Mutation in the U2 snRNA influences exon interactions of U5 snRNA loop 1 during pre-mRNA splicing.
ABSTRACT: The U2 and U6 snRNAs contribute to the catalysis of intron removal while U5 snRNA loop 1 holds the exons for ligation during pre-mRNA splicing. It is unclear how different exons are positioned precisely with U5 loop 1. Here, we investigate the role of U2 and U6 in positioning the exons with U5 loop 1. Reconstitution in vitro of spliceosomes with mutations in U2 allows U5-pre-mRNA interactions before the first step of splicing. However, insertion in U2 helix Ia disrupts U5-exon interactions with the intron lariat-3' exon splicing intermediate. Conversely, U6 helix Ia insertions prevent U5-pre-mRNA interactions before the first step of splicing. In vivo, synthetic lethal interactions have been identified between U2 insertion and U5 loop 1 insertion mutants. Additionally, analysis of U2 insertion mutants in vivo reveals that they influence the efficiency, but not the accuracy of splicing. Our data suggest that U2 aligns the exons with U5 loop 1 for ligation during the second step of pre-mRNA splicing.
Project description:Imperfect conservation of human pre-mRNA splice sites is necessary to produce alternative isoforms. This flexibility is combined with the precision of the message reading frame. Apart from intron-termini GU_AG and the branchpoint A, the most conserved are the exon-end guanine and +5G of the intron start. Association between these guanines cannot be explained solely by base-pairing with U1 snRNA in the early spliceosome complex. U6 succeeds U1 and pairs +5G in the pre-catalytic spliceosome, while U5 binds the exon end. Current U5 snRNA reconstructions by CryoEM cannot explain the conservation of the exon-end G. Conversely, human mutation analyses show that guanines of both exon termini can suppress splicing mutations. Our U5 hypothesis explains the mechanism of splicing precision and the role of these conserved guanines in the pre-catalytic spliceosome. We propose: (1) optimal binding register for human exons and U5-the exon junction positioned at U5Loop1 C<sub>39</sub>|C<sub>38</sub>; (2) common mechanism for base-pairing of human U5 snRNA with diverse exons and bacterial <i>Ll.</i>LtrB intron with new loci in retrotransposition-guided by base pair geometry; and (3) U5 plays a significant role in specific exon recognition in the pre-catalytic spliceosome. Statistical analyses showed increased U5 Watson-Crick pairs with the 5'exon in the absence of +5G at the intron start. In 5'exon positions -3 and -5, this effect is specific to U5 snRNA rather than U1 snRNA of the early spliceosome. Increased U5 Watson-Crick pairs with 3'exon position +1 coincide with substitutions of the conserved -3C at the intron 3'end. Based on mutation and X-ray evidence, we propose that -3C pairs with U2 G<sub>31</sub> juxtaposing the branchpoint and the 3'intron end. The intron-termini pair, formed in the pre-catalytic spliceosome to be ready for transition after branching, and the early involvement of the 3'intron end ensure that the 3'exon contacts U5 in the pre-catalytic complex. We suggest that splicing precision is safeguarded cooperatively by U5, U6, and U2 snRNAs that stabilize the pre-catalytic complex by Watson-Crick base pairing. In addition, our new U5 model explains the splicing effect of exon-start +1G mutations: U5 Watson-Crick pairs with exon +2C/+3G strongly promote exon inclusion. We discuss potential applications for snRNA therapeutics and gene repair by reverse splicing.
Project description:Conformational changes of snRNAs in the spliceosome required for pre-mRNA splicing are regulated by eight ATPases and one GTPase Snu114p. The Snu114p guanine state regulates U4/U6 unwinding during spliceosome activation and U2/U6 unwinding during spliceosome disassembly through the ATPase Brr2p. We investigated 618 genetic interactions to identify an extensive genetic interaction network between SNU114 and snRNAs. Snu114p G domain alleles were exacerbated by mutations that stabilize U4/U6 base pairing. G domain alleles were made worse by U2 and U6 mutations that stabilize or destabilize U2/U6 base pairing in helix I. Compensatory mutations that restored U2/U6 base pairing in helix I relieved synthetic lethality. Snu114p G domain alleles were also worsened by mutations in U6 predicted to increase 5' splice site base pairing. Both N-terminal and G domain alleles were exacerbated by U5 loop 1 mutations at positions involved in aligning exons while C-terminus alleles were synthetically lethal with U5 internal loop 1 mutations. This suggests a spatial orientation for Snu114p with U5. We propose that the RNA base pairing state is directly or indirectly sensed by the Snu114p G domain allowing the Snu114p C-terminal domain to regulate Brr2p or other proteins to bring about RNA/RNA rearrangements required for splicing.
