Trans-spliced leader addition to mRNAs in a cnidarian.
ABSTRACT: A search of databases with the sequence from the 5' untranslated region of a Hydra cDNA clone encoding a receptor protein-tyrosine kinase revealed that a number of Hydra cDNAs contain one of two different sequences at their 5' ends. This finding suggested the possibility that mRNAs in Hydra receive leader sequences by trans-splicing. This hypothesis was confirmed by the finding that the leader sequences are transcribed as parts of small RNAs encoded by genes located in the 5S rRNA clusters of Hydra. The two spliced leader (SL) RNAs (SL-A and -B) contain splice donor dinucleotides at the predicted positions, and genes that receive SLs contain splice acceptor dinucleotides at the predicted positions. Both of the SL RNAs are bound by antibody against trimethylguanosine, suggesting that they contain a trimethylguanosine cap. The predicted secondary structures of the Hydra SL RNAs show significant differences from the structures predicted for the SLs of other organisms. Messenger RNAs have been identified that can receive either SL-A or -B, although the impact of the two different SLs on the function of the mRNA is unknown. The presence and features of SL addition in the phylum Cnidaria raise interesting questions regarding the evolution of this process.
Project description:Eukaryotic mRNA translation begins with recruitment of the 40S ribosome complex to the mRNA 5' end through the eIF4F initiation complex binding to the 5' m(7)G-mRNA cap. Spliced leader (SL) RNA trans splicing adds a trimethylguanosine (TMG) cap and a sequence, the SL, to the 5' end of mRNAs. Efficient translation of TMG-capped mRNAs in nematodes requires the SL sequence. Here we define a core set of nucleotides and a stem-loop within the 22-nucleotide nematode SL that stimulate translation of mRNAs with a TMG cap. The structure and core nucleotides are conserved in other nematode SLs and correspond to regions of SL1 required for early Caenorhabditis elegans development. These SL elements do not facilitate translation of m(7)G-capped RNAs in nematodes or TMG-capped mRNAs in mammalian or plant translation systems. Similar stem-loop structures in phylogenetically diverse SLs are predicted. We show that the nematode eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E/G (eIF4E/G) complex enables efficient translation of the TMG-SL RNAs in diverse in vitro translation systems. TMG-capped mRNA translation is determined by eIF4E/G interaction with the cap and the SL RNA, although the SL does not increase the affinity of eIF4E/G for capped RNA. These results suggest that the mRNA 5' untranslated region (UTR) can play a positive and novel role in translation initiation through interaction with the eIF4E/G complex in nematodes and raise the issue of whether eIF4E/G-RNA interactions play a role in the translation of other eukaryotic mRNAs.
Project description:We present evidence that a subset of mRNAs in the human parasitic trematode Schistosoma mansoni contain an identical 36-nucleotide spliced leader (SL) sequence at their 5' termini. The SL is derived from a 90-nucleotide nonpolyadenylylated RNA (SL RNA), presumably by trans-splicing. Neither the SL nor the SL RNA share significant sequence identity with previously described trans-spliced leaders and SL RNAs in trypanosomatid protozoans or nematodes. However, several features, such as predicted secondary structure, trimethylguanosine cap, and potential Sm binding site, suggest similarities among SL RNAs in widely divergent organisms. Our evidence also indicates that the exon 3 acceptor site of the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase gene can be spliced either to the SL by trans-splicing or to an upstream exon, 2, by cis-splicing. The presence of a SL sequence in S. mansoni, a member of the phylum Platyhelminthes, suggests that transplicing may be a common feature of other lower invertebrates.
