Molecular determinants of cytochrome C oxidase IV mRNA axonal trafficking.
ABSTRACT: In previous studies, we identified a putative 38-nucleotide stem-loop structure (zipcode) in the 3' untranslated region of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV (COXIV) mRNA that was necessary and sufficient for the axonal localization of the message in primary superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons. However, little is known about the proteins that interact with the COXIV-zipcode and regulate the axonal trafficking and local translation of the COXIV message. To identify proteins involved in the axonal transport of the COXIV mRNA, we used the biotinylated 38-nucleotide COXIV RNA zipcode as bait in the affinity purification of COXIV zipcode binding proteins. Gel-shift assays of the biotinylated COXIV zipcode indicated that the putative stem-loop structure functions as a nucleation site for the formation of ribonucleoprotein complexes. Mass spectrometric analysis of the COXIV zipcode ribonucleoprotein complex led to the identification of a large number RNA binding proteins, including fused in sarcoma/translated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS), and Y-box protein 1 (YB-1). Validation experiments, using western analyses, confirmed the presence of the candidate proteins in the COXIV zipcode affinity purified complexes obtained from SCG axons. Immunohistochemical studies show that FUS, and YB-1 are present in SCG axons. Importantly, RNA immunoprecipitation studies show that FUS, and YB-1 interact with endogenous axonal COXIV transcripts. siRNA-mediated downregulation of the candidate proteins FUS and YB-1 expression in the cell-bodies diminishes the levels of COXIV mRNA in the axon, suggesting functional roles for these proteins in the axonal trafficking of COXIV mRNA.
Project description:In the sympatho-adrenal system, angiotensin II (Ang II) acts as a key neuromodulatory component. At sympathetic nerve terminals, Ang II influences sympathetic transmission by enhancing norepinephrine (NE) synthesis, facilitating NE release and inhibiting NE uptake. Previously, it was demonstrated that tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) mRNA is trafficked to the distal axons of primary superior cervical ganglia (SCG) neurons, directed by a cis-acting regulatory element (i.e. zipcode) located in the 3'UTR of the transcript. Results of metabolic labeling studies established that the mRNA is locally translated. It was further shown that the axonal trafficking of the mRNA encoding the enzyme plays an important role in mediating dopamine (DA) and NE synthesis and may facilitate the maintenance of axonal catecholamine levels. In the present study, the hypothesis was tested that Ang II induces NE synthesis in rat primary SCG neurons via the modulation of the trafficking of the mRNAs encoding the catecholamine synthesizing enzymes TH and dopamine ?-hydroxylase (DBH). Treatment of SCG neurons with the Ang II receptor type 1 (AT1R) agonist, L-162,313, increases the axonal levels of TH and DBH mRNA and protein and results in elevated NE levels. Conversely, treatment of rat SCG neurons with the AT1R antagonist, Eprosartan, abolished the L-162,313-mediated increase in axonal levels of TH and DBH mRNA and protein. In a first attempt to identify the proteins involved in the Ang II-mediated axonal transport of TH mRNA, we used a biotinylated 50-nucleotide TH RNA zipcode as bait in the affinity purification of TH zipcode-associated proteins. Mass spectrometric analysis of the TH zipcode ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex immune-purified from SCG neurons led to the identification of 163 somal and 127 axonal proteins functionally involved in binding nucleic acids, the translational machinery or acting as subunits of cytoskeletal and motor proteins. Surprisingly, immune-purification of the TH axonal trafficking complex, results in the acquisition of DBH mRNA, suggesting that these mRNAs maybe transported to the axon together, possibly in the same RNP complex. Taken together, our results point to a novel mechanism by which Ang II participates in the regulation of axonal synthesis of NE by modulating the local trafficking and expression of TH and DBH, two key enzymes involved in the catecholamine biosynthetic pathway.
Project description:Trafficking and local translation of axonal mRNAs play a critical role in the development and function of this neuronal subcellular structural domain. In this report, we studied cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV (COXIV) mRNA trafficking into distal axons of primary superior cervical ganglia (SCG) neurons, and provided evidence that axonal trafficking and mitochondrial association of the mRNA are mediated by an element located in a 38bp-long, hairpin-loop forming region within the 3'UTR of the transcript. Our results also suggest that suppression of local translation of COXIV mRNA results in significant attenuation of axonal elongation. Taken together, the results provide the first evidence for the existence of a cis-acting axonal transport element within a nuclear-encoding mitochondrial gene, and demonstrate the importance of the axonal trafficking and local translation of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs in axonal growth.
