Insertion domain within mammalian mitochondrial translation initiation factor 2 serves the role of eubacterial initiation factor 1.
ABSTRACT: Mitochondria have their own translational machineries for the synthesis of thirteen polypeptide chains that are components of the complexes that participate in the process of oxidative phosphorylation (or ATP generation). Translation initiation in mammalian mitochondria requires two initiation factors, IF2(mt) and IF3(mt), instead of the three that are present in eubacteria. The mammalian IF2(mt) possesses a unique 37 amino acid insertion domain, which is known to be important for the formation of the translation initiation complex. We have obtained a three-dimensional cryoelectron microscopic map of the mammalian IF2(mt) in complex with initiator fMet-tRNA(iMet) and the eubacterial ribosome. We find that the 37 amino acid insertion domain interacts with the same binding site on the ribosome that would be occupied by the eubacterial initiation factor IF1, which is absent in mitochondria. Our finding suggests that the insertion domain of IF2(mt) mimics the function of eubacterial IF1, by blocking the ribosomal aminoacyl-tRNA binding site (A site) at the initiation step.
Project description:The mechanism of translation in eubacteria and organelles is thought to be similar. In eubacteria, the three initiation factors IF1, IF2, and IF3 are vital. Although the homologs of IF2 and IF3 are found in mammalian mitochondria, an IF1 homolog has never been detected. Here, we show that bovine mitochondrial IF2 (IF2(mt)) complements E. coli containing a deletion of the IF2 gene (E. coli DeltainfB). We find that IF1 is no longer essential in an IF2(mt)-supported E. coli DeltainfB strain. Furthermore, biochemical and molecular modeling data show that a conserved insertion of 37 amino acids in the IF2(mt) substitutes for the function of IF1. Deletion of this insertion from IF2(mt) supports E. coli for the essential function of IF2. However, in this background, IF1 remains essential. These observations provide strong evidence that a single factor (IF2(mt)) in mammalian mitochondria performs the functions of two eubacterial factors, IF1 and IF2.
Project description:Proteins involved in mammalian mitochondrial translation, when compared to analogous bacterial proteins, frequently have additional sequence regions whose structural or functional roles are not always clear. For example, an additional short insert sequence in the bovine mitochondrial initiation factor 2 (IF2(mt)) seems sufficient to fulfill the added role of eubacterial initiation factor IF1. Prior to our recent cryo-EM study that showed IF2(mt) to structurally occupy both the IF1 and IF2 binding sites, the spatial separation of these sites, and the short length of the insert sequence, posed ambiguity in whether it could perform the role of IF1 through occupation of the IF1 binding site on the ribosome.The present study probes how well computational structure prediction methods can a priori address hypothesized roles of such additional sequences by creating quasi-atomic models of IF2(mt) using bacterial IF2 cryo-EM densities (that lack the insert sequences). How such initial IF2(mt) predictions differ from the observed IF2(mt) cryo-EM map and how they can be suitably improved using further sequence analysis and flexible fitting are analyzed.By hypothesizing that the insert sequence occupies the IF1 binding site, continuous IF2(mt) models that occupy both the IF2 and IF1 binding sites can be predicted computationally. These models can be improved by flexible fitting into the IF2(mt) cryo-EM map to get reasonable quasi-atomic IF2(mt) models, but the exact orientation of the insert structure may not be reproduced. Specific eukaryotic insert sequence conservation characteristics can be used to predict alternate IF2(mt) models that have minor secondary structure rearrangements but fewer unusually extended linker regions. Computational structure prediction methods can thus be combined with medium-resolution cryo-EM maps to explore structure-function hypotheses for additional sequence regions and to guide further biochemical experiments, especially in mammalian systems where high-resolution structures are difficult to determine.
Project description:Formation of the 30S initiation complex (30S IC) is an important checkpoint in regulation of gene expression. The selection of mRNA, correct start codon, and the initiator fMet-tRNA(fMet) requires the presence of three initiation factors (IF1, IF2, IF3) of which IF3 and IF1 control the fidelity of the process, while IF2 recruits fMet-tRNA(fMet). Here we present a cryo-EM reconstruction of the complete 30S IC, containing mRNA, fMet-tRNA(fMet), IF1, IF2, and IF3. In the 30S IC, IF2 contacts IF1, the 30S subunit shoulder, and the CCA end of fMet-tRNA(fMet), which occupies a novel P/I position (P/I1). The N-terminal domain of IF3 contacts the tRNA, whereas the C-terminal domain is bound to the platform of the 30S subunit. Binding of initiation factors and fMet-tRNA(fMet) induces a rotation of the head relative to the body of the 30S subunit, which is likely to prevail through 50S subunit joining until GTP hydrolysis and dissociation of IF2 take place. The structure provides insights into the mechanism of mRNA selection during translation initiation.
