The nonsense-mediated mRNA decay SMG-1 kinase is regulated by large-scale conformational changes controlled by SMG-8

Genes & Development
Ernesto Arias-PalomoOscar Llorca


Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a eukaryotic surveillance pathway that regulates the degradation of mRNAs harboring premature translation termination codons. NMD also influences the expression of many physiological transcripts. SMG-1 is a large kinase essential to NMD that phosphorylates Upf1, which seems to be the definitive signal triggering mRNA decay. However, the regulation of the kinase activity of SMG-1 remains poorly understood. Here, we reveal the three-dimensional architecture of SMG-1 in complex with SMG-8 and SMG-9, and the structural mechanisms regulating SMG-1 kinase. A bent arm comprising a long region of HEAT (huntington, elongation factor 3, a subunit of PP2A and TOR1) repeats at the N terminus of SMG-1 functions as a scaffold for SMG-8 and SMG-9, and projects from the C-terminal core containing the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase domain. SMG-9 seems to control the activity of SMG-1 indirectly through the recruitment of SMG-8 to the N-terminal HEAT repeat region of SMG-1. Notably, SMG-8 binding to the SMG-1:SMG-9 complex specifically down-regulates the kinase activity of SMG-1 on Upf1 without contacting the catalytic domain. Assembly of the SMG-1:SMG-8:SMG-9 complex induces a significant motion of the HEAT ...Continue Reading


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