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Characterization of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Spt5-Spt4 complex.
ABSTRACT: The Spt5-Spt4 complex regulates early transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II and has an imputed role in pre-mRNA processing via its physical association with mRNA capping enzymes. Here we characterize the Schizosaccharomyces pombe core Spt5-Spt4 complex as a heterodimer and map a trypsin-resistant Spt4-binding domain within the Spt5 subunit. A genetic analysis of Spt4 in S. pombe revealed it to be inessential for growth at 25 degrees C-30 degrees C but critical at 37 degrees C. These results echo the conditional spt4Delta growth phenotype in budding yeast, where we find that Saccharomyces cerevisiae and S. pombe Spt4 are functionally interchangeable. Complementation of S. cerevisiae spt4Delta and a two-hybrid assay for Spt4-Spt5 interaction provided a readout of the effects of 33 missense and truncation mutations on S. pombe Spt4 function in vivo, which were interpreted in light of the recent crystal structure of S. cerevisiae Spt4 fused to a fragment of Spt5. Our results highlight the importance of the Spt4 Zn2+-binding residues--Cys12, Cys15, Cys29, and Asp32--and of Ser57, a conserved constituent of the Spt4-Spt5 interface. The 990-amino acid S. pombe Spt5 protein has an exceptionally regular carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) composed of 18 nonapeptide repeats. We find that as few as three nonamer repeats sufficed for S. pombe growth, but only when Spt4 was present. Synthetic lethality of the spt5(1-835) spt4Delta double mutant at 34 degrees C suggests that interaction of Spt4 with the central domain of Spt5 overlaps functionally with the Spt5 CTD.
Project description:The Spt4-Spt5 complex is an essential RNA polymerase II elongation factor found in all eukaryotes and important for gene regulation. We report here the crystal structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Spt4 bound to the NGN domain of Spt5. This structure reveals that Spt4-Spt5 binding is governed by an acid-dipole interaction between Spt5 and Spt4. Mutations that disrupt this interaction disrupt the complex. Residues forming this pivotal interaction are conserved in the archaeal homologs of Spt4 and Spt5, which we show also form a complex. Even though bacteria lack a Spt4 homolog, the NGN domains of Spt5 and its bacterial homologs are structurally similar. Spt4 is located at a position that may help to maintain the functional conformation of the following KOW domains in Spt5. This structural and evolutionary perspective of the Spt4-Spt5 complex and its homologs suggest that it is an ancient, core component of the transcription elongation machinery.
Project description:Previous characterization of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Spt4, Spt5, and Spt6 proteins suggested that these proteins act as transcription factors that modify chromatin structure. In this work, we report new genetic and biochemical studies of Spt4, Spt5, and Spt6 that reveal a role for these factors in transcription elongation. We have isolated conditional mutations in SPT5 that can be suppressed in an allele-specific manner by mutations in the two largest subunits of RNA polymerase II (Pol II). Strikingly, one of these RNA Pol II mutants is defective for transcription elongation and the others cause phenotypes consistent with an elongation defect. In addition, we show that spt4, spt5, and spt6 mutants themselves have phenotypes suggesting defects in transcription elongation in vivo. Consistent with these findings, we show that Spt5 is physically associated with RNA Pol II in vivo, and have identified a region of sequence similarity between Spt5 and NusG, an Escherichia coli transcription elongation factor that binds directly to RNA polymerase. Finally, we show that Spt4 and Spt5 are tightly associated in a complex that does not contain Spt6. These results, taken together with the biochemical identification of a human Spt4-Spt5 complex as a transcription elongation factor (Wada et al. 1998), provide strong evidence that these factors are important for transcription elongation in vivo.
Project description:The eukaryotic Spt4-Spt5 heterodimer forms a higher-order complex with RNA polymerase II (and I) to regulate transcription elongation. Extensive genetic and functional data have revealed diverse roles of Spt4-Spt5 in coupling elongation with chromatin modification and RNA-processing pathways. A mechanistic understanding of the diverse functions of Spt4-Spt5 is hampered by challenges in resolving the distribution of functions among its structural domains, including the five KOW domains in Spt5, and a lack of their high-resolution structures. We present high-resolution crystallographic results demonstrating that distinct structures are formed by the first through third KOW domains (KOW1-Linker1 [K1L1] and KOW2-KOW3) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Spt5. The structure reveals that K1L1 displays a positively charged patch (PCP) on its surface, which binds nucleic acids in vitro, as shown in biochemical assays, and is important for in vivo function, as shown in growth assays. Furthermore, assays in yeast have shown that the PCP has a function that partially overlaps that of Spt4. Synthesis of our results with previous evidence suggests a model in which Spt4 and the K1L1 domain of Spt5 form functionally overlapping interactions with nucleic acids upstream of the transcription bubble, and this mechanism may confer robustness on processes associated with transcription elongation.
