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1.  Integrity of the P-site is probed during maturation of the 60S ribosomal subunit 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2012;197(6):747-759.
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.
PMCID: PMC3373404  PMID: 22689654
2.  Ribosome stalk assembly requires the dual-specificity phosphatase Yvh1 for the exchange of Mrt4 with P0 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;186(6):849-862.
The step by step assembly process from preribosome in the nucleus to translation-competent 60S ribosome subunit in the cytoplasm is revealed (also see Kemmler et al. in this issue).
The ribosome stalk is essential for recruitment of translation factors. In yeast, P0 and Rpl12 correspond to bacterial L10 and L11 and form the stalk base of mature ribosomes, whereas Mrt4 is a nuclear paralogue of P0. In this study, we show that the dual-specificity phosphatase Yvh1 is required for the release of Mrt4 from the pre-60S subunits. Deletion of YVH1 leads to the persistence of Mrt4 on pre-60S subunits in the cytoplasm. A mutation in Mrt4 at the protein–RNA interface bypasses the requirement for Yvh1. Pre-60S subunits associated with Yvh1 contain Rpl12 but lack both Mrt4 and P0. These results suggest a linear series of events in which Yvh1 binds to the pre-60S subunit to displace Mrt4. Subsequently, P0 loads onto the subunit to assemble the mature stalk, and Yvh1 is released. The initial assembly of the ribosome with Mrt4 may provide functional compartmentalization of ribosome assembly in addition to the spatial separation afforded by the nuclear envelope.
PMCID: PMC2753163  PMID: 19797078
3.  Hierarchical recruitment into nascent ribosomes of assembly factors required for 27SB pre-rRNA processing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;40(17):8646-8661.
To better define the roles of assembly factors required for eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis, we have focused on one specific step in maturation of yeast 60 S ribosomal subunits: processing of 27SB pre-ribosomal RNA. At least 14 assembly factors, the ‘B-factor’ proteins, are required for this step. These include most of the major functional classes of assembly factors: RNA-binding proteins, scaffolding protein, DEAD-box ATPases and GTPases. We have investigated the mechanisms by which these factors associate with assembling ribosomes. Our data establish a recruitment model in which assembly of the B-factors into nascent ribosomes ultimately leads to the recruitment of the GTPase Nog2. A more detailed analysis suggests that this occurs in a hierarchical manner via two largely independent recruiting pathways that converge on Nog2. Understanding recruitment has allowed us to better determine the order of association of all assembly factors functioning in one step of ribosome assembly. Furthermore, we have identified a novel subcomplex composed of the B-factors Nop2 and Nip7. Finally, we identified a means by which this step in ribosome biogenesis is regulated in concert with cell growth via the TOR protein kinase pathway. Inhibition of TOR kinase decreases association of Rpf2, Spb4, Nog1 and Nog2 with pre-ribosomes.
PMCID: PMC3458554  PMID: 22735702
4.  Cytoplasmic Recycling of 60S Preribosomal Factors Depends on the AAA Protein Drg1▿ † 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;27(19):6581-6592.
Allelic forms of DRG1/AFG2 confer resistance to the drug diazaborine, an inhibitor of ribosome biogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our results show that the AAA-ATPase Drg1 is essential for 60S maturation and associates with 60S precursor particles in the cytoplasm. Functional inactivation of Drg1 leads to an increased cytoplasmic localization of shuttling pre-60S maturation factors like Rlp24, Arx1, and Tif6. Surprisingly, Nog1, a nuclear pre-60S factor, was also relocalized to the cytoplasm under these conditions, suggesting that it is a previously unsuspected shuttling preribosomal factor that is exported with the precursor particles and very rapidly reimported. Proteins that became cytoplasmic under drg1 mutant conditions were blocked on pre-60S particles at a step that precedes the association of Rei1, a later-acting preribosomal factor. A similar cytoplasmic accumulation of Nog1 and Rlp24 in pre-60S-bound form could be seen after overexpression of a dominant-negative Drg1 variant mutated in the D2 ATPase domain. We conclude that the ATPase activity of Drg1 is required for the release of shuttling proteins from the pre-60S particles shortly after their nuclear export. This early cytoplasmic release reaction defines a novel step in eukaryotic ribosome maturation.
