The step by step assembly process from preribosome in the nucleus to translation-competent 60S ribosome subunit in the cytoplasm is revealed (also see Lo et al. in this issue).
Before entering translation, preribosomal particles undergo sequential late maturation steps. In the case of pre-60S particles, these steps involve the release of shuttling maturation factors and transport receptors. In this study, we report a new maturation step in the 60S biogenesis pathway in budding yeast. We show that efficient release of the nucleolar/nuclear ribosomal-like protein Mrt4 (homologous to the acidic ribosomal P-protein Rpp0) from pre-60S particles requires the highly conserved protein Yvh1, which associates only with late pre-60S particles. Cell biological and biochemical analyses reveal that Mrt4 fails to dissociate from late pre-60S particles in yvh1Δ cells, inducing a delay in nuclear pre–ribosomal RNA processing and a pre-60S export defect in yvh1Δ cells. Moreover, we have isolated gain of function alleles of Mrt4 that specifically bypass the requirement for Yvh1 and rescue all yvh1Δ-associated phenotypes. Together, our data suggest that Yvh1-mediated release of Mrt4 precedes cytoplasmic loading of Rpp0 on pre-60S particles and is an obligatory late step toward construction of translation-competent 60S subunits.
Yvh1p, a dual-specific protein phosphatase induced specifically by nitrogen starvation, regulates cell growth as well as initiation and completion of sporulation. We demonstrate that yvh1 disruption mutants are also unable to accumulate glycogen in stationary phase. A catalytically inactive variant of yvh1 (C117S) and a DNA fragment encoding only the Yvh1p C-terminal 159 amino acids (which completely lacks the phosphatase domain) complement all three phenotypes as well as the wild-type allele; no complementation occurs with a fragment encoding only the C-terminal 74 amino acids. These observations argue that phosphatase activity is not required for the Yvh1p functions we measured. Mutations which decrease endogenous cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels partially suppress the sporulation and glycogen accumulation defects. In addition, reporter gene expression supported by a DRR2 promoter fragment, containing two stress response elements known to respond to cAMP-protein kinase A, decreases in a yvh1 disruption mutant. Therefore, our results identify three cellular processes that both require Yvh1p and respond to alterations in cAMP, and they lead us to suggest that Yvh1p may be a participant in and/or a contributor to regulation of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase cascade. The fact that decreasing the levels of cAMP alleviates the need for Yvh1p function supports this suggestion.
Mrt4 is a nucleolar component of the ribosome assembly machinery that shares notable similarity and competes for binding to the 25S rRNA GAR domain with the ribosomal protein P0. Here, we show that loss of function of either P0 or Mrt4 results in a deficit in 60S subunits, which is apparently due to impaired rRNA processing of 27S precursors. Mrt4, which shuttles between the nucleus and the cytoplasm, defines medium pre-60S particles. In contrast, P0 is absent from medium but present in late/cytoplasmic pre-60S complexes. The absence of Mrt4 notably increased the amount of P0 in nuclear Nop7–TAP complexes and causes P0 assembly to medium pre-60S particles. Upon P0 depletion, Mrt4 is relocated to the cytoplasm within aberrant 60S subunits. We conclude that Mrt4 controls the position and timing of P0 assembly. In turn, P0 is required for the release of Mrt4 and exchanges with this factor at the cytoplasm. Our results also suggest other P0 assembly alternatives.
The P0 scaffold protein of the ribosomal stalk is mainly incorporated into pre-ribosomes in the cytoplasm where it replaces the assembly factor Mrt4. In analyzing the role of the P0 carboxyl terminal domain (CTD) during ribosomal stalk assembly, we found that its complete removal yields a protein that is functionally similar to Mrt4, whereas a chimeric Mrt4 containing the P0 CTD behaves more like P0. Deleting the P0 binding sites for the P1 and P2 proteins provoked the nuclear accumulation of P0ΔAB induced by either leptomycin B-mediated blockage of nuclear export or Mrt4 deletion. This effect was reversed by removing P1/P2 from the cell, whereas nuclear accumulation was restored on reintroduction of these proteins. Together, these results indicate that the CTD determines the function of the P0 in stalk assembly. Moreover, they indicate that in cells lacking Mrt4, P0 and its stalk base partner, the L12 protein, bind to pre-ribosomes in the nucleus, a complex that is then exported to the cytoplasm by a mechanism assisted by the interaction with P1/P2 proteins. Furthermore, in wild-type cells, the presence of nuclear pre-ribosome complexes containing P0 but not L12 is compatible with the existence of an alternative stalk assembly process.
