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In JoVE (2)

Other Publications (103)

Articles by Jack Greenblatt in JoVE

 JoVE General

Mapping Bacterial Functional Networks and Pathways in Escherichia Coli using Synthetic Genetic Arrays

1Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 2Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto, 3Department of Biochemistry, Research and Innovation Centre, University of Regina

JoVE 4056

Systematic, large-scale synthetic genetic (gene-gene or epistasis) interaction screens can be used to explore genetic redundancy and pathway cross-talk. Here, we describe a high-throughput quantitative synthetic genetic array screening technology, termed eSGA that we developed for elucidating epistatic relationships and exploring genetic interaction networks in Escherichia coli.

 JoVE General

Identification of Protein Complexes in Escherichia coli using Sequential Peptide Affinity Purification in Combination with Tandem Mass Spectrometry

1Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto, 2Deparment of Biochemistry, Research and Innovation Centre, University of Regina, 3Department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology, University of Toronto

JoVE 4057

Affinity purification of tagged proteins in combination with mass spectrometry (APMS) is a powerful method for the systematic mapping of protein interaction networks and for investigating the mechanistic basis of biological processes. Here, we describe an optimized sequential peptide affinity (SPA) APMS procedure developed for the bacterium Escherichia coli that can be used to isolate and characterize stable multi-protein complexes to near homogeneity even starting from low copy numbers per cell.

Other articles by Jack Greenblatt on PubMed

COMPASS, a Histone H3 (Lysine 4) Methyltransferase Required for Telomeric Silencing of Gene Expression

The trithorax (Trx) family of proteins is required for maintaining a specific pattern of gene expression in some organisms. Recently we reported the isolation and characterization of COMPASS, a multiprotein complex that includes the Trx-related protein Set1 of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here we report that COMPASS catalyzes methylation of the fourth lysine of histone H3 in vitro. Set1 and several other components of COMPASS are also required for histone H3 methylation in vivo and for transcriptional silencing of a gene located near a chromosome telomere.

Evidence That the KH RNA-binding Domains Influence the Action of the E. Coli NusA Protein

The NusA transcription elongation protein, which binds RNA, contains sequences corresponding to the S1 and KH classes of identified RNA binding domains. An essential function in E. coli, NusA is also one of the host factors required for action of the N transcription antitermination protein of lambda. Tandem KH domains have been identified downstream of the S1 domain. We changed the first Gly to Asp of the GXXG motif, a tetrapeptide diagnostic of KH domains, of both NusA KH domains. The change in the first, G253D, has a large effect, while the change in the second, G319D, has a small effect on NusA action. The changes in both KH domains interfere with NusA binding to RNA. A change of a highly conserved Arg in the S1 domain, R199A, has previously been reported to interfere with RNA binding while exerting a small effect on NusA action. However, a nusA allele with both the R199A and G319D changes encodes a functionally inactive NusA protein. These studies provide direct evidence that the both KH as well as the S1 RNA binding domains are important for NusA action in support of bacterial viability as well as transcription antitermination mediated by the lambda N protein.

Regulation of Transcription Elongation by Phosphorylation

The synthesis of mRNA by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) is a multistep process that is regulated by different mechanisms. One important aspect of transcriptional regulation is phosphorylation of components of the transcription apparatus. The phosphorylation state of RNAPII carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) is controlled by a variety of protein kinases and at least one protein phosphatase. We discuss emerging genetic and biochemical evidence that points to a role of these factors not only in transcription initiation but also in elongation and possibly termination. In addition, we review phosphorylation events involving some of the general transcription factors (GTFs) and other regulatory proteins. As an interesting example, we describe the modulation of transcription associated kinases and phosphatase by the HIV Tat protein. We focus on bringing together recent findings and propose a revised model for the RNAPII phosphorylation cycle.

RNA Polymerase II Elongation Factors of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae: a Targeted Proteomics Approach

To physically characterize the web of interactions connecting the Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteins suspected to be RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) elongation factors, subunits of Spt4/Spt5 and Spt16/Pob3 (corresponding to human DSIF and FACT), Spt6, TFIIF (Tfg1, -2, and -3), TFIIS, Rtf1, and Elongator (Elp1, -2, -3, -4, -5, and -6) were affinity purified under conditions designed to minimize loss of associated polypeptides and then identified by mass spectrometry. Spt16/Pob3 was discovered to associate with three distinct complexes: histones; Chd1/casein kinase II (CKII); and Rtf1, Paf1, Ctr9, Cdc73, and a previously uncharacterized protein, Leo1. Rtf1 and Chd1 have previously been implicated in the control of elongation, and the sensitivity to 6-azauracil of strains lacking Paf1, Cdc73, or Leo1 suggested that these proteins are involved in elongation by RNAPII as well. Confirmation came from chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays demonstrating that all components of this complex, including Leo1, cross-linked to the promoter, coding region, and 3' end of the ADH1 gene. In contrast, the three subunits of TFIIF cross-linked only to the promoter-containing fragment of ADH1. Spt6 interacted with the uncharacterized, essential protein Iws1 (interacts with Spt6), and Spt5 interacted either with Spt4 or with a truncated form of Spt6. ChIP on Spt6 and the novel protein Iws1 resulted in the cross-linking of both proteins to all three regions of the ADH1 gene, suggesting that Iws1 is likely an Spt6-interacting elongation factor. Spt5, Spt6, and Iws1 are phosphorylated on consensus CKII sites in vivo, conceivably by the Chd1/CKII associated with Spt16/Pob3. All the elongation factors but Elongator copurified with RNAPII.

Bridging Structural Biology and Genomics: Assessing Protein Interaction Data with Known Complexes

Currently, there is a major effort to map protein-protein interactions on a genome-wide scale. The utility of the resulting interaction networks will depend on the reliability of the experimental methods and the coverage of the approaches. Known macromolecular complexes provide a defined and objective set of protein interactions with which to compare biochemical and genetic data for validation. Here, we show that a significant fraction of the protein-protein interactions in genome-wide datasets, as well as many of the individual interactions reported in the literature, are inconsistent with the known 3D structures of three recent complexes (RNA polymerase II, Arp2/3 and the proteasome). Furthermore, comparison among genome-wide datasets, and between them and a larger (but less well resolved) group of 174 complexes, also shows marked inconsistencies. Finally, individual interaction datasets, being inherently noisy, are best used when integrated together, and we show how simple Bayesian approaches can combine them, significantly decreasing error rate.

Bre1, an E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Required for Recruitment and Substrate Selection of Rad6 at a Promoter

Ubiquitination of histone H2B catalyzed by Rad6 is required for methylation of histone H3 by COMPASS. We identified Bre1 as the probable E3 for Rad6's role in transcription. Bre1 contains a C3HC4 (RING) finger and is present with Rad6 in a complex. The RING finger of Bre1 is required for ubiquitination of histone H2B, methylation of lysine 4 and 79 of H3 and for telomeric silencing. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments indicated that both Rad6 and Bre1 are recruited to a promoter. Bre1 is essential for this recruitment of Rad6 and is dedicated to the transcriptional pathway of Rad6. These results suggest that Bre1 is the likely E3 enzyme that directs Rad6 to modify chromatin and ultimately to affect gene expression.

Solution Structure of the Carboxyl-terminal Domain of RAP74 and NMR Characterization of the FCP1-binding Sites of RAP74 and Human TFIIB

FCP1 (TFIIF-associated CTD phosphatase) is the only known phosphatase specific for the phosphorylated CTD of RNAP II. The phosphatase activity of FCP1 is strongly enhanced by the carboxyl-terminal domain of RAP74 (cterRAP74, residues 436-517), and this stimulatory effect of TFIIF can be blocked by TFIIB. It has been shown that cterRAP74 and the core domain of hTFIIB (TFIIBc, residues 112-316) directly interact with the carboxyl-terminal domain of hFCP1 (cterFCP, residues 879-961), and these interactions may be responsible for the regulatory activities of TFIIF and TFIIB on FCP1. We have determined the NMR solution structure of human cterRAP74, and we have used NMR methods to map the cterFCP-binding sites for both cterRAP74 and human TFIIB. We show that cterFCP binds to a groove of cterRAP74 between alpha-helices H2 and H3, without affecting the secondary structure of cterRAP74. We also show that cterFCP binds to a groove of TFIIBc between alpha-helices D1 and E1 in the first cyclin repeat. We find that the cterFCP-binding site of TFIIBc is very similar to the binding site for the HSV transcriptional activator protein VP16 on the first cyclin repeat of TFIIBc. The cterFCP-binding sites of both RAP74 and TFIIBc form shallow grooves on the protein surface, and they are both rich in hydrophobic and positively charged amino acid residues. These results provide new information about the recognition of acidic-rich activation domains involved in transcriptional regulation, and provide insights into how TFIIF and TFIIB regulate the FCP1 phosphatase activity in vivo.

Specific Homeodomain-DNA Interactions Are Required for HOX11-mediated Transformation

HOX11 encodes a homeodomain protein that is aberrantly expressed in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia as a consequence of the t(10;14) and t(7;10) chromosomal translocations. We previously reported that HOX11 immortalizes murine hematopoietic progenitors and induces pre-T-cell tumors in mice after long latency. It has been demonstrated in a number of studies that HOX11, similar to other homeodomain proteins, binds DNA and transactivates transcription. These findings suggest that translocation-activated HOX11 functions as an oncogenic transcription factor. Here we report that HOX11 represses transcription through both TATA-containing and TATA-less promoters. Interestingly, transcriptional repression by HOX11 is independent of its DNA binding capability. Moreover, a systematic mutational analysis indicated that repressor activity was separable from immortalizing function, which requires certain residues within the HOX11 homeodomain that make base-specific or phosphate-backbone contacts with DNA. We further showed that the pathologic action of HOX11 involves DNA binding-dependent transcriptional pathways that are distinct from those controlling expression of a chromosomal target gene (Aldh-1). We conclude that dysregulated expression of a particular set of downstream target genes by DNA binding via the homeodomain is of central importance for leukemia initiation mediated by HOX11.

The Paf1 Complex is Required for Histone H3 Methylation by COMPASS and Dot1p: Linking Transcriptional Elongation to Histone Methylation

Methylation of histone proteins is one of their many modifications that affect chromatin structure and regulate gene expression. Methylation of histone H3 on lysines 4 and 79, catalyzed by the Set1-containing complex COMPASS and Dot1p, respectively, is required for silencing of expression of genes located near chromosome telomeres in yeast. We report that the Paf1 protein complex, which is associated with the elongating RNA polymerase II, is required for methylation of lysines 4 and 79 of histone H3 and for silencing of expression of a telomere-associated gene. We show that the Paf1 complex is required for recruitment of the COMPASS methyltransferase to RNA polymerase II and that the subunits of these complexes interact physically and genetically. Collectively, our results suggest that the Paf1 complex is required for histone H3 methylation, therefore linking transcriptional elongation to chromatin methylation.

NMR Structure of a Complex Containing the TFIIF Subunit RAP74 and the RNA Polymerase II Carboxyl-terminal Domain Phosphatase FCP1

FCP1 [transcription factor IIF (TFIIF)-associated carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) phosphatase] is the only identified phosphatase specific for the phosphorylated CTD of RNA polymerase II (RNAP II). The phosphatase activity of FCP1 is enhanced in the presence of the large subunit of TFIIF (RAP74 in humans). It has been demonstrated that the CTD of RAP74 (cterRAP74; residues 436-517) directly interacts with the highly acidic CTD of FCP1 (cterFCP; residues 879-961 in human). In this manuscript, we have determined a high-resolution solution structure of a cterRAP74cterFCP complex by NMR spectroscopy. Interestingly, the cterFCP protein is completely disordered in the unbound state, but forms an alpha-helix (H1'; E945-M961) in the complex. The cterRAP74cterFCP binding interface relies extensively on van der Waals contacts between hydrophobic residues from the H2 and H3 helices of cterRAP74 and hydrophobic residues from the H1' helix of cterFCP. The binding interface also contains two critical electrostatic interactions involving aspartic acid residues from H1' of cterFCP and lysine residues from both H2 and H3 of cterRAP74. There are also three additional polar interactions involving highly conserved acidic residues from the H1' helix. The cterRAP74cterFCP complex is the first high-resolution structure between an acidic residue-rich domain from a holoenzyme-associated regulatory protein and a general transcription factor. The structure defines a clear role for both hydrophobic and acidic residues in proteinprotein complexes involving acidic residue-rich domains in transcription regulatory proteins.

Methylation of Histone H3 by Set2 in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is Linked to Transcriptional Elongation by RNA Polymerase II

Set2 methylates Lys36 of histone H3. We show here that yeast Set2 copurifies with RNA polymerase II (RNAPII). Chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses demonstrated that Set2 and histone H3 Lys36 methylation are associated with the coding regions of several genes that were tested and correlate with active transcription. Both depend, as well, on the Paf1 elongation factor complex. The C terminus of Set2, which contains a WW domain, is also required for effective Lys36 methylation. Deletion of CTK1, encoding an RNAPII CTD kinase, prevents Lys36 methylation and Set2 recruitment, suggesting that methylation may be triggered by contact of the WW domain or C terminus of Set2 with Ser2-phosphorylated CTD. A set2 deletion results in slight sensitivity to 6-azauracil and much less beta-galactosidase produced by a reporter plasmid, resulting from a defect in transcription. In synthetic genetic array (SGA) analysis, synthetic growth defects were obtained when a set2 deletion was combined with deletions of all five components of the Paf1 complex, the chromodomain elongation factor Chd1, the putative elongation factor Soh1, the Bre1 or Lge1 components of the histone H2B ubiquitination complex, or the histone H2A variant Htz1. SET2 also interacts genetically with components of the Set1 and Set3 complexes, suggesting that Set1, Set2, and Set3 similarly affect transcription by RNAPII.

