A "gain of function" mutation in a protein mediates production of novel modified nucleosides.
ABSTRACT: The mutation sufY204 mediates suppression of a +1 frameshift mutation in the histidine operon of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and synthesis of two novel modified nucleosides in tRNA. The sufY204 mutation, which results in an amino-acid substitution in a protein, is, surprisingly, dominant over its wild-type allele and thus it is a "gain of function" mutation. One of the new nucleosides is 5-methylaminomethyl-2-thiouridine (mnm(5)s(2)U34) modified by addition of a C(10)H(17) side chain of unknown structure. Increased amounts of both nucleosides in tRNA are correlated to gene dosage of the sufY204 allele, to an increased efficiency of frameshift suppression, and to a decreased amount of the wobble nucleoside mnm(5)s(2)U34 in tRNA. Purified tRNA(Gln)(cmnm(5)s(2)UUG) in the mutant strain contains a modified nucleoside similar to the novel nucleosides and the level of aminoacylation of tRNA(Gln)(cmnm(5)s(2)UUG) was reduced to 26% compared to that found in the wild type (86%). The results are discussed in relation to the mechanism of reading frame maintenance and the evolution of modified nucleosides in tRNA.
Project description:Post-transcriptional modifications of the wobble uridine (U34) of tRNAs play a critical role in reading NNA/G codons belonging to split codon boxes. In a subset of Escherichia coli tRNA, this wobble uridine is modified to 5-methylaminomethyluridine (mnm(5)U34) through sequential enzymatic reactions. Uridine 34 is first converted to 5-carboxymethylaminomethyluridine (cmnm(5)U34) by the MnmE-MnmG enzyme complex. The cmnm(5)U34 is further modified to mnm(5)U by the bifunctional MnmC protein. In the first reaction, the FAD-dependent oxidase domain (MnmC1) converts cmnm(5)U into 5-aminomethyluridine (nm(5)U34), and this reaction is immediately followed by the methylation of the free amino group into mnm(5)U34 by the S-adenosylmethionine-dependent domain (MnmC2). Aquifex aeolicus lacks a bifunctional MnmC protein fusion and instead encodes the Rossmann-fold protein DUF752, which is homologous to the methyltransferase MnmC2 domain of Escherichia coli MnmC (26% identity). Here, we determined the crystal structure of the A. aeolicus DUF752 protein at 2.5 ? resolution, which revealed that it catalyzes the S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methylation of nm(5)U in vitro, to form mnm(5)U34 in tRNA. We also showed that naturally occurring tRNA from A. aeolicus contains the 5-mnm group attached to the C5 atom of U34. Taken together, these results support the recent proposal of an alternative MnmC1-independent shortcut pathway for producing mnm(5)U34 in tRNAs.
Project description:The 2-thiouridine (s(2)U) at the wobble position of certain bacterial and eukaryotic tRNAs enhances aminoacylation kinetics, assists proper codon-anticodon base pairing at the ribosome A-site, and prevents frameshifting during translation. By mass spectrometry of affinity-purified native Escherichia coli tRNA1(Gln)UUG, we show that the complete modification at the wobble position 34 is 5-carboxyaminomethyl-2-thiouridine (cmnm(5)s(2)U). The crystal structure of E. coli glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase (GlnRS) bound to native tRNA1(Gln) and ATP demonstrates that cmnm(5)s(2)U34 improves the order of a previously unobserved 11-amino-acid surface loop in the distal ?-barrel domain of the enzyme and imparts other local rearrangements of nearby amino acids that create a binding pocket for the 2-thio moiety. Together with previously solved structures, these observations explain the degenerate recognition of C34 and modified U34 by GlnRS. Comparative pre-steady-state aminoacylation kinetics of native tRNA1(Gln), synthetic tRNA1(Gln) containing s(2)U34 as sole modification, and unmodified wild-type and mutant tRNA1(Gln) and tRNA2(Gln) transcripts demonstrates that the exocyclic sulfur moiety improves tRNA binding affinity to GlnRS 10-fold compared with the unmodified transcript and that an additional fourfold improvement arises from the presence of the cmnm(5) moiety. Measurements of Gln-tRNA(Gln) interactions at the ribosome A-site show that the s(2)U modification enhances binding affinity to the glutamine codons CAA and CAG and increases the rate of GTP hydrolysis by E. coli EF-Tu by fivefold.