Project description:The transition of the 30S initiation complex (IC) to the translating 70S ribosome after 50S subunit joining provides an important checkpoint for mRNA selection during translation in bacteria. Here, we study the timing and control of reactions that occur during 70S IC formation by rapid kinetic techniques, using a toolbox of fluorescence-labeled translation components. We present a kinetic model based on global fitting of time courses obtained with eight different reporters at increasing concentrations of 50S subunits. IF1 and IF3 together affect the kinetics of subunit joining, but do not alter the elemental rates of subsequent steps of 70S IC maturation. After 50S subunit joining, IF2-dependent reactions take place independent of the presence of IF1 or IF3. GTP hydrolysis triggers the efficient dissociation of fMet-tRNA(fMet) from IF2 and promotes the dissociation of IF2 and IF1 from the 70S IC, but does not affect IF3. The presence of non-hydrolyzable GTP analogs shifts the equilibrium towards a stable 70S-mRNA-IF1-IF2-fMet-tRNA(fMet) complex. Our kinetic analysis reveals the molecular choreography of the late stages in translation initiation.
Project description:Mitochondrial translation is essentially bacteria-like, reflecting the bacterial endosymbiotic ancestry of the eukaryotic organelle. However, unlike the translation system of its bacterial ancestors, mitochondrial translation is limited to just a few mRNAs, mainly coding for components of the respiratory complex. The classical bacterial initiation factors (IFs) IF1, IF2 and IF3 are universal in bacteria, but only IF2 is universal in mitochondria (mIF2). We analyse the distribution of mitochondrial translation initiation factors and their sequence features, given two well-propagated claims: first, a sequence insertion in mitochondrial IF2 (mIF2) compensates for the universal lack of IF1 in mitochondria, and secondly, no homologue of mitochondrial IF3 (mIF3) is identifiable in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our comparative sequence analysis shows that, in fact, the mIF2 insertion is highly variable and restricted in length and primary sequence conservation to vertebrates, while phylogenetic and in vivo complementation analyses reveal that an uncharacterized S. cerevisiae mitochondrial protein currently named Aim23p is a bona fide evolutionary and functional orthologue of mIF3. Our results highlight the lineage-specific nature of mitochondrial translation and emphasise that comparative analyses among diverse taxa are essential for understanding whether generalizations from model organisms can be made across eukaryotes.
Project description:In bacterial translational initiation, three initiation factors (IFs 1-3) enable the selection of initiator tRNA and the start codon in the P site of the 30S ribosomal subunit. Here, we report 11 single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) reconstructions of the complex of bacterial 30S subunit with initiator tRNA, mRNA, and IFs 1-3, representing different steps along the initiation pathway. IF1 provides key anchoring points for IF2 and IF3, thereby enhancing their activities. IF2 positions a domain in an extended conformation appropriate for capturing the formylmethionyl moiety charged on tRNA. IF3 and tRNA undergo large conformational changes to facilitate the accommodation of the formylmethionyl-tRNA (fMet-tRNA(fMet)) into the P site for start codon recognition.
Project description:Valuable information on translation initiation is available from biochemical data and recently solved structures. We present a detailed description of current knowledge about the structure, function, and interactions of the individual components involved in bacterial translation initiation. The first section describes the ribosomal features relevant to the initiation process. Subsequent sections describe the structure, function, and interactions of the mRNA, the initiator tRNA, and the initiation factors IF1, IF2, and IF3. Finally, we provide an overview of mechanisms of regulation of the translation initiation event. Translation occurs on ribonucleoprotein complexes called ribosomes. The ribosome is composed of a large subunit and a small subunit that hold the activities of peptidyltransfer and decode the triplet code of the mRNA, respectively. Translation initiation is promoted by IF1, IF2, and IF3, which mediate base pairing of the initiator tRNA anticodon to the mRNA initiation codon located in the ribosomal P-site. The mechanism of translation initiation differs for canonical and leaderless mRNAs, since the latter is dependent on the relative level of the initiation factors. Regulation of translation occurs primarily in the initiation phase. Secondary structures at the mRNA ribosomal binding site (RBS) inhibit translation initiation. The accessibility of the RBS is regulated by temperature and binding of small metabolites, proteins, or antisense RNAs. The future challenge is to obtain atomic-resolution structures of complete initiation complexes in order to understand the mechanism of translation initiation in molecular detail.
