Monoubiquitination of survival motor neuron regulates its cellular localization and Cajal body integrity.
ABSTRACT: Low levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein cause spinal muscular atrophy, the leading genetic disorder for infant mortality. SMN is ubiquitously expressed in various cell types and localizes in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus, where it concentrates in two subnuclear structures termed Cajal body (CB) and gems. In addition, SMN can also be detected in the nucleolus of neurons. Mechanisms that control SMN sorting in the cell remain largely unknown. Here, we report that the ubiquitin (Ub) ligase Itch directly interacts with and monoubiquitinates SMN. Monoubiquitination of SMN has a mild effect on promoting proteasomal degradation of SMN. We generated two SMN mutants, SMN(K0), in which all lysines are mutated to arginines and thereby abolishing SMN ubiquitination, and Ub-SMN(K0), in which a single Ub moiety is fused at the N-terminus of SMN(K0) and thereby mimicking SMN monoubiquitination. Immunostaining assays showed that SMN(K0) mainly localizes in the nucleus, whereas Ub-SMN(K0) localizes in both the cytoplasm and the nucleolus in neuronal SH-SY5Y cells. Interestingly, canonical CB foci and coilin/small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) co-localization are significantly impaired in SH-SY5Y cells stably expressing SMN(K0) or Ub-SMN(K0). Thus, our studies discover that Itch monoubiquitinates SMN and monoubiquitination of SMN plays an important role in regulating its cellular localization. Moreover, mislocalization of SMN disrupts CB integrity and likely impairs snRNP maturation.
Project description:Ovarian tumor domain-containing ubiquitin (Ub) aldehyde binding protein 1 (Otub1) regulates p53 stability and activity via non-canonical inhibition of the MDM2 cognate Ub-conjugating enzyme (E2) UbcH5. However, it is not clear how this activity of Otub1 is regulated in cells. Here we report that Otub1 is monoubiquitinated by UbcH5 in cells and in vitro, primarily at the lysine 59 and 109 residues. This monoubiquitination, in turn, contributes to the activity of Otub1 to suppress UbcH5. The lysine-free Otub1 mutant (Otub1(K0)) fails to be monoubiquitinated and is unable to suppress the Ub-conjugating activity of UbcH5 in vitro and the MDM2-mediated p53 ubiquitination in cells. Consistently, this mutant is unable to stabilize p53, induce apoptosis, and suppress cell proliferation. Overexpression of Otub1(K0) inhibits DNA-damage induced apoptosis. Adding either Lys-59 or Lys-109 back to the Otub1(K0) mutant restores the monoubiquitination of Otub1 and its function to stabilize and activate p53. We further show that UbcH5 preferentially binds to the monoubiquitinated Otub1 via Ub interaction with its backside donor Ub-interacting surface, suggesting that this binding interferes with the self-assembly of Ub-charged UbcH5 (UbcH5∼Ub) conjugates, which is critical for Ub transfer. Thus, our data reveal novel insights into the Otub1 inhibition of E2 wherein monoubiquitination promotes the interaction of Otub1 with UbcH5 and the function to suppress it.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Cajal bodies (CBs) are nuclear suborganelles that play a role in the biogenesis of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs), which are crucial for pre-mRNA splicing. Upon nuclear reentry, Sm-class snRNPs localize first to the CB, where the snRNA moiety of the snRNP is modified. It is not clear how snRNPs target to the CB and are released from this structure after their modification. Coilin, the CB marker protein, may participate in snRNP biogenesis given that it can interact with snRNPs and SMN. SMN is crucial for snRNP assembly and is the protein mutated in the neurodegenerative disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Coilin knockout mice display significant viability problems and altered CB formation. Thus characterization of the CB and its associated proteins will give insight into snRNP biogenesis and clarify the dynamic organization of the nucleus. RESULTS: In this report, we identify a novel protein isoform of EB-1/AIDA-1, termed AIDA-1c, that interacts with the CB marker protein, coilin. Northern and nested PCR experiments reveal that the AIDA-1c isoform is expressed in brain and several cancer cell lines. Competition binding experiments demonstrate that AIDA-1c competes with SmB' for coilin binding sites, but does not bind SMN. When ectopically expressed, AIDA-1c is predominantly nuclear with no obvious accumulations in CBs. Interestingly, another EB-1/AIDA-1 nuclear isoform, AIDA-1a, does not bind coilin in vivo as efficiently as AIDA-1c. Knockdown of EB-1/AIDA-1 isoforms by siRNA altered Cajal body organization and reduced cell viability. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that specific EB-1/AIDA-1 isoforms, such as AIDA-1c, may participate in the regulation of nucleoplasmic coilin protein interactions in neuronal and transformed cells.
