ABSTRACT: Gene structure and expression in diplonemid mitochondria are unparalleled. Genes are fragmented in pieces (modules) that are separately transcribed, followed by the joining of module transcripts to contiguous RNAs. Some instances of unique uridine insertion RNA editing at module boundaries were noted, but the extent and potential occurrence of other editing types remained unknown. Comparative analysis of deep transcriptome and genome data from Diplonema papillatum mitochondria reveals ?220 post-transcriptional insertions of uridines, but no insertions of other nucleotides nor deletions. In addition, we detect in total 114 substitutions of cytosine by uridine and adenosine by inosine, amassed into unusually compact clusters. Inosines in transcripts were confirmed experimentally. This is the first report of adenosine-to-inosine editing of mRNAs and ribosomal RNAs in mitochondria. In mRNAs, editing causes mostly amino-acid additions and non-synonymous substitutions; in ribosomal RNAs, it permits formation of canonical secondary structures. Two extensively edited transcripts were compared across four diplonemids. The pattern of uridine-insertion editing is strictly conserved, whereas substitution editing has diverged dramatically, but still rendering diplonemid proteins more similar to other eukaryotic orthologs. We posit that RNA editing not only compensates but also sustains, or even accelerates, ultra-rapid evolution of genome structure and sequence in diplonemid mitochondria.
Project description:Mitochondrial genes of Euglenozoa (Kinetoplastida, Diplonemea, and Euglenida) are notorious for being barely recognizable, raising the question of whether such divergent genes actually code for functional proteins. Here we demonstrate the translation and identify the function of five previously unassigned y genes encoded by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of diplonemids. As is the rule in diplonemid mitochondria, y genes are fragmented, with gene pieces transcribed separately and then trans-spliced to form contiguous mRNAs. Further, y transcripts undergo massive RNA editing, including uridine insertions that generate up to 16-residue-long phenylalanine tracts, a feature otherwise absent from conserved mitochondrial proteins. By protein sequence analyses, MS, and enzymatic assays in Diplonema papillatum, we show that these y genes encode the subunits Nad2, -3, -4L, -6, and -9 of the respiratory chain Complex I (CI; NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase). The few conserved residues of these proteins are essentially those involved in proton pumping across the inner mitochondrial membrane and in coupling ubiquinone reduction to proton pumping (Nad2, -3, -4L, and -6) and in interactions with subunits containing electron-transporting Fe-S clusters (Nad9). Thus, in diplonemids, 10 CI subunits are mtDNA-encoded. Further, MS of D. papillatum CI allowed identification of 26 conventional and 15 putative diplonemid-specific nucleus-encoded components. Most conventional accessory subunits are well-conserved but unusually long, possibly compensating for the streamlined mtDNA-encoded components and for missing, otherwise widely distributed, conventional subunits. Finally, D. papillatum CI predominantly exists as a supercomplex I:III:IV that is exceptionally stable, making this protist an organism of choice for structural studies.
Project description:Diplonemids are highly abundant heterotrophic marine protists. Previous studies showed that their strikingly bloated mitochondrial genome is unique because of systematic gene fragmentation and manifold RNA editing. Here we report a comparative study of mitochondrial genome architecture, gene structure and RNA editing of six recently isolated, phylogenetically diverse diplonemid species. Mitochondrial gene fragmentation and modes of RNA editing, which include cytidine-to-uridine (C-to-U) and adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) substitutions and 3' uridine additions (U-appendage), are conserved across diplonemids. Yet as we show here, all these features have been pushed to their extremes in the Hemistasiidae lineage. For example, Namystynia karyoxenos has its genes fragmented into more than twice as many modules than other diplonemids, with modules as short as four nucleotides. Furthermore, we detected in this group multiple A-appendage and guanosine-to-adenosine (G-to-A) substitution editing events not observed before in diplonemids and found very rarely elsewhere. With >1,000 sites, C-to-U and A-to-I editing in Namystynia is nearly 10 times more frequent than in other diplonemids. The editing density of 12% in coding regions makes Namystynia's the most extensively edited transcriptome described so far. Diplonemid mitochondrial genome architecture, gene structure and post-transcriptional processes display such high complexity that they challenge all other currently known systems.