Project description:Post-transcriptional modifications of bases within the transfer RNAs (tRNA) anticodon significantly affect the decoding system. In bacteria and eukaryotes, uridines at the wobble position (U34) of some tRNAs are modified to 5-methyluridine derivatives (xm?U). These xm?U34-containing tRNAs read codons ending with A or G, whereas tRNAs with the unmodified U34 are able to read all four synonymous codons of a family box. In Escherichia coli (E.coli), the bifunctional enzyme MnmC catalyzes the two consecutive reactions that convert 5-carboxymethylaminomethyl uridine (cmnm?U) to 5-methylaminomethyl uridine (mnm?U). The C-terminal domain of MnmC (MnmC1) is responsible for the flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD)-dependent deacetylation of cmnm?U to 5-aminomethyl uridine (nm?U), whereas the N-terminal domain (MnmC2) catalyzes the subsequent S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent methylation of nm?U, leading to the final product, mnm?U34. Here, we determined the crystal structure of E.coli MnmC containing FAD, at 3.0 Å resolution. The structure of the MnmC1 domain can be classified in the FAD-dependent glutathione reductase 2 structural family, including the glycine oxidase ThiO, whereas the MnmC2 domain adopts the canonical class I methyltransferase fold. A structural comparison with ThiO revealed the residues that may be involved in cmnm?U recognition, supporting previous mutational analyses. The catalytic sites of the two reactions are both surrounded by conserved basic residues for possible anticodon binding, and are located far away from each other, on opposite sides of the protein. These results suggest that, although the MnmC1 and MnmC2 domains are physically linked, they could catalyze the two consecutive reactions in a rather independent manner.
Project description:In Escherichia coli, the MnmEG complex modifies transfer RNAs (tRNAs) decoding NNA/NNG codons. MnmEG catalyzes two different modification reactions, which add an aminomethyl (nm) or carboxymethylaminomethyl (cmnm) group to position 5 of the anticodon wobble uridine using ammonium or glycine, respectively. In tRNA(cmnm5s2UUG)(Gln) and tRNA(cmnm5UmAA)(Leu), however, cmnm(5) appears as the final modification, whereas in the remaining tRNAs, the MnmEG products are converted into 5-methylaminomethyl (mnm(5)) through the two-domain, bi-functional enzyme MnmC. MnmC(o) transforms cmnm(5) into nm(5), whereas MnmC(m) converts nm(5) into mnm(5), thus producing an atypical network of modification pathways. We investigate the activities and tRNA specificity of MnmEG and the MnmC domains, the ability of tRNAs to follow the ammonium or glycine pathway and the effect of mnmC mutations on growth. We demonstrate that the two MnmC domains function independently of each other and that tRNA(cmnm5s2UUG)(Gln) and tRNA(cmnm5UmAA)(Leu), are substrates for MnmC(m), but not MnmC(o). Synthesis of mnm(5)s(2)U by MnmEG-MnmC in vivo avoids build-up of intermediates in tRNA(mnm5s2UUU)(Lys). We also show that MnmEG can modify all the tRNAs via the ammonium pathway. Strikingly, the net output of the MnmEG pathways in vivo depends on growth conditions and tRNA species. Loss of any MnmC activity has a biological cost under specific conditions.
