The RNA exosome is a versatile ribonuclease. In the nucleoplasm of mammalian cells, it is assisted by its adaptors the nuclear exosome targeting (NEXT) complex and the poly(A) exosome targeting (PAXT) connection. Via its association with the ARS2 and ZC3H18 proteins, NEXT/exosome is recruited to capped and short unadenylated transcripts. Conversely, PAXT/exosome is considered to target longer and adenylated substrates via their poly(A) tails. Here, mutational analysis of the core PAXT component ZFC3H1 uncovers a separate branch of the PAXT pathway, which targets short adenylated RNAs and relies on a direct ARS2-ZFC3H1 interaction. We further demonstrate that similar acidic-rich short linear motifs of ZFC3H1 and ZC3H18 compete for a common ARS2 epitope. Consequently, while promoting NEXT function, ZC3H18 antagonizes PAXT activity. We suggest that this organization of RNA decay complexes provides co-activation of NEXT and PAXT at loci with abundant production of short exosome substrates.
- CP: Molecular biology
- nuclear RNA decay