Previous work established Importin-β and Snurportin1 as the vertebrate snRNP import receptor and adaptor proteins, respectively. This study identifies Drosophila Snurportin and shows that it uses an alternative import receptor, Importin7/Moleskin. Moleskin is required for the stability of other snRNP biogenesis factors.
Nuclear import is an essential step in small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) biogenesis. Snurportin1 (SPN1), the import adaptor, binds to trimethylguanosine (TMG) caps on spliceosomal small nuclear RNAs. Previous studies indicated that vertebrate snRNP import requires importin-β, the transport receptor that binds directly to SPN1. We identify CG42303/snup as the Drosophila orthologue of human snurportin1 (SNUPN). Of interest, the importin-β binding (IBB) domain of SPN1, which is essential for TMG cap–mediated snRNP import in humans, is not well conserved in flies. Consistent with its lack of an IBB domain, we find that Drosophila SNUP (dSNUP) does not interact with Ketel/importin-β. Fruit fly snRNPs also fail to bind Ketel; however, the importin-7 orthologue Moleskin (Msk) physically associates with both dSNUP and spliceosomal snRNPs and localizes to nuclear Cajal bodies. Strikingly, we find that msk-null mutants are depleted of the snRNP assembly factor, survival motor neuron, and the Cajal body marker, coilin. Consistent with a loss of snRNP import function, long-lived msk larvae show an accumulation of TMG cap signal in the cytoplasm. These data indicate that Ketel/importin-β does not play a significant role in Drosophila snRNP import and demonstrate a crucial function for Msk in snRNP biogenesis.
Environmental signals, such heat shock and acidosis, induce a structural and functional remodeling of the nucleolus. This process, which depends on the expression of intergenic long noncoding RNA, reversibly converts the nucleolus from a transcriptionally active ribosome factory into a transcriptionally inert prison for proteins.
The nucleolus is a plurifunctional organelle in which structure and function are intimately linked. Its structural plasticity has long been appreciated, particularly in response to transcriptional inhibition and other cellular stresses, although the mechanism and physiological relevance of these phenomena are unclear. Using MCF-7 and other mammalian cell lines, we describe a structural and functional adaptation of the nucleolus, triggered by heat shock or physiological acidosis, that depends on the expression of ribosomal intergenic spacer long noncoding RNA (IGS lncRNA). At the heart of this process is the de novo formation of a large subnucleolar structure, termed the detention center (DC). The DC is a spatially and dynamically distinct region, characterized by an 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonate–positive hydrophobic signature. Its formation is accompanied by redistribution of nucleolar factors and arrest in ribosomal biogenesis. Silencing of regulatory IGS lncRNA prevents the creation of this structure and allows the nucleolus to retain its tripartite organization and transcriptional activity. Signal termination causes a decrease in IGS transcript levels and a return to the active nucleolar conformation. We propose that the induction of IGS lncRNA by environmental signals operates as a molecular switch that regulates the structure and function of the nucleolus.
p53 SUMOylation promotes its nuclear export. The SIM-binding groove of a SUMO moiety linked to p53 and a SIM in CRM1 regulates their interaction. CRM1 binds to tetrameric p53 with a properly folded core domain, and CRM1 with a mutated SIM in the HEAT9 loop accumulates with SUMOylated p53 at NPCs and cytoplasmic aggregates.
Chromosomal region maintenance 1 (CRM1) mediates p53 nuclear export. Although p53 SUMOylation promotes its nuclear export, the underlying mechanism is unclear. Here we show that tethering of a small, ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) moiety to p53 markedly increases its cytoplasmic localization. SUMO attachment to p53 does not affect its oligomerization, suggesting that subunit dissociation required for exposing p53’s nuclear export signal (NES) is unnecessary for p53 nuclear export. Surprisingly, SUMO-mediated p53 nuclear export depends on the SUMO-interacting motif (SIM)-binding pocket of SUMO-1. The CRM1 C-terminal domain lacking the NES-binding groove interacts with tetrameric p53, and the proper folding of the p53 core domain, rather than the presence of the N- or C-terminal tails, appears to be important for p53–CRM1 interaction. The CRM1 Huntington, EF3, a subunit of PP2A, and TOR1 9 (HEAT9) loop, which regulates GTP-binding nuclear protein Ran binding and cargo release, contains a prototypical SIM. Remarkably, disruption of this SIM in conjunction with a mutated SIM-binding groove of SUMO-1 markedly enhances the binding of CRM1 to p53-SUMO-1 and their accumulation in the nuclear pore complexes (NPCs), as well as their persistent association in the cytoplasm. We propose that SUMOylation of a CRM1 cargo such as p53 at the NPCs unlocks the HEAT9 loop of CRM1 to facilitate the disassembly of the transporting complex and cargo release to the cytoplasm.
