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A DEAD-box-family protein is required for nucleocytoplasmic transport of yeast mRNA.

By S Liang, M Hitomi, Y H Hu, Y Liu and A M Tartakoff


An enormous variety of primary and secondary mRNA structures are compatible with export from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Therefore, there seems to be a mechanism for RNA export which is independent of sequence recognition. There nevertheless is likely to be some relatively uniform mechanism which allows transcripts to be packaged as ribonucleoprotein particles, to gain access to the periphery of the nucleus and ultimately to translocate across nuclear pores. To study these events, we and others have generated temperature-sensitive recessive mRNA transport (mtr) mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae which accumulate poly(A)+ RNA in the nucleus at 37 degrees C. Several of the corresponding genes have been cloned. Upon depletion of one of these proteins, Mtr4p, conspicuous amounts of nuclear poly(A)+ RNA accumulate in association with the nucleolus. Corresponding dense material is also seen by electron microscopy. MTR4 is essential for growth and encodes a novel nuclear protein with a size of approximately 120 kDa. Mtr4p shares characteristic motifs with DEAD-box RNA helicases and associates with RNA. It therefore may well affect RNA conformation. It shows extensive homology to a human predicted gene product and the yeast antiviral protein Ski2p. Critical residues of Mtr4p, including the mtr4-1 point mutation, have been identified. Mtr4p may serve as a chaperone which translocates or normalizes the structure of mRNAs in preparation for export

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1996
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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