Structure, mechanism, and specificity of a eukaryal tRNA restriction enzyme involved in self-nonself discrimination.
ABSTRACT: tRNA restriction by anticodon nucleases underlies cellular stress responses and self-nonself discrimination in a wide range of taxa. Anticodon breakage inhibits protein synthesis, which, in turn, results in growth arrest or cell death. The eukaryal ribotoxin PaT secreted by Pichia acaciae inhibits growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae via cleavage of tRNA(Gln(UUG)). We find that recombinant PaT incises a synthetic tRNA(Gln(UUG)) stem-loop RNA by transesterification at a single site 3' of the wobble uridine, yielding 2',3'-cyclic phosphate and 5'-OH ends. Incision is suppressed by replacement of the wobble nucleobase with adenine or guanine. The crystal structure of PaT reveals a distinctive fold and active site, essential components of which are demonstrated by mutagenesis. Pichia acaciae evades self-toxicity via a distinctive intracellular immunity protein, ImmPaT, which binds PaT and blocks nuclease activity. Our results highlight the evolutionary diversity of tRNA restriction and immunity systems.
Project description:PaOrf2 and ?-toxin subunits of Pichia acaciae toxin (PaT) and Kluyveromyces lactis zymocin are tRNA anticodon nucleases. These secreted ribotoxins are assimilated by Saccharomyces cerevisiae, wherein they arrest growth by depleting specific tRNAs. Toxicity can be recapitulated by induced intracellular expression of PaOrf2 or ?-toxin in S. cerevisiae. Mutational analysis of ?-toxin has identified amino acids required for ribotoxicity in vivo and RNA transesterification in vitro. Here, we report that PaOrf2 residues Glu9 and His287 (putative counterparts of ?-toxin Glu9 and His209) are essential for toxicity. Our results suggest a similar basis for RNA transesterification by PaOrf2 and ?-toxin, despite their dissimilar primary structures and distinctive tRNA target specificities. PaOrf2 makes two sequential incisions in tRNA, the first of which occurs 3' from the mcm(5)s(2)U wobble nucleoside and depends on mcm(5). A second incision two nucleotides upstream results in the net excision of a di-nucleotide. Expression of phage and plant tRNA repair systems can relieve PaOrf2 toxicity when tRNA cleavage is restricted to the secondary site in elp3 cells that lack the mcm(5) wobble U modification. Whereas the endogenous yeast tRNA ligase Trl1 can heal tRNA halves produced by PaOrf2 cleavage in elp3 cells, its RNA sealing activity is inadequate to complete the repair. Compatible sealing activity can be provided in trans by plant tRNA ligase. The damage-rescuing ability of tRNA repair systems is lost when PaOrf2 can break tRNA at both sites. These results highlight the logic of a two-incision mechanism of tRNA anticodon damage that evades productive repair by tRNA ligases.
Project description:In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the SUP70 gene encodes the CAG-decoding tRNA(Gln)(CUG). A mutant allele, sup70-65, induces pseudohyphal growth on rich medium, an inappropriate nitrogen starvation response. This mutant tRNA is also a UAG nonsense suppressor via first base wobble. To investigate the basis of the pseudohyphal phenotype, 10 novel sup70 UAG suppressor alleles were identified, defining positions in the tRNA(Gln)(CUG) anticodon stem that restrict first base wobble. However, none conferred pseudohyphal growth, showing altered CUG anticodon presentation cannot itself induce pseudohyphal growth. Northern blot analysis revealed the sup70-65 tRNA(Gln)(CUG) is unstable, inefficiently charged, and 80% reduced in its effective concentration. A stochastic model simulation of translation predicted compromised expression of CAG-rich ORFs in the tRNA(Gln)(CUG)-depleted sup70-65 mutant. This prediction was validated by demonstrating that luciferase expression in the mutant was 60% reduced by introducing multiple tandem CAG (but not CAA) codons into this ORF. In addition, the sup70-65 pseudohyphal phenotype was partly complemented by overexpressing CAA-decoding tRNA(Gln)(UUG), an inefficient wobble-decoder of CAG. We thus show that introducing codons decoded by a rare tRNA near the 5' end of an ORF can reduce eukaryote translational expression, and that the mutant tRNA(CUG)(Gln) constitutive pseudohyphal differentiation phenotype correlates strongly with reduced CAG decoding efficiency.