In eukaryotic cells the final maturation of ribosomes occurs in the cytoplasm, where trans-acting factors are removed and critical ribosomal proteins are added for functionality. Here, we have carried out a comprehensive analysis of cytoplasmic maturation, ordering the known steps into a coherent pathway. Maturation is initiated by the ATPase Drg1. Downstream, assembly of the ribosome stalk is essential for the release of Tif6. The stalk recruits GTPases during translation. Because the GTPase Efl1, which is required for the release of Tif6, resembles the translation elongation factor eEF2, we suggest that assembly of the stalk recruits Efl1, triggering a step in 60S biogenesis that mimics aspects of translocation. Efl1 could thereby provide a mechanism to functionally check the nascent subunit. Finally, the release of Tif6 is a prerequisite for the release of the nuclear export adapter Nmd3. Establishing this pathway provides an important conceptual framework for understanding ribosome maturation.
ribosome; ribosome biogenesis; EFL1; NMD3; TIF6
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Mrt4 protein is a component of the ribosome assembly machinery that shares notable sequence homology to the P0 ribosomal stalk protein. Here, we show that these proteins can not bind simultaneously to ribosomes and moreover, a chimera containing the first 137 amino acids of Mrt4 and the last 190 amino acids from P0 can partially complement the absence of the ribosomal protein in a conditional P0 null mutant. This chimera is associated with ribosomes isolated from this strain when grown under restrictive conditions, although its binding is weaker than that of P0. These ribosomes contain less P1 and P2 proteins, the other ribosomal stalk components. Similarly, the interaction of the L12 protein, a stalk base component, is affected by the presence of the chimera. These results indicate that Mrt4 and P0 bind to the same site in the 25S rRNA. Indeed, molecular dynamics simulations using modelled Mrt4 and P0 complexes provide further evidence that both proteins bind similarly to rRNA, although their interaction with L12 displays notable differences. Together, these data support the participation of the Mrt4 protein in the assembly of the P0 protein into the ribosome and probably, that also of the L12 protein.
Diploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells induce YVH1 expression and enter the developmental pathway, leading to sporulation when starved for nitrogen. We show that yvh1 disruption causes a defect in spore maturation; overexpression of MCK1 or IME1 suppresses this yvh1 phenotype. While mck1 mutations are epistatic to those in yvh1 relative to spore maturation, overexpression of MCK1 does not suppress the yvh1 slow-vegetative-growth phenotype. We conclude that (i) Yvh1p functions earlier than Mck1p and Ime1p in the signal transduction cascade that regulates sporulation and is triggered by nitrogen starvation and (ii) the role of Yvh1p in gametogenesis can be genetically distinguished from its role in vegetative growth.
Ribosome biogenesis requires >300 assembly factors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ribosome assembly factors Imp3, Mrt4, Rlp7 and Rlp24 have sequence similarity to ribosomal proteins S9, P0, L7 and L24, suggesting that these pre-ribosomal factors could be placeholders that prevent premature assembly of the corresponding ribosomal proteins to nascent ribosomes. However, we found L7 to be a highly specific component of Rlp7-associated complexes, revealing that the two proteins can bind simultaneously to pre-ribosomal particles. Cross-linking and cDNA analysis experiments showed that Rlp7 binds to the ITS2 region of 27S pre-rRNAs, at two sites, in helix III and in a region adjacent to the pre-rRNA processing sites C1 and E. However, L7 binds to mature 25S and 5S rRNAs and cross-linked predominantly to helix ES7Lb within 25S rRNA. Thus, despite their predicted structural similarity, our data show that Rlp7 and L7 clearly bind at different positions on the same pre-60S particles. Our results also suggest that Rlp7 facilitates the formation of the hairpin structure of ITS2 during 60S ribosomal subunit maturation.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the 60S ribosomal
subunit assembles in the nucleolus and then is exported to the
cytoplasm, where it joins the 40S subunit for translation. Export of
the 60S subunit from the nucleus is known to be an energy-dependent and
factor-mediated process, but very little is known about the specifics
of its transport. To begin to address this problem, an assay was
developed to follow the localization of the 60S ribosomal subunit in
S. cerevisiae. Ribosomal protein L11b (Rpl11b), one of
the ∼45 ribosomal proteins of the 60S subunit, was tagged at its
carboxyl terminus with the green fluorescent protein (GFP) to enable
visualization of the 60S subunit in living cells. A panel of mutant
yeast strains was screened for their accumulation of Rpl11b–GFP in the
nucleus as an indicator of their involvement in ribosome synthesis
and/or transport. This panel included conditional alleles of several
rRNA-processing factors, nucleoporins, general transport factors, and
karyopherins. As predicted, conditional alleles of rRNA-processing
factors that affect 60S ribosomal subunit assembly accumulated
Rpl11b–GFP in the nucleus. In addition, several of the nucleoporin
mutants as well as a few of the karyopherin and transport factor
mutants also mislocalized Rpl11b–GFP. In particular, deletion of the
previously uncharacterized karyopherin KAP120 caused
accumulation of Rpl11b–GFP in the nucleus, whereas ribosomal protein
import was not impaired. Together, these data further define the
requirements for ribosomal subunit export and suggest a biological
function for KAP120.