Project description:YB-1 is a broad-specificity RNA-binding protein that is involved in regulation of mRNA transcription, splicing, translation, and stability. In both germinal and somatic cells, YB-1 and related proteins are major components of translationally inactive messenger ribonucleoprotein particles (mRNPs) and are mainly responsible for storage of mRNAs in a silent state. However, mechanisms regulating the repressor activity of YB-1 are not well understood. Here we demonstrate that association of YB-1 with the capped 5' terminus of the mRNA is regulated via phosphorylation by the serine/threonine protein kinase Akt. In contrast to its nonphosphorylated form, phosphorylated YB-1 fails to inhibit cap-dependent but not internal ribosome entry site-dependent translation of a reporter mRNA in vitro. We also show that similar to YB-1, Akt is associated with inactive mRNPs and that activated Akt may relieve translational repression of the YB-1-bound mRNAs. Using Affymetrix microarrays, we found that many of the YB-1-associated messages encode stress- and growth-related proteins, raising the intriguing possibility that Akt-mediated YB-1 phosphorylation could, in part, increase production of proteins regulating cell proliferation, oncogenic transformation, and stress response.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRs) are evolutionarily conserved, noncoding RNA molecules of approximately 21 nt that regulate the expression of genes that are involved in various biological processes, such as cell proliferation and differentiation. Previously, we reported the presence of a heterogeneous population of mRNAs present in the axons and nerve terminals of primary sympathetic neurons to include the nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNA coding for COXIV. Sequence analysis of the 3'UTR of this mRNA revealed the presence of a putative binding site for miR-338, a brain-specific microRNA. Transfection of precursor miR-338 into the axons of primary sympathetic neurons decreases COXIV mRNA and protein levels and results in a decrease in mitochondrial activity, as measured by the reduction of ATP levels. Conversely, the transfection of synthetic anti-miR oligonucleotides that inhibit miR-338 increases COXIV levels, and results in a significant increase in oxidative phosphorylation and also norepinephrine uptake in the axons. Our results point to a molecular mechanism by which this microRNA participates in the regulation of axonal respiration and function by modulating the levels of COXIV, a protein which plays a key role in the assembly of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase complex IV.
Project description:The interaction between the poly(A)-binding protein (PABP) and eukaryotic translational initiation factor 4G (eIF4G), which brings about circularization of the mRNA, stimulates translation. General RNA-binding proteins affect translation, but their role in mRNA circularization has not been studied before. Here, we demonstrate that the major mRNA ribonucleoprotein YB-1 has a pivotal function in the regulation of eIF4F activity by PABP. In cell extracts, the addition of YB-1 exacerbated the inhibition of 80S ribosome initiation complex formation by PABP depletion. Rabbit reticulocyte lysate in which PABP weakly stimulates translation is rendered PABP-dependent after the addition of YB-1. In this system, eIF4E binding to the cap structure is inhibited by YB-1 and stimulated by a nonspecific RNA. Significantly, adding PABP back to the depleted lysate stimulated eIF4E binding to the cap structure more potently if this binding had been downregulated by YB-1. Conversely, adding nonspecific RNA abrogated PABP stimulation of eIF4E binding. These data strongly suggest that competition between YB-1 and eIF4G for mRNA binding is required for efficient stimulation of eIF4F activity by PABP.
Project description:Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a motor neuron disease caused by reduced levels of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein. SMN is part of a multiprotein complex that facilitates the assembly of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs). SMN has also been found to associate with mRNA-binding proteins, but the nature of this association was unknown. Here, we have employed a combination of biochemical and advanced imaging methods to demonstrate that SMN promotes the molecular interaction between IMP1 protein and the 3' UTR zipcode region of ?-actin mRNA, leading to assembly of messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) complexes that associate with the cytoskeleton to facilitate trafficking. We have identified defects in mRNP assembly in cells and tissues from SMA disease models and patients that depend on the SMN Tudor domain and explain the observed deficiency in mRNA localization and local translation, providing insight into SMA pathogenesis as a ribonucleoprotein (RNP)-assembly disorder.
