Differential roles of human Dicer-binding proteins TRBP and PACT in small RNA processing.
ABSTRACT: During RNA interference and related gene regulatory pathways, the endonuclease Dicer cleaves precursor RNA molecules to produce microRNAs (miRNAs) and short interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Human cells encode a single Dicer enzyme that can associate with two different double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-binding proteins, protein activator of PKR (PACT) and trans-activation response RNA-binding protein (TRBP). However, the functional redundancy or differentiation of PACT and TRBP in miRNA and siRNA biogenesis is not well understood. Using a reconstituted system, we show here that PACT and TRBP have distinct effects on Dicer-mediated dsRNA processing. In particular, we found that PACT in complex with Dicer inhibits the processing of pre-siRNA substrates when compared with Dicer and a Dicer-TRBP complex. In addition, PACT and TRBP show non-redundant effects on the production of different-sized miRNAs (isomiRs), which in turn alter target-binding specificities. Experiments using chimeric versions of PACT and TRBP suggest that the two N-terminal RNA-binding domains of each protein confer the observed differences in dsRNA substrate recognition and processing behavior of Dicer-dsRNA-binding protein complexes. These results support the conclusion that in humans, Dicer-associated dsRNA-binding proteins are important regulatory factors that contribute both substrate and cleavage specificity during miRNA and siRNA production.
Project description:RNA interference (RNAi) is an evolutionally conserved posttranscriptional gene-silencing mechanism whereby small interfering RNA (siRNA) triggers sequence-specific cleavage of its cognate mRNA. Dicer, Argonaute (Ago), and either TAR-RNA binding protein (TRBP) or a protein activator of PKR (PACT) are the primary components of the RNAi pathway, and they comprise the core of a complex termed the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC)-loading complex (RLC). TRBP and PACT share similar structural features including three dsRNA binding domains (dsRBDs), and a complex containing Dicer and either TRBP or PACT is considered to sense thermodynamic asymmetry of siRNA ends for guide strand selection. Thus, both TRBP and PACT are thought to participate in the RNAi pathway in an indistinguishable manner, but the differences in siRNA binding mode and the functional involvement of TRBP and PACT are poorly understood. Here, we show in vitro binding patterns of human TRBP and PACT to siRNA using electrophoresis mobility shift analysis and gel filtration chromatography. Our results clearly showed that TRBP and PACT have distinct in vitro siRNA binding patterns from each other. The results suggest that monomeric TRBP binds to siRNA at the higher affinity compared to the affinity for own homodimerization. In contrast, the affinity between PACT and siRNA is lower than that of homodimerization or that between TRBP and siRNA. Thus, siRNA may be more readily incorporated into RLC, interacting with TRBP (instead of PACT) in vivo.
Project description:HIV TAR RNA-binding protein (TRBP) and Protein Activator of PKR (PACT) are double-stranded (ds) RNA-binding proteins that participate in both small regulatory RNA biogenesis and the response to viral dsRNA. Despite considerable progress toward understanding the structure-function relationship of TRBP and PACT, their specific roles in these seemingly distinct cellular pathways remain unclear. Both proteins are composed of three copies of the double-stranded RNA-binding domain, two of which interact with dsRNA, while the C-terminal copy mediates protein-protein interactions. PACT and TRBP are found in a complex with the endonuclease Dicer and facilitate processing of immature microRNAs. Their precise contribution to the Dicing step has not yet been defined: possibilities include precursor recruitment, rearrangement of dsRNA within the complex, loading the processed microRNA into the RNA-induced silencing complex, and distinguishing different classes of small dsRNA. TRBP and PACT also interact with the viral dsRNA sensors retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) and double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase (PKR). Current models suggest that PACT enables RIG-I to detect a wider range of viral dsRNAs, while TRBP and PACT exert opposing regulatory effects on PKR. Here, the evidence that implicates TRBP and PACT in regulatory RNA processing and viral dsRNA sensing is reviewed and discussed in the context of their molecular structure. The broader implications of a link between microRNA biogenesis and the innate antiviral response pathway are also considered.
