Genome-wide identification and quantitative analysis of cleaved tRNA fragments induced by cellular stress.
ABSTRACT Certain stress conditions can induce cleavage of tRNAs around the anticodon loop via the use of the ribonuclease angiogenin. The cellular factors that regulate tRNA cleavage are not well known. In this study we used normal and eIF2α phosphorylation-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and applied a microarray based methodology to identify and compare tRNA cleavage patterns in response to hypertonic stress, oxidative stress (arsenite) and treatment with recombinant angiogenin. In all three scenarios MEFs deficient in eIF2α phosphorylation showed a higher accumulation of tRNA fragments including those derived from initiator-tRNA(Met). We have shown that tRNA cleavage is regulated by the availability of angiogenin, its substrate (tRNA), the levels of the angiogenin inhibitor RNH1 and the rates of protein synthesis. These conclusions are supported by the following findings: (i) exogenous treatment with angiogenin or knockdown of RNH1 increased tRNA cleavage, (ii) tRNA fragment accumulation was higher during oxidative stress than hypertonic stress, in agreement with a dramatic decrease of RNH1 levels during oxidative stress and (iii) a positive correlation was observed between angiogenin-mediated tRNA cleavage and global protein synthesis rates. Identification of the stress-specific tRNA cleavage mechanisms and patterns will provide insights into the role of tRNA fragments in signaling pathways and stress related disorders.
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ABSTRACT: Mutations in the cytosine-5 RNA methyltransferase NSun2 cause microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities in mice and human. How post-transcriptional methylation contributes to the human disease is currently unknown. By comparing gene expression data with global cytosine-5 RNA methylomes in patient fibroblasts and NSun2-deficient mice, we find that loss of cytosine-5 RNA methylation increases the angiogenin-mediated endonucleolytic cleavage of transfer RNAs (tRNA) leading to an accumulation of 5′ tRNA-derived small RNA fragments. Accumulation of 5′ tRNA fragments in the absence of NSun2 reduces protein translation rates and activates stress pathways leading to reduced cell size and increased apoptosis of cortical, hippocampal and striatal neurons. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that angiogenin binds with higher affinity to tRNAs lacking site-specific NSun2-mediated methylation and that the presence of 5′ tRNA fragments is sufficient and required to trigger cellular stress responses. Furthermore, the enhanced sensitivity of NSun2-deficient brains to oxidative stress can be rescued through inhibition of angiogenin during embryogenesis. In conclusion, failure in NSun2-mediated tRNA methylation contributes to human diseases via stress-induced RNA cleavage.The EMBO Journal 07/2014; DOI:10.15252/embj.201489282 · 10.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Drought is a major constraint to crop production, and microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in plant drought tolerance. Analysis of miRNAs and other classes of small RNAs (sRNAs) in barley grown under water and drought conditions reveals that drought selectively regulates expression of miRNAs and other classes of sRNAs. Low-expressed miRNAs and all repeat-associated siRNAs (rasiRNAs) tended towards down-regulation, while tRNA-derived sRNAs (tsRNAs) had the tendency to be up-regulated, under drought. Antisense sRNAs (putative siRNAs) did not have such a tendency under drought. In drought-tolerant transgenic barley overexpressing DREB transcription factor, most of the low-expressed miRNAs were also down-regulated. In contrast, tsRNAs, rasiRNAs and other classes of sRNAs were not consistently expressed between the drought-treated and transgenic plants. The differential expression of miRNAs and siRNAs was further confirmed by Northern hybridization and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Targets of the drought-regulated miRNAs and siRNAs were predicted, identified by degradome libraries and confirmed by qRT-PCR. Their functions are diverse, but most are involved in transcriptional regulation. Our data provide insight into the expression profiles of miRNAs and other sRNAs, and their relationship under drought, thereby helping understand how miRNAs and sRNAs respond to drought stress in cereal crops.Plant Biotechnology Journal 06/2014; 13(1). DOI:10.1111/pbi.12220 · 5.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: tRNA restriction by anticodon nucleases underlies cellular stress responses and self-nonself discrimination in a wide range of taxa. Anticodon breakage inhibits protein synthesis, which, in turn, results in growth arrest or cell death. The eukaryal ribotoxin PaT secreted by Pichia acaciae inhibits growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae via cleavage of tRNA(Gln(UUG)). We find that recombinant PaT incises a synthetic tRNA(Gln(UUG)) stem-loop RNA by transesterification at a single site 3' of the wobble uridine, yielding 2',3'-cyclic phosphate and 5'-OH ends. Incision is suppressed by replacement of the wobble nucleobase with adenine or guanine. The crystal structure of PaT reveals a distinctive fold and active site, essential components of which are demonstrated by mutagenesis. Pichia acaciae evades self-toxicity via a distinctive intracellular immunity protein, ImmPaT, which binds PaT and blocks nuclease activity. Our results highlight the evolutionary diversity of tRNA restriction and immunity systems.Cell Reports 04/2014; 7(2). DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2014.03.034 · 7.21 Impact Factor