Ribosome synthesis in eukaryotes requires a multitude of trans-acting factors. These factors act at many steps as the pre-ribosomal particles travel from the nucleolus to the cytoplasm. In contrast to the well-studied trans-acting factors, little is known about the contribution of the ribosomal proteins to ribosome biogenesis. Herein, we have analysed the role of ribosomal protein Rpl3p in 60S ribosomal subunit biogenesis. In vivo depletion of Rpl3p results in a deficit in 60S ribosomal subunits and the appearance of half-mer polysomes. This phenotype is likely due to the instability of early and intermediate pre-ribosomal particles, as evidenced by the low steady-state levels of 27SA3, 27SBS and 7SL/S precursors. Furthermore, depletion of Rpl3p impairs the nucleocytoplasmic export of pre-60S ribosomal particles. Interestingly, flow cytometry analysis indicates that Rpl3p-depleted cells arrest in the G1 phase. Altogether, we suggest that upon depletion of Rpl3p, early assembly of 60S ribosomal subunits is aborted and subsequent steps during their maturation and export prevented.
The P-site of the 60S ribosomal subunit signals to Tif6 via Elf1 during ribosomal maturation, suggesting a quasifunctional check of the integrity of the 60S subunit before the first round of translation.
Eukaryotic ribosomes are preassembled in the nucleus and mature in the cytoplasm. Release of the antiassociation factor Tif6 by the translocase-like guanosine triphosphatase Efl1 is a critical late maturation step. In this paper, we show that a loop of Rpl10 that embraces the P-site transfer ribonucleic acid was required for release of Tif6, 90 Å away. Mutations in this P-site loop blocked 60S maturation but were suppressed by mutations in Tif6 or Efl1. Molecular dynamics simulations of the mutant Efl1 proteins suggest that they promote a conformation change in Efl1 equivalent to changes that elongation factor G and eEF2 undergo during translocation. These results identify molecular signaling from the P-site to Tif6 via Efl1, suggesting that the integrity of the P-site is interrogated during maturation. We propose that Efl1 promotes a functional check of the integrity of the 60S subunit before its first round of translation.
Eukaryotic cells contain an unusually large cytoplasmic pool of P1/P2 phosphoproteins, which form the highly flexible 60S subunit stalk that is required to interact with and activate soluble translation factors. In cells, cytoplasmic P1/P2 proteins are exchanged for ribosome-bound proteins in a process that can modulate ribosome function and translation. Here, we analysed different S. cerevisiae stalk mutants grown under stress conditions that result in eIF2α phosphorylation. These mutants either lack a cytoplasmic pool of stalk proteins or contain free but not ribosome-bound proteins. Only cells that contain free P1/P2 proteins induce eIF2 phosphorylation in vivo in response to glucose starvation or osmotic stress. Moreover, we show that free S. cerevisiae P1/P2 proteins can induce in vitro phosphorylation of the initiation factor eIF2 by stimulating the autophosphorylation and activation of GCN2 kinase. Indeed, these ribosomal proteins do not stimulate other eIF2α kinases, such as PKR and HRI. P1/P2 and the known GCN2 activator deacylated tRNA compete for stimulating the eIF2α kinase activity of GCN2, although the P1/P2 proteins are considerably more active. These findings reveal a capacity of free cytoplasmic ribosomal stalk components to stimulate eIF2α phosphorylation, which in turn would modulate translation in response to specific forms of stress that may be linked with the previously described regulatory function of the ribosomal stalk.
