A novel role for the SMG-1 kinase in lifespan and oxidative stress resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans.
ABSTRACT: The PTEN tumour suppressor encodes a phosphatase, and its daf-18 orthologue in Caenorhabditis elegans negatively regulates the insulin/IGF-1 DAF-2 receptor pathway that influences lifespan in worms and other species. In order to identify new DAF-18 regulated pathways involved in aging, we initiated a candidate RNAi feeding screen for clones that lengthen lifespan. Here, we report that smg-1 inactivation increases average lifespan in a daf-18 dependent manner. Genetic analysis is consistent with SMG-1 acting at least in part in parallel to the canonical DAF-2 receptor pathway, but converging on the transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO. SMG-1 is a serine-threonine kinase which plays a conserved role in nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) in worms and mammals. In addition, human SMG-1 has also been implicated in the p53-mediated response to genotoxic stress. The effect of smg-1 inactivation on lifespan appears to be unrelated to its NMD function, but requires the p53 tumour suppressor orthologue cep-1. Furthermore, smg-1 inactivation confers a resistance to oxidative stress in a daf-18-, daf-16- and cep-1-dependent manner. We propose that the role of SMG-1 in lifespan regulation is at least partly dependent on its function in oxidative stress resistance. Taken together, our results unveil a novel role for SMG-1 in lifespan regulation.
Project description:mRNAs that contain premature stop codons are degraded selectively and rapidly in eukaryotes, a phenomenon termed 'nonsense-mediated mRNA decay' (NMD). We report here molecular analysis of smg-5, which encodes a novel protein required for NMD in Caenorhabditis elegans. Using a combination of immunoprecipitation and yeast two-hybrid assays, we identified a series of protein-protein interactions involving SMG-5. SMG-5 interacts with at least four proteins: (i) SMG-7, a previously identified protein required for NMD; (ii) SMG-2, a phosphorylated protein required for NMD in worms, yeasts and mammals; (iii) PR65, the structural subunit of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A); and (iv) PP2A(C), the catalytic subunit of PP2A. Previous work demonstrated that both SMG-5 and SMG-7 are required for efficient dephosphorylation of SMG-2. Our results suggest that PP2A is the SMG-2 phosphatase, and the role of SMG-5 is to direct PP2A to its SMG-2 substrate. We discuss cycles of SMG-2 phosphorylation and their roles in NMD.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a surveillance mechanism that detects and degrades mRNAs containing premature termination codons (PTCs). SMG-1-mediated Upf1 phosphorylation takes place in the decay inducing complex (DECID), which contains a ribosome, release factors, Upf1, SMG-1, an exon junction complex (EJC) and a PTC-mRNA. However, the significance and the consequence of Upf1 phosphorylation remain to be clarified. Here, we demonstrate that SMG-6 binds to a newly identified phosphorylation site in Upf1 at N-terminal threonine 28, whereas the SMG-5:SMG-7 complex binds to phosphorylated serine 1096 of Upf1. In addition, the binding of the SMG-5:SMG-7 complex to Upf1 resulted in the dissociation of the ribosome and release factors from the DECID complex. Importantly, the simultaneous binding of both the SMG-5:SMG-7 complex and SMG-6 to phospho-Upf1 are required for both NMD and Upf1 dissociation from mRNA. Thus, the SMG-1-mediated phosphorylation of Upf1 creates a binding platforms for the SMG-5:SMG-7 complex and for SMG-6, and triggers sequential remodeling of the mRNA surveillance complex for NMD induction and recycling of the ribosome, release factors and NMD factors.
Project description:Mammalian nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a eukaryotic surveillance mechanism that degrades mRNAs containing premature translation termination codons. Phosphorylation of the essential NMD effector UPF1 by the phosphoinositide-3-kinase-like kinase (PIKK) SMG-1 is a key step in NMD and occurs when SMG-1, its two regulatory factors SMG-8 and SMG-9, and UPF1 form a complex at a terminating ribosome. Electron cryo-microscopy of the SMG-1-8-9-UPF1 complex shows the head and arm architecture characteristic of PIKKs and reveals different states of UPF1 docking. UPF1 is recruited to the SMG-1 kinase domain and C-terminal insertion domain, inducing an opening of the head domain that provides access to the active site. SMG-8 and SMG-9 interact with the SMG-1 C-insertion and promote high-affinity UPF1 binding to SMG-1-8-9, as well as decelerated SMG-1 kinase activity and enhanced stringency of phosphorylation site selection. The presence of UPF2 destabilizes the SMG-1-8-9-UPF1 complex leading to substrate release. Our results suggest an intricate molecular network of SMG-8, SMG-9 and the SMG-1 C-insertion domain that governs UPF1 substrate recruitment and phosphorylation by SMG-1 kinase, an event that is central to trigger mRNA decay.