Project description:Elongation by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) is a finely regulated process in which many elongation factors contribute to gene regulation. Among these factors are the polymerase-associated factor (PAF) complex, which associates with RNAPII, and several cyclin-dependent kinases, including positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) in humans and BUR kinase (Bur1-Bur2) and C-terminal domain (CTD) kinase 1 (CTDK1) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. An important target of P-TEFb and CTDK1, but not BUR kinase, is the CTD of the Rpb1 subunit of RNAPII. Although the essential BUR kinase phosphorylates Rad6, which is required for histone H2B ubiquitination on K123, Rad6 is not essential, leaving a critical substrate(s) of BUR kinase unidentified. Here we show that BUR kinase is important for the phosphorylation in vivo of Spt5, a subunit of the essential yeast RNAPII elongation factor Spt4/Spt5, whose human orthologue is DRB sensitivity-inducing factor. BUR kinase can also phosphorylate the C-terminal region (CTR) of Spt5 in vitro. Like BUR kinase, the Spt5 CTR is important for promoting elongation by RNAPII and recruiting the PAF complex to transcribed regions. Also like BUR kinase and the PAF complex, the Spt5 CTR is important for histone H2B K123 monoubiquitination and histone H3 K4 and K36 trimethylation during transcription elongation. Our results suggest that the Spt5 CTR, which contains 15 repeats of a hexapeptide whose consensus sequence is S[T/A]WGG[A/Q], is a substrate of BUR kinase and a platform for the association of proteins that promote both transcription elongation and histone modification in transcribed regions.
Project description:The Spt4, Spt5, and Spt6 proteins are conserved throughout eukaryotes and are believed to play critical and related roles in transcription. They have a positive role in transcription elongation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and in the activation of transcription by the HIV Tat protein in human cells. In contrast, a complex of Spt4 and Spt5 is required in vitro for the inhibition of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) elongation by the drug DRB, suggesting also a negative role in vivo. To learn more about the function of the Spt4/Spt5 complex and Spt6 in vivo, we have identified Drosophila homologs of Spt5 and Spt6 and characterized their localization on Drosophila polytene chromosomes. We find that Spt5 and Spt6 localize extensively with the phosphorylated, actively elongating form of Pol II, to transcriptionally active sites during salivary gland development and upon heat shock. Furthermore, Spt5 and Spt6 do not colocalize widely with the unphosphorylated, nonelongating form of Pol II. These results strongly suggest that Spt5 and Spt6 play closely related roles associated with active transcription in vivo.
Project description:BRCA1 has been implicated in numerous DNA repair pathways that maintain genome integrity, however the function responsible for its tumor suppressor activity in breast cancer remains obscure. To identify the most highly conserved of the many BRCA1 functions, we screened the evolutionarily distant eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae for mutants that suppressed the G1 checkpoint arrest and lethality induced following heterologous BRCA1 expression. A genome-wide screen in the diploid deletion collection combined with a screen of ionizing radiation sensitive gene deletions identified mutants that permit growth in the presence of BRCA1. These genes delineate a metabolic mRNA pathway that temporally links transcription elongation (SPT4, SPT5, CTK1, DEF1) to nucleopore-mediated mRNA export (ASM4, MLP1, MLP2, NUP2, NUP53, NUP120, NUP133, NUP170, NUP188, POM34) and cytoplasmic mRNA decay at P-bodies (CCR4, DHH1). Strikingly, BRCA1 interacted with the phosphorylated RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) carboxy terminal domain (P-CTD), phosphorylated in the pattern specified by the CTDK-I kinase, to induce DEF1-dependent cleavage and accumulation of a RNAPII fragment containing the P-CTD. Significantly, breast cancer associated BRCT domain defects in BRCA1 that suppressed P-CTD cleavage and lethality in yeast also suppressed the physical interaction of BRCA1 with human SPT5 in breast epithelial cells, thus confirming SPT5 as a relevant target of BRCA1 interaction. Furthermore, enhanced P-CTD cleavage was observed in both yeast and human breast cells following UV-irradiation indicating a conserved eukaryotic damage response. Moreover, P-CTD cleavage in breast epithelial cells was BRCA1-dependent since damage-induced P-CTD cleavage was only observed in the mutant BRCA1 cell line HCC1937 following ectopic expression of wild type BRCA1. Finally, BRCA1, SPT5 and hyperphosphorylated RPB1 form a complex that was rapidly degraded following MMS treatment in wild type but not BRCA1 mutant breast cells. These results extend the mechanistic links between BRCA1 and transcriptional consequences in response to DNA damage and suggest an important role for RNAPII P-CTD cleavage in BRCA1-mediated cancer suppression.
