ABSTRACT: 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 and Cajal body ribonucleoprotein particles (sno/scaRNPs) direct site-specific 2'-O-methylation of ribosomal and spliceosomal RNAs and are critical for gene expression. Here we report crystal structures of an archaeal box C/D RNP containing three core proteins (fibrillarin, Nop56/58, and L7Ae) and a half-mer box C/D guide RNA paired with a substrate RNA. The structure reveals a guide-substrate RNA duplex orientation imposed by a composite protein surface and the conserved GAEK motif of Nop56/58. Molecular modeling supports a dual C/D RNP structure that closely mimics that recently visualized by electron microscopy. The substrate-bound dual RNP model predicts an asymmetric protein distribution between the RNP that binds and methylates the substrate RNA. The predicted asymmetric nature of the holoenzyme is consistent with previous biochemical data on RNP assembly and provides a simple solution for accommodating base-pairing between the C/D guide RNA and large ribosomal and spliceosomal substrate RNAs.
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 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:Multiple RNA-guided pseudouridine synthases, H/ACA ribonucleoprotein particles (RNPs) which contain a guide RNA and four proteins, catalyze site-specific post-transcriptional isomerization of uridines into pseudouridines in substrate RNAs. In archaeal particles, the guide small RNA (sRNA) is anchored by the pseudouridine synthase aCBF5 and the ribosomal protein L7Ae. Protein aNOP10 interacts with both aCBF5 and L7Ae. The fourth protein, aGAR1, interacts with aCBF5 and enhances catalytic efficiency. Here, we compared the features of two H/ACA sRNAs, Pab21 and Pab91, from Pyrococcus abyssi. We found that aCBF5 binds much more weakly to Pab91 than to Pab21. Surprisingly, the Pab91 sRNP exhibits a higher catalytic efficiency than the Pab21 sRNP. We thus investigated the molecular basis of the differential efficiencies observed for the assembly and catalytic activity of the two enzymes. For this, we compared profiles of the extent of lead-induced cleavages in these sRNAs during a stepwise reconstitution of the sRNPs, and analyzed the impact of the absence of the aNOP10-L7Ae interaction. Such probing experiments indicated that the sRNAs undergo a series of conformational changes upon RNP assembly. These changes were also evaluated directly by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, a tool highly adapted to analyzing RNA conformational dynamics. In addition, our results reveal that the conformation of helix P1 formed at the base of the H/ACA sRNAs is optimized in Pab21 for efficient aCBF5 binding and RNP assembly. Moreover, P1 swapping improved the assembly of the Pab91 sRNP. Nonetheless, efficient aCBF5 binding probably also relies on the pseudouridylation pocket which is not optimized for high activity in the case of Pab21.
Project description:Box C/D guide RNAs are abundant noncoding RNAs that primarily function to direct the 2'-O-methylation of specific nucleotides by base-pairing with substrate RNAs. In archaea, a bipartite C/D RNA assembles with L7Ae, Nop5, and the methyltransferase fibrillarin into a modification enzyme with unique substrate specificity. Here, we determined the crystal structure of an archaeal C/D RNA-protein complex (RNP) composed of all 3 core proteins and an engineered half-guide RNA at 4 A resolution, as well as 2 protein substructures at higher resolution. The RNP structure reveals that the C-terminal domains of Nop5 in the dimeric complex provide symmetric anchoring sites for 2 L7Ae-associated kink-turn motifs of the C/D RNA. A prominent protrusion in Nop5 seems to be important for guide RNA organization and function and for discriminating the structurally related U4 snRNA. Multiple conformations of the N-terminal domain of Nop5 and its associated fibrillarin in different structures indicate the inherent flexibility of the catalytic module, suggesting that a swinging motion of the catalytic module is part of the enzyme mechanism. We also built a model of a native C/D RNP with substrate and fibrillarin in an active conformation. Our results provide insight into the overall organization and mechanism of action of C/D RNA-guided RNA methyltransferases.
Project description: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 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:In archaea and eukarya, box C/D ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes are responsible for 2'-O-methylation of tRNAs and rRNAs. The archaeal box C/D small RNP complex requires a small RNA component (sRNA) possessing Watson-Crick complementarity to the target RNA along with three proteins: L7Ae, Nop5p, and fibrillarin. Transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosylmethionine to the target RNA is performed by fibrillarin, which by itself has no affinity for the sRNA-target duplex. Instead, it is targeted to the site of methylation through association with Nop5p, which in turn binds to the L7Ae-sRNA complex. To understand how Nop5p serves as a bridge between the targeting and catalytic functions of the box C/D small RNP complex, we have employed alanine scanning to evaluate the interaction between the Pyrococcus horikoshii Nop5p domain and an L7Ae box C/D RNA complex. From these data, we were able to construct an isolated RNA-binding domain (Nop-RBD) that folds correctly as demonstrated by x-ray crystallography and binds to the L7Ae box C/D RNA complex with near wild type affinity. These data demonstrate that the Nop-RBD is an autonomously folding and functional module important for protein assembly in a number of complexes centered on the L7Ae-kinkturn RNP.
Project description:Archaeal fibrillarin (aFib) is a well-characterized S-adenosyl methionine (SAM)-dependent RNA 2'-O-methyltransferase that is known to act in a large C/D ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex together with Nop5 and L7Ae proteins and a box C/D guide RNA. In the reaction, the guide RNA serves to direct the methylation reaction to a specific site in tRNA or rRNA by sequence complementarity. Here we show that a Pyrococcus abyssi aFib-Nop5 heterodimer can alone perform SAM-dependent 2'-O-methylation of 16S and 23S ribosomal RNAs in vitro independently of L7Ae and C/D guide RNAs. Using tritium-labeling, mass spectrometry, and reverse transcription analysis, we identified three in vitro 2'-O-methylated positions in the 16S rRNA of P. abyssi, positions lying outside of previously reported pyrococcal C/D RNP methylation sites. This newly discovered stand-alone activity of aFib-Nop5 may provide an example of an ancestral activity retained in enzymes that were recruited to larger complexes during evolution.