Project description:The cytoplasmic RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) contains dsRNA binding proteins, including protein kinase RNA activator (PACT), transactivation response RNA binding protein (TRBP), and Dicer, that process pre-microRNAs into mature microRNAs (miRNAs) that target specific mRNA species for regulation. There is increasing evidence for important functional interactions between the miRNA and nuclear receptor (NR) signaling networks, with recent data showing that estrogen, acting through the estrogen receptor, can modulate initial aspects of nuclear miRNA processing. Here, we show that the cytoplasmic RISC proteins PACT, TRBP, and Dicer are steroid receptor RNA activator (SRA) binding NR coregulators that target steroid-responsive promoters and regulate NR activity and downstream gene expression. Furthermore, each of the RISC proteins, together with Argonaute 2, associates with SRA and specific pre-microRNAs in both the nucleus and cytoplasm, providing evidence for links between NR-mediated transcription and some of the factors involved in miRNA processing.
Project description:Small RNA-mediated gene silencing (RNA silencing) has emerged as a major regulatory pathway in eukaryotes. Identification of the key factors involved in this pathway has been a subject of rigorous investigation in recent years. In humans, small RNAs are generated by Dicer and assembled into the effector complex known as RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) by multiple factors including hAgo2, the mRNA-targeting endonuclease, and TRBP (HIV-1 TAR RNA-binding protein), a dsRNA-binding protein that interacts with both Dicer and hAgo2. Here we describe an additional dsRNA-binding protein known as PACT, which is significant in RNA silencing. PACT is associated with an approximately 500 kDa complex that contains Dicer, hAgo2, and TRBP. The interaction with Dicer involves the third dsRNA-binding domain (dsRBD) of PACT and the N-terminal region of Dicer containing the helicase motif. Like TRBP, PACT is not required for the pre-microRNA (miRNA) cleavage reaction step. However, the depletion of PACT strongly affects the accumulation of mature miRNA in vivo and moderately reduces the efficiency of small interfering RNA-induced RNA interference. Our study indicates that, unlike other RNase III type proteins, human Dicer may employ two different dsRBD-containing proteins that facilitate RISC assembly.
Project description:RNA-mediated gene silencing in human cells requires the accurate generation of ?22 nt microRNAs (miRNAs) from double-stranded RNA substrates by the endonuclease Dicer. Although the phylogenetically conserved RNA-binding proteins TRBP and PACT are known to contribute to this process, their mode of Dicer binding and their genome-wide effects on miRNA processing have not been determined. We solved the crystal structure of the human Dicer-TRBP interface, revealing the structural basis of the interaction. Interface residues conserved between TRBP and PACT show that the proteins bind to Dicer in a similar manner and by mutual exclusion. Based on the structure, a catalytically active Dicer that cannot bind TRBP or PACT was designed and introduced into Dicer-deficient mammalian cells, revealing selective defects in guide strand selection. These results demonstrate the role of Dicer-associated RNA binding proteins in maintenance of gene silencing fidelity.
Project description:The accurate cleavage of pre-micro(mi)RNAs by Dicer and mi/siRNA guide strand selection are important steps in forming the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). The role of Dicer binding partner TRBP in these processes remains poorly understood. Here, we solved the solution structure of the two N-terminal dsRNA binding domains (dsRBDs) of TRBP in complex with a functionally asymmetric siRNA using NMR, EPR, and single-molecule spectroscopy. We find that siRNA recognition by the dsRBDs is not sequence-specific but rather depends on the RNA shape. The two dsRBDs can swap their binding sites, giving rise to two equally populated, pseudo-symmetrical complexes, showing that TRBP is not a primary sensor of siRNA asymmetry. Using our structure to model a Dicer-TRBP-siRNA ternary complex, we show that TRBP's dsRBDs and Dicer's RNase III domains bind a canonical 19 base pair siRNA on opposite sides, supporting a mechanism whereby TRBP influences Dicer-mediated cleavage accuracy by binding the dsRNA region of the pre-miRNA during Dicer cleavage.
