Structure determination of fibrillarin from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus.
ABSTRACT The methyltransferase fibrillarin is the catalytic component of ribonucleoprotein complexes that direct site-specific methylation of precursor ribosomal RNA and are critical for ribosome biogenesis in eukaryotes and archaea. Here we report the crystal structure of a fibrillarin ortholog from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus at 1.97A resolution. Comparisons of the X-ray structures of fibrillarin orthologs from Methanococcus jannashii and Archaeoglobus fulgidus reveal nearly identical backbone configurations for the catalytic C-terminal domain with the exception of a unique loop conformation at the S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) binding pocket in P. furiosus. In contrast, the N-terminal domains are divergent which may explain why some forms of fibrillarin apparently homodimerize (M. jannashii) while others are monomeric (P. furiosus and A. fulgidus). Three positively charged amino acids surround the AdoMet-binding site and sequence analysis indicates that this is a conserved feature of both eukaryotic and archaeal fibrillarins. We discuss the possibility that these basic residues of fibrillarin are important for RNA-guided rRNA methylation.
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ABSTRACT: Eukaryotes and archaea use two sets of specialized ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) to carry out sequence-specific methylation and pseudouridylation of RNA, the two most abundant types of modifications of cellular RNAs. In eukaryotes, these protein-RNA complexes localize to the nucleolus and are called small nucleolar RNPs (snoRNPs), while in archaea they are known as small RNPs (sRNP). The C/D class of sno(s)RNPs carries out ribose-2'-O-methylation, while the H/ACA class is responsible for pseudouridylation of their RNA targets. Here, we review the recent advances in the structure, assembly and function of the conserved C/D and H/ACA sno(s)RNPs. Structures of each of the core archaeal sRNP proteins have been determined and their assembly pathways delineated. Furthermore, the recent structure of an H/ACA complex has revealed the organization of a complete sRNP. Combined with current biochemical data, these structures offer insight into the highly homologous eukaryotic snoRNPs.Nucleic Acids Research 02/2007; 35(5):1452-64. · 8.03 Impact Factor
Article: The bipartite architecture of the sRNA in an archaeal box C/D complex is a primary determinant of specificity.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The archaeal box C/D sRNP, the enzyme responsible for 2'-O-methylation of rRNA and tRNA, possesses a nearly perfect axis of symmetry and bipartite structure. This RNP contains two platforms for the assembly of protein factors, the C/D and C'/D' motifs, acting in conjunction with two guide sequences to direct methylation of a specific 2'-hydroxyl group in a target RNA. While this suggests that a functional asymmetric single-site complex complete with guide sequence and a single box C/D motif should be possible, previous work has demonstrated such constructs are not viable. To understand the basis for a bipartite RNP, we have designed and assayed the activity and specificity of a series of synthetic RNPs that represent a systematic reduction of the wild-type RNP to a fully single-site enzyme. This reduced RNP is active and exhibits all of the characteristics of wild-type box C/D RNPs except it is nonspecific with respect to the site of 2'-O-methylation. Our results demonstrate that protein-protein crosstalk through Nop5p dimerization is not required, but that architecture plays a crucial role in directing methylation activity with both C/D and C'/D' motifs being required for specificity.Nucleic Acids Research 02/2006; 34(18):5039-51. · 8.03 Impact Factor