Polynucleotide phosphorylase

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Polynucleotide Phosphorylase
Crystal structure 1E3P.jpg
Structure of the PNPase trimer from Streptomyces antibioticus. PDB 1e3p.[1]
EC number
CAS number 9014-12-4
IntEnz IntEnz view
ExPASy NiceZyme view
MetaCyc metabolic pathway
PRIAM profile
PDB structures RCSB PDB PDBe PDBsum
Gene Ontology AmiGO / EGO

Polynucleotide Phosphorylase (PNPase) is a bifunctional enzyme with a phosphorolytic 3' to 5' exoribonuclease activity and a 3'-terminal oligonucleotide polymerase activity.[2] That is, it dismantles the RNA chain starting at the 3' end and working toward the 5' end.[1] It also synthesizes long, highly heteropolymeric tails in vivo. It accounts for all of the observed residual polyadenylation in strains of Escherichia coli missing the normal polyadenylation enzyme.[1] Discovered by Ochoa in 1951, the RNA-polymerization activity of PNPase was initially believed to be responsible for DNA-dependent synthesis of messenger RNA, a notion that got disproved by the late 1950s (http://www.jbc.org/content/281/15/e12.full.pdf).

It is involved on mRNA processing and degradation in bacteria, plants,[3] and in humans.[4]

In humans, the enzyme is encoded by the PNPT1 gene. In its active form, the protein forms a ring structure consisting of three PNPase molecules. Each PNPase molecule consists of two RNase PH domains, an S1 RNA binding domain and a K-homology domain. The protein is present in bacteria and in the chloroplasts[2] and mitochondria[5] of some eukaryotic cells. In eukaryotes and archaea, a structurally and evolutionary related complex exists, called the exosome.[5]

The same abbreviation (PNPase) is also used for another, otherwise unrelated enzyme, Purine nucleoside phosphorylase.

Model organisms[edit]

Model organisms have been used in the study of PNPT1 function. A conditional knockout mouse line, called Pnpt1tm1a(KOMP)Wtsi[10][11] was generated as part of the International Knockout Mouse Consortium program — a high-throughput mutagenesis project to generate and distribute animal models of disease to interested scientists.[12][13][14]

Male and female animals underwent a standardized phenotypic screen to determine the effects of deletion.[8][15] Twenty six tests were carried out on mutant mice and two significant abnormalities were observed.[8] No homozygous mutant embryos were identified during gestation, and therefore none survived until weaning. The remaining tests were carried out on heterozygous mutant adult mice; no additional significant abnormalities were observed in these animals.[8]

Human PNPase I
Alt. symbols PNPase, OLD35, old-35
Entrez 87178
HUGO 23166
OMIM 610316
RefSeq NM_033109
UniProt Q8TCS8
Other data
EC number
Locus Chr. 2 p15


  1. ^ a b c Symmons MF, Jones GH, Luisi BF (November 2000). "A duplicated fold is the structural basis for polynucleotide phosphorylase catalytic activity, processivity, and regulation". Structure 8 (11): 1215–26. doi:10.1016/S0969-2126(00)00521-9. PMID 11080643. 
  2. ^ a b Yehudai-Resheff S, Hirsh M, Schuster G (August 2001). "Polynucleotide phosphorylase functions as both an exonuclease and a poly(A) polymerase in spinach chloroplasts". Mol. Cell. Biol. 21 (16): 5408–16. doi:10.1128/MCB.21.16.5408-5416.2001. PMC 87263. PMID 11463823. 
  3. ^ Yehudai-Resheff S, Zimmer SL, Komine Y, Stern DB (March 2007). "Integration of chloroplast nucleic acid metabolism into the phosphate deprivation response in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii". Plant Cell 19 (3): 1023–38. doi:10.1105/tpc.106.045427. PMC 1867357. PMID 17351118. 
  4. ^ Sarkar D, Fisher PB (May 2006). "Human polynucleotide phosphorylase (hPNPase old-35): an RNA degradation enzyme with pleiotrophic biological effects" (PDF). Cell Cycle 5 (10): 1080–4. doi:10.4161/cc.5.10.2741. PMID 16687933. 
  5. ^ a b Schilders G, van Dijk E, Raijmakers R, Pruijn GJ (2006). "Cell and molecular biology of the exosome: how to make or break an RNA". Int. Rev. Cytol. 251: 159–208. doi:10.1016/S0074-7696(06)51005-8. PMID 16939780. 
  6. ^ "Salmonella infection data for Pnpt1". Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. 
  7. ^ "Citrobacter infection data for Pnpt1". Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. 
  8. ^ a b c d Gerdin AK (2010). "The Sanger Mouse Genetics Programme: High throughput characterisation of knockout mice". Acta Ophthalmologica 88: 925–7. doi:10.1111/j.1755-3768.2010.4142.x. 
  9. ^ Mouse Resources Portal, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
  10. ^ "International Knockout Mouse Consortium". 
  11. ^ "Mouse Genome Informatics". 
  12. ^ Skarnes WC, Rosen B, West AP, Koutsourakis M, Bushell W, Iyer V, Mujica AO, Thomas M, Harrow J, Cox T, Jackson D, Severin J, Biggs P, Fu J, Nefedov M, de Jong PJ, Stewart AF, Bradley A (June 2011). "A conditional knockout resource for the genome-wide study of mouse gene function". Nature 474 (7351): 337–42. doi:10.1038/nature10163. PMC 3572410. PMID 21677750. 
  13. ^ Dolgin E (2011). "Mouse library set to be knockout". Nature 474 (7351): 262–3. doi:10.1038/474262a. PMID 21677718. 
  14. ^ Collins FS, Rossant J, Wurst W (2007). "A Mouse for All Reasons". Cell 128 (1): 9–13. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2006.12.018. PMID 17218247. 
  15. ^ van der Weyden L, White JK, Adams DJ, Logan DW (2011). "The mouse genetics toolkit: revealing function and mechanism.". Genome Biol 12 (6): 224. doi:10.1186/gb-2011-12-6-224. PMC 3218837. PMID 21722353. 

External links[edit]