Project description:The 2-thiouridine (s(2)U) at the wobble position of certain bacterial and eukaryotic tRNAs enhances aminoacylation kinetics, assists proper codon-anticodon base pairing at the ribosome A-site, and prevents frameshifting during translation. By mass spectrometry of affinity-purified native Escherichia coli tRNA1(Gln)UUG, we show that the complete modification at the wobble position 34 is 5-carboxyaminomethyl-2-thiouridine (cmnm(5)s(2)U). The crystal structure of E. coli glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase (GlnRS) bound to native tRNA1(Gln) and ATP demonstrates that cmnm(5)s(2)U34 improves the order of a previously unobserved 11-amino-acid surface loop in the distal ?-barrel domain of the enzyme and imparts other local rearrangements of nearby amino acids that create a binding pocket for the 2-thio moiety. Together with previously solved structures, these observations explain the degenerate recognition of C34 and modified U34 by GlnRS. Comparative pre-steady-state aminoacylation kinetics of native tRNA1(Gln), synthetic tRNA1(Gln) containing s(2)U34 as sole modification, and unmodified wild-type and mutant tRNA1(Gln) and tRNA2(Gln) transcripts demonstrates that the exocyclic sulfur moiety improves tRNA binding affinity to GlnRS 10-fold compared with the unmodified transcript and that an additional fourfold improvement arises from the presence of the cmnm(5) moiety. Measurements of Gln-tRNA(Gln) interactions at the ribosome A-site show that the s(2)U modification enhances binding affinity to the glutamine codons CAA and CAG and increases the rate of GTP hydrolysis by E. coli EF-Tu by fivefold.
Project description:In eukaryotes, wobble uridines in the anticodons of tRNA(Lys)UUU, tRNA(Glu)UUC and tRNA(Gln)UUG are modified to 5-methoxy-carbonyl-methyl-2-thio-uridine (mcm5s2U). While mutations in subunits of the Elongator complex (Elp1-Elp6), which disable mcm5 side chain formation, or removal of components of the thiolation pathway (Ncs2/Ncs6, Urm1, Uba4) are individually tolerated, the combination of both modification defects has been reported to have lethal effects on Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Contrary to such absolute requirement of mcm5s2U for viability, we demonstrate here that in the S. cerevisiae S288C-derived background, both pathways can be simultaneously inactivated, resulting in combined loss of tRNA anticodon modifications (mcm5U and s2U) without a lethal effect. However, an elp3 disruption strain displays synthetic sick interaction and synergistic temperature sensitivity when combined with either uba4 or urm1 mutations, suggesting major translational defects in the absence of mcm5s2U modifications. Consistent with this notion, we find cellular protein levels drastically decreased in an elp3uba4 double mutant and show that this effect as well as growth phenotypes can be partially rescued by excess of tRNA(Lys)UUU. These results may indicate a global translational or protein homeostasis defect in cells simultaneously lacking mcm5 and s2 wobble uridine modification that could account for growth impairment and mainly originates from tRNA(Lys)UUU hypomodification and malfunction.
Project description:A general MS-based screen for unusually hydrophobic cellular small molecule-RNA conjugates revealed geranylated RNA in Escherichia coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enterica var. Typhimurium. The geranyl group is conjugated to the sulfur atom in two 5-methylaminomethyl-2-thiouridine nucleotides. These geranylated nucleotides occur in the first anticodon position of tRNA(Glu)(UUC), tRNA(Lys)(UUU) and tRNA(Gln)(UUG) at a frequency of up to 6.7% (~400 geranylated nucleotides per cell). RNA geranylation can be increased or abolished by mutation or deletion of the selU (ybbB) gene in E. coli, and purified SelU protein in the presence of geranyl pyrophosphate and tRNA can produce geranylated tRNA. The presence or absence of the geranyl group in tRNA(Glu)(UUC), tRNA(Lys)(UUU) and tRNA(Gln)(UUG) affects codon bias and frameshifting during translation. These RNAs represent the first reported examples of oligoisoprenylated cellular nucleic acids.
Project description:RNA healing and sealing enzymes drive informational and stress response pathways entailing repair of programmed 2',3' cyclic PO(4)/5'-OH breaks. Fungal, plant, and phage tRNA ligases use different strategies to discriminate the purposefully broken ends of the anticodon loop. Whereas phage ligase recognizes the tRNA fold, yeast and plant ligases do not and are instead hardwired to seal only the tRNA 3'-OH, 2'-PO(4) ends formed by healing of a cyclic phosphate. tRNA anticodon damage inflicted by secreted ribotoxins such as fungal gamma-toxin underlies a rudimentary innate immune system. Yeast cells are susceptible to gamma-toxin because the sealing domain of yeast tRNA ligase is unable to rectify a break at the modified wobble base of tRNA(Glu(UUC)). Plant andphage tRNA repair enzymes protect yeast from gamma-toxin because they are able to reverse the damage. Our studies underscore how a ribotoxin exploits an Achilles' heel in the target cell's tRNA repair system.
Project description:The mutation sufY204 mediates suppression of a +1 frameshift mutation in the histidine operon of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and synthesis of two novel modified nucleosides in tRNA. The sufY204 mutation, which results in an amino-acid substitution in a protein, is, surprisingly, dominant over its wild-type allele and thus it is a "gain of function" mutation. One of the new nucleosides is 5-methylaminomethyl-2-thiouridine (mnm(5)s(2)U34) modified by addition of a C(10)H(17) side chain of unknown structure. Increased amounts of both nucleosides in tRNA are correlated to gene dosage of the sufY204 allele, to an increased efficiency of frameshift suppression, and to a decreased amount of the wobble nucleoside mnm(5)s(2)U34 in tRNA. Purified tRNA(Gln)(cmnm(5)s(2)UUG) in the mutant strain contains a modified nucleoside similar to the novel nucleosides and the level of aminoacylation of tRNA(Gln)(cmnm(5)s(2)UUG) was reduced to 26% compared to that found in the wild type (86%). The results are discussed in relation to the mechanism of reading frame maintenance and the evolution of modified nucleosides in tRNA.