The nuclear export of the preribosomal 60S (pre-60S) subunit is coordinated with late steps in ribosome assembly. Here, we show that Bud20, a conserved C2H2-type zinc finger protein, is an unrecognized shuttling factor required for the efficient export of pre-60S subunits. Bud20 associates with late pre-60S particles in the nucleoplasm and accompanies them into the cytoplasm, where it is released through the action of the Drg1 AAA-ATPase. Cytoplasmic Bud20 is then reimported via a Kap123-dependent pathway. The deletion of Bud20 induces a strong pre-60S export defect and causes synthetic lethality when combined with mutant alleles of known pre-60S subunit export factors. The function of Bud20 in ribosome export depends on a short conserved N-terminal sequence, as we observed that mutations or the deletion of this motif impaired 60S subunit export and generated the genetic link to other pre-60S export factors. We suggest that the shuttling Bud20 is recruited to the nascent 60S subunit via its central zinc finger rRNA binding domain to facilitate the subsequent nuclear export of the preribosome employing its N-terminal extension.
The large ribosomal subunit protein Rpl10p is required for subunit joining and 60S export in yeast. We have recently shown that Rpl10p as well as the cytoplasmic GTPase Lsg1p are required for releasing the 60S nuclear export adapter Nmd3p from subunits in the cytoplasm. Here, we more directly address the order of Nmd3p and Rpl10p recruitment to the subunit. We show that Nmd3p can bind subunits in the absence of Rpl10p. In addition, we examined the basis of the previously reported dominant negative growth phenotype caused by overexpression of C-terminally truncated Rpl10p and found that these Rpl10p fragments are not incorporated into subunits in the nucleus but instead sequester the WD-repeat protein Sqt1p. Sqt1p is an Rpl10p binding protein that is proposed to facilitate loading of Rpl10p into the 60S subunit. Although Sqt1p normally only transiently binds 60S subunits, the levels of Sqt1p that can be coimmunoprecipitated by the 60S-associated GTPase Lsg1p are significantly increased by a dominant mutation in the Walker A motif of Lsg1p. This mutant Lsg1 protein also leads to increased levels of Sqt1p in complexes that are coimmunoprecipitated with Nmd3p. Furthermore, the dominant LSG1 mutant also traps a mutant Rpl10 protein that does not normally bind stably to the subunit. These results support the idea that Sqt1p loads Rpl10p onto the Nmd3p-bound subunit after export to the cytoplasm and that Rpl10p loading involves the GTPase Lsg1p.
Ribosome biogenesis in eukaryotes depends on the coordinated action of ribosomal and nonribosomal proteins that guide the assembly of preribosomal particles. These intermediate particles follow a maturation pathway in which important changes in their protein composition occur. The mechanisms involved in the coordinated assembly of the ribosomal particles are poorly understood. We show here that the association of preribosomal factors with pre-60S complexes depends on the presence of earlier factors, a phenomenon essential for ribosome biogenesis. The analysis of the composition of purified preribosomal complexes blocked in maturation at specific steps allowed us to propose a model of sequential protein association with, and dissociation from, early pre-60S complexes for several preribosomal factors such as Mak11, Ssf1, Rlp24, Nog1, and Nog2. The presence of either Ssf1 or Nog2 in complexes that contain the 27SB pre-rRNA defines novel, distinct pre-60S particles that contain the same pre-rRNA intermediates and that differ only by the presence or absence of specific proteins. Physical and functional interactions between Rlp24 and Nog1 revealed that the assembly steps are, at least in part, mediated by direct protein-protein interactions.
Nuclear export of ribosomes requires a subset of nucleoporins and the Ran system, but specific transport factors have not been identified. Using a large subunit reporter (Rpl25p-eGFP), we have isolated several temperature-sensitive ribosomal export (rix) mutants. One of these corresponds to the ribosomal protein Rpl10p, which interacts directly with Nmd3p, a conserved and essential protein associated with 60S subunits. We find that thermosensitive nmd3 mutants are impaired in large subunit export. Strikingly, Nmd3p shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm and is exported by the nuclear export receptor Xpo1p. Moreover, we show that export of 60S subunits is Xpo1p dependent. We conclude that nuclear export of 60S subunits requires the nuclear export sequence-containing nonribosomal protein Nmd3p, which directly binds to the large subunit protein Rpl10p.
