The loss of SMG1 causes defects in quality control pathways in Physcomitrella patens

James P.B. Lloyd, Daniel Lang, Andreas D. Zimmer, Barry Causier, Ralf Reski, Brendan Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is important for RNA quality control and gene regulation in eukaryotes. NMD targets aberrant transcripts for decay and also directly influences the abundance of non-aberrant transcripts. In animals, the SMG1 kinase plays an essential role in NMD by phospho-rylating the core NMD factor UPF1. Despite SMG1 being ubiquitous throughout the plant kingdom, little is known about its function, probably because SMG1 is atypically absent from the genome of the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. By combining our previously established SMG1 knockout in moss with transcriptome-wide analysis, we reveal the range of processes involving SMG1 in plants. Machine learning assisted analysis suggests that 32% of multi-isoform genes produce NMD-targeted transcripts and that splice junctions downstream of a stop codon act as the major determinant of NMD targeting. Furthermore, we suggest that SMG1 is involved in other quality control pathways, affecting DNA repair and the unfolded protein response, in addition to its role in mRNA quality control. Consistent with this, smg1 plants have increased susceptibility to DNA damage, but increased tolerance to unfolded protein inducing agents. The potential involvement of SMG1 in RNA, DNA and protein quality control has major implications for the study of these processes in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5822-5836
Number of pages15
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


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