Project description:Replacement of mRNA 5' UTR sequences by short sequences trans-spliced from specialized, noncoding, spliced leader (SL) RNAs is an enigmatic phenomenon, occurring in a set of distantly related animal groups including urochordates, nematodes, flatworms, and hydra, as well as in Euglenozoa and dinoflagellates. Whether SL trans-splicing has a common evolutionary origin and biological function among different organisms remains unclear. We have undertaken a systematic identification of SL exons in cDNA sequence data sets from non-bilaterian metazoan species and their closest unicellular relatives. SL exons were identified in ctenophores and in hydrozoan cnidarians, but not in other cnidarians, placozoans, or sponges, or in animal unicellular relatives. Mapping of SL absence/presence obtained from this and previous studies onto current phylogenetic trees favors an evolutionary scenario involving multiple origins for SLs during eumetazoan evolution rather than loss from a common ancestor. In both ctenophore and hydrozoan species, multiple SL sequences were identified, showing high sequence diversity. Detailed analysis of a large data set generated for the hydrozoan Clytia hemisphaerica revealed trans-splicing of given mRNAs by multiple alternative SLs. No evidence was found for a common identity of trans-spliced mRNAs between different hydrozoans. One feature found specifically to characterize SL-spliced mRNAs in hydrozoans, however, was a marked adenosine enrichment immediately 3' of the SL acceptor splice site. Our findings of high sequence divergence and apparently indiscriminate use of SLs in hydrozoans, along with recent findings in other taxa, indicate that SL genes have evolved rapidly in parallel in diverse animal groups, with constraint on SL exon sequence evolution being apparently rare.
Project description:Spliced leader (SL) RNA trans-splicing adds a 2,2,7-trimethylguanosine cap (TMG) and a 22-nucleotide sequence, the SL, to the 5' end of mRNAs. Both non-trans-spliced with a monomethylguanosine cap (MMG) and trans-spliced mRNAs co-exist in trans-splicing metazoan cells. Efficient translation of TMG-capped mRNAs in nematodes requires a defined core of nucleotides within the SL sequence. Here we present a chemical procedure for the preparation and purification of 5'-terminal capped MMG and TMG wild-type, and mutant 22 nt spliced leader RNAs (GGU/ACUUAAUUACCCAAGUUUGAG) with or without a 3' biotin tag.
Project description:Trans-splicing mechanisms have been documented in many lineages that are widely distributed phylogenetically, including dinoflagellates. The spliced leader (SL) sequence itself is conserved in dinoflagellates, although its gene sequences and arrangements have diversified within or across different species. In this study, we present 18 Fugacium kawagutii SL genes identified from stranded RNA-seq reads. These genes typically have a single SL but can contain several partial SLs with lengths ranging from 103 to 292 bp. Unexpectedly, we find the SL gene transcripts contain sequences upstream of the canonical SL, suggesting that generation of mature transcripts will require additional modifications following trans-splicing. We have also identified 13 SL-like genes whose expression levels and length are comparable to Dino-SL genes. Lastly, introns in these genes were identified and a new site for Sm-protein binding was proposed. Overall, this study provides a strategy for fast identification of SL genes and identifies new sequences of F. kawagutii SL genes to supplement our understanding of trans-splicing.
Project description:Spliced leader trans-splicing adds a short exon, the spliced leader (SL), to pre-mRNAs to generate 5' ends of mRNAs. Addition of the SL in metazoa also adds a new cap to the mRNA, a trimethylguanosine (m(3)(2,2,7)GpppN) (TMG) that replaces the typical eukaryotic monomethylguanosine (m7GpppN)(m7G) cap. Both trans-spliced (m3(2,2,7)GpppN-SL-RNA) and not trans-spliced (m7GpppN-RNA) mRNAs are present in the same cells. Previous studies using cell-free systems to compare the overall translation of trans-spliced versus non-trans-spliced RNAs led to different conclusions. Here, we examine the contribution of m3(2,2,7)GpppG-cap and SL sequence and other RNA elements to in vivo mRNA translation and stability in nematode embryos. Although 70-90% of all nematode mRNAs have a TMG-cap, the TMG cap does not support translation as well as an m7G-cap. However, when the TMG cap and SL are present together, they synergistically interact and translation is enhanced, indicating both trans-spliced elements are necessary to promote efficient translation. The SL by itself does not act as a cap-independent enhancer of translation. The poly(A)-tail synergistically interacts with the mRNA cap enhancing translation and plays a greater role in facilitating translation of TMG-SL mRNAs. In general, recipient mRNA sequences between the SL and AUG and the 3' UTR do not significantly contribute to the translation of trans-spliced mRNAs. Overall, the combination of TMG cap and SL contribute to mRNA translation and stability in a manner typical of a eukaryotic m7G-cap and 5' UTRs, but they do not differentially enhance mRNA translation or stability compared to RNAs without the trans-spliced elements.
