The Smaug RNA-binding protein is essential for microRNA synthesis during the Drosophila maternal-to-zygotic transition
ABSTRACT: Background: Metazoan embryos undergo a maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT) during which a subset of maternal gene products is eliminated and the zygotic genome becomes transcriptionally active. RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and the microRNA-induced silencing complex (miRISC) – of which Argonaute 1 (AGO1) is a key component in Drosophila – target maternal mRNAs for degradation. The Drosophila Smaug, Brain tumor (BRAT) and Pumilio (PUM) RBPs direct the degradation of maternal mRNAs. Here we elucidate Smaug’s roles in regulation of miRNAs and miRISC during the MZT. Results: By global analysis of small RNAs at several stages during the MZT, we show that the vast majority of all miRNA species encoded by the Drosophila genome (85%) are expressed during the MZT. Whereas a subset of these miRNAs is loaded into oocytes by the mother and stays at constant levels during the MZT, dozens of miRNA species are either newly synthesized or re-expressed in the early embryo. Loss of Smaug has a profound effect on miRNAs but little effect on piRNAs or siRNAs. Smaug is required for production of new miRNAs during the MZT; Smaug-bound AGO1 reflects the constellation and abundance of the miRNAs present in early embryos; and Smaug is required for the increase in AGO1 protein levels that occurs during the MZT. As a consequence of low miRISC activity in smaug mutants, maternal mRNAs that are normally targeted for degradation by zygotic miRNAs fail to be cleared. BRAT and PUM share target mRNAs with miRISC during the MZT while the miR-309 miRNA family coregulates targets of BRAT but not PUM. Conclusions: Smaug controls the MZT through direct targeting of a subset of maternal mRNAs for degradation and, indirectly, through production and function of miRNAs and miRISC, which control clearance of a distinct subset of maternal mRNAs. BRAT and/or PUM function together with miRISC during the latter process. With respect to miRISC-dependent transcript degradation, Smaug is required (1) for the synthesis of miRNAs, (2) for synthesis and stabilization of AGO1, and (3) for action of AGO1 in association with its bound miRNAs. In smaug mutants a large number of maternal mRNAs persist and the MZT fails. Examination of miRNA expresssion at different time points in wild type and smuag mutant early embryos .
Project description:Background: During the maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT) vast changes in the embryonic transcriptome are produced by a combination of two processes: elimination of maternally provided mRNAs and synthesis of new transcripts from the zygotic genome. Previous genome-wide analyses of the MZT have been restricted to whole embryos. Here we report the first such analysis for primordial germ cells (PGCs), the progenitors of the germ-line stem cells. Results: We purified PGCs from Drosophila embryos, defined their proteome and transcriptome, and assessed the content, scale and dynamics of their MZT. Transcripts encoding proteins that implement particular types of biological functions group into nine distinct expression profiles, reflecting coordinate control at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. mRNAs encoding germ-plasm components and cell-cell signaling molecules are rapidly degraded while new transcription produces mRNAs encoding the core transcriptional and protein synthetic machineries. The RNA-binding protein, Smaug, is essential for the PGC MZT, clearing transcripts encoding proteins that regulate stem cell behavior, transcriptional and posttranscriptional processes. Computational analyses suggest that Smaug and AU-rich element binding-proteins function independently to control transcript elimination. Conclusion: The scale of the MZT is similar in the soma and PGCs. However, the timing and content of their MZTs differ, reflecting the distinct developmental imperatives of these cell types. The PGC MZT is delayed relative to that in the soma, likely because relief of PGC-specific transcriptional silencing is required for zygotic genome activation as well as for efficient maternal transcript clearance. There are 26 samples in total, including 1-to-3 hour, 3-to-5 hour, 5-to-7 hour PGCs in wild type and smaug mutant flies and 1-to-3 hour somatic cells in wild type flies. Except for the 1-to-3 hour and 3-to-5 hour smaug mutant PGCs which have three replicates, all the other samples have four replicates.