Project description:Elongator complex is required for formation of the side chains at position 5 of modified nucleosides 5-carbamoylmethyluridine (ncm?U??), 5-methoxycarbonylmethyluridine (mcm?U??), and 5-methoxycarbonylmethyl-2-thiouridine (mcm?s²U??) at wobble position in tRNA. These modified nucleosides are important for efficient decoding during translation. In a recent publication, Elongator complex was implicated to participate in telomeric gene silencing and DNA damage response by interacting with proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Here we show that elevated levels of tRNA(Lys)(s²UUU), tRNA(Gln)(s²UUG), and tRNA(Glu)(s²UUC), which in a wild-type background contain the mcm?s²U nucleoside at position 34, suppress the defects in telomeric gene silencing and DNA damage response observed in the Elongator mutants. We also found that the reported differences in telomeric gene silencing and DNA damage response of various elp3 alleles correlated with the levels of modified nucleosides at U??. Defects in telomeric gene silencing and DNA damage response are also observed in strains with the tuc2? mutation, which abolish the formation of the 2-thio group of the mcm?s²U nucleoside in tRNA(Lys)(mcm?s²UUU), tRNA(Gln)(mcm?s²UUG), and tRNA(Glu)(mcm?s²UUC). These observations show that Elongator complex does not directly participate in telomeric gene silencing and DNA damage response, but rather that modified nucleosides at U?? are important for efficient expression of gene products involved in these processes. Consistent with this notion, we found that expression of Sir4, a silent information regulator required for assembly of silent chromatin at telomeres, was decreased in the elp3? mutants.
Project description:Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae MTO2, MTO1, and MSS1 genes encoded highly conserved tRNA modifying enzymes for the biosynthesis of carboxymethylaminomethyl (cmnm)(5)s(2)U(34) in mitochondrial tRNA(Lys), tRNA(Glu), and tRNA(Gln). In fact, Mto1p and Mss1p are involved in the biosynthesis of the cmnm(5) group (cmnm(5)U(34)), while Mto2p is responsible for the 2-thiouridylation (s(2)U(34)) of these tRNAs. Previous studies showed that partial modifications at U(34) in mitochondrial tRNA enabled mto1, mto2, and mss1 strains to respire. In this report, we investigated the functional interaction between MTO2, MTO1, and MSS1 genes by using the mto2, mto1, and mss1 single, double, and triple mutants. Strikingly, the deletion of MTO2 was synthetically lethal with a mutation of MSS1 or deletion of MTO1 on medium containing glycerol but not on medium containing glucose. Interestingly, there were no detectable levels of nine tRNAs including tRNA(Lys), tRNA(Glu), and tRNA(Gln) in mto2/mss1, mto2/mto1, and mto2/mto1/mss1 strains. Furthermore, mto2/mss1, mto2/mto1, and mto2/mto1/mss1 mutants exhibited extremely low levels of COX1 and CYTB mRNA and 15S and 21S rRNA as well as the complete loss of mitochondrial protein synthesis. The synthetic enhancement combinations likely resulted from the completely abolished modification at U(34) of tRNA(Lys), tRNA(Glu), and tRNA(Gln), caused by the combination of eliminating the 2-thiouridylation by the mto2 mutation with the absence of the cmnm(5)U(34) by the mto1 or mss1 mutation. The complete loss of modifications at U(34) of tRNAs altered mitochondrial RNA metabolisms, causing a degradation of mitochondrial tRNA, mRNA, and rRNAs. As a result, failures in mitochondrial RNA metabolisms were responsible for the complete loss of mitochondrial translation. Consequently, defects in mitochondrial protein synthesis caused the instability of their mitochondrial genomes, thus producing the respiratory-deficient phenotypes. Therefore, our findings demonstrated a critical role of modifications at U(34) of tRNA(Lys), tRNA(Glu), and tRNA(Gln) in maintenance of mitochondrial genome, mitochondrial RNA stability, translation, and respiratory function.
Project description:In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, 11 out of 42 tRNA species contain 5-methoxycarbonylmethyl-2-thiouridine (mcm(5)s(2)U), 5-methoxycarbonylmethyluridine (mcm(5)U), 5-carbamoylmethyluridine (ncm(5)U) or 5-carbamoylmethyl-2'-O-methyluridine (ncm(5)Um) nucleosides in the anticodon at the wobble position (U34). Earlier we showed that mutants unable to form the side chain at position 5 (ncm(5) or mcm(5)) or lacking sulphur at position 2 (s(2)) of U34 result in pleiotropic phenotypes, which are all suppressed by overexpression of hypomodified tRNAs. This observation suggests that the observed phenotypes are due to inefficient reading of cognate codons or an increased frameshifting. The latter may be caused by a ternary complex (aminoacyl-tRNA*eEF1A*GTP) with a modification deficient tRNA inefficiently being accepted to the ribosomal A-site and thereby allowing an increased peptidyl-tRNA slippage and thus a frameshift error. In this study, we have investigated the role of wobble uridine modifications in reading frame maintenance, using either the Renilla/Firefly luciferase bicistronic reporter system or a modified Ty1 frameshifting site in a HIS4A::lacZ reporter system. We here show that the presence of mcm(5) and s(2) side groups at wobble uridines are important for reading frame maintenance and thus the aforementioned mutant phenotypes might partly be due to frameshift errors.
