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Roles for RNA export factor, Nxt1, in ensuring muscle integrity and normal RNA expression in Drosophila.

van der Graaf, Kevin, Jindrich, Katia, Mitchell, Robert and White-Cooper, Helen ORCID: 2021. Roles for RNA export factor, Nxt1, in ensuring muscle integrity and normal RNA expression in Drosophila. G3 11 (1) , jkaa046. 10.1093/g3journal/jkaa046

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The mRNA export pathway is responsible for the transport of mRNAs from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, and thus is essential for protein production and normal cellular functions. A partial loss of function allele of the mRNA export factor Nxt1 in Drosophila shows reduced viability and sterility. A previous study has shown that the male fertility defect is due to a defect in transcription and RNA stability, indicating the potential for this pathway to be implicated in processes beyond the known mRNA transport function. Here we investigate the reduced viability of Nxt1 partial loss of function mutants, and describe a defect in growth and maintenance of the larval muscles, leading to muscle degeneration. RNA-seq revealed reduced expression of a set of mRNAs, particularly from genes with long introns in Nxt1 mutant carcass. We detected differential expression of circRNA, and significantly fewer distinct circRNAs expressed in the mutants. Despite the widespread defects in gene expression, muscle degeneration was rescued by increased expression of the costamere component tn (abba) in muscles. This is the first report of a role for the RNA export pathway gene Nxt1 in maintenance of muscle integrity. Our data also links the mRNA export pathway to a specific role in expression of mRNA and circRNA from common precursor genes, in vivo.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Genetics Society of America: G3 / Genetics Society of America
ISSN: 2160-1836
Funders: BBSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 January 2021
Date of Acceptance: 10 December 2020
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2023 19:40

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