Project description:Eukaryotic mRNAs that contain premature stop codons are degraded more rapidly than their wild-type counterparts, a phenomenon termed "nonsense-mediated mRNA decay" (NMD) or "mRNA surveillance." Functions of six previously described Caenorhabditis elegans genes, smg-1 through smg-6, are required for NMD. Whereas nonsense mutant mRNAs are unstable in smg(+) genetic backgrounds, such mRNAs have normal stability in smg(-) backgrounds. Previous screens for smg mutations have likely not identified all genes involved in NMD, but efforts to identify additional smg genes are limited by the fact that almost 90% of smg mutations identified in genome-wide screens are alleles of smg-1, smg-2, or smg-5. We describe a modified screen for smg mutations that precludes isolating alleles of smg-1, smg-2, and smg-5. Using this screen, we have identified and cloned smg-7, a previously uncharacterized gene that we show is required for NMD. smg-7 is predicted to encode a novel protein that contains an acidic carboxyl terminus and two probable tetratricopeptide repeats. We provide evidence that smg-7 is cotranscribed with the previously characterized gene lin-45 and show that null alleles of smg-7 confer a temperature-sensitive defect in NMD.
Project description:DNA damage is presumed to be one type of stochastic macromolecular damage that contributes to aging, yet little is known about the precise mechanism by which DNA damage drives aging. Here, we attempt to address this gap in knowledge using DNA repair-deficient C. elegans and mice. ERCC1-XPF is a nuclear endonuclease required for genomic stability and loss of ERCC1 in humans and mice accelerates the incidence of age-related pathologies. Like mice, ercc-1 worms are UV sensitive, shorter lived, display premature functional decline and they accumulate spontaneous oxidative DNA lesions (cyclopurines) more rapidly than wild-type worms. We found that ercc-1 worms displayed early activation of DAF-16 relative to wild-type worms, which conferred resistance to multiple stressors and was important for maximal longevity of the mutant worms. However, DAF-16 activity was not maintained over the lifespan of ercc-1 animals and this decline in DAF-16 activation corresponded with a loss of stress resistance, a rise in oxidant levels and increased morbidity, all of which were cep-1/ p53 dependent. A similar early activation of FOXO3A (the mammalian homolog of DAF-16), with increased resistance to oxidative stress, followed by a decline in FOXO3A activity and an increase in oxidant abundance was observed in Ercc1<sup>-/-</sup> primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Likewise, in vivo, ERCC1-deficient mice had transient activation of FOXO3A in early adulthood as did middle-aged wild-type mice, followed by a late life decline. The healthspan and mean lifespan of ERCC1 deficient mice was rescued by inactivation of p53. These data indicate that activation of DAF-16/FOXO3A is a highly conserved response to genotoxic stress that is important for suppressing consequent oxidative stress. Correspondingly, dysregulation of DAF-16/FOXO3A appears to underpin shortened healthspan and lifespan, rather than the increased DNA damage burden itself.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is an mRNA surveillance mechanism that eliminates aberrant mRNAs containing premature termination codons (PTCs). NMD inhibits the production of aberrant proteins that still retain, at least in part, wild-type function as well as dominant-negative peptides. Therefore, the selective inhibition of NMD has the potential to ameliorate NMD-exacerbated mutant phenotypes. However, we do not have sufficient knowledge of how to effectively suppress NMD with minimum cytotoxic effects. In this study, we aimed to identify NMD-related factors that can be targeted to efficiently inhibit NMD without causing significant cytotoxicity to restore the levels of truncated but partially functional proteins. We evaluated the knockdown of 15 NMD components in Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy fibroblasts, which have a homozygous frameshift mutation causing a PTC in the collagen type VI ? 2 gene. Of the 15 NMD factors tested, knockdown of SMG-8 produced the best effect for restoring defective mRNA and protein levels without affecting cell growth, cell-cycle progression, or endoplasmic reticulum stress. The efficacy of SMG-8 knockdown to improve the mutant phenotype was confirmed using another cell line, from a cerebral autosomal recessive arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy patient who carries a PTC-containing mutation in HtrA serine peptidase 1. Our results suggest that SMG-8 is an appropriate target for inhibiting NMD to improve NMD-exacerbated mutant phenotypes. NMD inhibition by knockdown of SMG-8 may also be useful to induce synergy in combining the use of read-through drugs for patients with nonsense mutation-associated diseases.
