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The mRNA Export Receptor NXF1 Coordinates Transcriptional Dynamics, Alternative Polyadenylation, and mRNA Export

Chen, Suli, Wang, Ruijia, Zheng, Dinghai, Zhang, Heng, Chang, Xingya, Wang, Ke, Li, Wencheng, Fan, Jing, Tian, Bin, Cheng, Hong
Molecular cell 2019 v.74 no.1 pp. 118-131.e7
DNA-directed RNA polymerase, RNA transport, gene expression regulation, genes, messenger RNA, transcription (genetics)
Alternative polyadenylation (APA) produces mRNA isoforms with different 3′ UTR lengths. Previous studies indicated that 3′ end processing and mRNA export are intertwined in gene regulation. Here, we show that mRNA export factors generally facilitate usage of distal cleavage and polyadenylation sites (PASs), leading to long 3′ UTR isoform expression. By focusing on the export receptor NXF1, which exhibits the most potent effect on APA in this study, we reveal several gene features that impact NXF1-dependent APA, including 3′ UTR size, gene size, and AT content. Surprisingly, NXF1 downregulation results in RNA polymerase II (Pol II) accumulation at the 3′ end of genes, correlating with its role in APA regulation. Moreover, NXF1 cooperates with CFI-68 to facilitate nuclear export of long 3′ UTR isoform with UGUA motifs. Together, our work reveals important roles of NXF1 in coordinating transcriptional dynamics, 3′ end processing, and nuclear export of long 3′ UTR transcripts, implicating NXF1 as a nexus of gene regulation.