A Tetrahymena Piwi protein and the exonuclease Xrn2 form a complex that is essential for ribosome biogenesis
ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence suggests that Ago/Piwi proteins function in the nucleus as well as the cytoplasm to control gene expression, but the mechanisms they employ in the nucleus remain poorly defined. The Tetrahymena thermophila Ago/Piwi protein Twi12 is essential for growth and functions in the nucleus. We show that Twi12 interacts with the exonuclease Xrn2. Twi12 functions to stabilize and localize Xrn2 in vivo, as well as activate its exonuclease activity in vitro. When Twi12 or Xrn2 are depleted, pre-rRNA processing intermediates accumulate and mature rRNA levels decline. RNA polymerase I and II (RNAP I and II) transcripts also accumulate. Twi12 function depends on small RNA (sRNA) binding, which is required for its nuclear import. Twi12-bound sRNAs are Dicer-independent 3' tRNA fragments that we propose may not be involved in sequence-specific base pairing to targets. Our findings suggest a role for tRNA fragments and an Ago/Piwi protein in global control of gene expression through interaction with a conserved exonuclease. One library is analyzed here: small RNAs associated with ZZF-tagged Twi12. Twi12 is the full-length version, which is extended by 17 amino acids at the N-terminus compared to the previously-reported Twi12. Specifically, the 16-22 nt reads were analyzed here.
Project description:Emerging evidence suggests that Ago/Piwi proteins function in the nucleus as well as the cytoplasm to control gene expression, but the mechanisms they employ in the nucleus remain poorly defined. The Tetrahymena thermophila Ago/Piwi protein Twi12 is essential for growth and functions in the nucleus. We show that Twi12 interacts with the exonuclease Xrn2. Twi12 functions to stabilize and localize Xrn2 in vivo, as well as activate its exonuclease activity in vitro. When Twi12 or Xrn2 are depleted, pre-rRNA processing intermediates accumulate and mature rRNA levels decline. RNA polymerase I and II (RNAP I and II) transcripts also accumulate. Twi12 function depends on small RNA (sRNA) binding, which is required for its nuclear import. Twi12-bound sRNAs are Dicer-independent 3' tRNA fragments that we propose may not be involved in sequence-specific base pairing to targets. Our findings suggest a role for tRNA fragments and an Ago/Piwi protein in global control of gene expression through interaction with a conserved exonuclease. Overall design: One library is analyzed here: small RNAs associated with ZZF-tagged Twi12. Twi12 is the full-length version, which is extended by 17 amino acids at the N-terminus compared to the previously-reported Twi12. Specifically, the 16-22 nt reads were analyzed here.
Project description:Transcription termination was analyzed by anti RNA pol II ChIP-seq in isogenic human HEK293 cell lines that inducibly express a-amanitin resistant mutants of the RNA polymerase II large subunit with slow and fast elongation rates and in lines that inducbily over-express WT or an active site mutant of the RNA exonuclease "torpedo" Xrn2. Transcription termination zones were mapped by anti-pol II ChIP-seq under conditions where transcription elongation rate was increased or decreased by point mutations in the large subunit of the enzyme. Termination was also assayed under conditions where Xrn2 exonuclease activity was inhibited by over-expression of an active site mutant (D235A).
Project description:We report a function of human mRNA decapping factors in control of transcription by RNA polymerase II. Decapping proteins Edc3, Dcp1a and Dcp2 and the termination factor TTF2 co-immunoprecipitate with Xrn2, the nuclear 5'-3' exonuclease torpedo that facilitates transcription termination at the 3' ends of genes. Dcp1a, Xrn2 and TTF2 localize near transcription start sites (TSSs) by ChIP-Seq. At genes with 5' peaks of paused pol II, knockdown of decapping or termination factors, Xrn2 and TTF2, shifted polymerase away from the TSS toward upstream and downstream distal positions. This re-distribution of pol II is similar in magnitude to that caused by depletion of the elongation factor Spt5. We propose that coupled decapping of nascent transcripts and premature termination by the torpedo mechanism is a widespread mechanism that limits bidirectional pol II elongation. Regulated co-transcriptional decapping near promoter-proximal pause sites followed by premature termination could control productive pol II elongation. RNA pol II (GSE30895: GSM766171), Xrn2, TTF2 and Dcp1a were localized by ChIP-Seq in HeLa cells. RNA pol II was localized in control HEK293 cells and cells infected with lentiviruses expressing a scrambled control shRNA (scr), and shRNAs targeting the following proteins: Xrn2, TTF2, Xrn2+TTF2, Edc3, Dcp1a, and Dcp2.
