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Endonucleolytic RNA cleavage by a eukaryotic exosome.

Lebreton A., Tomecki R., Dziembowski A., Seraphin B.

The exosome is a major eukaryotic nuclease located in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm that contributes to the processing, quality control and/or turnover of a large number of cellular RNAs. This large macromolecular assembly has been described as a 3'-->5' exonuclease and shown to contain a nine-subunit ring structure evolutionarily related to archaeal exosome-like complexes and bacterial polynucleotide phosphorylases. Recent results have shown that, unlike its prokaryotic counterparts, the yeast and human ring structures are catalytically inactive. In contrast, the exonucleolytic activity of the yeast exosome core was shown to be mediated by the RNB domain of the eukaryote-specific Dis3 subunit. Here we show, using in vitro assays, that yeast Dis3 has an additional endoribonuclease activity mediated by the PIN domain located at the amino terminus of this multidomain protein. Simultaneous inactivation of the endonucleolytic and exonucleolytic activities of the exosome core generates a synthetic growth phenotype in vivo, supporting a physiological function for the PIN domain. This activity is responsible for the cleavage of some natural exosome substrates, independently of exonucleolytic degradation. In contrast with current models, our results show that eukaryotic exosome cores have both endonucleolytic and exonucleolytic activities, mediated by two distinct domains of the Dis3 subunit. The mode of action of eukaryotic exosome cores in RNA processing and degradation should be reconsidered, taking into account the cooperation between its multiple ribonucleolytic activities.

Nature 456:993-996(2008) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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