Molecular evolution of multisubunit RNA polymerases: sequence analysis.
ABSTRACT: Transcription in all cellular organisms is performed by multisubunit, DNA-dependent RNA polymerases that synthesize RNA from DNA templates. Previous sequence and structural studies have elucidated the importance of shared regions common to all multisubunit RNA polymerases. In addition, RNA polymerases contain multiple lineage-specific domain insertions involved in protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions. We have created comprehensive multiple sequence alignments using all available sequence data for the multisubunit RNA polymerase large subunits, including the bacterial beta and beta' subunits and their homologs from archaebacterial RNA polymerases, the eukaryotic RNA polymerases I, II, and III, the nuclear-cytoplasmic large double-stranded DNA virus RNA polymerases, and plant plastid RNA polymerases. To overcome technical difficulties inherent to the large-subunit sequences, including large sequence length, small and large lineage-specific insertions, split subunits, and fused proteins, we created an automated and customizable sequence retrieval and processing system. In addition, we used our alignments to create a more expansive set of shared sequence regions and bacterial lineage-specific domain insertions. We also analyzed the intergenic gap between the bacterial beta and beta' genes.
Project description:Comprehensive multiple sequence alignments of the multisubunit DNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RNAP) large subunits, including the bacterial beta and beta' subunits and their homologs from archaebacterial RNAPs, eukaryotic RNAPs I-III, nuclear-cytoplasmic large double-stranded DNA virus RNAPs, and plant plastid RNAPs, were created [Lane, W. J. and Darst, S. A. (2009). Molecular evolution of multisubunit RNA polymerases: sequence analysis. In press]. The alignments were used to delineate sequence regions shared among all classes of multisubunit RNAPs, defining common, fundamental RNAP features as well as identifying highly conserved positions. Here, we present a systematic, detailed structural analysis of these shared regions and highly conserved positions in terms of the RNAP structure, as well as the RNAP structure/function relationship, when known.
Project description:The genes for the three large subunits A, B and C, of the DNA-dependent RNA polymerase of the archaebacterium Sulfolobus acidocaldarius DSM 639, were identified and characterized. The three genes follow each other immediately in the order B-A-C, which corresponds to that found in the rpoBC operon of the Escherichia coli genome. The transcription products formed in vivo were studied by Northern analysis and the start-points were determined by S1-nuclease mapping and primer directed extension analysis. The three RNA polymerase subunit genes were co-transcribed together with an open reading frame (ORF) of 88 amino acid residues length situated immediately upstream of the B gene and two ORFs of 104 and 130 amino acid residues following the C gene (together 8500 nucleotides). The following ORF, encoding a protein of 118 amino acids homologous to the ribosomal protein S12 of E. coli, was weakly transcribed with the large co-transcript and strongly from an own promoter. The derived amino acid sequence of the B-subunit was found to be homologous to the B- (second largest) subunits of the eukaryotic nuclear polymerases I, II and III and to the eubacterial beta-subunit. The combined A + C-subunits correspond to the A- (largest) subunits of the eukaryotic RNA polymerases I, II and III and to the eubacterial beta'-subunit. The amino acid sequence similarity of the Sulfolobus subunits to the eukaryotic components is clearly higher than to the E. coli subunit.
Project description:The AC40 and AC19 subunits (encoded by RPC40 and RPC19) are shared by yeast RNA polymerases I and III and have a local sequence similarity to prokaryotic alpha subunits. Mutational analysis of the corresponding "alpha motif" indicated that its integrity is essential on AC40 subunit but is not essential on AC19 subunit. By applying the two-hybrid method, these two polypeptides were shown to associate in vivo. Extragenic suppression of rpc19 and rpc40 mutations confirmed that AC19 and AC40 subunits interact with each other in vivo and revealed an interaction with ABC10 beta subunit [encoded by RPB10; Woychick, N. A. & Young, R.A. (1990) J. Biol. Chem. 265, 17816-17819], one of the five polypeptides common to all three nuclear RNA polymerases. A correction of the RPB10 sequence showed that ABC10 beta subunit is a 70-amino acid polypeptide, as confirmed by peptide microsequencing. These results suggest that the assembly of RNA polymerase I and III requires the association of ABC10 beta subunit with an AC19/AC40 heterodimer.