Project description:The U2/U6 snRNA complex is a conserved and essential component of the active spliceosome that interacts with the pre-mRNA substrate and essential protein splicing factors to promote splicing catalysis. Here we have elucidated the solution structure of a 111-nucleotide U2/U6 complex using an approach that integrates SAXS, NMR, and molecular modeling. The U2/U6 structure contains a three-helix junction that forms an extended "Y" shape. The U6 internal stem-loop (ISL) forms a continuous stack with U2/U6 Helices Ib, Ia, and III. The coaxial stacking of Helix Ib on the U6 ISL is a configuration that is similar to the Domain V structure in group II introns. Interestingly, essential features of the complex--including the U80 metal binding site, AGC triad, and pre-mRNA recognition sites--localize to one face of the molecule. This observation suggests that the U2/U6 structure is well-suited for orienting substrate and cofactors during splicing catalysis.
Project description:The spliceosome is formed on pre-mRNA substrates from five small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (U1, U2, U4/U6 and U5 snRNPs), and numerous non-snRNP factors. Saccharomyces cerevisiae U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP comprises U5 snRNA, U4/U6 snRNA duplex and approximately 30 proteins and represents a substantial part of the spliceosome before activation. Schizosaccharomyces pombe U2.U6.U5 spliceosomal complex is a post-catalytic intron lariat spliceosome containing U2 and U5 snRNPs, NTC (nineteen complex), NTC-related proteins (NTR), U6 snRNA, and an RNA intron lariat. Two recent papers describe near-complete atomic structures of these complexes based on cryoEM single-particle analysis. The U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP structure provides crucial insight into the activation mechanism of the spliceosome. The U2.U6.U5 complex reveals the striking architecture of NTC and NTR and important features of the group II intron-like catalytic RNA core remaining after spliced mRNA is released. These two structures greatly advance our understanding of the mechanism of pre-mRNA splicing.
Project description:Removal of intron regions from pre-messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) requires spliceosome assembly with pre-mRNA, then subsequent spliceosome remodeling to allow activation for the two steps of intron removal. Spliceosome remodeling is carried out through the action of DExD/H-box ATPases that modulate RNA-RNA and protein-RNA interactions. The ATPase Prp16 remodels the spliceosome between the first and second steps of splicing by catalyzing release of first step factors Yju2 and Cwc25 as well as destabilizing U2-U6 snRNA helix I. How Prp16 destabilizes U2-U6 helix I is not clear. We show that the NineTeen Complex (NTC) protein Cwc2 displays genetic interactions with the U6 ACAGAGA, the U6 internal stem loop (ISL) and the U2-U6 helix I, all RNA elements that form the spliceosome active site. We find that one function of Cwc2 is to stabilize U2-U6 snRNA helix I during splicing. Cwc2 also functionally cooperates with the NTC protein Isy1/NTC30. Mutation in Cwc2 can suppress the cold sensitive phenotype of the prp16-302 mutation indicating a functional link between Cwc2 and Prp16. Specifically the prp16-302 mutation in Prp16 stabilizes Cwc2 interactions with U6 snRNA and destabilizes Cwc2 interactions with pre-mRNA, indicating antagonistic functions of Cwc2 and Prp16. We propose that Cwc2 is a target for Prp16-mediated spliceosome remodeling during pre-mRNA splicing.
Project description:Splicing an mRNA precursor requires multiple factors involving five small nuclear RNA (snRNA) species called U1, U2, U4, U5, and U6. The presence of mRNA-type introns in the U6 snRNA genes of some yeasts led to the hypothesis that U6 snRNA may play a catalytic role in pre-mRNA splicing and that the U6 introns occurred through reverse splicing of an intron from an mRNA precursor into a catalytic site of U6 snRNA. We characterized the U2 snRNA gene of the yeast Rhodotorula hasegawae, which has four mRNA-type introns in the U6 snRNA gene, and found an mRNA-type intron of 60 bp. The intron of the U2 snRNA gene is present in the highly conserved region immediately downstream of the branch site recognition domain. Interestingly, we found that this region can form a novel base pairing with U6 snRNA. We discuss the possible implications of these findings for the mechanisms of intron acquisition and for the role of U2 snRNA in pre-mRNA splicing.
