The mRNA export pathway is responsible for the transport of mRNAs from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, and thus is essential for protein production and normal cellular functions. A partial loss of function allele of the mRNA export factor Nxt1 in Drosophila shows reduced viability and sterility. A previous study has shown that the male fertility defect is due to a defect in transcription and RNA stability, indicating the potential for this pathway to be implicated in processes beyond the known mRNA transport function. Here we investigate the reduced viability of Nxt1 partial loss of function mutants, and describe a defect in growth and maintenance of the larval muscles, leading to muscle degeneration. RNA-seq revealed reduced expression of a set of mRNAs, particularly from genes with long introns in Nxt1 mutant carcass. We detected differential expression of circRNA, and significantly fewer distinct circRNAs expressed in the mutants. Despite the widespread defects in gene expression, muscle degeneration was rescued by increased expression of the costamere component tn (abba) in muscles. This is the first report of a role for the RNA export pathway gene Nxt1 in the maintenance of muscle integrity. Our data also links the mRNA export pathway to a specific role in the expression of mRNA and circRNA from common precursor genes, in vivo.