[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a translation-dependent RNA quality-control pathway targeting transcripts such as messenger RNAs harboring premature stop-codons or short upstream open reading frame (uORFs). Our transcription start sites (TSSs) analysis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells deficient for RNA degradation pathways revealed that about half of the pervasive transcripts are degraded by NMD, which provides a fail-safe mechanism to remove spurious transcripts that escaped degradation in the nucleus. Moreover, we found that the low specificity of RNA polymerase II TSSs selection generates, for 47% of the expressed genes, NMD-sensitive transcript isoforms carrying uORFs or starting downstream of the ATG START codon. Despite the low abundance of this last category of isoforms, their presence seems to constrain genomic sequences, as suggested by the significant bias against in-frame ATGs specifically found at the beginning of the corresponding genes and reflected by a depletion of methionines in the N-terminus of the encoded proteins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) destabilizes eukaryotic transcripts with long 3' UTRs. To investigate whether other transcript features affect NMD, we generated yeast strains expressing chromosomal-derived mRNAs with 979 different promoter and open reading frame (ORF) regions and with the same long, destabilizing 3' UTR. We developed a barcode-based DNA microarray strategy to compare the levels of each reporter mRNA in strains with or without active NMD. The size of the coding region had a significant negative effect on NMD efficiency. This effect was not specific to the tested 3' UTR because two other different NMD reporters became less sensitive to NMD when ORF length was increased. Inefficient NMD was not due to a lack of association of Upf1 to long ORF transcripts. In conclusion, in addition to a long 3' UTR, short translation length is an important feature of NMD substrates in yeast.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic genomes are pervasively transcribed. However, it is unclear how many newly found RNAs have functions and how many are byproducts of functional, or spurious, transcription events. Cells control the accumulation of many opportunistic transcripts by limiting their synthesis and by provoking their early transcription termination and decay. In this review, we use S. cerevisiae and mammalian cells as models to discuss the circumstances by which pervasive transcripts are produced and turned over. This ultimately relates to the likelihood, and potential mechanism, of molecular function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ribosome biogenesis requires >300 assembly factors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ribosome assembly factors Imp3, Mrt4, Rlp7 and Rlp24 have sequence similarity to ribosomal proteins S9, P0, L7 and L24, suggesting that these pre-ribosomal factors could be placeholders that prevent premature assembly of the corresponding ribosomal proteins to nascent ribosomes. However, we found L7 to be a highly specific component of Rlp7-associated complexes, revealing that the two proteins can bind simultaneously to pre-ribosomal particles. Cross-linking and cDNA analysis experiments showed that Rlp7 binds to the ITS2 region of 27S pre-rRNAs, at two sites, in helix III and in a region adjacent to the pre-rRNA processing sites C1 and E. However, L7 binds to mature 25S and 5S rRNAs and cross-linked predominantly to helix ES7(L)b within 25S rRNA. Thus, despite their predicted structural similarity, our data show that Rlp7 and L7 clearly bind at different positions on the same pre-60S particles. Our results also suggest that Rlp7 facilitates the formation of the hairpin structure of ITS2 during 60S ribosomal subunit maturation.