The role of the 3′-untranslated region of the mouse Cryptochrome 1 (mCry1) gene is studied at the posttranscriptional level. The results suggest that miR-185 plays a role in the fine-tuned regulation of mCRY1 protein expression by controlling the rhythmicity of mCry1 mRNA translation.
Mammalian circadian rhythm is observed not only at the suprachiasmatic nucleus, a master pacemaker, but also throughout the peripheral tissues. Investigation of the regulation of clock gene expression has mainly focused on transcriptional and posttranslational modifications, and little is known about the posttranscriptional regulation of these genes. In the present study, we investigate the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the posttranscriptional regulation of the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of the mouse Cryptochrome 1 (mCry1) gene. Knockdown of Drosha, Dicer, or Argonaute2 increased mCry1-3′UTR reporter activity. The presence of the miRNA recognition element of mCry1 that is important for miR-185 binding decreased mCRY1 protein, but not mRNA, level. Cytoplasmic miR-185 levels were nearly antiphase to mCRY1 protein levels. Furthermore, miR-185 knockdown elevated the amplitude of mCRY1 protein oscillation. Our results suggest that miR-185 plays a role in the fine-tuned regulation of mCRY1 protein expression by controlling the rhythmicity of mCry1 mRNA translation.
After inhibition of the PI3 kinase/AKT pathway, the binding of mRNA export proteins in nuclear complexes is reduced. The nuclear export of bulk poly(A) RNA and of a subset of specific mRNAs is increased after AKT inhibition. The results show that mRNA export can be regulated by the PI3 kinase/AKT pathway.
UAP56, ALY/REF, and NXF1 are mRNA export factors that sequentially bind at the 5′ end of a nuclear mRNA but are also reported to associate with the exon junction complex (EJC). To screen for signal transduction pathways regulating mRNA export complex assembly, we used fluorescence recovery after photobleaching to measure the binding of mRNA export and EJC core proteins in nuclear complexes. The fraction of UAP56, ALY/REF, and NXF1 tightly bound in complexes was reduced by drug inhibition of the phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3 kinase)/AKT pathway, as was the tightly bound fraction of the core EJC proteins eIF4A3, MAGOH, and Y14. Inhibition of the mTOR mTORC1 pathway decreased the tight binding of MAGOH. Inhibition of the PI3 kinase/AKT pathway increased the export of poly(A) RNA and of a subset of candidate mRNAs. A similar effect of PI3 kinase/AKT inhibition was observed for mRNAs from both intron-containing and intronless histone genes. However, the nuclear export of mRNAs coding for proteins targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum or to mitochondria was not affected by the PI3 kinase/AKT pathway. These results show that the active PI3 kinase/AKT pathway can regulate mRNA export and promote the nuclear retention of some mRNAs.
Kv7.4-potassium channel expression plays a permissive role in skeletal muscle differentiation. The transcriptional repressor REST controls the changes in Kv7.4 levels during myogenesis by binding to regulatory regions in the Kv7.4 gene. This mechanism may be a target for intervention against abnormal repair and differentiation of skeletal muscle.
Changes in the expression of potassium (K+) channels is a pivotal event during skeletal muscle differentiation. In mouse C2C12 cells, similarly to human skeletal muscle cells, myotube formation increased the expression of Kv7.1, Kv7.3, and Kv7.4, the last showing the highest degree of regulation. In C2C12 cells, Kv7.4 silencing by RNA interference reduced the expression levels of differentiation markers (myogenin, myosin heavy chain, troponinT-1, and Pax3) and impaired myotube formation and multinucleation. In Kv7.4-silenced cells, the differentiation-promoting effect of the Kv7 activator N-(2-amino-4-(4-fluorobenzylamino)-phenyl)-carbamic acid ethyl ester (retigabine) was abrogated. Expression levels for the repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) declined during myotube formation. Transcript levels for Kv7.4, as well as for myogenin, troponinT-1, and Pax3, were reduced by REST overexpression and enhanced upon REST suppression by RNA interference. Four regions containing potential REST-binding sites in the 5′ untranslated region and in the first intron of the Kv7.4 gene were identified by bioinformatic analysis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that REST binds to these regions, exhibiting a higher efficiency in myoblasts than in myotubes. These data suggest that Kv7.4 plays a permissive role in skeletal muscle differentiation and highlight REST as a crucial transcriptional regulator for this K+ channel subunit.