Project description:Lysine-free ubiquitin (K0-Ub) is commonly used to study the ubiquitin-signaling pathway, where it is assumed to have the same structure and function as wild-type ubiquitin (wt-Ub). However, the K0-Ub (15) N heteronuclear single quantum correlation NMR spectrum differs significantly from wt-Ub and the melting temperature is depressed by 19°C, raising the question of the structural integrity and equivalence to wt-Ub. The three-dimensional structure of K0-Ub was determined by solution NMR, using chemical shift and residual dipolar coupling data. K0-Ub adopts the same backbone structure as wt-Ub, and all significant chemical shifts can be related to interactions impacted by the K to R mutations.
Project description:Cajal bodies (CBs) are subnuclear domains that participate in spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) biogenesis and play a part in the assembly of the spliceosomal complex. The CB marker protein, coilin, interacts with survival of motor neuron (SMN) and Sm proteins. Several coilin phosphoresidues have been identified by mass spectrometric analysis. Phosphorylation of coilin affects its self-interaction and localization in the nucleus. We hypothesize that coilin phosphorylation also impacts its binding to SMN and Sm proteins. In vitro binding studies with a C-terminal fragment of coilin and corresponding phosphomimics show that SMN binds preferentially to dephosphorylated analogs and that SmB' binds preferentially to phosphomimetic constructs. Bacterially expressed full-length coilin binds more SMN and SmB' than does the C-terminal fragment. Co-immunoprecipitation and phosphatase experiments show that SMN also binds dephosphorylated coilin in vivo. These data show that phosphorylation of coilin influences interaction with its target proteins and, thus, may be significant in managing the flow of snRNPs through the CB.
Project description:Many cellular functions, such as translation, require ribonucleoproteins (RNPs). The biogenesis of RNPs is a multi-step process that, depending on the RNP, can take place in many cellular compartments. Here we examine 2 different RNPs: telomerase and small Cajal body-specific RNPs (scaRNPs). Both of these RNPs are enriched in the Cajal body (CB), which is a subnuclear domain that also has high concentrations of another RNP, small nuclear RNPs (snRNPs). SnRNPs are essential components of the spliceosome, and scaRNPs modify the snRNA component of the snRNP. The CB contains many proteins, including WRAP53, SMN and coilin, the CB marker protein. We show here that coilin, SMN and coilp1, a newly identified protein encoded by a pseudogene in human, associate with telomerase RNA and a subset of scaRNAs. We also have identified a processing element within box C/D scaRNA. Our findings thus further strengthen the connection between the CB proteins coilin and SMN in the biogenesis of telomeras e and box C/D scaRNPs, and reveal a new player, coilp1, that likely participates in this process.
Project description:Cajal bodies (CBs) have been implicated in the nuclear phase of the biogenesis of spliceosomal U small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (U snRNPs). Here, we have investigated the distribution of the CB marker protein coilin, U snRNPs, and proteins present in C/D box small nucleolar (sno)RNPs in cells depleted of hTGS1, SMN, or PHAX. Knockdown of any of these three proteins by RNAi interferes with U snRNP maturation before the reentry of U snRNA Sm cores into the nucleus. Strikingly, CBs are lost in the absence of hTGS1, SMN, or PHAX and coilin is dispersed in the nucleoplasm into numerous small foci. This indicates that the integrity of canonical CBs is dependent on ongoing U snRNP biogenesis. Spliceosomal U snRNPs show no detectable concentration in nuclear foci and do not colocalize with coilin in cells lacking hTGS1, SMN, or PHAX. In contrast, C/D box snoRNP components concentrate into nuclear foci that partially colocalize with coilin after inhibition of U snRNP maturation. We demonstrate by siRNA-mediated depletion that coilin is required for the condensation of U snRNPs, but not C/D box snoRNP components, into nucleoplasmic foci, and also for merging these factors into canonical CBs. Altogether, our data suggest that CBs have a modular structure with distinct domains for spliceosomal U snRNPs and snoRNPs.
