Post-transcriptional manipulation of TERC reverses molecular hallmarks of telomere disease
ABSTRACT: The telomerase RNA component (TERC) is a critical determinant of cellular self renewal. Poly(A)-specific ribonuclease (PARN) is required for post-transcriptional maturation of TERC. PARN mutations lead to incomplete 3′ end processing and increased destruction of nascent TERC RNA transcripts, resulting in telomerase deficiency and telomere diseases. Here, we determined that overexpression of TERC increased telomere length in PARN-deficient cells and hypothesized that decreasing post-transcriptional 3′ oligo-adenylation of TERC would counteract the deleterious effects of PARN mutations. Inhibition of the noncanonical poly(A) polymerase PAP-associated domain–containing 5 (PAPD5) increased TERC levels in PARN-mutant patient cells. PAPD5 inhibition was also associated with increases in TERC stability, telomerase activity, and telomere elongation. Our results demonstrate that manipulating post-transcriptional regulatory pathways may be a potential strategy to reverse the molecular hallmarks of telomere disease. mRNA sequencing of induced pluripotent stem cells and 293 cell line.
Project description:The telomerase RNA component (TERC) is a critical determinant of cellular self-renewal. Poly(A)-specific ribonuclease (PARN) is required for posttranscriptional maturation of TERC. PARN mutations lead to incomplete 3' end processing and increased destruction of nascent TERC RNA transcripts, resulting in telomerase deficiency and telomere diseases. Here, we determined that overexpression of TERC increased telomere length in PARN-deficient cells and hypothesized that decreasing posttranscriptional 3' oligo-adenylation of TERC would counteract the deleterious effects of PARN mutations. Inhibition of the noncanonical poly(A) polymerase PAP-associated domain-containing 5 (PAPD5) increased TERC levels in PARN-mutant patient cells. PAPD5 inhibition was also associated with increases in TERC stability, telomerase activity, and telomere elongation. Our results demonstrate that manipulating posttranscriptional regulatory pathways may be a potential strategy to reverse the molecular hallmarks of telomere disease.
Project description:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a pediatric bone marrow failure syndrome caused by germline mutations in telomere biology genes. Mutations in DKC1 (the most commonly mutated gene in DC), the 3' region of TERC, and poly(A)-specific ribonuclease (PARN) cause reduced levels of the telomerase RNA component (TERC) by reducing its stability and accelerating TERC degradation. We have previously shown that depleting wild-type DKC1 levels by RNA interference or expression of the disease-associated A353V mutation in the DKC1 gene leads to decay of TERC, modulated by 3'-end oligoadenylation by noncanonical poly(A) polymerase 5 (PAPD5) followed by 3' to 5' degradation by EXOSC10. Furthermore, the constitutive genetic silencing of PAPD5 is sufficient to rescue TERC levels, restore telomerase function, and elongate telomeres in DKC1_A353V mutant human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Here, we tested a novel PAPD5/7 inhibitor (RG7834), which was originally discovered in screens against hepatitis B viral loads in hepatic cells. We found that treatment with RG7834 rescues TERC levels, restores correct telomerase localization in DKC1 and PARN-depleted cells, and is sufficient to elongate telomeres in DKC1_A353V hESCs. Finally, treatment with RG7834 significantly improved definitive hematopoietic potential from DKC1_A353V hESCs, indicating that the chemical inhibition of PAPD5 is a potential therapy for patients with DC and reduced TERC levels.
Project description:Reduced levels of TERC, the telomerase RNA component, cause dyskeratosis congenita (DC) in patients harboring mutations in TERC, PARN, NOP10, NHP2, NAF1, or DKC1. Inhibition of the noncanonical poly(A) polymerase PAPD5, or the exosome RNA degradation complex, partially restores TERC levels in immortalized DKC1 mutant cells, but it remains unknown if modulation of posttranscriptional processing of TERC could improve hematopoietic output in DC. We used human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) with a common dyskerin mutation (DKC1_A353V), which have defective telomere maintenance and reduced definitive hematopoietic potential, to understand the effects of reducing EXOSC3 activity, or silencing PAPD5-mediated oligoadenylation, on hematopoietic progenitor specification and function in DC. Reduction of EXOSC3 or PAPD5 levels in DKC1 mutant hESCs led to functional improvements in TERC levels and telomerase activity, with concomitant telomere elongation and reduced levels of DNA damage signaling. Interestingly, the silencing of PAPD5, but not EXOSC3, significantly restored definitive hematopoietic potential in DKC1 mutant cells. Mechanistically, we show that PAPD5 inhibition is sustained in differentiated CD34+ cells, with a concomitant increase in mature, functional, forms of TERC, indicating that regulation of PAPD5 is a potential strategy to reverse hematologic dysfunction in DC patients.
