Slicing-Independent RISC Activation Requires the Argonaute PAZ Domain
ABSTRACT Small RNAs regulate genetic networks through a ribonucleoprotein complex called the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), which, in mammals, contains at its center one of four Argonaute proteins (Ago1-Ago4). A key regulatory event in the RNA interference (RNAi) and microRNA (miRNA) pathways is Ago loading, wherein double-stranded small-RNA duplexes are incorporated into RISC (pre-RISC) and then become single-stranded (mature RISC), a process that is not well understood. The Agos contain an evolutionarily conserved PAZ (Piwi/Argonaute/Zwille) domain whose primary function is to bind the 3' end of small RNAs. We created multiple PAZ-domain-disrupted mutant Ago proteins and studied their biochemical properties and biological functionality in cells. We found that the PAZ domain is dispensable for Ago loading of slicing-competent RISC. In contrast, in the absence of slicer activity or slicer-substrate duplex RNAs, PAZ-disrupted Agos bound duplex small interfering RNAs, but were unable to unwind or eject the passenger strand and form functional RISC complexes. We have discovered that the highly conserved PAZ domain plays an important role in RISC activation, providing new mechanistic insights into how miRNAs regulate genes, as well as new insights for future design of miRNA- and RNAi-based therapeutics.
SourceAvailable from: Mahmoud Kandeel[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Gene silencing and RNA interference are major cellular processes that control gene expression via the cleavage of target mRNA. Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2C2 (EIF2C2, Argonaute protein 2, Ago2) is considered to be the major player of RNAi as it is the core component of RISC complexes. While a considerable amount of research has focused on RNA interference and its associated mechanisms, the nature and mechanisms of nucleotide recognition by the PAZ domain of EIF2C2/Ago2 have not yet been characterized. Here, we demonstrate that the EIF2C2/Ago2 PAZ domain has an inherent lack of binding to adenine nucleotides, a feature that highlights the poor binding of 3'-adenylated RNAs with the PAZ domain as well as the selective high trimming of the 3'-ends of miRNA containing adenine nucleotides. We further show that the PAZ domain selectively binds all ribonucleotides (except adenosine), whereas it poorly recognizes deoxyribonucleotides. In this context, the modification of dTMP to its ribonucleotide analogue gave a drastic improvement of binding enthalpy and, hence, binding affinity. Additionally, higher in vivo gene silencing efficacy was correlated with the stronger PAZ domain binders. These findings provide new insights into the nature of the interactions of the EIF2C2/Ago2 PAZ domain.PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e94538. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0094538 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In eukaryoticRNAsilencing, RNase-III classes of enzymes in the Dicer family process double-stranded RNA of cellular or exogenous origin into small- RNA(sRNA) molecules. sRNAs are then loaded into effector proteins known as ARGONAUTEs (AGOs), which, as part of RNA-induced silencing complexes, target complementary RNA or DNA for silencing. Land plants have evolved a large variety of pathways over the Dicer-AGO consortium, which most likely underpins part of their phenotypic plasticity. Dicer-like proteins produce all known classes of plant silencing sRNAs, which are invariably stabilized via 2'-O-methylation mediated by HUA ENHANCER 1 (HEN1), potentially amplified by the action of several RNA-dependent RNA polymerases, and function through a variety of AGO proteins. Here, we review the known characteristics and biochemical properties of the core silencing factors found in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We also describe how interactions between these core factors and more specialized proteins allow the production of a plethora of silencing sRNAs involved in a large array of biological functions. We emphasize in particular the biogenesis and activities of silencing sRNAs of endogenous origin. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Plant Biology Volume 65 is April 29, 2014. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.Annual Review of Plant Biology 02/2014; DOI:10.1146/annurev-arplant-050213-035728 · 18.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In spite of prolonged and intensive treatment with combined antiretroviral therapy (cART), which efficiently suppresses plasma viremia, the integrated provirus of HIV-1 persists in resting memory CD4(+) T cells as latent infection. Treatment with cART does not substantially reduce the burden of latent infection. Once cART is ceased, HIV-1 replication recrudesces from these reservoirs in the overwhelming majority of patients. There is increasing evidence supporting a role for noncoding RNAs (ncRNA), including microRNAs (miRNAs), antisense (as)RNAs, and short interfering (si)RNA in the regulation of HIV-1 transcription. This appears to be mediated by interaction with the HIV-1 promoter region. Viral miRNAs have the potential to act as positive or negative regulators of HIV transcription. Moreover, inhibition of virally encoded long-asRNA can induce positive transcriptional regulation, while antisense strands of siRNA targeting the NF-κB region suppress viral transcription. An in-depth understanding of the interaction between ncRNAs and the HIV-1 U3 promoter region may lead to new approaches for the control of HIV reservoirs. This review focuses on promoter associated ncRNAs, with particular emphasis on their role in determining whether HIV-1 establishes active or latent infection.01/2015; 4(1):e222. DOI:10.1038/mtna.2014.67