Project description:Despite equal snRNP stoichiometry in spliceosomes, U1 snRNP (U1) is typically the most abundant vertebrate snRNP. Mechanisms regulating U1 overabundance and snRNP repertoire are unknown. In Sm-core assembly, a key snRNP-biogenesis step mediated by the SMN complex, the snRNA-specific RNA-binding protein (RBP) Gemin5 delivers pre-snRNAs, which join SMN-Gemin2-recruited Sm proteins. We show that the human U1-specific RBP U1-70K can bridge pre-U1 to SMN-Gemin2-Sm, in a Gemin5-independent manner, thus establishing an additional and U1-exclusive Sm core-assembly pathway. U1-70K hijacks SMN-Gemin2-Sm, enhancing Sm-core assembly on U1s and inhibiting that on other snRNAs, thereby promoting U1 overabundance and regulating snRNP repertoire. SMN-Gemin2's ability to facilitate transactions between different RBPs and RNAs explains its multi-RBP valency and the myriad transcriptome perturbations associated with SMN deficiency in neurodegenerative spinal muscular atrophy. We propose that SMN-Gemin2 is a versatile hub for RNP exchange that functions broadly in RNA metabolism.
Project description:Survival motor neuron (SMN) complex is essential for the biogenesis of the small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) complex, although the complete role of each SMN complex component for the snRNP synthesis is largely unclear. We have identified an interaction between the two components Gemin2-Gemin7 using the mammalian two-hybrid system. In vitro stability assay revealed that the known SMN-Gemin7 interaction becomes stable in the presence of Gemin2 possibly via the identified Gemin2-Gemin7 interaction. Gemin7 knockdown revealed a decrease in snRNP assembly activity and a decrease in SmE protein, a component of snRNP, in the SMN complex, which was consistent with a previous discussion that the Gemin6-Gemin7 heterodimer may serve as a surrogate for the SmD3-SmB particle in forming a subcore, the intermediate complex for snRNP. Interestingly, we found that Unrip, but not Gemin8, can remove Gemin7 from the stable SMN-Gemin2-Gemin7 ternary complex. In an in vitro snRNP assembly assay using the Unrip knockdown and the untreated cell lysates, we revealed that there was a decrease in Gemin7 and increase in SmB/B' in the SMN complex observed in untreated cells during the assay, suggesting that the Gemin6-Gemin7 heterodimer in the subcore is exchanged by the SmD3-SmB particle to form snRNP. Surprisingly, these changes were not observed in the assay using the Unrip knockdown cell extracts, indicating the importance of Unrip in the formation of snRNP likely via removal of the Gemin6-Gemin7 from the SMN complex. Taken together, these results indicate that snRNP is synthesized by harmonization of the SMN complex components.
Project description:Pre-mRNA splicing in trypanosomes requires the SMN-mediated assembly of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs). In contrast to higher eukaryotes, the cellular localization of snRNP biogenesis and the involvement of nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking in trypanosomes are controversial. By using RNAi knockdown of SMN in T. brucei to investigate its functional role in snRNP assembly, we found dramatic changes in the steady-state levels of snRNAs and snRNPs: The SL RNA accumulates, whereas U1, U4, and U5 snRNA levels decrease, and Sm core assembly in particular of the SL RNA is strongly reduced. In addition, SMN depletion blocks U4/U6 di-snRNP formation; the variant Sm core of the U2 snRNP, however, still forms efficiently after SMN knockdown. Concerning the longstanding question, whether nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking is involved in trypanosomal snRNP biogenesis, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunofluorescence assays revealed that the SL RNA genes and transcripts colocalize with SMN. Remarkably, SMN silencing leads to a nucleoplasmic accumulation of both SL RNA and the Sm proteins. In sum, our data demonstrate an essential and snRNA-selective role of SMN in snRNP biogenesis in vivo and strongly argue for a nucleoplasmic Sm core assembly of the SL RNP.
Project description:Cajal bodies (CBs) are nuclear non-membrane bound organelles where small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs) undergo their final maturation and quality control before they are released to the nucleoplasm. However, the molecular mechanism how immature snRNPs are targeted and retained in CBs has yet to be described. Here, we microinjected and expressed various snRNA deletion mutants as well as chimeric 7SK, Alu or bacterial SRP non-coding RNAs and provide evidence that Sm and SMN binding sites are necessary and sufficient for CB localization of snRNAs. We further show that Sm proteins, and specifically their GR-rich domains, are important for accumulating snRNPs in CBs. Accordingly, core snRNPs containing the Sm proteins, but not naked snRNAs, restore the formation of CBs after their depletion. Finally, we show that immature but not fully assembled snRNPs are able to induce CB formation and that microinjection of an excess of U2 snRNP-specific proteins, which promotes U2 snRNP maturation, chases U2 snRNA from CBs. We propose that the accessibility of the Sm ring represents the molecular basis for the quality control of the final maturation of snRNPs and the sequestration of immature particles in CBs.