Nucleic Acids Research 08/2013; 41(20). DOI:10.1093/nar/gkt726 · 9.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ribosome stalling on eukaryotic mRNAs triggers cotranslational RNA and protein degradation through conserved mechanisms. For example, mRNAs lacking a stop codon are degraded by the exosome in association with its cofactor, the SKI complex, whereas the corresponding aberrant nascent polypeptides are ubiquitinated by the E3 ligases Ltn1 and Not4 and become proteasome substrates. How translation arrest is linked with polypeptide degradation is still unclear. Genetic screens with SKI and LTN1 mutants allowed us to identify translation-associated element 2 (Tae2) and ribosome quality control 1 (Rqc1), two factors that we found associated, together with Ltn1 and the AAA-ATPase Cdc48, to 60S ribosomal subunits. Translation-associated element 2 (Tae2), Rqc1, and Cdc48 were all required for degradation of polypeptides synthesized from Non-Stop mRNAs (Non-Stop protein decay; NSPD). Both Ltn1 and Rqc1 were essential for the recruitment of Cdc48 to 60S particles. Polysome gradient analyses of mutant strains revealed unique intermediates of this pathway, showing that the polyubiquitination of Non-Stop peptides is a progressive process. We propose that ubiquitination of the nascent peptide starts on the 80S and continues on the 60S, on which Cdc48 is recruited to escort the substrate for proteasomal degradation.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2013; 110(13). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1221724110 · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The exosome is a complex involved in the maturation of rRNA and sn-snoRNA, in the degradation of short-lived noncoding RNAs, and in the quality control of RNAs produced in mutants. It contains two catalytic subunits, Rrp6p and Dis3p, whose specific functions are not fully understood. We analyzed the transcriptome of combinations of Rrp6p and Dis3p catalytic mutants by high-resolution tiling arrays. We show that Dis3p and Rrp6p have both overlapping and specific roles in degrading distinct classes of substrates. We found that transcripts derived from more than half of intron-containing genes are degraded before splicing. Surprisingly, we also show that the exosome degrades large amounts of tRNA precursors despite the absence of processing defects. These results underscore the notion that large amounts of RNAs produced in wild-type cells are discarded before entering functional pathways and suggest that kinetic competition with degradation proofreads the efficiency and accuracy of processing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hydrogen selenide is a recurrent metabolite of selenium compounds. However, few experiments studied the direct link between this toxic agent and cell death. To address this question, we first screened a systematic collection of Saccharomyces cerevisiae haploid knockout strains for sensitivity to sodium selenide, a donor for hydrogen selenide (H(2)Se/HSe(-/)Se(2-)). Among the genes whose deletion caused hypersensitivity, homologous recombination and DNA damage checkpoint genes were over-represented, suggesting that DNA double-strand breaks are a dominant cause of hydrogen selenide toxicity. Consistent with this hypothesis, treatment of S. cerevisiae cells with sodium selenide triggered G2/M checkpoint activation and induced in vivo chromosome fragmentation. In vitro, sodium selenide directly induced DNA phosphodiester-bond breaks via an O(2)-dependent reaction. The reaction was inhibited by mannitol, a hydroxyl radical quencher, but not by superoxide dismutase or catalase, strongly suggesting the involvement of hydroxyl radicals and ruling out participations of superoxide anions or hydrogen peroxide. The (•)OH signature could indeed be detected by electron spin resonance upon exposure of a solution of sodium selenide to O(2). Finally we showed that, in vivo, toxicity strictly depended on the presence of O(2). Therefore, by combining genome-wide and biochemical approaches, we demonstrated that, in yeast cells, hydrogen selenide induces toxic DNA breaks through an O(2)-dependent radical-based mechanism.
PLoS ONE 05/2012; 7(5):e36343. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0036343 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA Pol II transcription termination can occur by at least two alternative pathways. Cleavage and polyadenylation by the CPF/CF complex precedes mRNA transcription termination, while the Nrd1 complex is involved in transcription termination of non-coding RNAs such as sno/snRNAs or cryptic unstable transcripts. Here we show that transcription of RPL9B, one of the two genes coding for the ribosomal protein Rpl9p, terminates by either of these two pathways. The balance between these two pathways is modulated in response to the RPL9 gene copy number, resulting in the autoregulation of RPL9B gene expression. This autoregulation mechanism requires a conserved potential stem-loop structure very close to the polyadenylation sites. We propose a model in which Rpl9p, when in excess, binds this conserved 3'-UTR structure, negatively interfering with cleavage and polyadenylation to the benefit of the Nrd1-dependent termination pathway, which, being coupled to degradation by the nuclear exosome, results in downregulation of RPL9B gene expression.