During the assembly process of ribosomal subunits, their structural components, the ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) and the ribosomal proteins (r-proteins) have to join together in a highly dynamic and defined manner to enable the efficient formation of functional ribosomes. In this work, the assembly of large ribosomal subunit (LSU) r-proteins from the eukaryote S. cerevisiae was systematically investigated. Groups of LSU r-proteins with specific assembly characteristics were detected by comparing the protein composition of affinity purified early, middle, late or mature LSU (precursor) particles by semi-quantitative mass spectrometry. The impact of yeast LSU r-proteins rpL25, rpL2, rpL43, and rpL21 on the composition of intermediate to late nuclear LSU precursors was analyzed in more detail. Effects of these proteins on the assembly states of other r-proteins and on the transient LSU precursor association of several ribosome biogenesis factors, including Nog2, Rsa4 and Nop53, are discussed.
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.
Ribosomes are the molecular machines that translate mRNAs into proteins. The synthesis of ribosomes is therefore a fundamental cellular process and consists in the ordered assembly of 79 ribosomal proteins (r-proteins) and four ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) into a small 40S and a large 60S ribosomal subunit that form the translating 80S ribosomes. Most of our knowledge concerning this dynamic multi-step process comes from studies with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which have shown that assembly and maturation of pre-ribosomal particles, as they travel from the nucleolus to the cytoplasm, relies on a multitude (>200) of biogenesis factors. Amongst these are many energy-consuming enzymes, including 19 ATP-dependent RNA helicases and three AAA-ATPases. We have previously shown that the AAA-ATPase Rix7 promotes the release of the essential biogenesis factor Nsa1 from late nucleolar pre-60S particles. Here we show that mutant alleles of genes encoding the DEAD-box RNA helicase Mak5, the C/D-box snoRNP component Nop1 and the rRNA-binding protein Nop4 bypass the requirement for Nsa1. Interestingly, dominant-negative alleles of RIX7 retain their phenotype in the absence of Nsa1, suggesting that Rix7 may have additional nuclear substrates besides Nsa1. Mak5 is associated with the Nsa1 pre-60S particle and synthetic lethal screens with mak5 alleles identified the r-protein Rpl14 and the 60S biogenesis factors Ebp2, Nop16 and Rpf1, which are genetically linked amongst each other. We propose that these ’Mak5 cluster’ factors orchestrate the structural arrangement of a eukaryote-specific 60S subunit surface composed of Rpl6, Rpl14 and Rpl16 and rRNA expansion segments ES7L and ES39L. Finally, over-expression of Rix7 negatively affects growth of mak5 and ebp2 mutant cells both in the absence and presence of Nsa1, suggesting that Rix7, at least when excessively abundant, may act on structurally defective pre-60S subunits and may subject these to degradation.
Ribosomal proteins play important roles in ribosome biogenesis and function. Here, we study the evolutionarily conserved L26 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which assembles into pre-60S ribosomal particles in the nucle(ol)us. Yeast L26 is one of the many ribosomal proteins encoded by two functional genes. We have disrupted both genes; surprisingly, the growth of the resulting rpl26 null mutant is apparently identical to that of the isogenic wild-type strain. The absence of L26 minimally alters 60S ribosomal subunit biogenesis. Polysome analysis revealed the appearance of half-mers. Analysis of pre-rRNA processing indicated that L26 is mainly required to optimize 27S pre-rRNA maturation, without which the release of pre-60S particles from the nucle(ol)us is partially impaired. Ribosomes lacking L26 exhibit differential reactivity to dimethylsulfate in domain I of 25S/5.8S rRNAs but apparently are able to support translation in vivo with wild-type accuracy. The bacterial homologue of yeast L26, L24, is a primary rRNA binding protein required for 50S ribosomal subunit assembly in vitro and in vivo. Our results underscore potential differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic ribosome assembly. We discuss the reasons why yeast L26 plays such an apparently nonessential role in the cell.
Ribosome biogenesis is regulated by environmental cues that coordinately modulate the synthesis of ribosomal components and their assembly into functional subunits. We have identified an essential yeast WD-repeat-containing protein, termed Rrb1p, that has a role in both the assembly of the 60S ribosomal subunits and the transcriptional regulation of ribosomal protein (RP) genes. Rrb1p is located in the nucleus and is concentrated in the nucleolus. Its presence is required to maintain normal cellular levels of 60S subunits, 80S ribosomes, and polyribosomes. The function of Rrb1p in ribosome biogenesis appears to be linked to its association with the ribosomal protein rpL3. Immunoprecipitation of Rrb1p from nuclear extracts revealed that it physically interacts with rpL3. Moreover, the overproduction of Rrb1p led to increases in cellular levels of free rpL3 that accumulated in the nucleus together with Rrb1p. The concentration of these proteins within the nucleus was dependent on ongoing protein translation. We also showed that overexpression of RRB1 led to an increase in the expression of RPL3 while all other examined RP genes were unaffected. In contrast, depletion of RRB1 caused an increase in the expression of all RP genes examined except RPL3. These results suggest that Rrb1p regulates RPL3 expression and uncouples it from the coordinated expression of other RP genes.