Project description:BRAT-associated mRNAs and PUM-associated mRNAs were identified in early Drosophila embryos by RNA co-immunoprecipitation of the endogenous proteins using synthetic antibodies, followed by microarray analysis (RIP-Chip). Nine RNA co-immunoprecipitations were performed. This includes 3 biological replicates each of 1) anti-BRAT RNA co-immunoprecipitations from wild-type 0-3 hour embryos, 2) anti-PUM RNA co-immunoprecipitations from wild-type 0-3 hour embryos, and 3) control antibody RNA co-immunoprecipitations from wild-type 0-3 hour embryos. BRAT samples and PUM samples were each normalized separately with the control samples, for a total of 12 processed samples (3 BRAT with 3 control normalized together, and 3 PUM with 3 control normalized together) from the 9 RNA co-immunoprecipitations.
Project description:Early development depends heavily on accurate control of maternally inherited mRNAs, and yet it remains unknown how maternal microRNAs (miRNAs) are regulated during maternal to zygotic transition (MZT). We here find that maternal miRNAs are highly adenylated at their 3' ends in mature oocytes and early embryos. Pervasive adenylation is observed in oocytes of fly, sea urchin and mouse, indicating that maternal miRNA adenylation may be widely conserved in animals. We identify Wispy as the enzyme responsible for miRNA adenylation in flies. Wispy is known to be expressed specifically in oocytes and early embryos and function as a noncanonical poly(A) polymerase. Knockout of wispy abrogates miRNA adenylation and induces miRNA accumulation in fly eggs whereas overexpression of Wispy increases adenylation and reduces miRNA levels in S2 cells. Adenylation occurs on both the 5p and 3p miRNAs, indicating that Wispy acts on miRNAs after Dicer processing. We further find that Wispy interacts with Ago1 through protein-protein interaction, which may allow the effective and selective adenylation of miRNAs. Thus, adenylation may contribute to the clearance of maternally deposited miRNAs during MZT. Our work provides the first mechanistic insights into the regulation of maternal miRNAs and illustrates the importance of RNA tailing in development. MiRNA expression and modification profile during early embryo development of fruit fly and zebra fish using high throughput sequencing
Project description:Pumilio (PUM) is a Drosophila member of a conserved family of sequence-specific RNA-binding proteins that have been shown to regulate mRNA stability and/or translation in a variety of organisms. PUM has been shown to repress the translation of several mRNAs in the Drosophila early embryo; failure to repress these targets leads to lethal developmental defects. Here we use a combination of microarray-based gene expression profiling and next-generation sequencing to identify more than 200 mRNAs that are associated with full-length PUM protein in early embryos and to define a global role for PUM in mRNA decay. Surprisingly, despite the fact that PUM is maternally supplied and thus is present from the beginning of embryogenesis, the vast majority of PUM-directed decay occurs only after zygotic genome activation. We show that the smaug mRNA, which itself encodes an RNA-binding protein that directs transcript decay, is a direct target of PUM via binding sites in the smg 3'UTR. Whereas the endogenous smaug mRNA and the transgenic reporter mRNA that carries the smaug 3'UTR undergo decay after zygotic genome activation, a reporter with an array of PUM-binding sites decays before zygotic genome activation. These data support a model in which additional cis-elements in the smg 3'UTR delay decay until after zygotic genome activation. Overall design: Comparison of mRNA expression levels between cold-sensitive pum13/pumMsc embryos and corresponding wild-type controls at 18°C; and between pumET7/pumMsc embryos and corresponding wild-type controls at 25°C. The comparison of pum13/pumMsc embryos with their corresponding wild-type controls was done in two replicates: one was a direct comparison between pum13/pumMsc and wild-type samples at corresponding time points; the replicate was a comparison of pum13/pumMsc and corresponding wild-type time points through a common reference, wild-type stage 14 oocytes. The comparison of pumET7/pumMsc and corresponding wild-type samples was done with two replicates, each of which used a common reference (wild-type stage 14 oocytes).
