Yeast transcription elongation factor Spt5 associates with RNA polymerase I and RNA polymerase II directly.
ABSTRACT: Spt5 is a transcription factor conserved in all three domains of life. Spt5 homologues from bacteria and archaea bind the largest subunit of their respective RNA polymerases. Here we demonstrate that Spt5 directly associates with RNA polymerase (Pol) I and RNA Pol II in yeast through its central region containing conserved NusG N-terminal homology and KOW domains. Deletion analysis of SPT5 supports our biochemical data, demonstrating the importance of the KOW domains in Spt5 function. Far Western blot analysis implicates A190 of Pol I as well as Rpb1 of Pol II in binding Spt5. Three additional subunits of Pol I may also participate in this interaction. One of these subunits, A49, has known roles in transcription elongation by Pol I. Interestingly, spt5 truncation mutations suppress the cold-sensitive phenotype of rpa49? strain, which lacks the A49 subunit in the Pol I complex. Finally, we observed that Spt5 directly binds to an essential Pol I transcription initiation factor, Rrn3, and to the ribosomal RNA. Based on these data, we propose a model in which Spt5 is recruited to the rDNA early in transcription and propose that it plays an important role in ribosomal RNA synthesis through direct binding to the Pol I complex.
Project description:The gene encoding the 49-kDa subunit of RNA polymerase A in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been identified by formation of a hybrid enzyme between the S. cerevisiae A49 subunit and Saccharomyces douglasii subunits based on a polymorphism existing between the subunits of RNA polymerase A in these two species. The sequence of the gene reveals a basic protein with an unusually high lysine content, which may account for the affinity for DNA shown by the subunit. No appreciable homology with any polymerase subunits, enzymes, or transcription factors is found. Complete deletion of the single-copy RPA49 gene leads to viable but slowly growing colonies. Insertion of the HIS3 gene halfway into the RPA49 coding region results in synthesis of a truncated A49 subunit that is incorporated into the polymerase. The truncated and wild-type subunits compete equally for assembly in the heterozygous diploid, although the wild type is phenotypically dominant.
Project description:The human transcription elongation factor DSIF is highly conserved throughout all kingdoms of life and plays multiple roles during transcription. DSIF is a heterodimer, consisting of Spt4 and Spt5 that interacts with RNA polymerase II (RNAP II). DSIF binds to the elongation complex and induces promoter-proximal pausing of RNAP II. Human Spt5 consists of a NusG N-terminal (NGN) domain motif, which is followed by several KOW domains. We determined the solution structures of the human Spt5 KOW4 and the C-terminal domain by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. In addition to the typical KOW fold, the solution structure of KOW4 revealed an N-terminal four-stranded ?-sheet, previously designated as the KOW3-KOW4 linker. In solution, the C-terminus of Spt5 consists of two ?-barrel folds typical for KOW domains, designated KOW6 and KOW7. We also analysed the nucleic acid and RNAP II binding properties of the KOW domains. KOW4 variants interacted with nucleic acids, preferentially single stranded RNA, whereas no nucleic acid binding could be detected for KOW6-7. Weak binding of KOW4 to the RNAP II stalk, which is comprised of Rpb4/7, was also detected, consistent with transient interactions between Spt5 and these RNAP II subunits.
Project description:Reversible phosphorylation of Pol II and accessory factors helps order the transcription cycle. Here, we define two kinase-phosphatase switches that operate at different points in human transcription. Cdk9/cyclin T1 (P-TEFb) catalyzes inhibitory phosphorylation of PP1 and PP4 complexes that localize to 3' and 5' ends of genes, respectively, and have overlapping but distinct specificities for Cdk9-dependent phosphorylations of Spt5, a factor instrumental in promoter-proximal pausing and elongation-rate control. PP1 dephosphorylates an Spt5 carboxy-terminal repeat (CTR), but not Spt5-Ser666, a site between Kyrpides-Ouzounis-Woese (KOW) motifs 4 and 5, whereas PP4 can target both sites. In vivo, Spt5-CTR phosphorylation decreases as transcription complexes pass the cleavage and polyadenylation signal (CPS) and increases upon PP1 depletion, consistent with a PP1 function in termination first uncovered in yeast. Depletion of PP4-complex subunits increases phosphorylation of both Ser666 and the CTR, and promotes redistribution of promoter-proximally paused Pol II into gene bodies. These results suggest that switches comprising Cdk9 and either PP4 or PP1 govern pause release and the elongation-termination transition, respectively.