Protein Profiling with Epstein-Barr Nuclear Antigen-1 Reveals an Interaction with the Herpesvirus-associated Ubiquitin-specific Protease HAUSP/USP7

The Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA1) protein of Epstein-Barr virus is important for the replication, segregation, and transcriptional activation of latent Epstein-Barr virus genomes; has been implicated in host cell immortalization; and avoids proteasomal processing and cell-surface presentation. To gain insight into how EBNA1 fulfills these functions, we have profiled cellular protein interactions with EBNA1 using EBNA1 affinity chromatography and tandem affinity purification (TAP) of EBNA1 complexes from human cells (TAP-tagging). We discovered several new specific cellular protein interactions with EBNA1, including interactions with HAUSP/USP7, NAP1, template-activating factor-I beta/SET, CK2, and PRMT5, all of which play important cell regulatory roles. The ubiquitin-specific protease USP7 is a known target of herpes simplex virus, and the USP7-binding region of EBNA1 was mapped to amino acids 395-450. A mutation in EBNA1 that selectively disrupted binding to USP7 was found to cause a 4-fold increase in EBNA1 replication activity but had no effect on EBNA1 turnover and cell-surface presentation. The results suggest that USP7 can regulate the replication function of EBNA1 and that EBNA1 may influence cellular events by sequestering key regulatory proteins.

Organization and Function of APT, a Subcomplex of the Yeast Cleavage and Polyadenylation Factor Involved in the Formation of MRNA and Small Nucleolar RNA 3'-ends

Messenger RNA 3'-end formation is functionally coupled to transcription by RNA polymerase II. By tagging and purifying Ref2, a non-essential protein previously implicated in mRNA cleavage and termination, we isolated a multiprotein complex, holo-CPF, containing the yeast cleavage and polyadenylation factor (CPF) and six additional polypeptides. The latter can form a distinct complex, APT, in which Pti1, Swd2, a type I protein phosphatase (Glc7), Ssu72 (a TFIIB and RNA polymerase II-associated factor), Ref2, and Syc1 are associated with the Pta1 subunit of CPF. Systematic tagging and purification of holo-CPF subunits revealed that yeast extracts contain similar amounts of CPF and holo-CPF. By purifying holo-CPF from strains lacking Ref2 or containing truncated subunits, subcomplexes were isolated that revealed additional aspects of the architecture of APT and holo-CPF. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was used to localize Ref2, Ssu72, Pta1, and other APT subunits on small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) genes and primarily near the polyadenylation signals of the constitutively expressed PYK1 and PMA1 genes. Use of mutant components of APT revealed that Ssu72 is important for preventing readthrough-dependent expression of downstream genes for both snoRNAs and polyadenylated transcripts. Ref2 and Pta1 similarly affect at least one snoRNA transcript.

A Panoramic View of Yeast Noncoding RNA Processing

Predictive analysis using publicly available yeast functional genomics and proteomics data suggests that many more proteins may be involved in biogenesis of ribonucleoproteins than are currently known. Using a microarray that monitors abundance and processing of noncoding RNAs, we analyzed 468 yeast strains carrying mutations in protein-coding genes, most of which have not previously been associated with RNA or RNP synthesis. Many strains mutated in uncharacterized genes displayed aberrant noncoding RNA profiles. Ten factors involved in noncoding RNA biogenesis were verified by further experimentation, including a protein required for 20S pre-rRNA processing (Tsr2p), a protein associated with the nuclear exosome (Lrp1p), and a factor required for box C/D snoRNA accumulation (Bcd1p). These data present a global view of yeast noncoding RNA processing and confirm that many currently uncharacterized yeast proteins are involved in biogenesis of noncoding RNA.

A Bayesian Networks Approach for Predicting Protein-protein Interactions from Genomic Data

We have developed an approach using Bayesian networks to predict protein-protein interactions genome-wide in yeast. Our method naturally weights and combines into reliable predictions genomic features only weakly associated with interaction (e.g., messenger RNAcoexpression, coessentiality, and colocalization). In addition to de novo predictions, it can integrate often noisy, experimental interaction data sets. We observe that at given levels of sensitivity, our predictions are more accurate than the existing high-throughput experimental data sets. We validate our predictions with TAP (tandem affinity purification) tagging experiments. Our analysis, which gives a comprehensive view of yeast interactions, is available at

A Snf2 Family ATPase Complex Required for Recruitment of the Histone H2A Variant Htz1

Deletions of three yeast genes, SET2, CDC73, and DST1, involved in transcriptional elongation and/or chromatin metabolism were used in conjunction with genetic array technology to screen approximately 4700 yeast deletions and identify double deletion mutants that produce synthetic growth defects. Of the five deletions interacting genetically with all three starting mutations, one encoded the histone H2A variant Htz1 and three encoded components of a novel 13 protein complex, SWR-C, containing the Snf2 family ATPase, Swr1. The SWR-C also copurified with Htz1 and Bdf1, a TFIID-interacting protein that recognizes acetylated histone tails. Deletions of the genes encoding Htz1 and seven nonessential SWR-C components caused a similar spectrum of synthetic growth defects when combined with deletions of 384 genes involved in transcription, suggesting that Htz1 and SWR-C belong to the same pathway. We show that recruitment of Htz1 to chromatin requires the SWR-C. Moreover, like Htz1 and Bdf1, the SWR-C promotes gene expression near silent heterochromatin.

Purification and Assay of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Phosphatase That Acts on the C-terminal Domain of the Largest Subunit of RNA Polymerase II

The Ctf13-30/CTF13 Genomic Haploinsufficiency Modifier Screen Identifies the Yeast Chromatin Remodeling Complex RSC, Which is Required for the Establishment of Sister Chromatid Cohesion

The budding yeast centromere-kinetochore complex ensures high-fidelity chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis by mediating the attachment and movement of chromosomes along spindle microtubules. To identify new genes and pathways whose function impinges on chromosome transmission, we developed a genomic haploinsufficiency modifier screen and used ctf13-30, encoding a mutant core kinetochore protein, as the reference point. We demonstrate through a series of secondary screens that the genomic modifier screen is a successful method for identifying genes that encode nonessential proteins required for the fidelity of chromosome segregation. One gene isolated in our screen was RSC2, a nonessential subunit of the RSC chromatin remodeling complex. rsc2 mutants have defects in both chromosome segregation and cohesion, but the localization of kinetochore proteins to centromeres is not affected. We determined that, in the absence of RSC2, cohesin could still associate with chromosomes but fails to achieve proper cohesion between sister chromatids, indicating that RSC has a role in the establishment of cohesion. In addition, numerous subunits of RSC were affinity purified and a new component of RSC, Rtt102, was identified. Our work indicates that only a subset of the nonessential RSC subunits function in maintaining chromosome transmission fidelity.

Transitions in RNA Polymerase II Elongation Complexes at the 3' Ends of Genes

To understand the factor interactions of transcribing RNA polymerase II (RNApII) in vivo, chromatin immunoprecipitations were used to map the crosslinking patterns of multiple elongation and polyadenylation factors across transcribed genes. Transcription through the polyadenylation site leads to a reduction in the levels of the Ctk1 kinase and its associated phosphorylation of the RNApII C-terminal domain. One group of elongation factors (Spt4/5, Spt6/Iws1, and Spt16/Pob3), thought to mediate transcription through chromatin, shows patterns matching that of RNApII. In contrast, the Paf and TREX/THO complexes partially overlap RNApII, but do not crosslink to transcribed regions downstream of polyadenylation sites. In a complementary pattern, polyadenylation factors crosslink strongly at the 3' ends of genes. Mutation of the 3' polyadenylation sequences or the Rna14 protein causes loss of polyadenylation factor crosslinking and read-through of termination sequences. Therefore, transcription termination and polyadenylation involve transitions at the 3' end of genes that may include an exchange of elongation and polyadenylation/termination factors.

High-definition Macromolecular Composition of Yeast RNA-processing Complexes

A remarkably large collection of evolutionarily conserved proteins has been implicated in processing of noncoding RNAs and biogenesis of ribonucleoproteins. To better define the physical and functional relationships among these proteins and their cognate RNAs, we performed 165 highly stringent affinity purifications of known or predicted RNA-related proteins from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We systematically identified and estimated the relative abundance of stably associated polypeptides and RNA species using a combination of gel densitometry, protein mass spectrometry, and oligonucleotide microarray hybridization. Ninety-two discrete proteins or protein complexes were identified comprising 489 different polypeptides, many associated with one or more specific RNA molecules. Some of the pre-rRNA-processing complexes that were obtained are discrete sub-complexes of those previously described. Among these, we identified the IPI complex required for proper processing of the ITS2 region of the ribosomal RNA primary transcript. This study provides a high-resolution overview of the modular topology of noncoding RNA-processing machinery.

Global Mapping of the Yeast Genetic Interaction Network

A genetic interaction network containing approximately 1000 genes and approximately 4000 interactions was mapped by crossing mutations in 132 different query genes into a set of approximately 4700 viable gene yeast deletion mutants and scoring the double mutant progeny for fitness defects. Network connectivity was predictive of function because interactions often occurred among functionally related genes, and similar patterns of interactions tended to identify components of the same pathway. The genetic network exhibited dense local neighborhoods; therefore, the position of a gene on a partially mapped network is predictive of other genetic interactions. Because digenic interactions are common in yeast, similar networks may underlie the complex genetics associated with inherited phenotypes in other organisms.

ESF1 is Required for 18S RRNA Synthesis in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

We report that Esf1p (Ydr365cp), an essential, evolutionarily conserved nucleolar protein, is required for the biogenesis of 18S rRNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Depletion of Esf1p resulted in delayed processing of 35S precursor and a striking loss of 18S rRNA. Esf1p physically associated with ribosomal proteins and proteins involved in 18S rRNA biogenesis. Consistent with its role in 18S rRNA biogenesis, Esf1p also physically associated with U3 and U14 snoRNAs, but did not appear to be a core component of the SSU processome. These data indicate that Esf1p plays a direct role in early pre-rRNA processing.

Dephosphorylation of RNA Polymerase I by Fcp1p is Required for Efficient RRNA Synthesis

Differently phosphorylated forms of RNA polymerase (Pol) II are required to guide the enzyme through the transcription cycle. Here, we show that a phosphorylation/dephosphorylation cycle is also important for RNA polymerase I-dependent synthesis of rRNA precursors. A key component of the Pol II transcription system is Fcp1p, a phosphatase that dephosphorylates the C-terminal domain of the largest Pol II subunit. Fcp1p stimulates transcription elongation and is required for Pol II recycling after transcription termination. We found that Fcp1p is also part of the RNA Pol I transcription apparatus. Fcp1p is required for efficient rDNA transcription in vivo, and also, recombinant Fcp1p stimulates rRNA synthesis both in promoter-dependent and in nonspecific transcription assays in vitro. We demonstrate that Fcp1 activity is not involved in the formation of the initiation-active form of Pol I (the Pol I-Rrn3p complex) and propose that dephosphorylation of Pol I by Fcp1p facilitates chain elongation during rRNA synthesis.

Bromodomain Factor 1 (Bdf1) is Phosphorylated by Protein Kinase CK2

Bromodomain factor 1 (Bdf1) associates with Saccharomyces cerevisiae TFIID and corresponds to the C-terminal half of higher eukaryotic TAF1. It also associates with the SWR-C complex, which is important for Htz1 deposition. Bdf1 binds preferentially to acetylated histone H4. Bdf1 is phosphorylated, but the mechanism and significance of this modification have been unclear. Two distinct regions within Bdf1 are phosphorylated; one is just C terminal to the bromodomains and the other is near the C terminus. Mutational analysis shows that phosphorylation is necessary for Bdf1 function in vivo. Endogenous protein kinase CK2 purifies with Bdf1 and phosphorylates both domains. A similar mechanism may be responsible for phosphorylation of the C-terminal region of mammalian TAF1. These findings suggest that CK2 phosphorylation of Bdf1 may regulate RNA polymerase II transcription and/or chromatin structure.

Exploration of Essential Gene Functions Via Titratable Promoter Alleles

Nearly 20% of yeast genes are required for viability, hindering genetic analysis with knockouts. We created promoter-shutoff strains for over two-thirds of all essential yeast genes and subjected them to morphological analysis, size profiling, drug sensitivity screening, and microarray expression profiling. We then used this compendium of data to ask which phenotypic features characterized different functional classes and used these to infer potential functions for uncharacterized genes. We identified genes involved in ribosome biogenesis (HAS1, URB1, and URB2), protein secretion (SEC39), mitochondrial import (MIM1), and tRNA charging (GSN1). In addition, apparent negative feedback transcriptional regulation of both ribosome biogenesis and the proteasome was observed. We furthermore show that these strains are compatible with automated genetic analysis. This study underscores the importance of analyzing mutant phenotypes and provides a resource to complement the yeast knockout collection.

Sequential Peptide Affinity (SPA) System for the Identification of Mammalian and Bacterial Protein Complexes

A vector system is described that combines reliable, very low level, regulated protein expression in human cells with two affinity purification tags (Sequential Peptide Affinity, or SPA, system). By avoiding overproduction of the target protein, this system allows for the efficient purification of natural protein complexes and their identification by mass spectrometry. We also present an adaptation of the SPA system for the efficient purification and identification of protein complexes in E. coli and, potentially, other bacteria.

RPAP1, a Novel Human RNA Polymerase II-associated Protein Affinity Purified with Recombinant Wild-type and Mutated Polymerase Subunits

We have programmed human cells to express physiological levels of recombinant RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) subunits carrying tandem affinity purification (TAP) tags. Double-affinity chromatography allowed for the simple and efficient isolation of a complex containing all 12 RNAPII subunits, the general transcription factors TFIIB and TFIIF, the RNAPII phosphatase Fcp1, and a novel 153-kDa polypeptide of unknown function that we named RNAPII-associated protein 1 (RPAP1). The TAP-tagged RNAPII complex is functionally active both in vitro and in vivo. A role for RPAP1 in RNAPII transcription was established by shutting off the synthesis of Ydr527wp, a Saccharomyces cerevisiae protein homologous to RPAP1, and demonstrating that changes in global gene expression were similar to those caused by the loss of the yeast RNAPII subunit Rpb11. We also used TAP-tagged Rpb2 with mutations in fork loop 1 and switch 3, two structural elements located strategically within the active center, to start addressing the roles of these elements in the interaction of the enzyme with the template DNA during the transcription reaction.

