During biogenesis of the 40S and 60S ribosomal subunits, the pre-40S particles are exported to the cytoplasm prior to final cleavage of the 20S pre-rRNA to mature 18S rRNA. Amongst the factors involved in this maturation step, Fap7 is unusual, as it both interacts with ribosomal protein Rps14 and harbors adenylate kinase activity, a function not usually associated with ribonucleoprotein assembly. Human hFap7 also regulates Cajal body assembly and cell cycle progression via the p53-MDM2 pathway. This work presents the functional and structural characterization of the Fap7-Rps14 complex. We report that Fap7 association blocks the RNA binding surface of Rps14 and, conversely, Rps14 binding inhibits adenylate kinase activity of Fap7. In addition, the affinity of Fap7 for Rps14 is higher with bound ADP, whereas ATP hydrolysis dissociates the complex. These results suggest that Fap7 chaperones Rps14 assembly into pre-40S particles via RNA mimicry in an ATP-dependent manner. Incorporation of Rps14 by Fap7 leads to a structural rearrangement of the platform domain necessary for the pre-rRNA to acquire a cleavage competent conformation.
The yeast Snu13p protein and its 15.5K human homolog both bind U4 snRNA and box C/D snoRNAs. They also bind the Rsa1p/NUFIP assembly factor, proposed to scaffold immature snoRNPs and to recruit the Hsp90-R2TP chaperone complex. However, the nature of the Snu13p/15.5K-Rsa1p/NUFIP interaction and its exact role in snoRNP assembly remained to be elucidated. By using biophysical, molecular and imaging approaches, here, we identify residues needed for Snu13p/15.5K-Rsa1p/NUFIP interaction. By NMR structure determination and docking approaches, we built a 3D model of the Snup13p-Rsa1p interface, suggesting that residues R249, R246 and K250 in Rsa1p and E72 and D73 in Snu13p form a network of electrostatic interactions shielded from the solvent by hydrophobic residues from both proteins and that residue W253 of Rsa1p is inserted in a hydrophobic cavity of Snu13p. Individual mutations of residues in yeast demonstrate the functional importance of the predicted interactions for both cell growth and snoRNP formation. Using archaeal box C/D sRNP 3D structures as templates, the association of Snu13p with Rsa1p is predicted to be exclusive of interactions in active snoRNPs. Rsa1p and NUFIP may thus prevent premature activity of pre-snoRNPs, and their removal may be a key step for active snoRNP production.
Multiple RNA-guided pseudouridine synthases, H/ACA ribonucleoprotein particles (RNPs) which contain a guide RNA and four proteins, catalyze site-specific post-transcriptional isomerization of uridines into pseudouridines in substrate RNAs. In archaeal particles, the guide small RNA (sRNA) is anchored by the pseudouridine synthase aCBF5 and the ribosomal protein L7Ae. Protein aNOP10 interacts with both aCBF5 and L7Ae. The fourth protein, aGAR1, interacts with aCBF5 and enhances catalytic efficiency. Here, we compared the features of two H/ACA sRNAs, Pab21 and Pab91, from Pyrococcus abyssi. We found that aCBF5 binds much more weakly to Pab91 than to Pab21. Surprisingly, the Pab91 sRNP exhibits a higher catalytic efficiency than the Pab21 sRNP. We thus investigated the molecular basis of the differential efficiencies observed for the assembly and catalytic activity of the two enzymes. For this, we compared profiles of the extent of lead-induced cleavages in these sRNAs during a stepwise reconstitution of the sRNPs, and analyzed the impact of the absence of the aNOP10-L7Ae interaction. Such probing experiments indicated that the sRNAs undergo a series of conformational changes upon RNP assembly. These changes were also evaluated directly by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, a tool highly adapted to analyzing RNA conformational dynamics. In addition, our results reveal that the conformation of helix P1 formed at the base of the H/ACA sRNAs is optimized in Pab21 for efficient aCBF5 binding and RNP assembly. Moreover, P1 swapping improved the assembly of the Pab91 sRNP. Nonetheless, efficient aCBF5 binding probably also relies on the pseudouridylation pocket which is not optimized for high activity in the case of Pab21.
SHQ1 is an essential assembly factor for H/ACA ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) required for ribosome biogenesis, pre-mRNA splicing, and telomere maintenance. SHQ1 binds dyskerin/NAP57, the catalytic subunit of human H/ACA RNPs, and this interaction is modulated by mutations causing X-linked dyskeratosis congenita. We report the crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of yeast SHQ1, Shq1p, and its complex with yeast dyskerin/NAP57, Cbf5p, lacking its catalytic domain. The C-terminal domain of Shq1p interacts with the RNA-binding domain of Cbf5p and, through structural mimicry, uses the RNA-protein-binding sites to achieve a specific protein-protein interface. We propose that Shq1p operates as a Cbf5p chaperone during RNP assembly by acting as an RNA placeholder, thereby preventing Cbf5p from nonspecific RNA binding before association with an H/ACA RNA and the other core RNP proteins.
In placental mammals, inactivation of one of the X chromosomes in female cells ensures sex chromosome dosage compensation. The 17 kb non-coding Xist RNA is crucial to this process and accumulates on the future inactive X chromosome. The most conserved Xist RNA region, the A region, contains eight or nine repeats separated by U-rich spacers. It is implicated in the recruitment of late inactivated X genes to the silencing compartment and likely in the recruitment of complex PRC2. Little is known about the structure of the A region and more generally about Xist RNA structure. Knowledge of its structure is restricted to an NMR study of a single A repeat element. Our study is the first experimental analysis of the structure of the entire A region in solution. By the use of chemical and enzymatic probes and FRET experiments, using oligonucleotides carrying fluorescent dyes, we resolved problems linked to sequence redundancies and established a 2-D structure for the A region that contains two long stem-loop structures each including four repeats. Interactions formed between repeats and between repeats and spacers stabilize these structures. Conservation of the spacer terminal sequences allows formation of such structures in all sequenced Xist RNAs. By combination of RNP affinity chromatography, immunoprecipitation assays, mass spectrometry, and Western blot analysis, we demonstrate that the A region can associate with components of the PRC2 complex in mouse ES cell nuclear extracts. Whilst a single four-repeat motif is able to associate with components of this complex, recruitment of Suz12 is clearly more efficient when the entire A region is present. Our data with their emphasis on the importance of inter-repeat pairing change fundamentally our conception of the 2-D structure of the A region of Xist RNA and support its possible implication in recruitment of the PRC2 complex.
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