The ancestor of modern Holozoa acquired the CCA-adding enzyme from Alphaproteobacteria by horizontal gene transfer.
ABSTRACT: Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) require the absolutely conserved sequence motif CCA at their 3'-ends, representing the site of aminoacylation. In the majority of organisms, this trinucleotide sequence is not encoded in the genome and thus has to be added post-transcriptionally by the CCA-adding enzyme, a specialized nucleotidyltransferase. In eukaryotic genomes this ubiquitous and highly conserved enzyme family is usually represented by a single gene copy. Analysis of published sequence data allows us to pin down the unusual evolution of eukaryotic CCA-adding enzymes. We show that the CCA-adding enzymes of animals originated from a horizontal gene transfer event in the stem lineage of Holozoa, i.e. Metazoa (animals) and their unicellular relatives, the Choanozoa. The tRNA nucleotidyltransferase, acquired from an ?-proteobacterium, replaced the ancestral enzyme in Metazoa. However, in Choanoflagellata, the group of Choanozoa that is closest to Metazoa, both the ancestral and the horizontally transferred CCA-adding enzymes have survived. Furthermore, our data refute a mitochondrial origin of the animal tRNA nucleotidyltransferases.
Project description:The CCA-adding enzyme [ATP(CTP):tRNA nucleotidyltransferase] adds CCA to the 3' ends of transfer RNAs (tRNAs), a critical step in tRNA biogenesis that generates the amino acid attachment site. We found that the CCA-adding enzyme plays a key role in tRNA quality control by selectively marking structurally unstable tRNAs and tRNA-like small RNAs for degradation. Instead of adding CCA to the 3' ends of these transcripts, CCA-adding enzymes from all three kingdoms of life add CCACCA. In addition, hypomodified mature tRNAs are subjected to CCACCA addition as part of a rapid tRNA decay pathway in vivo. We conjecture that CCACCA addition is a universal mechanism for controlling tRNA levels and preventing errors in translation.
Project description:CCA-adding enzyme [ATP(CTP):tRNA nucleotidyltransferase], a template-independent RNA polymerase, adds the defined 'cytidine-cytidine-adenosine' sequence onto the 3' end of tRNA. The archaeal CCA-adding enzyme (class I) and eubacterial/eukaryotic CCA-adding enzyme (class II) show little amino acid sequence homology, but catalyze the same reaction in a defined fashion. Here, we present the crystal structures of the class I archaeal CCA-adding enzyme from Archaeoglobus fulgidus, and its complexes with CTP and ATP at 2.0, 2.0 and 2.7 A resolutions, respectively. The geometry of the catalytic carboxylates and the relative positions of CTP and ATP to a single catalytic site are well conserved in both classes of CCA-adding enzymes, whereas the overall architectures, except for the catalytic core, of the class I and class II CCA-adding enzymes are fundamentally different. Furthermore, the recognition mechanisms of substrate nucleotides and tRNA molecules are distinct between these two classes, suggesting that the catalytic domains of class I and class II enzymes share a common origin, and distinct substrate recognition domains have been appended to form the two presently divergent classes.
Project description:Dictyostelium discoideum, the model organism for the evolutionary supergroup of Amoebozoa, is a social amoeba that, upon starvation, undergoes transition from a unicellular to a multicellular organism. In its genome, we identified two genes encoding for tRNA nucleotidyltransferases. Such pairs of tRNA nucleotidyltransferases usually represent collaborating partial activities catalyzing CC- and A-addition to the tRNA 3'-end, respectively. In D. discoideum, however, both enzymes exhibit identical activities, representing bona-fide CCA-adding enzymes. Detailed characterization of the corresponding activities revealed that both enzymes seem to be essential and are regulated inversely during different developmental stages of D. discoideum. Intriguingly, this is the first description of two functionally equivalent CCA-adding enzymes using the same set of tRNAs and showing a similar distribution within the cell. This situation seems to be a common feature in Dictyostelia, as other members of this phylum carry similar pairs of tRNA nucleotidyltransferase genes in their genome.
