Involvement of Conserved Amino Acids in the C-Terminal Region of LINE-1 ORF2p in Retrotransposition.
ABSTRACT: Long interspersed element 1 (L1) is the only currently active autonomous retroelement in the human genome. Along with the parasitic SVA and short interspersed element Alu, L1 is the source of DNA damage induced by retrotransposition: a copy-and-paste process that has the potential to disrupt gene function and cause human disease. The retrotransposition process is dependent upon the ORF2 protein (ORF2p). However, it is unknown whether most of the protein is important for retrotransposition. In particular, other than the Cys motif, the C terminus of the protein has not been intensely examined in the context of retrotransposition. Using evolutionary analysis and the Alu retrotransposition assay, we sought to identify additional amino acids in the C terminus important for retrotransposition. Here, we demonstrate that Gal4-tagged and untagged C-terminally truncated ORF2p fragments possess residual potential to drive Alu retrotransposition. Using sight-directed mutagenesis we identify that while the Y1180 amino acid is important for ORF2p- and L1-driven Alu retrotransposition, a mutation at this position improves L1 retrotransposition. Even though the mechanism of the contribution of Y1180 to Alu and L1 mobilization remains unknown, experimental evidence rules out its direct involvement in the ability of the ORF2p reverse transcriptase to generate complementary DNA. Additionally, our data support that ORF2p amino acids 1180 and 1250-1262 may be involved in the reported ORF1p-mediated increase in ORF2p-driven Alu retrotransposition.
Project description:Long Interspersed Element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) sequences comprise approximately 17% of human DNA and ongoing L1 retrotransposition continues to impact genome evolution. The L1-encoded proteins also can mobilize other cellular RNAs (e.g., Alu retrotransposons, SVA retrotransposons, and U6 snRNAs), which comprise approximately 13% of human DNA. Here, we demonstrate that the trans-mediated mobilization of non-L1 RNAs can occur by either template choice or template-switching mechanisms. Remarkably, these mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, as both processes can operate sequentially on the same RNA template. Finally, we provide evidence that efficient U6 snRNA retrotransposition requires both ORF1p and ORF2p, providing indirect evidence for the action of ORF1p in U6 snRNA retrotransposition. Thus, we propose that the LINE-1-encoded reverse transcriptase can mediate the retrotransposition of non-L1 RNAs by distinct mechanisms.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Long Interspersed Element 1 (LINE-1) is a retrotransposon that is present in 500,000 copies in the human genome. Along with Alu and SVA elements, these three retrotransposons account for more than a third of the human genome sequence. These mobile elements are able to copy themselves within the genome via an RNA intermediate, a process that can promote genome instability. LINE-1 encodes two proteins, ORF1p and ORF2p. Association of ORF1p, ORF2p and a full-length L1 mRNA in a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particle, L1 RNP, is required for L1 retrotransposition. Previous studies have suggested that fusion of a tag to L1 proteins can interfere with L1 retrotransposition.<h4>Results</h4>Using antibodies detecting untagged human ORF1p, western blot analysis and manipulation of ORF1 sequence and length, we have identified a set of charged amino acids in the C-terminal region of ORF1p that are important in determining its subcellular localization. Mutation of 7 non-identical lysine residues is sufficient to make the resulting ORF1p to be predominantly cytoplasmic, demonstrating intrinsic redundancy of this requirement. These residues are also necessary for ORF1p to retain its association with KPNA2 nuclear pore protein. We demonstrate that this interaction is significantly reduced by RNase treatment. Using co-IP, we have also determined that human ORF1p associates with all members of the KPNA subfamily.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The prediction of NLS sequences suggested that specific sequences within ORF1p could be responsible for its subcellular localization by interacting with nuclear binding proteins. We have found that multiple charged amino acids in the C-terminus of ORF1p are involved in ORF1 subcellular localization and interaction with KPNA2 nuclear pore protein. Our data demonstrate that different amino acids can be mutated to have the same phenotypic effect on ORF1p subcellular localization, demonstrating that the net number of charged residues or protein structure, rather than their specific location, is important for the ORF1p nuclear localization. We also identified that human ORF1p interacts with all members of the KPNA family of proteins and that multiple KPNA family genes are expressed in human cell lines.
