Context analysis of termination codons in mRNA that are recognized by plant NMD.

Research paper by Koichi K Hori, Yuichiro Y Watanabe

Indexed on: 15 Jun '07Published on: 15 Jun '07Published in: Plant & cell physiology


The nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) system is an RNA surveillance system that degrades mRNAs possessing premature translation termination codons (PTCs). Although NMD factors are well conserved in eukaryotes, it is speculated that the contexts of those termination codons that are subject to NMD are different depending on the organism. Context analysis of termination codons that are recognized by the plant NMD system would clarify NMD target mRNAs in plants, and contribute to our understanding of its biological relevance in plants. In the present study we analyzed the positions of termination codons that were recognized as PTCs using an Agrobacterium transient expression assay, i.e. the accumulation of a series of plant mRNAs with nonsense mutations in different contexts was tested in plants. The results indicated that termination codons that are located distant from the mRNA 3' termini or >50 nucleotides upstream of the 3'-most exon-exon junction are recognized as substrates for NMD.