A gene-specific role for the Ssu72 RNAPII CTD phosphatase in HIV-1 Tat transactivation.
ABSTRACT: HIV-1 Tat stimulates transcription elongation by recruiting the P-TEFb (positive transcription elongation factor-b) (CycT1:CDK9) C-terminal domain (CTD) kinase to the HIV-1 promoter. Here we show that Tat transactivation also requires the Ssu72 CTD Ser5P (S5P)-specific phosphatase, which mediates transcription termination and intragenic looping at eukaryotic genes. Importantly, HIV-1 Tat interacts directly with Ssu72 and strongly stimulates its CTD phosphatase activity. We found that Ssu72 is essential for Tat:P-TEFb-mediated phosphorylation of the S5P-CTD in vitro. Interestingly, Ssu72 also stimulates nascent HIV-1 transcription in a phosphatase-dependent manner in vivo. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments reveal that Ssu72, like P-TEFb and AFF4, is recruited by Tat to the integrated HIV-1 proviral promoter in TNF-? signaling 2D10 T cells and leaves the elongation complex prior to the termination site. ChIP-seq (ChIP combined with deep sequencing) and GRO-seq (genome-wide nuclear run-on [GRO] combined with deep sequencing) analysis further reveals that Ssu72 predominantly colocalizes with S5P-RNAPII (RNA polymerase II) at promoters in human embryonic stem cells, with a minor peak in the terminator region. A few genes, like NANOG, also have high Ssu72 at the terminator. Ssu72 is not required for transcription at most cellular genes but has a modest effect on cotranscriptional termination. We conclude that Tat alters the cellular function of Ssu72 to stimulate viral gene expression and facilitate the early S5P-S2P transition at the integrated HIV-1 promoter.
Project description:The bromodomain protein Brd4 regulates the transcription of signal-inducible genes. This is achieved by recruiting the positive transcription elongation factor P-TEFb to promoters by its P-TEFb interaction domain (PID). Here we show that Brd4 stimulates the kinase activity of P-TEFb for phosphorylation of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II over basal levels. The CTD phosphorylation saturation levels, the preferences for pre-phosphorylated substrates, and the phosphorylation specificity for Ser5 of the CTD however remain unchanged. Inhibition of P-TEFb by Hexim1 is relieved by Brd4, although no mutual displacement with the Cyclin T-binding domain of Hexim1 was observed. Brd4 PID shows a surprising sequence motif similarity to the trans-activating Tat protein from HIV-1, which includes a core RxL motif, a polybasic cluster known as arginine-rich motif, and a C-terminal leucine motif. Mutation of these motifs to alanine significantly diminished the stimulatory effect of Brd4 and fully abrogated its activation potential in presence of Hexim1. Yet the protein was not found to bind Cyclin T1 as Tat, but only P-TEFb with a dissociation constant of 0.5 ?M. Our data suggest a model where Brd4 acts on the kinase subunit of P-TEFb to relieve inhibition and stimulate substrate recognition.
Project description:Symplekin (Pta1 in yeast) is a scaffold in the large protein complex that is required for 3'-end cleavage and polyadenylation of eukaryotic messenger RNA precursors (pre-mRNAs); it also participates in transcription initiation and termination by RNA polymerase II (Pol?II). Symplekin mediates interactions between many different proteins in this machinery, although the molecular basis for its function is not known. Here we report the crystal structure at 2.4?Å resolution of the amino-terminal domain (residues 30-340) of human symplekin in a ternary complex with the Pol?II carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) Ser?5 phosphatase Ssu72 (refs 7, 10-17) and a CTD Ser?5 phosphopeptide. The N-terminal domain of symplekin has the ARM or HEAT fold, with seven pairs of antiparallel ?-helices arranged in the shape of an arc. The structure of Ssu72 has some similarity to that of low-molecular-mass phosphotyrosine protein phosphatase, although Ssu72 has a unique active-site landscape as well as extra structural features at the C terminus that are important for interaction with symplekin. Ssu72 is bound to the concave face of symplekin, and engineered mutations in this interface can abolish interactions between the two proteins. The CTD peptide is bound in the active site of Ssu72, with the pSer?5-Pro?6 peptide bond in the cis configuration, which contrasts with all other known CTD peptide conformations. Although the active site of Ssu72 is about 25?Å from the interface with symplekin, we found that the symplekin N-terminal domain stimulates Ssu72 CTD phosphatase activity in vitro. Furthermore, the N-terminal domain of symplekin inhibits polyadenylation in vitro, but only when coupled to transcription. Because catalytically active Ssu72 overcomes this inhibition, our results show a role for mammalian Ssu72 in transcription-coupled pre-mRNA 3'-end processing.