Project description:Long Interspersed Element 1 (LINE-1 or L1) is capable of causing genomic instability through the activity of the L1 ORF2 protein (ORF2p). This protein contains endonuclease (EN) and reverse transcriptase (RT) domains that are necessary for the retrotransposition of L1 and the Short Interspersed Element (SINE) Alu. The functional importance of approximately 50% of the ORF2p molecule remains unknown, but some of these sequences could play a role in retrotransposition, or be necessary for the enzymatic activities of the EN and/or RT domains. Conventional approaches using the full-length, contiguous ORF2p make it difficult to study the involvement of these unannotated sequences in the function of L1 ORF2p. Our lab has developed a Bipartile Alu Retrotransposition (BAR) assay that relies on separate truncated ORF2p fragments: an EN-containing and an RT-containing fragment. We validated the utility of this method for studying the ORF2p function in retrotransposition by assessing the effect of expression levels and previously characterized mutations on BAR. Using BAR, we identified two pairs of amino acids important for retrotransposition, an FF and a WD. The WD appears to play a role in cDNA synthesis by the ORF2p molecule, despite being outside the canonical RT domain.
Project description:Mobile elements have significantly impacted genome structure of most organisms. The continued activity of the mobile element, LINE-1 (L1), through time has contributed to the accumulation of over half a million L1 copies in the human genome. Most copies in the human genome belong to evolutionary older extinct L1s. Here we apply our previous published approach to "revive" the extinct L1 PA13A; an L1 family that was active about 60 million year ago (mya). The reconstructed L1PA13A is retrocompentent in culture, but shows a significantly lower level of activity in HeLa cells when compared to the modern L1 element (L1PA1) and a 40 million year old L1PA8. L1 elements code for two proteins (ORF1p and ORF2p) that are necessary for retrotransposition. Using PA13A-PA1 and PA13A-PA8 L1 chimeric elements, we determined that both the ORF1p and ORF2p contribute to the observed decrease in retrotransposition efficiency of L1PA13A. The lower retrotransposition rate of L1PA13A is consistent in both human and rodent cell lines. However, in rodent cells, the chimeric element L1PA:1-13 containing the modern L1PA1 ORF1p shows a recovery in the retrotransposition rate, suggestive that the L1PA13A ORF2p efficiently drives retrotransposition in these cells. The functionality of the L1PA13A ORF2p was further confirmed by demonstrating its ability to drive Alu retrotransposition in rodent cells. The variation in L1PA13A retrotransposition rates observed between rodent and human cells are suggestive that cellular environment significantly affects retrotransposition efficiency, which may be mediated through an interaction with ORF1p. Based on these observations, we speculate that the observed differences between cell lines may reflect an evolutionary adaptation of the L1 element to its host cell.
Project description:Background:Long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1, L1) is the major driver of mobile DNA activity in modern humans. When expressed, LINE-1 loci produce bicistronic transcripts encoding two proteins essential for retrotransposition, ORF1p and ORF2p. Many types of human cancers are characterized by L1 promoter hypomethylation, L1 transcription, L1 ORF1p protein expression, and somatic L1 retrotransposition. ORF2p encodes the endonuclease and reverse transcriptase activities required for L1 retrotransposition. Its expression is poorly characterized in human tissues and cell lines. Results:We report mass spectrometry-based tumor proteome profiling studies wherein ORF2p eludes detection. To test whether ORF2p could be detected with specific reagents, we developed and validated five rabbit monoclonal antibodies with immunoreactivity for specific epitopes on the protein. These reagents readily detect ectopic ORF2p expressed from bicistronic L1 constructs. However, endogenous ORF2p is not detected in human tumor samples or cell lines by western blot, immunoprecipitation, or immunohistochemistry despite high levels of ORF1p expression. Moreover, we report endogenous ORF1p-associated interactomes, affinity isolated from colorectal cancers, wherein we similarly fail to detect ORF2p. These samples include primary tumors harboring hundreds of somatically acquired L1 insertions. The new data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD013743. Conclusions:Although somatic retrotransposition provides unequivocal genetic evidence for the expression of ORF2p in human cancers, we are unable to directly measure its presence using several standard methods. Experimental systems have previously indicated an unequal stoichiometry between ORF1p and ORF2p, but in vivo, the expression of these two proteins may be more strikingly uncoupled. These findings are consistent with observations that ORF2p is not tolerable for cell growth.
