The spatial-functional coupling of box C/D and C'/D' RNPs is an evolutionarily conserved feature of the eukaryotic box C/D snoRNP nucleotide modification complex.
ABSTRACT: Box C/D ribonucleoprotein particles guide the 2'-O-ribose methylation of target nucleotides in both archaeal and eukaryotic RNAs. These complexes contain two functional centers, assembled around the C/D and C'/D' motifs in the box C/D RNA. The C/D and C'/D' RNPs of the archaeal snoRNA-like RNP (sRNP) are spatially and functionally coupled. Here, we show that similar coupling also occurs in eukaryotic box C/D snoRNPs. The C/D RNP guided 2'-O-methylation when the C'/D' motif was either mutated or ablated. In contrast, the C'/D' RNP was inactive as an independent complex. Additional experiments demonstrated that the internal C'/D' RNP is spatially coupled to the terminal box C/D complex. Pulldown experiments also indicated that all four core proteins are independently recruited to the box C/D and C'/D' motifs. Therefore, the spatial-functional coupling of box C/D and C'/D' RNPs is an evolutionarily conserved feature of both archaeal and eukaryotic box C/D RNP complexes.
Project description:Box C/D ribonucleoprotein particles (RNPs) are 2'-O-methylation enzymes required for maturation of ribosomal and small nuclear RNA. Previous biochemical and structural studies of the box C/D RNPs were limited by the unavailability of purified intact RNPs. We developed a bacterial co-expression strategy based on the combined use of a multi-gene expression system and a tRNA-scaffold construct that allowed the expression and purification of homogeneous archaeal and human box C/D RNPs. While the co-expressed and co-purified archaeal box C/D RNP was found to be fully active in a 2'-O-methylation assay, the intact human U14 box C/D RNP showed no detectable catalytic activity, consistent with the earlier findings that assembly of eukaryotic box C/D RNPs is nonspontaneous and requires additional protein factors. Our systems provide a means for further biochemical and structural characterization of box C/D RNPs and their assembly factors.
Project description:Box C/D RNA-protein complexes (RNPs) guide the 2'-O-methylation of nucleotides in both archaeal and eukaryotic ribosomal RNAs. The archaeal box C/D and C'/D' RNP subcomplexes are each assembled with three sRNP core proteins. The archaeal Nop56/58 core protein mediates crucial protein-protein interactions required for both sRNP assembly and the methyltransferase reaction by bridging the L7Ae and fibrillarin core proteins. The interaction of Methanocaldococcus jannaschii (Mj) Nop56/58 with the methyltransferase fibrillarin has been investigated using site-directed mutagenesis of specific amino acids in the N-terminal domain of Nop56/58 that interacts with fibrillarin. Extensive mutagenesis revealed an unusually strong Nop56/58-fibrillarin interaction. Only deletion of the NTD itself prevented dimerization with fibrillarin. The extreme stability of the Nop56/58-fibrillarin heterodimer was confirmed in both chemical and thermal denaturation analyses. However, mutations that did not affect Nop56/58 binding to fibrillarin or sRNP assembly nevertheless disrupted sRNP-guided nucleotide modification, revealing a role for Nop56/58 in methyltransferase activity. This conclusion was supported with the cross-linking of Nop56/58 to the target RNA substrate. The Mj Nop56/58 NTD was further characterized by solving its three-dimensional crystal structure to a resolution of 1.7 Å. Despite low primary sequence conservation among the archaeal Nop56/58 homologs, the overall structure of the archaeal NTD domain is very well conserved. In conclusion, the archaeal Nop56/58 NTD exhibits a conserved domain structure whose exceptionally stable interaction with fibrillarin plays a role in both RNP assembly and methyltransferase activity.
Project description:Archaeal box C/D sRNAs guide the methylation of specific nucleotides in archaeal ribosomal and tRNAs. Three Methanocaldococcus jannaschii sRNP core proteins (ribosomal protein L7, Nop56/58, and fibrillarin) bind the box C/D sRNAs to assemble the sRNP complex, and these core proteins are essential for nucleotide methylation. A distinguishing feature of the Nop56/58 core protein is the coiled-coil domain, established by alpha-helices 4 and 5, that facilitates Nop56/58 self-dimerization in vitro. The function of this coiled-coil domain has been assessed for box C/D sRNP assembly, sRNP structure, and sRNP-guided nucleotide methylation by mutating or deleting this protein domain. Protein pull-down experiments demonstrated that Nop56/58 self-dimerization and Nop56/58 dimerization with the core protein fibrillarin are mutually exclusive protein:protein interactions. Disruption of Nop56/58 homodimerization by alteration of specific amino acids or deletion of the entire coiled-coil domain had no obvious effect upon core protein binding and sRNP assembly. Site-directed mutation of the Nop56/58 homodimerization domain also had no apparent effect upon either box C/D RNP- or C'/D' RNP-guided nucleotide modification. However, deletion of this domain disrupted guided methylation from both RNP complexes. Nuclease probing of the sRNP assembled with Nop56/58 proteins mutated in the coiled-coil domain indicated that while functional complexes were assembled, box C/D and C'/D' RNPs were altered in structure. Collectively, these experiments revealed that the self-dimerization of the Nop56/58 coiled-coil domain is not required for assembly of a functional sRNP, but the coiled-coil domain is important for the establishment of wild-type box C/D and C'/D' RNP structure essential for nucleotide methylation.
