Structure of human IFIT1 with capped RNA reveals adaptable mRNA binding and mechanisms for sensing N1 and N2 ribose 2'-O methylations.
ABSTRACT: IFIT1 (IFN-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeats-1) is an effector of the host innate immune antiviral response that prevents propagation of virus infection by selectively inhibiting translation of viral mRNA. It relies on its ability to compete with the translation initiation factor eIF4F to specifically recognize foreign capped mRNAs, while remaining inactive against host mRNAs marked by ribose 2'-O methylation at the first cap-proximal nucleotide (N1). We report here several crystal structures of RNA-bound human IFIT1, including a 1.6-Å complex with capped RNA. IFIT1 forms a water-filled, positively charged RNA-binding tunnel with a separate hydrophobic extension that unexpectedly engages the cap in multiple conformations (syn and anti) giving rise to a relatively plastic and nonspecific mode of binding, in stark contrast to eIF4E. Cap-proximal nucleotides encircled by the tunnel provide affinity to compete with eIF4F while allowing IFIT1 to select against N1 methylated mRNA. Gel-shift binding assays confirm that N1 methylation interferes with IFIT1 binding, but in an RNA-dependent manner, whereas translation assays reveal that N1 methylation alone is not sufficient to prevent mRNA recognition at high IFIT1 concentrations. Structural and functional analysis show that 2'-O methylation at N2, another abundant mRNA modification, is also detrimental for RNA binding, thus revealing a potentially synergistic role for it in self- versus nonself-mRNA discernment. Finally, structure-guided mutational analysis confirms the importance of RNA binding for IFIT1 restriction of a human coronavirus mutant lacking viral N1 methylation. Our structural and biochemical analysis sheds new light on the molecular basis for IFIT1 translational inhibition of capped viral RNA.
Project description:Knockout mouse models have been extensively used to study the antiviral activity of IFIT (interferon-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeats). Human IFIT1 binds to cap0 (m7GpppN) RNA, which lacks methylation on the first and second cap-proximal nucleotides (cap1, m7GpppNm, and cap2, m7GpppNmNm, respectively). These modifications are signatures of "self" in higher eukaryotes, whereas unmodified cap0-RNA is recognized as foreign and, therefore, potentially harmful to the host cell. IFIT1 inhibits translation at the initiation stage by competing with the cap-binding initiation factor complex, eIF4F, restricting infection by certain viruses that possess "nonself" cap0-mRNAs. However, in mice and other rodents, the IFIT1 orthologue has been lost, and the closely related Ifit1b has been duplicated twice, yielding three paralogues: Ifit1, Ifit1b, and Ifit1c. Although murine Ifit1 is similar to human IFIT1 in its cap0-RNA-binding selectivity, the roles of Ifit1b and Ifit1c are unknown. Here, we found that Ifit1b preferentially binds to cap1-RNA, whereas binding is much weaker to cap0- and cap2-RNA. In murine cells, we show that Ifit1b can modulate host translation and restrict WT mouse coronavirus infection. We found that Ifit1c acts as a stimulatory cofactor for both Ifit1 and Ifit1b, promoting their translation inhibition. In this way, Ifit1c acts in an analogous fashion to human IFIT3, which is a cofactor to human IFIT1. This work clarifies similarities and differences between the human and murine IFIT families to facilitate better design and interpretation of mouse models of human infection and sheds light on the evolutionary plasticity of the IFIT family.
Project description:The eIF4F cap-binding complex mediates the initiation of cellular mRNA translation. eIF4F is composed of eIF4E, which binds to the mRNA cap, eIF4G, which indirectly links the mRNA cap with the 43S pre-initiation complex, and eIF4A, which is a helicase necessary for initiation. Viral nucleocapsid proteins (N) function in both genome replication and RNA encapsidation. Surprisingly, we find that hantavirus N has multiple intrinsic activities that mimic and substitute for each of the three peptides of the cap-binding complex thereby enhancing the translation of viral mRNA. N binds with high affinity to the mRNA cap replacing eIF4E. N binds directly to the 43S pre-initiation complex facilitating loading of ribosomes onto capped mRNA functionally replacing eIF4G. Finally, N obviates the requirement for the helicase, eIF4A. The expression of a multifaceted viral protein that functionally supplants the cellular cap-binding complex is a unique strategy for viral mRNA translation initiation. The ability of N to directly mediate translation initiation would ensure the efficient translation of viral mRNA.