Regulation of Chromosome Stability by the Histone H2A Variant Htz1, the Swr1 Chromatin Remodeling Complex, and the Histone Acetyltransferase NuA4

NuA4, the only essential histone acetyltransferase complex in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, acetylates the N-terminal tails of histones H4 and H2A. Affinity purification of NuA4 revealed the presence of three previously undescribed subunits, Vid21/Eaf1/Ydr359c, Swc4/Eaf2/Ygr002c, and Eaf7/Ynl136w. Experimental analyses revealed at least two functionally distinct sets of polypeptides in NuA4: (i) Vid21 and Yng2, and (ii) Eaf5 and Eaf7. Vid21 and Yng2 are required for bulk histone H4 acetylation and are functionally linked to the histone H2A variant Htz1 and the Swr1 ATPase complex (SWR-C) that assembles Htz1 into chromatin, whereas Eaf5 and Eaf7 have a different, as yet undefined, role. Mutations in Htz1, the SWR-C, and NuA4 cause defects in chromosome segregation that are consistent with genetic interactions we have observed between the genes encoding these proteins and genes encoding kinetochore components. Because SWR-C-dependent recruitment of Htz1 occurs in both transcribed and centromeric regions, a NuA4/SWR-C/Htz1 pathway may regulate both transcription and centromere function in S. cerevisiae.

The Yeast Rat1 Exonuclease Promotes Transcription Termination by RNA Polymerase II

The carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of the RNA polymerase II (RNApII) largest subunit consists of multiple heptapeptide repeats with the consensus sequence YSPTSPS. Different CTD phosphorylation patterns act as recognition sites for the binding of various messenger RNA processing factors, thereby coupling transcription and mRNA processing. Polyadenylation factors are co-transcriptionally recruited by phosphorylation of CTD serine 2 (ref. 2) and these factors are also required for transcription termination. RNApII transcribes past the poly(A) site, the RNA is cleaved by the polyadenylation machinery, and the RNA downstream of the cleavage site is degraded. Here we show that Rtt103 and the Rat1/Rai1 5' --> 3' exonuclease are localized at 3' ends of protein coding genes. In rat1-1 or rai1Delta cells, RNA 3' to polyadenylation sites is greatly stabilized and termination defects are seen at many genes. These findings support a model in which poly(A) site cleavage and subsequent degradation of the 3'-downstream RNA by Rat1 trigger transcription termination.

The Functional Landscape of Mouse Gene Expression

Large-scale quantitative analysis of transcriptional co-expression has been used to dissect regulatory networks and to predict the functions of new genes discovered by genome sequencing in model organisms such as yeast. Although the idea that tissue-specific expression is indicative of gene function in mammals is widely accepted, it has not been objectively tested nor compared with the related but distinct strategy of correlating gene co-expression as a means to predict gene function.

INO80 and Gamma-H2AX Interaction Links ATP-dependent Chromatin Remodeling to DNA Damage Repair

While the role of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling in transcription is well established, a link between chromatin remodeling and DNA repair has remained elusive. We have found that the evolutionarily conserved INO80 chromatin remodeling complex directly participates in the repair of a double-strand break (DSB) in yeast. The INO80 complex is recruited to a HO endonuclease-induced DSB through a specific interaction with the DNA damage-induced phosphorylated histone H2A (gamma-H2AX). This interaction requires Nhp10, an HMG-like subunit of the INO80 complex. The loss of Nhp10 or gamma-H2AX results in reduced INO80 recruitment to the DSB. Finally, components of the INO80 complex show synthetic genetic interactions with the RAD52 DNA repair pathway, the main pathway for DSB repair in yeast. Our findings reveal a new role of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling in nuclear processes and suggest that an ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complex can read a DNA repair histone code.

Proteasome Involvement in the Repair of DNA Double-strand Breaks

Affinity purification of the yeast 19S proteasome revealed the presence of Sem1 as a subunit. Its human homolog, DSS1, was found likewise to copurify with the human 19S proteasome. DSS1 is known to associate with the tumor suppressor protein BRCA2 involved in repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). We demonstrate that Sem1 is required for efficient repair of an HO-generated yeast DSB using both homologous recombination (HR) and nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) pathways. Deletion of SEM1 or genes encoding other nonessential 19S or 20S proteasome subunits also results in synthetic growth defects and hypersensitivity to genotoxins when combined with mutations in well-established DNA DSB repair genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that Sem1 is recruited along with the 19S and 20S proteasomes to a DSB in vivo, and this recruitment is dependent on components of both the HR and NHEJ repair pathways, suggesting a direct role of the proteasome in DSB repair.

Interaction of Fcp1 Phosphatase with Elongating RNA Polymerase II Holoenzyme, Enzymatic Mechanism of Action, and Genetic Interaction with Elongator

Fcp1 de-phosphorylates the RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) C-terminal domain (CTD) in vitro, and mutation of the yeast FCP1 gene results in global transcription defects and increased CTD phosphorylation levels in vivo. Here we show that the Fcp1 protein associates with elongating RNAPII holoenzyme in vitro. Our data suggest that the association of Fcp1 with elongating polymerase results in CTD de-phosphorylation when the native ternary RNAPII0-DNA-RNA complex is disrupted. Surprisingly, highly purified yeast Fcp1 dephosphorylates serine 5 but not serine 2 of the RNAPII CTD repeat. Only free RNAPII0(Ser-5) and not RNAPII0-DNA-RNA ternary complexes act as a good substrate in the Fcp1 CTD de-phosphorylation reaction. In contrast, TFIIH CTD kinase has a pronounced preference for RNAPII incorporated into a ternary complex. Interestingly, the Fcp1 reaction mechanism appears to entail phosphoryl transfer from RNAPII0 directly to Fcp1. Elongator fails to affect the phosphatase activity of Fcp1 in vitro, but genetic evidence points to a functional overlap between Elongator and Fcp1 in vivo. Genetic interactions between Elongator and a number of other transcription factors are also reported. Together, these results shed new light on mechanisms that drive the transcription cycle and point to a role for Fcp1 in the recycling of RNAPII after dissociation from active genes.

A Role for SlyD in the Escherichia Coli Hydrogenase Biosynthetic Pathway

The [NiFe] centers at the active sites of the Escherichia coli hydrogenase enzymes are assembled by a team of accessory proteins that includes the products of the hyp genes. To determine whether any other proteins are involved in this process, the sequential peptide affinity system was used. The analysis of the proteins in a complex with HypB revealed the peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans-isomerase SlyD, a metal-binding protein that has not been previously linked to the hydrogenase biosynthetic pathway. The association between HypB and SlyD was confirmed by chemical cross-linking of purified proteins. Deletion of the slyD gene resulted in a marked reduction of the hydrogenase activity in cell extracts prepared from anaerobic cultures, and an in-gel assay was used to demonstrate diminished activities of both hydrogenase 1 and 2. Western analysis revealed a decrease in the final proteolytic processing of the hydrogenase 3 HycE protein, indicating that the metal center was not assembled properly. These deficiencies were all rescued by growth in medium containing excess nickel, but zinc did not have any phenotypic effect. Experiments with radioactive nickel demonstrated that less nickel accumulated in DeltaslyD cells compared with wild type, and overexpression of SlyD from an inducible promoter doubled the level of cellular nickel. These experiments demonstrate that SlyD has a role in the nickel insertion step of the hydrogenase maturation pathway, and the possible functions of SlyD are discussed.

Histone H2B Ubiquitylation is Associated with Elongating RNA Polymerase II

Rad6-mediated ubiquitylation of histone H2B at lysine 123 has been linked to transcriptional activation and the regulation of lysine methylation on histone H3. However, how Rad6 and H2B ubiquitylation contribute to the transcription and histone methylation processes is poorly understood. Here, we show that the Paf1 transcription elongation complex and the E3 ligase for Rad6, Bre1, mediate an association of Rad6 with the hyperphosphorylated (elongating) form of RNA polymerase II (Pol II). This association appears to be necessary for the transcriptional activities of Rad6, as deletion of various Paf1 complex members or Bre1 abolishes H2B ubiquitylation (ubH2B) and reduces the recruitment of Rad6 to the promoters and transcribed regions of active genes. Using the inducible GAL1 gene as a model, we find that the recruitment of Rad6 upon activation occurs rapidly and transiently across the gene and coincides precisely with the appearance of Pol II. Significantly, during GAL1 activation in an rtf1 deletion mutant, Rad6 accumulates at the promoter but is absent from the transcribed region. This fact suggests that Rad6 is recruited to promoters independently of the Paf1 complex but then requires this complex for entrance into the coding region of genes in a Pol II-associated manner. In support of a role for Rad6-dependent H2B ubiquitylation in transcription elongation, we find that ubH2B levels are dramatically reduced in strains bearing mutations of the Pol II C-terminal domain (CTD) and abolished by inactivation of Kin28, the serine 5 CTD kinase that promotes the transition from initiation to elongation. Furthermore, synthetic genetic array analysis reveals that the Rad6 complex interacts genetically with a number of known or suspected transcription elongation factors. Finally, we show that Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants bearing defects in the pathway to H2B ubiquitylation display transcription elongation defects as assayed by 6-azauracil sensitivity. Collectively, our results indicate a role for Rad6 and H2B ubiquitylation during the elongation cycle of transcription and suggest a mechanism by which H3 methylation may be regulated.

H2B Ubiquitin Protease Ubp8 and Sgf11 Constitute a Discrete Functional Module Within the Saccharomyces Cerevisiae SAGA Complex

The SAGA complex is a multisubunit protein complex involved in transcriptional regulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. SAGA combines proteins involved in interactions with DNA-bound activators and TATA-binding protein (TBP), as well as enzymes for histone acetylation (Gcn5) and histone deubiquitylation (Ubp8). We recently showed that H2B ubiquitylation and Ubp8-mediated deubiquitylation are both required for transcriptional activation. For this study, we investigated the interaction of Ubp8 with SAGA. Using mutagenesis, we identified a putative zinc (Zn) binding domain within Ubp8 as being critical for the association with SAGA. The Zn binding domain is required for H2B deubiquitylation and for growth on media requiring Ubp8's function in gene activation. Furthermore, we identified an 11-kDa subunit of SAGA, Sgf11, and showed that it is required for the Ubp8 association with SAGA and for H2B deubiquitylation. Different approaches indicated that the functions of Ubp8 and Sgf11 are related and separable from those of other components of SAGA. In particular, the profiles of Ubp8 and Sgf11 deletions were remarkably similar in microarray analyses and synthetic genetic interactions and were distinct from those of the Spt3 and Spt8 subunits of SAGA, which are involved in TBP regulation. These data indicate that Ubp8 and Sgf11 likely represent a new functional module within SAGA that is involved in gene regulation through H2B deubiquitylation.

Interaction Network Containing Conserved and Essential Protein Complexes in Escherichia Coli

Proteins often function as components of multi-subunit complexes. Despite its long history as a model organism, no large-scale analysis of protein complexes in Escherichia coli has yet been reported. To this end, we have targeted DNA cassettes into the E. coli chromosome to create carboxy-terminal, affinity-tagged alleles of 1,000 open reading frames (approximately 23% of the genome). A total of 857 proteins, including 198 of the most highly conserved, soluble non-ribosomal proteins essential in at least one bacterial species, were tagged successfully, whereas 648 could be purified to homogeneity and their interacting protein partners identified by mass spectrometry. An interaction network of protein complexes involved in diverse biological processes was uncovered and validated by sequential rounds of tagging and purification. This network includes many new interactions as well as interactions predicted based solely on genomic inference or limited phenotypic data. This study provides insight into the function of previously uncharacterized bacterial proteins and the overall topology of a microbial interaction network, the core components of which are broadly conserved across Prokaryota.

The Shwachman-Bodian-Diamond Syndrome Protein Family is Involved in RNA Metabolism

A combination of structural, biochemical, and genetic studies in model organisms was used to infer a cellular role for the human protein (SBDS) responsible for Shwachman-Bodian-Diamond syndrome. The crystal structure of the SBDS homologue in Archaeoglobus fulgidus, AF0491, revealed a three domain protein. The N-terminal domain, which harbors the majority of disease-linked mutations, has a novel three-dimensional fold. The central domain has the common winged helix-turn-helix motif, and the C-terminal domain shares structural homology with known RNA-binding domains. Proteomic analysis of the SBDS sequence homologue in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, YLR022C, revealed an association with over 20 proteins involved in ribosome biosynthesis. NMR structural genomics revealed another yeast protein, YHR087W, to be a structural homologue of the AF0491 N-terminal domain. Sequence analysis confirmed them as distant sequence homologues, therefore related by divergent evolution. Synthetic genetic array analysis of YHR087W revealed genetic interactions with proteins involved in RNA and rRNA processing including Mdm20/Nat3, Nsr1, and Npl3. Our observations, taken together with previous reports, support the conclusion that SBDS and its homologues play a role in RNA metabolism.

Maintenance of Low Histone Ubiquitylation by Ubp10 Correlates with Telomere-proximal Sir2 Association and Gene Silencing

Low levels of histone covalent modifications are associated with gene silencing at telomeres and other regions in the yeast S. cerevisiae. Although the histone deacetylase Sir2 maintains low acetylation, mechanisms responsible for low H2B ubiquitylation and low H3 methylation are unknown. Here, we show that the ubiquitin protease Ubp10 targets H2B for deubiquitylation, helping to localize Sir2 to the telomere. Ubp10 exhibits reciprocal Sir2-dependent preferential localization proximal to telomeres, where Ubp10 serves to maintain low H2B Lys123 ubiquitylation in this region and, through previously characterized crosstalk, maintains low H3 Lys4 and Lys79 methylation in a slightly broader region. Ubp10 is also localized to the rDNA locus, a second silenced domain, where it similarly maintains low histone methylation. We compare Ubp10 to Ubp8, the SAGA-associated H2B deubiquitylase involved in gene activation, and show that telomeric and gene-silencing functions are specific to Ubp10. Our results suggest that these H2B-deubiquitylating enzymes have distinct genomic functions.

