Molecular cell

GW182 proteins directly recruit cytoplasmic deadenylase complexes to miRNA targets.

PMID 21981923


miRNAs are posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression that associate with Argonaute and GW182 proteins to repress translation and/or promote mRNA degradation. miRNA-mediated mRNA degradation is initiated by deadenylation, although it is not known whether deadenylases are recruited to the mRNA target directly or by default, as a consequence of a translational block. To answer this question, we performed a screen for potential interactions between the Argonaute and GW182 proteins and subunits of the two cytoplasmic deadenylase complexes. We found that human GW182 proteins recruit the PAN2-PAN3 and CCR4-CAF1-NOT deadenylase complexes through direct interactions with PAN3 and NOT1, respectively. These interactions are critical for silencing and are conserved in D. melanogaster. Our findings reveal that GW182 proteins provide a docking platform through which deadenylase complexes gain access to the poly(A) tail of miRNA targets to promote their deadenylation, and they further indicate that deadenylation is a direct effect of miRNA regulation.