Project description:Macroautophagy/autophagy, a highly conserved dynamic process, is one of the major degradative pathways in cells. So far, over 40 autophagy-related (ATG) genes have been identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, most of which have homologs in more complex eukaryotes. Autophagy plays a crucial role in cell survival and maintenance, and its dysfunction is related to various diseases, indicating that the proper regulation of autophagy is important. Although the overall process of autophagy has been extensively studied, in particular with regard to the function of the Atg proteins, relatively little is known about the regulatory mechanisms that control autophagy activity. Spt5 is one of the transcriptional factors that is universally conserved across all domains. This protein can form a complex with Spt4, together playing a central role in transcription. In complex eukaryotic cells, the Spt4-Spt5 complex plays a dual role in gene regulation, acting both to delay transcription through promoter-proximal pausing, and to facilitate transcriptional elongation. In contrast, in S. cerevisiae, only the positive function of the Spt4-Spt5 complex has been identified. Here, we show for the first time that the Spt4-Spt5 transcription factor complex negatively regulates ATG genes in S. cerevisiae, inhibiting autophagy activity during active growth. Under autophagy-inducing conditions, the repression is released by Spt5 phosphorylation, allowing an upregulation of autophagy activity. ABBREVIATIONS:AID: auxin-inducible degron; ATG: autophagy-related; ChIP: chromatin immunoprecipitation;Cvt: cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting; DSIF: DRB sensitivity-inducible factor; NELF: negativeelongation factor; ORF: open reading frame; PA: protein A; PE: phosphatidylethanolamine;prApe1: precursor aminopeptidase I; RT-qPCR: real-time quantitative PCR; RNAP II: RNApolymerase II; TSS: transcription start site; WT: wild-type.
Project description:Class-switch recombination (CSR), induced by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), can be divided into two phases: DNA cleavage of the switch (S) regions and the joining of the cleaved ends of the different S regions. Here, we show that the DSIF complex (Spt4 and Spt5), a transcription elongation factor, is required for CSR in a switch-proficient B cell line CH12F3-2A cells, and Spt4 and Spt5 carry out independent functions in CSR. While neither Spt4 nor Spt5 is required for transcription of S regions and AID, expression array analysis suggests that Spt4 and Spt5 regulate a distinct subset of transcripts in CH12F3-2A cells. Curiously, Spt4 is critically important in suppressing cryptic transcription initiating from the intronic S? region. Depletion of Spt5 reduced the H3K4me3 level and DNA cleavage at the S? region, whereas Spt4 knockdown did not perturb the H3K4me3 status and S region cleavage. H3K4me3 modification level thus correlated well with the DNA breakage efficiency. Therefore we conclude that Spt5 plays a role similar to the histone chaperone FACT complex that regulates H3K4me3 modification and DNA cleavage in CSR. Since Spt4 is not involved in the DNA cleavage step, we suspected that Spt4 might be required for DNA repair in CSR. We examined whether Spt4 or Spt5 is essential in non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR) as CSR utilizes general repair pathways. Both Spt4 and Spt5 are required for NHEJ and HR as determined by assay systems using synthetic repair substrates that are actively transcribed even in the absence of Spt4 and Spt5. Taken together, Spt4 and Spt5 can function independently in multiple transcription-coupled steps of CSR.
Project description:The heterodimeric complex SPT4/SPT5 is a transcript elongation factor (TEF) that directly interacts with RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) to regulate messenger RNA synthesis in the chromatin context. We provide biochemical evidence that in Arabidopsis, SPT4 occurs in a complex with SPT5, demonstrating that the SPT4/SPT5 complex is conserved in plants. Each subunit is encoded by two genes SPT4-1/2 and SPT5-1/2. A mutant affected in the tissue-specifically expressed SPT5-1 is viable, whereas inactivation of the generally expressed SPT5-2 is homozygous lethal. RNAi-mediated downregulation of SPT4 decreases cell proliferation and causes growth reduction and developmental defects. These plants display especially auxin signalling phenotypes. Consistently, auxin-related genes, most strikingly AUX/IAA genes, are downregulated in SPT4-RNAi plants that exhibit an enhanced auxin response. In Arabidopsis nuclei, SPT5 clearly localizes to the transcriptionally active euchromatin, and essentially co-localizes with transcribing RNAPII. Typical for TEFs, SPT5 is found over the entire transcription unit of RNAPII-transcribed genes. In SPT4-RNAi plants, elevated levels of RNAPII and SPT5 are detected within transcribed regions (including those of downregulated genes), indicating transcript elongation defects in these plants. Therefore, SPT4/SPT5 acts as a TEF in Arabidopsis, regulating transcription during the elongation stage with particular impact on the expression of certain auxin-related genes.
Project description:Ribogenesis is a multistep error-prone process that is actively monitored by quality control mechanisms. How ribosomal RNA synthesis, pre-rRNA processing and nucleolar surveillance are integrated is unclear. Nor is it understood how defective ribosomes are recognized. We report in budding yeast that, in vivo, the interaction between the transcription elongation factor Spt5 and Rpa190, the largest subunit of RNA polymerase (Pol) I, requires the Spt5 C-terminal region (CTR), a conserved and highly repetitive domain that is reminiscent of the RNA Pol II C-terminal domain (CTD). We show that this sequence is also required for the interaction between Spt5 and Nrd1, an RNA specific binding protein, and an exosome cofactor. Both the Spt4-Spt5, and the Nrd1-Nab3 complexes interact functionally with Rrp6, and colocalize at the rDNA. Mutations in the RNA binding domain of Nrd1, but not in its RNA Pol II CTD-interacting domain, and mutations in the RRM of Nab3 led to the accumulation of normal and aberrant polyadenylated pre-rRNAs. Altogether these results indicate that Nrd1-Nab3 contributes to recruiting the nucleolar surveillance to elongating polymerases to survey nascent rRNA transcripts.