Project description:Mutations in the PARN gene (encoding poly(A)-specific ribonuclease) cause telomere diseases including familial idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and dyskeratosis congenita, but how PARN deficiency impairs telomere maintenance is unclear. Here, using somatic cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from patients with dyskeratosis congenita with PARN mutations, we show that PARN is required for the 3'-end maturation of the telomerase RNA component (TERC). Patient-derived cells as well as immortalized cells in which PARN is disrupted show decreased levels of TERC. Deep sequencing of TERC RNA 3' termini shows that PARN is required for removal of post-transcriptionally acquired oligo(A) tails that target nuclear RNAs for degradation. Diminished TERC levels and the increased proportion of oligo(A) forms of TERC are normalized by restoring PARN, which is limiting for TERC maturation in cells. Our results demonstrate a new role for PARN in the biogenesis of TERC and provide a mechanism linking PARN mutations to telomere diseases.
Project description:Mutations in the poly(A) ribonuclease (PARN) gene cause telomere diseases including familial idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and dyskeratosis congenita (DC)1,2, but how PARN deficiency impacts telomere maintenance is unclear. Here, using somatic cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from DC patients with PARN mutations, we show that PARN is required for the 3′ end maturation of the telomerase RNA component (TERC). Patient cells as well as immortalized cells in which PARN is disrupted show decreased levels of TERC. Deep sequencing of TERC RNA 3′ termini reveals that PARN is required for removal of posttranscriptionally acquired oligo(A) tails that target nuclear RNAs for degradation. Diminished TERC levels and the increased oligo(A) forms of TERC are normalized by restoring PARN, which is limiting for TERC maturation in cells. Our results reveal a novel role for PARN in the biogenesis of TERC, and provide a mechanism linking PARN mutations to telomere diseases. mRNA sequencing of fibroblasts, induced pluripotent stem cells, and 293 cell line.
Project description:Mutations in the human telomerase RNA component (hTR), the telomerase ribonucleoprotein component dyskerin (DKC1) and the poly(A) RNase (PARN) can lead to reduced levels of hTR and to dyskeratosis congenita (DC). However, the enzymes and mechanisms responsible for hTR degradation are unknown. We demonstrate that defects in dyskerin binding lead to hTR degradation by PAPD5-mediated oligoadenylation, which promotes 3'-to-5' degradation by EXOSC10, as well as decapping and 5'-to-3' decay by the cytoplasmic DCP2 and XRN1 enzymes. PARN increased hTR levels by deadenylating hTR, thereby limiting its degradation by EXOSC10. Telomerase activity and proper hTR localization in dyskerin- or PARN-deficient cells were rescued by knockdown of DCP2 and/or EXOSC10. Prevention of hTR RNA decay also led to a rescue of localization of DC-associated hTR mutants. These results suggest that inhibition of RNA decay pathways might be a useful therapy for some telomere pathologies.
Project description:Mutations in RNA-processing enzymes are increasingly linked to human disease. Telomerase RNA and related noncoding RNAs require 3' end-processing steps, including oligoadenylation. Germline mutations in poly(A)ribonuclease (PARN) cause accumulation of extended human telomerase RNA (hTR) species and precipitate dyskeratosis congenita and pulmonary fibrosis. Here, we develop nascent RNAend-seq to measure processing rates of RNA precursors. We find that mature hTR derives from extended precursors but that in PARN-mutant cells hTR maturation kinetically stalls and unprocessed precursors are degraded. Loss of poly(A)polymerase PAPD5 in PARN-mutant cells accelerates hTR maturation and restores hTR processing, indicating that oligoadenylation and deadenylation set rates of hTR maturation. The H/ACA domain mediates hTR maturation by precisely defining the 3' end, recruiting poly(A)polymerase activity, and conferring sensitivity to PARN regulation. These data reveal a feedforward circuit in which post-transcriptional oligoadenylation controls RNA maturation kinetics. Similar alterations in RNA processing rates may contribute to mechanisms of RNA-based human disease.
