The control of mRNA stability is a critical determinant in the post-transcriptional regulation of eukaryotic gene expression. Even minor alterations in mRNA stability can have profound consequences and may manifest as clinical phenotypes as illustrated by the ability of aberrantly expressed proto-oncogenes that can give rise to malignancies. Despite the importance of mRNA stability in the control of gene expression, progress has only recently been made in the identification and characterization of the components that control mRNA turnover and their ultimate physiological consequence. We have focused our efforts on the study of nucleases involved in mRNA decay, in particular, mRNA 5'end decapping and the cell biological significance of decapping. We have now identified multiple confirmed and putative decapping enzymes, which appear to modulate a select subset of mRNAs and pathways. In this proposal we will expand on the cell biological and functional role of mRNA decapping enzymes. We have shown the Dcp2 decapping enzyme selectively modulates the decapping of mRNAs involved in innate immunity and will pursue its role in the innate immune response in Aim1. We have identified a novel class of decapping proteins represented by the mammalian DXO protein, which possesses an unusual intrinsic dual decapping and exonuclease activities. We have already shown DXO preferentially functions on incompletely capped pre-mRNAs in a nuclear pre-mRNA 5'end quality control mechanism, and now have evidence it also functions as a """"""""canonical"""""""" decapping enzyme disproportionally modulating a subset of mRNAs involved in cytoskeletal architecture and cell migration. We will pursue the role of DXO in mRNA decapping and cell migration in Aim2.
In Aim3, we will build on our ongoing efforts to identify additional mRNA decapping enzymes and decipher the functional role of six new Nudix family proteins we recently demonstrated contain decapping activity in vitro, Nudt2, Nudt3, Nudt12, Nudt15, Nudt17 and Nudt19. We will initially focus on the evolutionarily conserved Nudt3 protein where preliminary data indicates it is a bona fide decapping enzyme in cells. Collectively, this work will provide novel insights into a fundamental post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism involved in gene expression and a framework for innovative approaches for therapeutic intervention in pathological conditions.

Public Health Relevance

Our overall objective is to understand the precise controls involved in mRNA turnover and to utilize this information to regulate gene expression under normal and disease states. Decapping is a key step in the ultimate demise of an mRNA and we will build on our ongoing functional studies delineating the novel role of decapping enzymes in cellular processes including innate immunity against pathogens and cell migration. This work will provide insight into a fundamental mechanism involved in the post-transcriptional control of gene expression and could provide a framework in novel approaches for therapeutic intervention.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Bender, Michael T
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Rutgers University
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Arts and Sciences
New Brunswick
United States
Zip Code
Kiledjian, Megerditch (2018) Eukaryotic RNA 5'-End NAD+ Capping and DeNADding. Trends Cell Biol 28:454-464
Vvedenskaya, Irina O; Bird, Jeremy G; Zhang, Yuanchao et al. (2018) CapZyme-Seq Comprehensively Defines Promoter-Sequence Determinants for RNA 5' Capping with NAD. Mol Cell 70:553-564.e9
Jiao, Xinfu; Doamekpor, Selom K; Bird, Jeremy G et al. (2017) 5' End Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Cap in Human Cells Promotes RNA Decay through DXO-Mediated deNADding. Cell 168:1015-1027.e10
Grudzien-Nogalska, Ewa; Kiledjian, Megerditch (2017) New insights into decapping enzymes and selective mRNA decay. Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA 8:
Mauer, Jan; Luo, Xiaobing; Blanjoie, Alexandre et al. (2017) Reversible methylation of m6Am in the 5' cap controls mRNA stability. Nature 541:371-375
Grudzien-Nogalska, Ewa; Jiao, Xinfu; Song, Man-Gen et al. (2016) Nudt3 is an mRNA decapping enzyme that modulates cell migration. RNA 22:773-81
Popovitchenko, T; Thompson, K; Viljetic, B et al. (2016) The RNA binding protein HuR determines the differential translation of autism-associated FoxP subfamily members in the developing neocortex. Sci Rep 6:28998
Castellanos-Rubio, Ainara; Fernandez-Jimenez, Nora; Kratchmarov, Radomir et al. (2016) A long noncoding RNA associated with susceptibility to celiac disease. Science 352:91-5
Zhou, Mi; Bail, Sophie; Plasterer, Heather L et al. (2015) DcpS is a transcript-specific modulator of RNA in mammalian cells. RNA 21:1306-12
Ahmed, Iltaf; Buchert, Rebecca; Zhou, Mi et al. (2015) Mutations in DCPS and EDC3 in autosomal recessive intellectual disability indicate a crucial role for mRNA decapping in neurodevelopment. Hum Mol Genet 24:3172-80

Showing the most recent 10 out of 43 publications