Project description:Box C/D small (nucleolar) ribonucleoproteins [s(no)RNPs] catalyze RNA-guided 2'-O-ribose methylation in two of the three domains of life. Recent structural studies have led to a controversy over whether box C/D sRNPs functionally assemble as monomeric or dimeric macromolecules. The archaeal box C/D sRNP from Methanococcus jannaschii (Mj) has been shown by glycerol gradient sedimentation, gel filtration chromatography, native gel analysis, and single-particle electron microscopy (EM) to adopt a di-sRNP architecture, containing four copies of each box C/D core protein and two copies of the Mj sR8 sRNA. Subsequently, investigators used a two-stranded artificial guide sRNA, CD45, to assemble a box C/D sRNP from Sulfolobus solfataricus with a short RNA methylation substrate, yielding a crystal structure of a mono-sRNP. To more closely examine box C/D sRNP architecture, we investigate the role of the omnipresent sRNA loop as a structural determinant of sRNP assembly. We show through sRNA mutagenesis, native gel electrophoresis, and single-particle EM that a di-sRNP is the near exclusive architecture obtained when reconstituting box C/D sRNPs with natural or artificial sRNAs containing an internal loop. Our results span three distantly related archaeal species--Sulfolobus solfataricus, Pyrococcus abyssi, and Archaeoglobus fulgidus--indicating that the di-sRNP architecture is broadly conserved across the entire archaeal domain.
Project description:Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) modifications are essential for ribosome function in all cellular organisms. Box C/D small (nucleolar) ribonucleoproteins [s(no)RNPs] catalyze 2'-O-methylation, one rRNA modification type in Eukarya and Archaea. Negatively stained electron microscopy (EM) models of archaeal box C/D sRNPs have demonstrated the dimeric sRNP (di-sRNP) architecture, which has been corroborated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies. Due to limitations of the structural techniques, the orientation of the box C/D sRNAs has remained unclear. Here, we have used cryo-EM to elucidate the sRNA orientation in a M. jannaschii box C/D di-sRNP. The cryo-EM reconstruction suggests a parallel orientation of the two sRNAs. Biochemical and structural analyses of sRNPs assembled with mutant sRNAs indicate a potential interaction between the sRNA stem ends. Our results suggest that the parallel arrangement of the sRNAs juxtaposes their stem ends into close proximity to allow for a stabilizing interaction that helps maintain the di-sRNP architecture.
Project description:Recent investigations have identified homologs of eukaryotic box C/D small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) in Archaea termed sRNAs. Archaeal homologs of the box C/D snoRNP core proteins fibrillarin and Nop56/58 have also been identified but a homolog for the eukaryotic 15.5kD snoRNP protein has not been described. Our sequence analysis of archaeal genomes reveals that the highly conserved ribosomal protein L7 exhibits extensive homology with the eukaryotic 15.5kD protein. Protein binding studies demonstrate that recombinant Methanoccocus jannaschii L7 protein binds the box C/D snoRNA core motif with the same specificity and affinity as the eukaryotic 15.5kD protein. Identical to the eukaryotic 15.5kD core protein, archaeal L7 requires a correctly folded box C/D core motif and intact boxes C and D. Mutational analysis demonstrates that critical features of the box C/D core motif essential for 15.5kD binding are also required for L7 interaction. These include stem I which juxtaposes boxes C and D, as well as the sheared G:A pairs and protruded pyrimidine nucleotide of the asymmetric bulge region. The demonstrated presence of L7Ae in the Haloarcula marismortui 50S ribosomal subunit, taken with our demonstration of the ability of L7 to bind to the box C/D snoRNA core motif, indicates that this protein serves a dual role in Archaea. L7 functioning as both an sRNP core protein and a ribosomal protein could potentially regulate and coordinate sRNP assembly with ribosome biogenesis.