The EMBO Journal 04/2012; 31(10):2427-37. DOI:10.1038/emboj.2012.81 · 10.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The EKC/KEOPS complex is universally conserved in Archaea and Eukarya and has been implicated in several cellular processes, including transcription, telomere homeostasis and genomic instability. However, the molecular function of the complex has remained elusive so far. We analyzed the transcriptome of EKC/KEOPS mutants and observed a specific profile that is highly enriched in targets of the Gcn4p transcriptional activator. GCN4 expression was found to be activated at the translational level in mutants via the defective recognition of the inhibitory upstream ORFs (uORFs) present in its leader. We show that EKC/KEOPS mutants are defective for the N6-threonylcarbamoyl adenosine modification at position 37 (t(6)A(37)) of tRNAs decoding ANN codons, which affects initiation at the inhibitory uORFs and provokes Gcn4 de-repression. Structural modeling reveals similarities between Kae1 and bacterial enzymes involved in carbamoylation reactions analogous to t(6)A(37) formation, supporting a direct role for the EKC in tRNA modification. These findings are further supported by strong genetic interactions of EKC mutants with a translation initiation factor and with threonine biosynthesis genes. Overall, our data provide a novel twist to understanding the primary function of the EKC/KEOPS and its impact on several essential cellular functions like transcription and telomere homeostasis.
Nucleic Acids Research 04/2011; 39(14):6148-60. DOI:10.1093/nar/gkr178 · 9.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cryptic unstable transcripts (CUTs) have been recently described as a major class of non-coding RNAs. These transcripts are, however, extremely unstable in normal cells and their analyzes pose specific technical problems. In this chapter, after a brief introduction discussing general aspects associated with the analysis of non-coding RNAs, we provide details of methods to enrich, map, and quantify this unconventional class of transcripts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In eukaryotes, ribosome biogenesis is a highly conserved process that starts in the nucleus and ends in the cytoplasm. In actively growing yeast cells, it is estimated that each nuclear pore complex (NPC) contributes to the export of about 25 pre-ribosomal particles per minute. Such an extremely active process requires several redundant export receptors for the pre-60S particles. Here, we report the identification of a novel pre-60S factor, Ecm1, which partially acts like Arx1 and becomes essential when the NPC function is affected. Ecm1 depletion, combined with the deletion of NPC components led to pre-60S retention in the nucleus. Functional links that we identified between Ecm1, 60S biogenesis, pre-60S export, and the NPC were correlated with physical interactions of Ecm1 with pre-60S particles and nucleoporins. These results support that Ecm1 is an additional factor involved in pre-60S export. While Ecm1 and Arx1 have redundant functions, overproduction of either one could not complement the absence of the other, whereas overproduction of Mex67 was able to partially restore the growth defect resulting from the absence of Ecm1 or Arx1. These data highlight the involvement of many factors acting together to export pre-60S particles.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the past few years, techniques have been developed that have allowed the study of transcriptomes without bias from previous genome annotations, which has led to the discovery of a plethora of unexpected RNAs that have no obvious coding capacities. There are many different kinds of products that are generated by this pervasive transcription; this Review focuses on small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that have been found to be associated with promoters in eukaryotes from animals to yeast. After comparing the different classes of such ncRNAs described in various studies, the Review discusses how the models proposed for their origins and their possible functions challenge previous views of the basic transcription process and its regulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As evidenced from mammalian cells the eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF4G has a putative role in nuclear RNA metabolism. Here we investigate whether this role is conserved in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using a combination of in vitro and in vivo methods, we show that, similar to mammalian eIF4G, yeast eIF4G homologues, Tif4631p and Tif4632p, are present both in the nucleus and the cytoplasm. We show that both eIF4G proteins interact efficiently in vitro with UsnRNP components of the