The meaning of NMD: translate or perish

Saverio Brogna, Tina McLeod, Marija Petric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Premature translation termination leads to a reduced mRNA level in all types of organisms. In eukaryotes, the phenomenon is known as nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). This is commonly regarded as the output of a specific surveillance and destruction mechanism that is activated by the presence of a premature translation termination codon (PTC) in an atypical sequence context. Despite two decades of research, it is still unclear how NMD discriminates between PTCs and normal stop codons. We suggest that cells do not possess any such mechanism and instead propose a new model in which this mRNA depletion is a consequence of the appearance of long tracts of mRNA that are unprotected by scanning ribosomes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Genetics
Early online date14 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 May 2016

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