Exon junction complex components Y14 and Mago still play a role in budding yeast

Sci Rep. 2019 Jan 29;9(1):849. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-36785-3.


Since their divergence from Pezizomycotina, the mRNA metabolism of budding yeasts have undergone regressive evolution. With the dramatic loss of introns, a number of quality control mechanisms have been simplified or lost during evolution, such as the exon junction complex (EJC). We report the identification of the core EJC components, Mago, Y14, and eIF4A3, in at least seven Saccharomycotina species, including Yarrowia lipolytica. Peripheral factors that join EJC, either to mediate its assembly (Ibp160 or Cwc22), or trigger downstream processes, are present in the same species, forming an evolutionary package. Co-immunoprecipitation studies in Y. lipolytica showed that Mago and Y14 have retained the capacity to form heterodimers, which successively bind to the peripheral factors Upf3, Aly/REF, and Pym. Phenotypes and RNA-Seq analysis of EJC mutants showed evidence of Y14 and Mago involvement in mRNA metabolism. Differences in unspliced mRNA levels suggest that Y14 binding either interferes with pre-mRNA splicing or retains mRNA in the nucleus before their export and translation. These findings indicate that yeast could be a relevant model for understanding EJC function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Dimerization
  • Exons / genetics*
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA Splicing
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Saccharomycetales / physiology*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins