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An La-related protein controls cell cycle arrest by nuclear retrograde transport of tRNAs during diapause formation in Artemia.

  • Author(s): Chen, Dian-Fu;
  • Lin, Cheng;
  • Wang, Hong-Liang;
  • Zhang, Li;
  • Dai, Li;
  • Jia, Sheng-Nan;
  • Zhou, Rong;
  • Li, Ran;
  • Yang, Jin-Shu;
  • Yang, Fan;
  • Clegg, James S;
  • Nagasawa, Hiromichi;
  • Yang, Wei-Jun
  • et al.


In eukaryotes, tRNA trafficking between the nucleus and cytoplasm is a complex process connected with cell cycle regulation. Such trafficking is therefore of fundamental importance in cell biology, and disruption of this process has grave consequences for cell viability and survival. To cope with harsh habitats, Artemia has evolved a special reproductive mode to release encysted embryos in which cell division can be maintained in a dormancy state for a long period.


Using Artemia as a peculiar model of the cell cycle, an La-related protein from Artemia, named Ar-Larp, was found to bind to tRNA and accumulate in the nucleus, leading to cell cycle arrest and controlling the onset of diapause formation in Artemia. Furthermore, exogenous gene expression of Ar-Larp could induce cell cycle arrest in cancer cells and suppress tumor growth in a xenograft mouse model, similar to the results obtained in diapause embryos of Artemia. Our study of tRNA trafficking indicated that Ar-Larp controls cell cycle arrest by binding to tRNAs and influencing their retrograde movement from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, which is connected to pathways involved in cell cycle checkpoints.


These findings in Artemia offer new insights into the mechanism underlying cell cycle arrest regulation, as well as providing a potentially novel approach to study tRNA retrograde movement from the cytoplasm to the nucleus.

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