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1.  Paraspeckles: nuclear bodies built on long noncoding RNA 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;186(5):637-644.
Paraspeckles are ribonucleoprotein bodies found in the interchromatin space of mammalian cell nuclei. These structures play a role in regulating the expression of certain genes in differentiated cells by nuclear retention of RNA. The core paraspeckle proteins (PSF/SFPQ, P54NRB/NONO, and PSPC1 [paraspeckle protein 1]) are members of the DBHS (Drosophila melanogaster behavior, human splicing) family. These proteins, together with the long nonprotein-coding RNA NEAT1 (MEN-ϵ/β), associate to form paraspeckles and maintain their integrity. Given the large numbers of long noncoding transcripts currently being discovered through whole transcriptome analysis, paraspeckles may be a paradigm for a class of subnuclear bodies formed around long noncoding RNA.
PMCID: PMC2742191  PMID: 19720872
2.  Paraspeckles are subpopulation-specific nuclear bodies that are not essential in mice 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2011;193(1):31-39.
Mouse NEAT1 is required for paraspeckle formation in a subset of cells but is not essential for animal health and viability.
Nuclei of higher organisms are well structured and have multiple, distinct nuclear compartments or nuclear bodies. Paraspeckles are recently identified mammal-specific nuclear bodies ubiquitously found in most cells cultured in vitro. To investigate the physiological role of paraspeckles, we examined the in vivo expression patterns of two long noncoding RNAs, NEAT1_1 and NEAT1_2, which are essential for the architectural integrity of nuclear bodies. Unexpectedly, these genes were only strongly expressed in a particular subpopulation of cells in adult mouse tissues, and prominent paraspeckle formation was observed only in the cells highly expressing NEAT1_2. To further investigate the cellular functions of paraspeckles, we created an animal model lacking NEAT1 by gene targeting. These knockout mice were viable and fertile under laboratory growth conditions, showing no apparent phenotypes except for the disappearance of paraspeckles. We propose that paraspeckles are nonessential, subpopulation-specific nuclear bodies formed secondary to particular environmental triggers.
PMCID: PMC3082198  PMID: 21444682
3.  Paraspeckles 
Paraspeckles are a relatively new class of subnuclear bodies found in the interchromatin space of mammalian cells. They are RNA-protein structures formed by the interaction between a long nonprotein-coding RNA species, NEAT1/Men ε/β, and members of the DBHS (Drosophila Behavior Human Splicing) family of proteins: P54NRB/NONO, PSPC1, and PSF/SFPQ. Paraspeckles are critical to the control of gene expression through the nuclear retention of RNA containing double-stranded RNA regions that have been subject to adenosine-to-inosine editing. Through this mechanism paraspeckles and their components may ultimately have a role in controlling gene expression during many cellular processes including differentiation, viral infection, and stress responses.
Nuclear structures formed by a long noncoding RNA and DBHS proteins are thought to control gene expression by retaining mRNAs that have undergone adenosine-to-inosine editing in the nucleus.
PMCID: PMC2890200  PMID: 20573717
4.  NEAT1 long noncoding RNA regulates transcription via protein sequestration within subnuclear bodies 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2014;25(1):169-183.
Paraspeckles are subnuclear structures formed around NEAT1 lncRNA. Paraspeckles became enlarged after proteasome inhibition caused by NEAT1 transcriptional activation, leading to protein sequestration into paraspeckles. The NEAT1-dependent sequestration affects the transcription of several genes, arguing for a novel role for lncRNA in gene regulation.