JMJD3 H3K27me3 demethylase plays an important role in the transcriptional response to different signaling pathways; however, the mechanism by which it facilitates transcription is unclear. Genome-wide analysis shows that JMJD3 regulates TGFβ response by promoting RNA polymerase II progression along the gene bodies.
JMJD3 H3K27me3 demethylase plays an important role in the transcriptional response to different signaling pathways; however, the mechanism by which it facilitates transcription has been unclear. Here we show that JMJD3 regulates transcription of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ)–responsive genes by promoting RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) progression along the gene bodies. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing experiments, we show that, upon TGFβ treatment, JMJD3 and elongating RNAPII colocalize extensively along the intragenic regions of TGFβ target genes. According to these data, genome-wide analysis shows that JMJD3-dependent TGFβ target genes are enriched in H3K27me3 before TGFβ signaling pathway activation. Further molecular analyses demonstrate that JMJD3 demethylates H3K27me3 along the gene bodies, paving the way for the RNAPII progression. Overall these findings uncover the mechanism by which JMJD3 facilitates transcriptional activation.
Ash2 is required for pupariation and metamorphosis, playing a role in the transcriptional
activation of ecdysone-responsive genes by promoting H3K4me3. Study of the relationship of
Ash2 with KMT2s in several Drosophila tissues provides evidence that Ash2
is involved in the stabilization of the EcR coactivator Trr.
The molting hormone ecdysone triggers chromatin changes via histone modifications that
are important for gene regulation. On hormone activation, the ecdysone receptor (EcR)
binds to the SET domain–containing histone H3 methyltransferase trithorax-related
protein (Trr). Methylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me), which is associated with
transcriptional activation, requires several cofactors, including Ash2. We find that
ash2 mutants have severe defects in pupariation and metamorphosis due
to a lack of activation of ecdysone-responsive genes. This transcriptional defect is
caused by the absence of the H3K4me3 marks set by Trr in these genes. We present evidence
that Ash2 interacts with Trr and is required for its stabilization. Thus we propose that
Ash2 functions together with Trr as an ecdysone receptor coactivator.
This study shows that Trm112 interacts with and is required for the presence of 18S rRNA methyltransferase Bud23. Also shown is the involvement of Trm112 in 60S biogenesis, thus extending the known functions of Trm112 from tRNA and translation factor methylation to roles in biogenesis of both ribosomal subunits.
We previously identified Bud23 as the methyltransferase that methylates G1575 of rRNA in the P-site of the small (40S) ribosomal subunit. In this paper, we show that Bud23 requires the methyltransferase adaptor protein Trm112 for stability in vivo. Deletion of Trm112 results in a bud23Δ-like mutant phenotype. Thus Trm112 is required for efficient small-subunit biogenesis. Genetic analysis suggests the slow growth of a trm112Δ mutant is due primarily to the loss of Bud23. Surprisingly, suppression of the bud23Δ-dependent 40S defect revealed a large (60S) biogenesis defect in a trm112Δ mutant. Using sucrose gradient sedimentation analysis and coimmunoprecipitation, we show that Trm112 is also involved in 60S subunit biogenesis. The 60S defect may be dependent on Nop2 and Rcm1, two additional Trm112 interactors that we identify. Our work extends the known range of Trm112 function from modification of tRNAs and translation factors to both ribosomal subunits, showing that its effects span all aspects of the translation machinery. Although Trm112 is required for Bud23 stability, our results suggest that Trm112 is not maintained in a stable complex with Bud23. We suggest that Trm112 stabilizes its free methyltransferase partners not engaged with substrate and/or helps to deliver its methyltransferase partners to their substrates.