Interactions of the HIV-1 Tat and RAP74 Proteins with the RNA Polymerase II CTD Phosphatase FCP1

FCP1, a phosphatase specific for the carboxyl-terminal domain of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II, is regulated by the HIV-1 Tat protein, CK2, TFIIB, and the large subunit of TFIIF (RAP74). We have characterized the interactions of Tat and RAP74 with the BRCT-containing central domain of FCP1 (FCP1(562)(-)(738)). We demonstrated that FCP1 is required for Tat-mediated transactivation in vitro and that amino acids 562-685 of FCP1 are necessary for Tat interaction in yeast two-hybrid studies. From sequence alignments, we identified a conserved acidic/hydrophobic region in FCP1 adjacent to its highly conserved BRCT domain. In vitro binding studies with purified proteins indicate that HIV-1 Tat interacts with both the acidic/hydrophobic region and the BRCT domain of FCP1, whereas RAP74(436)(-)(517) interacts solely with a portion of the acidic/hydrophobic region containing a conserved LXXLL-like motif. HIV-1 Tat inhibits the binding of RAP74(436)(-)(517) to FCP1. In a companion paper (K. Abbott et al. (2005) Enhanced Binding of RNAPII CTD Phosphatase FCP1 to RAP74 Following CK2 Phosphorylation, Biochemistry 44, 2732-2745, we identified a novel CK2 site adjacent to this conserved LXXLL-like motif. Phosphorylation of FCP1(562)(-)(619) by CK2 at this site increases binding to RAP74(436)(-)(517), but this phosphorylation is inhibited by Tat. Our results provide insights into the mechanisms by which Tat inhibits the FCP1 CTD phosphatase activity and by which FCP1 mediates transcriptional activation by Tat. In addition to increasing our understanding of the role of HIV-1 Tat in transcriptional regulation, this study defines a clear role for regions adjacent to the BRCT domain in promoting important protein-protein interactions.

Navigating the Chaperone Network: an Integrative Map of Physical and Genetic Interactions Mediated by the Hsp90 Chaperone

Physical, genetic, and chemical-genetic interactions centered on the conserved chaperone Hsp90 were mapped at high resolution in yeast using systematic proteomic and genomic methods. Physical interactions were identified using genome-wide two hybrid screens combined with large-scale affinity purification of Hsp90-containing protein complexes. Genetic interactions were uncovered using synthetic genetic array technology and by a microarray-based chemical-genetic screen of a set of about 4700 viable yeast gene deletion mutants for hypersensitivity to the Hsp90 inhibitor geldanamycin. An extended network, consisting of 198 putative physical interactions and 451 putative genetic and chemical-genetic interactions, was found to connect Hsp90 to cofactors and substrates involved in a wide range of cellular functions. Two novel Hsp90 cofactors, Tah1 (YCR060W) and Pih1 (YHR034C), were also identified. These cofactors interact physically and functionally with the conserved AAA(+)-type DNA helicases Rvb1/Rvb2, which are key components of several chromatin remodeling factors, thereby linking Hsp90 to epigenetic gene regulation.

The Highly Conserved Glutamic Acid 791 of Rpb2 is Involved in the Binding of NTP and Mg(B) in the Active Center of Human RNA Polymerase II

During transcription by RNA polymerase (RNAP) II, the incoming ribonucleoside triphosphate (NTP) enters the catalytic center in association with an Mg2+ ion, termed metal B [Mg(B)]. When bound to RNAP II, Mg(B) is coordinated by the beta and gamma phosphates of the NTP, Rpb1 residues D481 and D483 and Rpb2 residue D837. Rpb2 residue D837 is highly conserved across species. Notably, its neighboring residue, E836 (E791 in human RNAP II), is also highly conserved. To probe the role of E791 in transcription, we have affinity purified and characterized a human RNAP II mutant in which this residue was substituted for alanine. Our results indicate that the transcription activity of the Rpb2 E791A mutant is impaired at low NTP concentrations both in vitro and in vivo. They also revealed that both its NTP polymerization and transcript cleavage activities are decreased at low Mg concentrations. Because Rpb2 residue E791 appears to be located too far from the NTP-Mg(B) complex to make direct contact at either the entry (E) or addition (A) site, we propose alternative mechanisms by which this highly conserved residue participates in loading NTP-Mg(B) in the active site during transcription.

Esf2p, a U3-associated Factor Required for Small-subunit Processome Assembly and Compaction

Esf2p is the Saccharomyces cerevisiae homolog of mouse ABT1, a protein previously identified as a putative partner of the TATA-element binding protein. However, large-scale studies have indicated that Esf2p is primarily localized to the nucleolus and that it physically associates with pre-rRNA processing factors. Here, we show that Esf2p-depleted cells are defective for pre-rRNA processing at the early nucleolar cleavage sites A0 through A2 and consequently are inhibited for 18S rRNA synthesis. Esf2p was stably associated with the 5' external transcribed spacer (ETS) and the box C+D snoRNA U3, as well as additional box C+D snoRNAs and proteins enriched within the small-subunit (SSU) processome/90S preribosomes. Esf2p colocalized on glycerol gradients with 90S preribosomes and slower migrating particles containing 5' ETS fragments. Strikingly, upon Esf2p depletion, chromatin spreads revealed that SSU processome assembly and compaction are inhibited and glycerol gradient analysis showed that U3 remains associated within 90S preribosomes. This suggests that in the absence of proper SSU processome assembly, early pre-rRNA processing is inhibited and U3 is not properly released from the 35S pre-rRNAs. The identification of ABT1 in a large-scale analysis of the human nucleolar proteome indicates that its role may also be conserved in mammals.

BUR Kinase Selectively Regulates H3 K4 Trimethylation and H2B Ubiquitylation Through Recruitment of the PAF Elongation Complex

Histone-lysine methylation is linked to transcriptional regulation and the control of epigenetic inheritance. Lysine residues can be mono-, di-, or trimethylated, and it has been suggested that each methylation state of a given lysine may impart a unique biological function. In yeast, histone H3 lysine 4 (K4) is mono-, di-, and trimethylated by the Set1 histone methyltransferase. Previous studies show that Set1 associates with RNA polymerase II and demarcates transcriptionally active genes with K4 trimethylation. To determine whether K4 trimethylation might be selectively regulated, we screened a library of yeast deletion mutants associated with transcriptional regulation and chromatin function. We identified BUR2, a cyclin for the Bur1/2 (BUR) cyclin-dependent protein kinase, as a specific regulator of K4 trimethylation. Surprisingly, BUR also regulated H2B monoubiquitylation, whereas other K4 methylation states and H3 lysine 79 (K79) methylation were unaffected. Synthetic genetic array (SGA) and transcription microarray analyses of a BUR2 mutant revealed that BUR is functionally similar to the PAF, Rad6, and Set1 complexes. These data suggest that BUR acts upstream of these factors to control their function. In support, we show that recruitment of the PAF elongation complex to genes is significantly impaired in a BUR2 deletion. Our data reveal a novel function for the BUR kinase in transcriptional regulation through the selective control of histone modifications.

Identification and Characterization of Elf1, a Conserved Transcription Elongation Factor in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

In order to identify previously unknown transcription elongation factors, a genetic screen was carried out to identify mutations that cause lethality when combined with mutations in the genes encoding the elongation factors TFIIS and Spt6. This screen identified a mutation in YKL160W, hereafter named ELF1 (elongation factor 1). Further analysis identified synthetic lethality between an elf1Delta mutation and mutations in genes encoding several known elongation factors, including Spt4, Spt5, Spt6, and members of the Paf1 complex. Genome-wide synthetic lethality studies confirmed that elf1Delta specifically interacts with mutations in genes affecting transcription elongation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments show that Elf1 is cotranscriptionally recruited over actively transcribed regions and that this association is partially dependent on Spt4 and Spt6. Analysis of elf1Delta mutants suggests a role for this factor in maintaining proper chromatin structure in regions of active transcription. Finally, purification of Elf1 suggests an association with casein kinase II, previously implicated in roles in transcription. Together, these results suggest an important role for Elf1 in the regulation of transcription elongation.

Exploration of the Function and Organization of the Yeast Early Secretory Pathway Through an Epistatic Miniarray Profile

We present a strategy for generating and analyzing comprehensive genetic-interaction maps, termed E-MAPs (epistatic miniarray profiles), comprising quantitative measures of aggravating or alleviating interactions between gene pairs. Crucial to the interpretation of E-MAPs is their high-density nature made possible by focusing on logically connected gene subsets and including essential genes. Described here is the analysis of an E-MAP of genes acting in the yeast early secretory pathway. Hierarchical clustering, together with novel analytical strategies and experimental verification, revealed or clarified the role of many proteins involved in extensively studied processes such as sphingolipid metabolism and retention of HDEL proteins. At a broader level, analysis of the E-MAP delineated pathway organization and components of physical complexes and illustrated the interconnection between the various secretory processes. Extension of this strategy to other logically connected gene subsets in yeast and higher eukaryotes should provide critical insights into the functional/organizational principles of biological systems.

Cotranscriptional Set2 Methylation of Histone H3 Lysine 36 Recruits a Repressive Rpd3 Complex

The yeast histone deacetylase Rpd3 can be recruited to promoters to repress transcription initiation. Biochemical, genetic, and gene-expression analyses show that Rpd3 exists in two distinct complexes. The smaller complex, Rpd3C(S), shares Sin3 and Ume1 with Rpd3C(L) but contains the unique subunits Rco1 and Eaf3. Rpd3C(S) mutants exhibit phenotypes remarkably similar to those of Set2, a histone methyltransferase associated with elongating RNA polymerase II. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and biochemical experiments indicate that the chromodomain of Eaf3 recruits Rpd3C(S) to nucleosomes methylated by Set2 on histone H3 lysine 36, leading to deacetylation of transcribed regions. This pathway apparently acts to negatively regulate transcription because deleting the genes for Set2 or Rpd3C(S) bypasses the requirement for the positive elongation factor Bur1/Bur2.

A Phosphatase Complex That Dephosphorylates GammaH2AX Regulates DNA Damage Checkpoint Recovery

One of the earliest marks of a double-strand break (DSB) in eukaryotes is serine phosphorylation of the histone variant H2AX at the carboxy-terminal SQE motif to create gammaH2AX-containing nucleosomes. Budding-yeast histone H2A is phosphorylated in a similar manner by the checkpoint kinases Tel1 and Mec1 (ref. 2; orthologous to mammalian ATM and ATR, respectively) over a 50-kilobase region surrounding the DSB. This modification is important for recruiting numerous DSB-recognition and repair factors to the break site, including DNA damage checkpoint proteins, chromatin remodellers and cohesins. Multiple mechanisms for eliminating gammaH2AX as DNA repair completes are possible, including removal by histone exchange followed potentially by degradation, or, alternatively, dephosphorylation. Here we describe a three-protein complex (HTP-C, for histone H2A phosphatase complex) containing the phosphatase Pph3 that regulates the phosphorylation status of gammaH2AX in vivo and efficiently dephosphorylates gammaH2AX in vitro. gammaH2AX is lost from chromatin surrounding a DSB independently of the HTP-C, indicating that the phosphatase targets gammaH2AX after its displacement from DNA. The dephosphorylation of gammaH2AX by the HTP-C is necessary for efficient recovery from the DNA damage checkpoint.

Formation of a Distinctive Complex Between the Inducible Bacterial Lysine Decarboxylase and a Novel AAA+ ATPase

AAA+ ATPases are ubiquitous proteins that employ the energy obtained from ATP hydrolysis to remodel proteins, DNA, or RNA. The MoxR family of AAA+ proteins is widespread throughout bacteria and archaea but is largely uncharacterized. Limited work with specific members has suggested a potential role as molecular chaperones involved in the assembly of protein complexes. As part of an effort aimed at determining the function of novel AAA+ chaperones in Escherichia coli, we report the characterization of a representative member of the MoxR family, YieN, which we have renamed RavA (regulatory ATPase variant A). We show that the ravA gene exists on an operon with another gene encoding a protein, YieM, of unknown function containing a Von Willebrand Factor Type A domain. RavA expression is under the control of the sigmaS transcription factor, and its levels increase toward late log/early stationary phase, consistent with its possible role as a general stress-response protein. RavA functions as an ATPase and forms hexameric oligomers. Importantly, we demonstrate that RavA interacts strongly with inducible lysine decarboxylase (LdcI or CadA) forming a large cage-like structure consisting of two LdcI decamers linked by a maximum of five RavA oligomers. Surprisingly, the activity of LdcI does not appear to be affected by binding to RavA in a number of in vitro and in vivo assays, however, complex formation results in the stimulation of RavA ATPase activity. Data obtained suggest that the RavA-LdcI interaction may be important for the regulation of RavA activity against its targets.

Interactions of the Escherichia Coli Hydrogenase Biosynthetic Proteins: HybG Complex Formation

Assembly of the active site of the [NiFe]-hydrogenase enzymes involves a multi-step pathway and the coordinated activity of many accessory proteins. To analyze complex formation between these factors in Escherichia coli, they were genomically tagged and native multi-protein complexes were isolated. This method validated multiple interactions reported in separate studies from several organisms and defined a new complex containing the putative chaperone HybG and the large subunit of hydrogenase 1 or 2. The complex also includes HypE and HypD, which interact with each other before joining the larger complex.

The Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Histone H2A Variant Htz1 is Acetylated by NuA4

The histone H2A variant H2A.Z (Saccharomyces cerevisiae Htz1) plays roles in transcription, DNA repair, chromosome stability, and limiting telomeric silencing. The Swr1-Complex (SWR-C) inserts Htz1 into chromatin and shares several subunits with the NuA4 histone acetyltransferase. Furthermore, mutants of these two complexes share several phenotypes, suggesting they may work together. Here we show that NuA4 acetylates Htz1 Lys 14 (K14) after the histone is assembled into chromatin by the SWR-C. K14 mutants exhibit specific defects in chromosome transmission without affecting transcription, telomeric silencing, or DNA repair. Function-specific modifications may help explain how the same component of chromatin can function in diverse pathways.

Global Landscape of Protein Complexes in the Yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Identification of protein-protein interactions often provides insight into protein function, and many cellular processes are performed by stable protein complexes. We used tandem affinity purification to process 4,562 different tagged proteins of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Each preparation was analysed by both matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry to increase coverage and accuracy. Machine learning was used to integrate the mass spectrometry scores and assign probabilities to the protein-protein interactions. Among 4,087 different proteins identified with high confidence by mass spectrometry from 2,357 successful purifications, our core data set (median precision of 0.69) comprises 7,123 protein-protein interactions involving 2,708 proteins. A Markov clustering algorithm organized these interactions into 547 protein complexes averaging 4.9 subunits per complex, about half of them absent from the MIPS database, as well as 429 additional interactions between pairs of complexes. The data (all of which are available online) will help future studies on individual proteins as well as functional genomics and systems biology.

A Genome-wide Screen Identifies the Evolutionarily Conserved KEOPS Complex As a Telomere Regulator

Telomere capping is the essential function of telomeres. To identify new genes involved in telomere capping, we carried out a genome-wide screen in Saccharomyces cerevisiae for suppressors of cdc13-1, an allele of the telomere-capping protein Cdc13. We report the identification of five novel suppressors, including the previously uncharacterized gene YML036W, which we name CGI121. Cgi121 is part of a conserved protein complex -- the KEOPS complex -- containing the protein kinase Bud32, the putative peptidase Kae1, and the uncharacterized protein Gon7. Deletion of CGI121 suppresses cdc13-1 via the dramatic reduction in ssDNA levels that accumulate in cdc13-1 cgi121 mutants. Deletion of BUD32 or other KEOPS components leads to short telomeres and a failure to add telomeres de novo to DNA double-strand breaks. Our results therefore indicate that the KEOPS complex promotes both telomere uncapping and telomere elongation.

Systems-level Analyses Identify Extensive Coupling Among Gene Expression Machines

Here, we develop computational methods to assess and consolidate large, diverse protein interaction data sets, with the objective of identifying proteins involved in the coupling of multicomponent complexes within the yeast gene expression pathway. From among approximately 43 000 total interactions and 2100 proteins, our methods identify known structural complexes, such as the spliceosome and SAGA, and functional modules, such as the DEAD-box helicases, within the interaction network of proteins involved in gene expression. Our process identifies and ranks instances of three distinct, biologically motivated motifs, or patterns of coupling among distinct machineries involved in different subprocesses of gene expression. Our results confirm known coupling among transcription, RNA processing, and export, and predict further coupling with translation and nonsense-mediated decay. We systematically corroborate our analysis with two independent, comprehensive experimental data sets. The methods presented here may be generalized to other biological processes and organisms to generate principled, systems-level network models that provide experimentally testable hypotheses for coupling among biological machines.

PIPE: a Protein-protein Interaction Prediction Engine Based on the Re-occurring Short Polypeptide Sequences Between Known Interacting Protein Pairs

Identification of protein interaction networks has received considerable attention in the post-genomic era. The currently available biochemical approaches used to detect protein-protein interactions are all time and labour intensive. Consequently there is a growing need for the development of computational tools that are capable of effectively identifying such interactions.

Investigating the in Vivo Activity of the DeaD Protein Using Protein-protein Interactions and the Translational Activity of Structured Chloramphenicol Acetyltransferase MRNAs

Here, we report the use of an in vivo protein-protein interaction detection approach together with focused follow-up experiments to study the function of the DeaD protein in Escherichia coli. In this method, functions are assigned to proteins based on the interactions they make with others in the living cell. The assigned functions are further confirmed using follow-up experiments. The DeaD protein has been characterized in vitro as a putative prokaryotic factor required for the formation of translation initiation complexes on structured mRNAs. Although the RNA helicase activity of DeaD has been demonstrated in vitro, its in vivo activity remains controversial. Here, using a method called sequential peptide affinity (SPA) tagging, we show that DeaD interacts with certain ribosomal proteins as well as a series of other nucleic acid binding proteins. Focused follow-up experiments provide evidence for the mRNA helicase activity of the DeaD protein complex during translation initiation. DeaD overexpression compensates for the reduction of the translation activity caused by a structure placed at the initiation region of a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene (cat) used as a reporter. Deletion of the deaD gene, encoding DeaD, abolishes the translation activity of the mRNA with an inhibitory structure at its initiation region. Increasing the growth temperature disrupts RNA secondary structures and bypasses the DeaD requirement. These observations suggest that DeaD is involved in destabilizing mRNA structures during translation initiation. This study also provides further confirmation that large-scale protein-protein interaction data can be suitable to study protein functions in E. coli.

The RNA Polymerase II Kinase Ctk1 Regulates Positioning of a 5' Histone Methylation Boundary Along Genes

In yeast and other eukaryotes, the histone methyltransferase Set1 mediates methylation of lysine 4 on histone H3 (H3K4me). This modification marks the 5' end of transcribed genes in a 5'-to-3' tri- to di- to monomethyl gradient and promotes association of chromatin-remodeling and histone-modifying enzymes. Here we show that Ctk1, the serine 2 C-terminal domain (CTD) kinase for RNA polymerase II (RNAP II), regulates H3K4 methylation. We found that CTK1 deletion nearly abolished H3K4 monomethylation yet caused a significant increase in H3K4 di- and trimethylation. Both in individual genes and genome-wide, loss of CTK1 disrupted the H3K4 methylation patterns normally observed. H3K4me2 and H3K4me3 spread 3' into the bodies of genes, while H3K4 monomethylation was diminished. These effects were dependent on the catalytic activity of Ctk1 but are independent of Set2-mediated H3K36 methylation. Furthermore, these effects are not due to spurious transcription initiation in the bodies of genes, to changes in RNAP II occupancy, to changes in serine 5 CTD phosphorylation patterns, or to "transcriptional stress." These data show that Ctk1 acts to restrict the spread of H3K4 methylation through a mechanism that is independent of a general transcription defect. The evidence presented suggests that Ctk1 controls the maintenance of suppressive chromatin in the coding regions of genes by both promoting H3K36 methylation, which leads to histone deacetylation, and preventing the 3' spread of H3K4 trimethylation, a mark associated with transcriptional initiation.

Toward a Comprehensive Atlas of the Physical Interactome of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Defining protein complexes is critical to virtually all aspects of cell biology. Two recent affinity purification/mass spectrometry studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have vastly increased the available protein interaction data. The practical utility of such high throughput interaction sets, however, is substantially decreased by the presence of false positives. Here we created a novel probabilistic metric that takes advantage of the high density of these data, including both the presence and absence of individual associations, to provide a measure of the relative confidence of each potential protein-protein interaction. This analysis largely overcomes the noise inherent in high throughput immunoprecipitation experiments. For example, of the 12,122 binary interactions in the general repository of interaction data (BioGRID) derived from these two studies, we marked 7504 as being of substantially lower confidence. Additionally, applying our metric and a stringent cutoff we identified a set of 9074 interactions (including 4456 that were not among the 12,122 interactions) with accuracy comparable to that of conventional small scale methodologies. Finally we organized proteins into coherent multisubunit complexes using hierarchical clustering. This work thus provides a highly accurate physical interaction map of yeast in a format that is readily accessible to the biological community.

Functional Dissection of Protein Complexes Involved in Yeast Chromosome Biology Using a Genetic Interaction Map

Defining the functional relationships between proteins is critical for understanding virtually all aspects of cell biology. Large-scale identification of protein complexes has provided one important step towards this goal; however, even knowledge of the stoichiometry, affinity and lifetime of every protein-protein interaction would not reveal the functional relationships between and within such complexes. Genetic interactions can provide functional information that is largely invisible to protein-protein interaction data sets. Here we present an epistatic miniarray profile (E-MAP) consisting of quantitative pairwise measurements of the genetic interactions between 743 Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes involved in various aspects of chromosome biology (including DNA replication/repair, chromatid segregation and transcriptional regulation). This E-MAP reveals that physical interactions fall into two well-represented classes distinguished by whether or not the individual proteins act coherently to carry out a common function. Thus, genetic interaction data make it possible to dissect functionally multi-protein complexes, including Mediator, and to organize distinct protein complexes into pathways. In one pathway defined here, we show that Rtt109 is the founding member of a novel class of histone acetyltransferases responsible for Asf1-dependent acetylation of histone H3 on lysine 56. This modification, in turn, enables a ubiquitin ligase complex containing the cullin Rtt101 to ensure genomic integrity during DNA replication.

Identifying Functional Modules in the Physical Interactome of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Reliable information on the physical and functional interactions between the gene products is an important prerequisite for deriving meaningful system-level descriptions of cellular processes. The available information about protein interactions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been vastly increased recently by two comprehensive tandem affinity purification/mass spectrometry (TAP/MS) studies. However, using somewhat different approaches, these studies produced diverging descriptions of the yeast interactome, clearly illustrating the fact that converting the purification data into accurate sets of protein-protein interactions and complexes remains a major challenge. Here, we review the major analytical steps involved in this process, with special focus on the task of deriving complexes from the network of binary interactions. Applying the Markov Cluster procedure to an alternative yeast interaction network, recently derived by combining the data from the two latest TAP/MS studies, we produce a new description of yeast protein complexes. Several objective criteria suggest that this new description is more accurate and meaningful than those previously published. The same criteria are also used to gauge the influence that different methods for deriving binary interactions and complexes may have on the results. Lastly, it is shown that employing identical procedures to process the latest purification datasets significantly improves the convergence between the resulting interactome descriptions.

Systematic Analysis of the Protein Interaction Network for the Human Transcription Machinery Reveals the Identity of the 7SK Capping Enzyme

We have performed a survey of soluble human protein complexes containing components of the transcription and RNA processing machineries using protein affinity purification coupled to mass spectrometry. Thirty-two tagged polypeptides yielded a network of 805 high-confidence interactions. Remarkably, the network is significantly enriched in proteins that regulate the formation of protein complexes, including a number of previously uncharacterized proteins for which we have inferred functions. The RNA polymerase II (RNAP II)-associated proteins (RPAPs) are physically and functionally associated with RNAP II, forming an interface between the enzyme and chaperone/scaffolding proteins. BCDIN3 is the 7SK snRNA methylphosphate capping enzyme (MePCE) present in an snRNP complex containing both RNA processing and transcription factors, including the elongation factor P-TEFb. Our results define a high-density protein interaction network for the mammalian transcription machinery and uncover multiple regulatory factors that target the transcription machinery.

The Minimum Information Required for Reporting a Molecular Interaction Experiment (MIMIx)

A wealth of molecular interaction data is available in the literature, ranging from large-scale datasets to a single interaction confirmed by several different techniques. These data are all too often reported either as free text or in tables of variable format, and are often missing key pieces of information essential for a full understanding of the experiment. Here we propose MIMIx, the minimum information required for reporting a molecular interaction experiment. Adherence to these reporting guidelines will result in publications of increased clarity and usefulness to the scientific community and will support the rapid, systematic capture of molecular interaction data in public databases, thereby improving access to valuable interaction data.

Association with the Origin Recognition Complex Suggests a Novel Role for Histone Acetyltransferase Hat1p/Hat2p

Histone modifications have been implicated in the regulation of transcription and, more recently, in DNA replication and repair. In yeast, a major conserved histone acetyltransferase, Hat1p, preferentially acetylates lysine residues 5 and 12 on histone H4.

Examining Protein Protein Interactions Using Endogenously Tagged Yeast Arrays: the Cross-and-capture System

Comprehensive approaches to detect protein-protein interactions (PPIs) have been most successful in the yeast model system. Here we present "Cross-and-Capture," a novel assay for rapid, sensitive assessment of PPIs via pulldown of differently tagged yeast strain arrays. About 500 yeast genes that function in DNA replication, repair, and recombination and nuclear proteins of unknown function were chromosomally tagged with six histidine residues or triple VSV epitopes. We demonstrate that the assay can interrogate a wide range of previously known protein complexes with increased resolution and sensitivity. Furthermore, we use "Cross-and-Capture" to identify two novel protein complexes: Rtt101p-Mms1p and Sae2p-Mre11p. The Rtt101p-Mms1p interaction was subsequently characterized by genetic and functional analyses. Our studies establish the "Cross-and-Capture" assay as a novel, versatile tool that provides a valuable complement for the next generation of yeast proteomic studies.

Genomic Location of the Human RNA Polymerase II General Machinery: Evidence for a Role of TFIIF and Rpb7 at Both Early and Late Stages of Transcription

The functions ascribed to the mammalian GTFs (general transcription factors) during the various stages of the RNAPII (RNA polymerase II) transcription reaction are based largely on in vitro studies. To gain insight as to the functions of the GTFs in living cells, we have analysed the genomic location of several human GTF and RNAPII subunits carrying a TAP (tandem-affinity purification) tag. ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation) experiments using anti-tag beads (TAP-ChIP) allowed the systematic localization of the tagged factors. Enrichment of regions located close to the TIS (transcriptional initiation site) versus further downstream TRs (transcribed regions) of nine human genes, selected for the minimal divergence of their alternative TIS, were analysed by QPCR (quantitative PCR). We show that, in contrast with reports using the yeast system, human TFIIF (transcription factor IIF) associates both with regions proximal to the TIS and with further downstream TRs, indicating an in vivo function in elongation for this GTF. Unexpectedly, we found that the Rpb7 subunit of RNAPII, known to be required only for the initiation phase of transcription, remains associated with the polymerase during early elongation. Moreover, ChIP experiments conducted under stress conditions suggest that Rpb7 is involved in the stabilization of transcribing polymerase molecules, from initiation to late elongation stages. Together, our results provide for the first time a general picture of GTF function during the RNAPII transcription reaction in live mammalian cells and show that TFIIF and Rpb7 are involved in both early and late transcriptional stages.