Paraspeckles are subnuclear structures formed around nuclear paraspeckle assembly transcript 1 (NEAT1)/MENε/β long noncoding RNA (lncRNA). Here we show that paraspeckles become dramatically enlarged after proteasome inhibition. This enlargement is mainly caused by NEAT1 transcriptional up-regulation rather than accumulation of undegraded paraspeckle proteins. Of interest, however, using immuno–electron microscopy, we find that key paraspeckle proteins become effectively depleted from the nucleoplasm by 50% when paraspeckle assembly is enhanced, suggesting a sequestration mechanism. We also perform microarrays from NEAT1-knockdown cells and find that NEAT1 represses transcription of several genes, including the RNA-specific adenosine deaminase B2 (ADARB2) gene. In contrast, the NEAT1-binding paraspeckle protein splicing factor proline/glutamine-rich (SFPQ) is required for ADARB2 transcription. This leads us to hypothesize that ADARB2 expression is controlled by NEAT1-dependent sequestration of SFPQ. Accordingly, we find that ADARB2 expression is strongly reduced upon enhanced SFPQ sequestration by proteasome inhibition, with concomitant reduction in SFPQ binding to the ADARB2 promoter. Finally, NEAT1−/− fibroblasts are more sensitive to proteasome inhibition, which triggers cell death, suggesting that paraspeckles/NEAT1 attenuates the cell death pathway. These data further confirm that paraspeckles are stress-responsive nuclear bodies and provide a model in which induced NEAT1 controls target gene transcription by protein sequestration into paraspeckles.
PMCID: PMC3873887  PMID: 24173718
5.  An Architectural Role for a Nuclear Non-coding RNA: NEAT1 RNA is Essential for the Structure of Paraspeckles 
Molecular cell  2009;33(6):717-726.
NEAT1 RNA, a highly abundant 4 kb ncRNA, is retained in nuclei in ~10–20 large foci that we show is completely coincident with paraspeckles, nuclear domains implicated in mRNA nuclear retention. Depletion of NEAT1 RNA via RNAi eradicates paraspeckles, suggesting it controls sequestration of the paraspeckle proteins, PSP1 and p54, factors linked to A-I editing. Unlike over-expression of PSP1, NEAT1 over-expression increases paraspeckle number, and paraspeckles emanate exclusively from the NEAT1 transcription site. The PSP-1 RNA binding domain is required for its co-localization with NEAT1 RNA in paraspeckles, and biochemical analyses supports that NEAT1 RNA binds with paraspeckle proteins. Unlike other nuclear retained RNAs, NEAT1 RNA is not A-I edited, consistent with a structural role in paraspeckles. Collectively results demonstrate that NEAT1 functions as an essential structural determinant of paraspeckles, providing a precedent for a ncRNA as the foundation of a nuclear domain.
PMCID: PMC2696186  PMID: 19217333
6.  Altered nuclear retention of mRNAs containing inverted repeats in human embryonic stem cells: Functional role of a nuclear noncoding RNA 
Molecular cell  2009;35(4):467-478.
In many cells, mRNAs containing inverted repeats (Alu repeats in humans) in their 3′-untranslated regions (3′-UTRs) are inefficiently exported to the cytoplasm. Nuclear retention correlates with adenosine-to-inosine editing and is in paraspeckle-associated complexes containing the proteins p54nrb, PSF and PSP1α. We report that robust editing activity in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), does not lead to nuclear retention. p54nrb, PSF and PSP1α are all expressed in hESCs, but paraspeckles are absent and only appear upon differentiation. Paraspeckle assembly and function depends on expression of a long nuclear-retained noncoding RNA, hNEAT1. This RNA is not expressed in hESCs, but is induced upon differentiation. Knockdown of hNEAT1 in HeLa cells results both in loss of paraspeckles and enhanced nucleocytoplasmic export of mRNAs containing inverted Alu repeats. Taken together, these results assign a biological function to a large noncoding nuclear RNA in the regulation of mRNA export.
PMCID: PMC2749223  PMID: 19716791
7.  The long non-coding RNA nuclear-enriched abundant transcript 1_2 induces paraspeckle formation in the motor neuron during the early phase of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 
Molecular Brain  2013;6:31.
A long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), nuclear-enriched abundant transcript 1_2 (NEAT1_2), constitutes nuclear bodies known as “paraspeckles”. Mutations of RNA binding proteins, including TAR DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43) and fused in sarcoma/translocated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS), have been described in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a devastating motor neuron disease, which progresses rapidly to a total loss of upper and lower motor neurons, with consciousness sustained. The aim of this study was to clarify the interaction of paraspeckles with ALS-associated RNA-binding proteins, and to identify increased occurrence of paraspeckles in the nucleus of ALS spinal motor neurons.
