The biological significance of deadenylation in global gene expression is not fully understood. Here, we show that the CCR4-NOT deadenylase complex maintains expression of mRNAs, such as those encoding transcription factors, cell cycle regulators, DNA damage response-related proteins, and metabolic enzymes, at appropriate levels in the liver. Liver-specific disruption of Cnot1, encoding a scaffold subunit of the CCR4-NOT complex, leads to increased levels of mRNAs for transcription factors, cell cycle regulators, and DNA damage response-related proteins because of reduced deadenylation and stabilization of these mRNAs. CNOT1 suppression also results in an increase of immature, unspliced mRNAs (pre-mRNAs) for apoptosis-related and inflammation-related genes and promotes RNA polymerase II loading on their promoter regions. In contrast, mRNAs encoding metabolic enzymes become less abundant, concomitant with decreased levels of these pre-mRNAs. Lethal hepatitis develops concomitantly with abnormal mRNA expression. Mechanistically, the CCR4-NOT complex targets and destabilizes mRNAs mainly through its association with Argonaute 2 (AGO2) and butyrate response factor 1 (BRF1) in the liver. Therefore, the CCR4-NOT complex contributes to liver homeostasis by modulating the liver transcriptome through mRNA deadenylation.
© 2020 Takahashi et al.