RNA in extracellular vesicles (EVs) are uptaken by cells, where they regulate fundamental cellular functions. EV-derived mRNA in recipient cells can be translated. However, it is still elusive whether “naked nonvesicular extracellular mRNA” (nex-mRNA) that are not packed in EVs can be uptaken by cells and, if so, whether they have any functions in recipient cells. Here, we show the entrance of nex-mRNA in the nucleus, where they exert a translation-independent function. Human nex-interleukin-1β (IL1β)-mRNA outside cells proved to be captured by RNA-binding zinc finger CCCH domain containing protein 12D (ZC3H12D)-expressing human natural killer (NK) cells. ZC3H12D recruited to the cell membrane binds to the 3′-untranslated region of nex-IL1β-mRNA and transports it to the nucleus. The nex-IL1β-mRNA in the NK cell nucleus upregulates antiapoptotic gene expression, migration activity, and interferon-γ production, leading to the killing of cancer cells and antimetastasis in mice. These results implicate the diverse actions of mRNA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)