Project description:Transcription from the HIV-1 LTR promoter efficiently initiates but rapidly terminates because of a non-processive form of RNA polymerase II. This premature termination is overcome by assembly of an HIV-1 TAT/P-TEFb complex at the transactivation response region (TAR), a structured RNA element encoded by the first 59 nt of HIV-1 mRNA. Here we have identified a conserved DNA-binding element for the cellular transcription factor, ZASC1, in the HIV-1 core promoter immediately upstream of TAR. We show that ZASC1 interacts with TAT and P-TEFb, co-operating with TAT to regulate HIV-1 gene expression, and promoting HIV-1 transcriptional elongation. The importance of ZASC1 to HIV-1 transcription elongation was confirmed through mutagenesis of the ZASC1 binding sites in the LTR promoter, shRNAs targeting ZASC1 and expression of dominant negative ZASC1. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that ZASC1 recruits Tat and P-TEFb to the HIV-1 core promoter in a TAR-independent manner. Thus, we have identified ZASC1 as novel regulator of HIV-1 gene expression that functions through the DNA-dependent, RNA-independent recruitment of TAT/P-TEFb to the HIV-1 promoter.
Project description:HIV-1 transactivator Tat has greatly contributed to our understanding of transcription elongation by RNAPII. We purified HIV-1 Tat-associated factors from HeLa nuclear extract and show that Tat forms two distinct and stable complexes. Tatcom1 consists of the core active P-TEFb, MLL-fusion partners involved in leukemia (AF9, AFF4, AFF1, ENL, and ELL), and PAF1 complex. Importantly, Tatcom1 formation relies on P-TEFb while optimal CDK9 CTD-kinase activity is AF9 dependent. MLL-fusion partners and PAF1 are required for Tat transactivation. Tatcom2 is composed of CDK9, CycT1, and 7SK snRNP lacking HEXIM. Tat remodels 7SK snRNP by interacting directly with 7SK RNA, leading to the formation of a stress-resistant 7SK snRNP particle. Besides the identification of factors required for Tat transactivation and important for P-TEFb function, our data show a coordinated control of RNAPII elongation by different classes of transcription elongation factors associated in a single complex and acting at the same promoter.
Project description:In eukaryotes, the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is composed of tandem repeats of the heptapeptide YSPTSPS, which is subjected to reversible phosphorylation at Ser2, Ser5, and Ser7 during the transcription cycle. Dynamic changes in CTD phosphorylation patterns, established by the activities of multiple kinases and phosphatases, are responsible for stage-specific recruitment of various factors involved in RNA processing, histone modification, and transcription elongation/termination. Yeast Ssu72, a CTD phosphatase specific for Ser5 and Ser7, functions in 3'-end processing of pre-mRNAs and in transcription termination of small non-coding RNAs such as snoRNAs and snRNAs. Vertebrate Ssu72 exhibits Ser5- and Ser7-specific CTD phosphatase activity in vitro, but its roles in gene expression and CTD dephosphorylation in vivo remain to be elucidated. To investigate the functions of vertebrate Ssu72 in gene expression, we established chicken DT40 B-cell lines in which Ssu72 expression was conditionally inactivated. Ssu72 depletion in DT40 cells caused defects in 3'-end formation of U2 and U4 snRNAs and GAPDH mRNA. Surprisingly, however, Ssu72 inactivation increased the efficiency of 3'-end formation of non-polyadenylated replication-dependent histone mRNA. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses revealed that Ssu72 depletion caused a significant increase in both Ser5 and Ser7 phosphorylation of the Pol II CTD on all genes in which 3'-end formation was affected. These results suggest that vertebrate Ssu72 plays positive roles in 3'-end formation of snRNAs and polyadenylated mRNAs, but negative roles in 3'-end formation of histone mRNAs, through dephosphorylation of both Ser5 and Ser7 of the CTD.