In situ hybridization (ISH) and ultraviolet cross-linking and immunoprecipitation were carried out to investigate interactions of NEAT1_2 lncRNA with ALS-associated RNA-binding proteins, and to test if paraspeckles form in ALS spinal motor neurons. As the results, TDP-43 and FUS/TLS were enriched in paraspeckles and bound to NEAT1_2 lncRNA directly. The paraspeckles were localized apart from the Cajal bodies, which were also known to be related to RNA metabolism. Analyses of 633 human spinal motor neurons in six ALS cases showed NEAT1_2 lncRNA was upregulated during the early stage of ALS pathogenesis. In addition, localization of NEAT1_2 lncRNA was identified in detail by electron microscopic analysis combined with ISH for NEAT1_2 lncRNA. The observation indicating specific assembly of NEAT1_2 lncRNA around the interchromatin granule-associated zone in the nucleus of ALS spinal motor neurons verified characteristic paraspeckle formation.
NEAT1_2 lncRNA may act as a scaffold of RNAs and RNA binding proteins in the nuclei of ALS motor neurons, thereby modulating the functions of ALS-associated RNA-binding proteins during the early phase of ALS. These findings provide the first evidence of a direct association between paraspeckle formation and a neurodegenerative disease, and may shed light on the development of novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of ALS.
PMCID: PMC3729541  PMID: 23835137
Long non-coding RNA; Paraspeckle; NEAT1_2; TDP-43; FUS/TLS; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Electron microscopy
8.  Paraspeckle formation during the biogenesis of long non-coding RNAs 
RNA Biology  2013;10(3):456-461.
Paraspeckles are unique subnuclear structures that are built around a specific long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), NEAT1, which is comprised of two isoforms (NEAT1_1 and NEAT1_2) that are produced by alternative 3′-end processing. NEAT1 lncRNAs are unusual RNA polymerase II transcripts that lack introns. The non-polyadenylated 3′-end of NEAT1_2 is non-canonically processed by RNase P. NEAT1_2 is an essential component for paraspeckle formation. Paraspeckles form during the NEAT1_2 lncRNA biogenesis process, which encompasses transcription from its own chromosome locus through lncRNA processing and accumulation. Recent RNAi analyses of 40 paraspeckle proteins (PSPs) identified four PSPs that are required for paraspeckle formation by mediating NEAT1 processing and accumulation. In particular, HNRNPK was shown to arrest CFIm-dependent NEAT1_1 polyadenylation, leading to NEAT1_2 synthesis. The other three PSPs were required for paraspeckle formation, but did not affect NEAT1_2 expression. This observation suggests that NEAT1_2 accumulation is necessary but not sufficient for paraspeckle formation. An additional step, presumably the bundling of NEAT1 ribonucleoprotein sub-complexes, may be required for construction of the intact paraspeckle structure. NEAT1 expression is likely regulated at transcriptional and post-transcriptional steps under certain stress conditions, suggesting roles for paraspeckles in the lncRNA-mediated regulation of gene expression, such as the nucleocytoplasmic transport of mRNA in response to certain stimuli.
PMCID: PMC3672290  PMID: 23324609
3′-end processing; RNA-binding protein; RNA-protein interaction; long non-coding RNA; nuclear bodies
9.  P54nrb Forms a Heterodimer with PSP1 That Localizes to Paraspeckles in an RNA-dependent Manner D⃞V⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2005;16(11):5304-5315.
P54nrb is a protein implicated in multiple nuclear processes whose specific functions may correlate with its presence at different nuclear locations. Here we characterize paraspeckles, a subnuclear domain containing p54nrb and other RNA-binding proteins including PSP1, a protein with sequence similarity to p54nrb that acts as a marker for paraspeckles. We show that PSP1 interacts in vivo with a subset of the total cellular pool of p54nrb. We map the domain within PSP1 that is mediating this interaction and show it is required for the correct localization of PSP1 to paraspeckles. This interaction is necessary but not sufficient for paraspeckle targeting by PSP1, which also requires an RRM capable of RNA binding. Blocking the reinitiation of RNA Pol II transcription at the end of mitosis with DRB prevents paraspeckle formation, which recommences after removal of DRB, indicating that paraspeckle formation is dependent on RNA Polymerase II transcription. Thus paraspeckles are the sites where a subset of the total cellular pool of p54nrb is targeted in a RNA Polymerase II-dependent manner.
