CUCU modification of mRNA promotes decapping and transcript degradation in Aspergillus nidulans

Igor Y. Morozov, Meriel G. Jones, Ammar Abdul Razak, Daniel J. Rigden, Mark X. Caddick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


In eukaryotes, mRNA decay is generally initiated by the shortening of the poly(A) tail mediated by the major deadenylase complex Ccr4-Caf1-Not. The deadenylated transcript is then rapidly degraded, primarily via the decapping-dependent pathway. Here we report that in Aspergillus nidulans both the Caf1 and Ccr4 orthologues are functionally distinct deadenylases in vivo: Caf1 is required for the regulated degradation of specific transcripts, and Ccr4 is responsible for basal degradation. Intriguingly disruption of the Ccr4-Caf1-Not complex leads to deadenylation-independent decapping. Additionally, decapping is correlated with a novel transcript modification, addition of a CUCU sequence. A member of the nucleotidyltransferase superfamily, CutA, is required for this modification, and its disruption leads to a reduced rate of decapping and subsequent transcript degradation. We propose that 3′ modification of adenylated mRNA, which is likely to represent a common eukaryotic process, primes the transcript for decapping and efficient degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-469
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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