Modomics - A Database of RNA Modifications

Published on Jan. 1, 2008 in Mol Cell volume 29: 337-349.

PubMed ID: 18280239

DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2008.01.002


A critical step in mRNA degradation is the removal of the 5' cap structure, which is catalyzed by the Dcp1-Dcp2 complex. The crystal structure of an S. pombe Dcp1p-Dcp2n complex combined with small-angle X-ray scattering analysis (SAXS) reveals that Dcp2p exists in open and closed conformations, with the closed complex being, or closely resembling, the catalytically more active form. This suggests that a conformational change between these open and closed complexes might control decapping. A bipartite RNA-binding channel containing the catalytic site and Box B motif is identified with a bound ATP located in the catalytic pocket in the closed complex, suggesting possible interactions that facilitate substrate binding. Dcp1 stimulates the activity of Dcp2 by promoting and/or stabilizing the closed complex. Notably, the interface of Dcp1 and Dcp2 is not fully conserved, explaining why the Dcp1-Dcp2 interaction in higher eukaryotes requires an additional factor.