PMCID: PMC1266428  PMID: 16148043
10.  Crystallization of a paraspeckle protein PSPC1–NONO heterodimer 
A truncated heterodimer of human PSPC1–NONO protein, a paraspeckle-specific complex, has been crystallized and the diffraction data collected to a resolution of 1.9 Å.
The paraspeckle component 1 (PSPC1) and non-POU-domain-containing octamer-binding protein (NONO) heterodimer is an essential structural component of paraspeckles, ribonucleoprotein bodies found in the interchromatin space of mammalian cell nuclei. PSPC1 and NONO both belong to the Drosophila behaviour and human splicing (DBHS) protein family, which has been implicated in many aspects of RNA processing. A heterodimer of the core DBHS conserved region of PSPC1 and NONO comprising two tandemly arranged RNA-recognition motifs (RRMs), a NONA/paraspeckle (NOPS) domain and part of a predicted coiled-coil domain has been crystallized in space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 90.90, b = 67.18, c = 94.08 Å, β = 99.96°. The crystal contained one heterodimer in the asymmetric unit and diffracted to 1.9 Å resolution using synchrotron radiation.
PMCID: PMC3212370  PMID: 22102035
paraspeckles; PSPC1–NONO heterodimer; RNA-recognition motifs; DBHS-family proteins
11.  Paraspeckle nuclear bodies—useful uselessness? 
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences  2012;69(18):3027-3036.
The nucleus of higher eukaryotes, such as humans and mice, is compartmentalized into multiple nuclear bodies, an organization that allows for the regulation of complex gene expression pathways that are characteristic of these organisms. Paraspeckles are recently discovered, mammalian-specific nuclear bodies built on a long, non-protein-coding RNA, NEAT1 (nuclear-enriched abundant transcript 1), which assembles various protein components including RNA-binding proteins of the DBHS (Drosophila behavior and human splicing) family. Paraspeckles have been proposed to control several biological processes, such as stress responses and cellular differentiation, but their function at the whole animal level remains unclear. In this review, we summarize a series of studies on paraspeckles that have been carried out in the decade since their discovery and discuss their physiological function and molecular mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3428521  PMID: 22476590
Paraspeckles; Nuclear structures; NEAT1; Noncoding RNA
12.  Distinct Roles of DBHS Family Members in the Circadian Transcriptional Feedback Loop 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2012;32(22):4585-4594.
Factors interacting with core circadian clock components are essential to achieve transcriptional feedback necessary for metazoan clocks. Here, we show that all three members of the Drosophila behavior human splicing (DBHS) family of RNA-binding proteins play a role in the mammalian circadian oscillator, abrogating or altering clock function when overexpressed or depleted in cells. Although these proteins are members of so-called nuclear paraspeckles, depletion of paraspeckles themselves via silencing of the structural noncoding RNA (ncRNA) Neat1 did not affect overall clock function, suggesting that paraspeckles are not required for DBHS-mediated circadian effects. Instead, we show that the proteins bound to circadian promoter DNA in a fashion that required the PERIOD (PER) proteins and potently repressed E-box-mediated transcription but not cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter-mediated transcription when they were exogenously recruited. Nevertheless, mice with one or both copies of these genes deleted show only small changes in period length or clock gene expression in vivo. Data from transient transfections show that each of these proteins can either repress or activate, depending on the context. Taken together, our data suggest that all of the DBHS family members serve overlapping or redundant roles as transcriptional cofactors at circadian clock-regulated genes.
PMCID: PMC3486183  PMID: 22966205
13.  Subnuclear Localization and Dynamics of the Pre-mRNA 3′ End Processing Factor Mammalian Cleavage Factor I 68-kDa Subunit 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2007;18(4):1282-1292.