Interacting Proteins Rtt109 and Vps75 Affect the Efficiency of Non-homologous End-joining in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

One of the key pathways for DNA double-stranded break (DSB) repair is the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway, which directly re-ligates two broken ends of DNA. Using a plasmid repair assay screen, we identified that the deletion strain for RTT109 had a reduced efficiency for NHEJ in yeast. This deletion strain also had a reduced efficiency to repair induced chromosomal DSBs in vivo. Tandem-affinity purification of Rtt109 recovered Vps75 as a physical interacting protein. Deletion of VPS75 was also shown to have an effect on the efficiency of NHEJ in both the plasmid repair and the chromosomal repair assays. In addition, deletion mutants for both RTT109 and VPS75 showed hypersensitivity to different DNA damaging agents. Our genetic interaction analysis supports a role for RTT109 in DNA damage repair. We propose that one function of the Rtt109-Vps75 interacting protein pair is to affect the efficiency of NHEJ in yeast. Vps75 but not Rtt109 also seem to have an effect on the efficiency of DSB repair using homologous recombination.

Pax7 Activates Myogenic Genes by Recruitment of a Histone Methyltransferase Complex

Satellite cells purified from adult skeletal muscle can participate extensively in muscle regeneration and can also re-populate the satellite cell pool, suggesting that they have direct therapeutic potential for treating degenerative muscle diseases. The paired-box transcription factor Pax7 is required for satellite cells to generate committed myogenic progenitors. In this study we undertook a multi-level approach to define the role of Pax7 in satellite cell function. Using comparative microarray analysis, we identified several novel and strongly regulated targets; in particular, we identified Myf5 as a gene whose expression was regulated by Pax7. Using siRNA, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) studies we confirmed that Myf5 is directly regulated by Pax7 in myoblasts derived from satellite cells. Tandem affinity purification (TAP) and mass spectrometry were used to purify Pax7 together with its co-factors. This revealed that Pax7 associates with the Wdr5-Ash2L-MLL2 histone methyltransferase (HMT) complex that directs methylation of histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4, refs 4-10). Binding of the Pax7-HMT complex to Myf5 resulted in H3K4 tri-methylation of surrounding chromatin. Thus, Pax7 induces chromatin modifications that stimulate transcriptional activation of target genes to regulate entry into the myogenic developmental programme.

The Glc7 Phosphatase Subunit of the Cleavage and Polyadenylation Factor is Essential for Transcription Termination on SnoRNA Genes

Glc7, the yeast protein phosphatase 1, is a component of the cleavage and polyadenylation factor (CPF). Here we show that downregulation of Glc7, or its dissociation from CPF in the absence of CPF subunits Ref2 or Swd2, results in similar snoRNA termination defects. Overexpressing a C-terminal fragment of Sen1, a superfamily I helicase required for snoRNA termination, suppresses the growth and termination defects associated with loss of Swd2 or Ref2, but not Glc7. Suppression by Sen1 requires nuclear localization and direct interaction with Glc7, which can dephosphorylate Sen1 in vitro. The suppressing fragment, and in a similar manner full-length Sen1, copurifies with the snoRNA termination factors Nrd1 and Nab3, suggesting loss of Glc7 from CPF can be compensated by recruiting Glc7 to Nrd1-Nab3 through Sen1. Swd2 is also a subunit of the Set1c histone H3K4 methyltransferase complex and is required for its stability and optimal methyltransferase activity.

Transcription Termination: Pulling out All the Stops

In this issue, Larson et al. (2008) describe the use of optical traps to pull on the DNA template or RNA transcript and thereby explore the termination mechanism for E. coli RNA polymerase at intrinsic terminators. Their results imply that, depending on the nature of the terminator sequence, RNA polymerase uses either hypertranslocation or RNA:DNA shearing to destabilize the hybrid in the transcription bubble.

Chaperone Control of the Activity and Specificity of the Histone H3 Acetyltransferase Rtt109

Acetylation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae histone H3 on K56 by the histone acetyltransferase (HAT) Rtt109 is important for repairing replication-associated lesions. Rtt109 purifies from yeast in complex with the histone chaperone Vps75, which stabilizes the HAT in vivo. A whole-genome screen to identify genes whose deletions have synthetic genetic interactions with rtt109Delta suggests Rtt109 has functions in addition to DNA repair. We show that in addition to its known H3-K56 acetylation activity, Rtt109 is also an H3-K9 HAT, and we show that Rtt109 and Gcn5 are the only H3-K9 HATs in vivo. Rtt109's H3-K9 acetylation activity in vitro is enhanced strongly by Vps75. Another histone chaperone, Asf1, and Vps75 are both required for acetylation of lysine 9 on H3 (H3-K9ac) in vivo by Rtt109, whereas H3-K56ac in vivo requires only Asf1. Asf1 also physically interacts with the nuclear Hat1/Hat2/Hif1 complex that acetylates H4-K5 and H4-K12. We suggest Asf1 is capable of assembling into chromatin H3-H4 dimers diacetylated on both H4-K5/12 and H3-K9/56.

A Histone Code for Chromatin Assembly

In this issue, two papers implicate histone H3 lysine 56 acetylation in histone deposition in chromatin. Li et al. (2008) show that acetylation of H3K56 promotes S phase chromatin assembly that is mediated by the histone chaperones CAF-1 and Rtt106. Chen et al. (2008) establish that the acetylation mark promotes chromatin reassembly following DNA double-strand break repair.

ESGA: E. Coli Synthetic Genetic Array Analysis

Physical and functional interactions define the molecular organization of the cell. Genetic interactions, or epistasis, tend to occur between gene products involved in parallel pathways or interlinked biological processes. High-throughput experimental systems to examine genetic interactions on a genome-wide scale have been devised for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, but have not been reported previously for prokaryotes. Here we describe the development of a quantitative screening procedure for monitoring bacterial genetic interactions based on conjugation of Escherichia coli deletion or hypomorphic strains to create double mutants on a genome-wide scale. The patterns of synthetic sickness and synthetic lethality (aggravating genetic interactions) we observed for certain double mutant combinations provided information about functional relationships and redundancy between pathways and enabled us to group bacterial gene products into functional modules.

Biosynthesis of the Respiratory Formate Dehydrogenases from Escherichia Coli: Characterization of the FdhE Protein

Escherichia coli can perform two modes of formate metabolism. Under respiratory conditions, two periplasmically-located formate dehydrogenase isoenzymes couple formate oxidation to the generation of a transmembrane electrochemical gradient; and under fermentative conditions a third cytoplasmic isoenzyme is involved in the disproportionation of formate to CO(2) and H(2). The respiratory formate dehydrogenases are redox enzymes that comprise three subunits: a molybdenum cofactor- and FeS cluster-containing catalytic subunit; an electron-transferring ferredoxin; and a membrane-integral cytochrome b. The catalytic subunit and its ferredoxin partner are targeted to the periplasm as a complex by the twin-arginine transport (Tat) pathway. Biosynthesis of these enzymes is under control of an accessory protein termed FdhE. In this study, it is shown that E. coli FdhE interacts with the catalytic subunits of the respiratory formate dehydrogenases. Purification of recombinant FdhE demonstrates the protein is an iron-binding rubredoxin that can adopt monomeric and homodimeric forms. Bacterial two-hybrid analysis suggests the homodimer form of FdhE is stabilized by anaerobiosis. Site-directed mutagenesis shows that conserved cysteine motifs are essential for the physiological activity of the FdhE protein and are also involved in iron ligation.

Local Coherence in Genetic Interaction Patterns Reveals Prevalent Functional Versatility

MOTIVATION: Epistatic or genetic interactions, representing the effects of mutating one gene on the phenotypes caused by mutations in one or more distinct genes, can be very helpful for uncovering functional relationships between genes. Recently, the epistatic miniarray profiles (E-MAP) method has emerged as a powerful approach for identifying such interactions systematically. For E-MAP data analysis, hierarchical clustering is used to partition genes into groups on the basis of the similarity between their global interaction profiles, and the resulting descriptions assign each gene to only one group, thereby ignoring the multifunctional roles played by most genes. RESULTS: Here, we present the original local coherence detection (LCD) algorithm for identifying groups of functionally related genes from E-MAP data in a manner that allows individual genes to be assigned to more than one functional group. This enables investigation of the pleiotropic nature of gene function. The performance of our algorithm is illustrated by applying it to two E-MAP datasets and an E-MAP-like in silico dataset for the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In addition to recapitulating the majority of the functional modules and many protein complexes reported previously, our algorithm uncovers many recently documented and novel multifunctional relationships between genes and gene groups. Our algorithm hence represents a valuable tool for uncovering new roles for genes with annotated functions and for mapping groups of genes and proteins into pathways.

Interaction of the Deubiquitinating Enzyme Ubp2 and the E3 Ligase Rsp5 is Required for Transporter/receptor Sorting in the Multivesicular Body Pathway

Protein ubiquitination is essential for many events linked to intracellular protein trafficking. We sought to elucidate the possible involvement of the S. cerevisiae deubiquitinating enzyme Ubp2 in transporter and receptor trafficking after we (this study) and others established that affinity purified Ubp2 interacts stably with the E3 ubiquitin ligase Rsp5 and the (ubiquitin associated) UBA domain containing protein Rup1. UBP2 interacts genetically with RSP5, while Rup1 facilitates the tethering of Ubp2 to Rsp5 via a PPPSY motif. Using the uracil permease Fur4 as a model reporter system, we establish a role for Ubp2 in membrane protein turnover. Similar to hypomorphic rsp5 alleles, cells deleted for UBP2 exhibited a temporal stabilization of Fur4 at the plasma membrane, indicative of perturbed protein trafficking. This defect was ubiquitin dependent, as a Fur4 N-terminal ubiquitin fusion construct bypassed the block and restored sorting in the mutant. Moreover, the defect was absent in conditions where recycling was absent, implicating Ubp2 in sorting at the multivesicular body. Taken together, our data suggest a previously overlooked role for Ubp2 as a positive regulator of Rsp5-mediated membrane protein trafficking subsequent to endocytosis.

Stable Complex Formation Between HIV Rev and the Nucleosome Assembly Protein, NAP1, Affects Rev Function

The Rev protein of HIV-1 is essential for HIV-1 proliferation due to its role in exporting viral RNA from the nucleus. We used a modified version of tandem affinity purification (TAP) tagging to identify proteins interacting with HIV-1 Rev in human cells and discovered a prominent interaction between Rev and nucleosome assembly protein 1 (Nap1). This interaction was also observed by specific retention of Nap1 from human cell lysates on a Rev affinity column. Nap1 was found to bind Rev through the Rev arginine-rich domain and altered the oligomerization state of Rev in vitro. Overexpression of Nap1 stimulated the ability of Rev to export RNA, reduced the nucleolar localization of Rev, and affected Rev nuclear import rates. The results suggest that Nap-1 may influence Rev function by increasing the availability of Rev.

Control of Transcriptional Elongation and Cotranscriptional Histone Modification by the Yeast BUR Kinase Substrate Spt5

Elongation by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) is a finely regulated process in which many elongation factors contribute to gene regulation. Among these factors are the polymerase-associated factor (PAF) complex, which associates with RNAPII, and several cyclin-dependent kinases, including positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) in humans and BUR kinase (Bur1-Bur2) and C-terminal domain (CTD) kinase 1 (CTDK1) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. An important target of P-TEFb and CTDK1, but not BUR kinase, is the CTD of the Rpb1 subunit of RNAPII. Although the essential BUR kinase phosphorylates Rad6, which is required for histone H2B ubiquitination on K123, Rad6 is not essential, leaving a critical substrate(s) of BUR kinase unidentified. Here we show that BUR kinase is important for the phosphorylation in vivo of Spt5, a subunit of the essential yeast RNAPII elongation factor Spt4/Spt5, whose human orthologue is DRB sensitivity-inducing factor. BUR kinase can also phosphorylate the C-terminal region (CTR) of Spt5 in vitro. Like BUR kinase, the Spt5 CTR is important for promoting elongation by RNAPII and recruiting the PAF complex to transcribed regions. Also like BUR kinase and the PAF complex, the Spt5 CTR is important for histone H2B K123 monoubiquitination and histone H3 K4 and K36 trimethylation during transcription elongation. Our results suggest that the Spt5 CTR, which contains 15 repeats of a hexapeptide whose consensus sequence is S[T/A]WGG[A/Q], is a substrate of BUR kinase and a platform for the association of proteins that promote both transcription elongation and histone modification in transcribed regions.

Conserved Network of Proteins Essential for Bacterial Viability

The yjeE, yeaZ, and ygjD genes are highly conserved in the genomes of eubacteria, and ygjD orthologs are also found throughout the Archaea and eukaryotes. In this study, we have constructed conditional expression strains for each of these genes in the model organism Escherichia coli K12. We show that each gene is essential for the viability of E. coli under laboratory growth conditions. Growth of the conditional strains under nonpermissive conditions results in dramatic changes in cell ultrastructure. Deliberate repression of the expression of yeaZ results in cells with highly condensed nucleoids, while repression of yjeE and ygjD expression results in at least a proportion of very enlarged cells with an unusual peripheral distribution of DNA. Each of the three conditional expression strains can be complemented by multicopy clones harboring the rstA gene, which encodes a two-component-system response regulator, strongly suggesting that these proteins are involved in the same essential cellular pathway. The results of bacterial two-hybrid experiments show that YeaZ can interact with both YjeE and YgjD but that YgjD is the preferred interaction partner. The results of in vitro experiments indicate that YeaZ mediates the proteolysis of YgjD, suggesting that YeaZ and YjeE act as regulators to control the activity of this protein. Our results are consistent with these proteins forming a link between DNA metabolism and cell division.

