Molecular basis for maintenance of fidelity during the CCA-adding reaction by a CCA-adding enzyme.
ABSTRACT: CCA-adding enzyme builds the 3'-end CCA of tRNA without a nucleic acid template. The mechanism for the maintenance of fidelity during the CCA-adding reaction remains elusive. Here, we present almost a dozen complex structures of the class I CCA-adding enzyme and tRNA mini-helices (mini-D(73)N(74), mini-D(73)N(74)C(75) and mini-D(73)C(74)N(75); D(73) is a discriminator nucleotide and N is either A, G, or U). The mini-D(73)N(74) complexes adopt catalytically inactive open forms, and CTP shifts the enzymes to the active closed forms and allows N(74) to flip for CMP incorporation. In contrast, unlike the catalytically active closed form of the mini-D(73)C(74)C(75) complex, the mini-D(73)N(74)C(75) and mini-D(73)C(74)N(75) complexes adopt inactive open forms. Only the mini-D(73)C(74)U(75) accepts AMP to a similar extent as mini-D(73)C(74)C(75), and ATP shifts the enzyme to a closed, active form and allows U(75) to flip for AMP incorporation. These findings suggest that the 3'-region of RNA is proofread, after two nucleotide additions, in the closed, active form of the complex at the AMP incorporation stage. This proofreading is a prerequisite for the maintenance of fidelity for complete CCA synthesis.
Project description:Post-transcriptional non-template additions of nucleotides to 3'-ends of RNAs play important roles in the stability and function of RNA molecules. Although tRNA nucleotidyltransferase (CCA-adding enzyme) is known to add CCA trinucleotides to 3'-ends of tRNAs, whether other RNA species can be endogenous substrates of CCA-adding enzyme has not been widely explored yet. Herein, we used YAMAT-seq to identify non-tRNA substrates of CCA-adding enzyme. YAMAT-seq captures RNA species that form secondary structures with 4-nt protruding 3'-ends of the sequence 5'-NCCA-3', which is the hallmark structure of RNAs that are generated by CCA-adding enzyme. By executing YAMAT-seq for human breast cancer cells and mining the sequence data, we identified novel candidate substrates of CCA-adding enzyme. These included fourteen 'CCA-RNAs' that only contain CCA as non-genomic sequences, and eleven 'NCCA-RNAs' that contain CCA and other nucleotides as non-genomic sequences. All newly-identified (N)CCA-RNAs were derived from the mitochondrial genome and were localized in mitochondria. Knockdown of CCA-adding enzyme severely reduced the expression levels of (N)CCA-RNAs, suggesting that the CCA-adding enzyme-catalyzed CCA additions stabilize the expression of (N)CCA-RNAs. Furthermore, expression levels of (N)CCA-RNAs were severely reduced by various cellular treatments, including UV irradiation, amino acid starvation, inhibition of mitochondrial respiratory complexes, and inhibition of the cell cycle. These results revealed a novel CCA-mediated regulatory pathway for the expression of mitochondrial non-coding RNAs.
Project description:CCA-adding enzyme [ATP(CTP):tRNA nucleotidyltransferase], a template-independent RNA polymerase, adds the defined 'cytidine-cytidine-adenosine' sequence onto the 3' end of tRNA. The archaeal CCA-adding enzyme (class I) and eubacterial/eukaryotic CCA-adding enzyme (class II) show little amino acid sequence homology, but catalyze the same reaction in a defined fashion. Here, we present the crystal structures of the class I archaeal CCA-adding enzyme from Archaeoglobus fulgidus, and its complexes with CTP and ATP at 2.0, 2.0 and 2.7 A resolutions, respectively. The geometry of the catalytic carboxylates and the relative positions of CTP and ATP to a single catalytic site are well conserved in both classes of CCA-adding enzymes, whereas the overall architectures, except for the catalytic core, of the class I and class II CCA-adding enzymes are fundamentally different. Furthermore, the recognition mechanisms of substrate nucleotides and tRNA molecules are distinct between these two classes, suggesting that the catalytic domains of class I and class II enzymes share a common origin, and distinct substrate recognition domains have been appended to form the two presently divergent classes.