Project description:CCA-adding enzymes build and repair the 3'-terminal CCA sequence of tRNA. These unusual RNA polymerases use either a ribonucleoprotein template (class I) or pure protein template (class II) to form mock base pairs with the Watson-Crick edges of incoming CTP and ATP. Guided by the class II Bacillus stearothermophilus CCA-adding enzyme structure, we introduced mutations designed to reverse the polarity of hydrogen bonds between the nucleobases and protein template. We were able to transform the CCA-adding enzyme into a (U,G)-adding enzyme that incorporates UTP and GTP instead of CTP and ATP; we transformed the related Aquifex aeolicus CC- and A-adding enzymes into UU- and G-adding enzymes and Escherichia coli poly(A) polymerase into a poly(G) polymerase; and we transformed the B. stearothermophilus CCA-adding enzyme into a poly(C,A) polymerase by mutations in helix J that appear, based on the apoenzyme structure, to sterically limit addition to CCA. We also transformed the B. stearothermophilus CCA-adding enzyme into a dCdCdA-adding enzyme by mutating an arginine that interacts with the incoming ribose 2' hydroxyl. Most importantly, we found that mutations in helix J can affect the specificity of the nucleotide binding site some 20 A away, suggesting that the specificity of both class I and II enzymes may be dictated by an intricate network of hydrogen bonds involving the protein, incoming nucleotide, and 3' end of the tRNA. Collaboration between RNA and protein in the form of a ribonucleoprotein template may help to explain the evolutionary diversity of the nucleotidyltransferase family.
Project description:CCA-adding enzymes are specialized polymerases that add a specific sequence (C-C-A) to tRNA 3' ends without requiring a nucleic acid template. In some organisms, CCA synthesis is accomplished by the collaboration of evolutionary closely related enzymes with partial activities (CC and A addition). These enzymes carry all known motifs of the catalytic core found in CCA-adding enzymes. Therefore, it is a mystery why these polymerases are restricted in their activity and do not synthesize a complete CCA terminus. Here, a region located outside of the conserved motifs was identified that is missing in CC-adding enzymes. When recombinantly introduced from a CCA-adding enzyme, the region restores full CCA-adding activity in the resulting chimera. Correspondingly, deleting the region in a CCA-adding enzyme abolishes the A-incorporating activity, also leading to CC addition. The presence of the deletion was used to predict the CC-adding activity of putative bacterial tRNA nucleotidyltransferases. Indeed, two such enzymes were experimentally identified as CC-adding enzymes, indicating that the existence of the deletion is a hallmark for this activity. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis of identified and putative CC-adding enzymes indicates that this type of tRNA nucleotidyltransferases emerged several times during evolution. Obviously, these enzymes descend from CCA-adding enzymes, where the occurrence of the deletion led to the restricted activity of CC addition. A-adding enzymes, however, seem to represent a monophyletic group that might also be ancestral to CCA-adding enzymes. Yet, experimental data indicate that it is possible that A-adding activities also evolved from CCA-adding enzymes by the occurrence of individual point mutations.
Project description:Post-transcriptional non-template additions of nucleotides to 3'-ends of RNAs play important roles in the stability and function of RNA molecules. Although tRNA nucleotidyltransferase (CCA-adding enzyme) is known to add CCA trinucleotides to 3'-ends of tRNAs, whether other RNA species can be endogenous substrates of CCA-adding enzyme has not been widely explored yet. Herein, we used YAMAT-seq to identify non-tRNA substrates of CCA-adding enzyme. YAMAT-seq captures RNA species that form secondary structures with 4-nt protruding 3'-ends of the sequence 5'-NCCA-3', which is the hallmark structure of RNAs that are generated by CCA-adding enzyme. By executing YAMAT-seq for human breast cancer cells and mining the sequence data, we identified novel candidate substrates of CCA-adding enzyme. These included fourteen 'CCA-RNAs' that only contain CCA as non-genomic sequences, and eleven 'NCCA-RNAs' that contain CCA and other nucleotides as non-genomic sequences. All newly-identified (N)CCA-RNAs were derived from the mitochondrial genome and were localized in mitochondria. Knockdown of CCA-adding enzyme severely reduced the expression levels of (N)CCA-RNAs, suggesting that the CCA-adding enzyme-catalyzed CCA additions stabilize the expression of (N)CCA-RNAs. Furthermore, expression levels of (N)CCA-RNAs were severely reduced by various cellular treatments, including UV irradiation, amino acid starvation, inhibition of mitochondrial respiratory complexes, and inhibition of the cell cycle. These results revealed a novel CCA-mediated regulatory pathway for the expression of mitochondrial non-coding RNAs.
