Posttranscriptional and posttranslational modification of macromolecules is known to fine-tune their functions. Trm112 is unique, acting as an activator of both tRNA and protein methyltransferases. Here we report that in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Trm112 is required for efficient ribosome synthesis and progression through mitosis. Trm112 copurifies with pre-rRNAs and with multiple ribosome synthesis trans-acting factors, including the 18S rRNA methyltransferase Bud23. Consistent with the known mechanisms of activation of methyltransferases by Trm112, we found that Trm112 interacts directly with Bud23 in vitro and that it is required for its stability in vivo. Consequently, trm112Δ cells are deficient for Bud23-mediated 18S rRNA methylation at position G1575 and for small ribosome subunit formation. Bud23 failure to bind nascent preribosomes activates a nucleolar surveillance pathway involving the TRAMP complexes, leading to preribosome degradation. Trm112 is thus active in rRNA, tRNA, and translation factor modification, ideally placing it at the interface between ribosome synthesis and function.
This study shows that Trm112 interacts with and is required for the presence of 18S rRNA methyltransferase Bud23. Also shown is the involvement of Trm112 in 60S biogenesis, thus extending the known functions of Trm112 from tRNA and translation factor methylation to roles in biogenesis of both ribosomal subunits.
We previously identified Bud23 as the methyltransferase that methylates G1575 of rRNA in the P-site of the small (40S) ribosomal subunit. In this paper, we show that Bud23 requires the methyltransferase adaptor protein Trm112 for stability in vivo. Deletion of Trm112 results in a bud23Δ-like mutant phenotype. Thus Trm112 is required for efficient small-subunit biogenesis. Genetic analysis suggests the slow growth of a trm112Δ mutant is due primarily to the loss of Bud23. Surprisingly, suppression of the bud23Δ-dependent 40S defect revealed a large (60S) biogenesis defect in a trm112Δ mutant. Using sucrose gradient sedimentation analysis and coimmunoprecipitation, we show that Trm112 is also involved in 60S subunit biogenesis. The 60S defect may be dependent on Nop2 and Rcm1, two additional Trm112 interactors that we identify. Our work extends the known range of Trm112 function from modification of tRNAs and translation factors to both ribosomal subunits, showing that its effects span all aspects of the translation machinery. Although Trm112 is required for Bud23 stability, our results suggest that Trm112 is not maintained in a stable complex with Bud23. We suggest that Trm112 stabilizes its free methyltransferase partners not engaged with substrate and/or helps to deliver its methyltransferase partners to their substrates.
ARB1 is an essential yeast protein closely related to members of a subclass of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily of proteins that are known to interact with ribosomes and function in protein synthesis or ribosome biogenesis. We show that depletion of ARB1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells leads to a deficit in 18S rRNA and 40S subunits that can be attributed to slower cleavage at the A0, A1, and A2 processing sites in 35S pre-rRNA, delayed processing of 20S rRNA to mature 18S rRNA, and a possible defect in nuclear export of pre-40S subunits. Depletion of ARB1 also delays rRNA processing events in the 60S biogenesis pathway. We further demonstrate that ARB1 shuttles from nucleus to cytoplasm, cosediments with 40S, 60S, and 80S/90S ribosomal species, and is physically associated in vivo with TIF6, LSG1, and other proteins implicated previously in different aspects of 60S or 40S biogenesis. Mutations of conserved ARB1 residues expected to function in ATP hydrolysis were lethal. We propose that ARB1 functions as a mechanochemical ATPase to stimulate multiple steps in the 40S and 60S ribosomal biogenesis pathways.
Rps15p, an essential ribosomal protein, was previously shown to be critical for nuclear export of small subunit pre-particles. We have designed a synthetic lethal screen in Saccharomyces cerevisiæ to identify its genetic partners and further elucidate its role during ribosomal biogenesis. Our screen revealed interactions with mutants affected at various stages during ribosome biogenesis, from early nucleolar steps to nuclear export. Mutations were identified in genes encoding proteins involved in early ribosome biogenesis steps, like the small subunit processome component Utp15p, the 90S pre-ribosome factor Slx9p and the H/ACA snoRNP core protein Nhp2p. In addition, we found a synthetic lethality with BUD23, a gene encoding a methyltransferase involved both in rRNA modification and small subunit nuclear export. Interestingly, deletion of snR36 or snR85, two H/ACA snoRNAs that direct modifications close to Rps15p's binding site on the rRNA, produces mild and opposite effects on growth in an rps15 hypomorphic background. These data uncover an unreported link between a ribosomal protein and rRNA modification machinery.
