S Helmling

Tufts University, Medford, MA, United States

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Publications (6)61.04 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The eukaryotic poly(A) polymerase (PAP) is responsible for the posttranscriptional extension of mRNA 3' ends by the addition of a poly(A) tract. The recently published three-dimensional structures of yeast and bovine PAPs have made a more directed biochemical analysis of this enzyme possible. Based on these structures, the middle domain of PAP was predicted to interact with ATP. However, in this study, we show that mutations of conserved residues in this domain of yeast PAP, Pap1, do not affect interaction with ATP, but instead disrupt the interaction with RNA and affect the enzyme's ability to process substrate lacking 2' hydroxyls at the 3' end. These results are most consistent with a model in which the middle domain of PAP interacts directly with the recently extended RNA and pyrophosphate byproduct.
    RNA 05/2004; 10(4):558-64. · 5.09 Impact Factor
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    Yoko Tacahashi, Steffen Helmling, Claire L Moore
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    ABSTRACT: Yth1, a subunit of yeast Cleavage Polyadenylation Factor (CPF), contains five CCCH zinc fingers. Yth1 was previously shown to interact with pre-mRNA and with two CPF subunits, Brr5/Ysh1 and the polyadenylation-specific Fip1, and to act in both steps of mRNA 3' end processing. In the present study, we have identified new domains involved in each interaction and have analyzed the consequences of mutating these regions on Yth1 function in vivo and in vitro. We have found that the essential fourth zinc finger (ZF4) of Yth1 is critical for interaction with Fip1 and RNA, but not for cleavage, and a single point mutation in ZF4 impairs only polyadenylation. Deletion of the essential N-terminal region that includes the ZF1 or deletion of ZF4 weakened the interaction with Brr5 in vitro. In vitro assays showed that the N-terminus is necessary for both processing steps. Of particular importance, we find that the binding of Fip1 to Yth1 blocks the RNA-Yth1 interaction, and that this inhibition requires the Yth1-interacting domain on Fip1. Our results suggest a role for Yth1 not only in the execution of cleavage and poly(A) addition, but also in the transition from one step to the other.
    Nucleic Acids Research 04/2003; 31(6):1744-52. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    S Helmling, A Zhelkovsky, C L Moore
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    ABSTRACT: Fip1 is an essential component of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae polyadenylation machinery and the only protein known to interact directly with poly(A) polymerase (Pap1). Its association with Pap1 inhibits the extension of an oligo(A) primer by limiting access of the RNA substrate to the C-terminal RNA binding domain (C-RBD) of Pap1. We present here the identification of separate functional domains of Fip1. Amino acids 80 to 105 are required for binding to Pap1 and for the inhibition of Pap1 activity. This region is also essential for viability, suggesting that Fip1-mediated repression of Pap1 has a crucial physiological function. Amino acids 206 to 220 of Fip1 are needed for the interaction with the Yth1 subunit of the complex and for specific polyadenylation of the cleaved mRNA precursor. A third domain within amino acids 105 to 206 helps to limit RNA binding at the C-RBD of Pap1. Our data demonstrate that the C terminus of Fip1 is required to relieve the Fip1-mediated repression of Pap1 in specific polyadenylation. In the absence of this domain, Pap1 remains in an inhibited state. These findings show that Fip1 has a crucial regulatory function in the polyadenylation reaction by controlling the activity of poly(A) tail synthesis through multiple interactions within the polyadenylation complex.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 04/2001; 21(6):2026-37. · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polyadenylate [poly(A)] polymerase (PAP) catalyzes the addition of a polyadenosine tail to almost all eukaryotic messenger RNAs (mRNAs). The crystal structure of the PAP from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Pap1) has been solved to 2.6 angstroms, both alone and in complex with 3'-deoxyadenosine triphosphate (3'-dATP). Like other nucleic acid polymerases, Pap1 is composed of three domains that encircle the active site. The arrangement of these domains, however, is quite different from that seen in polymerases that use a template to select and position their incoming nucleotides. The first two domains are functionally analogous to polymerase palm and fingers domains. The third domain is attached to the fingers domain and is known to interact with the single-stranded RNA primer. In the nucleotide complex, two molecules of 3'-dATP are bound to Pap1. One occupies the position of the incoming base, prior to its addition to the mRNA chain. The other is believed to occupy the position of the 3' end of the mRNA primer.
    Science 09/2000; 289(5483):1346-9. · 31.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CF II, a factor required for cleavage of the 3' ends of mRNA precursor in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been shown to contain four polypeptides. The three largest subunits, Cft1/Yhh1, Cft2/Ydh1, and Brr5/Ysh1, are homologs of the three largest subunits of mammalian cleavage-polyadenylation specificity factor (CPSF), an activity needed for both cleavage and poly(A) addition. In this report, we show by protein sequencing and immunoreactivity that the fourth subunit of CF II is Pta1, an essential 90-kDa protein originally implicated in tRNA splicing. Yth1, the yeast homolog of the CPSF 30-kDa subunit, is not detected in this complex. Extracts prepared from pta1 mutant strains are impaired in the cleavage and the poly(A) addition of both GAL7 and CYC1 substrates and exhibit little processing activity even after prolonged incubation. However, activity is efficiently rescued by the addition of purified CF II to the defective extracts. Extract from a strain with a mutation in the CF IA subunit Rna14 also restored processing, but extract from a brr5-1 strain did not. The amounts of Pta1 and other CF II subunits are reduced in pta1 strains, suggesting that levels of the subunits may be coordinately regulated. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments indicate that the CF II in extract can be found in a stable complex containing Pap1, CF II, and the Fip1 and Yth1 subunits of polyadenylation factor I. While purified CF II does not appear to retain the association with these other factors, this larger complex may be the form recruited onto pre-mRNA in vivo. The involvement of Pta1 in both steps of mRNA 3'-end formation supports the conclusion that CF II is the functional homolog of CPSF.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 12/1999; 19(11):7733-40. · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    A Zhelkovsky, S Helmling, C Moore
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    ABSTRACT: The interaction of the Fip1 subunit of polyadenylation factor I with the Saccharomyces cerevisiae poly(A) polymerase (PAP) was assayed in vivo by two-hybrid analysis and was found to involve two separate regions on PAP, located at opposite ends of the protein sequence. In vitro, Fip1 blocks access of the RNA primer to an RNA binding site (RBS) that overlaps the Fip1 carboxy-terminal interaction region and, in doing so, shifts PAP to a distributive mode of action. Partial truncation of this RBS has the same effect, indicating that this site is required for processivity. A comparison of the utilization of ribo- and deoxyribonucleotides as substrates indicates the existence on PAP of a second RBS which recognizes the last three nucleotides at the 3' end of the primer. This site discriminates against deoxyribonucleotides at the 3' end, and interactions at this site are not affected by Fip1. Further analysis revealed that the specificity of PAP for adenosine is not simply a function of the ATP binding site but also reflects interactions with bases at the 3' end of the primer and at another contact site 14 nucleotides upstream of the 3' end. These results suggest that the unique specificity of PAP for ribose and base, and thus the extent and type of activity with different substrates, depends on interactions at multiple nucleotide binding sites.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 11/1998; 18(10):5942-51. · 5.04 Impact Factor