Stable silencing of the INK4b-ARF-INK4a tumor suppressor locus occurs in a variety of human cancers, including malignant rhabdoid tumors (MRTs). MRTs are extremely aggressive cancers caused by the loss of the hSNF5 subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex. We found previously that, in MRT cells, hSNF5 is required for p16INK4a induction, mitotic checkpoint activation, and cellular senescence. Here, we investigated how the balance between Polycomb group (PcG) silencing and SWI/SNF activation affects epigenetic control of the INK4b-ARF-INK4a locus in MRT cells. hSNF5 reexpression in MRT cells caused SWI/SNF recruitment and activation of p15INK4b and p16INK4a, but not of p14ARF. Gene activation by hSNF5 is strictly dependent on the SWI/SNF motor subunit BRG1. SWI/SNF mediates eviction of the PRC1 and PRC2 PcG silencers and extensive chromatin reprogramming. Concomitant with PcG complex removal, the mixed lineage leukemia 1 (MLL1) protein is recruited and active histone marks supplant repressive ones. Strikingly, loss of PcG complexes is accompanied by DNA methyltransferase DNMT3B dissociation and reduced DNA methylation. Thus, various chromatin states can be modulated by SWI/SNF action. Collectively, these findings emphasize the close interconnectivity and dynamics of diverse chromatin modifications in cancer and gene control.
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.
Early steps of eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis require a large set of ribosome biogenesis factors which transiently interact with nascent rRNA precursors (pre-rRNA). Most likely, concomitant with that initial contacts between ribosomal proteins (r-proteins) and ribosome precursors (pre-ribosomes) are established which are converted into robust interactions between pre-rRNA and r-proteins during the course of ribosome maturation. Here we analysed the interrelationship between r-protein assembly events and the transient interactions of ribosome biogenesis factors with early pre-ribosomal intermediates termed 90S pre-ribosomes or small ribosomal subunit (SSU) processome in yeast cells. We observed that components of the SSU processome UTP-A and UTP-B sub-modules were recruited to early pre-ribosomes independently of all tested r-proteins. On the other hand, groups of SSU processome components were identified whose association with early pre-ribosomes was affected by specific r-protein assembly events in the head-platform interface of the SSU. One of these components, Noc4p, appeared to be itself required for robust incorporation of r-proteins into the SSU head domain. Altogether, the data reveal an emerging network of specific interrelationships between local r-protein assembly events and the functional interactions of SSU processome components with early pre-ribosomes. They point towards some of these components being transient primary pre-rRNA in vivo binders and towards a role for others in coordinating the assembly of major SSU domains.
Ribosome biogenesis requires the nuclear translocation of ribosomal proteins from their site of synthesis in the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Analyses of the import mechanisms have revealed that most ribosomal proteins can be delivered to the nucleus by multiple transport receptors (karyopherins or importins). We now provide evidence that ribosomal protein L12 (rpL12) is distinguished from the bulk of ribosomal proteins because it accesses the importin 11 pathway as a major route into the nucleus. rpL12 specifically and directly interacted with importin 11 in vitro and in vivo. Both rpL12 binding to and import by importin 11 were inhibited by another importin 11 substrate, UbcM2, indicating that these two cargoes may bind overlapping sites on the transport receptor. In contrast, the import of rpL23a, a ribosomal protein that uses the general ribosomal protein import system, was not competed by UbcM2, and in an in vitro binding assay, importin 11 did not bind to the nuclear localization signal of rpL23a. Furthermore, in a transient transfection assay, the nuclear accumulation of rpL12 was increased by coexpressed importin 11, but not by other importins. These data are consistent with importin 11 being a mediator of rpL12 nuclear import. Taken together, these results indicate that rpL12 uses a distinct nuclear import pathway that may contribute to a mechanism for regulating ribosome synthesis and/or maturation.