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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 358015, 9 pages
Research Article

Growth Arrest on Inhibition of Nonsense-Mediated Decay Is Mediated by Noncoding RNA GAS5

Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine and School of Life Sciences, Keele University, Huxley Building, Keele ST5 5BG, UK

Received 5 April 2013; Accepted 19 September 2013

Academic Editor: Xudong Huang

Copyright © 2013 Mirna Mourtada-Maarabouni and Gwyn T. Williams. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonsense-mediated decay is a key RNA surveillance mechanism responsible for the rapid degradation of mRNAs containing premature termination codons and hence prevents the synthesis of truncated proteins. More recently, it has been shown that nonsense-mediated decay also has broader significance in controlling the expression of a significant proportion of the transcriptome. The importance of this mechanism to the mammalian cell is demonstrated by the observation that its inhibition causes growth arrest. The noncoding RNA growth arrest specific transcript 5 (GAS5) has recently been shown to play a key role in growth arrest induced by several mechanisms, including serum withdrawal and treatment with the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin. Here we show that inhibition of nonsense-mediated decay in several human lymphocyte cell lines causes growth arrest, and siRNA-mediated downregulation of GAS5 in these cells significantly alleviates the inhibitory effects observed. These observations hold true for inhibition of nonsense-mediated decay both through RNA interference and through pharmacological inhibition by aminoglycoside antibiotics gentamycin and G418. These studies have important implications for ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity caused by gentamycin and for the proposed use of NMD inhibition in treating genetic disease. This report further demonstrates the critical role played by GAS5 in the growth arrest of mammalian cells.