingly, downregulating either Stau1 or Upf1 increases Arf1 mRNA stability. These findings suggest that Arf1 mRNA is a natural target for Stau1-mediated decay, and data indicate that other mRNAs are also natural targets. We discuss this pathway as a means for cells to downregulate the expression of Stau1 binding transcripts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)