Ringo/cyclin-dependent kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways regulate the activity of the cell fate determinant Musashi to promote cell cycle re-entry in Xenopus oocytes.

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas 722205, USA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.6). 01/2012; 287(13):10639-49. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.300681
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cell cycle re-entry during vertebrate oocyte maturation is mediated through translational activation of select target mRNAs, culminating in the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase and cyclin B/cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) signaling. The temporal order of targeted mRNA translation is crucial for cell cycle progression and is determined by the timing of activation of distinct mRNA-binding proteins. We have previously shown in oocytes from Xenopus laevis that the mRNA-binding protein Musashi targets translational activation of early class mRNAs including the mRNA encoding the Mos proto-oncogene. However, the molecular mechanism by which Musashi function is activated is unknown. We report here that activation of Musashi1 is mediated by Ringo/CDK signaling, revealing a novel role for early Ringo/CDK function. Interestingly, Musashi1 activation is subsequently sustained through mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling, the downstream effector of Mos mRNA translation, thus establishing a positive feedback loop to amplify Musashi function. The identified regulatory sites are present in mammalian Musashi proteins, and our data suggest that phosphorylation may represent an evolutionarily conserved mechanism to control Musashi-dependent target mRNA translation.


Available from: Karthik Arumugam, Oct 07, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Background: There is increasing evidence of a pivotal role for regulated mRNA translation in control of developmental cell fate transitions. Physiological and pathological stem and progenitor cell self-renewal is maintained by the mRNA-binding protein, Musashi1 through repression of translation of key mRNAs encoding cell cycle inhibitory proteins. The mechanism by which Musashi1 function is modified to allow translation of these target mRNAs under conditions that require inhibition of cell cycle progression, is unknown. Results: In this study, we demonstrate that differentiation of primary embryonic rat neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) or human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells results in the rapid phosphorylation of Musashi1 on the evolutionarily conserved site serine 337 (S337). Phosphorylation of this site has been shown to be required for cell cycle control during the maturation of Xenopus oocytes. S337 phosphorylation in mammalian NSPCs and human SH-SY5Y cells correlates with the de-repression and translation of a Musashi reporter mRNA and with accumulation of protein from the endogenous Musashi target mRNA, p21WAF1/CIP1. Inhibition of Musashi regulatory phosphorylation, through expression of a phospho-inhibitory mutant Musashi1 S337A or over-expression of the wild-type Musashi, blocked differentiation of both NSPCs and SH-SY5Y cells. Musashi1 was similarly phosphorylated in NSPCs and SH-SY5Y cells under conditions of nutrient deprivation-induced cell cycle arrest. Expression of the Musashi1 S337A mutant protein attenuated nutrient deprivation-induced NSPC and SH-SY5Y cell death. Conclusions: Our data suggest that in response to environmental cues that oppose cell cycle progression, regulation of Musashi function is required to promote target mRNA translation and cell fate transition. Forced modulation of Musashi1 function may present a novel therapeutic strategy to oppose pathological stem cell self-renewal.
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    ABSTRACT: The mRNA translational control protein, Musashi, plays a critical role in cell fate determination through sequence-specific interactions with select target mRNAs. In proliferating stem cells, Musashi exerts repression of target mRNAs to promote cell cycle progression. During stem cell differentiation, Musashi target mRNAs are de-repressed and translated. Recently, we have reported an obligatory requirement for Musashi to direct translational activation of target mRNAs during Xenopus oocyte meiotic cell cycle progression. Despite the importance of Musashi in cell cycle regulation, only a few target mRNAs have been fully characterized. In this study, we report the identification and characterization of a new Musashi target mRNA in Xenopus oocytes. We demonstrate that progesterone-stimulated translational activation of the Xenopus Musashi1 mRNA is regulated through a functional Musashi binding element (MBE) in the Musashi1 mRNA 3' untranslated region (3' UTR). Mutational disruption of the MBE prevented translational activation of Musashi1 mRNA and its interaction with Musashi protein. Further, elimination of Musashi function through microinjection of inhibitory antisense oligonucleotides prevented progesterone-induced polyadenylation and translation of the endogenous Musashi1 mRNA. Thus, Xenopus Musashi proteins regulate translation of the Musashi1 mRNA during oocyte maturation. Our results indicate that the hierarchy of sequential and dependent mRNA translational control programs involved in directing progression through meiosis are reinforced by an intricate series of nested, positive feedback loops, including Musashi mRNA translational autoregulation. These autoregulatory positive feedback loops serve to amplify a weak initiating signal into a robust commitment for the oocyte to progress through the cell cycle and become competent for fertilization.
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    ABSTRACT: The mRNA binding protein, Musashi, has been shown to regulate translation of select mRNAs and control cellular identity in both stem cells and cancer cells. Within mammalian cells, Musashi has traditionally been characterized as a repressor of translation. However, we have demonstrated that Musashi is an activator of translation in progesterone-stimulated oocytes of the frog Xenopus laevis, and recent evidence has revealed the capability of Musashi to function as an activator of translation in mammalian systems. The molecular mechanism by which Musashi directs activation of target mRNAs has not been elucidated. Here, we report a specific association of Musashi with the noncanonical poly[A] polymerase Germline Development-2 (GLD2) and map the association domain to 30 amino acids within the C-terminal domain of Musashi. We show that loss of GLD2 interaction through deletion of the binding domain, or treatment with antisense oligonucleotides compromises Musashi function. Additionally, we demonstrate that overexpression of both Musashi and GLD2 significantly enhances Musashi function. Finally, we report a similar co-association also occurs between murine Musashi and GLD2 orthologs, suggesting that coupling of Musashi to the polyadenylation apparatus is a conserved mechanism to promote target mRNA translation.
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