PMCID: PMC2099225  PMID: 17646390
5.  The power of AAA-ATPases on the road of pre-60S ribosome maturation — Molecular machines that strip pre-ribosomal particles☆ 
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta  2012;1823(1):92-100.
The biogenesis of ribosomes is a fundamental cellular process, which provides the molecular machines that synthesize all cellular proteins. The assembly of eukaryotic ribosomes is a highly complex multi-step process that requires more than 200 ribosome biogenesis factors, which mediate a broad spectrum of maturation reactions. The participation of many energy-consuming enzymes (e.g. AAA-type ATPases, RNA helicases, and GTPases) in this process indicates that the expenditure of energy is required to drive ribosome assembly. While the precise function of many of these enzymes remains elusive, recent progress has revealed that the three AAA-type ATPases involved in 60S subunit biogenesis are specifically dedicated to the release and recycling of distinct biogenesis factors. In this review, we will highlight how the molecular power of yeast Drg1, Rix7, and Rea1 is harnessed to promote the release of their substrate proteins from evolving pre-60S particles and, where appropriate, discuss possible catalytic mechanisms. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: AAA ATPases: structure and function.
► Structural and functional properties of AAA-ATPases in ribosome biogenesis are summarized. ► The AAA-ATPases Rea1, Rix7 and Drg1 are essential for ribosome biogenesis in yeast. ► Rix7 and Drg1 are related to Cdc48, while Rea1 shares similarity to motor protein dynein. ► Rea1, Rix7 and Drg1 promote the release of biogenesis factors from nucleolar, nucleoplasmic and cytoplasmic pre-60S intermediates. ► The release of maturation factors by AAA-ATPases is critical for downstream maturation of pre-60S particles.
PMCID: PMC3264779  PMID: 21763358
Ribosome assembly; AAA-ATPase; Drg1/Afg2; Rix7/NVL; Rea1/Mdn1/Midasin
6.  Mak5 and Ebp2 Act Together on Early Pre-60S Particles and Their Reduced Functionality Bypasses the Requirement for the Essential Pre-60S Factor Nsa1 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82741.
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.
PMCID: PMC3846774  PMID: 24312670
7.  A functional network involved in the recycling of nucleocytoplasmic pre-60S factors 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2006;173(3):349-360.
Eukaryotic pre-ribosomes go through cytoplasmic maturation steps before entering translation. The nucleocytoplasmic proteins participating in these late stages of maturation are reimported to the nucleus. In this study, we describe a functional network focused on Rei1/Ybr267w, a strictly cytoplasmic pre-60S factor indirectly involved in nuclear 27S pre-ribosomal RNA processing. In the absence of Rei1, the nuclear import of at least three other pre-60S factors is impaired. The accumulation in the cytoplasm of a small complex formed by the association of Arx1 with a novel factor, Alb1/Yjl122w, inhibits the release of the putative antiassociation factor Tif6 from the premature large ribosomal subunits and its recycling to the nucleus. We propose a model in which Rei1 is a key factor for the coordinated dissociation and recycling of the last pre-60S factors before newly synthesized large ribosomal subunits enter translation.
PMCID: PMC2063836  PMID: 16651379
8.  Yvh1 is required for a late maturation step in the 60S biogenesis pathway 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;186(6):863-880.
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.
PMCID: PMC2753168  PMID: 19797079
9.  An evolutionary ratchet leading to loss of elongation factors in eukaryotes 
The GTPase eEF1A is the eukaryotic factor responsible for the essential, universal function of aminoacyl-tRNA delivery to the ribosome. Surprisingly, eEF1A is not universally present in eukaryotes, being replaced by the paralog EFL independently in multiple lineages. The driving force behind this unusually frequent replacement is poorly understood.
Through sequence searching of genomic and EST databases, we find a striking association of eEF1A replacement by EFL and loss of eEF1A’s guanine exchange factor, eEF1Bα, suggesting that EFL is able to spontaneously recharge with GTP. Sequence conservation and homology modeling analyses indicate several sequence regions that may be responsible for EFL’s lack of requirement for eEF1Bα.