We have characterized the posttranslational methylation of Rps2, Rps3, and Rps27a, three small ribosomal subunit proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, using mass spectrometry and amino acid analysis. We found that Rps2 is substoichiometrically modified at arginine-10 by the Rmt1 methyltransferase. We demonstrated that Rps3 is stoichiometrically modified by ω-monomethylation at arginine-146 by mass spectrometric and site-directed mutagenic analyses. Substitution of alanine for arginine at position 146 is associated with slow cell growth, suggesting that the amino acid identity at this site may influence ribosomal function and/or biogenesis. Analysis of the three-dimensional structure of Rps3 in S. cerevisiae shows that arginine-146 makes contacts with the small subunit rRNA. Screening of deletion mutants encoding potential yeast methyltransferases revealed that the loss of the YOR021C gene results in the absence of methylation on Rps3. We demonstrated that recombinant Yor021c catalyzes ω-monomethylarginine formation when incubated with S-adenosylmethionine and hypomethylated ribosomes prepared from a YOR021C deletion strain. Interestingly, Yor021c belongs to the family of SPOUT methyltransferases that, to date, have only been shown to modify RNA substrates. Our findings suggest a wider role for SPOUT methyltransferases in nature. Finally, we have demonstrated the presence of a stoichiometrically methylated cysteine residue at position 39 of Rps27a in a zinc-cysteine cluster. The discovery of these three novel sites of protein modification within the small ribosomal subunit will now allow for an analysis of their functional roles in translation and possibly other cellular processes.
The 18S rRNA component of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) 40S ribosomes undergoes cytoplasmic 3′ cleavage following nuclear export, whereas exported pre-60S subunits were believed to contain only mature 5.8S and 25S rRNAs. However, in situ hybridization detected 3′-extended forms of 5.8S rRNA in the cytoplasm, which were lost when Crm1-dependent preribosome export was blocked by treatment with leptomycin B (LMB). LMB treatment rapidly blocked processing of 6S pre-rRNA to 5.8S rRNA, leading to TRAMP-dependent pre-rRNA degradation. The 6S pre-rRNA was coprecipitated with the 60S export adapter Nmd3 and cytoplasmic 60S synthesis factor Lsg1. The longer 5.8S+30 pre-rRNA (a form of 5.8S rRNA 3′ extended by ∼30 nucleotides) is processed to 6S by the nuclear exonuclease Rrp6, and nuclear pre-rRNA accumulated in the absence of Rrp6. In contrast, 6S to 5.8S processing requires the cytoplasmic exonuclease Ngl2, and cytoplasmic pre-rRNA accumulated in strains lacking Ngl2. We conclude that nuclear pre-60S particles containing the 6S pre-rRNA bind Nmd3 and Crm1 and are exported to the cytoplasm prior to final maturation by Ngl2.
Posttranscriptional modifications of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) nucleotides are a common mechanism of modulating the ribosome’s function and conferring bacterial resistance to ribosome-targeting antibiotics. One such modification is methylation of an adenosine nucleotide within the peptidyl transferase center of the ribosome mediated by the indigenous methyltransferase RlmN and its evolutionary-related resistance enzyme Cfr. These methyltransferases catalyze methyl transfer to aromatic carbon atoms of the adenosine within a complex 23S rRNA substrate to form the 2,8-dimethylated product. RlmN and Cfr are members of the Radical SAM superfamily, and contain the characteristic cysteine rich CX3CX2C motif. We demonstrate that both enzymes are capable of accommodating the requisite [4Fe-4S] cluster. S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) is both the methyl donor and the source of a 5′-deoxyadenosyl radical, which activates the substrate for methylation. Detailed analyses of the rRNA requirements show that the enzymes can utilize protein-free 23S rRNA as a substrate, but not the fully-assembled large ribosomal subunit, suggesting that the methylations take place during the assembly of the ribosome. The key recognition elements in the 23S rRNA are helices 90–92 and the adjacent single stranded RNA that encompasses A2503. To our knowledge, this study represents the first in vitro description of a methyl transfer catalyzed by a member of Radical SAM superfamily, and it expands the catalytic repertoire of this diverse enzyme class. Furthermore, by providing information on both the timing of methylation and its substrate requirements, our findings have important implications for the functional consequences of Cfr-mediated modification of rRNA in acquisition of antibiotic resistance.
Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) orchestrate the modification and cleavage of pre-rRNA and are essential for ribosome biogenesis. Recent data suggest that after nucleoplasmic synthesis, snoRNAs transiently localize to the Cajal body (in plant and animal cells) or the homologous nucleolar body (in budding yeast) for maturation and assembly into snoRNPs prior to accumulation in their primary functional site, the nucleolus. However, little is known about the trans-acting factors important for the intranuclear trafficking and nucleolar localization of snoRNAs. Here, we describe a large-scale genetic screen to identify proteins important for snoRNA transport in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We performed fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis to visualize U3 snoRNA localization in a collection of temperature-sensitive yeast mutants. We have identified Nop4, Prp21, Tao3, Sec14, and Htl1 as proteins important for the proper localization of U3 snoRNA. Mutations in genes encoding these proteins lead to specific defects in the targeting or retention of the snoRNA to either the nucleolar body or the nucleolus. Additional characterization of the mutants revealed impairment in specific steps of U3 snoRNA processing, demonstrating that snoRNA maturation and trafficking are linked processes.
The assembly of ribosomes involves the coordinated processing and modification of rRNAs with the temporal association of ribosomal proteins. This process is regulated by assembly factors such as helicases, modifying enzymes, and GTPases. In contrast to the assembly of cytoplasmic ribosomes, there is a paucity of information concerning the role of assembly proteins in the biogenesis of mitochondrial ribosomes. In this study, we demonstrate that the Saccharomyces cerevisiae GTPase Mtg2p (Yhr168wp) is essential for mitochondrial ribosome function. Cells lacking MTG2 lose their mitochondrial DNA, giving rise to petite cells. In addition, cells expressing a temperature-sensitive mgt2-1 allele are defective in mitochondrial protein synthesis and contain lowered levels of mitochondrial ribosomal subunits. Significantly, elevated levels of Mtg2p partially suppress the thermosensitive loss of mitochondrial DNA in a 21S rRNA methyltransferase mutant, mrm2. We propose that Mtg2p is involved in mitochondrial ribosome biogenesis. Consistent with this role, we show that Mtg2p is peripherally localized to the mitochondrial inner membrane and associates with the 54S large ribosomal subunit in a salt-dependent manner.
Nucleolar Essential Protein 1 (Nep1) is required for small subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA (rRNA) maturation and is mutated in Bowen–Conradi Syndrome. Although yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) Nep1 interacts with a consensus sequence found in three regions of SSU rRNA, the molecular details of the interaction are unknown. Nep1 is a SPOUT RNA methyltransferase, and can catalyze methylation at the N1 of pseudouridine. Nep1 is also involved in assembly of Rps19, an SSU ribosomal protein. Mutations in Nep1 that result in decreased methyl donor binding do not result in lethality, suggesting that enzymatic activity may not be required for function, and RNA binding may play a more important role. To study these interactions, the crystal structures of the scNep1 dimer and its complexes with RNA were determined. The results demonstrate that Nep1 recognizes its RNA site via base-specific interactions and stabilizes a stem-loop in the bound RNA. Furthermore, the RNA structure observed contradicts the predicted structures of the Nep1-binding sites within mature rRNA, suggesting that the Nep1 changes rRNA structure upon binding. Finally, a uridine base is bound in the active site of Nep1, positioned for a methyltransfer at the C5 position, supporting its role as an N1-specific pseudouridine methyltransferase.
