Noncanonical alternative polyadenylation contributes to gene regulation in response to hypoxia

Laura de Lorenzo, Reed Sorenson, Julia Bailey-Serres, Arthur G. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Stresses from various environmental challenges continually confront plants, and their responses are important for growth and survival. One molecular response to such challenges involves the alternative polyadenylation of mRNA. In plants, it is unclear how stress affects the production and fate of alternative mRNA isoforms. Using a genome-scale approach, we show that in Arabidopsis thaliana, hypoxia leads to increases in the number of mRNA isoforms with polyadenylated 39 ends that map to 59-untranslated regions (UTRs), introns, and protein-coding regions. RNAs with 39 ends within protein-coding regions and introns were less stable than mRNAs that end at 39-UTR poly(A) sites. Additionally, these RNA isoforms were underrepresented in polysomes isolated from control and hypoxic plants. By contrast, mRNA isoforms with 39 ends that lie within annotated 59-UTRs were overrepresented in polysomes and were as stable as canonical mRNA isoforms. These results indicate that the generation of noncanonical mRNA isoforms is an important feature of the abiotic stress response. The finding that several noncanonical mRNA isoforms are relatively unstable suggests that the production of non-stop and intronic mRNA isoforms may represent a form of negative regulation in plants, providing a conceptual link with mechanisms that generate these isoforms (such as alternative polyadenylation) and RNA surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1262-1277
Number of pages16
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 ASPB.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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