Project description:Long Interspersed Nuclear Element-1 (LINE-1, L1) is the only autonomous active transposable element in the human genome. The L1-encoded proteins ORF1p and ORF2p enable the element to jump from one locus to another via a "copy-and-paste" mechanism. ORF1p is an RNA-binding protein, and ORF2p has endonuclease and reverse transcriptase activities. The huge number of truncated L1 remnants in the human genome suggests that the host has likely evolved mechanisms to prevent full L1 replication, and thereby decrease the proliferation of active elements and reduce the mutagenic potential of L1. In turn, L1 appears to have a minimized length to increase the probability of successful full-length replication. This streamlining would be expected to lead to high information density. Here, we describe the construction and initial characterization of a library of 538 consecutive trialanine substitutions that scan along ORF1p and ORF2p to identify functionally important regions. In accordance with the streamlining hypothesis, retrotransposition was overall very sensitive to mutations in ORF1p and ORF2p; only 16% of trialanine mutants retained near-wild-type (WT) activity. All ORF1p mutants formed near-WT levels of mRNA transcripts and 75% formed near-WT levels of protein. Two ORF1p mutants presented a unique nucleolar-relocalization phenotype. Regions of ORF2p that are sensitive to mutagenesis but lack phylogenetic conservation were also identified. We provide comprehensive information on the regions most critical to retrotransposition. This resource will guide future studies of intermolecular interactions that form with RNA, proteins, and target DNA throughout the L1 life cycle.
Project description:Retroelements have contributed over one third of the human genome mass. The currently active LINE-1 (L1) codes for two proteins (ORF1p and ORF2p), both strictly required for retrotransposition. In contrast, the non-coding parasitic SINE (Alu) only appears to need the L1 ORF2p for its own amplification. This requirement was previously determined using a tissue culture assay system in human cells (HeLa). Because HeLa are likely to express functional L1 proteins, it is possible that low levels of endogenous ORF1p are necessary for the observed tagged Alu mobilization. By individually expressing ORF1 and ORF2 proteins from both human (L1RP and LRE3) and rodent (L1A102 and L1spa) L1 sources, we demonstrate that increasing amounts of ORF1 expressing vector enhances tagged Alu mobilization in HeLa cells. In addition, using chicken fibroblast cells as an alternate cell culture source, we confirmed that ORF1p is not strictly required for Alu mobilization in our assay. Supporting our observations in HeLa cells, we find that tagged Alu retrotransposition is improved by supplementation of ORF1p in the cultured chicken cells. We postulate that L1 ORF1p plays either a direct or indirect role in enhancing the interaction between the Alu RNA and the required factors needed for its retrotransposition.