Phosphorylation of the RNA-binding protein tristetraprolin (TTP) by p38 MAPK/MK2 does not prevent its RNA interaction and switches the mode of TTP action from destabilization to stabilization of the HIF-1α mRNA and subsequent activation of HIF-1 signaling.
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a well-studied transcription factor mediating cellular adaptation to hypoxia. It also plays a crucial role under normoxic conditions, such as in inflammation, where its regulation is less well understood. The 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of HIF-1α mRNA is among the most conserved UTRs in the genome, hinting toward posttranscriptional regulation. To identify potential trans factors, we analyzed a large compilation of expression data. In contrast to its known function of being a negative regulator, we found that tristetraprolin (TTP) positively correlates with HIF-1 target genes. Mathematical modeling predicts that an additional level of posttranslational regulation of TTP can explain the observed positive correlation between TTP and HIF-1 signaling. Mechanistic studies revealed that TTP indeed changes its mode of regulation from destabilizing to stabilizing HIF-1α mRNA upon phosphorylation by p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/MAPK-activated protein kinase 2. Using a model of monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation, we show that TTP-driven HIF-1α mRNA stabilization is crucial for cell migration. This demonstrates the physiological importance of a hitherto-unknown mechanism for multilevel regulation of HIF-1α in normoxia.
We show that depletion of nuclear Like-Sm 8 (LSm8) dramatically increases processing body (P-body) number, provide the explanation that LSm8 acts via the alteration of the nuclear–cytoplasmic distribution of LSm2–7 proteins, and propose a model that P-bodies form via self-organization.
Processing bodies (P-bodies) are dynamic cytoplasmic structures involved in mRNA degradation, but the mechanism that governs their formation is poorly understood. In this paper, we address a role of Like-Sm (LSm) proteins in formation of P-bodies and provide evidence that depletion of nuclear LSm8 increases the number of P-bodies, while LSm8 overexpression leads to P-body loss. We show that LSm8 knockdown causes relocalization of LSm4 and LSm6 proteins to the cytoplasm and suggest that LSm8 controls nuclear accumulation of all LSm2–7 proteins. We propose a model in which redistribution of LSm2–7 to the cytoplasm creates new binding sites for other P-body components and nucleates new, microscopically visible structures. The model is supported by prolonged residence of two P-body proteins, DDX6 and Ago2, in P-bodies after LSm8 depletion, which indicates stronger interactions between these proteins and P-bodies. Finally, an increased number of P-bodies has negligible effects on microRNA-mediated translation repression and nonsense mediated decay, further supporting the view that the function of proteins localized in P-bodies is independent of visible P-bodies.
Transcription-associated recombination (TAR) is crucial for stability among repeated units of rDNA. Several histone deacetylases and a chromatin architectural component control the synthesis of ncRNA and rDNA recombination. The only acetylation state of histone H4 at Lys-16 is sufficient to regulate TAR at rDNA.
Transcription-associated recombination is an important process involved in several aspects of cell physiology. In the ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, RNA polymerase II transcription–dependent recombination has been demonstrated among the repeated units. In this study, we investigate the mechanisms controlling this process at the chromatin level. On the basis of a small biased screening, we found that mutants of histone deacetylases and chromatin architectural proteins alter both the amount of Pol II–dependent noncoding transcripts and recombination products at rDNA in a coordinated manner. Of interest, chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses in these mutants revealed a corresponding variation of the histone H4 acetylation along the rDNA repeat, particularly at Lys-16. Here we provide evidence that a single, rapid, and reversible posttranslational modification—the acetylation of the H4K16 residue—is involved in the coordination of transcription and recombination at rDNA.
Telomere maintenance and DNA repair are important processes that protect the genome. The essential helicase mRtel1 functions in homologous recombination repair and replication. In addition, telomeres in mRtel-deficient ES cells appear relatively stable in length, suggesting that mRtel1 is required to allow extension by telomerase.
