InsP7 is a small-molecule regulator of NUDT3-mediated mRNA decapping and processing-body dynamics

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Aug 11;117(32):19245-19253. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1922284117. Epub 2020 Jul 29.


Regulation of enzymatic 5' decapping of messenger RNA (mRNA), which normally commits transcripts to their destruction, has the capacity to dynamically reshape the transcriptome. For example, protection from 5' decapping promotes accumulation of mRNAs into processing (P) bodies-membraneless, biomolecular condensates. Such compartmentalization of mRNAs temporarily removes them from the translatable pool; these repressed transcripts are stabilized and stored until P-body dissolution permits transcript reentry into the cytosol. Here, we describe regulation of mRNA stability and P-body dynamics by the inositol pyrophosphate signaling molecule 5-InsP7 (5-diphosphoinositol pentakisphosphate). First, we demonstrate 5-InsP7 inhibits decapping by recombinant NUDT3 (Nudix [nucleoside diphosphate linked moiety X]-type hydrolase 3) in vitro. Next, in intact HEK293 and HCT116 cells, we monitored the stability of a cadre of NUDT3 mRNA substrates following CRISPR-Cas9 knockout of PPIP5Ks (diphosphoinositol pentakisphosphate 5-kinases type 1 and 2, i.e., PPIP5K KO), which elevates cellular 5-InsP7 levels by two- to threefold (i.e., within the physiological rheostatic range). The PPIP5K KO cells exhibited elevated levels of NUDT3 mRNA substrates and increased P-body abundance. Pharmacological and genetic attenuation of 5-InsP7 synthesis in the KO background reverted both NUDT3 mRNA substrate levels and P-body counts to those of wild-type cells. Furthermore, liposomal delivery of a metabolically resistant 5-InsP7 analog into wild-type cells elevated levels of NUDT3 mRNA substrates and raised P-body abundance. In the context that cellular 5-InsP7 levels normally fluctuate in response to changes in the bioenergetic environment, regulation of mRNA structure by this inositol pyrophosphate represents an epitranscriptomic control process. The associated impact on P-body dynamics has relevance to regulation of stem cell differentiation, stress responses, and, potentially, amelioration of neurodegenerative diseases and aging.

Keywords: P bodies; cellular homeostasis; inositol; signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acid Anhydride Hydrolases / genetics
  • Acid Anhydride Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Inositol Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Phosphotransferases (Phosphate Group Acceptor) / genetics
  • Phosphotransferases (Phosphate Group Acceptor) / metabolism
  • RNA Caps / genetics
  • RNA Caps / metabolism*
  • RNA Stability
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*


  • Inositol Phosphates
  • RNA Caps
  • RNA, Messenger
  • 1-diphosphoinositol pentakisphosphate
  • Phosphotransferases (Phosphate Group Acceptor)
  • PPIP5K1 protein, human
  • PPIP5K2 protein, human
  • Acid Anhydride Hydrolases
  • diphosphoinositol polyphosphate phosphohydrolase