Project description:Kinetoplastid flagellates are characterized by uniquely massed mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs), the kinetoplasts. Kinetoplastids of the trypanosomatid group possess two types of mtDNA molecules: maxicircles bearing protein and mitoribosomal genes and minicircles specifying guide RNAs, which mediate uridine insertion/deletion RNA editing. These circles are interlocked with one another to form dense networks. Whether these peculiar mtDNA features are restricted to kinetoplastids or prevail throughout Euglenozoa (euglenids, diplonemids, and kinetoplastids) is unknown. Here, we describe the mitochondrial genome and the mitochondrial ultrastructure of Diplonema papillatum, a member of the diplonemid flagellates, the sister group of kinetoplastids. Fluorescence and electron microscopy show a single mitochondrion per cell with an ultrastructure atypical for Euglenozoa. In addition, DNA is evenly distributed throughout the organelle rather than compacted. Molecular and electron microscopy studies distinguish numerous 6- and 7-kbp-sized mitochondrial chromosomes of monomeric circular topology and relaxed conformation in vivo. Remarkably, the cox1 gene (and probably other mitochondrial genes) is fragmented, with separate gene pieces encoded on different chromosomes. Generation of the contiguous cox1 mRNA requires trans-splicing, the precise mechanism of which remains to be determined. Taken together, the mitochondrial gene/genome structure of Diplonema is not only different from that of kinetoplastids but unique among eukaryotes as a whole.
Project description:More than one million copies of the approximately 300-bp Alu element are interspersed throughout the human genome, with up to 75% of all known genes having Alu insertions within their introns and/or UTRs. Transcribed Alu sequences can alter splicing patterns by generating new exons, but other impacts of intragenic Alu elements on their host RNA are largely unexplored. Recently, repeat elements present in the introns or 3'-UTRs of 15 human brain RNAs have been shown to be targets for multiple adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) editing. Using a statistical approach, we find that editing of transcripts with embedded Alu sequences is a global phenomenon in the human transcriptome, observed in 2674 ( approximately 2%) of all publicly available full-length human cDNAs (n = 128,406), from >250 libraries and >30 tissue sources. In the vast majority of edited RNAs, A-to-I substitutions are clustered within transcribed sense or antisense Alu sequences. Edited bases are primarily associated with retained introns, extended UTRs, or with transcripts that have no corresponding known gene. Therefore, Alu-associated RNA editing may be a mechanism for marking nonstandard transcripts, not destined for translation.
Project description:Primary transcripts of certain microRNA (miRNA) genes are subject to RNA editing that converts adenosine to inosine. However, the importance of miRNA editing remains largely undetermined. Here we report that tissue-specific adenosine-to-inosine editing of miR-376 cluster transcripts leads to predominant expression of edited miR-376 isoform RNAs. One highly edited site is positioned in the middle of the 5'-proximal half "seed" region critical for the hybridization of miRNAs to targets. We provide evidence that the edited miR-376 RNA silences specifically a different set of genes. Repression of phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate synthetase 1, a target of the edited miR-376 RNA and an enzyme involved in the uric-acid synthesis pathway, contributes to tight and tissue-specific regulation of uric-acid levels, revealing a previously unknown role for RNA editing in miRNA-mediated gene silencing.
Project description:Adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs) catalyze the deamination of adenosine to inosine in double-stranded RNA templates, a process known as RNA editing. In Drosophila, multiple ADAR isoforms are generated from a single locus (dAdar) via post-transcriptional modifications. Collectively, these isoforms act to edit a wide range of transcripts involved in neuronal signaling, as well as the precursors of endogenous small interfering RNAs. The phenotypic consequences of a loss of dADAR activity have been well characterized and consist of profound behavioral defects manifested at the adult stage, including extreme uncoordination, seizures, and temperature-sensitive paralysis. However, the spatio-temporal requirements of adenosine to inosine editing for correct behavior are unclear. Using transgenic RNA interference, we show that network-wide editing in the nervous system is required for normal adult locomotion. Regulated restoration of editing activity demonstrates that the neuronal requirement of dADAR activity has a significant adult stage component. Furthermore we show that in relation to behavior there are no observable genetic interactions between dAdar and several loci encoding RNA interference components, suggesting that editing of neuronal transcripts is the key mode of ADAR activity for normal behavior in Drosophila.