splicing machinery. More specifically, Tif4631p and Tif4632p interact efficiently with U1 snRNA in vitro. In addition, Tif4631p and Tif4632p associate with protein components of the splicing machinery, namely Snu71p and Prp11p. To further delineate these interactions, we map the regions of Tif4631p and Tif4632p that are important for the interaction with Prp11p and Snu71p and we show that addition of these regions to splicing reactions in vitro has a dominant inhibitory effect. The observed interactions implicate eIF4G in aspects of pre-mRNA processing. In support of this hypothesis, deletion of one of the eIF4G isoforms results in accumulation of un-spliced precursors for a number of endogenous genes, in vivo. In conclusion these observations are suggestive of the involvement of yeast eIF4G in pre-mRNA metabolism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Cwc21p is a protein of unknown function that is associated with the NineTeen Complex (NTC), a group of proteins involved in activating the spliceosome to promote the pre-mRNA splicing reaction. Here, we show that Cwc21p binds directly to two key splicing factors-namely, Prp8p and Snu114p-and becomes the first NTC-related protein known to dock directly to U5 snRNP proteins. Using a combination of proteomic techniques we show that the N-terminus of Prp8p contains an intramolecular fold that is a Snu114p and Cwc21p interacting domain (SCwid). Cwc21p also binds directly to the C-terminus of Snu114p. Complementary chemical cross-linking experiments reveal reciprocal protein footprints between the interacting Prp8 and Cwc21 proteins, identifying the conserved cwf21 domain in Cwc21p as a Prp8p binding site. Genetic and functional interactions between Cwc21p and Isy1p indicate that they have related functions at or prior to the first catalytic step of splicing, and suggest that Cwc21p functions at the catalytic center of the spliceosome, possibly in response to environmental or metabolic changes. We demonstrate that SRm300, the only SR-related protein known to be at the core of human catalytic spliceosomes, is a functional ortholog of Cwc21p, also interacting directly with Prp8p and Snu114p. Thus, the function of Cwc21p is likely conserved from yeast to humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cordycepin (3' deoxyadenosine) is a biologically active compound that, when incorporated during RNA synthesis in vitro, provokes chain termination due to the absence of a 3' hydroxyl moiety. We were interested in the effects mediated by this drug in vivo and analyzed its impact on RNA metabolism of yeast. Our results support the view that cordycepin-triphosphate (CoTP) is the toxic component that is limiting cell growth through inhibition of RNA synthesis. Unexpectedly, cordycepin treatment modulated 3' end heterogeneity of ACT1 and ASC1 mRNAs and rapidly induced extended transcripts derived from CYH2 and NEL025c loci. Moreover, cordycepin ameliorated the growth defects of poly(A) polymerase mutants and the pap1-1 mutation neutralized the effects of the drug on gene expression. Our observations are consistent with an epistatic relationship between poly(A) polymerase function and cordycepin action and suggest that a major mode of cordycepin activity reduces 3' end formation efficiency independently of its potential to terminate RNA chain elongation. Finally, chemical-genetic profiling revealed genome-wide pathways linked to cordycepin activity and identified novel genes involved in poly(A) homeostasis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pervasive and hidden transcription is widespread in eukaryotes, but its global level, the mechanisms from which it originates and its functional significance are unclear. Cryptic unstable transcripts (CUTs) were recently described as a principal class of RNA polymerase II transcripts in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These transcripts are targeted for degradation immediately after synthesis by the action of the Nrd1-exosome-TRAMP complexes. Although CUT degradation mechanisms have been analysed in detail, the genome-wide distribution at the nucleotide resolution and the prevalence of CUTs are unknown. Here we report the first high-resolution genomic map of CUTs in yeast, revealing a class of potentially functional CUTs and the intrinsic bidirectional nature of eukaryotic promoters. An RNA fraction highly enriched in CUTs was analysed by a 3' Long-SAGE (serial analysis of gene expression) approach adapted to deep sequencing. The resulting detailed genomic map of CUTs revealed that they derive from extremely widespread and very well defined transcription units and do not result from unspecific transcriptional noise. Moreover, the transcription of CUTs predominantly arises within nucleosome-free