We propose that the unusual pattern of eEF1A, eEF1Bα and EFL presence and absence can be explained by a ratchet-like process: if either eEF1A or eEF1Bα diverges beyond functionality in the presence of EFL, the system is unable to return to the ancestral, eEF1A:eEFBα-driven state.
PMCID: PMC3938643  PMID: 24564225
eEF1A; EFL; eEF1B; Ribosome; Elongation factor; GTPase; GEF; Molecular evolution; Eukaryotes
10.  The Conserved Bud20 Zinc Finger Protein Is a New Component of the Ribosomal 60S Subunit Export Machinery 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2012;32(24):4898-4912.
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.
PMCID: PMC3510546  PMID: 23045392
11.  Maturation of Eukaryotic Ribosomes: Acquisition of Functionality 
Trends in biochemical sciences  2010;35(5):260-266.
In eukaryotic cells ribosomes are preassembled in the nucleus and exported to the cytoplasm where they undergo final maturation. This involves the release of trans-acting shuttling factors, transport factors, incorporation of the remaining ribosomal proteins and final rRNA processing steps. Recent work, especially on the large (60S) ribosomal subunit, has made it abundantly clear that the 60S subunit is exported from the nucleus in a functionally inactive state. Its arrival in the cytoplasm triggers events that that render it translationally competent. Here we focus on these cytoplasmic maturation events and speculate about why eukaryotic cells have evolved such an elaborate pathway of maturation.
PMCID: PMC2866757  PMID: 20137954
12.  Drosophila TIF-IA is required for ribosome synthesis and cell growth and is regulated by the TOR pathway 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2007;179(6):1105-1113.
Synthesis of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is a key step in ribosome biogenesis and is essential for cell growth. Few studies, however, have investigated rRNA synthesis regulation in vivo in multicellular organisms. Here, we present a genetic analysis of transcription initiation factor IA (TIF-IA), a conserved RNA polymerase I transcription factor. Drosophila melanogaster Tif-IA−/− mutants have reduced levels of rRNA synthesis and sustain a developmental arrest caused by a block in cellular growth. We find that the target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway regulates TIF-IA recruitment to rDNA. Furthermore, we show that the TOR pathway regulates rRNA synthesis in vivo and that TIF-IA overexpression can maintain rRNA transcription when TOR activity is reduced in developing larvae. We propose that TIF-IA acts in vivo as a downstream growth–regulatory target of the TOR pathway. Overexpression of TIF-IA also elevates levels of both 5S RNA and messenger RNAs encoding ribosomal proteins. Stimulation of rRNA synthesis by TIF-IA may therefore provide a feed-forward mechanism to coregulate the levels of other ribosome components.
PMCID: PMC2140016  PMID: 18086911
13.  Complex distribution of EFL and EF-1α proteins in the green algal lineage 
EFL (or elongation factor-like) is a member of the translation superfamily of GTPase proteins. It is restricted to eukaryotes, where it is found in a punctate distribution that is almost mutually exclusive with elongation factor-1 alpha (EF-1α). EF-1α is a core translation factor previously thought to be essential in eukaryotes, so its relationship to EFL has prompted the suggestion that EFL has spread by horizontal or lateral gene transfer (HGT or LGT) and replaced EF-1α multiple times. Among green algae, trebouxiophyceans and chlorophyceans have EFL, but the ulvophycean Acetabularia and the sister group to green algae, land plants, have EF-1α. This distribution singles out green algae as a particularly promising group to understand the origin of EFL and the effects of its presence on EF-1α.
We have sampled all major lineages of green algae for both EFL and EF-1α. EFL is unexpectedly broad in its distribution, being found in all green algal lineages (chlorophyceans, trebouxiophyceans, ulvophyceans, prasinophyceans, and mesostigmatophyceans), except charophyceans and the genus Acetabularia. The presence of EFL in the genus Mesostigma and EF-1α in Acetabularia are of particular interest, since the opposite is true of all their closest relatives. The phylogeny of EFL is poorly resolved, but the Acetabularia EF-1α is clearly related to homologues from land plants and charophyceans, demonstrating that EF-1α was present in the common ancestor of the green lineage.
