Cuihua Hu

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Maryland, United States

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Publications (9)82.12 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Paf1 complex (Paf1C) is a transcription elongation factor whose recruitment is stimulated by Spt5 and the CDKs Kin28 and Bur1, which phosphorylate the Pol II C-terminal domain (CTD) on Serines 2, 5, and 7. Bur1 promotes Paf1C recruitment by phosphorylating C-terminal repeats (CTRs) in Spt5, and we show that Kin28 enhances Spt5 phosphorylation by promoting Bur1 recruitment. It was unclear, however, whether CTD phosphorylation by Kin28 or Bur1 also stimulates Paf1C recruitment. We find that Paf1C and its Cdc73 subunit bind diphosphorylated CTD repeats (pCTD) and phosphorylated Spt5 CTRs (pCTRs) in vitro, and that cdc73 mutations eliminating both activities reduce Paf1C recruitment in vivo. Phosphomimetic (acidic) substitutions in the Spt5 CTR sustain high-level Paf1C recruitment in otherwise wild-type cells, but not following inactivation of Bur1 or Kin28. Furthermore, inactivating the pCTD/pCTR-interaction domain (PCID) in Cdc73 decreases Paf1C-dependent histone methylation in cells containing non-phosphorylatable Spt5 CTRs. These results identify an Spt5 pCTR-independent pathway of Paf1C recruitment requiring Kin28, Bur1, and the Cdc73 PCID. We propose that pCTD repeats and Spt5 pCTRs provide separate interaction surfaces that cooperate to ensure high-level Paf1C recruitment.
    The EMBO Journal 07/2012; 31(16):3494-505. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methylation of histone H3 by Set1 and Set2 is required for deacetylation of nucleosomes in coding regions by histone deacetylase complexes (HDACs) Set3C and Rpd3C(S), respectively. We report that Set3C and Rpd3C(S) are cotranscriptionally recruited in the absence of Set1 and Set2, but in a manner stimulated by Pol II CTD kinase Cdk7/Kin28. Consistently, Rpd3C(S) and Set3C interact with Ser5-phosphorylated Pol II and histones in extracts, but only the histone interactions require H3 methylation. Moreover, reconstituted Rpd3C(S) binds specifically to Ser5-phosphorylated CTD peptides in vitro. Hence, whereas interaction with methylated H3 residues is required for Rpd3C(S) and Set3C deacetylation activities, their cotranscriptional recruitment is stimulated by the phosphorylated CTD. We further demonstrate that Rpd3, Hos2, and Hda1 have overlapping functions in deacetylating histones and suppressing cotranscriptional histone eviction. A strong correlation between increased acetylation and lower histone occupancy in HDA mutants implies that histone acetylation is important for nucleosome eviction.
    Molecular Cell 07/2010; 39(2):234-46. · 15.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclin-dependent kinase BUR1/BUR2 appears to be the yeast ortholog of P-TEFb, which phosphorylates Ser2 of the RNA Pol II CTD, but the importance of BUR1/BUR2 in CTD phosphorylation is unclear. We show that BUR1/BUR2 is cotranscriptionally recruited to the 5' end of ARG1 in a manner stimulated by interaction of the BUR1 C terminus with CTD repeats phosphorylated on Ser5 by KIN28. Impairing BUR1/BUR2 function, or removing the CTD-interaction domain in BUR1, reduces Ser2 phosphorylation in bulk Pol II and eliminates the residual Ser2P in cells lacking the major Ser2 CTD kinase, CTK1. Impairing BUR1/BUR2 or CTK1 evokes a similar reduction of Ser2P in Pol II phosphorylated on Ser5 and in elongating Pol II near the ARG1 promoter. By contrast, CTK1 is responsible for the bulk of Ser2P in total Pol II and at promoter-distal sites. In addition to phosphorylating Ser2 near promoters, BUR1/BUR2 also stimulates Ser2P formation by CTK1 during transcription elongation.
    Molecular cell 04/2009; 33(6):752-62. · 14.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nuclear cap binding complex (CBC) is recruited cotranscriptionally and stimulates spliceosome assembly on nascent mRNAs; however, its possible functions in regulating transcription elongation or termination were not well understood. We show that, while CBC appears to be dispensable for normal rates and processivity of elongation by RNA polymerase II (Pol II), it plays a direct role in preventing polyadenylation at weak termination sites. Similarly to Npl3p, with which it interacts, CBC suppresses the weak terminator of the gal10-Delta56 mutant allele by impeding recruitment of termination factors Pcf11p and Rna15p (subunits of cleavage factor IA [CF IA]) and does so without influencing Npl3p occupancy at the termination site. Importantly, deletion of CBC subunits or NPL3 also increases termination at a naturally occurring weak poly(A) site in the RNA14 coding sequences. We also show that CBC is most likely recruited directly to the cap of nascent transcripts rather than interacting first with transcriptional activators or the phosphorylated C-terminal domain of Pol II. Thus, our findings illuminate the mechanism of CBC recruitment and extend its function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae beyond mRNA splicing and degradation of aberrant nuclear mRNAs to include regulation of CF IA recruitment at poly(A) selection sites.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 10/2007; 27(18):6520-31. · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Paf1 complex (Paf1C) interacts with RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and promotes histone methylation of transcribed coding sequences, but the mechanism of Paf1C recruitment is unknown. We show that Paf1C is not recruited directly by the activator Gcn4p but is dependent on preinitiation complex assembly and Ser5 carboxy-terminal domain phosphorylation for optimal association with ARG1 coding sequences. Importantly, Spt4p is required for Paf1C occupancy at ARG1 (and other genes) and for Paf1C association with Ser5-phosphorylated Pol II in cell extracts, whereas Spt4p-Pol II association is independent of Paf1C. Since spt4Delta does not reduce levels of Pol II at ARG1, Ser5 phosphorylation, or Paf1C expression, it appears that Spt4p (or its partner in DSIF, Spt5p) provides a platform on Pol II for recruiting Paf1C following Ser5 phosphorylation and promoter clearance. spt4Delta reduces trimethylation of Lys4 on histone H3, demonstrating a new role for yeast DSIF in promoting a Paf1C-dependent function in elongation.