Project description:RNA polymerases are key multisubunit cellular enzymes. Microscopy studies indicated that RNA polymerase I assembles near its promoter. However, the mechanism by which RNA polymerase II is assembled from its 12 subunits remains unclear. We show here that RNA polymerase II subunits Rpb1 and Rpb3 accumulate in the cytoplasm when assembly is prevented and that nuclear import of Rpb1 requires the presence of all subunits. Using MS-based quantitative proteomics, we characterized assembly intermediates. These included a cytoplasmic complex containing subunits Rpb1 and Rpb8 associated with the HSP90 cochaperone hSpagh (RPAP3) and the R2TP/Prefoldin-like complex. Remarkably, HSP90 activity stabilized incompletely assembled Rpb1 in the cytoplasm. Our data indicate that RNA polymerase II is built in the cytoplasm and reveal quality-control mechanisms that link HSP90 to the nuclear import of fully assembled enzymes. hSpagh also bound the free RPA194 subunit of RNA polymerase I, suggesting a general role in assembling RNA polymerases.
Project description:DNA polymerases alpha, delta and epsilon are large multisubunit complexes that replicate the bulk of the DNA in the eukaryotic cell. In addition to the homologous catalytic subunits, these enzymes possess structurally related B subunits, characterized by a carboxyterminal calcineurin-like and an aminoproximal oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide binding-fold domain. The B subunits also share homology with the exonuclease subunit of archaeal DNA polymerases D. Here, we describe a novel domain specific to the N-terminus of the B subunit of eukaryotic DNA polymerases epsilon. The N-terminal domain of human DNA polymerases epsilon (Dpoe2NT) expressed in Escherichia coli was characterized. Circular dichroism studies demonstrated that Dpoe2NT forms a stable, predominantly alpha-helical structure. The solution structure of Dpoe2NT revealed a domain that consists of a left-handed superhelical bundle. Four helices are arranged in two hairpins and the connecting loops contain short beta-strand segments that form a short parallel sheet. DALI searches demonstrated a striking structural similarity of the Dpoe2NT with the alpha-helical subdomains of ATPase associated with various cellular activity (AAA+) proteins (the C-domain). Like C-domains, Dpoe2NT is rich in charged amino acids. The biased distribution of the charged residues is reflected by a polarization and a considerable dipole moment across the Dpoe2NT. Dpoe2NT represents the first C-domain fold not associated with an AAA+ protein.
Project description:Unlike nuclear multisubunit RNA polymerases I, II, and III, whose subunit compositions are conserved throughout eukaryotes, plant RNA polymerases IV and V are nonessential, Pol II-related enzymes whose subunit compositions are still evolving. Whereas Arabidopsis Pols IV and V differ from Pol II in four or five of their 12 subunits, respectively, and differ from one another in three subunits, proteomic analyses show that maize Pols IV and V differ from Pol II in six subunits but differ from each other only in their largest subunits. Use of alternative catalytic second subunits, which are nonredundant for development and paramutation, yields at least two subtypes of Pol IV and three subtypes of Pol V in maize. Pol IV/Pol V associations with MOP1, RMR1, AGO121, Zm_DRD1/CHR127, SHH2a, and SHH2b extend parallels between paramutation in maize and the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway in Arabidopsis.