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:Most transcriptional activity of exponentially growing cells is carried out by the RNA Polymerase I (Pol I), which produces a ribosomal RNA (rRNA) precursor. In budding yeast, Pol I is a multimeric enzyme with 14 subunits. Among them, Rpa49 forms with Rpa34 a Pol I-specific heterodimer (homologous to PAF53/CAST heterodimer in human Pol I), which might be responsible for the specific functions of the Pol I. Previous studies provided insight in the involvement of Rpa49 in initiation, elongation, docking and releasing of Rrn3, an essential Pol I transcription factor. Here, we took advantage of the spontaneous occurrence of extragenic suppressors of the growth defect of the rpa49 null mutant to better understand the activity of Pol I. Combining genetic approaches, biochemical analysis of rRNA synthesis and investigation of the transcription rate at the individual gene scale, we characterized mutated residues of the Pol I as novel extragenic suppressors of the growth defect caused by the absence of Rpa49. When mapped on the Pol I structure, most of these mutations cluster within the jaw-lobe module, at an interface formed by the lobe in Rpa135 and the jaw made up of regions of Rpa190 and Rpa12. In vivo, the suppressor allele RPA135-F301S restores normal rRNA synthesis and increases Pol I density on rDNA genes when Rpa49 is absent. Growth of the Rpa135-F301S mutant is impaired when combined with exosome mutation rrp6? and it massively accumulates pre-rRNA. Moreover, Pol I bearing Rpa135-F301S is a hyper-active RNA polymerase in an in vitro tailed-template assay. We conclude that RNA polymerase I can be engineered to produce more rRNA in vivo and in vitro. We propose that the mutated area undergoes a conformational change that supports the DNA insertion into the cleft of the enzyme resulting in a super-active form of Pol I.
Project description:RNA polymerase I (Pol I) produces large ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs). In this study, we show that the Rpa49 and Rpa34 Pol I subunits, which do not have counterparts in Pol II and Pol III complexes, are functionally conserved using heterospecific complementation of the human and Schizosaccharomyces pombe orthologues in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Deletion of RPA49 leads to the disappearance of nucleolar structure, but nucleolar assembly can be restored by decreasing ribosomal gene copy number from 190 to 25. Statistical analysis of Miller spreads in the absence of Rpa49 demonstrates a fourfold decrease in Pol I loading rate per gene and decreased contact between adjacent Pol I complexes. Therefore, the Rpa34 and Rpa49 Pol I-specific subunits are essential for nucleolar assembly and for the high polymerase loading rate associated with frequent contact between adjacent enzymes. Together our data suggest that localized rRNA production results in spatially constrained rRNA production, which is instrumental for nucleolar assembly.
Project description:RNA polymerase (Pol) I is a 14-subunit enzyme that solely transcribes pre-ribosomal RNA. Cryo-electron microscopy (EM) structures of Pol I initiation and elongation complexes have given first insights into the molecular mechanisms of Pol I transcription. Here, we present cryo-EM structures of yeast Pol I elongation complexes (ECs) bound to the nucleotide analog GMPCPP at 3.2 to 3.4 Å resolution that provide additional insight into the functional interplay between the Pol I-specific transcription-like factors A49-A34.5 and A12.2. Strikingly, most of the nucleotide-bound ECs lack the A49-A34.5 heterodimer and adopt a Pol II-like conformation, in which the A12.2 C-terminal domain is bound in a previously unobserved position at the A135 surface. Our structural and biochemical data suggest a mechanism where reversible binding of the A49-A34.5 heterodimer could contribute to the regulation of Pol I transcription initiation and elongation.
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 MYC oncoprotein binds to promoter-proximal regions of virtually all transcribed genes and enhances RNA polymerase II (Pol II) function, but its precise mode of action is poorly understood. Using mass spectrometry of both MYC and Pol II complexes, we show here that MYC controls the assembly of Pol II with a small set of transcription elongation factors that includes SPT5, a subunit of the elongation factor DSIF. MYC directly binds SPT5, recruits SPT5 to promoters, and enables the CDK7-dependent transfer of SPT5 onto Pol II. Consistent with known functions of SPT5, MYC is required for fast and processive transcription elongation. Intriguingly, the high levels of MYC that are expressed in tumors sequester SPT5 into non-functional complexes, thereby decreasing the expression of growth-suppressive genes. Altogether, these results argue that MYC controls the productive assembly of processive Pol II elongation complexes and provide insight into how oncogenic levels of MYC permit uncontrolled cellular growth.
Project description:RNA polymerase I (Pol I) assembles with core factor (CF) and Rrn3 on the rDNA core promoter for transcription initiation. Here, we report cryo-EM structures of closed, intermediate and open Pol I initiation complexes from 2.7 to 3.7?Å resolution to visualize Pol I promoter melting and to structurally and biochemically characterize the recognition mechanism of Pol I promoter DNA. In the closed complex, double-stranded DNA runs outside the DNA-binding cleft. Rotation of CF and upstream DNA with respect to Pol I and Rrn3 results in the spontaneous loading and opening of the promoter followed by cleft closure and positioning of the Pol I A49 tandem winged helix domain (tWH) onto DNA. Conformational rearrangement of A49 tWH leads to a clash with Rrn3 to initiate complex disassembly and promoter escape. Comprehensive insight into the Pol I transcription initiation cycle allows comparisons with promoter opening by Pol II and Pol III.