Project description:HIV-1 gene expression is regulated by a viral transactivator protein (Tat) which induces transcriptional elongation of HIV-1 long tandem repeat (LTR). This induction requires hyperphosphorylation of the C-terminal domain (CTD) repeats of RNA polymerase II (Pol II). To achieve CTD hyperphosphorylation, Tat stimulates CTD kinases associated with general transcription factors of the promoter complex, specifically TFIIH-associated CDK7 and positive transcription factor b-associated CDK9 (cyclin-dependent kinase 9). Other studies indicate that Tat may bind an additional CTD kinase that regulates the target-specific phosphorylation of RNA Pol II CTD. We previously reported that Tat-associated T-cell-derived kinase (TTK), purified from human primary T-cells, stimulates Tat-dependent transcription of HIV-1 LTR in vivo [Nekhai, Shukla, Fernandez, Kumar and Lamb (2000) Virology 266, 246-256]. In the work presented here, we characterized the components of TTK by biochemical fractionation and the function of TTK in transcription assays in vitro. TTK uniquely co-purified with CDK2 and not with either CDK9 or CDK7. Tat induced the TTK-associated CDK2 kinase to phosphorylate CTD, specifically at Ser-2 residues. The TTK fraction restored Tat-mediated transcription activation of HIV-1 LTR in a HeLa nuclear extract immunodepleted of CDK9, but not in the HeLa nuclear extract double-depleted of CDK9 and CDK7. Direct microinjection of the TTK fraction augmented Tat transactivation of HIV-1 LTR in human primary HS68 fibroblasts. The results argue that TTK-associated CDK2 may function to maintain target-specific phosphorylation of RNA Pol II that is essential for Tat transactivation of HIV-1 promoter. They are also consistent with the observed cell-cycle-specific induction of viral gene transactivation.
Project description:Reversible phosphorylation of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is essential for gene expression control. How altering the phosphorylation of the CTD contributes to gene expression in mammalian systems remains poorly understood. <b>Methods:</b> Primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts, hepatocytes, and embryonic stem cells were isolated from conditional <i>Ssu72</i> <sup>f/f</sup> mice. To knockout the mouse <i>Ssu72</i> gene, we infected the cells with adenoviruses of incorporated luciferase and Cre recombinase, respectively. RNA sequencing, ChIP sequencing, ChIP assay, immunoblot analyses, qRT-PCR assay, and immunostaining were performed to gain insights into the functional mechanisms of Ssu72 loss in Pol II dynamics. <b>Results:</b> Using primary cells isolated from Ssu72 conditional knockout and transgenic mice, we found that mammalian Ssu72-mediated transcriptional elongation rather than polyadenylation or RNA processing contributed to the transcriptional regulation of various genes. Depletion of Ssu72 resulted in aberrant Pol II pausing and elongation defects. Reduced transcriptional elongation efficiency tended to preferentially affect expression levels of actively transcribed genes in a tissue-specific manner. Furthermore, Ssu72 CTD phosphatase seemed to regulate the phosphorylation levels of CTD Ser2 and Thr4 through accurate modulation of P-TEFb activity and recruitment. <b>Conclusions:</b> Our findings demonstrate that mammalian Ssu72 contributes to the transcription of tissue-specific actively transcribed gene expression by regulating reciprocal phosphorylation of Pol II CTD.