Project description:Spliced-leader (SL) trans-splicing has been found in all molecularly characterized nematode species to date, and it is likely to be a nematode synapomorphy. Most information regarding SL trans-splicing has come from the study of nematodes from a single monophyletic group, the Rhabditida, all of which employ SL RNAs that are identical to, or variants of, the SL1 RNA first characterized in Caenorhabditis elegans. In contrast, the more distantly related Trichinella spiralis, belonging to the subclass Dorylaimia, utilizes a distinct set of SL RNAs that display considerable sequence diversity. To investigate whether this is true of other members of the Dorylaimia, we have characterized SL RNAs from Prionchulus punctatus. Surprisingly, this revealed the presence of a set of SLs that show clear sequence similarity to the SL2 family of spliced leaders, which have previously only been found within the rhabditine group (which includes C. elegans). Expression of one of the P. punctatus SL RNAs in C. elegans reveals that it can compete specifically with the endogenous C. elegans SL2 spliced leaders, being spliced to the pre-mRNAs derived from downstream genes in operons, but does not compete with the SL1 spliced leaders. This discovery raises the possibility that SL2-like spliced leaders were present in the last common ancestor of the nematode phylum.
Project description:The signal-recognition particle (SRP) mediates the translocation of membrane and secretory proteins across the endoplasmic reticulum upon interaction with the SRP receptor. In trypanosomes, the main RNA molecule is the spliced-leader (SL) RNA, which donates the SL sequence to all messenger RNA through trans-splicing. Here, we show that RNA interference silencing of the SRP receptor (SRalpha) in Trypanosoma brucei caused the accumulation of SRP on ribosomes and triggered silencing of SL RNA (SLS). SLS was elicited due to the failure of the SL RNA-specific transcription factor tSNAP42 to bind to its promoter. SL RNA reduction, in turn, eliminated mRNA processing and resulted in a significant reduction of all mRNA tested. SLS was also induced under pH stress and might function as a master regulator in trypanosomes. SLS is reminiscent of, but distinct from, the unfolded protein response and can potentially act as a new target for parasite eradication.
Project description:This review focuses on the spliced leader (SL) RNA and uridylic acid-rich small nuclear RNAs (U-snRNAs) involved in pre-mRNA processing in trypanosomatid protozoa, with particular emphasis on the mechanism of transcription and cap formation. The SL RNA plays a central role in mRNA biogenesis by providing the unique cap 4 structure to the 5' end of all mRNAs by trans-splicing. The trimethylguanosine capped U-snRNAs, on the other hand, represent an unusual example among eukaryotic snRNAs in that they are transcribed by RNA polymerase III. This implies the existence of a distinctive mechanism for capping enzyme selection by the transcriptional machinery. Furthermore, the transcription units of U-snRNA genes offer yet another example of the variety of choices that have been established during eukaryotic evolution, namely that an upstream tRNA gene or tRNA-like gene provides extragenic promoter elements for a downstream small RNA gene.
Project description:Under persistent ER stress, Trypanosoma brucei parasites induce the spliced leader silencing (SLS) pathway. In SLS, transcription of the SL RNA gene, the SL donor to all mRNAs, is extinguished, arresting transsplicing and leading to programmed cell death(PCD). In this study, we investigated the transcriptome following silencing of SEC63, a factor essential for protein translocation across the ER membrane, and whose silencing induces SLS. The proteome of SEC63-silenced cells was analyzed with an emphasis on SLS-specific alterations in protein expression, and modifications that do not directly result from perturbations in trans-splicing. One such protein identified is an atypical calpain SKCRP7.1/7.2. Cosilencing of SKCRP7.1/7.2 and SEC63 eliminated SLS induction due its role in translocating the PK3 kinase. This kinase initiates SLS by migrating to the nucleus and phosphorylating TRF4 leading to shut-off of SL RNA transcription. Thus, SKCRP7.1 is involved in SLS signaling and the accompanying PCD. The role of autophagy in SLS was also investigated; eliminating autophagy through VPS34 or ATG7 silencing demonstrated that autophagy is not essential for SLS induction, but is associated with PCD. Thus, this study identified factors that are used by the parasite to cope with ER stress and to induce SLS and PCD. Overall design: The transcriptome was analyzed by microarray for 3 days following induction of SEC63 silencing, and was compared to the transcriptome of uninduced cells (silenced cells from days 1, 2 and 3 days versus un-induced cells). Normalized data from two to four biological replicates were analyzed.