Project description:The CCA-adding enzyme synthesizes the CCA sequence at the 3' end of tRNA without a nucleic acid template. The crystal structures of class II Thermotoga maritima CCA-adding enzyme and its complexes with CTP or ATP were determined. The structure-based replacement of both the catalytic heads and nucleobase-interacting neck domains of the phylogenetically closely related Aquifex aeolicus A-adding enzyme by the corresponding domains of the T. maritima CCA-adding enzyme allowed the A-adding enzyme to add CCA in vivo and in vitro. However, the replacement of only the catalytic head domain did not allow the A-adding enzyme to add CCA, and the enzyme exhibited (A, C)-adding activity. We identified the region in the neck domain that prevents (A, C)-adding activity and defines the number of nucleotide incorporations and the specificity for correct CCA addition. We also identified the region in the head domain that defines the terminal A addition after CC addition. The results collectively suggest that, in the class II CCA-adding enzyme, the head and neck domains collaboratively and dynamically define the number of nucleotide additions and the specificity of nucleotide selection.
Project description:CCA-adding enzymes build and repair the 3'-terminal CCA sequence of tRNA. These unusual RNA polymerases use either a ribonucleoprotein template (class I) or pure protein template (class II) to form mock base pairs with the Watson-Crick edges of incoming CTP and ATP. Guided by the class II Bacillus stearothermophilus CCA-adding enzyme structure, we introduced mutations designed to reverse the polarity of hydrogen bonds between the nucleobases and protein template. We were able to transform the CCA-adding enzyme into a (U,G)-adding enzyme that incorporates UTP and GTP instead of CTP and ATP; we transformed the related Aquifex aeolicus CC- and A-adding enzymes into UU- and G-adding enzymes and Escherichia coli poly(A) polymerase into a poly(G) polymerase; and we transformed the B. stearothermophilus CCA-adding enzyme into a poly(C,A) polymerase by mutations in helix J that appear, based on the apoenzyme structure, to sterically limit addition to CCA. We also transformed the B. stearothermophilus CCA-adding enzyme into a dCdCdA-adding enzyme by mutating an arginine that interacts with the incoming ribose 2' hydroxyl. Most importantly, we found that mutations in helix J can affect the specificity of the nucleotide binding site some 20 A away, suggesting that the specificity of both class I and II enzymes may be dictated by an intricate network of hydrogen bonds involving the protein, incoming nucleotide, and 3' end of the tRNA. Collaboration between RNA and protein in the form of a ribonucleoprotein template may help to explain the evolutionary diversity of the nucleotidyltransferase family.
Project description:Showing a high sequence similarity, the evolutionary closely related bacterial poly(A) polymerases (PAP) and CCA-adding enzymes catalyze quite different reactions--PAP adds poly(A) tails to RNA 3'-ends, while CCA-adding enzymes synthesize the sequence CCA at the 3'-terminus of tRNAs. Here, two highly conserved structural elements of the corresponding Escherichia coli enzymes were characterized. The first element is a set of amino acids that was identified in CCA-adding enzymes as a template region determining the enzymes' specificity for CTP and ATP. The same element is also present in PAP, where it confers ATP specificity. The second investigated region corresponds to a flexible loop in CCA-adding enzymes and is involved in the incorporation of the terminal A-residue. Although, PAP seems to carry a similar flexible region, the functional relevance of this element in PAP is not known. The presented results show that the template region has an essential function in both enzymes, while the second element is surprisingly dispensable in PAP. The data support the idea that the bacterial PAP descends from CCA-adding enzymes and still carries some of the structural elements required for CCA-addition as an evolutionary relic and is now fixed in a conformation specific for A-addition.
Project description:Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) require the absolutely conserved sequence motif CCA at their 3'-ends, representing the site of aminoacylation. In the majority of organisms, this trinucleotide sequence is not encoded in the genome and thus has to be added post-transcriptionally by the CCA-adding enzyme, a specialized nucleotidyltransferase. In eukaryotic genomes this ubiquitous and highly conserved enzyme family is usually represented by a single gene copy. Analysis of published sequence data allows us to pin down the unusual evolution of eukaryotic CCA-adding enzymes. We show that the CCA-adding enzymes of animals originated from a horizontal gene transfer event in the stem lineage of Holozoa, i.e. Metazoa (animals) and their unicellular relatives, the Choanozoa. The tRNA nucleotidyltransferase, acquired from an ?-proteobacterium, replaced the ancestral enzyme in Metazoa. However, in Choanoflagellata, the group of Choanozoa that is closest to Metazoa, both the ancestral and the horizontally transferred CCA-adding enzymes have survived. Furthermore, our data refute a mitochondrial origin of the animal tRNA nucleotidyltransferases.
