Solution structure of the complex formed by the two N-terminal RNA-binding domains of nucleolin and a pre-rRNA target
ABSTRACT Nucleolin is a 70 kDa multidomain protein involved in several steps of eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis. In vitro selection in combination with mutagenesis and structural analysis identified binding sites in pre-rRNA with the consensus (U/G)CCCG(A/G) in the context of a hairpin structure, the nucleolin recognition element (NRE). The central region of the protein contains four tandem RNA-binding domains (RBDs), of which the first two are responsible for the RNA-binding specificity and affinity for NREs. Here, we present the solution structure of the 28 kDa complex formed by the two N-terminal RNA-binding domains of nucleolin (RBD12) and a natural pre-rRNA target, b2NRE. The structure demonstrates that the sequence-specific recognition of the pre-rRNA NRE is achieved by intermolecular hydrogen bonds and stacking interactions involving mainly the beta-sheet surfaces of the two RBDs and the linker residues. A comparison with our previously determined NMR structure of RBD12 in complex with an in vitro selected RNA target, sNRE, shows that although the sequence-specific recognition of the loop consensus nucleotides is the same in the two complexes, they differ in several aspects. While the protein makes numerous specific contacts to the non-consensus nucleotides in the loop E motif (S-turn) in the upper part of the sNRE stem, nucleolin RBD12 contacts only consensus nucleotides in b2NRE. The absence of these upper stem contacts from the RBD12/b2NRE complex results in a much less stable complex, as demonstrated by kinetic analyses. The role of the loop E motif in high-affinity binding is supported by gel-shift analyses with a series of sNRE mutants. The less stable interaction of RBD12 with the natural RNA target is consistent with the proposed role of nucleolin as a chaperone that interacts transiently with pre-rRNA to prevent misfolding.
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ABSTRACT: The YxiN protein of Bacillus subtilis is a member of the DbpA subfamily of prokaryotic DEAD-box RNA helicases. Like DbpA, it binds with high affinity and specificity to segments of 23S ribosomal RNA as short as 32 nucleotides (nt) that include hairpin 92. Several experiments have shown that the 76-residue carboxy-terminal domain of YxiN is responsible for the high-affinity RNA binding. The domain has been crystallized and its structure has been solved to 1.7 Angstroms resolution. The structure reveals an RNA recognition motif (RRM) fold that is found in many eukaryotic RNA binding proteins; the RRM fold was not apparent from the amino acid sequence. The domain has two solvent exposed aromatic residues at sites that correspond to the aromatic residues of the ribonucleoprotein (RNP) motifs RNP1 and RNP2 that are essential for RNA binding in many RRMs. However, mutagenesis of these residues (Tyr404 and Tyr447) to alanine has little effect on RNA affinity, suggesting that the YxiN domain binds target RNAs in a manner that differs from the binding mode commonly found in many eukaryotic RRMs.RNA 07/2006; 12(6):959-67. DOI:10.1261/rna.5906 · 4.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Abstract RNA editing belongs to the large group of processing reactions that are required to convert primary RNA transcripts into mature and functional transcripts. The main determinants of specificity rest in the three-dimensional structures of RNA and protein molecules that act in concert to coordinate and regulate the posttranscriptional steps in gene expression. Many high-resolution structures of RNA-protein complexes, including the ribosome, have become available during the last decade and have offered detailed views of the intracellular RNA world. The focus of this review is to highlight the contributions of RNA structure to the specificity and efficiency of RNA editing. Editing occurs by a variety of mechanisms, but the fidelity of the reactions critically depends on the specific sequences and structures of the RNA molecules involved and on their recognition by trans-acting factors, including proteins and RNA. Hence, the editing machineries, also termed “editosomes”, make use of RNA-RNA, RNA-protein and protein-protein interactions to achieve specificity and efficiency. High-resolution structures of protein components of various editosomes exist, but reports of RNA structures and RNA-protein complexes are still limited. Progress can be expected in the near future from more efficient purification and crystallization techniques developed in other fields of RNA processing, like RNA interference, splicing and catalysis. Although each structure reveals only a static view of a multistep reaction, they will eventually lead to a better understanding of the dynamic molecular machines involved in RNA editing.01/2008: pages 1-32;
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ABSTRACT: The A protein of the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle, interacting with its stem-loop RNA target (U1hpII), is frequently used as a paradigm for RNA binding by recognition motif domains (RRMs). U1A/U1hpII complex formation has been proposed to consist of at least two steps: electrostatically mediated alignment of both molecules followed by locking into place, based on the establishment of close-range interactions. The sequence of events between alignment and locking remains obscure. Here we examine the roles of three critical residues, Tyr13, Phe56 and Gln54, in complex formation and stability using Biacore. Our mutational and kinetic data suggest that Tyr13 plays a more important role than Phe56 in complex formation. Mutational analysis of Gln54, combined with molecular dynamics studies, points to Arg52 as another key residue in association. Based on our data and previous structural and modeling studies, we propose that electrostatic alignment of the molecules is followed by hydrogen bond formation between the RNA and Arg52, and the sequential establishment of interactions with loop bases (including Tyr13). A quadruple stack, sandwiching two bases between Phe56 and Asp92, would occur last and coincide with the rearrangement of a C-terminal helix that partially occludes the RRM surface in the free protein.Nucleic Acids Research 02/2005; 33(9):2917-28. DOI:10.1093/nar/gki602 · 8.81 Impact Factor