The distribution of EFL and EF-1α in the green lineage is not consistent with the phylogeny of the organisms, indicating a complex history of both genes. Overall, we suggest that after the introduction of EFL (in the ancestor of green algae or earlier), both genes co-existed in green algal genomes for some time before one or the other was lost on multiple occasions.
PMCID: PMC1891102  PMID: 17521426
14.  Interrelationships between Yeast Ribosomal Protein Assembly Events and Transient Ribosome Biogenesis Factors Interactions in Early Pre-Ribosomes 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e32552.
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.
PMCID: PMC3303783  PMID: 22431976
15.  Rlp24 activates the AAA-ATPase Drg1 to initiate cytoplasmic pre-60S maturation 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2012;199(5):771-782.
Rlp24 recruits Drg1 to pre-60S particles and stimulates its ATP hydrolysis to promote downstream maturation through specific extraction of Rlp24.
Formation of eukaryotic ribosomes is driven by energy-consuming enzymes. The AAA-ATPase Drg1 is essential for the release of several shuttling proteins from cytoplasmic pre-60S particles and the loading of late joining proteins. However, its exact role in ribosome biogenesis has been unknown. Here we show that the shuttling protein Rlp24 recruited Drg1 to pre-60S particles and stimulated its ATPase activity. ATP hydrolysis in the second AAA domain of Drg1 was required to release shuttling proteins. In vitro, Drg1 specifically and exclusively extracted Rlp24 from purified pre-60S particles. Rlp24 release required ATP and was promoted by the interaction of Drg1 with the nucleoporin Nup116. Subsequent ATP hydrolysis in the first AAA domain dissociated Drg1 from Rlp24, liberating both proteins for consecutive cycles of activity. Our results show that release of Rlp24 by Drg1 defines a key event in large subunit formation that is a prerequisite for progression of cytoplasmic pre-60S maturation.
PMCID: PMC3514788  PMID: 23185031
16.  Distribution and Phylogeny of EFL and EF-1α in Euglenozoa Suggest Ancestral Co-Occurrence Followed by Differential Loss 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(4):e5162.
The eukaryotic elongation factor EF-1α (also known as EF1A) catalyzes aminoacyl-tRNA binding by the ribosome during translation. Homologs of this essential protein occur in all domains of life, and it was previously thought to be ubiquitous in eukaryotes. Recently, however, a number of eukaryotes were found to lack EF-1α and instead encode a related protein called EFL (for EF-Like). EFL-encoding organisms are scattered widely across the tree of eukaryotes, and all have close relatives that encode EF-1α. This intriguingly complex distribution has been attributed to multiple lateral transfers because EFL's near mutual exclusivity with EF-1α makes an extended period of co-occurrence seem unlikely. However, differential loss may play a role in EFL evolution, and this possibility has been less widely discussed.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We have undertaken an EST- and PCR-based survey to determine the distribution of these two proteins in a previously under-sampled group, the Euglenozoa. EF-1α was found to be widespread and monophyletic, suggesting it is ancestral in this group. EFL was found in some species belonging to each of the three euglenozoan lineages, diplonemids, kinetoplastids, and euglenids.
Interestingly, the kinetoplastid EFL sequences are specifically related despite the fact that the lineages in which they are found are not sisters to one another, suggesting that EFL and EF-1α co-occurred in an early ancestor of kinetoplastids. This represents the strongest phylogenetic evidence to date that differential loss has contributed to the complex distribution of EFL and EF-1α.