Project description:CCA-adding enzymes [ATP(CTP):tRNA nucleotidyltransferases] add CCA onto the 3' end of transfer RNA (tRNA) precursors without using a nucleic acid template. Although the mechanism by which cytosine (C) is selected at position 75 of tRNA has been established, the mechanism by which adenine (A) is selected at position 76 remains elusive. Here, we report five cocrystal structures of the enzyme complexed with both a tRNA mimic and nucleoside triphosphates under catalytically active conditions. These structures suggest that adenosine 5'-monophosphate is incorporated onto the A76 position of the tRNA via a carboxylate-assisted, one-metal-ion mechanism with aspartate 110 functioning as a general base. The discrimination against incorporation of cytidine 5'-triphosphate (CTP) at position 76 arises from improper placement of the ? phosphate of the incoming CTP, which results from the interaction of C with arginine 224 and prevents the nucleophilic attack by the 3' hydroxyl group of cytidine75.
Project description:Transcription in eukaryotes produces a number of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). Two of these, MALAT1 and Men?, generate a tRNA-like small RNA in addition to the mature lncRNA. The stability of these tRNA-like small RNAs and bona fide tRNAs is monitored by the CCA-adding enzyme. Whereas CCA is added to stable tRNAs and tRNA-like transcripts, a second CCA repeat is added to certain unstable transcripts to initiate their degradation. Here, we characterize how these two scenarios are distinguished. Following the first CCA addition cycle, nucleotide binding to the active site triggers a clockwise screw motion, producing torque on the RNA. This ejects stable RNAs, whereas unstable RNAs are refolded while bound to the enzyme and subjected to a second CCA catalytic cycle. Intriguingly, with the CCA-adding enzyme acting as a molecular vise, the RNAs proofread themselves through differential responses to its interrogation between stable and unstable substrates.
Project description:Correct synthesis and maintenance of functional tRNA 3'-CCA-ends is a crucial prerequisite for aminoacylation and must be achieved by the phylogenetically diverse group of tRNA nucleotidyltransferases. While numerous reports on the in vitro characterization exist, robust analysis under in vivo conditions is lacking. Here, we utilize Escherichia coli RNase T, a tRNA-processing enzyme responsible for the tRNA-CCA-end turnover, to generate an in vivo system for the evaluation of A-adding activity. Expression of RNase T results in a prominent growth phenotype that renders the presence of a CCA- or A-adding enzyme essential for cell survival in an E. coli ?cca background. The distinct growth fitness allows for both complementation and selection of enzyme variants in a natural environment. We demonstrate the potential of our system via detection of altered catalytic efficiency and temperature sensitivity. Furthermore, we select functional enzyme variants out of a sequence pool carrying a randomized codon for a highly conserved position essential for catalysis. The presented E. coli-based approach opens up a wide field of future studies including the investigation of tRNA nucleotidyltransferases from all domains of life and the biological relevance of in vitro data concerning their functionality and mode of operation.
Project description:Dictyostelium discoideum, the model organism for the evolutionary supergroup of Amoebozoa, is a social amoeba that, upon starvation, undergoes transition from a unicellular to a multicellular organism. In its genome, we identified two genes encoding for tRNA nucleotidyltransferases. Such pairs of tRNA nucleotidyltransferases usually represent collaborating partial activities catalyzing CC- and A-addition to the tRNA 3'-end, respectively. In D. discoideum, however, both enzymes exhibit identical activities, representing bona-fide CCA-adding enzymes. Detailed characterization of the corresponding activities revealed that both enzymes seem to be essential and are regulated inversely during different developmental stages of D. discoideum. Intriguingly, this is the first description of two functionally equivalent CCA-adding enzymes using the same set of tRNAs and showing a similar distribution within the cell. This situation seems to be a common feature in Dictyostelia, as other members of this phylum carry similar pairs of tRNA nucleotidyltransferase genes in their genome.