This study is concerned with the isolation and characterization of the enzyme, S-adenosylmethionine:ribosomal ribonucleic acid-adenine (N6−) methyl-transferase [rRNA-adenine (N6-) methylase] of Escherichia coli strain B, which is responsible for the formation of N6-methyladenine moieties in ribosomal ribonucleic acids (rRNA). A 1,500-fold purified preparation of the species-specific methyltransferase methylates a limited number of adenine moieties in heterologous rRNA (Micrococcus lysodeikticus and Bacillus subtilis) and methyl-deficient homologous rRNA. The site recognition mechanism does not require intact 16 or 23S rRNA. The enzyme does not utilize transfer ribonucleic acid as a methyl acceptor nor does it synthesize 2-methyladenine or N6-dimethyladenine moieties. Mg2+, spermine, K+, and Na+ increase the reaction rate but not the extent of methylation; elevated concentrations of the cations inhibit markedly. The purified preparations utilize 9-β-ribosyl-2,6-diaminopurine (DAPR) as a methyl acceptor with the synthesis of 9-β-ribosyl-6-amino-2-methylaminopurine. A comparison of the two activities demonstrated that one methyltransferase is responsible for the methylation of both DAPR and rRNA. This property provides a sensitive assay procedure unaffected by ribonucleases and independent of any specificity exhibited by rRNA methyl acceptors.
Ribosome biogenesis in eukaryotes requires the participation of a large number of ribosome assembly factors. The highly conserved eukaryotic nucleolar protein Nep1 has an essential but unknown function in 18S rRNA processing and ribosome biogenesis. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae the malfunction of a temperature-sensitive Nep1 protein (nep1-1ts) was suppressed by the addition of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). This suggests the participation of Nep1 in a methyltransferase reaction during ribosome biogenesis. In addition, yeast Nep1 binds to a 6-nt RNA-binding motif also found in 18S rRNA and facilitates the incorporation of ribosomal protein Rps19 during the formation of pre-ribosomes. Here, we present the X-ray structure of the Nep1 homolog from the archaebacterium Methanocaldococcus jannaschii in its free form (2.2 Å resolution) and bound to the S-adenosylmethionine analog S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH, 2.15 Å resolution) and the antibiotic and general methyltransferase inhibitor sinefungin (2.25 Å resolution). The structure reveals a fold which is very similar to the conserved core fold of the SPOUT-class methyltransferases but contains a novel extension of this common core fold. SAH and sinefungin bind to Nep1 at a preformed binding site that is topologically equivalent to the cofactor-binding site in other SPOUT-class methyltransferases. Therefore, our structures together with previous genetic data suggest that Nep1 is a genuine rRNA methyltransferase.
The H/ACA family of small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) plays a central role in guiding the pseudouridylation of ribosomal RNA (rRNA). In an effort to systematically identify the complete set of rRNA-modifying H/ACA snoRNAs from the genome sequence of the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we developed a program – Fisher – and previously presented several candidate snoRNAs based on our analysis .
In this report, we provide a brief update of this work, which was aborted after the publication of experimentally-identified snoRNAs  identical to candidates we had identified bioinformatically using Fisher. Our motivation for revisiting this work is to report on the status of the candidate snoRNAs described in , and secondly, to report that a modified version of Fisher together with the available multiple yeast genome sequences was able to correctly identify several H/ACA snoRNAs for modification sites not identified by the snoGPS program . While we are no longer developing Fisher, we briefly consider the merits of the Fisher algorithm relative to snoGPS, which may be of use for workers considering pursuing a similar search strategy for the identification of small RNAs. The modified source code for Fisher is made available as supplementary material.
Our results confirm the validity of using minimum free energy (MFE) secondary structure prediction to guide comparative genomic screening for RNA families with few sequence constraints.
3D reconstruction by cryo-EM provides the first structural description of a ribosomal biogenesis factor (Nmd3) in complex with the 60S ribosomal subunit.
The nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein Nmd3 is an adaptor for export of the 60S ribosomal subunit from the nucleus. Nmd3 binds to nascent 60S subunits in the nucleus and recruits the export receptor Crm1 to facilitate passage through the nuclear pore complex. In this study, we present a cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) reconstruction of the 60S subunit in complex with Nmd3 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The density corresponding to Nmd3 is directly visible in the cryo-EM map and is attached to the regions around helices 38, 69, and 95 of the 25S ribosomal RNA (rRNA), the helix 95 region being adjacent to the protein Rpl10. We identify the intersubunit side of the large subunit as the binding site for Nmd3. rRNA protection experiments corroborate the structural data. Furthermore, Nmd3 binding to 60S subunits is blocked in 80S ribosomes, which is consistent with the assigned binding site on the subunit joining face. This cryo-EM map is a first step toward a molecular understanding of the functional role and release mechanism of Nmd3.