Project description:Evolutionarily divergent proteins have been shown to change their interacting partners. RNA polymerase assembly is one of the rare cases which retain its component proteins in the course of evolution. This ubiquitous molecular assembly, involved in transcription, consists of four core subunits (alpha, beta, betaprime, and omega), which assemble to form the core enzyme. Remarkably, the orientation of the four subunits in the complex is conserved from prokaryotes to eukaryotes although their sequence similarity is low. We have studied how the sequence divergence of the core subunits of RNA polymerase is accommodated in the formation of the multi-molecular assembly, with special reference to eubacterial species. Analysis of domain composition and order of the core subunits in >85 eubacterial species indicates complete conservation. However, sequence analysis indicates that interface residues of alpha and omega subunits are more divergent than those of beta, betaprime, and sigma70 subunits. Although beta and betaprime are generally well-conserved, residues involved in interaction with divergent subunits are not conserved. Insertions/deletions are also observed near interacting regions even in case of the most conserved subunits, beta and betaprime. Homology modelling of three divergent RNA polymerase complexes, from Helicobacter pylori, Mycoplasma pulmonis and Onion yellows phytoplasma, indicates that insertions/deletions can be accommodated near the interface as they generally occur at the periphery. Evaluation of the modeled interfaces indicates that they are physico-chemically similar to that of the template interfaces in Thermus thermophilus, indicating that nature has evolved to retain the obligate complex in spite of substantial substitutions and insertions/deletions.
Project description:RNA polymerases of cyanobacteria contain a novel core subunit, gamma, which is absent from the RNA polymerases of other eubacteria. The genes encoding the three largest subunits of RNA polymerase, including gamma, have been isolated from the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. The genes are linked in the order rpoB, rpoC1, rpoC2 and encode the beta, gamma, and beta' subunits, respectively. These genes are analogous to the rpoBC operon of Escherichia coli, but the functions of rpoC have been split in Anabaena between two genes, rpoC1 and rpoC2. The DNA sequence of the rpoC1 gene was determined and shows that the gamma subunit corresponds to the amino-terminal half of the E. coli beta' subunit. The gamma protein contains several conserved domains found in the largest subunits of all bacterial and eukaryotic RNA polymerases, including a potential zinc finger motif. The spliced rpoC1 gene from spinach chloroplast DNA was expressed in E. coli and shown to encode a protein immunologically related to Anabaena gamma. The similarities in the RNA polymerase gene products and gene organizations between cyanobacteria and chloroplasts support the cyanobacterial origin of chloroplasts and a divergent evolutionary pathway among eubacteria.
Project description:Multisubunit RNA polymerases IV and V (Pol IV and Pol V) evolved as specialized forms of Pol II that mediate RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) and transcriptional silencing of transposons, viruses, and endogenous repeats in plants. Among the subunits common to Arabidopsis thaliana Pols II, IV, and V are 93% identical alternative ninth subunits, NRP(B/D/E)9a and NRP(B/D/E)9b. The 9a and 9b subunit variants are incompletely redundant with respect to Pol II; whereas double mutants are embryo lethal, single mutants are viable, yet phenotypically distinct. Likewise, 9a or 9b can associate with Pols IV or V but RNA-directed DNA methylation is impaired only in 9b mutants. Based on genetic and molecular tests, we attribute the defect in RdDM to impaired Pol V function. Collectively, our results reveal a role for the ninth subunit in RNA silencing and demonstrate that subunit diversity generates functionally distinct subtypes of RNA polymerases II and V.
Project description:The gene encoding the primase small subunit was isolated from genomic DNA of strain K1 of the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Isolation of a complete cDNA clone revealed the presence of 15 introns in the genomic sequence. This is unprecedented for Plasmodium genes, which usually contain no or only 1 or 2 introns. The gene is present as a single copy and the cDNA contains an open reading frame of 1356 nt encoding a protein of 452 amino acids. A single mRNA of 2.1 kb was identified by Northern blotting. Comparison of the amino acid sequence with five eukaryotic small primase subunits revealed the presence of eight conserved regions. Sequence alignments allowed the identification of putative motifs A, B and C that are essential features of the catalytic centre of DNA polymerases, RNA polymerases and reverse transcriptases. Also, similarity of a C-terminal region of approximately 100 amino acids to a conserved region in herpes virus primases, alpha-like DNA polymerases and RNA polymerase II was noted. The complete gene was expressed as a fusion product containing an N-terminal polyhistidine tag using a baculovirus expression vector. The protein was overproduced in insect cells and purified. Activity assays demonstrated the ability of the p53 subunit to initiate de novo primer formation.