Co-translational mRNA decay in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Wenqian Hu, Thomas J. Sweet, Sangpen Chamnongpol, Kristian E. Baker, Jeff Coller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

219 Scopus citations


The rates of RNA decay and transcription determine the steady-state levels of all messenger RNA and both can be subject to regulation. Although the details of transcriptional regulation are becoming increasingly understood, the mechanism(s) controlling mRNA decay remain unclear. In yeast, a major pathway of mRNA decay begins with deadenylation followed by decapping and 5′ĝ€"3′ exonuclease digestion. Importantly, it is hypothesized that ribosomes must be removed from mRNA before transcripts are destroyed. Contrary to this prediction, here we show that decay takes place while mRNAs are associated with actively translating ribosomes. The data indicate that dissociation of ribosomes from mRNA is not a prerequisite for decay and we suggest that the 5′ĝ€"3′ polarity of mRNA degradation has evolved to ensure that the last translocating ribosome can complete translation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
Issue number7261
StatePublished - Sep 10 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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