Structure of human mitochondrial RNA polymerase.
ABSTRACT Transcription of the mitochondrial genome is performed by a single-subunit RNA polymerase (mtRNAP) that is distantly related to the RNAP of bacteriophage T7, the pol I family of DNA polymerases, and single-subunit RNAPs from chloroplasts. Whereas T7 RNAP can initiate transcription by itself, mtRNAP requires the factors TFAM and TFB2M for binding and melting promoter DNA. TFAM is an abundant protein that binds and bends promoter DNA 15-40 base pairs upstream of the transcription start site, and stimulates the recruitment of mtRNAP and TFB2M to the promoter. TFB2M assists mtRNAP in promoter melting and reaches the active site of mtRNAP to interact with the first base pair of the RNA-DNA hybrid. Here we report the X-ray structure of human mtRNAP at 2.5 Å resolution, which reveals a T7-like catalytic carboxy-terminal domain, an amino-terminal domain that remotely resembles the T7 promoter-binding domain, a novel pentatricopeptide repeat domain, and a flexible N-terminal extension. The pentatricopeptide repeat domain sequesters an AT-rich recognition loop, which binds promoter DNA in T7 RNAP, probably explaining the need for TFAM during promoter binding. Consistent with this, substitution of a conserved arginine residue in the AT-rich recognition loop, or release of this loop by deletion of the N-terminal part of mtRNAP, had no effect on transcription. The fingers domain and the intercalating hairpin, which melts DNA in phage RNAPs, are repositioned, explaining the need for TFB2M during promoter melting. Our results provide a new venue for the mechanistic analysis of mitochondrial transcription. They also indicate how an early phage-like mtRNAP lost functions in promoter binding and melting, which were provided by initiation factors in trans during evolution, to enable mitochondrial gene regulation and the adaptation of mitochondrial function to changes in the environment.
- SourceAvailable from: PubMed Central[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Members of the pentatricopeptide repeat domain (PPR) protein family bind RNA and are important for post-transcriptional control of organelle gene expression in unicellular eukaryotes, metazoans and plants. They also have a role in human pathology, as mutations in the leucine-rich PPR-containing (LRPPRC) gene cause severe neurodegeneration. We have previously shown that the mammalian LRPPRC protein and its Drosophila melanogaster homolog DmLRPPRC1 (also known as bicoid stability factor) are necessary for mitochondrial translation by controlling stability and polyadenylation of mRNAs. We here report characterization of DmLRPPRC2, a second fruit fly homolog of LRPPRC, and show that it has a predominant mitochondrial localization and interacts with a stem-loop interacting RNA binding protein (DmSLIRP2). Ubiquitous downregulation of DmLrpprc2 expression causes respiratory chain dysfunction, developmental delay and shortened lifespan. Unexpectedly, decreased DmLRPPRC2 expression does not globally affect steady-state levels or polyadenylation of mitochondrial transcripts. However, some mitochondrial transcripts abnormally associate with the mitochondrial ribosomes and some products are dramatically overproduced and other ones decreased, which, in turn, results in severe deficiency of respiratory chain complexes. The function of DmLRPPRC2 thus seems to be to ensure that mitochondrial transcripts are presented to the mitochondrial ribosomes in an orderly fashion to avoid poorly coordinated translation. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.Nucleic Acids Research 11/2014; · 8.81 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background Nuclear restorers of cytoplasmic male fertility (CMS) act to suppress the male sterile phenotype by down-regulating the expression of novel CMS-specifying mitochondrial genes. One such restorer gene is Rfo, which restores fertility to the radish Ogura or ogu CMS. Rfo, like most characterized restorers, encodes a pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) protein, a family of eukaryotic proteins characterized by tandem repeats of a 35 amino acid motif. While over 400 PPR genes are found in characterized plant genomes and the importance of this gene family in organelle gene expression is widely recognized, few detailed in vivo assessments of primary structure-function relationships in this protein family have been conducted.ResultsIn contrast to earlier studies, which identified 16 or 17 PPR domains in the Rfo protein, we now find, using a more recently developed predictive tool, that Rfo has 18 repeat domains with the additional domain N-terminal to the others. Comparison of transcript sequences from pooled rfo/rfo plants with pooled Rfo/Rfo plants of a mapping population led to the identification of a non-restoring rfo allele with a 12 bp deletion in the fourth domain. Introduction into ogu CMS plants of a genetic construct in which this deletion had been introduced into Rfo led to a partial loss in the capacity to produce viable pollen, as assessed by vital staining, pollen germination and the capacity for seed production following pollination of CMS plants. The degree of viable pollen production among different transgenic plants roughly correlated with the copy number of the introduced gene and with the reduction of the levels of the ORF138 CMS-associated protein. All other constructs tested, including one in which only the C-terminal PPR repeat was deleted and another in which this repeat was replaced by the corresponding domain of the related, non-restoring gene, PPR-A, failed to result in any measure of fertility restoration.Conclusions The identification of the additional PPR domain in Rfo indicates that the protein, apart from its N-terminal mitochondrial targeting presequence, consists almost entirely of PPR repeats. The newly identified rfo allele carries the same 4 amino acid deletion as that found in the neighboring, related, non-restoring PPR gene, PPR-A. Introduction of this four amino acid deletion into a central domain the Rfo protein, however, only partially reduces its restoration capacity, even though this alteration might be expected to alter the spacing between the adjoining repeats. All other tested alterations, generated by deleting specific PPR repeats or exchanging repeats with corresponding domains of PPR-A, led to a complete loss of restorer function. Overall we demonstrate that introduction of targeted alterations of Rfo into ogu CMS plants provides a sensitive in vivo readout for analysis of the relationship between primary structure and biological function in this important family of plant proteins.BMC Plant Biology 11/2014; 14(1):313. · 3.94 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To celebrate a century of X-ray crystallography, I describe how 100 crystal structures influenced chromatin and transcription research.Cell 11/2014; 159(5):985-994. · 33.12 Impact Factor