Defects in THO/TREX-2 function cause accumulation of novel cytoplasmic mRNP granules that can be cleared by autophagy

Nichole Eshleman, Guangbo Liu, Kaitlyn McGrath, Roy Parker, J. Ross Buchan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The nuclear THO and TREX-2 complexes are implicated in several steps of nuclear mRNP biogenesis, including transcription, 3′ end processing and export. In a recent genomic microscopy screen in Saccharomyces cerevisiae for mutants with constitutive stress granules, we identified that absence of THO and TREX-2 complex subunits leads to the accumulation of Pab1-GFP in cytoplasmic foci. We now show that these THO/TREX-2 mutant induced foci ("TT foci") are not stress granules but instead are a mRNP granule containing poly(A)+ mRNA, some mRNP components also found in stress granules, as well several proteins involved in mRNA 3′ end processing and export not normally seen in stress granules. In addition, TT foci are resistant to cycloheximide-induced disassembly, suggesting the presence of mRNPs impaired for entry into translation. THO mutants also exhibit defects in normal stress granule assembly. Finally, our data also suggest that TT foci are targeted by autophagy. These observations argue that defects in nuclear THO and TREX-2 complexes can affect cytoplasmic mRNP function by producing aberrant mRNPs that are exported to cytosol, where they accumulate in TT foci and ultimately can be cleared by autophagy. This identifies a novel mechanism of quality control for aberrant mRNPs assembled in the nucleus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1200-1214
Number of pages15
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2016


  • Stress granules
  • THO complex
  • TREX-2 complex
  • Translation
  • mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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