Mammalian cleavage factor I (CF Im) is an essential factor that is required for the first step in pre-mRNA 3′ end processing. Here, we characterize CF Im68 subnuclear distribution and mobility. Fluorescence microscopy reveals that in addition to paraspeckles CF Im68 accumulates in structures that partially overlap with nuclear speckles. Analysis of synchronized cells shows that CF Im68 distribution in speckles and paraspeckles varies during the cell cycle. At an ultrastructural level, CF Im68 is associated with perichromatin fibrils, the sites of active transcription, and concentrates in interchromatin granules-associated zones. We show that CFIm68 colocalizes with bromouridine, RNA polymerase II, and the splicing factor SC35. On inhibition of transcription, endogenous CF Im68 no longer associates with perichromatin fibrils, but it can still be detected in interchromatin granules-associated zones. These observations support the idea that not only splicing but also 3′ end processing occurs cotranscriptionally. Finally, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analysis reveals that the CF Im68 fraction associated with paraspeckles moves at a rate similar to the more dispersed molecules in the nucleoplasm, demonstrating the dynamic nature of this compartment. These findings suggest that paraspeckles are a functional compartment involved in RNA metabolism in the cell nucleus.
PMCID: PMC1838998  PMID: 17267687
14.  Whole-genome screening identifies proteins localized to distinct nuclear bodies 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2013;203(1):149-164.
A genome-wide microscopy screen identifies proteins localized to Cajal bodies, paraspeckles, and other known and previously uncharacterized nuclear subcompartments.
The nucleus is a unique organelle that contains essential genetic materials in chromosome territories. The interchromatin space is composed of nuclear subcompartments, which are defined by several distinctive nuclear bodies believed to be factories of DNA or RNA processing and sites of transcriptional and/or posttranscriptional regulation. In this paper, we performed a genome-wide microscopy-based screening for proteins that form nuclear foci and characterized their localizations using markers of known nuclear bodies. In total, we identified 325 proteins localized to distinct nuclear bodies, including nucleoli (148), promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies (38), nuclear speckles (27), paraspeckles (24), Cajal bodies (17), Sam68 nuclear bodies (5), Polycomb bodies (2), and uncharacterized nuclear bodies (64). Functional validation revealed several proteins potentially involved in the assembly of Cajal bodies and paraspeckles. Together, these data establish the first atlas of human proteins in different nuclear bodies and provide key information for research on nuclear bodies.
PMCID: PMC3798253  PMID: 24127217
15.  ncRNA- and Pc2 Methylation-Dependent Gene Relocation between Nuclear Structures Mediates Gene Activation Programs 
Cell  2011;147(4):773-788.
Although eukaryotic nuclei contain distinct architectural structures associated with noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), their potential relationship to regulated transcriptional programs remains poorly understood. Here, we report that methylation/demethylation of Polycomb 2 protein (Pc2) controls relocation of growth control genes between Polycomb bodies (PcGs) and interchromatin granules (ICGs) in response to growth signals. This movement is the consequence of binding of methylated and unmethylated Pc2 to the ncRNAs, TUG1 and MALAT1/NEAT2, located in PcGs and ICGs, respectively. These ncRNAs mediate assembly of multiple co-repressors/co-activators, and can alter the histone marks read by Pc2 in vitro. Additionally, binding of NEAT2 to unmethylated Pc2 promotes E2F1 SUMOylation, leading to activation of the growth control gene program. These observations delineate a molecular pathway linking the actions of subnuclear structure-specific ncRNAs and non-histone protein methylation to relocation of transcription units in the three-dimensional space of the nucleus, thus achieving coordinated gene expression programs.
PMCID: PMC3297197  PMID: 22078878
Noncoding RNA; Nuclear Architecture; Subnuclear Structures; Suv39h1; Pc2; Methylation; KDM4C; Polycomb Body; Interchromatin Granules; E2F1; SUMOylation; Ubiquitination
16.  Biogenesis and Function of Nuclear Bodies 
Trends in genetics : TIG  2011;27(8):295-306.
Nuclear bodies including nucleoli, Cajal bodies, nuclear speckles, Polycomb bodies, and paraspeckles are membrane-less subnuclear organelles. They are steady-state structures that dynamically respond to basic physiological processes as well as various forms of stress, altered metabolic conditions and alterations in cellular signaling. The formation of specific nuclear bodies has been suggested to follow stochastic and ordered assembly models. In addition, a seeding mechanism has been proposed to assemble, maintain, and regulate particular nuclear bodies. In coordination with noncoding RNAs, chromatin modifiers and other machineries, various nuclear bodies have been shown to sequester and modify proteins, process RNAs and assemble ribonucleoprotein complexes, as well as epigenetically regulate gene expression. Understanding the functional relationships between the three-dimensional organization of the genome and nuclear bodies is essential to fully uncover the regulation of gene expression and its implications in human diseases.
