Uridylation-dependent RNA decay is a widespread eukaryotic pathway modulating RNA homeostasis. Terminal uridylyltransferases (Tutases) add untemplated uridyl residues to RNA 3'-ends, marking them for degradation by the U-specific exonuclease Dis3L2. In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Cid1 uridylates a variety of RNAs. In this study, we investigate the prevalence and impact of uridylation-dependent RNA decay in S. pombe by transcriptionally profiling cid1 and dis3L2 deletion strains. We found that the exonuclease Dis3L2 represents a bottleneck in uridylation-dependent mRNA decay, whereas Cid1 plays a redundant role that can be complemented by other Tutases. Deletion of dis3L2 elicits a cellular stress response, upregulating transcription of genes involved in protein folding and degradation. Misfolded proteins accumulate in both deletion strains, yet only trigger a strong stress response in dis3L2 deficient cells. While a deletion of cid1 increases sensitivity to protein misfolding stress, a dis3L2 deletion showed no increased sensitivity or was even protective. We furthermore show that uridylyl- and adenylyltransferases cooperate to generate a 5'-NxAUUAAAA-3' RNA motif on dak2 mRNA. Our studies elucidate the role of uridylation-dependent RNA decay as part of a global mRNA surveillance, and we found that perturbation of this pathway leads to the accumulation of misfolded proteins and elicits cellular stress responses.
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.