Project description:Eukaryotic messenger RNAs containing premature stop codons are selectively and rapidly degraded, a phenomenon termed nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). Previous studies with both Caenohabditis elegans and mammalian cells indicate that SMG-2/human UPF1, a central regulator of NMD, is phosphorylated in an SMG-1-dependent manner. We report here that smg-1, which is required for NMD in C. elegans, encodes a protein kinase of the phosphatidylinositol kinase superfamily of protein kinases. We identify null alleles of smg-1 and demonstrate that SMG-1 kinase activity is required in vivo for NMD and in vitro for SMG-2 phosphorylation. SMG-1 and SMG-2 coimmunoprecipitate from crude extracts, and this interaction is maintained in smg-3 and smg-4 mutants, both of which are required for SMG-2 phosphorylation in vivo and in vitro. SMG-2 is located diffusely through the cytoplasm, and its location is unaltered in mutants that disrupt the cycle of SMG-2 phosphorylation. We discuss the role of SMG-2 phosphorylation in NMD.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), also called mRNA surveillance, is an important pathway used by all organisms that have been tested to degrade mRNAs that prematurely terminate translation and, as a consequence, eliminate the production of aberrant proteins that could be potentially harmful. In mammalian cells, NMD appears to involve splicing-dependent alterations to mRNA as well as ribosome-associated components of the translational apparatus. To date, human (h) Upf1 protein (p) (hUpf1p), a group 1 RNA helicase named after its Saccharomyces cerevisiae orthologue that functions in both translation termination and NMD, has been the only factor shown to be required for NMD in mammalian cells. Here, we describe human orthologues to S. cerevisiae Upf2p and S. cerevisiae Upf3p (Caenorhabditis elegans SMG-4) based on limited amino acid similarities. The existence of these orthologues provides evidence for a higher degree of evolutionary conservation of NMD than previously appreciated. Interestingly, human orthologues to S. cerevisiae Upf3p (C. elegans SMG-4) derive from two genes, one of which is X-linked and both of which generate multiple isoforms due to alternative pre-mRNA splicing. We demonstrate using immunoprecipitations of epitope-tagged proteins transiently produced in HeLa cells that hUpf2p interacts with hUpf1p, hUpf3p-X, and hUpf3p, and we define the domains required for the interactions. Furthermore, we find by using indirect immunofluorescence that hUpf1p is detected only in the cytoplasm, hUpf2p is detected primarily in the cytoplasm, and hUpf3p-X localizes primarily to nuclei. The finding that hUpf3p-X is a shuttling protein provides additional indication that NMD has both nuclear and cytoplasmic components.
Project description:mRNAs that contain premature stop codons are selectively degraded in all eukaryotes tested, a phenomenon termed "nonsense-mediated mRNA decay" (NMD) or "mRNA surveillance." NMD may function to eliminate aberrant mRNAs so that they are not translated, because such mRNAs might encode deleterious polypeptide fragments. In both yeasts and nematodes, NMD is a nonessential system. Mutations affecting three yeast UPF genes or seven nematode smg genes eliminate NMD. We report here the molecular analysis of smg-2 of Caenorhabditis elegans. smg-2 is homologous to UPF1 of yeast and to RENT1 (also called HUPF1), a human gene likely involved in NMD. The striking conservation of SMG-2, Upf1p, and RENT1/HUPF1 in both sequence and function suggests that NMD is an ancient system, predating the divergence of most eukaryotes. Despite similarities in the sequences of SMG-2 and Upf1p, expression of Upf1p in C. elegans does not rescue smg-2 mutants. We have prepared anti-SMG-2 polyclonal antibodies and identified SMG-2 on Western blots. SMG-2 is phosphorylated, and mutations of the six other smg genes influence the state of SMG-2 phosphorylation. In smg-1, smg-3, and smg-4 mutants, phosphorylation of SMG-2 was not detected. In smg-5, smg-6, and smg-7 mutants, a phosphorylated isoform of SMG-2 accumulated to abnormally high levels. In smg-2(r866) and smg-2(r895) mutants, which harbor single amino acid substitutions of the SMG-2 nucleotide binding site, phosphorylated SMG-2 accumulated to abnormally high levels, similar to those observed in smg-5, smg-6, and smg-7 mutants. We discuss these results with regard to the in vivo functions of SMG-2 and NMD.
Project description:Eukaryotic mRNAs containing premature translation termination codons (PTCs) are rapidly degraded by a process termed "nonsense-mediated mRNA decay" (NMD). We examined protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions among Caenorhabditis elegans proteins required for NMD. SMG-2, SMG-3, and SMG-4 are orthologs of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and mammalian Upf1, Upf2, and Upf3, respectively. A combination of immunoprecipitation and yeast two-hybrid experiments indicated that SMG-2 interacts with SMG-3, SMG-3 interacts with SMG-4, and SMG-2 interacts indirectly with SMG-4 via shared interactions with SMG-3. Such interactions are similar to those observed in yeast and mammalian cells. SMG-2-SMG-3-SMG-4 interactions require neither SMG-2 phosphorylation, which is abolished in smg-1 mutants, nor SMG-2 dephosphorylation, which is reduced or eliminated in smg-5 mutants. SMG-2 preferentially associates with PTC-containing mRNAs. We monitored the association of SMG-2, SMG-3, and SMG-4 with mRNAs of five endogenous genes whose mRNAs are alternatively spliced to either contain or not contain PTCs. SMG-2 associates with both PTC-free and PTC-containing mRNPs, but it strongly and preferentially associates with ("marks") those containing PTCs. SMG-2 marking of PTC-mRNPs is enhanced by SMG-3 and SMG-4, but SMG-3 and SMG-4 are not detectably associated with the same mRNPs. Neither SMG-2 phosphorylation nor dephosphorylation is required for selective association of SMG-2 with PTC-containing mRNPs, indicating that SMG-2 is phosphorylated only after premature terminations have been discriminated from normal terminations. We discuss these observations with regard to the functions of SMG-2 and its phosphorylation during NMD.