PMCID: PMC3144265  PMID: 21680045
17.  The nuclear ATPase/adenylate kinase hCINAP is recruited to perinucleolar caps generated upon RNA pol.II inhibition 
FEBS letters  2010;584(22):10.1016/j.febslet.2010.10.044.
hCINAP is an atypical nucleoplasmic enzyme, combining structural features of adenylate kinases and ATPases, which exhibits dual enzymatic activity. It interacts with the Cajal Body marker coilin and its level of expression and enzymatic activity influence Cajal Body numbers. Here we show that upon specific transcriptional inhibition of RNA pol.II, hCINAP segregates in perinuclear caps identified as Dark Nucleolar Caps (DNCs). These are distinct from perinucleolar caps where coilin and fibrillarin (both Cajal Body components) accumulate. In DNCs, hCINAP co-localizes with Paraspeckle Protein (PSP1) and also co-segregates with PSP1, and not coilin, in nuclear and nucleolar foci upon UV irradiation.
PMCID: PMC3839081  PMID: 20974138
Nuclear organization; Cajal Body; Coilin; Paraspeckle Protein 1; Paraspeckle
18.  A screen for nuclear transcripts identifies two linked noncoding RNAs associated with SC35 splicing domains 
BMC Genomics  2007;8:39.
Noncoding RNA species play a diverse set of roles in the eukaryotic cell. While much recent attention has focused on smaller RNA species, larger noncoding transcripts are also thought to be highly abundant in mammalian cells. To search for large noncoding RNAs that might control gene expression or mRNA metabolism, we used Affymetrix expression arrays to identify polyadenylated RNA transcripts displaying nuclear enrichment.
This screen identified no more than three transcripts; XIST, and two unique noncoding nuclear enriched abundant transcripts (NEAT) RNAs strikingly located less than 70 kb apart on human chromosome 11: NEAT1, a noncoding RNA from the locus encoding for TncRNA, and NEAT2 (also known as MALAT-1). While the two NEAT transcripts share no significant homology with each other, each is conserved within the mammalian lineage, suggesting significant function for these noncoding RNAs. NEAT2 is extraordinarily well conserved for a noncoding RNA, more so than even XIST. Bioinformatic analyses of publicly available mouse transcriptome data support our findings from human cells as they confirm that the murine homologs of these noncoding RNAs are also nuclear enriched. RNA FISH analyses suggest that these noncoding RNAs function in mRNA metabolism as they demonstrate an intimate association of these RNA species with SC35 nuclear speckles in both human and mouse cells. These studies show that one of these transcripts, NEAT1 localizes to the periphery of such domains, whereas the neighboring transcript, NEAT2, is part of the long-sought polyadenylated component of nuclear speckles.
Our genome-wide screens in two mammalian species reveal no more than three abundant large non-coding polyadenylated RNAs in the nucleus; the canonical large noncoding RNA XIST and NEAT1 and NEAT2. The function of these noncoding RNAs in mRNA metabolism is suggested by their high levels of conservation and their intimate association with SC35 splicing domains in multiple mammalian species.
PMCID: PMC1800850  PMID: 17270048
19.  Recent Findings about the Yersinia enterocolitica Phage Shock Protein Response 
The phage shock protein (Psp) system is a conserved extracytoplasmic stress response in bacteria that is essential for virulence of the human pathogen Yersinia enterocolitica. This article summarizes some recent findings about Y. enterocolitica Psp system function. Increased psp gene expression requires the transcription factor PspF, but under non-inducing conditions PspF is inhibited by an interaction with another protein, PspA, in the cytoplasm. A Psp-inducing stimulus causes PspA to relocate to the cytoplasmic membrane, freeing PspF to induce psp gene expression. This PspA relocation requires the integral cytoplasmic membrane proteins, PspB and PspC, which might sense an inducing trigger and sequester PspA by direct interaction. The subsequent induction of psp gene expression increases the PspA concentration, which also allows it to contact the membrane directly, perhaps for its physiological function. Mutational analysis of the PspB and PspC proteins has revealed that they both positively and negatively regulate psp gene expression and has also identified PspC domains associated with each function. We also compare the contrasting physiological roles of the Psp system in the virulence of Y. enterocolitica and Salmonella enterica sv. Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium). In S. Typhimurium, PspA maintains the proton motive force, which provides the energy needed to drive ion importers required for survival within macrophages. In contrast, in the extracellular pathogen Y. enterocolitica, PspB and PspC, but not PspA, are the Psp components needed for virulence. PspBC protect Y. enterocolitica from damage caused by the secretin component of its type 3 secretion system, an essential virulence factor.