Project description:A general MS-based screen for unusually hydrophobic cellular small molecule-RNA conjugates revealed geranylated RNA in Escherichia coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enterica var. Typhimurium. The geranyl group is conjugated to the sulfur atom in two 5-methylaminomethyl-2-thiouridine nucleotides. These geranylated nucleotides occur in the first anticodon position of tRNA(Glu)(UUC), tRNA(Lys)(UUU) and tRNA(Gln)(UUG) at a frequency of up to 6.7% (~400 geranylated nucleotides per cell). RNA geranylation can be increased or abolished by mutation or deletion of the selU (ybbB) gene in E. coli, and purified SelU protein in the presence of geranyl pyrophosphate and tRNA can produce geranylated tRNA. The presence or absence of the geranyl group in tRNA(Glu)(UUC), tRNA(Lys)(UUU) and tRNA(Gln)(UUG) affects codon bias and frameshifting during translation. These RNAs represent the first reported examples of oligoisoprenylated cellular nucleic acids.
Project description:Transfer RNA (tRNA) contains a number of complex 'hypermodified' nucleosides that are essential for a number of genetic processes. Intermediate forms of these nucleosides are rarely found in tRNA despite the fact that modification is not generally a complete process. We propose that the modification machinery is tuned into an efficient 'assembly line' that performs the modification steps at similar, or sequentially increasing, rates to avoid build-up of possibly deleterious intermediates. To investigate this concept, we measured steady-state kinetics for the final two steps of the biosynthesis of the mnm(5)s(2)U nucleoside in Escherichia coli tRNA(Glu), which are both catalysed by the bifunctional MnmC enzyme. High-performance liquid chromatography-based assays using selectively under-modified tRNA substrates gave a K(m) value of 600?nM and k(cat) 0.34?s(-1) for the first step, and K(m) 70?nM and k(cat) 0.31?s(-1) for the second step. These values show that the second reaction occurs faster than the first reaction, or at a similar rate at very high substrate concentrations. This result indicates that the enzyme is kinetically tuned to produce fully modified mnm(5)(s(2))U while avoiding build-up of the nm(5)(s(2))U intermediate. The assay method developed here represents a general approach for the comparative analysis of tRNA-modifying enzymes.
Project description:Chemical modifications of transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules are evolutionarily well conserved and critical for translation and tRNA structure. Little is known how these nucleoside modifications respond to physiological stress. Using mass spectrometry and complementary methods, we defined tRNA modification levels in six yeast species in response to elevated temperatures. We show that 2-thiolation of uridine at position 34 (s(2)U34) is impaired at temperatures exceeding 30°C in the commonly used Saccharomyces cerevisiae laboratory strains S288C and W303, and in Saccharomyces bayanus. Upon stress relief, thiolation levels recover and we find no evidence that modified tRNA or s(2)U34 nucleosides are actively removed. Our results suggest that loss of 2-thiolation follows accumulation of newly synthesized tRNA that lack s(2)U34 modification due to temperature sensitivity of the URM1 pathway in S. cerevisiae and S. bayanus. Furthermore, our analysis of the tRNA modification pattern in selected yeast species revealed two alternative phenotypes. Most strains moderately increase their tRNA modification levels in response to heat, possibly constituting a common adaptation to high temperatures. However, an overall reduction of nucleoside modifications was observed exclusively in S288C. This surprising finding emphasizes the importance of studies that utilize the power of evolutionary biology, and highlights the need for future systematic studies on tRNA modifications in additional model organisms.