Project description:Long INterspersed Element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) retrotransposons encode two proteins (ORF1p and ORF2p) that are required for retrotransposition. The L1 element amplification protocol (LEAP) assays the ability of L1 ORF2p to reverse transcribe L1 RNA in vitro. Ultracentrifugation or immunoprecipitation is used to isolate L1 ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP) complexes from cultured human cells transfected with an engineered L1 expression construct. The isolated RNPs are incubated with an oligonucleotide that contains a unique sequence at its 5' end and a thymidine-rich sequence at its 3' end. The addition of dNTPs to the reaction allows L1 ORF2p bound to L1 RNA to generate L1 cDNA. The resultant L1 cDNAs then are amplified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the products are visualized by gel electrophoresis. Sequencing the resultant PCR products then allows product verification. The LEAP assay has been instrumental in determining how mutations in L1 ORF1p and ORF2p affect L1 reverse transcriptase (RT) activity. Furthermore, the LEAP assay has revealed that the L1 ORF2p RT can extend a DNA primer with mismatched 3' terminal bases when it is annealed to an L1 RNA template. As the LINE-1 biology field gravitates toward studying cellular proteins that regulate LINE-1, molecular genetic and biochemical approaches such as LEAP, in conjunction with the LINE-1-cultured cell retrotransposition assay, are essential to dissect the molecular mechanism of L1 retrotransposition.
Project description:LINE-1 (L1) retroelements emerged in mammalian genomes over 80 million years ago with a few dominant subfamilies amplifying over discrete time periods that led to distinct human and mouse L1 lineages. We evaluated the functional conservation of L1 sequences by comparing retrotransposition rates of chimeric human-rodent L1 constructs to their parental L1 counterparts. Although amino acid conservation varies from ?35% to 63% for the L1 ORF1p and ORF2p, most human and mouse L1 sequences can be functionally exchanged. Replacing either ORF1 or ORF2 to create chimeric human-mouse L1 elements did not adversely affect retrotransposition. The mouse ORF2p retains retrotransposition-competency to support both Alu and L1 mobilization when any of the domain sequences we evaluated were substituted with human counterparts. However, the substitution of portions of the mouse cys-domain into the human ORF2p reduces both L1 retrotransposition and Alu trans-mobilization by 200-1000 fold. The observed loss of ORF2p function is independent of the endonuclease or reverse transcriptase activities of ORF2p and RNA interaction required for reverse transcription. In addition, the loss of function is physically separate from the cysteine-rich motif sequence previously shown to be required for RNP formation. Our data suggest an additional role of the less characterized carboxy-terminus of the L1 ORF2 protein by demonstrating that this domain, in addition to mediating RNP interaction(s), provides an independent and required function for the retroelement amplification process. Our experiments show a functional modularity of most of the LINE sequences. However, divergent evolution of interactions within L1 has led to non-reciprocal incompatibilities between human and mouse ORF2 cys-domain sequences.
Project description:Long interspersed nuclear element 1 (L1) belongs to a family of retrotransposons. Expression of the normally repressed L1 retrotransposons has been shown to induce genome instability by creating DNA double-stranded breaks and chromosomal rearrangements through the process of retrotransposition. At present, little is known about the expression of L1-encoded ORF1p and ORF2p which are indispensable for its retrotransposition activity. Given its potentially harmful effects on the genome, we investigated the implications of both ORF1p and ORF2p expression and their subcellular localization in a range of breast cancer cell lines and breast tumor tissues including 15 normal breast tissues, 25 fibroadenomas, 25 ductal carcinomas in situ (DCIS), and 95 invasive cancers. Clinicopathologic parameters and survival outcomes were investigated in association with the cytoplasmic and nuclear expression of ORF1p and ORF2p using univariate and multivariate analysis. High cytoplasmic expression of ORF1p and ORF2p was seen in DCIS tumors, but they were not related with survival outcome. The majority of invasive cancers were found to express both ORF1p and ORF2p in the cytoplasm, while nuclear expression was also seen in a subclass of those invasive cancers in the range of 28-31 %. Tumors with high nuclear expression of ORF1p and ORF2p were more significantly associated with lymph node metastasis (p = 0.001) and the worst patient survival (p < 0.0001) than those with cytoplasmic expression. This is the first study examining the effects of both ORF1p and ORF2p expression in breast cancer tissues. Our observation shows altered expression patterns of ORF1p and ORF2p within invasive cancers, which are related to differences in overall patient survival. The differing patterns of both cytoplasmic and nuclear ORF1p and ORF2p expression indicate that further studies of the biology and function of L1 retrotransposons are required in breast cancer.