PMCID: PMC2664479  PMID: 19357788
17.  Gain and loss of elongation factor genes in green algae 
Two key genes of the translational apparatus, elongation factor-1 alpha (EF-1α) and elongation factor-like (EFL) have an almost mutually exclusive distribution in eukaryotes. In the green plant lineage, the Chlorophyta encode EFL except Acetabularia where EF-1α is found, and the Streptophyta possess EF-1α except Mesostigma, which has EFL. These results raise questions about evolutionary patterns of gain and loss of EF-1α and EFL. A previous study launched the hypothesis that EF-1α was the primitive state and that EFL was gained once in the ancestor of the green plants, followed by differential loss of EF-1α or EFL in the principal clades of the Viridiplantae. In order to gain more insight in the distribution of EF-1α and EFL in green plants and test this hypothesis we screened the presence of the genes in a large sample of green algae and analyzed their gain-loss dynamics in a maximum likelihood framework using continuous-time Markov models.
Within the Chlorophyta, EF-1α is shown to be present in three ulvophycean orders (i.e., Dasycladales, Bryopsidales, Siphonocladales) and the genus Ignatius. Models describing gene gain-loss dynamics revealed that the presence of EF-1α, EFL or both genes along the backbone of the green plant phylogeny is highly uncertain due to sensitivity to branch lengths and lack of prior knowledge about ancestral states or rates of gene gain and loss. Model refinements based on insights gained from the EF-1α phylogeny reduce uncertainty but still imply several equally likely possibilities: a primitive EF-1α state with multiple independent EFL gains or coexistence of both genes in the ancestor of the Viridiplantae or Chlorophyta followed by differential loss of one or the other gene in the various lineages.
EF-1α is much more common among green algae than previously thought. The mutually exclusive distribution of EF-1α and EFL is confirmed in a large sample of green plants. Hypotheses about the gain-loss dynamics of elongation factor genes are hard to test analytically due to a relatively flat likelihood surface, even if prior knowledge is incorporated. Phylogenetic analysis of EFL genes indicates misinterpretations in the recent literature due to uncertainty regarding the root position.
PMCID: PMC2652445  PMID: 19216746
18.  A Local Role for the Small Ribosomal Subunit Primary Binder rpS5 in Final 18S rRNA Processing in Yeast 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(4):e10194.
In vivo depletion of the yeast small ribosomal subunit (SSU) protein S5 (rpS5) leads to nuclear degradation of nascent SSUs and to a perturbed global assembly state of the SSU head domain. Here, we report that rpS5 plays an additional local role at the head/platform interface in efficient SSU maturation. We find that yeast small ribosomal subunits which incorporated an rpS5 variant lacking the seven C-terminal amino acids have a largely assembled head domain and are exported to the cytoplasm. On the other hand, 3′ processing of 18S rRNA precursors is inhibited in these ribosomal particles, although they associate with the putative endonuclease Nob1p and other late acting 40S biogenesis factors. We suggest that the SSU head component rpS5 and platform components as rpS14 are crucial constituents of a highly defined spatial arrangement in the head – platform interface of nascent SSUs, which is required for efficient processing of the therein predicted SSU rRNA 3′ end. Positioning of rpS5 in nascent SSUs, including its relative orientation towards platform components in the head-platform cleft, will depend on the general assembly and folding state of the head domain. Therefore, the suggested model can explain 18S precursor rRNA 3′ processing phenotypes observed in many eukaryotic SSU head assembly mutants.
PMCID: PMC2856670  PMID: 20419091
19.  The NIP7 protein is required for accurate pre-rRNA processing in human cells 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;39(2):648-665.
Eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis requires the function of a large number of trans-acting factors which interact transiently with the nascent pre-rRNA and dissociate as the ribosomal subunits proceed to maturation and export to the cytoplasm. Loss-of-function mutations in human trans-acting factors or ribosome components may lead to genetic syndromes. In a previous study, we have shown association between the SBDS (Shwachman–Bodian–Diamond syndrome) and NIP7 proteins and that downregulation of SBDS in HEK293 affects gene expression at the transcriptional and translational levels. In this study, we show that downregulation of NIP7 affects pre-rRNA processing, causing an imbalance of the 40S/60S subunit ratio. We also identified defects at the pre-rRNA processing level with a decrease of the 34S pre-rRNA concentration and an increase of the 26S and 21S pre-rRNA concentrations, indicating that processing at site 2 is particularly slower in NIP7-depleted cells and showing that NIP7 is required for maturation of the 18S rRNA. The NIP7 protein is restricted to the nuclear compartment and co-sediments with complexes with molecular masses in the range of 40S–80S, suggesting an association to nucleolar pre-ribosomal particles. Downregulation of NIP7 affects cell proliferation, consistently with an important role for NIP7 in rRNA biosynthesis in human cells.
