N- and C-terminal Upf1 phosphorylations create binding platforms for SMG-6 and SMG-5:SMG-7 during NMD.

Department of Molecular Biology, Yokohama City University, School of Medicine, 3-9, Fuku-ura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan.
Nucleic Acids Research (Impact Factor: 8.81). 09/2011; 40(3):1251-66. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkr791
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a surveillance mechanism that detects and degrades mRNAs containing premature termination codons (PTCs). SMG-1-mediated Upf1 phosphorylation takes place in the decay inducing complex (DECID), which contains a ribosome, release factors, Upf1, SMG-1, an exon junction complex (EJC) and a PTC-mRNA. However, the significance and the consequence of Upf1 phosphorylation remain to be clarified. Here, we demonstrate that SMG-6 binds to a newly identified phosphorylation site in Upf1 at N-terminal threonine 28, whereas the SMG-5:SMG-7 complex binds to phosphorylated serine 1096 of Upf1. In addition, the binding of the SMG-5:SMG-7 complex to Upf1 resulted in the dissociation of the ribosome and release factors from the DECID complex. Importantly, the simultaneous binding of both the SMG-5:SMG-7 complex and SMG-6 to phospho-Upf1 are required for both NMD and Upf1 dissociation from mRNA. Thus, the SMG-1-mediated phosphorylation of Upf1 creates a binding platforms for the SMG-5:SMG-7 complex and for SMG-6, and triggers sequential remodeling of the mRNA surveillance complex for NMD induction and recycling of the ribosome, release factors and NMD factors.

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    ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic mRNAs with premature translation-termination codons (PTCs) are recognized and eliminated by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). NMD substrates can be degraded by different routes that all require phosphorylated UPF1 (P-UPF1) as a starting point. The endonuclease SMG6, which cleaves mRNA near the PTC, is one of the three known NMD factors thought to be recruited to nonsense mRNAs via an interaction with P-UPF1, leading to eventual mRNA degradation. By artificial tethering of SMG6 and mutants thereof to a reporter mRNA combined with knockdowns of various NMD factors, we demonstrate that besides its endonucleolytic activity, SMG6 also requires UPF1 and SMG1 to reduce reporter mRNA levels. Using in vivo and in vitro approaches, we further document that SMG6 and the unique stalk region of the UPF1 helicase domain, along with a contribution from the SQ domain, form a novel interaction and we also show that this region of the UPF1 helicase domain is critical for SMG6 function and NMD. Our results show that this interaction is required for NMD and for the capability of tethered SMG6 to degrade its bound RNA, suggesting that it contributes to the intricate regulation of UPF1 and SMG6 enzymatic activities.
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    ABSTRACT: Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) eliminates different classes of mRNA substrates including transcripts with long 3' UTRs. Current models of NMD suggest that the long physical distance between the poly(A) tail and the termination codon reduces the interaction between cytoplasmic poly(A)-binding protein (PABPC1) and the eukaryotic release factor 3a (eRF3a) during translation termination. In the absence of PABPC1 binding, eRF3a recruits the NMD factor UPF1 to the terminating ribosome, triggering mRNA degradation. Here, we have used the MS2 tethering system to investigate the suppression of NMD by PABPC1. We show that tethering of PABPC1 between the termination codon and a long 3' UTR specifically inhibits NMD-mediated mRNA degradation. Contrary to the current model, tethered PABPC1 mutants unable to interact with eRF3a still efficiently suppress NMD. We find that the interaction of PABPC1 with eukaryotic initiation factor 4G (eIF4G), which mediates the circularization of mRNAs, is essential for NMD inhibition by tethered PABPC1. Furthermore, recruiting either eRF3a or eIF4G in proximity to an upstream termination codon antagonizes NMD. While tethering of an eRF3a mutant unable to interact with PABPC1 fails to suppress NMD, tethered eIF4G inhibits NMD in a PABPC1-independent manner, indicating a sequential arrangement of NMD antagonizing factors. In conclusion, our results establish a previously unrecognized link between translation termination, mRNA circularization, and NMD suppression, thereby suggesting a revised model for the activation of NMD at termination codons upstream of long 3' UTR.
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    ABSTRACT: Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a eukaryotic surveillance pathway that recognizes mRNAs with premature stop codons and targets them for rapid degradation. Evidence from previous studies has converged on UPF1 as the central NMD factor. In human cells, the SMG1 kinase phosphorylates UPF1 at the N-terminal and C-terminal tails, in turn allowing the recruitment of the NMD factors SMG5, SMG6 and SMG7. To understand the molecular mechanisms, we recapitulated these steps of NMD in vitro using purified components. We find that a short C-terminal segment of phosphorylated UPF1 containing the last two Ser-Gln motifs is recognized by the heterodimer of SMG5 and SMG7 14-3-3-like proteins. In contrast, the SMG6 14-3-3-like domain is a monomer. The crystal structure indicates that the phosphoserine binding site of the SMG6 14-3-3-like domain is similar to that of SMG5 and can mediate a weak phospho-dependent interaction with UPF1. The dominant SMG6-UPF1 interaction is mediated by a low-complexity region bordering the 14-3-3-like domain of SMG6 and by the helicase domain and C-terminal tail of UPF1. This interaction is phosphorylation independent. Our study demonstrates that SMG5-SMG7 and SMG6 exhibit different and non-overlapping modes of UPF1 recognition, thus pointing at distinguished roles in integrating the complex NMD interaction network.
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