Project description:Genome-wide identification of BRAT- and PUM-associated mRNAs reveals PUM-independent functions for BRAT in translational repression and mRNA degradation during the Drosophila maternal-to-zygotic transition
Project description:During the maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT), maternal RNAs are actively degraded and replaced by newly-synthesized zygotic transcripts in a highly coordinated manner. However, it remains largely unknown how maternal mRNA decay is triggered in early vertebrate embryos. Here, through genome-wide profiling of RNA abundance and 3′ modification, we show that uridylation is induced at the onset of maternal mRNA clearance. The temporal control of uridylation is conserved in vertebrates. When the homologs of terminal uridylyltransferases TUT4 and TUT7 (TUT4/7) are depleted in zebrafish and Xenopus, maternal mRNA clearance is significantly delayed, leading to developmental defects during gastrulation. Short-tailed mRNAs are selectively uridylated by TUT4/7, with the highly uridylated transcripts degraded faster during the MZT than those with unmodified poly(A) tails. Our study demonstrates that uridylation plays a crucial role in timely mRNA degradation, thereby allowing the progression of early development. Overall design: Examination of zebrafish embryos injected with control or TUT4/7 morpholinos at 1-cell stage. RNA-seq libraries were prepared at different time points across the MZT period. Three experimental sets, rs1a, rs2b, and rs2, were conducted independently.
Project description:During early stages of embryonic development the genome is transcriptionally inactive and cells are under the control of maternally provided mRNA and proteins. At a key point in development, known as the maternal to zygotic transition (MZT), the genome becomes activated and the maternally provided mRNAs begin to degrade. In the early zebrafish embryo, when under maternal control, cells divide rapidly and synchronously with cell cycles that lack gap phases. At cell cycle ten the introduction of gap phases lengthens the cell cycle and synchronised division is lost. During the MZT, zygotic activation of microRNAs leads to the targeted degradation of a number of maternally provided mRNAs, thus linking genome activation to maternal mRNA degredation.While the MZT has been studied in several different organisms the molecular mechanisms that coordinate genome activity and mRNA degradation remain largely unknown. For example, while the bulk of zygotic transcription occurs at cell cycle ten we do not understand why there is a minor wave of transcription before this time point. Similarly maternal mRNAs degrade at different rates, with only a percentage undergoing microRNA-mediated degredation. The aparant different rates of maternal mRNA degredation may be obscured by zygotic transcription.In order to gain an understanding of the MZT I intend to establish a precise understanding of transcription in the early embryo by using solexa sequencing to perform transcript counting at five different developmental stages that span the MZT. Specifically I intend to use crosses from two different zebrafish strains SAT (Sequenced AB and Tbingen, Zv9) and WIK. This project will allow one to understand the overall transcription profiles of genes in the early embryo, but importantly, the SNPs between the two different strains will determine if transcripts are maternal or zygotic (paternal). As a proof of principle we will first use one lane of sequencing to identify transcripts from a cross of an SAT and a WIK fish. This will allow us to observe SNPs between the two different strains. This will be run over one solexa lane. We will then sequence from five different time points on four different crosses SAT male and WIK female, WIK male and SAT female, WIK male and WIK female and SAT male with SAT female. We will prepare the libraries, which will be sequenced paired-end 54 bp over a total of seven lanes of solexa.. This data is part of a pre-publication release. For information on the proper use of pre-publication data shared by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (including details of any publication moratoria), please see http://www.sanger.ac.uk/datasharing/
