A protein sensor for siRNA asymmetry

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 12/2004; 306(5700):1377-80. DOI: 10.1126/science.1102755
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To act as guides in the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) must be unwound into their component strands, then assembled with proteins to form the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), which catalyzes target messenger RNA cleavage. Thermodynamic differences in the base-pairing stabilities of the 5' ends of the two approximately 21-nucleotide siRNA strands determine which siRNA strand is assembled into the RISC. We show that in Drosophila, the orientation of the Dicer-2/R2D2 protein heterodimer on the siRNA duplex determines which siRNA strand associates with the core RISC protein Argonaute 2. R2D2 binds the siRNA end with the greatest double-stranded character, thereby orienting the heterodimer on the siRNA duplex. Strong R2D2 binding requires a 5'-phosphate on the siRNA strand that is excluded from the RISC. Thus, R2D2 is both a protein sensor for siRNA thermodynamic asymmetry and a licensing factor for entry of authentic siRNAs into the RNAi pathway.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aedes aegypti mosquitoes vector several arboviruses of global health significance, including dengue viruses and chikungunya virus. RNA interference (RNAi) plays an important role in antiviral immunity, gene regulation and protection from transposable elements. Double-stranded RNA binding proteins (dsRBPs) are important for efficient RNAi; in Drosophila functional specialization of the miRNA, endo-siRNA and exo-siRNA pathway is aided by the dsRBPs Loquacious (Loqs-PB, Loqs-PD) and R2D2, respectively. However, this functional specialization has not been investigated in other dipterans. We were unable to detect Loqs-PD in Ae. aegypti; analysis of other dipteran genomes demonstrated that this isoform is not conserved outside of Drosophila. Overexpression experiments and small RNA sequencing following depletion of each dsRBP revealed that R2D2 and Loqs-PA cooperate non-redundantly in siRNA production, and that these proteins exhibit an inhibitory effect on miRNA levels. Conversely, Loqs-PB alone interacted with mosquito dicer-1 and was essential for full miRNA production. Mosquito Loqs interacted with both argonaute 1 and 2 in a manner independent of its interactions with dicer. We conclude that the functional specialization of Loqs-PD in Drosophila is a recently derived trait, and that in other dipterans, including the medically important mosquitoes, Loqs-PA participates in both the miRNA and endo-siRNA based pathways. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.
    Nucleic Acids Research 03/2015; 43(7). DOI:10.1093/nar/gkv152 · 8.81 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Small RNAs such as small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) silence the expression of their complementary target messenger RNAs via the formation of effector RNA-induced silencing complexes (RISCs), which contain Argonaute (Ago) family proteins at their core. Although loading of siRNA duplexes into Drosophila Ago2 requires the Dicer-2-R2D2 heterodimer and the Hsc70/Hsp90 (Hsp90 also known as Hsp83) chaperone machinery, the details of RISC assembly remain unclear. Here we reconstitute RISC assembly using only Ago2, Dicer-2, R2D2, Hsc70, Hsp90, Hop, Droj2 (an Hsp40 homologue) and p23. By following the assembly of single RISC molecules, we find that, in the absence of the chaperone machinery, an siRNA bound to Dicer-2-R2D2 associates with Ago2 only transiently. The chaperone machinery extends the dwell time of the Dicer-2-R2D2-siRNA complex on Ago2, in a manner dependent on recognition of the 5'-phosphate on the siRNA guide strand. We propose that the chaperone machinery supports a productive state of Ago2, allowing it to load siRNA duplexes from Dicer-2-R2D2 and thereby assemble RISC.
    Nature 03/2015; DOI:10.1038/nature14254 · 42.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In plants and animals, a large number of double-stranded RNA binding proteins (DRBs) have been shown to act as non-catalytic cofactors of DICERs and to participate in the biogenesis of small RNAs involved in RNA silencing. We have previously shown that the loss of Arabidopsis thaliana's DRB2 protein results in a significant increase in the population of RNA polymerase IV (p4) dependent siRNAs, which are involved in the RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) process. Surprisingly, despite this observation, we show in this work that DRB2 is part of a high molecular weight complex that does not involve RdDM actors but several chromatin regulator proteins, such as MSI4, PRMT4B and HDA19. We show that DRB2 can bind transposable element (TE) transcripts in vivo but that drb2 mutants do not have a significant variation in TE DNA methylation. We propose that DRB2 is part of a repressive epigenetic regulator complex involved in a negative feedback loop, adjusting epigenetic state to transcription level at TE loci, in parallel of the RdDM pathway. Loss of DRB2 would mainly result in an increased production of TE transcripts, readily converted in p4-siRNAs by the RdDM machinery.
    BMC Plant Biology 03/2015; 15(1). DOI:10.1186/s12870-015-0455-z · 3.94 Impact Factor