Rps2/rpS2 is a well conserved protein of the eukaryotic ribosomal small subunit. Rps2 has previously been shown to contain asymmetric dimethylarginine residues, the addition of which is catalyzed by zinc-finger-containing arginine methyltransferase 3 (Rmt3) in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and protein arginine methyltransferase 3 (PRMT3) in mammalian cells. Here we demonstrate that despite the lack of a zinc-finger-containing homolog of Rmt3/PRMT3 in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Rps2 is partially modified to generate asymmetric dimethylarginine and monomethylarginine residues. We find that this modification of Rps2 is dependent upon the major arginine methyltransferase 1 (Rmt1) in S. cerevisiae. These results are suggestive of a role for Rmt1 in modifying the function of Rps2 in a manner distinct from that occurring in S. pombe and mammalian cells.
ribosomes; protein arginine methylation; posttranslational modification of proteins; methyltransferases; ribosomal assembly; asymmetric dimethylarginine
ETOC: Ribosome synthesis is a multistep process initiated in the nucleolus with the transcription of a precursor rRNA that is subjected to a series of modification and processing steps to generate the mature rRNA. In this paper, we describe a novel 60S ribosome biogenesis complex associating with LAS1L that controls rRNA processing and synthesis of the 28S rRNA.
The coordination of RNA polymerase I transcription with pre-rRNA processing, preribosomal particle assembly, and nuclear export is a finely tuned process requiring the concerted actions of a number of accessory factors. However, the exact functions of some of these proteins and how they assemble in subcomplexes remain poorly defined. LAS1L was first described as a nucleolar protein required for maturation of the 60S preribosomal subunit. In this paper, we demonstrate that LAS1L interacts with PELP1, TEX10, and WDR18, the mammalian homologues of the budding yeast Rix1 complex, along with NOL9 and SENP3, to form a novel nucleolar complex that cofractionates with the 60S preribosomal subunit. Depletion of LAS1L-associated proteins results in a p53-dependent G1 arrest and leads to defects in processing of the pre-rRNA internal transcribed spacer 2 region. We further show that the nucleolar localization of this complex requires active RNA polymerase I transcription and the small ubiquitin-like modifier–specific protease SENP3. Taken together, our data identify a novel mammalian complex required for 60S ribosomal subunit synthesis, providing further insight into the intricate, yet poorly described, process of ribosome biogenesis in higher eukaryotes.
Subsets of 40S ribosomal subunits are required for initiating rRNA processing, rRNA maturation, and nuclear export.
Our knowledge of the functions of metazoan ribosomal proteins in ribosome synthesis remains fragmentary. Using siRNAs, we show that knockdown of 31 of the 32 ribosomal proteins of the human 40S subunit (ribosomal protein of the small subunit [RPS]) strongly affects pre–ribosomal RNA (rRNA) processing, which often correlates with nucleolar chromatin disorganization. 16 RPSs are strictly required for initiating processing of the sequences flanking the 18S rRNA in the pre-rRNA except at the metazoan-specific early cleavage site. The remaining 16 proteins are necessary for progression of the nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation steps and for nuclear export. Distribution of these two subsets of RPSs in the 40S subunit structure argues for a tight dependence of pre-rRNA processing initiation on the folding of both the body and the head of the forming subunit. Interestingly, the functional dichotomy of RPS proteins reported in this study is correlated with the mutation frequency of RPS genes in Diamond-Blackfan anemia.
Biogenesis of the small and large ribosomal subunits requires modification, processing, and folding of pre-rRNA to yield mature rRNA. Here, we report that efficient biogenesis of both small- and large-subunit rRNAs requires the DEAH box ATPase Prp43p, a pre-mRNA splicing factor. By steady-state analysis, a cold-sensitive prp43 mutant accumulates 35S pre-rRNA and depletes 20S, 27S, and 7S pre-rRNAs, precursors to the small- and large-subunit rRNAs. By pulse-chase analysis, the prp43 mutant is defective in the formation of 20S and 27S pre-rRNAs and in the accumulation of 18S and 25S mature rRNAs. Wild-type Prp43p immunoprecipitates pre-rRNAs and mature rRNAs, indicating a direct role in ribosome biogenesis. The Prp43p-Q423N mutant immunoprecipitates 27SA2 pre-rRNA threefold more efficiently than the wild type, suggesting a critical role for Prp43p at the earliest stages of large-subunit biogenesis. Consistent with an early role for Prp43p in ribosome biogenesis, Prp43p immunoprecipitates the majority of snoRNAs; further, compared to the wild type, the prp43 mutant generally immunoprecipitates the snoRNAs more efficiently. In the prp43 mutant, the snoRNA snR64 fails to methylate residue C2337 in 27S pre-rRNA, suggesting a role in snoRNA function. We propose that Prp43p promotes recycling of snoRNAs and biogenesis factors during pre-rRNA processing, similar to its recycling role in pre-mRNA splicing. The dual function for Prp43p in the cell raises the possibility that ribosome biogenesis and pre-mRNA splicing may be coordinately regulated.
