Post‐transcriptional regulation of gene expression is largely achieved at the level of splicing in the nucleus, and translation and mRNA decay in the cytosol. While the regulation may be global, through the direct inhibition of central factors, such as the spliceosome, translation initiation factors and mRNA decay enzymes, in many instances transcripts bearing specific sequences or particular ... [Show full abstract] features are regulated by RNA‐binding factors which mobilize or impede recruitment of these machineries. This review focuses on the Pat1 family of RNA‐binding proteins, conserved from yeast to man, that enhance the removal of the 5′ cap by the decapping enzyme Dcp1/2, leading to mRNA decay and also have roles in translational repression. Like Dcp1/2, other decapping coactivators, including DDX6 and Edc3, and translational repressor proteins, Pat1 proteins are enriched in cytoplasmic P‐bodies, which have a principal role in mRNA storage. They also concentrate in nuclear Cajal‐bodies and splicing speckles and in man, impact splice site choice in some pre‐mRNAs. Pivotal to these functions is the association of Pat1 proteins with distinct heptameric Lsm complexes: the cytosolic Pat1/Lsm1‐7 complex mediates mRNA decay and the nuclear Pat1/Lsm2‐8 complex alternative splicing. This dual role of human Pat1b illustrates the power of paralogous complexes to impact distinct processes in separate compartments. The review highlights our recent findings that Pat1b mediates the decay of AU‐rich mRNAs, which are particularly enriched in P‐bodies, unlike the decapping activator DDX6, which acts on GC‐rich mRNAs, that tend to be excluded from P‐bodies, and discuss the implications for mRNA decay pathways.
This article is categorized under:
• RNA Turnover and Surveillance > Regulation of RNA Stability
• RNRNA Processing > Splicing Regulation/Alternative Splicing
• Translation > Translation Regulation