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 05/2006; 26(8):3135-48. · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transcriptional activation by Gcn4p is enhanced by the coactivators SWI/SNF, SAGA, and Srb mediator, which stimulate recruitment of TATA binding protein (TBP) and polymerase II to target promoters. We show that wild-type recruitment of SAGA by Gcn4p is dependent on mediator but independent of SWI/SNF function at three different promoters. Recruitment of mediator is also independent of SWI/SNF but is enhanced by SAGA at a subset of Gcn4p target genes. Recruitment of all three coactivators to ARG1 is independent of the TATA element and preinitiation complex formation, whereas efficient recruitment of the general transcription factors requires the TATA box. We propose an activation pathway involving interdependent recruitment of SAGA and Srb mediator to the upstream activation sequence, enabling SWI/SNF recruitment and the binding of TBP and other general factors to the promoter. We also found that high-level recruitment of Tra1p and other SAGA subunits is independent of the Ada2p/Ada3p/Gcn5p histone acetyltransferase module but requires Spt3p in addition to subunits required for SAGA integrity. Thus, while Tra1p can bind directly to Gcn4p in vitro, it requires other SAGA subunits for efficient recruitment in vivo.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 06/2005; 25(9):3461-74. · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wild-type transcriptional activation by Gcn4p is dependent on multiple coactivators, including SAGA, SWI/SNF, Srb mediator, CCR4-NOT, and RSC, which are all recruited by Gcn4p to its target promoters in vivo. It was not known whether these coactivators are required for assembly of the preinitiation complex (PIC) or for subsequent steps in the initiation or elongation phase of transcription. We find that mutations in subunits of these coactivators reduce the recruitment of TATA binding protein (TBP) and RNA polymerase II (Pol II) by Gcn4p at ARG1, ARG4, and SNZ1, implicating all five coactivators in PIC assembly at Gcn4p target genes. Recruitment of Pol II at SNZ1 and ARG1 was eliminated by mutations in TBP or by deletion of the TATA box, indicating that TBP binding is a prerequisite for Pol II recruitment by Gcn4p. However, several mutations in SAGA subunits and deletion of SRB10 had a greater impact on promoter occupancy of Pol II versus TBP, suggesting that SAGA and Srb mediator can promote Pol II binding independently of their stimulatory effects on TBP recruitment. Our results reveal an unexpected complexity in the cofactor requirements for the enhancement of PIC assembly by a single activator protein.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 06/2004; 24(10):4104-17. · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The protein kinase GCN2 is activated in amino acid-starved cells on binding of uncharged tRNA to a histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HisRS)-related domain. We isolated two point mutations in the protein kinase (PK) domain, R794G and F842L, that permit strong kinase activity in the absence of tRNA binding. These mutations also bypass the requirement for ribosome binding, dimerization, and association with the GCN1/GCN20 regulatory complex, suggesting that all of these functions facilitate tRNA binding to wild-type GCN2. While the isolated wild-type PK domain was completely inert, the mutant PK was highly active in vivo and in vitro. These results identify an inhibitory structure intrinsic to the PK domain that must be overcome on tRNA binding by interactions with a regulatory region, most likely the N terminus of the HisRS segment. As Arg 794 and Phe 842 are predicted to lie close to one another and to the active site, they may participate directly in misaligning active site residues. Autophosphorylation of the activation loop was stimulated by R794G and F842L, and the autophosphorylation sites remained critical for GCN2 function in the presence of these mutations. Our results imply a two-step activation mechanism involving distinct conformational changes in the PK domain.
    Genes & Development 06/2002; 16(10):1271-80. · 12.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: GCN2 stimulates translation of GCN4 mRNA in amino acid-starved cells by phosphorylating translation initiation factor 2. GCN2 is activated by binding of uncharged tRNA to a domain related to histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HisRS). The HisRS-like region contains two dimerization domains (HisRS-N and HisRS-C) required for GCN2 function in vivo but dispensable for dimerization by full-length GCN2. Residues corresponding to amino acids at the dimer interface of Escherichia coli HisRS were required for dimerization of recombinant HisRS-N and for tRNA binding by full-length GCN2, suggesting that HisRS-N dimerization promotes tRNA binding and kinase activation. HisRS-N also interacted with the protein kinase (PK) domain, and a deletion impairing this interaction destroyed GCN2 function without reducing tRNA binding; thus, HisRS-N-PK interaction appears to stimulate PK function. The C-terminal domain of GCN2 (C-term) interacted with the PK domain in a manner disrupted by an activating PK mutation (E803V). These results suggest that the C-term is an autoinhibitory domain, counteracted by tRNA binding. We conclude that multiple domain interactions, positive and negative, mediate the activation of GCN2 by uncharged tRNA.
    The EMBO Journal 04/2001; 20(6):1425-38. · 9.82 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

389 Citations
82.12 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2012
    • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
      Maryland, United States
  • 2001–2009
    • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
      Maryland, United States
    • National Institutes of Health
      • Section on Eukaryotic DNA Replication and Gene Regulation
      Bethesda, MD, United States