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The mRNA lifecycle is driven through spatiotemporal changes in the protein composition of mRNA particles (mRNPs) that are triggered by RNA-dependent DEAD-box protein (Dbp) ATPases. As mRNPs exit the nuclear pore complex (NPC) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, this remodeling occurs through activation of Dbp5 by inositol hexakisphosphate (IP )-bound Gle1. At the NPC, Gle1 also binds Nup42, but Nup42's molecular function is unclear. Here we employ the power of structure-function analysis in S. cerevisiae and human (h) cells, and find that the high-affinity Nup42-Gle1 interaction is integral to Dbp5 (hDDX19B) activation and efficient mRNA export. The Nup42 carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) binds Gle1/hGle1B at an interface distinct from the Gle1-Dbp5/hDDX19B interaction site. A nup42-CTD/gle1-CTD/Dbp5 trimeric complex forms in the presence of IP . Deletion of NUP42 abrogates Gle1-Dbp5 interaction, and disruption of the Nup42 or IP binding interfaces on Gle1/hGle1B leads to defective mRNA export in S. cerevisiae and human cells. In vitro, Nup42-CTD and IP stimulate Gle1/hGle1B activation of Dbp5 and DDX19B recombinant proteins in similar, nonadditive manners, demonstrating complete functional conservation between humans and S. cerevisiae. Together, a highly conserved mechanism governs spatial coordination of mRNP remodeling during export. This has implications for understanding human disease mutations that perturb the Nup42-hGle1B interaction.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.