Global Functional Atlas of Escherichia Coli Encompassing Previously Uncharacterized Proteins

One-third of the 4,225 protein-coding genes of Escherichia coli K-12 remain functionally unannotated (orphans). Many map to distant clades such as Archaea, suggesting involvement in basic prokaryotic traits, whereas others appear restricted to E. coli, including pathogenic strains. To elucidate the orphans' biological roles, we performed an extensive proteomic survey using affinity-tagged E. coli strains and generated comprehensive genomic context inferences to derive a high-confidence compendium for virtually the entire proteome consisting of 5,993 putative physical interactions and 74,776 putative functional associations, most of which are novel. Clustering of the respective probabilistic networks revealed putative orphan membership in discrete multiprotein complexes and functional modules together with annotated gene products, whereas a machine-learning strategy based on network integration implicated the orphans in specific biological processes. We provide additional experimental evidence supporting orphan participation in protein synthesis, amino acid metabolism, biofilm formation, motility, and assembly of the bacterial cell envelope. This resource provides a "systems-wide" functional blueprint of a model microbe, with insights into the biological and evolutionary significance of previously uncharacterized proteins.

Systematic Characterization of the Protein Interaction Network and Protein Complexes in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Using Tandem Affinity Purification and Mass Spectrometry

Defining protein complexes is a vital aspect of cell biology because cellular processes are often carried out by stable protein complexes and their characterization often provides insights into their function. Accurate identification of the interacting proteins in macromolecular complexes is easiest after purification to near homogeneity. To this end, the tandem affinity purification (TAP) system with subsequent protein identification by high-throughput mass spectrometry was developed (1, 2) to systematically characterize native protein complexes and transient protein interactions under near-physiological conditions. The TAP tag containing two adjacent affinity purification tags (calmodulin-binding peptide and Staphylococcus aureus protein A) separated by a tobacco etch virus (TEV) protease cleavage site is fused with the open reading frame of interest. Using homologous recombination, a fusion library was constructed for the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (3) in which the carboxy-terminal end of each predicted open reading frame is individually tagged in the chromosome so that the resulting fusion proteins are expressed under the control of their natural promoters (3). In this chapter, an optimized protocol for systematic protein purification and subsequent mass spectrometry-based protein identification is described in detail for the protein complexes of S. cerevisiae (4-6).

An Atlas of Chaperone-protein Interactions in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae: Implications to Protein Folding Pathways in the Cell

Molecular chaperones are known to be involved in many cellular functions, however, a detailed and comprehensive overview of the interactions between chaperones and their cofactors and substrates is still absent. Systematic analysis of physical TAP-tag based protein-protein interactions of all known 63 chaperones in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been carried out. These chaperones include seven small heat-shock proteins, three members of the AAA+ family, eight members of the CCT/TRiC complex, six members of the prefoldin/GimC complex, 22 Hsp40s, 1 Hsp60, 14 Hsp70s, and 2 Hsp90s. Our analysis provides a clear distinction between chaperones that are functionally promiscuous and chaperones that are functionally specific. We found that a given protein can interact with up to 25 different chaperones during its lifetime in the cell. The number of interacting chaperones was found to increase with the average number of hydrophobic stretches of length between one and five in a given protein. Importantly, cellular hot spots of chaperone interactions are elucidated. Our data suggest the presence of endogenous multicomponent chaperone modules in the cell.

Sequential Peptide Affinity Purification System for the Systematic Isolation and Identification of Protein Complexes from Escherichia Coli

Biochemical purification of affinity-tagged proteins in combination with mass spectrometry methods is increasingly seen as a cornerstone of systems biology, as it allows for the systematic genome-scale characterization of macromolecular protein complexes, representing demarcated sets of stably interacting protein partners. Accurate and sensitive identification of both the specific and shared polypeptide components of distinct complexes requires purification to near homogeneity. To this end, a sequential peptide affinity (SPA) purification system was developed to enable the rapid and efficient isolation of native Escherichia coli protein complexes (J Proteome Res 3:463-468, 2004). SPA purification makes use of a dual-affinity tag, consisting of three modified FLAG sequences (3X FLAG) and a calmodulin binding peptide (CBP), spaced by a cleavage site for tobacco etch virus (TEV) protease (J Proteome Res 3:463-468, 2004). Using the lambda-phage Red homologous recombination system (PNAS 97:5978-5983, 2000), a DNA cassette, encoding the SPA-tag and a selectable marker flanked by gene-specific targeting sequences, is introduced into a selected locus in the E. coli chromosome so as to create a C-terminal fusion with the protein of interest. This procedure aims for near-endogenous levels of tagged protein production in the recombinant bacteria to avoid spurious, non-specific protein associations (J Proteome Res 3:463-468, 2004). In this chapter, we describe a detailed, optimized protocol for the tagging, purification, and subsequent mass spectrometry-based identification of the subunits of even low-abundance bacterial protein complexes isolated as part of an ongoing large-scale proteomic study in E. coli (Nature 433:531-537, 2005).

Two-color Cell Array Screen Reveals Interdependent Roles for Histone Chaperones and a Chromatin Boundary Regulator in Histone Gene Repression

We describe a fluorescent reporter system that exploits the functional genomic tools available in budding yeast to systematically assess consequences of genetic perturbations on gene expression. We used our Reporter-Synthetic Genetic Array (R-SGA) method to screen for regulators of core histone gene expression. We discovered that the histone chaperone Rtt106 functions in a pathway with two other chaperones, Asf1 and the HIR complex, to create a repressive chromatin structure at core histone promoters. We found that activation of histone (HTA1) gene expression involves both relief of Rtt106-mediated repression by the activity of the histone acetyltransferase Rtt109 and restriction of Rtt106 to the promoter region by the bromodomain-containing protein Yta7. We propose that the maintenance of Asf1/HIR/Rtt106-mediated repressive chromatin domains is the primary mechanism of cell-cycle regulation of histone promoters. Our data suggest that this pathway may represent a chromatin regulatory mechanism that is broadly used across the genome.

Systems-level Approaches for Identifying and Analyzing Genetic Interaction Networks in Escherichia Coli and Extensions to Other Prokaryotes

Molecular interactions define the functional organization of the cell. Epistatic (genetic, or gene-gene) interactions, one of the most informative and commonly encountered forms of functional relationships, are increasingly being used to map process architecture in model eukaryotic organisms. In particular, 'systems-level' screens in yeast and worm aimed at elucidating genetic interaction networks have led to the generation of models describing the global modular organization of gene products and protein complexes within a cell. However, comparable data for prokaryotic organisms have not been available. Given its ease of growth and genetic manipulation, the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli appears to be an ideal model system for performing comprehensive genome-scale examinations of genetic redundancy in bacteria. In this review, we highlight emerging experimental and computational techniques that have been developed recently to examine functional relationships and redundancy in E. coli at a systems-level, and their potential application to prokaryotes in general. Additionally, we have scanned PubMed abstracts and full-text published articles to manually curate a list of approximately 200 previously reported synthetic sick or lethal genetic interactions in E. coli derived from small-scale experimental studies.

A Systematic Characterization of Cwc21, the Yeast Ortholog of the Human Spliceosomal Protein SRm300

Cwc21 (complexed with Cef1 protein 21) is a 135 amino acid yeast protein that shares homology with the N-terminal domain of human SRm300/SRRM2, a large serine/arginine-repeat protein shown previously to associate with the splicing coactivator and 3'-end processing stimulatory factor, SRm160. Proteomic analysis of spliceosomal complexes has suggested a role for Cwc21 and SRm300 at the core of the spliceosome. However, specific functions for these proteins have remained elusive. In this report, we employ quantitative genetic interaction mapping, mass spectrometry of tandem affinity-purified complexes, and microarray profiling to investigate genetic, physical, and functional interactions involving Cwc21. Combined data from these assays support multiple roles for Cwc21 in the formation and function of splicing complexes. Consistent with a role for Cwc21 at the core of the spliceosome, we observe strong genetic, physical, and functional interactions with Isy1, a protein previously implicated in the first catalytic step of splicing and splicing fidelity. Together, the results suggest multiple functions for Cwc21/SRm300 in the splicing process, including an important role in the activation of splicing in association with Isy1.

An Acetylated Form of Histone H2A.Z Regulates Chromosome Architecture in Schizosaccharomyces Pombe

Histone variant H2A.Z has a conserved role in genome stability, although it remains unclear how this is mediated. Here we demonstrate that the fission yeast Swr1 ATPase inserts H2A.Z (Pht1) into chromatin and Kat5 acetyltransferase (Mst1) acetylates it. Deletion or an unacetylatable mutation of Pht1 leads to genome instability, primarily caused by chromosome entanglement and breakage at anaphase. This leads to the loss of telomere-proximal markers, though telomere protection and repeat length are unaffected by the absence of Pht1. Strikingly, the chromosome entanglement in pht1Delta anaphase cells can be rescued by forcing chromosome condensation before anaphase onset. We show that the condensin complex, required for the maintenance of anaphase chromosome condensation, prematurely dissociates from chromatin in the absence of Pht1. This and other findings suggest an important role for H2A.Z in the architecture of anaphase chromosomes.

A Lentiviral Functional Proteomics Approach Identifies Chromatin Remodeling Complexes Important for the Induction of Pluripotency

Protein complexes and protein-protein interactions are essential for almost all cellular processes. Here, we establish a mammalian affinity purification and lentiviral expression (MAPLE) system for characterizing the subunit compositions of protein complexes. The system is flexible (i.e. multiple N- and C-terminal tags and multiple promoters), is compatible with Gateway cloning, and incorporates a reference peptide. Its major advantage is that it permits efficient and stable delivery of affinity-tagged open reading frames into most mammalian cell types. We benchmarked MAPLE with a number of human protein complexes involved in transcription, including the RNA polymerase II-associated factor, negative elongation factor, positive transcription elongation factor b, SWI/SNF, and mixed lineage leukemia complexes. In addition, MAPLE was used to identify an interaction between the reprogramming factor Klf4 and the Swi/Snf chromatin remodeling complex in mouse embryonic stem cells. We show that the SWI/SNF catalytic subunit Smarca2/Brm is up-regulated during the process of induced pluripotency and demonstrate a role for the catalytic subunits of the SWI/SNF complex during somatic cell reprogramming. Our data suggest that the transcription factor Klf4 facilitates chromatin remodeling during reprogramming.

The Evolutionary Landscape of the Chromatin Modification Machinery Reveals Lineage Specific Gains, Expansions, and Losses

Model organisms such as yeast, fly, and worm have played a defining role in the study of many biological systems. A significant challenge remains in translating this information to humans. Of critical importance is the ability to differentiate those components where knowledge of function and interactions may be reliably inferred from those that represent lineage-specific innovations. To address this challenge, we use chromatin modification (CM) as a model system for exploring the evolutionary properties of their components in the context of their known functions and interactions. Collating previously identified components of CM from yeast, worm, fly, and human, we identified a "core" set of 50 CM genes displaying consistent orthologous relationships that likely retain their interactions and functions across taxa. In addition, we catalog many components that demonstrate lineage specific expansions and losses, highlighting much duplication within vertebrates that may reflect an expanded repertoire of regulatory mechanisms. Placed in the context of a high-quality protein-protein interaction network, we find, contrary to existing views of evolutionary modularity, that CM complex components display a mosaic of evolutionary histories: a core set of highly conserved genes, together with sets displaying lineage specific innovations. Although focused on CM, this study provides a template for differentiating those genes which are likely to retain their functions and interactions across species. As such, in addition to informing on the evolution of CM as a system, this study provides a set of comparative genomic approaches that can be generally applied to any biological systems.

The Program for Processing Newly Synthesized Histones H3.1 and H4

The mechanism by which newly synthesized histones are imported into the nucleus and deposited onto replicating chromatin alongside segregating nucleosomal counterparts is poorly understood, yet this program is expected to bear on the putative epigenetic nature of histone post-translational modifications. To define the events by which naive pre-deposition histones are imported into the nucleus, we biochemically purified and characterized the full gamut of histone H3.1-containing complexes from human cytoplasmic fractions and identified their associated histone post-translational modifications. Through reconstitution assays, biophysical analyses and live cell manipulations, we describe in detail this series of events, namely the assembly of H3-H4 dimers, the acetylation of histones by the HAT1 holoenzyme and the transfer of histones between chaperones that culminates with their karyopherin-mediated nuclear import. We further demonstrate the high degree of conservation for this pathway between higher and lower eukaryotes.

Epistatic Relationships Reveal the Functional Organization of Yeast Transcription Factors

The regulation of gene expression is, in large part, mediated by interplay between the general transcription factors (GTFs) that function to bring about the expression of many genes and site-specific DNA-binding transcription factors (STFs). Here, quantitative genetic profiling using the epistatic miniarray profile (E-MAP) approach allowed us to measure 48 391 pairwise genetic interactions, both negative (aggravating) and positive (alleviating), between and among genes encoding STFs and GTFs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This allowed us to both reconstruct regulatory models for specific subsets of transcription factors and identify global epistatic patterns. Overall, there was a much stronger preference for negative relative to positive genetic interactions among STFs than there was among GTFs. Negative genetic interactions, which often identify factors working in non-essential, redundant pathways, were also enriched for pairs of STFs that co-regulate similar sets of genes. Microarray analysis demonstrated that pairs of STFs that display negative genetic interactions regulate gene expression in an independent rather than coordinated manner. Collectively, these data suggest that parallel/compensating relationships between regulators, rather than linear pathways, often characterize transcriptional circuits.

