SMG-8 and SMG-9, two novel subunits of the SMG-1 complex, regulate remodeling of the mRNA surveillance complex during nonsense-mediated mRNA decay.
Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a surveillance mechanism that detects and degrades mRNAs containing premature translation termination codons (PTCs). SMG-1 and Upf1 transiently form a surveillance complex termed "SURF" that includes eRF1 and eRF3 on post-spliced mRNAs during recognition of PTC. If an exon junction complex (EJC) exists downstream from the SURF complex, SMG-1 phosphorylates Upf1, the step that is a rate-limiting for NMD. We provide evidence of an association between the SURF complex and the ribosome in association with mRNPs, and we suggest that the SURF complex functions as a translation termination complex during NMD. We identified SMG-8 and SMG-9 as novel subunits of the SMG-1 complex. SMG-8 and SMG-9 suppress SMG-1 kinase activity in the isolated SMG-1 complex and are involved in NMD in both mammals and nematodes. SMG-8 recruits SMG-1 to the mRNA surveillance complex, and inactivation of SMG-8 induces accumulation of a ribosome:Upf1:eRF1:eRF3:EJC complex on mRNP, which physically bridges the ribosome and EJC through eRF1, eRF3, and Upf1. These results not only reveal the regulatory mechanism of SMG-1 kinase but also reveal the sequential remodeling of the ribosome:SURF complex to the predicted DECID (DECay InDucing) complex, a ribosome:SURF:EJC complex, as a mechanism of in vivo PTC discrimination.
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