ABSTRACT: In eukaryotes, mRNAs are primarily translated through a cap-dependent mechanism whereby initiation factors recruit the 40S ribosomal subunit to a cap structure at the 5' end of the mRNA. However, some viral and cellular messages initiate protein synthesis without a cap. They use a structured RNA element termed an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) to recruit the 40S ribosomal subunit. IRESs were discovered over 20 years ago, but only recently have studies using a model IRES from dicistroviruses expanded our understanding of how a 3D RNA structure can capture and manipulate the ribosome to initiate translation.
Project description:The mechanism for how internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) recruit ribosomes to initiate translation of an mRNA is not completely understood. We investigated how a 40S subunit was recruited by the cricket paralysis virus intergenic region (CrPV IGR) IRES to form a stable 40S-IRES complex. Kinetic binding studies revealed that formation of the complex between the CrPV IGR and the 40S subunit consisted of two-steps: an initial fast binding step of the IRES to the 40S ribosomal subunit, followed by a slow unimolecular reaction consistent with a conformational change that stabilized the complex. We further showed that the ribosomal protein S25 (eS25), which is required by functionally and structurally diverse IRESs, impacts both steps of the complex formation. Mutations in eS25 that reduced CrPV IGR IRES activity either decreased 40S-IRES complex formation, or increased the rate of the conformational change that was required to form a stable 40S-IRES complex. Our data are consistent with a model in which eS25 facilitates initial binding of the CrPV IGR IRES to the 40S while ensuring that the conformational change stabilizing the 40S-IRES complex does not occur prematurely.
Project description:Viral internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) are unique RNA elements, which use stable and dynamic RNA structures to recruit ribosomes and drive protein synthesis. IRESs overcome the high complexity of the canonical eukaryotic translation initiation pathway, often functioning with a limited set of eukaryotic initiation factors. The simplest types of IRESs are typified by the cricket paralysis virus intergenic region (CrPV IGR) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) IRESs, both of which independently form high-affinity complexes with the small (40S) ribosomal subunit and bypass the molecular processes of cap-binding and scanning. Owing to their simplicity and ribosomal affinity, the CrPV and HCV IRES have been important models for structural and functional studies of the eukaryotic ribosome during initiation, serving as excellent targets for recent technological breakthroughs in cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and single-molecule analysis. High-resolution structural models of ribosome : IRES complexes, coupled with dynamics studies, have clarified decades of biochemical research and provided an outline of the conformational and compositional trajectory of the ribosome during initiation. Here we review recent progress in the study of HCV- and CrPV-type IRESs, highlighting important structural and dynamics insights and the synergy between cryo-EM and single-molecule studies.This article is part of the themed issue 'Perspectives on the ribosome'.
Project description:In cap-dependent translation initiation, the open reading frame (ORF) of mRNA is established by the placement of the AUG start codon and initiator tRNA in the ribosomal peptidyl (P) site. Internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) promote translation of mRNAs in a cap-independent manner. We report two structures of the ribosome-bound Taura syndrome virus (TSV) IRES belonging to the family of Dicistroviridae intergenic IRESs. Intersubunit rotational states differ in these structures, suggesting that ribosome dynamics play a role in IRES translocation. Pseudoknot I of the IRES occupies the ribosomal decoding center at the aminoacyl (A) site in a manner resembling that of the tRNA anticodon-mRNA codon. The structures reveal that the TSV IRES initiates translation by a previously unseen mechanism, which is conceptually distinct from initiator tRNA-dependent mechanisms. Specifically, the ORF of the IRES-driven mRNA is established by the placement of the preceding tRNA-mRNA-like structure in the A site, whereas the 40S P site remains unoccupied during this initial step.