PMCID: PMC3025556  PMID: 20798176
20.  Distinct cytoplasmic maturation steps of 40S ribosomal subunit precursors require hRio2 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;185(7):1167-1180.
During their biogenesis, 40S ribosomal subunit precursors are exported from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, where final maturation occurs. In this study, we show that the protein kinase human Rio2 (hRio2) is part of a late 40S preribosomal particle in human cells. Using a novel 40S biogenesis and export assay, we analyzed the contribution of hRio2 to late 40S maturation. Although hRio2 is not absolutely required for pre-40S export, deletion of its binding site for the export receptor CRM1 decelerated the kinetics of this process. Moreover, in the absence of hRio2, final cytoplasmic 40S maturation is blocked because the recycling of several trans-acting factors and cytoplasmic 18S-E precursor ribosomal RNA (rRNA [pre-rRNA]) processing are defective. Intriguingly, the physical presence of hRio2 but not its kinase activity is necessary for the release of hEnp1 from cytoplasmic 40S precursors. In contrast, hRio2 kinase activity is essential for the recycling of hDim2, hLtv1, and hNob1 as well as for 18S-E pre-rRNA processing. Thus, hRio2 is involved in late 40S maturation at several distinct steps.
PMCID: PMC2712965  PMID: 19564402
21.  Nmd3p Is a Crm1p-Dependent Adapter Protein for Nuclear Export of the Large Ribosomal Subunit 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;151(5):1057-1066.
In eukaryotic cells, nuclear export of nascent ribosomal subunits through the nuclear pore complex depends on the small GTPase Ran. However, neither the nuclear export signals (NESs) for the ribosomal subunits nor the receptor proteins, which recognize the NESs and mediate export of the subunits, have been identified. We showed previously that Nmd3p is an essential protein from yeast that is required for a late step in biogenesis of the large (60S) ribosomal subunit. Here, we show that Nmd3p shuttles and that deletion of the NES from Nmd3p leads to nuclear accumulation of the mutant protein, inhibition of the 60S subunit biogenesis, and inhibition of the nuclear export of 60S subunits. Moreover, the 60S subunits that accumulate in the nucleus can be coimmunoprecipitated with the NES-deficient Nmd3p. 60S subunit biogenesis and export of truncated Nmd3p were restored by the addition of an exogenous NES. To identify the export receptor for Nmd3p we show that Nmd3p shuttling and 60S export is blocked by the Crm1p-specific inhibitor leptomycin B. These results identify Crm1p as the receptor for Nmd3p export. Thus, export of the 60S subunit is mediated by the adapter protein Nmd3p in a Crm1p-dependent pathway.
PMCID: PMC2174350  PMID: 11086007
nuclear export; ribosome; Crm1p; Nmd3p; Saccharomyces cerevisiae
22.  Phosphorylation by Casein Kinase 2 Facilitates rRNA Gene Transcription by Promoting Dissociation of TIF-IA from Elongating RNA Polymerase I ▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2008;28(16):4988-4998.
The protein kinase casein kinase 2 (CK2) phosphorylates different components of the RNA polymerase I (Pol I) transcription machinery and exerts a positive effect on rRNA gene (rDNA) transcription. Here we show that CK2 phosphorylates the transcription initiation factor TIF-IA at serines 170 and 172 (Ser170/172), and this phosphorylation triggers the release of TIF-IA from Pol I after transcription initiation. Inhibition of Ser170/172 phosphorylation or covalent tethering of TIF-IA to the RPA43 subunit of Pol I inhibits rDNA transcription, leading to perturbation of nucleolar structure and cell cycle arrest. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching and chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrate that dissociation of TIF-IA from Pol I is a prerequisite for proper transcription elongation. In support of phosphorylation of TIF-IA switching from the initiation into the elongation phase, dephosphorylation of Ser170/172 by FCP1 facilitates the reassociation of TIF-IA with Pol I, allowing a new round of rDNA transcription. The results reveal a mechanism by which the functional interplay between CK2 and FCP1 sustains multiple rounds of Pol I transcription.
