The exosome is a key RNA machine that functions in the degradation of unwanted RNAs. Here, we found that significant fractions of precursors and mature forms of mRNAs and long noncoding RNAs are degraded by the nuclear exosome in normal human cells. Exosome-mediated degradation of these RNAs requires its cofactor hMTR4. Significantly, hMTR4 plays a key role in specifically recruiting the exosome to its targets. Furthermore, we provide several lines of evidence indicating that hMTR4 executes this role by directly competing with the mRNA export adaptor ALYREF for associating with ARS2, a component of the cap-binding complex (CBC), and this competition is critical for determining whether an RNA is degraded or exported to the cytoplasm. Together, our results indicate that the competition between hMTR4 and ALYREF determines exosome recruitment and functions in creating balanced nuclear RNA pools for degradation and export.
Keywords: ALYREF; ARS2; hMTR4; mRNA export; nuclear RNA degradation.
© 2017 The Authors.