Structure of a SLC26 Anion Transporter STAS Domain in Complex with Acyl Carrier Protein: Implications for E. Coli YchM in Fatty Acid Metabolism

Escherichia coli YchM is a member of the SLC26 (SulP) family of anion transporters with an N-terminal membrane domain and a C-terminal cytoplasmic STAS domain. Mutations in human members of the SLC26 family, including their STAS domain, are linked to a number of inherited diseases. Herein, we describe the high-resolution crystal structure of the STAS domain from E. coli YchM isolated in complex with acyl-carrier protein (ACP), an essential component of the fatty acid biosynthesis (FAB) pathway. A genome-wide genetic interaction screen showed that a ychM null mutation is synthetically lethal with mutant alleles of genes (fabBDHGAI) involved in FAB. Endogenous YchM also copurified with proteins involved in fatty acid metabolism. Furthermore, a deletion strain lacking ychM showed altered cellular bicarbonate incorporation in the presence of NaCl and impaired growth at alkaline pH. Thus, identification of the STAS-ACP complex suggests that YchM sequesters ACP to the bacterial membrane linking bicarbonate transport with fatty acid metabolism.

Expanding the Landscape of Chromatin Modification (CM)-related Functional Domains and Genes in Human

Chromatin modification (CM) plays a key role in regulating transcription, DNA replication, repair and recombination. However, our knowledge of these processes in humans remains very limited. Here we use computational approaches to study proteins and functional domains involved in CM in humans. We analyze the abundance and the pair-wise domain-domain co-occurrences of 25 well-documented CM domains in 5 model organisms: yeast, worm, fly, mouse and human. Results show that domains involved in histone methylation, DNA methylation, and histone variants are remarkably expanded in metazoan, reflecting the increased demand for cell type-specific gene regulation. We find that CM domains tend to co-occur with a limited number of partner domains and are hence not promiscuous. This property is exploited to identify 47 potentially novel CM domains, including 24 DNA-binding domains, whose role in CM has received little attention so far. Lastly, we use a consensus Machine Learning approach to predict 379 novel CM genes (coding for 329 proteins) in humans based on domain compositions. Several of these predictions are supported by very recent experimental studies and others are slated for experimental verification. Identification of novel CM genes and domains in humans will aid our understanding of fundamental epigenetic processes that are important for stem cell differentiation and cancer biology. Information on all the candidate CM domains and genes reported here is publicly available.

Defining the Budding Yeast Chromatin-associated Interactome

We previously reported a novel affinity purification (AP) method termed modified chromatin immunopurification (mChIP), which permits selective enrichment of DNA-bound proteins along with their associated protein network. In this study, we report a large-scale study of the protein network of 102 chromatin-related proteins from budding yeast that were analyzed by mChIP coupled to mass spectrometry. This effort resulted in the detection of 2966 high confidence protein associations with 724 distinct preys. mChIP resulted in significantly improved interaction coverage as compared with classical AP methodology for ∼75% of the baits tested. Furthermore, mChIP successfully identified novel binding partners for many lower abundance transcription factors that previously failed using conventional AP methodologies. mChIP was also used to perform targeted studies, particularly of Asf1 and its associated proteins, to allow for a understanding of the physical interplay between Asf1 and two other histone chaperones, Rtt106 and the HIR complex, to be gained.

DAnCER: Disease-annotated Chromatin Epigenetics Resource

Chromatin modification (CM) is a set of epigenetic processes that govern many aspects of DNA replication, transcription and repair. CM is carried out by groups of physically interacting proteins, and their disruption has been linked to a number of complex human diseases. CM remains largely unexplored, however, especially in higher eukaryotes such as human. Here we present the DAnCER resource, which integrates information on genes with CM function from five model organisms, including human. Currently integrated are gene functional annotations, Pfam domain architecture, protein interaction networks and associated human diseases. Additional supporting evidence includes orthology relationships across organisms, membership in protein complexes, and information on protein 3D structure. These data are available for 962 experimentally confirmed and manually curated CM genes and for over 5000 genes with predicted CM function on the basis of orthology and domain composition. DAnCER allows visual explorations of the integrated data and flexible query capabilities using a variety of data filters. In particular, disease information and functional annotations are mapped onto the protein interaction networks, enabling the user to formulate new hypotheses on the function and disease associations of a given gene based on those of its interaction partners. DAnCER is freely available at

A Dual Function of the CRISPR-Cas System in Bacterial Antivirus Immunity and DNA Repair

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) and the associated proteins (Cas) comprise a system of adaptive immunity against viruses and plasmids in prokaryotes. Cas1 is a CRISPR-associated protein that is common to all CRISPR-containing prokaryotes but its function remains obscure. Here we show that the purified Cas1 protein of Escherichia coli (YgbT) exhibits nuclease activity against single-stranded and branched DNAs including Holliday junctions, replication forks and 5'-flaps. The crystal structure of YgbT and site-directed mutagenesis have revealed the potential active site. Genome-wide screens show that YgbT physically and genetically interacts with key components of DNA repair systems, including recB, recC and ruvB. Consistent with these findings, the ygbT deletion strain showed increased sensitivity to DNA damage and impaired chromosomal segregation. Similar phenotypes were observed in strains with deletion of CRISPR clusters, suggesting that the function of YgbT in repair involves interaction with the CRISPRs. These results show that YgbT belongs to a novel, structurally distinct family of nucleases acting on branched DNAs and suggest that, in addition to antiviral immunity, at least some components of the CRISPR-Cas system have a function in DNA repair.

OrthoNets: Simultaneous Visual Analysis of Orthologs and Their Interaction Neighborhoods Across Different Organisms

MOTIVATION: Protein interaction networks contain a wealth of biological information, but their large size often hinders cross-organism comparisons. We present OrthoNets, a Cytoscape plugin that displays protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks from two organisms simultaneously, highlighting orthology relationships and aggregating several types of biomedical annotations. OrthoNets also allows PPI networks derived from experiments to be overlaid on networks extracted from public databases, supporting the identification and verification of new interactors. Any newly identified PPIs can be validated by checking whether their orthologs interact in another organism. AVAILABILITY: OrthoNets is freely available at

Ribosome-dependent ATPase Interacts with Conserved Membrane Protein in Escherichia Coli to Modulate Protein Synthesis and Oxidative Phosphorylation

Elongation factor RbbA is required for ATP-dependent deacyl-tRNA release presumably after each peptide bond formation; however, there is no information about the cellular role. Proteomic analysis in Escherichia coli revealed that RbbA reciprocally co-purified with a conserved inner membrane protein of unknown function, YhjD. Both proteins are also physically associated with the 30S ribosome and with members of the lipopolysaccharide transport machinery. Genome-wide genetic screens of rbbA and yhjD deletion mutants revealed aggravating genetic interactions with mutants deficient in the electron transport chain. Cells lacking both rbbA and yhjD exhibited reduced cell division, respiration and global protein synthesis as well as increased sensitivity to antibiotics targeting the ETC and the accuracy of protein synthesis. Our results suggest that RbbA appears to function together with YhjD as part of a regulatory network that impacts bacterial oxidative phosphorylation and translation efficiency.

Array-based Synthetic Genetic Screens to Map Bacterial Pathways and Functional Networks in Escherichia Coli

Cellular processes are carried out through a series of molecular interactions. Various experimental approaches can be used to investigate these functional relationships on a large-scale. Recently, the power of investigating biological systems from the perspective of genetic (gene-gene or epistatic) interactions has been evidenced by the ability to elucidate novel functional relationships. Examples of functionally related genes include genes that buffer each other's function or impinge on the same biological process. Genetic interactions have traditionally been investigated in bacteria by combining pairs of mutations (e.g., gene deletions) and assessing deviation of the phenotype of each double mutant from an expected neutral (or no interaction) phenotype. Fitness is a particularly convenient phenotype to measure: when the double mutant grows faster or slower than expected, the two mutated genes are said to show alleviating or aggravating interactions, respectively. The most commonly used neutral model assumes that the fitness of the double mutant is equal to the product of individual single mutant fitness. A striking genetic interaction is exemplified by the loss of two nonessential genes that buffer each other in performing an essential biological function: deleting only one of these genes produces no detectable fitness defect; however, loss of both genes simultaneously results in systems failure, leading to synthetic sickness or lethality. Systematic large-scale genetic interaction screens have been used to generate functional maps for model eukaryotic organisms, such as yeast, to describe the functional organization of gene products into pathways and protein complexes within a cell. They also reveal the modular arrangement and cross talk of pathways and complexes within broader functional neighborhoods (Dixon et al., Annu Rev Genet 43:601-625, 2009). Here, we present a high-throughput quantitative Escherichia coli Synthetic Genetic Array (eSGA) screening procedure, which we developed to systematically infer genetic interactions by scoring growth defects among large numbers of double mutants in a classic Gram-negative bacterium. The eSGA method exploits the rapid colony growth, ease of genetic manipulation, and natural efficient genetic exchange via conjugation of laboratory E. coli strains. Replica pinning is used to grow and mate arrayed sets of single gene mutant strains and to select double mutants en masse. Strain fitness, which is used as the eSGA readout, is quantified by the digital imaging of the plates and subsequent measuring and comparing single and double mutant colony sizes. While eSGA can be used to screen select mutants to probe the functions of individual genes, using eSGA more broadly to collect genetic interaction data for many combinations of genes can help reconstruct a functional interaction network to reveal novel links and components of biological pathways as well as unexpected connections between pathways. A variety of bacterial systems can be investigated, wherein the genes impinge on a essential biological process (e.g., cell wall assembly, ribosome biogenesis, chromosome replication) that are of interest from the perspective of drug development (Babu et al., Mol Biosyst 12:1439-1455, 2009). We also show how genetic interactions generated by high-throughput eSGA screens can be validated by manual small-scale genetic crosses and by genetic complementation and gene rescue experiments.

Identification of Mammalian Protein Complexes by Lentiviral-based Affinity Purification and Mass Spectrometry

Protein complexes and protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are fundamental for most biological functions. Deciphering the extensive protein interaction networks that occur within cellular contexts has become a logical extension to the human genome project. Proteome-scale interactome analysis of mammalian systems requires efficient methods for accurately detecting PPIs with specific considerations for the intrinsic technical challenges of mammalian genome manipulation. In this chapter, we outline in detail an innovative lentiviral-based functional proteomic approach that can be used to rapidly characterize protein complexes from a broad range of mammalian cell lines. This method integrates the following key features: (1) lentiviral elements for efficient delivery of tagged constructs into mammalian cell lines; (2) site-specific Gatewayâ„¢ recombination sites for easy cloning; (3) versatile epitope-tagging system for flexible affinity purification strategies; and (4) LC-MS-based protein identification using tandem mass spectrometry.

Genetic Interaction Maps in Escherichia Coli Reveal Functional Crosstalk Among Cell Envelope Biogenesis Pathways

As the interface between a microbe and its environment, the bacterial cell envelope has broad biological and clinical significance. While numerous biosynthesis genes and pathways have been identified and studied in isolation, how these intersect functionally to ensure envelope integrity during adaptive responses to environmental challenge remains unclear. To this end, we performed high-density synthetic genetic screens to generate quantitative functional association maps encompassing virtually the entire cell envelope biosynthetic machinery of Escherichia coli under both auxotrophic (rich medium) and prototrophic (minimal medium) culture conditions. The differential patterns of genetic interactions detected among > 235,000 digenic mutant combinations tested reveal unexpected condition-specific functional crosstalk and genetic backup mechanisms that ensure stress-resistant envelope assembly and maintenance. These networks also provide insights into the global systems connectivity and dynamic functional reorganization of a universal bacterial structure that is both broadly conserved among eubacteria (including pathogens) and an important target.

Control of the RNA Polymerase II Phosphorylation State in Promoter Regions by CTD Interaction Domain-containing Proteins RPRD1A and RPRD1B

RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) C-terminal domain (CTD) phosphorylation is important for various transcription-related processes. Here, we identify by affinity purification and mass spectrometry three previously uncharacterized human CTD-interaction domain (CID)-containing proteins, RPRD1A, RPRD1B and RPRD2, which co-purify with RNAP II and three other RNAP II-associated proteins, RPAP2, GRINL1A and RECQL5, but not with the Mediator complex. RPRD1A and RPRD1B can accompany RNAP II from promoter regions to 3'-untranslated regions during transcription in vivo, predominantly interact with phosphorylated RNAP II, and can reduce CTD S5- and S7-phosphorylated RNAP II at target gene promoters. Thus, the RPRD proteins are likely to have multiple important roles in transcription.

Hsp110 is Required for Spindle Length Control

Systematic affinity purification combined with mass spectrometry analysis of N- and C-tagged cytoplasmic Hsp70/Hsp110 chaperones was used to identify new roles of Hsp70/Hsp110 in the cell. This allowed the mapping of a chaperone-protein network consisting of 1,227 unique interactions between the 9 chaperones and 473 proteins and highlighted roles for Hsp70/Hsp110 in 14 broad biological processes. Using this information, we uncovered an essential role for Hsp110 in spindle assembly and, more specifically, in modulating the activity of the widely conserved kinesin-5 motor Cin8. The role of Hsp110 Sse1 as a nucleotide exchange factor for the Hsp70 chaperones Ssa1/Ssa2 was found to be required for maintaining the proper distribution of kinesin-5 motors within the spindle, which was subsequently required for bipolar spindle assembly in S phase. These data suggest a model whereby the Hsp70-Hsp110 chaperone complex antagonizes Cin8 plus-end motility and prevents premature spindle elongation in S phase.

Interaction Landscape of Membrane-protein Complexes in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Macromolecular assemblies involving membrane proteins (MPs) serve vital biological roles and are prime drug targets in a variety of diseases. Large-scale affinity purification studies of soluble-protein complexes have been accomplished for diverse model organisms, but no global characterization of MP-complex membership has been described so far. Here we report a complete survey of 1,590 putative integral, peripheral and lipid-anchored MPs from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which were affinity purified in the presence of non-denaturing detergents. The identities of the co-purifying proteins were determined by tandem mass spectrometry and subsequently used to derive a high-confidence physical interaction map encompassing 1,726 membrane protein-protein interactions and 501 putative heteromeric complexes associated with the various cellular membrane systems. Our analysis reveals unexpected physical associations underlying the membrane biology of eukaryotes and delineates the global topological landscape of the membrane interactome.

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