Project description:The human ribonuclease Dicer and its double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-binding protein (dsRBP) partners TRBP and PACT play important roles in the biogenesis of regulatory RNAs. Following dicing, one dsRNA product strand is preferentially assembled into an RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). The mechanism of strand selection in humans and the possible role of Dicer in this process remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that dsRNAs undergo significant repositioning within Dicer complexes following dicing. This repositioning enables directional binding of RNA duplexes, thereby biasing their orientation for guide strand selection according to the thermodynamic properties of the helix. Our findings indicate that Dicer is itself capable of sensing siRNA thermodynamic asymmetry regardless of the dsRBP to which it is bound. These results support a model in which Dicer employs two distinct RNA-binding sites-one for dsRNA processing and the other for sensing of siRNA thermodynamic asymmetry-during RISC loading in humans.
Project description:The transactivating response (TAR) RNA-binding protein (TRBP) has been identified as a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-binding protein, which associates with a stem-loop region known as the TAR element in human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1). However, TRBP is also known to be an enhancer of RNA silencing, interacting with Dicer, an enzyme that belongs to the RNase III family. Dicer cleaves long dsRNA into small dsRNA fragments called small interfering RNA or microRNA (miRNA) to mediate RNA silencing. During HIV-1 infection, TAR RNA-mediated translation is suppressed by the secondary structure of 5'UTR TAR RNA. However, TRBP binding to TAR RNA relieves its inhibitory action of translation and Dicer processes HIV-1 TAR RNA to generate TAR miRNA. However, whether the interaction between TRBP and Dicer is necessary for TAR RNA translation or TAR miRNA processing remains unclear. In this study, we constructed TRBP mutants that were unable to interact with Dicer by introducing mutations into amino acid residues necessary for the interaction. Furthermore, we established cell lines expressing such TRBP mutants. Then, we revealed that the TRBP-Dicer interaction is essential for both the TAR-containing RNA translation and the TAR miRNA processing in HIV-1.
Project description:TRBP has two known functions as Dicer co-factor and PKR inhibitor. However, the role of TRBP in miRNA biogenesis is controversial and its regulation of PKR in mitosis remains unexplored. Here, we generate TRBP KO HeLa cells and find that TRBP depletion alters Dicer processing sites of a subset of miRNAs, but does not affect Dicer stability, miRNA abundance, or Argonaute loading. By generating PACT, another Dicer interactor, and TRBP/PACT double-KO cells, we further show that TRBP and PACT do not functionally compensate each other and that only TRBP contributes to Dicer processing. We also report that TRBP is hyperphosphorylated by JNK in M phase when PKR is activated by cellular dsRNAs. Hyperphosphorylation potentiates the inhibitory activity of TRBP on PKR, suppressing PKR in M-G1 transition. By generating the first human TRBP KO, our study clarifies the role of TRBP and unveils negative feedback regulation of PKR through TRBP phosphorylation. small RNAs of wild type, TRBP knockout, PACT knockout and TRBP/PACT double knockout cells were sequenced by Illumina Miseq.
Project description:The TAR RNA binding Protein, TRBP, inhibits the activity of the interferon-induced protein kinase R (PKR), whereas the PKR activator, PACT, activates its function. TRBP and PACT also bind to each other through their double-stranded RNA binding domains (dsRBDs) and their Medipal domains, which may influence their activity on PKR. In a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) long terminal repeat-luciferase assay, PACT unexpectedly reversed PKR-mediated inhibition of gene expression. In a translation inhibition assay in HeLa cells, PACT lacking the 13 C-terminal amino acids (PACTDelta13), but not full-length PACT, activated PKR and enhanced interferon-mediated repression. In contrast, in the astrocytic U251MG cells that express low TRBP levels, both proteins activate PKR, but PACTDelta13 is stronger. Immunoprecipitation assays and yeast two-hybrid assays show that TRBP and PACTDelta13 interact very weakly due to a loss of binding in the Medipal domain. PACT-induced PKR phosphorylation was restored in Tarbp2(-/-) murine tail fibroblasts and in HEK293T or HeLa cells when TRBP expression was reduced by RNA interference. In HEK293T and HeLa cells, arsenite, peroxide, and serum starvation-mediated stresses dissociated the TRBP-PACT interaction and increased PACT-induced PKR activation, demonstrating the relevance of this control in a physiological context. Our results demonstrate that in cells, TRBP controls PACT activation of PKR, an activity that is reversed by stress.