Project description:Initiation of protein synthesis in eukaryotes requires recruitment of the ribosome to the mRNA and its translocation to the start codon. There are at least two distinct mechanisms by which this process can be achieved; the ribosome can be recruited either to the cap structure at the 5' end of the message or to an internal ribosome entry segment (IRES), a complex RNA structural element located in the 5' untranslated region (5'-UTR) of the mRNA. However, it is not well understood how cellular IRESs function to recruit the ribosome or how the 40S ribosomal subunits translocate from the initial recruitment site on the mRNA to the AUG initiation codon. We have investigated the canonical factors that are required by the IRESs found in the 5'-UTRs of c-, L-, and N-myc, using specific inhibitors and a tissue culture-based assay system, and have shown that they differ considerably in their requirements. The L-myc IRES requires the eIF4F complex and the association of PABP and eIF3 with eIF4G for activity. The minimum requirements of the N- and c-myc IRESs are the C-terminal domain of eIF4G to which eIF4A is bound and eIF3, although interestingly this protein does not appear to be recruited to the IRES RNA via eIF4G. Finally, our data show that all three IRESs require a ternary complex, although in contrast to c- and L-myc IRESs, the N-myc IRES has a lesser requirement for a ternary complex.
Project description:Internal ribosomal entry sites (IRESs) are structured cis-acting RNAs that drive an alternative, cap-independent translation initiation pathway. They are used by many viruses to hijack the translational machinery of the host cell. IRESs facilitate translation initiation by recruiting and actively manipulating the eukaryotic ribosome using only a subset of canonical initiation factor and IRES transacting factors. Here we present cryo-EM reconstructions of the ribosome 80S- and 40S-bound Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) IRES. The presence of four subpopulations for the 80S•HCV IRES complex reveals dynamic conformational modes of the complex. At a global resolution of 3.9 Å for the most stable complex, a derived atomic model reveals a complex fold of the IRES RNA and molecular details of its interaction with the ribosome. The comparison of obtained structures explains how a modular architecture facilitates mRNA loading and tRNA binding to the P-site. This information provides the structural foundation for understanding the mechanism of HCV IRES RNA-driven translation initiation.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and classical swine fever virus (CSFV) messenger RNAs contain related (HCV-like) internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) that promote 5'-end independent initiation of translation, requiring only a subset of the eukaryotic initiation factors (eIFs) needed for canonical initiation on cellular mRNAs. Initiation on HCV-like IRESs relies on their specific interaction with the 40S subunit, which places the initiation codon into the P site, where it directly base-pairs with eIF2-bound initiator methionyl transfer RNA to form a 48S initiation complex. However, all HCV-like IRESs also specifically interact with eIF3 (refs 2, 5-7, 9-12), but the role of this interaction in IRES-mediated initiation has remained unknown. During canonical initiation, eIF3 binds to the 40S subunit as a component of the 43S pre-initiation complex, and comparison of the ribosomal positions of eIF3 and the HCV IRES revealed that they overlap, so that their rearrangement would be required for formation of ribosomal complexes containing both components. Here we present a cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction of a 40S ribosomal complex containing eIF3 and the CSFV IRES. Remarkably, although the position and interactions of the CSFV IRES with the 40S subunit in this complex are similar to those of the HCV IRES in the 40S-IRES binary complex, eIF3 is completely displaced from its ribosomal position in the 43S complex, and instead interacts through its ribosome-binding surface exclusively with the apical region of domain III of the IRES. Our results suggest a role for the specific interaction of HCV-like IRESs with eIF3 in preventing ribosomal association of eIF3, which could serve two purposes: relieving the competition between the IRES and eIF3 for a common binding site on the 40S subunit, and reducing formation of 43S complexes, thereby favouring translation of viral mRNAs.
Project description:Mechanisms by which eukaryotic internal ribosomal entry sites (IRESs) initiate translation have not been well described. Viral IRESs utilize a combination of secondary/tertiary structure concomitant with sequence specific elements to initiate translation. Eukaryotic IRESs are proposed to utilize the same components, although it appears that short sequence specific elements are more common. In this report we perform an extensive analysis of the IRES in the human tau mRNA. We demonstrate that the tau IRES exhibits characteristics similar to viral IRESs. It contains two main structural domains that exhibit secondary interactions, which are essential for internal initiation. Moreover, the tau IRES is extremely sensitive to small nucleotide substitutions. Our data also indicates that the 40S ribosome is recruited to the middle of the IRES, but whether it scans to the initiation codon in a linear fashion is questioned. Overall, these results identify structural and sequence elements critical for tau IRES activity and consequently, provide a novel target to regulate tau protein expression in disease states including Alzheimer disease and other tauopathies.