Project description:Maternal mRNAs are synthesized during oogenesis to initiate the development of future generations. Some maternal mRNAs are determinants of somatic or germline fate and must be translationally repressed until embryogenesis. However, the translational repressors themselves are also temporally regulated. We use polar granule component (pgc), a Drosophila maternal mRNA, as a model system to ask how maternal mRNAs are repressed while the regulatory landscape is continually shifting. pgc, a potent transcriptional silencer and germline determinant, is translationally regulated throughout oogenesis. We find that the 3’UTR of pgc mRNA contains a conserved ten-nucleotide sequence that is bound by different conserved RNA binding proteins (RBPs) at different stages of oogenesis to continuously repress translation except for a brief expression in the stem cell daughter. Pumilio (Pum) binds to this sequence in undifferentiated and early differentiating oocytes and recruits other temporally restricted translational regulators to block pgc translation. After differentiation, Pum levels diminish and Bruno (Bru) levels increase, allowing Bru to bind the same 3’UTR sequence and take over translational repression of pgc mRNA. We have identified a class of maternal mRNAs regulated during oogenesis by both Pum and Bru, including Zelda, activator of the zygotic genome, which contain this core 10-nt regulatory sequence. Our data suggests that this hand off mechanism is more generally utilized to inhibit translation of maternal mRNAs during oogenesis. Overall design: Input and Polysome mRNA content from young nosGAL4, nosGAL4>bruRNAi, and nosGAL4>pumRNAi Drosophila ovaries
Project description:Maternal mRNAs are synthesized during oogenesis to initiate the development of future generations. Some maternal mRNAs are determinants of somatic or germline fate and must be translationally repressed until embryogenesis. However, the translational repressors themselves are also temporally regulated. We use polar granule component (pgc), a Drosophila maternal mRNA, as a model system to ask how maternal mRNAs are repressed while the regulatory landscape is continually shifting. pgc, a potent transcriptional silencer and germline determinant, is translationally regulated throughout oogenesis. We find that the 3’UTR of pgc mRNA contains a conserved ten-nucleotide sequence that is bound by different conserved RNA binding proteins (RBPs) at different stages of oogenesis to continuously repress translation except for a brief expression in the stem cell daughter. Pumilio (Pum) binds to this sequence in undifferentiated and early differentiating oocytes and recruits other temporally restricted translational regulators to block pgc translation. After differentiation, Pum levels diminish and Bruno (Bru) levels increase, allowing Bru to bind the same 3’UTR sequence and take over translational repression of pgc mRNA. We have identified a class of maternal mRNAs regulated during oogenesis by both Pum and Bru, including Zelda, activator of the zygotic genome, which contain this core 10-nt regulatory sequence. Our data suggests that this hand off mechanism is more generally utilized to inhibit translation of maternal mRNAs during oogenesis. Overall design: RNA-seq of Drosophila ovaries enriched for germline stem cells with nosGAL4>UAS-tkv
Project description:Upon fertilization, maternal factors direct development in a transcriptionally silent embryo. At the maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT), a universal step in animal development, unknown maternal factors trigger zygotic genome activation (ZGA). In zebrafish, ZGA is required for gastrulation and clearance of maternal mRNAs, which is achieved in part by the conserved microRNA miR-430. However, the precise factors that activate the zygotic program remain largely unknown. Here we show that Nanog, Pou5f1 and SoxB1 are required for genome activation in zebrafish. We identified several hundred genes directly activated by maternal factors, thus constituting the first wave of zygotic transcription in zebrafish. Ribosome profiling in the pre-MZT embryo revealed that nanog, sox19b and pou5f1 are the most highly translated transcription factor mRNAs. Combined loss of function for Nanog, SoxB1 and Pou5f1 resulted in developmental arrest prior to gastrulation, and a failure to activate >75% of zygotic genes. Furthermore, we found that Nanog binds the miR-430 locus and together with Pou5f1 and SoxB1 initiate miR-430 expression and activity. Our results demonstrate that maternal Nanog, Pou5f1 and SoxB1 are required to initiate the zygotic developmental program and in turn trigger the clearance of the maternal program by activating miR-430 expression. Wild type and loss-of-function total mRNA sequencing of embryonic transcriptomes pre- and post-MZT; ribosome profiling pre-MZT