2004 Volume 136 Issue 6 Pages 805-812
Cleavage of the 5'-cap structure is involved in the major 5'-to-3' and nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathways, and the protein complex consisting of Dcp1 and Dcp2 has been identified as the species responsible for the decapping reaction in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and human. Although in vitro studies indicate that Dcp2 is catalytically an active component, the role of Dcp1 in the decapping reaction remains to be explored in organisms other than budding yeast. To elucidate the Dcp1-dependent decapping mechanisms, we identified the homologues of S. cerevisiae Dcp1 (ScDcp1) in higher eukaryotes and analyzed their functions in the different species. The phenotypes of slow growth and mRNA stabilization induced by Scdcp1-gene disruption in budding yeast could be suppressed by the Shizosaccharomyces pombe SpDcp1 but not by the human homologue hDcp1. In contrast, the same phenotypes caused by Spdcp1-gene disruption in fission yeast were effectively complemented by hDcp1 and its partial sequence comparable to SpDcp1. These results indicate that not only Dcp2 but also Dcp1 plays an indispensable role in mRNA-decay pathway and that the characteristics of Dcp1-dependent decapping reaction in fission yeast hold an intermediate position in the evolution of mRNA-decay machinery from budding yeast to mammals.
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