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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nonsense-mediated decay of mRNA for the selenoprotein phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase is detectable in cultured cells but masked or inhibited in rat tissues.

Previous studies of mRNA for classical glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPx1) demonstrated that hepatocytes of rats fed a selenium-deficient diet have less cytoplasmic GPx1 mRNA than hepatocytes of rats fed a selenium-adequate diet. This is because GPx1 mRNA is degraded by the surveillance pathway called nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) when the selenocysteine codon is recognized as nonsense. Here, we examine the mechanism by which the abundance of phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase ( PHGPx) mRNA, another selenocysteine-encoding mRNA, fails to decrease in the hepatocytes and testicular cells of rats fed a selenium-deficient diet. We demonstrate with cultured NIH3T3 fibroblasts or H35 hepatocytes transiently transfected with PHGPx gene variants under selenium-supplemented or selenium-deficient conditions that PHGPx mRNA is, in fact, a substrate for NMD when the selenocysteine codon is recognized as nonsense. We also demonstrate that the endogenous PHGPx mRNA of untransfected H35 cells is subject to NMD. The failure of previous reports to detect the NMD of PHGPx mRNA in cultured cells is likely attributable to the expression of PHGPx cDNA rather than the PHGPx gene. We conclude that 1) the sequence of the PHGPx gene is adequate to support the NMD of product mRNA, and 2) there is a mechanism in liver and testis but not cultured fibroblasts and hepatocytes that precludes or masks the NMD of PHGPx mRNA.[1]


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