regions, most of which correspond to promoter regions of bona fide genes. Some of the CUTs start upstream from messenger RNAs and overlap their 5' end. Our study of glycolysis genes, as well as recent results from the literature, indicate that such concurrent transcription is potentially associated with regulatory mechanisms. Our data reveal numerous new CUTs with such a potential regulatory role. However, most of the identified CUTs corresponded to transcripts divergent from the promoter regions of genes, indicating that they represent by-products of divergent transcription occurring at many and possibly most promoters. Eukaryotic promoter regions are thus intrinsically bidirectional, a fundamental property that escaped previous analyses because in most cases divergent transcription generates short-lived unstable transcripts present at very low steady-state levels.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hidden transcription in eukaryotes carries a large potential of regulatory functions that are only recently beginning to emerge. Cryptic unstable transcripts (CUTs) are generated by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and rapidly degraded after transcription in wild-type yeast cells. Whether CUTs or the act of transcription without RNA production have a function is presently unclear. We describe here a nonconventional mechanism of transcriptional regulation that relies on the selection of alternative transcription start sites to generate CUTs or mRNAs. Transcription from TATA box proximal start sites generates unstable transcripts and downregulates expression of the URA2 gene under repressing conditions. Uracil deprivation activates selection of distal start sites, leading to the production of stable mRNAs. We describe the elements that govern degradation of the CUT and activation of mRNA production by downstream transcription initiation. Importantly, we show that a similar mechanism applies to other genes in the nucleotides biogenesis pathway.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During the highly conserved process of eukaryotic ribosome formation, RNA follows a maturation path with well-defined, successive intermediates that dynamically associate with many pre-ribosomal proteins. A comprehensive description of the assembly process is still lacking. To obtain data on the timing and order of association of the different pre-ribosomal factors, a strategy consists in the use of pre-ribsomal particles isolated from mutants that block ribosome formation at different steps. Immunoblots, inherently limited to only a few factors, have been applied to evaluate the accumulation or decrease of pre-ribosomal intermediates under mutant conditions. For a global protein-level description of different 60S ribosomal subunit maturation intermediates in yeast, we have adapted a method of in vivo isotopic labelling and mass spectrometry to study pre-60S complexes isolated from strains in which rRNA processing was affected by individual depletion of five factors: Ebp2, Nog1, Nsa2, Nog2 or Pop3. We obtained quantitative data for 45 distinct pre-60S proteins and detected coordinated changes for over 30 pre-60S factors in the analysed mutants. These results led to the characterisation of the composition of early, intermediate and late pre-ribosomal complexes, specific for crucial maturation steps during 60S assembly in eukaryotes.
Nucleic Acids Research 07/2008; 36(15):4988-99. DOI:10.1093/nar/gkn469 · 9.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A genome-wide screen for synthetic lethal (SL) interactions with loss of the nuclear exosome cofactors Rrp47/Lrp1 or Air1 identified 3'-->5' exonucleases, the THO complex required for mRNP assembly, and Ynr024w (Mpp6). SL interactions with mpp6Delta were confirmed for rrp47Delta and nuclear exosome component Rrp6. The results of bioinformatic analyses revealed homology between Mpp6 and a human exosome cofactor, underlining the high conservation of the RNA surveillance system. Mpp6 is an RNA binding protein that physically associates with the exosome and was localized throughout the nucleus. The results of functional analyses demonstrated roles for Mpp6 in the surveillance of both pre-rRNA and pre-mRNAs and in the degradation of "cryptic" noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) derived from intergenic regions and the ribosomal DNA spacer heterochromatin. Strikingly, these ncRNAs are also targeted by other exosome cofactors, including Rrp47, the TRAMP complex (which includes Air1), and the Nrd1/Nab3 complex, and are degraded by both Rrp6 and the core exosome. Heterochromatic transcripts and other ncRNAs are characterized by very rapid degradation, and we predict that functional redundancy is an important feature of ncRNA metabolism.