Project description:Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) are small RNA abundant in the germline across animal species. In fruit flies and mice, piRNA were implicated in maintenance of genomic integrity by transposable elements silencing. Outside of the germline, piRNA have only been found in Drosophila ovarian follicle cells. Previous studies further reported the presence of multiple piRNA-like small RNA (pilRNA) in fly heads and a small number of pilRNA in mouse tissues and human NK cells. Here, by analyzing high-throughput small RNA sequencing data in more than 130 fruit fly, mouse and rhesus macaque samples, we show widespread presence of pilRNA displaying all known characteristics of piRNA in multiple somatic tissues of these three species. In mouse pancreas and macaque epididymis, pilRNA abundance was compatible with piRNA abundance in the germline. Using in situ hybridizations, we further demonstrate pilRNA co-localization with mRNA expression of Piwi-family genes in all macaque tissues. These findings indicate that piRNA-like molecules might play important roles outside of the germline. Small RNA expression profiles were examined in five rhesus macaque tissues (testis, epididymis, prostate, seminal vesicles, cortex) and one mouse tissue (epididymis).
Project description:Small regulatory RNAs guide Argonaute (Ago) proteins in a sequence-specific manner to their targets and therefore have important roles in eukaryotic gene silencing. Of the three small RNA classes, microRNAs and short interfering RNAs are processed from double-stranded precursors into defined 21- to 23-mers by Dicer, an endoribonuclease with intrinsic ruler function. PIWI- interacting RNAs (piRNAs)—the 22–30-nt-long guides for PIWI- clade Ago proteins that silence transposons in animal gonads— are generated independently of Dicer from single-stranded precursors. piRNA 5′ ends are defined either by Zucchini, the Drosophila homologue of mitoPLD—a mitochondria-anchored endonuclease, or by piRNA-guided target cleavage. Formation of piRNA 3′ ends is poorly understood. Here we report that two genetically and mechanistically distinct pathways generate piRNA 3′ ends in Drosophila. The initiating nucleases are either Zucchini or the PIWI-clade proteins Aubergine (Aub)/Ago3. While Zucchini- mediated cleavages directly define mature piRNA 3′ ends, Aub/ Ago3-mediated cleavages liberate pre-piRNAs that require extensive resection by the 3′-to-5′ exoribonuclease Nibbler (Drosophila homologue of Mut-7). The relative activity of these two pathways dictates the extent to which piRNAs are directed to cytoplasmic or nuclear PIWI-clade proteins and thereby sets the balance between post-transcriptional and transcriptional silencing. Notably, loss of both Zucchini and Nibbler reveals a minimal, Argonaute-driven small RNA biogenesis pathway in which piRNA 5′ and 3′ ends are directly produced by closely spaced Aub/Ago3-mediated cleavage events. Our data reveal a coherent model for piRNA biogenesis, and should aid the mechanistic dissection of the processes that govern piRNA 3′-end formation. Overall design: This study aims at understanding how piRNA 3' ends are formed in Drosophila and what the role of the exonuclease Nibbler is in their formation.
Project description:Eukaryotic cells express several classes of small RNAs that regulate gene expression and ensure genome maintenance. Endogenous siRNAs (endo-siRNAs) and Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) mainly control gene and transposon expression in the germline, while microRNAs (miRNAs) generally function in post-transcriptional gene silencing in both somatic and germline cells. To provide an evolutionary and developmental perspective on small RNA pathways in nematodes, we identified and characterized known and novel small RNA classes through gametogenesis and embryo development in the parasitic nematode Ascaris suum and compared them with known small RNAs of Caenorhabditis elegans. piRNAs, Piwi-clade Argonautes, and other proteins associated with the piRNA pathway have been lost in Ascaris. miRNAs are synthesized immediately following fertilization in utero, prior to pronuclear fusion, and before the first cleavage of the zygote. This is the earliest expression of small RNAs ever described at a developmental stage long thought to be transcriptionally quiescent. A comparison of the two classes of Ascaris endo-siRNAs, 22G-RNAs and 26G-RNAs, to those in C. elegans, suggests great diversification and plasticity in the use of small RNA pathways during spermatogenesis in different nematodes. Our data reveal conserved characteristics of nematode small RNAs as well as features unique to Ascaris that illustrate significant flexibility in the use of small RNAs pathways, some of which are likely an adaptation to Ascaris’ life cycle and parasitism. We generated transcriptomes from Ascaris germline and embryos for de-novo assembly as well as cDNA expression profiles. Two types of libraries were prepared: 1) sheared, full-length cDNA synthesized using a combination of oligo-dT and random hexamer priming and 2) cDNA prepared from RNA first chemically sheared and then double-stranded cDNA prepared using ramom hexamer priming.