Project description:Activation of pre-messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing requires 5' splice site recognition by U1 small nuclear RNA (snRNA), which is replaced by U5 and U6 snRNA. Here we use crosslinking to investigate snRNA interactions with the 5' exon adjacent to the 5' splice site, prior to the first step of splicing. U1 snRNA was found to interact with four different 5' exon positions using one specific sequence adjacent to U1 snRNA helix 1. This novel interaction of U1 we propose occurs before U1-5' splice site base pairing. In contrast, U5 snRNA interactions with the 5' exon of the pre-mRNA progressively shift towards the 5' end of U5 loop 1 as the crosslinking group is placed further from the 5' splice site, with only interactions closest to the 5' splice site persisting to the 5' exon intermediate and the second step of splicing. A novel yeast U2 snRNA interaction with the 5' exon was also identified, which is ATP dependent and requires U2-branchpoint interaction. This study provides insight into the nature and timing of snRNA interactions required for 5' splice site recognition prior to the first step of pre-mRNA splicing.
Project description:U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP is a 1.5-megadalton pre-assembled spliceosomal complex comprising U5 small nuclear RNA (snRNA), extensively base-paired U4/U6 snRNAs and more than 30 proteins, including the key components Prp8, Brr2 and Snu114. The tri-snRNP combines with a precursor messenger RNA substrate bound to U1 and U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs), and transforms into a catalytically active spliceosome after extensive compositional and conformational changes triggered by unwinding of the U4 and U6 (U4/U6) snRNAs. Here we use cryo-electron microscopy single-particle reconstruction of Saccharomyces cerevisiae tri-snRNP at 5.9 Å resolution to reveal the essentially complete organization of its RNA and protein components. The single-stranded region of U4 snRNA between its 3' stem-loop and the U4/U6 snRNA stem I is loaded into the Brr2 helicase active site ready for unwinding. Snu114 and the amino-terminal domain of Prp8 position U5 snRNA to insert its loop I, which aligns the exons for splicing, into the Prp8 active site cavity. The structure provides crucial insights into the activation process and the active site of the spliceosome.
Project description:Three different base paired stems form between U2 and U6 snRNA over the course of the mRNA splicing reaction (helices I, II and III). One possible function of U2/U6 helix II is to facilitate subsequent U2/U6 helix I and III interactions, which participate directly in catalysis. Using an in vitro trans-splicing assay, we investigated the function of sequences located just upstream from the branch site (BS). We find that these upstream sequences are essential for stable binding of U2 to the branch region, and for U2/U6 helix II formation, but not for initial U2/BS pairing. We also show that non-functional upstream sequences cause U2 snRNA stem-loop IIa to be exposed to dimethylsulfate modification, perhaps reflecting a U2 snRNA conformational change and/or loss of SF3b proteins. Our data suggest that initial binding of U2 snRNP to the BS region must be stabilized by an interaction with upstream sequences before U2/U6 helix II can form or U2 stem-loop IIa can participate in spliceosome assembly.
Project description:The pre-catalytic spliceosome (B complex) is preceded by its precursor spliceosome (pre-B complex) and followed by the activated spliceosome (Bact complex). The pre-B-to-B and B-to-Bact transitions are driven by the ATPase/helicases Prp28 and Brr2, respectively. In this study, we report the cryo-electron microscopy structures of the human pre-B complex and the human B complex at an average resolution of 5.7 and 3.8?Å, respectively. In the pre-B complex, U1 and U2 small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) associate with two edges of the tetrahedron-shaped U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP. The pre-mRNA is yet to be recognized by U5 or U6 small nuclear RNA (snRNA), and loop I of U5 snRNA remains unengaged. In the B complex, U1 snRNP and Prp28 are dissociated, the 5'-exon is anchored to loop I of U5 snRNA, and the 5'-splice site is recognized by U6 snRNA through duplex formation. In sharp contrast to S. cerevisiae, most components of U2 snRNP and tri-snRNP, exemplified by Brr2, undergo pronounced rearrangements in the human pre-B-to-B transition. Structural analysis reveals mechanistic insights into the assembly and activation of the human spliceosome.