NUP-1 Is a Large Coiled-Coil Nucleoskeletal Protein in Trypanosomes with Lamin-Like Functions

Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
PLoS Biology (Impact Factor: 11.77). 03/2012; 10(3):e1001287. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001287
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A unifying feature of eukaryotic nuclear organization is genome segregation into transcriptionally active euchromatin and transcriptionally repressed heterochromatin. In metazoa, lamin proteins preserve nuclear integrity and higher order heterochromatin organization at the nuclear periphery, but no non-metazoan lamin orthologues have been identified, despite the likely presence of nucleoskeletal elements in many lineages. This suggests a metazoan-specific origin for lamins, and therefore that distinct protein elements must compose the nucleoskeleton in other lineages. The trypanosomatids are highly divergent organisms and possess well-documented but remarkably distinct mechanisms for control of gene expression, including polycistronic transcription and trans-splicing. NUP-1 is a large protein localizing to the nuclear periphery of Trypanosoma brucei and a candidate nucleoskeletal component. We sought to determine if NUP-1 mediates heterochromatin organization and gene regulation at the nuclear periphery by examining the influence of NUP-1 knockdown on morphology, chromatin positioning, and transcription. We demonstrate that NUP-1 is essential and part of a stable network at the inner face of the trypanosome nuclear envelope, since knockdown cells have abnormally shaped nuclei with compromised structural integrity. NUP-1 knockdown also disrupts organization of nuclear pore complexes and chromosomes. Most significantly, we find that NUP-1 is required to maintain the silenced state of developmentally regulated genes at the nuclear periphery; NUP-1 knockdown results in highly specific mis-regulation of telomere-proximal silenced variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) expression sites and procyclin loci, indicating a disruption to normal chromatin organization essential to life-cycle progression. Further, NUP-1 depletion leads to increased VSG switching and therefore appears to have a role in control of antigenic variation. Thus, analogous to vertebrate lamins, NUP-1 is a major component of the nucleoskeleton with key roles in organization of the nuclear periphery, heterochromatin, and epigenetic control of developmentally regulated loci.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The intermediate filament A- and B-type lamins are key architectural components of the nuclear lamina, a proteinaceous meshwork that lies underneath the inner nuclear membrane. In the past decade, many different monogenic human diseases have been linked to mutations in various components of the nuclear lamina. Mutations in LMNA (encoding lamin A and C) cause a variety of human diseases, collectively called laminopathies. These include cardiomyopathies, muscular dystrophies, lipodystrophies and progeroid syndromes. In addition, elevated levels of lamin B1, attributable to genomic duplications of the LMNB1 locus, cause adult-onset autosomal dominant leukodystrophy. The molecular mechanism(s) enabling the mutations and perturbations of the nuclear lamina to give rise to such a wide variety of diseases that affect various tissues remains unclear. The composition of the nuclear lamina changes dynamically during development, between cell types and even within the same cell during differentiation and ageing. Here, we discuss the functional and cellular aspects of lamina remodelling and their implications for the tissue-specific nature of laminopathies.
    Cell and Tissue Research 12/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00441-014-2069-4 · 3.33 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma brucei is a vector borne, lethal protistan parasite of humans and livestock in sub-Saharan Africa. Antigenic Variation of its cell surface coat enables the parasite to evade adaptive immune responses and to live freely in the blood of its mammalian hosts. The coat consists of ten million copies of variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) that is expressed from a single VSG gene, drawn from a large repertoire and located near the telomere at one of fifteen so-called bloodstream expression sites (BESs). Thus, antigenic variation is achieved by switching to the expression of a different VSG gene. A BES is a tandem array of expression site-associated genes and a terminal VSG gene. It is polycistronically transcribed by a multifunctional RNA polymerase I (RNAPI) from a short promoter that is located 45-60kb upstream of the VSG gene. The mechanism(s) restricting VSG expression to a single BES are not well understood. There is convincing evidence that epigenetic silencing and transcription attenuation play important roles. Furthermore, recent data indicated that there is regulation at the level of transcription initiation and that, surprisingly, the VSG mRNA appears to have a role in restricting VSG expression to a single gene. Here, we review BES expression regulation and propose a model in which telomere-directed, epigenetic BES silencing is opposed by BES promoter-directed, activated RNAPI transcription.
    Gene 09/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.gene.2014.09.047 · 2.08 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chromatin remodeling is involved in the transcriptional regulation of the RNA polymerase I transcribed Variant Surface Glycoprotein (VSG) expression sites (ESs) of Trypanosoma brucei. We show that the T. brucei FACT complex contains the Pob3 and Spt16 subunits, and plays a key role in ES silencing. We see an inverse correlation between transcription and condensed chromatin, whereby FACT knockdown results in ES derepression and more open chromatin around silent ES promoters. Derepressed ESs show increased sensitivity to micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion, and a decrease in histones at silent ES promoters but not telomeres. In contrast, FACT knockdown results in more histones at the active ES, correlated with transcription shut-down. ES promoters are derepressed in cells stalled at the G2/ M cell cycle stage after knockdown of FACT, but not in G2/ M cells stalled after knockdown of cyclin 6. This argues that the observed ES derepression is a direct consequence of histone chaperone activity by FACT at the G2/ M cell cycle stage which could affect transcription elongation, rather than an indirect consequence of a cell cycle checkpoint. These experiments highlight the role of the FACT complex in cell cycle specific chromatin remodeling within VSG ESs.
    Molecular Microbiology 09/2014; 94(4). DOI:10.1111/mmi.12812 · 5.03 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 3, 2014