Project description:Box C/D RNA protein complexes (RNPs) catalyze site-specific 2'-O-methylation of RNA with specificity determined by guide RNAs. In eukaryotic C/D RNP, the paralogous Nop58 and Nop56 proteins specifically associate with terminal C/D and internal C'/D' motifs of guide RNAs, respectively. We have reconstituted active C/D RNPs with recombinant proteins of the thermophilic yeast Chaetomium thermophilum. Nop58 and Nop56 could not distinguish between the two C/D motifs in the reconstituted enzyme, suggesting that the assembly specificity is imposed by trans-acting factors in vivo. The two C/D motifs are functionally independent and halfmer C/D RNAs can also guide site-specific methylation. Extensive pairing between C/D RNA and substrate is inhibitory to modification for both yeast and archaeal C/D RNPs. N6-methylated adenine at box D/D' interferes with the function of the coupled guide. Our data show that all C/D RNPs share the same functional organization and mechanism of action and provide insight into the assembly specificity of eukaryotic C/D RNPs.
Project description:Given that ribosomes are one of the most important cellular macromolecular machines, it is not surprising that there is intensive research in ribosome biogenesis. Ribosome biogenesis is a complex process. The maturation of ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) requires not only the precise cleaving and folding of the pre-rRNA but also extensive nucleotide modifications. At the heart of the processing and modifications of pre-rRNAs in Archaea and Eukarya are ribonucleoprotein (RNP) machines. They are called small RNPs (sRNPs), in Archaea, and small nucleolar RNPs (snoRNPs), in Eukarya. Studies on ribosome biogenesis originally focused on eukaryotic systems. However, recent studies on archaeal sRNPs have provided important insights into the functions of these RNPs. This paper will introduce archaeal rRNA gene organization and pre-rRNA processing, with a particular focus on the discovery of the archaeal sRNP components, their functions in nucleotide modification, and their structures.
Project description:Box H/ACA ribonucleoprotein particles (RNPs) mediate pseudouridine synthesis, ribosome formation, and telomere maintenance. The structure of eukaryotic H/ACA RNPs remains poorly understood. We reconstituted functional Saccharomyces cerevisiae H/ACA RNPs with recombinant proteins Cbf5, Nop10, Gar1, and Nhp2 and a two-hairpin H/ACA RNA; determined the crystal structure of a Cbf5, Nop10, and Gar1 ternary complex at 1.9 Å resolution; and analyzed the structure-function relationship of the yeast complex. Although eukaryotic H/ACA RNAs have a conserved two-hairpin structure, isolated single-hairpin RNAs are also active in guiding pseudouridylation. Nhp2, unlike its archaeal counterpart, is largely dispensable for the activity, reflecting a functional adaptation of eukaryotic H/ACA RNPs to the variable RNA structure that Nhp2 binds. The N-terminal extension of Cbf5, a hot spot for dyskeratosis congenita mutation, forms an extra structural layer on the PUA domain. Gar1 is distinguished from the assembly factor Naf1 by containing a C-terminal extension that controls substrate turnover and the Gar1-Naf1 exchange during H/ACA RNP maturation. Our results reveal significant novel features of eukaryotic H/ACA RNPs.
Project description:Box C/D ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particles mediate O2'-methylation of rRNA and other cellular RNA species. In higher eukaryotic taxa, these RNPs are more complex than their archaeal counterparts, containing four core protein components (Snu13p, Nop56p, Nop58p and fibrillarin) compared with three in Archaea. This increase in complexity raises questions about the evolutionary emergence of the eukaryote-specific proteins and structural conservation in these RNPs throughout the eukaryotic domain. In protists, the primarily unicellular organisms comprising the bulk of eukaryotic diversity, the protein composition of box C/D RNPs has not yet been extensively explored. This study describes the complete gene, cDNA and protein sequences of the fibrillarin homolog from the protozoon Euglena gracilis, the first such information to be obtained for a nucleolus-localized protein in this organism. The E.gracilis fibrillarin gene contains a mixture of intron types exhibiting markedly different sizes. In contrast to most other E.gracilis mRNAs characterized to date, the fibrillarin mRNA lacks a spliced leader (SL) sequence. The predicted fibrillarin protein sequence itself is unusual in that it contains a glycine-lysine (GK)-rich domain at its N-terminus rather than the glycine-arginine-rich (GAR) domain found in most other eukaryotic fibrillarins. In an evolutionarily diverse collection of protists that includes E.gracilis, we have also identified putative homologs of the other core protein components of box C/D RNPs, thereby providing evidence that the protein composition seen in the higher eukaryotic complexes was established very early in eukaryotic cell evolution.