PMCID: PMC3356110  PMID: 22367931
Yersinia; stress-response; secretin; membrane; virulence
20.  How to build a paraspeckle 
Genome Biology  2009;10(7):227.
Noncoding RNAs have recently been identified as essential components of the enigmatic nuclear suborganelles called paraspeckles.
Noncoding RNAs have recently been identified as essential components of the nuclear suborganelles called paraspeckles. This finding will facilitate our understanding of the molecular dynamics and physiological role of these enigmatic macromolecular structures.
PMCID: PMC2728519  PMID: 19664169
21.  Interactions between Phage-Shock Proteins in Escherichia coli 
Journal of Bacteriology  2003;185(4):1174-1180.
Expression of the pspABCDE operon of Escherichia coli is induced upon infection by filamentous phage and by many other stress conditions, including defects in protein export. Expression of the operon requires the alternative sigma factor σ54 and the transcriptional activator PspF. In addition, PspA plays a negative regulatory role, and the integral-membrane proteins PspB and PspC play a positive one. In this study, we investigated whether the suggested protein-protein interactions implicated in this complex regulatory network can indeed be demonstrated. Antisera were raised against PspB, PspC, and PspD, which revealed, in Western blotting experiments, that PspC forms stable sodium dodecyl sulfate-resistant dimers and that the hypothetical pspD gene is indeed expressed in vivo. Fractionation experiments showed that PspD localizes as a peripherally bound inner membrane protein. Cross-linking studies with intact cells revealed specific interactions of PspA with PspB and PspC, but not with PspD. Furthermore, affinity-chromatography suggested that PspB could bind PspA only in the presence of PspC. These data indicate that regulation of the psp operon is mediated via protein-protein interactions.
PMCID: PMC142853  PMID: 12562786
22.  Properties of the phage-shock-protein (Psp) regulatory complex that govern signal transduction and induction of the Psp response in Escherichia coli 
Microbiology  2010;156(Pt 10):2920-2932.
The phage-shock-protein (Psp) response maintains the proton-motive force (pmf) under extracytoplasmic stress conditions that impair the inner membrane (IM) in bacterial cells. In Escherichia coli transcription of the pspABCDE and pspG genes requires activation of σ54-RNA polymerase by the enhancer-binding protein PspF. A regulatory network comprising PspF–A–C–B–ArcB controls psp expression. One key regulatory point is the negative control of PspF imposed by its binding to PspA. It has been proposed that under stress conditions, the IM-bound sensors PspB and PspC receive and transduce the signal(s) to PspA via protein–protein interactions, resulting in the release of the PspA–PspF inhibitory complex and the consequent induction of psp. In this work we demonstrate that PspB self-associates and interacts with PspC via putative IM regions. We present evidence suggesting that PspC has two topologies and that conserved residue G48 and the putative leucine zipper motif are determinants required for PspA interaction and signal transduction upon stress. We also establish that PspC directly interacts with the effector PspG, and show that PspG self-associates. These results are discussed in the context of formation and function of the Psp regulatory complex.
PMCID: PMC3068692  PMID: 20595257
23.  Long noncoding RNAs in neuronal-glial fate specification and oligodendrocyte lineage maturation 
BMC Neuroscience  2010;11:14.
Long non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are emerging as important regulators of cellular differentiation and are widely expressed in the brain.