Ribosome biogenesis is an evolutionarily conserved pathway that requires ribosomal and nonribosomal proteins. Here, we investigated the role of the ribosomal protein S2 (Rps2) in fission yeast ribosome synthesis. As for many budding yeast ribosomal proteins, Rps2 was essential for cell viability in fission yeast and the genetic depletion of Rps2 caused a complete inhibition of 40S ribosomal subunit production. The pattern of pre-rRNA processing upon depletion of Rps2 revealed a reduction of 27SA2 pre-rRNAs and the concomitant production of 21S rRNA precursors, consistent with a role for Rps2 in efficient cleavage at site A2 within the 32S pre-rRNA. Importantly, kinetics of pre-rRNA accumulation as determined by rRNA pulse-chases assays indicated that a small fraction of 35S precursors matured into 20S-containing particles, suggesting that most 40S precursors were rapidly degraded in the absence of Rps2. Analysis of steady-state RNA levels revealed that some pre-40S particles were produced in Rps2-depleted cells, but that these precursors were retained in the nucleolus. Our findings suggest a role for Rps2 in a mechanism that monitors pre-40S export competence.
The synthesis of ribosomal subunits in the nucleolus is a conserved, essential process that results in cytoplasmic ribosomes with precisely processed and folded rRNAs assembled with ribosomal proteins. It has been proposed, but never directly demonstrated, that the U3 small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA), a nucleolar component required for ribosome biogenesis, is a chaperone for pre-18S rRNA folding. To test this, we used in vivo chemical probing with dimethyl sulfate to detect changes in pre-rRNA structure upon genetic manipulation of the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Based on changes in nucleotide reactivity, we found that the U3 snoRNA is indeed required for folding of the pre-18S rRNA. Furthermore, we detected a new essential base pairing interaction that is likely the initial anchor that recruits the U3 snoRNA to the pre-rRNA, is a prerequisite for the subsequent interactions, and is required for the small subunit processome formation. Substitution of the 5′-ETS nucleotides of the pre-rRNA involved in this initial base pairing interaction is lethal, but growth is restored when a complementary U3 snoRNA is expressed. The U3 snoRNP, via base pairing, and its associated proteins, are part of the required machinery that orchestrates the folding of pre-rRNA that results in the assembly of the small ribosomal subunit.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, synthesis of the small ribosomal subunit requires assembly of the 35S pre-rRNA into a 90S preribosomal complex. SnoRNAs, including U3 snoRNA, and many trans-acting proteins are required for the ordered assembly and function of the 90S preribosomal complex. Here, we show that the conserved protein Mrd1p binds to the pre-rRNA early during transcription and is required for compaction of the pre-18S rRNA into SSU processome particles. We have exploited the fact that an Mrd1p-GFP fusion protein is incorporated into the 90S preribosomal complex, where it acts as a partial loss-of-function mutation. When associated with the pre-rRNA, Mrd1p-GFP functionally interacts with the essential Pwp2, Mpp10 and U3 snoRNP subcomplexes that are functionally interconnected in the 90S preribosomal complex. The fusion protein can partially support 90S preribosome-mediated cleavages at the A0–A2 sites. At the same time, on a substantial fraction of transcripts, the composition and/or structure of the 90S preribosomal complex is perturbed by the fusion protein in such a way that cleavage of the 35S pre-rRNA is either blocked or shifted to aberrant sites. These results show that Mrd1p is required for establishing productive structures within the 90S preribosomal complex.