PMCID: PMC2519707  PMID: 18559419
23.  Structural and functional analysis of the archaeal endonuclease Nob1 
Nucleic Acids Research  2011;40(7):3259-3274.
Eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis requires the concerted action of numerous ribosome assembly factors, for most of which structural and functional information is currently lacking. Nob1, which can be identified in eukaryotes and archaea, is required for the final maturation of the small subunit ribosomal RNA in yeast by catalyzing cleavage at site D after export of the preribosomal subunit into the cytoplasm. Here, we show that this also holds true for Nob1 from the archaeon Pyrococcus horikoshii, which efficiently cleaves RNA-substrates containing the D-site of the preribosomal RNA in a manganese-dependent manner. The structure of PhNob1 solved by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed a PIN domain common with many nucleases and a zinc ribbon domain, which are structurally connected by a flexible linker. We show that amino acid residues required for substrate binding reside in the PIN domain whereas the zinc ribbon domain alone is sufficient to bind helix 40 of the small subunit rRNA. This suggests that the zinc ribbon domain acts as an anchor point for the protein on the nascent subunit positioning it in the proximity of the cleavage site.
PMCID: PMC3326319  PMID: 22156373
24.  Joining of 60S subunits and a translation-like cycle in 40S ribosome maturation 
Cell  2012;150(1):111-121.
Assembly factors (AFs) prevent premature translation initiation on small (40S) ribosomal subunit assembly intermediates by blocking ligand binding. However, it is unclear how AFs are displaced from maturing 40S ribosomes, if or how maturing subunits are assessed for fidelity, and what prevents premature translation initiation once AFs dissociate. Here we show that maturation involves a translation-like cycle whereby the translation factor eIF5B, a GTPase, promotes joining of large (60S) subunits with pre-40S subunits to give 80S-like complexes, which are subsequently disassembled by the termination factor Rli1, an ATPase. The AFs Tsr1 and Rio2 block the mRNA channel and initiator tRNA binding site, and therefore 80S-like ribosomes lack mRNA or initiator tRNA. After Tsr1 and Rio2 dissociate from 80S-like complexes Rli1-directed displacement of 60S subunits allows for translation initiation. This cycle thus provides a functional test of 60S subunit binding and the GTPase site before ribosomes enter the translating pool.
PMCID: PMC3615461  PMID: 22770215
25.  Quantification of Diatom Gene Expression in the Sea by Selecting Uniformly Transcribed mRNA as the Basis for Normalization 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2012;78(17):6051-6058.
To quantify gene expressions by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (Q-RT-PCR) in natural diatom assemblages, it is necessary to seek a biomass reference specific to the target species. Two housekeeping genes, TBP (encoding the TATA box-binding protein) and EFL (encoding the translation elongation factor-like protein), were evaluated as candidates for reference genes in Q-RT-PCR assays. Transcript levels of TBP and EFL were relatively stable under various test conditions including growth stages, light-dark cycle phases, and nutrient stresses in Skeletonema costatum and Chaetoceros affinis, and TBP expression was more stable than that of EFL. Next, the sequence diversity of diatom assemblages was evaluated by obtaining 32 EFL and 29 TBP homologous gene fragments from the East China Sea (ECS). Based on sequence alignments, EFL and TBP primer sets were designed for Chaetoceros and Skeletonema groups in the ECS. An evaluation of primer specificity and PCR efficiency indicated that the EFL primer sets performed better. To demonstrate the applicability of EFL primer sets in the ECS, they were employed to measure mRNA levels of the FcpB (fucoxanthin-chlorophyll protein) gene in diatoms. The results correctly revealed prominent diel variations in FcpB expression and confirmed EFL as a good reference gene.
PMCID: PMC3416636  PMID: 22706063

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