Project description:Ribosomal recruitment of cellular mRNAs depends on binding of eIF4F to the mRNA's 5'-terminal 'cap'. The minimal 'cap0' consists of N7-methylguanosine linked to the first nucleotide via a 5'-5' triphosphate (ppp) bridge. Cap0 is further modified by 2'-O-methylation of the next two riboses, yielding 'cap1' (m7GpppNmN) and 'cap2' (m7GpppNmNm). However, some viral RNAs lack 2'-O-methylation, whereas others contain only ppp- at their 5'-end. Interferon-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats (IFITs) are highly expressed effectors of innate immunity that inhibit viral replication by incompletely understood mechanisms. Here, we investigated the ability of IFIT family members to interact with cap1-, cap0- and 5'ppp- mRNAs and inhibit their translation. IFIT1 and IFIT1B showed very high affinity to cap-proximal regions of cap0-mRNAs (K1/2,app ?9 to 23 nM). The 2'-O-methylation abrogated IFIT1/mRNA interaction, whereas IFIT1B retained the ability to bind cap1-mRNA, albeit with reduced affinity (K1/2,app ?450 nM). The 5'-terminal regions of 5'ppp-mRNAs were recognized by IFIT5 (K1/2,app ?400 nM). The activity of individual IFITs in inhibiting initiation on a specific mRNA was determined by their ability to interact with its 5'-terminal region: IFIT1 and IFIT1B efficiently outcompeted eIF4F and abrogated initiation on cap0-mRNAs, whereas inhibition on cap1- and 5'ppp- mRNAs by IFIT1B and IFIT5 was weaker and required higher protein concentrations.
Project description:Translation of m7G-capped cellular mRNAs is initiated by recruitment of ribosomes to the 5' end of mRNAs via eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4F (eIF4F), a heterotrimeric complex comprised of a cap-binding subunit (eIF4E) and an RNA helicase (eIF4A) bridged by a scaffolding molecule (eIF4G). Internal translation initiation bypasses the requirement for the cap and eIF4E and occurs on viral and cellular mRNAs containing internal ribosomal entry sites (IRESs). Here we demonstrate that eIF4E availability plays a critical role in the switch from cap-dependent to IRES-mediated translation in picornavirus-infected cells. When both capped and IRES-containing mRNAs are present (as in intact cells or in vitro translation extracts), a decrease in the amount of eIF4E associated with the eIF4F complex elicits a striking increase in IRES-mediated viral mRNA translation. This effect is not observed in translation extracts depleted of capped mRNAs, indicating that capped mRNAs compete with IRES-containing mRNAs for translation. These data explain numerous reported observations where viral mRNAs are preferentially translated during infection.
Project description:Eukaryotic mRNA translation begins with recruitment of the 40S ribosome complex to the mRNA 5' end through the eIF4F initiation complex binding to the 5' m(7)G-mRNA cap. Spliced leader (SL) RNA trans splicing adds a trimethylguanosine (TMG) cap and a sequence, the SL, to the 5' end of mRNAs. Efficient translation of TMG-capped mRNAs in nematodes requires the SL sequence. Here we define a core set of nucleotides and a stem-loop within the 22-nucleotide nematode SL that stimulate translation of mRNAs with a TMG cap. The structure and core nucleotides are conserved in other nematode SLs and correspond to regions of SL1 required for early Caenorhabditis elegans development. These SL elements do not facilitate translation of m(7)G-capped RNAs in nematodes or TMG-capped mRNAs in mammalian or plant translation systems. Similar stem-loop structures in phylogenetically diverse SLs are predicted. We show that the nematode eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E/G (eIF4E/G) complex enables efficient translation of the TMG-SL RNAs in diverse in vitro translation systems. TMG-capped mRNA translation is determined by eIF4E/G interaction with the cap and the SL RNA, although the SL does not increase the affinity of eIF4E/G for capped RNA. These results suggest that the mRNA 5' untranslated region (UTR) can play a positive and novel role in translation initiation through interaction with the eIF4E/G complex in nematodes and raise the issue of whether eIF4E/G-RNA interactions play a role in the translation of other eukaryotic mRNAs.