Project description:Internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) mediate cap-independent translation of viral mRNAs. Using electron cryo-microscopy of a single specimen, we present five ribosome structures formed with the Taura syndrome virus IRES and translocase eEF2•GTP bound with sordarin. The structures suggest a trajectory of IRES translocation, required for translation initiation, and provide an unprecedented view of eEF2 dynamics. The IRES rearranges from extended to bent to extended conformations. This inchworm-like movement is coupled with ribosomal inter-subunit rotation and 40S head swivel. eEF2, attached to the 60S subunit, slides along the rotating 40S subunit to enter the A site. Its diphthamide-bearing tip at domain IV separates the tRNA-mRNA-like pseudoknot I (PKI) of the IRES from the decoding center. This unlocks 40S domains, facilitating head swivel and biasing IRES translocation via hitherto-elusive intermediates with PKI captured between the A and P sites. The structures suggest missing links in our understanding of tRNA translocation.
Project description:The human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a complex human retrovirus that causes adult T cell leukemia and of HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis. The mRNA of some complex retroviruses, including the human and simian immunodeficiency viruses (HIV and SIV), can initiate translation using a canonical cap-dependent mechanism or through an internal ribosome entry site (IRES). In this study, we present strong evidence showing that like HIV-1 and SIV, the 5'-untranslated region (5'UTR) of the HTLV-1 full-length mRNA harbors an IRES. Cap-independent translational activity was evaluated and demonstrated using dual luciferase bicistronic mRNAs in rabbit reticulocyte lysate, in mammalian cell culture, and in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Characterization of the HTLV-1 IRES shows that its activity is dependent on the ribosomal protein S25 (RPS25) and that its function is highly sensitive to the drug edeine. Together, these findings suggest that the 5'UTR of the HTLV-1 full-length mRNA enables internal recruitment of the eukaryotic translation initiation complex. However, the recognition of the initiation codon requires ribosome scanning. These results suggest that, after internal recruitment by the HTLV-1 IRES, a scanning step takes place for the 40S ribosomal subunit to be positioned at the translation initiation codon.The mechanism by which retroviral mRNAs recruit the 40S ribosomal subunit internally is not understood. This study provides new insights into the mechanism of translation initiation used by the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). The results show that the HTLV-1 mRNA can initiate translation via a noncanonical mechanism mediated by an internal ribosome entry site (IRES). This study also provides evidence showing the involvement of cellular proteins in HTLV-1 IRES-mediated translation initiation. Together, the data presented in this report significantly contribute to the understanding of HTLV-1 gene expression.
Project description:All viruses must successfully harness the host translational apparatus and divert it towards viral protein synthesis. Dicistroviruses use an unusual internal ribosome entry site (IRES) mechanism whereby the IRES adopts a three-pseudoknot structure that accesses the ribosome tRNA binding sites to directly recruit the ribosome and initiate translation from a non-AUG start site. A subset of dicistroviruses, including the honey bee Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), encode an extra stem-loop (SLVI) 5' -adjacent to the IGR IRES. Previously, the function of this additional stem-loop is unknown. Here, we provide mechanistic and functional insights into the role of SLVI in IGR IRES translation and in virus infection. Biochemical analyses of a series of mutant IRESs demonstrated that SLVI does not function in ribosome recruitment but is required for proper ribosome positioning on the IRES to direct translation. Using a chimeric infectious clone derived from the related Cricket paralysis virus, we showed that the integrity of SLVI is important for optimal viral translation and viral yield. Based on structural models of ribosome-IGR IRES complexes, the SLVI is predicted to be in the vicinity of the ribosome E site. We propose that SLVI of IAPV IGR IRES functionally mimics interactions of an E-site tRNA with the ribosome to direct positioning of the tRNA-like domain of the IRES in the A site.IMPORTANCEViral internal ribosome entry sites are RNA elements and structures that allow some positive-sense monopartite RNA viruses to hijack the host ribosome to start viral protein synthesis. We demonstrate that a unique stem-loop structure is essential for optimal viral protein synthesis and for virus infection. Biochemical evidence shows that this viral stem-loop RNA structure impacts a fundamental property of the ribosome to start protein synthesis.