RNA helicase A is necessary for translation of selected messenger RNAs.
ABSTRACT RNA helicase A (RHA) is a highly conserved DEAD-box protein that activates transcription, modulates RNA splicing and binds the nuclear pore complex. The life cycle of typical mRNA involves RNA processing and translation after ribosome scanning of a relatively unstructured 5' untranslated region (UTR). The precursor RNAs of retroviruses and selected cellular genes harbor a complex 5' UTR and use a yet-to-be-identified host post-transcriptional effector to stimulate efficient translation. Here we show that RHA recognizes a structured 5'-terminal post-transcriptional control element (PCE) of a retrovirus and the JUND growth-control gene. RHA interacts with PCE RNA in the nucleus and cytoplasm, facilitates polyribosome association and is necessary for its efficient translation. Our results reveal a previously unidentified role for RHA in translation and implicate RHA as an integrative effector in the continuum of gene expression from transcription to translation.
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ABSTRACT: Lin28 is a developmentally regulated RNA-binding protein that plays important roles in diverse physiological and pathological processes including oncogenesis and brain synaptic function. These pleiotropic roles of Lin28 are mechanistically linked both to its ability to directly stimulate translation of genes involved primarily in cell growth and metabolism and to its ability to block biogenesis of a subset of miRNAs including the let-7 family of miRNAs. In the case of direct stimulation of gene expression, Lin28 binds to targeted mRNAs through recognition of Lin28-responsive elements (LREs) within mRNAs and recruits RNA helicase A (RHA) to promote translation. RHA belongs to the DEAD-box protein family of RNA helicases, which generally catalyze ATP-dependent unwinding of RNA duplexes or remodeling of ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs). Since any given mRNA can potentially be inhibited by miRNAs bearing complementary sequences, we hypothesize that binding of Lin28 to LREs not only nucleates the binding of multiple Lin28 molecules to the same mRNA, but also leads to remodeling of RNPs through recruitment of RHA and causes release of inhibitory miRNA-induced silencing complexes bound to the mRNA. This mode of action may contribute to Lin28-mediated stimulation of translation in both tumor and neuronal cells.Frontiers in Genetics 11/2012; 3:240. DOI:10.3389/fgene.2012.00240
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ABSTRACT: RNA helicases are encoded by all eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells and a minority of viruses. Activity of RNA helicases is necessary for all steps in the expression of cells and viruses and the host innate response to virus infection. Their vast functional repertoire is attributable to the core ATP-dependent helicase domain in conjunction with flanking domains that are interchangeable and engage viral and cellular cofactors. Here, we address the important issue of host RNA helicases that are necessary for replication of a virus. This chapter covers approaches to identification and characterization of candidate helicases and methods to define the biochemical and biophysical parameters of specificity and functional activity of the enzymes. We discuss the context of cellular RNA helicase activity and virion-associated RNA helicases. The methodology and choice of controls fosters the assessment of the virologic scope of RNA helicases across divergent cell lineages and viral replication cycles.Methods in enzymology 01/2012; 511:405-35. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-396546-2.00019-X · 2.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Type I collagen is composed of two α1(I) polypeptides and one α2(I) polypeptide and is the most abundant protein in the human body. Expression of type I collagen is primarily controlled at the level of mRNA stability and translation. Coordinated translation of α(I) and α2(I) mRNAs is necessary for efficient folding of the corresponding peptides into the collagen heterotrimer. In the 5' untranslated region (5' UTR), collagen mRNAs have a unique 5' stem-loop structure (5' SL). La ribonucleoprotein domain family member 6 (LARP6) is the protein that binds 5' SL with high affinity and specificity and coordinates their translation. Here we show that RNA helicase A (RHA) is tethered to the 5' SL of collagen mRNAs by interaction with the C-terminal domain of LARP6. In vivo, collagen mRNAs immunoprecipitate with RHA in an LARP6-dependent manner. Knockdown of RHA prevents formation of polysomes on collagen mRNAs and dramatically reduces synthesis of collagen protein, without affecting the level of the mRNAs. A reporter mRNA with collagen 5' SL is translated three times more efficiently in the presence of RHA than the same reporter without the 5' SL, indicating that the 5' SL is the cis-acting element conferring the regulation. During activation of quiescent cells into collagen-producing cells, expression of RHA is highly up-regulated. We postulate that RHA is recruited to the 5' UTR of collagen mRNAs by LARP6 to facilitate their translation. Thus, RHA has been discovered as a critical factor for synthesis of the most abundant protein in the human body.RNA 12/2011; 18(2):321-34. DOI:10.1261/rna.030288.111 · 4.62 Impact Factor