Identification of proteins associated with the yeast mitochondrial RNA polymerase by tandem affinity purification.

Departments of Cell Biology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Stratford, USA.
Yeast (Impact Factor: 1.74). 06/2009; 26(8):423-40. DOI: 10.1002/yea.1672
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The abundance of mitochondrial (mt) transcripts varies under different conditions, and is thought to depend upon rates of transcription initiation, transcription termination/attenuation and RNA processing/degradation. The requirement to maintain the balance between RNA synthesis and processing may involve coordination between these processes; however, little is known about factors that regulate the activity of mtRNA polymerase (mtRNAP). Recent attempts to identify mtRNAP-protein interactions in yeast by means of a generalized tandem affinity purification (TAP) protocol were not successful, most likely because they involved a C-terminal mtRNAP-TAP fusion (which is incompatible with mtRNAP function) and because of the use of whole-cell solubilization protocols that did not preserve the integrity of mt protein complexes. Based upon the structure of T7 RNAP (to which mtRNAPs show high sequence similarity), we identified positions in yeast mtRNAP that allow insertion of a small affinity tag, confirmed the mature N-terminus, constructed a functional N-terminal TAP-mtRNAP fusion, pulled down associated proteins, and identified them by LC-MS-MS. Among the proteins found in the pull-down were a DEAD-box protein (Mss116p) and an RNA-binding protein (Pet127p). Previous genetic experiments suggested a role for these proteins in linking transcription and RNA degradation, in that a defect in the mt degradadosome could be suppressed by overexpression of either of these proteins or, independently, by mutations in either mtRNAP or its initiation factor Mtf1p. Further, we found that Mss116p inhibits transcription by mtRNAP in vitro in a steady-state reaction. Our results support the hypothesis that Mss116p and Pet127p are involved in modulation of mtRNAP activity.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: DEAD-box proteins have been widely implicated in regulation of gene expression. Here we show that the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae DEAD-box protein Mss116p, previously known as a mitochondrial splicing factor, also acts as a transcription factor that modulates the activity of the single-subunit mitochondrial RNA polymerase encoded by RPO41. Binding of Mss116p stabilizes paused mitochondrial RNA polymerase elongation complexes in vitro and favors the post-translocated state of the enzyme, resulting in a lower concentration of nucleotide substrate required to escape the pause; this mechanism of action is similar to that of elongation factors that enhance the processivity of multisubunit RNA polymerases. In a yeast strain in which the RNA splicing-related functions of Mss116p are dispensable, overexpression of RPO41 or MSS116 increases cell survival from colonies that were exposed to low temperature, suggesting a role for Mss116p in enhancing the efficiency of mitochondrial transcription under stress conditions.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 04/2014; · 5.04 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Intrinsic termination signals for multisubunit bacterial RNA polymerases (RNAPs) encode a GC-rich stem-loop structure followed by a polyuridine (poly(U)) tract, and it has been proposed that steric clash of the stem-loop with the exit pore of the RNAP imposes a shearing force on the RNA in the downstream RNA:DNA hybrid, resulting in misalignment of the active site. The structurally unrelated T7 RNAP terminates at a similar type of signal (TΦ), suggesting a common mechanism for termination. In the absence of a hairpin (passive conditions) T7 RNAP slips efficiently in both homopolymeric A and U tracts, and we have found that replacement of the U tract in TΦ with a slippage-prone A tract still allows efficient termination. Under passive conditions, incorporation of a single G residue following a poly(U) tract (which is the situation during termination at TΦ) results in a "locked" complex that is unable to extend the transcript. Our results support a model in which transmission of the shearing force generated by steric clash of the hairpin with the exit pore is promoted by the presence of a slippery tracts downstream, resulting in alterations in the active site and the formation of a locked complex that represents an early step in the termination pathway.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 06/2014; · 3.96 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial synthesis of Cox1, the largest subunit of the cytochrome c oxidase complex, is controlled by Mss51 and Pet309, two mRNA-specific translational activators that act via the COX1 mRNA 5'-UTR through an unknown mechanism. Pet309 belongs to the pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) protein family, which is involved in RNA metabolism in mitochondria and chloroplasts, and its sequence predicts at least 12 PPR motifs in the central portion of the protein. Deletion of these motifs selectively disrupted translation but not accumulation of the COX1 mRNA. We used RNA coimmunoprecipitation assays to show that Pet309 interacts with the COX1 mRNA in vivo and that this association is present before processing of the COX1 mRNA from the ATP8/6 polycistronic mRNA. This association was not affected by deletion of 8 of the PPR motifs but was undetectable after deletion of the entire 12-PPR region. However, interaction of the Pet309 protein lacking 12 PPR motifs with the COX1 mRNA was detected after overexpression of the mutated form of the protein, suggesting that deletion of this region decreased the binding affinity for the COX1 mRNA without abolishing it entirely. Moreover, binding of Pet309 to the COX1 mRNA was affected by deletion of Mss51. This work demonstrates an in vivo physical interaction between a yeast mitochondrial translational activator and its target mRNA and shows the cooperativity of the PPR domains of Pet309 in interaction with the COX1 mRNA.
    RNA Biology 07/2014; 11(7). · 5.38 Impact Factor


Available from