Structure of the spliceosomal U4 snRNP core domain and its implication for snRNP biogenesis.
ABSTRACT The spliceosome is a dynamic macromolecular machine that assembles on pre-messenger RNA substrates and catalyses the excision of non-coding intervening sequences (introns). Four of the five major components of the spliceosome, U1, U2, U4 and U5 small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs), contain seven Sm proteins (SmB/B', SmD1, SmD2, SmD3, SmE, SmF and SmG) in common. Following export of the U1, U2, U4 and U5 snRNAs to the cytoplasm, the seven Sm proteins, chaperoned by the survival of motor neurons (SMN) complex, assemble around a single-stranded, U-rich sequence called the Sm site in each small nuclear RNA (snRNA), to form the core domain of the respective snRNP particle. Core domain formation is a prerequisite for re-import into the nucleus, where these snRNPs mature via addition of their particle-specific proteins. Here we present a crystal structure of the U4 snRNP core domain at 3.6 Å resolution, detailing how the Sm site heptad (AUUUUUG) binds inside the central hole of the heptameric ring of Sm proteins, interacting one-to-one with SmE-SmG-SmD3-SmB-SmD1-SmD2-SmF. An irregular backbone conformation of the Sm site sequence combined with the asymmetric structure of the heteromeric protein ring allows each base to interact in a distinct manner with four key residues at equivalent positions in the L3 and L5 loops of the Sm fold. A comparison of this structure with the U1 snRNP at 5.5 Å resolution reveals snRNA-dependent structural changes outside the Sm fold, which may facilitate the binding of particle-specific proteins that are crucial to biogenesis of spliceosomal snRNPs.
Article: Mapping protein–RNA interactions[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: There is a significant need to develop approaches for rapid and accurate mapping of protein–ribonucleic acid (RNA) interactions, especially to complement structure-based methods. Approaches using mass spectrometry to map regions in proteins that contact RNA have now been established. These include a reversible crosslinking affinity purification method, residue-specific modification interference assay, and photoactivatable crosslinking and mass spectrometry. Novel methods to identify nucleotides within RNA that contact proteins using photoactivatable ribonucleoside-enhanced crosslinking and immunoprecipitation are also available. In combina-tion, these methods should generate results that will lead to more specific hypotheses concerning the biological properties of protein–RNA interactions. This review summarizes some recent advances in select assays useful for mapping protein–RNA interactions.Virus Adaptation and Treatment 01/2012; 2012(4):29.
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ABSTRACT: Sm-like (Lsm) proteins are ubiquitous and function in many aspects of RNA metabolism, including pre-mRNA splicing, nuclear RNA processing, mRNA decay and miRNA biogenesis. Here three crystal structures including Lsm3, Lsm4 and Lsm5/6/7 sub-complex from S. pombe are reported. These structures show that all the five individual Lsm subunits share a conserved Sm fold, and Lsm3, Lsm4, and Lsm5/6/7 form a heptamer, a trimer and a hexamer within the crystal lattice, respectively. Analytical ultracentrifugation indicates that Lsm3 and Lsm5/6/7 sub-complex exist in solution as a heptamer and a hexamer, respectively while Lsm4 undergoes a dynamic equilibrium between monomer and trimer in solution. RNA binding assays show that Lsm2/3 and Lsm5/6/7 bind to oligo(U) whereas no RNA binding is observed for Lsm3 and Lsm4. Analysis of the inter-subunit interactions in Lsm5/6/7 reveals the organization order among Lsm5, Lsm6 and Lsm7.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e36768. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Small RNA binding to the lateral surface of Hfq hexamers and structural rearrangements upon mRNA target recognition.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The bacterial Sm-like protein Hfq is a central player in the control of bacterial gene expression. Hfq forms complexes with small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) that use complementary "seed" sequences to target specific mRNAs. Hfq forms hexameric rings, which preferably bind uridine-rich RNA 3' ends on their proximal surface and adenine-rich sequences on their distal surface. However, many reported properties of Hfq/sRNA complexes could not be explained by these RNA binding modes. Here, we use the RybB sRNA to identify the lateral surface of Hfq as a third, independent RNA binding surface. A systematic mutational analysis and competition experiments demonstrate that the lateral sites have a preference for and are sufficient to bind the sRNA "body," including the seed sequence. Furthermore, we detect significant structural rearrangements of the Hfq/sRNA complex upon mRNA target recognition that lead to a release of the seed sequence, or of the entire sRNA molecule in case of an unfavorable 3' end. Consequently, we propose a molecular model for the Hfq/sRNA complex, where the sRNA 3' end is anchored in the proximal site of Hfq, whereas the sRNA body, including the seed sequence, is bound by up to six of the lateral sites. In contrast to previously proposed arrangements, the presented model explains how Hfq can protect large parts of the sRNA body while still allowing a rapid recycling of sRNAs. Furthermore, our model suggests molecular mechanisms for the function of Hfq as an RNA chaperone and for the molecular events that are initiated upon mRNA target recognition.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2012; 109(24):9396-401. · 9.68 Impact Factor