Telomere maintenance and DNA repair are important processes that protect the genome against instability. mRtel1, an essential helicase, is a dominant factor setting telomere length in mice. In addition, mRtel1 is involved in DNA double-strand break repair. The role of mRtel1 in telomere maintenance and genome stability is poorly understood. Therefore we used mRtel1-deficient mouse embryonic stem cells to examine the function of mRtel1 in replication, DNA repair, recombination, and telomere maintenance. mRtel1-deficient mouse embryonic stem cells showed sensitivity to a range of DNA-damaging agents, highlighting its role in replication and genome maintenance. Deletion of mRtel1 increased the frequency of sister chromatid exchange events and suppressed gene replacement, demonstrating the involvement of the protein in homologous recombination. mRtel1 localized transiently at telomeres and is needed for efficient telomere replication. Of interest, in the absence of mRtel1, telomeres in embryonic stem cells appeared relatively stable in length, suggesting that mRtel1 is required to allow extension by telomerase. We propose that mRtel1 is a key protein for DNA replication, recombination, and repair and efficient elongation of telomeres by telomerase.
An essential role for hnRNP-Q1 in regulating dendritic development and focal adhesions is identified. This function for hnRNP-Q1 involves repression of RhoA mRNA translation. These findings suggest that negative regulation of RhoA translation is required for proper cell development and morphogenesis.
The small GTPase RhoA has critical functions in regulating actin dynamics affecting cellular morphogenesis through the RhoA/Rho kinase (ROCK) signaling cascade. RhoA signaling controls stress fiber and focal adhesion formation and cell motility in fibroblasts. RhoA signaling is involved in several aspects of neuronal development, including neuronal migration, growth cone collapse, dendrite branching, and spine growth. Altered RhoA signaling is implicated in cancer and neurodegenerative disease and is linked to inherited intellectual disabilities. Although much is known about factors regulating RhoA activity and/or degradation, little is known about molecular mechanisms regulating RhoA expression and the subsequent effects on RhoA signaling. We hypothesized that posttranscriptional control of RhoA expression may provide a mechanism to regulate RhoA signaling and downstream effects on cell morphology. Here we uncover a cellular function for the mRNA-binding protein heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) Q1 in the control of dendritic development and focal adhesion formation that involves the negative regulation of RhoA synthesis and signaling. We show that hnRNP-Q1 represses RhoA translation and knockdown of hnRNP-Q1 induced phenotypes associated with elevated RhoA protein levels and RhoA/ROCK signaling. These morphological changes were rescued by ROCK inhibition and/or RhoA knockdown. These findings further suggest that negative modulation of RhoA mRNA translation can provide control over downstream signaling and cellular morphogenesis.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression is regulated by sequence elements in the 3′ UTR of VEGF mRNA. AUF1/hnRNP D suppresses VEGF 3′ UTR–dependent expression. Peptides with arginine–glycine–glycine motifs derived from AUF1 also suppress VEGF expression.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a regulator of vascularization in development and is a key growth factor in tissue repair. In disease, VEGF contributes to vascularization of solid tumors and arthritic joints. This study examines the role of the mRNA-binding protein AUF1/heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein D (AUF1) in VEGF gene expression. We show that overexpression of AUF1 in mouse macrophage-like RAW-264.7 cells suppresses endogenous VEGF protein levels. To study 3′ untranslated region (UTR)–mediated regulation, we introduced the 3′ UTR of VEGF mRNA into a luciferase reporter gene. Coexpression of AUF1 represses VEGF-3′ UTR reporter expression in RAW-264.7 cells and in mouse bone marrow–derived macrophages. The C-terminus of AUF1 contains arginine–glycine–glycine (RGG) repeat motifs that are dimethylated. Deletion of the RGG domain of AUF1 eliminated the repressive effects of AUF1. Surprisingly, expression of an AUF1-RGG peptide reduced endogenous VEGF protein levels and repressed VEGF-3′ UTR reporter activity in RAW-264.7 cells. These findings demonstrate that AUF1 regulates VEGF expression, and this study identifies an RGG peptide that suppresses VEGF gene expression.
Mex3c is highly expressed in the testis, brain, and developing bone. Mex3c mutation causes postnatal growth retardation and background-dependent perinatal lethality, possibly through impairing the translation of insulin-like growth factor 1 mRNA in bone-forming cells.
