09 May 2016
UPF2-Dependent Nonsense-Mediated mRNA Decay Pathway Is Essential for Spermatogenesis by Selectively Eliminating Longer 3'UTR Transcripts
Bao, Jianqiang*, Kristoffer Vitting-Seerup, Johannes Waage, Chong Tang, Ying Ge, Bo T. Porse* & Wei Yan* (2016). UPF2-Dependent Nonsense-Mediated mRNA Decay Pathway Is Essential for Spermatogenesis by Selectively Eliminating Longer 3'UTR Transcripts. PLoS Genetics, 12(5), e1005863, doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005863. *authors contributed equally
During transcription, most eukaryotic genes generate multiple alternative cleavage and polyadenylation (APA) sites, leading to the production of transcript isoforms with variable lengths in the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR). In contrast to somatic cells, male germ cells, especially pachytene spermatocytes and round spermatids, express a distinct reservoir of mRNAs with shorter 3'UTRs that are essential for spermatogenesis and male fertility. However, the mechanisms underlying the enrichment of shorter 3'UTR transcripts in the developing male germ cells remain unknown. Here, we report that UPF2-mediated nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) plays an essential role in male germ cells by eliminating ubiquitous genes-derived, longer 3'UTR transcripts, and that this role is independent of its canonical role in degrading "premature termination codon" (PTC)-containing transcripts in somatic cell lineages. This report provides physiological evidence supporting a noncanonical role of the NMD pathway in achieving global 3'UTR shortening in the male germ cells during spermatogenesis.