Ribosome biogenesis is driven by a large number of preribosomal factors that associate with and dissociate from the preribosomal particles along the maturation pathway. We have previously shown that budding yeast Mak11, whose homologues in other eukaryotes were described as modulating a p21-activated protein kinase function, accumulates in Rlp24-associated pre-60S complexes when their maturation is impeded in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The functional inactivation of WD40 repeat protein Mak11 interfered with the 60S rRNA maturation, led to a cell cycle delay in G1, and blocked green fluorescent protein-tagged Rpl25 in the nucleoli of yeast cells, indicating an early role of Mak11 in ribosome assembly. Surprisingly, Mak11 inactivation also led to a dramatic destabilization of Rlp24. The suppression of the thermosensitive phenotype of a mak11 mutant by RLP24 overexpression and a direct in vitro interaction between Rlp24 and Mak11 suggest that Mak11 acts as an Rlp24 cofactor during early steps of 60S ribosomal subunit assembly. Moreover, we found that Skb15, the Mak11 homologue in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, also associated with preribosomes and affected 60S biogenesis in fission yeast. It is thus likely that the previously observed phenotypes for MAK11 homologues in other eukaryotes are secondary to the main function of these proteins in ribosome formation.
Methyltransferases that use S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) as a cofactor to catalyse 5-methyl uridine (m5U) formation in tRNAs and rRNAs are widespread in Bacteria and Eukaryota, and are also found in certain Archaea. These enzymes belong to the COG2265 cluster, and the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli possesses three paralogues. These comprise the methyltransferases TrmA that targets U54 in tRNAs, RlmC that modifies U747 in 23S rRNA and RlmD that is specific for U1939 in 23S rRNA. The tRNAs and rRNAs of the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis have the same three m5U modifications. However, as previously shown, the m5U54 modification in B. subtilis tRNAs is catalysed in a fundamentally different manner by the folate-dependent enzyme TrmFO, which is unrelated to the E. coli TrmA. Here, we show that methylation of U747 and U1939 in B. subtilis rRNA is catalysed by a single enzyme, YefA that is a COG2265 member. A recombinant version of YefA functions in an E. coli m5U-null mutant adding the same two rRNA methylations. The findings suggest that during evolution, COG2265 enzymes have undergone a series of changes in target specificity and that YefA is closer to an archetypical m5U methyltransferase. To reflect its dual specificity, YefA is renamed RlmCD.
Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) play a key role in ribosomal RNA (rRNA)
biogenesis. Box C/D snoRNAs guide the site-specific 2’-O-ribose
methylation of nucleotides in rRNAs and small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs). A number of
box C/D snoRNAs and their fragments have recently been reported to regulate
post-transcriptional modifications and the alternative splicing of pre-mRNA.
Artificial analogues of U24 snoRNAs directed to nucleotides in 28S and 18S
rRNAs, as well as pre-mRNAs and mature mRNAs of human heat shock cognate protein
(hsc70), were designed and synthesized in this study. It was found that after
the transfection of MCF-7 human cells with artificial box C/D RNAs in complex
with lipofectamine, snoRNA analogues penetrated into cells and accumulated in
the cytoplasm and nucleus. It was demonstrated that the transfection of cultured
human cells with artificial box C/D snoRNA targeted to pre-mRNAs induce partial
splicing impairments. It was found that transfection with artificial snoRNAs
directed to 18S and 28S rRNA nucleotides, significant for ribosome functioning,
induce a decrease in MCF-7 cell viability.
small nucleolar box C/D RNAs; post-transcriptional RNA modification; alternative splicing of pre-mRNA
The 23S rRNA methyltransferase RrmJ (FtsJ) is responsible for the 2′-O methylation of the universally conserved U2552 in the A loop of 23S rRNA. This 23S rRNA modification appears to be critical for ribosome stability, because the absence of functional RrmJ causes the cellular accumulation of the individual ribosomal subunits at the expense of the functional 70S ribosomes. To gain insight into the mechanism of substrate recognition for RrmJ, we performed extensive site-directed mutagenesis of the residues conserved in RrmJ and characterized the mutant proteins both in vivo and in vitro. We identified a positively charged, highly conserved ridge in RrmJ that appears to play a significant role in 23S rRNA binding and methylation. We provide a structural model of how the A loop of the 23S rRNA binds to RrmJ. Based on these modeling studies and the structure of the 50S ribosome, we propose a two-step model where the A loop undocks from the tightly packed 50S ribosomal subunit, allowing RrmJ to gain access to the substrate nucleotide U2552, and where U2552 undergoes base flipping, allowing the enzyme to methylate the 2′-O position of the ribose.