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) mediates the growth-promoting activities of growth hormone. How Igf1 expression is regulated posttranscriptionally is unclear. Caenorhabditis elegans muscle excess 3 (MEX-3) is involved in cell fate specification during early embryonic development through regulating mRNAs involved in specifying cell fate. The function of its mammalian homologue, MEX3C, is unknown. Here we show that MEX3C deficiency in Mex3c homozygous mutant mice causes postnatal growth retardation and background-dependent perinatal lethality. Hypertrophy of chondrocytes in growth plates is significantly impaired. Circulating and bone local production of IGF1 are both decreased in mutant mice. Mex3c mRNA is strongly expressed in the testis and the brain, and highly expressed in resting and proliferating chondrocytes of the growth plates. MEX3C is able to enrich multiple mRNA species from tissue lysates, including Igf1. Igf1 expression in bone is decreased at the protein level but not at the mRNA level, indicating translational/posttranslational regulation. We propose that MEX3C protein plays an important role in enhancing the translation of Igf1 mRNA, which explains the perinatal lethality and growth retardation observed in MEX3C-deficient mice.
Translation events in RNA granules in neurons are spatially clustered near individual granules, and translation output from individual granules is either sporadic or bursty. Translation of Venus-FMRP RNA is more bursty than translation of Venus-ARC RNA, and mGluR activation increases overall translation but decreases bursty translation.
Dendritic RNAs are localized and translated in RNA granules. Here we use single-molecule imaging to count the number of RNA molecules in each granule and to record translation output from each granule using Venus fluorescent protein as a reporter. For RNAs encoding activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (ARC) or fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), translation events are spatially clustered near individual granules, and translational output from individual granules is either sporadic or bursty. The probability of bursty translation is greater for Venus-FMRP RNA than for Venus-ARC RNA and is increased in Fmr1-knockout neurons compared to wild-type neurons. Dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) increases the rate of sporadic translation and decreases bursty translation for Venus-FMRP and Venus-ARC RNAs. Single-molecule imaging of translation in individual granules provides new insight into molecular, spatial, and temporal regulation of translation in granules.
The La protein controls pre-tRNA metabolism in nuclei. Deletion of Schizosaccharomyces pombe La leads to altered pre-tRNA metabolism and up-regulation of amino acid genes and nutrient-sensitive growth defects, accompanied by apparently inefficient tRNA nuclear export. These sla1-Δ phenotypes are suppressed by modest overexpression of the tRNA nuclear export factor Los1p.
Deletion of the sla1+ gene, which encodes a homologue of the human RNA-binding protein La in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, causes irregularities in tRNA processing, with altered distribution of pre-tRNA intermediates. We show, using mRNA profiling, that cells lacking sla1+ have increased mRNAs from amino acid metabolism (AAM) genes and, furthermore, exhibit slow growth in Edinburgh minimal medium. A subset of these AAM genes is under control of the AP-1–like, stress-responsive transcription factors Atf1p and Pcr1p. Although S. pombe growth is resistant to rapamycin, sla1-Δ cells are sensitive, consistent with deficiency of leucine uptake, hypersensitivity to NH4, and genetic links to the target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway. Considering that perturbed intranuclear pre-tRNA metabolism and apparent deficiency in tRNA nuclear export in sla1-Δ cells may trigger the AAM response, we show that modest overexpression of S. pombe los1+ (also known as Xpo-t), encoding the nuclear exportin for tRNA, suppresses the reduction in pre-tRNA levels, AAM gene up-regulation, and slow growth of sla1-Δ cells. The conclusion that emerges is that sla1+ regulates AAM mRNA production in S. pombe through its effects on nuclear tRNA processing and probably nuclear export. Finally, the results are discussed in the context of stress response programs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Analysis of the nuclear life of human Pat1b, a member of the Pat1 family of RNA-binding proteins that at steady state reside in cytoplasmic P-bodies and silence gene expression there, shows that Pat1b has multiple functions linked to transcription and splicing in nuclear speckles, PML bodies, and nucleolar caps.
