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Cell Rep 2014 Feb 27;64:748-64. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.01.028.
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Posttranscriptional control of the stem cell and neurogenic programs by the nonsense-mediated RNA decay pathway.

Lou CH , Shao A , Shum EY , Espinoza JL , Huang L , Karam R , Wilkinson MF .

The mechanisms dictating whether a cell proliferates or differentiates have undergone intense scrutiny, but they remain poorly understood. Here, we report that UPF1, a central component in the nonsense-mediated RNA decay (NMD) pathway, plays a key role in this decision by promoting the proliferative, undifferentiated cell state. UPF1 acts, in part, by destabilizing the NMD substrate encoding the TGF-β inhibitor SMAD7 and stimulating TGF-β signaling. UPF1 also promotes the decay of mRNAs encoding many other proteins that oppose the proliferative, undifferentiated cell state. Neural differentiation is triggered when NMD is downregulated by neurally expressed microRNAs (miRNAs). This UPF1-miRNA circuitry is highly conserved and harbors negative feedback loops that act as a molecular switch. Our results suggest that the NMD pathway collaborates with the TGF-β signaling pathway to lock in the stem-like state, a cellular state that is stably reversed when neural differentiation signals that induce NMD-repressive miRNAs are received.

PubMed ID: 24529710
PMC ID: PMC3962089
Article link: Cell Rep
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: ncam1 smad7 upf1
Antibodies: Ncam1 Ab1 Upf1 Ab1
Morpholinos: upf1 MO1

References [+] :
Avery, Drosophila Upf1 and Upf2 loss of function inhibits cell growth and causes animal death in a Upf3-independent manner. 2011, Pubmed