Here we show that many long ncRNAs exhibit dynamic expression patterns during neuronal and oligodendrocyte (OL) lineage specification, neuronal-glial fate transitions, and progressive stages of OL lineage elaboration including myelination. Consideration of the genomic context of these dynamically regulated ncRNAs showed they were part of complex transcriptional loci that encompass key neural developmental protein-coding genes, with which they exhibit concordant expression profiles as indicated by both microarray and in situ hybridization analyses. These included ncRNAs associated with differentiation-specific nuclear subdomains such as Gomafu and Neat1, and ncRNAs associated with developmental enhancers and genes encoding important transcription factors and homeotic proteins. We also observed changes in ncRNA expression profiles in response to treatment with trichostatin A, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that prevents the progression of OL progenitors into post-mitotic OLs by altering lineage-specific gene expression programs.
This is the first report of long ncRNA expression in neuronal and glial cell differentiation and of the modulation of ncRNA expression by modification of chromatin architecture. These observations explicitly link ncRNA dynamics to neural stem cell fate decisions, specification and epigenetic reprogramming and may have important implications for understanding and treating neuropsychiatric diseases.
PMCID: PMC2829031  PMID: 20137068
24.  Paraspeckle protein p54nrb links Sox9-mediated transcription with RNA processing during chondrogenesis in mice  
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2008;118(9):3098-3108.
The Sox9 transcription factor plays an essential role in promoting chondrogenesis and regulating expression of chondrocyte extracellular-matrix genes. To identify genes that interact with Sox9 in promoting chondrocyte differentiation, we screened a cDNA library generated from the murine chondrogenic ATDC5 cell line to identify activators of the collagen, type II, α 1 (Col2a1) promoter. Here we have shown that paraspeckle regulatory protein 54-kDa nuclear RNA-binding protein (p54nrb) is an essential link between Sox9-regulated transcription and maturation of Sox9-target gene mRNA. We found that p54nrb physically interacted with Sox9 and enhanced Sox9-dependent transcriptional activation of the Col2a1 promoter. In ATDC5 cells, p54nrb colocalized with Sox9 protein in nuclear paraspeckle bodies, and knockdown of p54nrb suppressed Sox9-dependent Col2a1 expression and promoter activity. We generated a p54nrb mutant construct lacking RNA recognition motifs, and overexpression of mutant p54nrb in ATDC5 cells markedly altered the appearance of paraspeckle bodies and inhibited the maturation of Col2a1 mRNA. The mutant p54nrb inhibited chondrocyte differentiation of mesenchymal cells and mouse metatarsal explants. Furthermore, transgenic mice expressing the mutant p54nrb in the chondrocyte lineage exhibited dwarfism associated with impairment of chondrogenesis. These data suggest that p54nrb plays an important role in the regulation of Sox9 function and the formation of paraspeckle bodies during chondrogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2491455  PMID: 18677406
25.  Molecular Determinants for PspA-Mediated Repression of the AAA Transcriptional Activator PspF 
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(9):3238-3248.
The Escherichia coli phage shock protein system (pspABCDE operon and pspG gene) is induced by numerous stresses related to the membrane integrity state. Transcription of the psp genes requires the RNA polymerase containing the σ54 subunit and the AAA transcriptional activator PspF. PspF belongs to an atypical class of σ54 AAA activators in that it lacks an N-terminal regulatory domain and is instead negatively regulated by another regulatory protein, PspA. PspA therefore represses its own expression. The PspA protein is distributed between the cytoplasm and the inner membrane fraction. In addition to its transcriptional inhibitory role, PspA assists maintenance of the proton motive force and protein export. Several lines of in vitro evidence indicate that PspA-PspF interactions inhibit the ATPase activity of PspF, resulting in the inhibition of PspF-dependent gene expression. In this study, we characterize sequences within PspA and PspF crucial for the negative effect of PspA upon PspF. Using a protein fragmentation approach, we show that the integrity of the three putative N-terminal α-helical domains of PspA is crucial for the role of PspA as a negative regulator of PspF. A bacterial two-hybrid system allowed us to provide clear evidence for an interaction in E. coli between PspA and PspF in vivo, which strongly suggests that PspA-directed inhibition of PspF occurs via an inhibitory complex. Finally, we identify a single PspF residue that is a binding determinant for PspA.
PMCID: PMC1082823  PMID: 15838051

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