DDX6 is an abundant DEAD-box helicase associated with various complexes involved in mRNA decay and repression. Its interactome in human cells was analyzed to identify its most prominent partners. Among them, three proteins were essential for P-body assembly in all tested conditions: DDX6, 4E-T, and LSM14A.
P-bodies are cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein granules involved in posttranscriptional regulation. DDX6 is a key component of their assembly in human cells. This DEAD-box RNA helicase is known to be associated with various complexes, including the decapping complex, the CPEB repression complex, RISC, and the CCR4/NOT complex. To understand which DDX6 complexes are required for P-body assembly, we analyzed the DDX6 interactome using the tandem-affinity purification methodology coupled to mass spectrometry. Three complexes were prominent: the decapping complex, a CPEB-like complex, and an Ataxin2/Ataxin2L complex. The exon junction complex was also found, suggesting DDX6 binding to newly exported mRNAs. Finally, some DDX6 was associated with polysomes, as previously reported in yeast. Despite its high enrichment in P-bodies, most DDX6 is localized out of P-bodies. Of the three complexes, only the decapping and CPEB-like complexes were recruited into P-bodies. Investigation of P-body assembly in various conditions allowed us to distinguish required proteins from those that are dispensable or participate only in specific conditions. Three proteins were required in all tested conditions: DDX6, 4E-T, and LSM14A. These results reveal the variety of pathways of P-body assembly, which all nevertheless share three key factors connecting P-body assembly to repression.