Nicolas Cougot

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are approximately 21-nucleotide-long RNA molecules regulating gene expression in multicellular eukaryotes. In metazoa, miRNAs act by imperfectly base-pairing with the 3' untranslated region of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and repressing protein accumulation by an unknown mechanism. We demonstrate that endogenous let-7(More)
Understanding gene expression control requires defining the molecular and cellular basis of mRNA turnover. We have previously shown that the human decapping factors hDcp2 and hDcp1a are concentrated in specific cytoplasmic structures. Here, we show that hCcr4, hDcp1b, hLsm, and rck/p54 proteins related to 5'-3' mRNA decay also localize to these structures,(More)
Intracellular mRNA transport and local translation play a key role in neuronal physiology. Translationally repressed mRNAs are transported as a part of ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particles to distant dendritic sites, but the properties of different RNP particles and mechanisms of their repression and transport remain largely unknown. Here, we describe a new(More)
We have cloned cDNAs for the human homologues of the yeast Dcp1 and Dcp2 factors involved in the major (5'-3') and NMD mRNA decay pathways. While yeast Dcp1 has been reported to be the decapping enzyme, we show that recombinant human Dcp2 (hDcp2) is enzymatically active. Dcp2 activity appears evolutionarily conserved. Mutational and biochemical analyses(More)
A novel cytoplasmic compartment referred to as GW bodies (GWBs) was initially identified using antibodies specific to a 182-kD protein termed GW182. GW182 was characterized by multiple glycine(G)-tryptophan(W) repeats and an RNA recognition motif (RRM) that bound a subset of HeLa cell messenger RNAs (mRNAs). The function of GWBs was not known; however, more(More)
In mammals, repression of translation during stress is associated with the assembly of stress granules in the cytoplasm, which contain a fraction of arrested mRNA and have been proposed to play a role in their storage. Because physical contacts are seen with GW bodies, which contain the mRNA degradation machinery, stress granules could also target arrested(More)
In mammals, nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a quality-control mechanism that degrades mRNA harboring a premature termination codon to prevent the synthesis of truncated proteins. To gain insight into the NMD mechanism, we identified NMD inhibitor 1 (NMDI 1) as a small molecule inhibitor of the NMD pathway. We characterized the mode of action of this(More)
Processing bodies (P-bodies) are cytoplasmic non-membranous domains involved in the regulation of eukaryotic gene expression. Since their discovery, several studies using fluorescence-based strategies have uncovered their pivotal role in mRNA metabolism, particularly during translation repression and/or mRNA degradation. Yet, P-bodies still remain a "black(More)
Metastatic lymph node 51 [MLN51 (also known as CASC3)] is a component of the exon junction complex (EJC), which is assembled on spliced mRNAs and plays important roles in post-splicing events. The four proteins of the EJC core, MLN51, MAGOH, Y14 and EIF4AIII shuttle between the cytoplasm and the nucleus. However, unlike the last three, MLN51 is mainly(More)
A finely tuned balance of translation, storage and decay of mRNAs (mRNAs) is important for the regulation of gene expression. In eukaryotic cells, this takes place in dynamic cytoplasmic RNA-protein granules termed Processing bodies (P-bodies). In this study, by using immunoelectron tomography, 3D modeling and template matching, we analyze the size and the(More)