Project description:The positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) was first identified as a general factor that stimulates transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII), but soon afterwards it turned out to be an essential cellular co-factor of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transcription mediated by viral Tat proteins. Studies on the mechanisms of Tat-dependent HIV transcription have led to radical advances in our knowledge regarding the mechanism of eukaryotic transcription, including the discoveries that P-TEFb-mediated elongation control of cellular transcription is a main regulatory step of gene expression in eukaryotes, and deregulation of P-TEFb activity plays critical roles in many human diseases and conditions in addition to HIV/AIDS. P-TEFb is now recognized as an attractive and promising therapeutic target for inflammation/autoimmune diseases, cardiac hypertrophy, cancer, infectious diseases, etc. In this review article, I will summarize our knowledge about basic P-TEFb functions, the regulatory mechanism of P-TEFb-dependent transcription, P-TEFb's involvement in biological processes and diseases, and current approaches to manipulating P-TEFb functions for the treatment of these diseases.
Project description:The positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) stimulates RNA polymerase elongation by inducing the transition of promoter proximally paused polymerase II into a productively elongating state. P-TEFb itself is regulated by reversible association with various transcription factors/cofactors to form several multisubunit complexes [e.g., the 7SK small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle (7SK snRNP), the super elongation complexes (SECs), and the bromodomain protein 4 (Brd4)-P-TEFb complex] that constitute a P-TEFb network controlling cellular and HIV transcription. These complexes have been thought to share no components other than the core P-TEFb subunits cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) and cyclin T (CycT, T1, T2a, and T2b). Here we show that the AF4/FMR2 family member 1 (AFF1) is bound to CDK9-CycT and is present in all major P-TEFb complexes and that the tripartite CDK9-CycT-AFF1 complex is transferred as a single unit within the P-TEFb network. By increasing the affinity of the HIV-encoded transactivating (Tat) protein for CycT1, AFF1 facilitates Tat's extraction of P-TEFb from 7SK snRNP and the formation of Tat-SECs for HIV transcription. Our data identify AFF1 as a ubiquitous P-TEFb partner and demonstrate that full Tat transactivation requires the complete SEC.
Project description:BACKGROUND:HIV-1 does not encode a helicase and hijacks those of the cell for efficient replication. We and others previously showed that the DEAD box helicase, DDX5, is an essential HIV dependency factor. DDX5 was recently shown to be associated with the 7SK snRNP. Cellular positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) is bound in an inactive form with HEXIM1/2 on 7SK snRNP. The Tat/P-TEFb complex is essential for efficient processivity of Pol II in HIV-1 transcription elongation and Tat competes with HEXIM1/2 for P-TEFb. We investigated the precise role of DDX5 in HIV replication using siRNA mediated knockdown and rescue with DDX5 mutants which prevent protein-protein interactions and RNA and ATP binding. RESULTS:We demonstrate a critical role for DDX5 in the Tat/HEXIM1 interaction. DDX5 acts to potentiate Tat activity and can bind both Tat and HEXIM1 suggesting it may facilitate the dissociation of HEXIM1/2 from the 7SK-snRNP complex, enhancing Tat/P-TEFb availability. We show knockdown of DDX5 in a T cell line significantly reduces HIV-1 infectivity and viral protein production. This activity is unique to DDX5 and cannot be substituted by its close paralog DDX17. Overexpression of DDX5 stimulates the Tat/LTR promoter but suppresses other cellular and viral promoters. Individual mutations of conserved ATP binding, RNA binding, helicase related or protein binding motifs within DDX5 show that the N terminal RNA binding motifs, the Walker B and the glycine doublet motifs are essential for this function. The Walker A and RNA binding motifs situated on the transactivation domain are however dispensable. CONCLUSION:DDX5 is an essential cellular factor for efficient HIV transcription elongation. It interacts with Tat and may potentiate the availability of P-TEFb through sequestering HEXIM1.