Post-transcriptional RNA processing is a core mechanism of gene expression control in cell stress response. The poly(A) tail influences mRNA translation and stability, but it is unclear whether there are global roles of poly(A)-tail lengths in cell stress. To address this, Cornell University researchers developed tail-end displacement sequencing (TED-seq) for an efficient transcriptome-wide profiling of poly(A) lengths and applied it to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in human cells. ER stress induced increases in the poly(A) lengths of certain mRNAs, including known ER stress regulators, XBP1, DDIT3, and HSPA5. Importantly, the mRNAs with increased poly(A) lengths are both translationally de-repressed and stabilized. Furthermore, mRNAs in stress-induced RNA granules have shorter poly(A) tails than in the cytoplasm, supporting the view that RNA processing is compartmentalized. In conclusion, TED-seq reveals that poly(A) length is dynamically regulated upon ER stress, with potential consequences for both translation and mRNA turnover.
TED-Seq identifies the dynamics of Poly(A) length during ER stress
Woo YM, Kwak Y, Namkoong S, Kristjánsdóttir K, Lee SH, Lee JH, Kwak H. (2018) TED-Seq Identifies the Dynamics of Poly(A) Length during ER Stress. Cell Rep 24(13):3630-3641.e7. [article]