Project description:The accuracy of pairing of the anticodon of the initiator tRNA (tRNA(fMet)) and the initiation codon of an mRNA, in the ribosomal P-site, is crucial for determining the translational reading frame. However, a direct role of any ribosomal element(s) in scrutinizing this pairing is unknown. The P-site elements, m(2)G966 (methylated by RsmD), m(5)C967 (methylated by RsmB) and the C-terminal tail of the protein S9 lie in the vicinity of tRNA(fMet). We investigated the role of these elements in initiation from various codons, namely, AUG, GUG, UUG, CUG, AUA, AUU, AUC and ACG with tRNA(fMet(CAU) (tRNA(fMet) with CAU anticodon); CAC and CAU with tRNA(fMet(GUG); UAG with tRNA(fMet(CAU) ; UAC with tRNA(fMet(GUG) ; and AUC with tRNA(fMet(GUG) using in vivo and computational methods. Although RsmB deficiency did not impact initiation from most codons, RsmD deficiency increased initiation from AUA, CAC and CAU (2- to 3.6-fold). Deletion of the S9 C-terminal tail resulted in poorer initiation from UUG, GUG and CUG, but in increased initiation from CAC, CAU and UAC codons (up to 4-fold). Also, the S9 tail suppressed initiation with tRNA(fMet(CAU) lacking the 3GC base pairs in the anticodon stem. These observations suggest distinctive roles of 966/967 methylations and the S9 tail in initiation.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Animal mitochondrial genomes typically encode one tRNA for each synonymous codon family, so that each tRNA anticodon essentially has to wobble to recognize two or four synonymous codons. Several factors have been hypothesized to determine the nucleotide at the wobble site of a tRNA anticodon in mitochondrial genomes, such as the codon-anticodon adaptation hypothesis, the wobble versatility hypothesis, the translation initiation and elongation conflict hypothesis, and the wobble cost hypothesis. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we analyzed codon usage and tRNA anticodon wobble sites of 29 marine bivalve mitochondrial genomes to evaluate features of the wobble nucleotides in tRNA anticodons. The strand-specific mutation bias favors G and T on the H strand in all the 29 marine bivalve mitochondrial genomes. A bias favoring G and T is also visible in the third codon positions of protein-coding genes and the wobble sites of anticodons, rejecting that codon usage bias drives the wobble sites of tRNA anticodons or tRNA anticodon bias drives the evolution of codon usage. Almost all codon families (98.9%) from marine bivalve mitogenomes support the wobble versatility hypothesis. There are a few interesting exceptions involving tRNA(Trp) with an anticodon CCA fixed in Pectinoida species, tRNA(Ser) with a GCU anticodon fixed in Mytiloida mitogenomes, and the uniform anticodon CAU of tRNA(Met) translating the AUR codon family. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results demonstrate that most of the nucleotides at the wobble sites of tRNA anticodons in marine bivalve mitogenomes are determined by wobble versatility. Other factors such as the translation initiation and elongation conflict, and the cost of wobble translation may contribute to the determination of the wobble nucleotide in tRNA anticodons. The finding presented here provides valuable insights into the previous hypotheses of the wobble nucleotide in tRNA anticodons by adding some new evidence.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Fungal and animal mitochondrial genomes typically have one tRNA for each synonymous codon family. The codon-anticodon adaptation hypothesis predicts that the wobble nucleotide of a tRNA anticodon should evolve towards maximizing Watson-Crick base pairing with the most frequently used codon within each synonymous codon family, whereas the wobble versatility hypothesis argues that the nucleotide at the wobble site should be occupied by a nucleotide most versatile in wobble pairing, i.e., the tRNA wobble nucleotide should be G for NNY codon families, and U for NNR and NNN codon families (where Y stands for C or U, R for A or G and N for any nucleotide). RESULTS: We here integrate these two traditional hypotheses on tRNA anticodons into a unified model based on an analysis of the wobble costs associated with different wobble base pairs. This novel approach allows the relative cost of wobble pairing to be qualitatively evaluated. A comprehensive study of 36 fungal genomes suggests very different costs between two kinds of U:G wobble pairs, i.e., (1) between a G at the wobble site of a tRNA anticodon and a U at the third codon position (designated MU3:G) and (2) between a U at the wobble site of a tRNA anticodon and a G at the third codon position (designated MG3:U). CONCLUSION: In general, MU3:G is much smaller than MG3:U, suggesting no selection against U-ending codons in NNY codon families with a wobble G in the tRNA anticodon but strong selection against G-ending codons in NNR codon families with a wobble U at the tRNA anticodon. This finding resolves several puzzling observations in fungal genomics and corroborates previous studies showing that U3:G wobble is energetically more favorable than G3:U wobble.