Project description:For flawless translation of mRNA sequence into protein, tRNAs must undergo a series of essential maturation steps to be properly recognized and aminoacylated by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase, and subsequently utilized by the ribosome. While all tRNAs carry a 3'-terminal CCA sequence that includes the site of aminoacylation, the additional 5'-G-1 position is a unique feature of most histidine tRNA species, serving as an identity element for the corresponding synthetase. In eukaryotes including yeast, both 3'-CCA and 5'-G-1 are added post-transcriptionally by tRNA nucleotidyltransferase and tRNAHis guanylyltransferase, respectively. Hence, it is possible that these two cytosolic enzymes compete for the same tRNA. Here, we investigate substrate preferences associated with CCA and G-1-addition to yeast cytosolic tRNAHis, which might result in a temporal order to these important processing events. We show that tRNA nucleotidyltransferase accepts tRNAHis transcripts independent of the presence of G-1; however, tRNAHis guanylyltransferase clearly prefers a substrate carrying a CCA terminus. Although many tRNA maturation steps can occur in a rather random order, our data demonstrate a likely pathway where CCA-addition precedes G-1 incorporation in S. cerevisiae. Evidently, the 3'-CCA triplet and a discriminator position A73 act as positive elements for G-1 incorporation, ensuring the fidelity of G-1 addition.
Project description:Stress-induced changes of gene expression are crucial for survival of eukaryotic cells. Regulation at the level of translation provides the necessary plasticity for immediate changes of cellular activities and protein levels. In this study, we demonstrate that exposure to oxidative stress results in a quick repression of translation by deactivation of the aminoacyl-ends of all transfer-RNA (tRNA). An oxidative-stress activated nuclease, angiogenin, cleaves first within the conserved single-stranded 3'-CCA termini of all tRNAs, thereby blocking their use in translation. This CCA deactivation is reversible and quickly repairable by the CCA-adding enzyme [ATP(CTP):tRNA nucleotidyltransferase]. Through this mechanism the eukaryotic cell dynamically represses and reactivates translation at low metabolic costs.
Project description:The CCA-adding enzyme adds CCA to the 3' ends of transfer RNAs (tRNAs), a critical step in tRNA biogenesis that generates the amino acid attachment site. We found that the CCA-adding enzyme plays a key role in tRNA quality control by selectively marking unstable tRNAs and tRNA-like small RNAs for degradation. Instead of adding CCA to the 3' ends of these transcripts, CCA-adding enzymes from all three kingdoms of life add CCACCA. Here, we report deep sequencing analysis of the 3' ends of tRNA-Ser-CGA and tRNA-Ser-UGA from S. cerevisiae strains and show that hypomodified mature tRNAs are subjected to CCACCA (or poly(A) addition) as part of a rapid tRNA decay pathway in vivo. We conjecture that CCACCA addtion is a universal mechanism for controlling tRNA levels and preventing errors in translation. 121 samples analyzed in total, representing time courses of 10 different yeast strains; Biological replicates for each time point are included
Project description:For efficient aminoacylation, tRNAs carry the conserved 3'-terminal sequence C-C-A, which is synthesized by highly specific tRNA nucleotidyltransferases (CCA-adding enzymes). In several prokaryotes, this function is accomplished by separate enzymes for CC- and A-addition. As A-adding enzymes carry an N-terminal catalytic core identical to that of CCA-adding enzymes, it is unclear why their activity is restricted. Here, it is shown that C-terminal deletion variants of A-adding enzymes acquire full and precise CCA-incorporating activity. The deleted region seems to be responsible for tRNA primer selection, restricting the enzyme's specificity to tRNAs ending with CC. The data suggest that A-adding enzymes carry an intrinsic CCA-adding activity that can be reactivated by the introduction of deletions in the C-terminal domain. Furthermore, a unique subtype of CCA-adding enzymes could be identified that evolved out of A-adding enzymes, suggesting that mutations and deletions in nucleotidyltransferases can lead to altered and even more complex activities, as a simple A-incorporation is converted into sequence-specific addition of C and A residues. Such activity-modifying events may have had an important role in the evolution of tRNA nucleotidyltransferases.