Project description:Heterozygous mutations in four telomere-related genes have been linked to pulmonary fibrosis, but little is known about similarities or differences of affected individuals.115 patients with mutations in telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) (n=75), telomerase RNA component (TERC) (n=7), regulator of telomere elongation helicase 1 (RTEL1) (n=14) and poly(A)-specific ribonuclease (PARN) (n=19) were identified and clinical data were analysed.Approximately one-half (46%) had a multidisciplinary diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF); others had unclassifiable lung fibrosis (20%), chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis (12%), pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (10%), interstitial pneumonia with autoimmune features (7%), an idiopathic interstitial pneumonia (4%) and connective tissue disease-related interstitial fibrosis (3%). Discordant interstitial lung disease diagnoses were found in affected individuals from 80% of families. Patients with TERC mutations were diagnosed at an earlier age than those with PARN mutations (51±11?years versus 64±8?years; p=0.03) and had a higher incidence of haematological comorbidities. The mean rate of forced vital capacity decline was 300?mL·year-1 and the median time to death or transplant was 2.87?years. There was no significant difference in time to death or transplant for patients across gene mutation groups or for patients with a diagnosis of IPF versus a non-IPF diagnosis.Genetic mutations in telomere related genes lead to a variety of interstitial lung disease (ILD) diagnoses that are universally progressive.
Project description:In human cells, telomeres are elongated by the telomerase complex that contains the reverse transcriptase hTERT and RNA template TERC/hTR. Poly(A)-specific ribonuclease (PARN) is known to trim hTR precursors by removing poly(A) tails. However, the precise mechanism of hTR 3' maturation remains largely unknown. Target of Egr1 (TOE1) is an Asp-Glu-Asp-Asp (DEDD) domain containing deadenylase that is mutated in the human disease Pontocerebella Hypoplasia Type 7 (PCH7) and implicated in snRNA and hTR processing. We have previously found TOE1 to localize specifically in Cajal bodies, where telomerase RNP complex assembly takes place. In this study, we showed that TOE1 could interact with hTR and the telomerase complex. TOE1-deficient cells accumulated hTR precursors, including oligoadenylated and 3'-extended forms, which was accompanied by impaired telomerase activity and shortened telomeres. Telomerase activity in TOE1-deficient cells could be rescued by wild-type TOE1 but not the catalytically inactive mutant. Our results suggest that hTR 3' end processing likely involves multiple exonucleases that work in parallel and/or sequentially, where TOE1 may function non-redundantly as a 3'-to-5' exonuclease in conjunction with PARN. Our study highlights a mechanistic link between TOE1 mutation, improper hTR processing and telomere dysfunction in diseases such as PCH7.
Project description:PARN loss-of-function mutations cause a severe form of the hereditary disease dyskeratosis congenita (DC). PARN deficiency affects the stability of non-coding RNAs such as human telomerase RNA (hTR), but these effects do not explain the severe disease in patients. We demonstrate that PARN deficiency affects the levels of numerous miRNAs in human cells. PARN regulates miRNA levels by stabilizing either mature or precursor miRNAs by removing oligo(A) tails added by the poly(A) polymerase PAPD5, which if remaining recruit the exonuclease DIS3L or DIS3L2 to degrade the miRNA. PARN knockdown destabilizes multiple miRNAs that repress p53 translation, which leads to an increase in p53 accumulation in a Dicer-dependent manner, thus explaining why PARN-defective patients show p53 accumulation. This work also reveals that DIS3L and DIS3L2 are critical 3' to 5' exonucleases that regulate miRNA stability, with the addition and removal of 3' end extensions controlling miRNA levels in the cell.