Project description:Viruses that generate capped RNA lacking 2'O methylation on the first ribose are severely affected by the antiviral activity of Type I interferons. We used proteome-wide affinity purification coupled to mass spectrometry to identify human and mouse proteins specifically binding to capped RNA with different methylation states. This analysis, complemented with functional validation experiments, revealed that IFIT1 is the sole interferon-induced protein displaying higher affinity for unmethylated than for methylated capped RNA. IFIT1 tethers a species-specific protein complex consisting of other IFITs to RNA. Pulsed stable isotope labelling with amino acids in cell culture coupled to mass spectrometry as well as in vitro competition assays indicate that IFIT1 sequesters 2'O-unmethylated capped RNA and thereby impairs binding of eukaryotic translation initiation factors to 2'O-unmethylated RNA template, which results in inhibition of translation. The specificity of IFIT1 for 2'O-unmethylated RNA serves as potent antiviral mechanism against viruses lacking 2'O-methyltransferase activity and at the same time allows unperturbed progression of the antiviral program in infected cells.
Project description:40S ribosomes are loaded onto capped mRNAs via the multisubunit translation initiation factors eIF3 and eIF4F. While eIF4E is the eIF4F cap recognition component, the eIF4G subunit associates with 40S-bound eIF3. How this intricate process is coordinated remains poorly understood. Here, we identify an eIF3 subunit that regulates eIF4F modification and show that eIF3e is required for inducible eIF4E phosphorylation. Significantly, recruitment of the eIF4E kinase Mnk1 (MAPK signal-integrating kinase 1) to eIF4F depended on eIF3e, and eIF3e was sufficient to promote Mnk1-binding to eIF4G. This establishes a mechanism by which 40S ribosome loading imparts a phosphorylation mark on the cap-binding eIF4F complex that regulates selective mRNA translation and is synchronized by a specific eIF3 subunit.
Project description:The interferon-inducible protein with tetratricopeptide (IFIT) family proteins inhibit replication of some viruses by recognizing several types of RNAs, including 5'-triphosphate RNA and 5' capped 2'-O unmethylated mRNA. However, it remains unclear how IFITs inhibit replication of some viruses through recognition of RNA. Here, we analyzed the mechanisms by which Ifit1 exerts antiviral responses. Replication of a Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) 2'-O methyltransferase (MTase) mutant was markedly enhanced in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and macrophages lacking Ifit1. Ifit1 bound 5'-triphosphate RNA but more preferentially associated with 5' capped 2'-O unmethylated mRNA. Ifit1 inhibited the translation of mRNA and thereby restricted the replication of JEV mutated in 2'-O MTase. Thus, Ifit1 inhibits replication of MTase-defective JEV by inhibiting mRNA translation through direct binding to mRNA 5' structures.
Project description:The cytosolic helicase retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I) initiates immune responses to most RNA viruses by detecting viral 5'-triphosphorylated RNA (pppRNA). Although endogenous mRNA is also 5'-triphosphorylated, backbone modifications and the 5'-ppp-linked methylguanosine ((m7)G) cap prevent immunorecognition. Here we show that the methylation status of endogenous capped mRNA at the 5'-terminal nucleotide (N1) was crucial to prevent RIG-I activation. Moreover, we identified a single conserved amino acid (H830) in the RIG-I RNA binding pocket as the mediator of steric exclusion of N1-2'O-methylated RNA. H830A alteration (RIG-I(H830A)) restored binding of N1-2'O-methylated pppRNA. Consequently, endogenous mRNA activated the RIG-I(H830A) mutant but not wild-type RIG-I. Similarly, knockdown of the endogenous N1-2'O-methyltransferase led to considerable RIG-I stimulation in the absence of exogenous stimuli. Studies involving yellow-fever-virus-encoded 2'O-methyltransferase and RIG-I(H830A) revealed that viruses exploit this mechanism to escape RIG-I. Our data reveal a new role for cap N1-2'O-methylation in RIG-I tolerance of self-RNA.
Project description:The 5'terminal oligopyrimidine (5'TOP) motif is a cis-regulatory RNA element located immediately downstream of the 7-methylguanosine [m7G] cap of TOP mRNAs, which encode ribosomal proteins and translation factors. In eukaryotes, this motif coordinates the synchronous and stoichiometric expression of the protein components of the translation machinery. La-related protein 1 (LARP1) binds TOP mRNAs, regulating their stability and translation. We present crystal structures of the human LARP1 DM15 region in complex with a 5'TOP motif, a cap analog (m7GTP), and a capped cytidine (m7GpppC), resolved to 2.6, 1.8 and 1.7 Å, respectively. Our binding, competition, and immunoprecipitation data corroborate and elaborate on the mechanism of 5'TOP motif binding by LARP1. We show that LARP1 directly binds the cap and adjacent 5'TOP motif of TOP mRNAs, effectively impeding access of eIF4E to the cap and preventing eIF4F assembly. Thus, LARP1 is a specialized TOP mRNA cap-binding protein that controls ribosome biogenesis.