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Functions of Gle1 are governed by two distinct modes of self-association


Mason AC , Wente SR , . The Journal of biological chemistry. 2020 9 27; ().


Gle1 is a conserved, essential regulator of DEAD-box RNA helicases, with critical roles defined in mRNA export, translation initiation, translation termination, and stress granule formation. Mechanisms that specify which, where and when DDXs are targeted by Gle1 are critical to understand. In addition to roles for stress-induced phosphorylation and inositol hexakisphosphate (IP) binding in specifying Gle1 function, Gle1 oligomerizes via its N-terminal domain in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. However, a thorough analysis of the role for Gle1 self-association is lacking.  Here, we find that Gle1 self-association is driven by two distinct regions: a coiled-coil domain and a novel ten amino acid aggregation prone region, both of which are necessary for proper Gle1 oligomerization.  By exogenous expression in HeLa cells, we tested the function of a series of mutations that impact the oligomerization domains of the Gle1A and Gle1B isoforms. Gle1 oligomerization is necessary for many, but not all aspects of Gle1A and Gle1B function, and the requirements for each interaction domain differ. Whereas the coiled-coil domain and aggregation prone region additively contribute to competent mRNA export and stress granule formation, both self-association domains are independently required for regulation of translation under cellular stress. In contrast, Gle1 self-association is dispensable for phosphorylation and non-stressed translation initiation.  Collectively, we reveal self-association functions as an additional mode of Gle1 regulation to ensure proper mRNA export and translation. This work also provides further insight into the mechanisms underlying human gle1 disease mutants found in prenatally lethal forms of arthrogryposis.