Human Upf1 is a highly processive RNA helicase and translocase with RNP remodelling activities.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Nature communications, Volume 6, p.7581 (2015)

DOI:

10.1038/ncomms8581

Keywords:

Carrier Proteins; DNA; Escherichia coli; Gene Transfer Techniques; Humans; In Vitro Techniques; Nonsense Mediated mRNA Decay; Ribonucleoproteins; RNA Helicases; RNA, Messenger; RNA, Small Interfering; Trans-Activators

Abstract:

RNA helicases are implicated in most cellular RNA-dependent events. In eukaryotes however, only few have been functionally characterized. Upf1 is a RNA helicase essential for nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). Here, using magnetic tweezers and bulk assays, we observe that human Upf1 is able to translocate slowly over long single-stranded nucleic acids with a processivity >10 kb. Upf1 efficiently translocates through double-stranded structures and protein-bound sequences, demonstrating that Upf1 is an efficient ribonucleoprotein complex remodeler. Our observation of processive unwinding by an eukaryotic RNA helicase reveals that Upf1, once recruited onto NMD mRNA targets, can scan the entire transcript to irreversibly remodel the mRNP, facilitating its degradation by the NMD machinery.