The evolutionarily conserved Pat1 proteins are P-body components recently shown to play important roles in cytoplasmic gene expression control. Using human cell lines, we demonstrate that human Pat1b is a shuttling protein whose nuclear export is mediated via a consensus NES sequence and Crm1, as evidenced by leptomycin B (LMB) treatment. However, not all P-body components are nucleocytoplasmic proteins; rck/p54, Dcp1a, Edc3, Ge-1, and Xrn1 are insensitive to LMB and remain cytoplasmic in its presence. Nuclear Pat1b localizes to PML–associated foci and SC35-containing splicing speckles in a transcription-dependent manner, whereas in the absence of RNA synthesis, Pat1b redistributes to crescent-shaped nucleolar caps. Furthermore, inhibition of splicing by spliceostatin A leads to the reorganization of SC35 speckles, which is closely mirrored by Pat1b, indicating that it may also be involved in splicing processes. Of interest, Pat1b retention in these three nuclear compartments is mediated via distinct regions of the protein. Examination of the nuclear distribution of 4E-T(ransporter), an additional P-body nucleocytoplasmic protein, revealed that 4E-T colocalizes with Pat1b in PML-associated foci but not in nucleolar caps. Taken together, our findings strongly suggest that Pat1b participates in several RNA-related nuclear processes in addition to its multiple regulatory roles in the cytoplasm.
hRio1 is an atypical protein kinase of the conserved RIO family. Depletion of hRio1 affects the last step of 18S rRNA maturation and causes defects in recycling of trans-acting factors from pre-40S subunits in the cytoplasm. The kinase activity of hRio1 is essential for recycling of the endonuclease hNob1 and its binding partner hDim2 from pre-40S.
RIO proteins form a conserved family of atypical protein kinases. Humans possess three distinct RIO kinases—hRio1, hRio2, and hRio3, of which only hRio2 has been characterized with respect to its role in ribosomal biogenesis. Here we show that both hRio1 and hRio3, like hRio2, are associated with precursors of 40S ribosomal subunits in human cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that depletion of hRio1 by RNA interference affects the last step of 18S rRNA maturation and causes defects in the recycling of several trans-acting factors (hEnp1, hRio2, hLtv1, hDim2/PNO1, and hNob1) from pre-40S subunits in the cytoplasm. Although the effects of hRio1 and hRio2 depletion are similar, we show that the two kinases are not fully interchangeable. Moreover, rescue experiments with a kinase-dead mutant of hRio1 revealed that the kinase activity of hRio1 is essential for the recycling of the endonuclease hNob1 and its binding partner hDim2 from cytoplasmic pre-40S. Kinase-dead hRio1 is trapped on pre-40S particles containing hDim2 and hNob1 but devoid of hEnp1, hLtv1, and hRio2. These data reveal a role of hRio1 in the final stages of cytoplasmic pre-40S maturation.
The functions of eight Tetrahymena thermophila genes encoding RNase T2 family proteins (Rnt2 proteins) are explored in strains lacking one RNT2 gene or combinations of genes. At least three Tetrahymena RNase T2 enzymes are involved in the conditionally induced turnover of tRNA and rRNA.
RNase T2 enzymes are produced by a wide range of organisms and have been implicated to function in diverse cellular processes, including stress-induced anticodon loop cleavage of mature tRNAs to generate tRNA halves. Here we describe a family of eight RNase T2 genes (RNT2A–RNT2H) in the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila. We constructed strains lacking individual or combinations of these RNT2 genes that were viable but had distinct cellular and molecular phenotypes. In strains lacking only one Rnt2 protein or lacking a subfamily of three catalytically inactive Rnt2 proteins, starvation-induced tRNA fragments continued to accumulate, with only a minor change in fragment profile in one strain. We therefore generated strains lacking pairwise combinations of the top three candidates for Rnt2 tRNases. Each of these strains showed a distinct starvation-specific profile of tRNA and rRNA fragment accumulation. These results, the delineation of a broadened range of conditions that induce the accumulation of tRNA halves, and the demonstration of a predominantly ribonucleoprotein-free state of tRNA halves in cell extract suggest that ciliate tRNA halves are degradation intermediates in an autophagy pathway induced by growth arrest that functions to recycle idle protein synthesis machinery.
The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei is responsible for sleeping sickness and alternates between mammal and tsetse fly hosts. Two proteins of the ALBA family associate to mRNA in cytoplasmic granules during starvation stress, are stage regulated, and contribute to trypanosome development in the tsetse fly.
