The stability of mRNA influences the abundance of cellular transcripts and proteins. Deadenylases play critical roles in mRNA turnover and thus are important for the regulation of various biological events. Here, we report the identification and characterization of CCR4b/CNOT6L, which is homologous to yeast CCR4 mRNA deadenylase. CCR4b is localized mainly in the cytoplasm and displays deadenylase activity both in vitro and in vivo. CCR4b forms a multisubunit complex similar to the yeast CCR4-NOT complex. Suppression of CCR4b by RNA interference results in growth retardation of NIH 3T3 cells accompanied by elevation of both p27Kip1 mRNA and p27Kip1 protein. Reintroduction of wild-type CCR4b, but not mutant CCR4b lacking deadenylase activity, restores the growth of CCR4b-depleted NIH 3T3 cells. The data suggest that CCR4b regulates cell growth in a manner dependent on its deadenylase activity. We also show that p27Kip1 mRNA is stabilized and its poly(A) tail is preserved in CCR4b-depleted cells. Our findings provide evidence that CCR4b deadenylase is a constituent of the mammalian CCR4-NOT complex and regulates the turnover rate of specific target mRNAs. Thus, CCR4b may be involved in various cellular events that include cell proliferation.
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