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Open Access Research article

Insights into mRNP biogenesis provided by new genetic interactions among export and transcription factors

Francisco Estruch1*, Christine Hodge2, Natalia Gómez-Navarro1, Lorena Peiró-Chova1, Catherine V Heath2 and Charles N Cole2

Author Affiliations

1 Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Universitat de Valencia, Burjassot, Spain

2 Departments of Biochemistry and Genetics, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, NH, USA

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BMC Genetics 2012, 13:80  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-13-80

Published: 10 September 2012

Abstract

Background

The various steps of mRNP biogenesis (transcription, processing and export) are interconnected. It has been shown that the transcription machinery plays a pivotal role in mRNP assembly, since several mRNA export factors are recruited during transcription and physically interact with components of the transcription machinery. Although the shuttling DEAD-box protein Dbp5p is concentrated on the cytoplasmic fibrils of the NPC, previous studies demonstrated that it interacts physically and genetically with factors involved in transcription initiation.

Results

We investigated the effect of mutations affecting various components of the transcription initiation apparatus on the phenotypes of mRNA export mutant strains. Our results show that growth and mRNA export defects of dbp5 and mex67 mutant strains can be suppressed by mutation of specific transcription initiation components, but suppression was not observed for mutants acting in the very first steps of the pre-initiation complex (PIC) formation.

Conclusions

Our results indicate that mere reduction in the amount of mRNP produced is not sufficient to suppress the defects caused by a defective mRNA export factor. Suppression occurs only with mutants affecting events within a narrow window of the mRNP biogenesis process. We propose that reducing the speed with which transcription converts from initiation and promoter clearance to elongation may have a positive effect on mRNP formation by permitting more effective recruitment of partially-functional mRNP proteins to the nascent mRNP.

Keywords:
mRNA export; Transcription; Dbp5p; Mex67p; Nuclear Pore Complex