3' adenylation determines mRNA abundance and monitors completion of RNA editing in T. brucei mitochondria.
ABSTRACT Expression of the mitochondrial genome in protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei is controlled post-transcriptionally and requires extensive U-insertion/deletion mRNA editing. In mitochondrial extracts, 3' adenylation reportedly influences degradation kinetics of synthetic edited and pre-edited mRNAs. We have identified and characterized a mitochondrial poly(A) polymerase, termed KPAP1, and determined major polypeptides in the polyadenylation complex. Inhibition of KPAP1 expression abrogates short and long A-tails typically found in mitochondrial mRNAs, and decreases the abundance of never-edited and edited transcripts. Pre-edited mRNAs are not destabilized by the lack of 3' adenylation, whereas short A-tails are required and sufficient to maintain the steady-state levels of partially edited, fully edited, and never-edited mRNAs. The editing directed by a single guide RNA is sufficient to impose a requirement for the short A-tail in edited molecules. Upon completion of the editing process, the short A-tails are extended as (A/U) heteropolymers into structures previously thought to be long poly(A) tails. These data provide the first direct evidence of functional interactions between 3' processing and editing of mitochondrial mRNAs in trypanosomes.
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ABSTRACT: 3'-Uridylylation of RNA is emerging as a phylogenetically widespread phenomenon involved in processing events as diverse as uridine insertion/deletion RNA editing in mitochondria of trypanosomes and small nuclear RNA (snRNA) maturation in humans. This reaction is catalyzed by terminal uridylyltransferases (TUTases), which are template-independent RNA nucleotidyltransferases that specifically recognize UTP and belong to a large enzyme superfamily typified by DNA polymerase beta. Multiple TUTases, recently identified in trypanosomes, as well as a U6 snRNA-specific TUTase enzyme in humans, are highly divergent at the protein sequence level. However, they all possess conserved catalytic and UTP recognition domains, often accompanied by various auxiliary modules present at the termini or between conserved domains. Here we report identification, structural and biochemical analyses of a novel trypanosomal TUTase, TbTUT4, which represents a minimal catalytically active RNA uridylyltransferase. The TbTUT4 consists of only two domains that define the catalytic center at the bottom of the nucleoside triphosphate and RNA substrate binding cleft. The 2.0 Angstroms crystal structure reveals two significantly different conformations of this TUTase: one molecule is in a relatively open apo conformation, whereas the other displays a more compact TUTase-UTP complex. A single nucleoside triphosphate is bound in the active site by a complex network of interactions between amino acid residues, a magnesium ion and highly ordered water molecules with the UTP's base, ribose and phosphate moieties. The structure-guided mutagenesis and cross-linking studies define the amino acids essential for catalysis, uracil base recognition, ribose binding and phosphate coordination by uridylyltransferases. In addition, the cluster of positively charged residues involved in RNA binding is identified. We also report a 2.4 Angstroms crystal structure of TbTUT4 with the bound 2' deoxyribonucleoside, which provides the structural basis of the enzyme's preference toward ribonucleotides.Journal of Molecular Biology 03/2007; 366(3):882-99. · 4.00 Impact Factor
Article: Disruption of a gene encoding a novel mitochondrial DEAD-box protein in Trypanosoma brucei affects edited mRNAs.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The majority of mitochondrial pre-mRNAs in kinetoplastid protozoa such as Trypanosoma, Leishmania, and Crithidia are substrates of a posttranscriptional processing reaction referred to as RNA editing. The process results in the insertion and, to a lesser extent, deletion of uridylates, thereby completing the informational content of the mRNAs. The specificity of the RNA editing reaction is provided by guide RNAs (gRNAs), which serve as templates for the editing apparatus. In addition, the process relies on mitochondrial proteins, presumably acting within a high-molecular-mass ribonucleoprotein complex. Although several enzymatic activities have been implicated in the editing process, no protein has been identified to date. Here we report the identification of a novel mitochondrial DEAD-box protein, which we termed mHel61p. Disruption of the mHEL61 alleles in insect-stage Trypanosoma brucei cells resulted in a reduced growth rate phenotype. On a molecular level, the null mutant showed significantly reduced amounts of edited mRNAs, whereas never-edited and nuclear mRNAs were unaffected. Reexpression of mHel61p in the knockout cell line restored the ability to efficiently synthesize edited mRNAs. The results suggest an involvement of mHel61p in the control of the abundance of edited mRNAs and thus reveal a novel function for DEAD-box proteins.Molecular and Cellular Biology 10/1997; 17(9):4895-903. · 5.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Gene expression is regulated at many stages not merely at the level of transcription. Among the important post-transcriptional processes, RNA turnover has a crucial role. The stability of mRNA in the cytosol of eukarya is increased by the addition of a 3' poly(A) extension. By contrast, this process mediates rapid RNA decay in prokarya. How is mRNA turnover regulated in mitochondria? Their monophyletic, alpha-proteobacterial origin predicts that polyadenylation will induce rapid decay by nucleases and associated factors that are similar to their bacterial ancestors. In this article, however, we report that the regulation of mitochondrial mRNA turnover in diverse species is surprisingly different.Trends in Genetics 07/2004; 20(6):260-7. · 10.06 Impact Factor