Project description:Piwi proteins and their associated small RNAs are essential for fertility in animals. This is due, in part, to their roles in guarding germ cell genomes against the activity of mobile genetic elements. piRNA populations direct Piwi proteins to silence transposon targets and as such form a molecular code that discriminates transposons from endogenous genes. Information ultimately carried by piRNAs is encoded within genomic loci, termed piRNA clusters. These give rise to long, single-stranded, primary transcripts that are processed into piRNAs. Despite the biological importance of this pathway, neither the characteristics that define a locus as a source of piRNAs nor the mechanisms that catalyze primary piRNA biogenesis are well understood. We searched an EMS-mutant collection annotated for fertility phenotypes for genes involved in the piRNA pathway. Twenty-seven homozygous-sterile strains showed transposon-silencing defects. One of these, which strongly impacted primary piRNA biogenesis, harbored a causal mutation in CG5508, a member of the Drosophila glycerol-3-phosphate O-acetyltransferase (GPAT) family. These enzymes catalyze the first acylation step on the path to the production of phosphatidic acid (PA). Though this pointed strongly to a function for phospholipid signaling in the piRNA pathway, a mutant form of CG5508, which lacks the GPAT active site, still functions in piRNA biogenesis. We have named this new biogenesis factor Minotaur. Examination of small RNA profile in heterozygous and homozygous CG5508 mutant ovaries
Project description:This project aims to investigate the metabolic pathways expressed by the active microbial community occurring at the deep continental subsurface. Subsurface chemoLithoautotrophic Microbial Ecosystems (SLiMEs) under oligotrophic conditions are supported by H2; however, the overall ecological trophic structures of these communities are poorly understood. Some deep, fluid-filled fractures in the Witwatersrand Basin, South Africa appear to support inverted trophic pyramids wherein methanogens contributing <5% of the total DNA apparently produce CH4 that supports the rest of the community. Here we show the active metabolic relationships of one such trophic structure by combining metatranscriptomic assemblies, metaproteomic and stable isotopic data, and thermodynamic modeling. Four autotrophic β-proteobacteria genera that are capable of oxidizing sulfur by denitrification dominate. They co-occur with sulfate reducers, anaerobic methane oxidizers and methanogens, which each comprises <5% of the total community. Defining trophic levels of microbial chemolithoautotrophs by the number of transfers from the initial abiotic H2-driven CO2 fixation, we propose a top-down cascade influence of the metabolic consumers that enhances the fitness of the metabolic producers to explain the inverted biomass pyramid of a multitrophic SLiME. Symbiotic partnerships are pivotal in the deep biosphere on and potentially beyond the Earth.
Project description:Preparation of exosomes isolated from semen contain a substantial amount of RNA, mostly from 20 to 100 nucleotides in length. We sequenced separately 20-40 and 40-100 nucleotide fractions of RNA from exosomes isolated from semenal fluid from six healthy donors. We found various classes of small non-coding RNA, including mature microRNA and piwi-RNA, as well as abundant Y RNAs and tRNAs present in both full length and fragmented forms. Specific RNAs were consistently present in all donors. For example, fifteen (of ~2,600 known) microRNAs constituted over 80% of mature microRNA in SE. Additionally, tRNA fragments were strongly enriched for 5’-ends of 18-19 or 30-34 nucleotides in length. Size-fractionated small RNA profiles from exosomes isolated from the seminal fluid of six healthy donors
Project description:Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are essential for silencing of transposable elements in the germline but their biogenesis is poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that MOV10L1, a germ cell-specific putative RNA helicase, is associated with Piwi proteins. Genetic disruption of the MOV10L1 RNA helicase domain in mice renders both MILI and MIWI2 devoid of piRNAs. Absence of a functional piRNA pathway in Mov10l1 mutant testes causes loss of DNA methylation and subsequent de-repression of retrotransposons in germ cells. The Mov10l1 mutant males are sterile due to complete meiotic arrest. This is the first mouse mutant that expresses Piwi proteins but lacks piRNAs, suggesting that MOV10L1 is required for piRNA biogenesis and/or loading to Piwi proteins. Examination of piRNAs in Mov10l IP and differences in total small RNA profiles in RNA helicase Mov10l+/- and Mov10l-/- mutants.