Project description:Translation initiation factor 2 (IF2) is involved in the early steps of bacterial protein synthesis. It promotes the stabilization of the initiator tRNA on the 30S initiation complex (IC) and triggers GTP hydrolysis upon ribosomal subunit joining. While the structure of an archaeal homologue (a/eIF5B) is known, there are significant sequence and functional differences in eubacterial IF2, while the trimeric eukaryotic IF2 is completely unrelated. Here, the crystal structure of the apo IF2 protein core from Thermus thermophilus has been determined by MAD phasing and the structures of GTP and GDP complexes were also obtained. The IF2-GTP complex was trapped by soaking with GTP in the cryoprotectant. The structures revealed conformational changes of the protein upon nucleotide binding, in particular in the P-loop region, which extend to the functionally relevant switch II region. The latter carries a catalytically important and conserved histidine residue which is observed in different conformations in the GTP and GDP complexes. Overall, this work provides the first crystal structure of a eubacterial IF2 and suggests that activation of GTP hydrolysis may occur by a conformational repositioning of the histidine residue.
Project description:Mammalian mitochondrial translational initiation factor 3 (IF3(mt)) promotes initiation complex formation on mitochondrial 55S ribosomes in the presence of IF2(mt), fMet-tRNA and poly(A,U,G). The mature form of IF3(mt) is predicted to be 247 residues. Alignment of IF3(mt) with bacterial IF3 indicates that it has a central region with 20-30% identity to the bacterial factors. Both the N- and C-termini of IF3(mt) have extensions of approximately 30 residues compared with bacterial IF3. To examine the role of the extensions on IF3(mt), deletion constructs were prepared in which the N-terminal extension, the C-terminal extension or both extensions were deleted. These truncated derivatives were slightly more active in promoting initiation complex formation than the mature form of IF3(mt). Mitochondrial 28S subunits have the ability to bind fMet-tRNA in the absence of mRNA. IF3(mt) promotes the dissociation of the fMet-tRNA bound in the absence of mRNA. This activity of IF3(mt) requires the C-terminal extension of this factor. Mitochondrial 28S subunits also bind mRNA independently of fMet-tRNA or added initiation factors. IF3(mt) has no effect on the formation of these complexes and cannot dissociate them once formed. These observations have lead to a new model for the function of IF3(mt) in mitochondrial translational initiation.
Project description:Joining of the large, 50S, ribosomal subunit to the small, 30S, ribosomal subunit initiation complex (IC) during bacterial translation initiation is catalyzed by the initiation factor (IF) IF2. Because the rate of subunit joining is coupled to the IF, transfer RNA (tRNA), and mRNA codon compositions of the 30S IC, the subunit joining reaction functions as a kinetic checkpoint that regulates the fidelity of translation initiation. Recent structural studies suggest that the conformational dynamics of the IF2·tRNA sub-complex forming on the intersubunit surface of the 30S IC may play a significant role in the mechanisms that couple the rate of subunit joining to the IF, tRNA, and codon compositions of the 30S IC. To test this hypothesis, we have developed a single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer signal between IF2 and tRNA that has enabled us to monitor the conformational dynamics of the IF2·tRNA sub-complex across a series of 30S ICs. Our results demonstrate that 30S ICs undergoing rapid subunit joining display a high affinity for IF2 and an IF2·tRNA sub-complex that primarily samples a single conformation. In contrast, 30S ICs that undergo slower subunit joining exhibit a decreased affinity for IF2 and/or a change in the conformational dynamics of the IF2·tRNA sub-complex. These results strongly suggest that 30S IC-driven changes in the stability of IF2 and the conformational dynamics of the IF2·tRNA sub-complex regulate the efficiency and fidelity of subunit joining during translation initiation.