The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei is responsible for sleeping sickness and alternates between mammal and tsetse fly hosts, where it has to adapt to different environments. We investigated the role of two members of the ALBA family, which encodes hypothetical RNA-binding proteins conserved in most eukaryotes. We show that ALBA3/4 proteins colocalize with the DHH1 RNA-binding protein and with a subset of poly(A+) RNA in stress granules upon starvation. Depletion of ALBA3/4 proteins by RNA interference in the cultured procyclic stage produces cell modifications mimicking several morphogenetic aspects of trypanosome differentiation that usually take place in the fly midgut. A combination of immunofluorescence data and videomicroscopy analysis of live trypanosomes expressing endogenously ALBA fused with fluorescent proteins revealed that ALBA3/4 are present throughout the development of the parasite in the tsetse fly, with the striking exception of the transition stages found in the proventriculus region. This involves migration of the nucleus toward the posterior end of the cell, a phenomenon that is perturbed upon forced expression of ALBA3 during the differentiation process, showing for the first time the involvement of an RNA-binding protein in trypanosome development in vivo.
A combination of bioinformatic and RNA interference analysis of Xenopus tropicalis RNA-seq data shows that the identification of microtubule-associated (MT) mRNAs can be used for discovering novel factors in the processes of spindle pole organization and centrosome structure. MT-RNAs are likely to contribute to spindle-localized mitotic translation.
RNA localization is an important mechanism for achieving precise control of posttranscriptional gene expression. Previously, we demonstrated that a subset of cellular mRNAs copurify with mitotic microtubules in egg extracts of Xenopus laevis. Due to limited genomic sequence information available for X. laevis, we used RNA-seq to comprehensively identify the microtubule-interacting transcriptome of the related frog Xenopus tropicalis. We identified ∼450 mRNAs that showed significant enrichment on microtubules (MT-RNAs). In addition, we demonstrated that the MT-RNAs incenp, xrhamm, and tpx2 associate with spindle microtubules in vivo. MT-RNAs are enriched with transcripts associated with cell division, spindle formation, and chromosome function, demonstrating an overrepresentation of genes involved in mitotic regulation. To test whether uncharacterized MT-RNAs have a functional role in mitosis, we performed RNA interference and discovered that several MT-RNAs are required for normal spindle pole organization and γ-tubulin distribution. Together, these data demonstrate that microtubule association is one mechanism for compartmentalizing functionally related mRNAs within the nucleocytoplasmic space of mitotic cells and suggest that MT-RNAs are likely to contribute to spindle-localized mitotic translation.
The microtubule motor Eg5 is well known for its functions during mitosis. It is shown that during interphase, Eg5 associates with ribosomes and is required for efficient protein synthesis.
The kinesin-related molecular motor Eg5 plays roles in cell division, promoting spindle assembly. We show that during interphase Eg5 is associated with ribosomes and is required for optimal nascent polypeptide synthesis. When Eg5 was inhibited, ribosomes no longer bound to microtubules in vitro, ribosome transit rates slowed, and polysomes accumulated in intact cells, suggesting defects in elongation or termination during polypeptide synthesis. These results demonstrate that the molecular motor Eg5 associates with ribosomes and enhances the efficiency of translation.
Spermatogenesis is a complex process that relies on extensive regulation of mRNA storage and translation. We investigate the role of the RNA-binding protein HuR in this process by using both germ cell–specific loss- and gain-of-function strategies and show that HuR is required in both meiotic and postmeiotic steps of male germ cell differentiation.
Posttranscriptional mechanisms are crucial to regulate spermatogenesis. Accurate protein synthesis during germ cell development relies on RNA binding proteins that control the storage, stability, and translation of mRNAs in a tightly and temporally regulated manner. Here, we focused on the RNA binding protein Embryonic Lethal Abnormal Vision (ELAV) L1/Human antigen R (HuR) known to be a key regulator of posttranscriptional regulation in somatic cells but the function of which during gametogenesis has never been investigated. In this study, we have used conditional loss- and gain-of-function approaches to address this issue in mice. We show that targeted deletion of HuR specifically in germ cells leads to male but not female sterility. Mutant males are azoospermic because of the extensive death of spermatocytes at meiotic divisions and failure of spermatid elongation. The latter defect is also observed upon HuR overexpression. To elucidate further the molecular mechanisms underlying spermatogenesis defects in HuR-deleted and -overexpressing testes, we undertook a target gene approach and discovered that heat shock protein (HSP)A2/HSP70-2, a crucial regulator of spermatogenesis, was down-regulated in both situations. HuR specifically binds hspa2 mRNA and controls its expression at the translational level in germ cells. Our study provides the first genetic evidence of HuR involvement during spermatogenesis and reveals Hspa2 as a target for HuR.