Project description:Programmable RNA editing enables reversible recoding of RNA information for research and disease treatment. Previously, we developed a programmable adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing approach by fusing catalytically inactivate RNA-targeting CRISPR-Cas13 (dCas13) with the adenine deaminase domain of ADAR2. Here, we report a cytidine-to-uridine (C-to-U) RNA editor, referred to as RNA Editing for Specific C-to-U Exchange (RESCUE), by directly evolving ADAR2 into a cytidine deaminase. RESCUE doubles the number of mutations targetable by RNA editing and enables modulation of phosphosignaling-relevant residues. We apply RESCUE to drive ?-catenin activation and cellular growth. Furthermore, RESCUE retains A-to-I editing activity, enabling multiplexed C-to-U and A-to-I editing through the use of tailored guide RNAs.
Project description:Endonuclease V orthologues are highly conserved proteins found in all kingdoms of life. While the prokaryotic enzymes are DNA repair proteins for removal of deaminated adenosine (inosine) from the genome, no clear role for the eukaryotic counterparts has hitherto been described. Here we report that human endonuclease V (ENDOV) and also Escherichia coli endonuclease V are highly active ribonucleases specific for inosine in RNA. Inosines are normal residues in certain RNAs introduced by specific deaminases. Adenosine-to-inosine editing is essential for proper function of these transcripts and defects are linked to various human disease. Here we show that human ENDOV cleaves an RNA substrate containing inosine in a position corresponding to a biologically important site for deamination in the Gabra-3 transcript of the GABA(A) neurotransmitter. Further, human ENDOV specifically incises transfer RNAs with inosine in the wobble position. This previously unknown RNA incision activity may suggest a role for endonuclease V in normal RNA metabolism.
Project description:Conversion of adenosine to inosine is a frequent type of RNA editing, but important details about the biology of this conversion remain unknown because of a lack of imaging tools. We developed inoFISH to directly visualize and quantify adenosine-to-inosine-edited transcripts in situ. We found that editing of the GRIA2, EIF2AK2, and NUP43 transcripts is uncorrelated with nuclear localization and paraspeckle association. Further, NUP43 exhibits constant editing levels between single cells, while GRIA2 editing levels vary.
Project description:RNA editing is an important co/post-transcriptional molecular process able to modify RNAs by nucleotide insertions/deletions or substitutions. In human, the most common RNA editing event involves the deamination of adenosine (A) into inosine (I) through the adenosine deaminase acting on RNA proteins. Although A-to-I editing can occur in both coding and non-coding RNAs, recent findings, based on RNA-seq experiments, have clearly demonstrated that a large fraction of RNA editing events alter non-coding RNAs sequences including untranslated regions of mRNAs, introns, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and low molecular weight RNAs (tRNA, miRNAs, and others). An accurate detection of A-to-I events occurring in non-coding RNAs is of utmost importance to clarify yet unknown functional roles of RNA editing in the context of gene expression regulation and maintenance of cell homeostasis. In the last few years, massive transcriptome sequencing has been employed to identify putative RNA editing changes at genome scale. Despite several efforts, the computational prediction of A-to-I sites in complete eukaryotic genomes is yet a challenging task. We have recently developed a software package, called REDItools, in order to simplify the detection of RNA editing events from deep sequencing data. In the present work, we show the potential of our tools in recovering A-to-I candidates from RNA-Seq experiments as well as guidelines to improve the RNA editing detection in non-coding RNAs, with specific attention to the lncRNAs.