Autonomous translational pausing is required for XBP1u mRNA recruitment to the ER via the SRP pathway

Satoshi Kanda, Kota Yanagitani, Yukiko Yokota, Yuta Esaki, Kenji Kohno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Unconventional mRNA splicing on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane is the sole conserved mechanism in eukaryotes to transmit information regarding misfolded protein accumulation to the nucleus to activate the stress response. In metazoans, the unspliced form of X-box-binding protein 1 (XBP1u) mRNA is recruited to membranes as a ribosome nascent chain (RNC) complex for efficient splicing. We previously reported that both hydrophobic (HR2) and translational pausing regions of XBP1u are important for the recruitment of its own mRNA to membranes. However, its precise location and the molecular mechanism of translocation are unclear. We show that XBP1u-RNC is specifically recruited to the ER membrane in an HR2- and translational pausing-dependent manner by immunostaining, fluorescent recovery after photobleaching, and biochemical analyses. Notably, translational pausing during XBP1u synthesis is indispensable for the recognition of HR2 by the signal recognition particle (SRP), resulting in efficient ER-specific targeting of the complex, similar to secretory protein targeting to the ER. On the ER, the XBP1u nascent chain is transferred from the SRP to the translocon; however, it cannot pass through the translocon or insert into the membrane. Therefore, our results support a noncanonical mechanism by which mRNA substrates are recruited to the ER for unconventional splicing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E5886-E5895
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - Oct 4 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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