Project description:The Y-box proteins are multifunctional nucleic acid-binding proteins involved in various aspects of gene regulation. The founding member of the Y-box protein family, YB-1, functions as a transcription factor as well as a principal component of messenger ribonucleoprotein particles (mRNPs) in somatic cells. The nuclear level of YB-1 is well correlated with poor prognosis in many human cancers. Previously, we showed that a Y-box protein-associated acidic protein, YBAP1, which is identical to complement component 1, q subcomponent-binding protein (C1QBP, also called gC1qR, hyaluronan-binding protein 1 [HABP1] or ASF/SF2-associated protein p32), relieves translational repression by YB-1. Here we show that the nuclear localization of YB-1 harboring a point mutation in the cold shock domain was inhibited when co-expressed with YBAP1, whereas cytoplasmic accumulation of the wild-type YB-1 was not affected. We showed that YBAP1 inhibited the interaction between YB-1 and transportin 1. In the cytoplasm, YBAP1 affected the accumulation of YB-1 to processing bodies (P-bodies) and partially abrogated the mRNA stabilization by YB-1. Our results, indicating that YBAP1/C1QBP regulates the nucleo-cytoplasmic distribution of YB-1 and its cytoplasmic functions, are consistent with a model that YBAP1/C1QBP acts as an mRNP remodeling factor.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable neurodegenerative disease that preferentially targets motor neurons. It was recently found that dominant mutations in two related RNA-binding proteins, TDP-43 (43-kDa TAR DNA-binding domain protein) and FUS/TLS (fused in sarcoma/translated in liposarcoma) cause a subset of ALS. The convergent ALS phenotypes associated with TDP-43 and FUS/TLS mutations are suggestive of a functional relationship; however, whether or not TDP-43 and FUS/TLS operate in common biochemical pathways is not known. Here we show that TDP-43 and FUS/TLS directly interact to form a complex at endogenous expression levels in mammalian cells. Binding was mediated by an unstructured TDP-43 C-terminal domain and occurred within the context of a 300-400-kDa complex that also contained C-terminal cleavage products of TDP-43 linked to neuropathology. TDP-43 C-terminal fragments were excluded from large molecular mass TDP-43 ribonucleoprotein complexes but retained FUS/TLS binding activity. The functional significance of TDP-43-FUS/TLS complexes was established by showing that RNAi silencing of either TDP-43 or FUS/TLS reduced the expression of histone deacetylase (HDAC) 6 mRNA. TDP-43 and FUS/TLS associated with HDAC6 mRNA in intact cells and in vitro, and competition experiments suggested that the proteins occupy overlapping binding sites. The combined findings demonstrate that TDP-43 and FUS/TLS form a functional complex in intact cells and suggest that convergent ALS phenotypes associated with TDP-43 and FUS/TLS mutations may reflect their participation in common biochemical processes.
Project description:Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of the catecholamine neurotransmitters. In a previous communication, evidence was provided that TH mRNA is trafficked to the axon, where it is locally translated. In addition, a 50-bp sequence element in the 3'untranslated region (3'UTR) of TH mRNA was identified that directs TH mRNA to distal axons (i.e., zip-code). In the present study, the hypothesis was tested that local translation of TH plays an important role in the biosynthesis of the catecholamine neurotransmitters in the axon and/or presynaptic nerve terminal. Toward this end, a targeted deletion of the axonal transport sequence element was developed, using the lentiviral delivery of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, and two guide RNA (gRNA) sequences flanking the 50-bp cis-acting regulatory element in rat superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons. Deletion of the axonal transport element reduced TH mRNA levels in the distal axons and reduced the axonal protein levels of TH and TH activity as measured by phosphorylation of SER40 in SCG neurons. Moreover, deletion of the zip-code diminished the axonal levels of dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE). Conversely, the local translation of exogenous TH mRNA in the distal axon enhanced TH levels and activity, and elevated axonal NE levels. Taken together, these results provide direct evidence to support the hypothesis that TH mRNA trafficking and local synthesis of TH play an important role in the synthesis of catecholamines in the axon and presynaptic terminal.
Project description:The RNA-binding proteins TDP-43 and FUS form abnormal cytoplasmic aggregates in affected tissues of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar dementia. TDP-43 and FUS localize mainly in the nucleus where they regulate pre-mRNA splicing, but they are also involved in mRNA transport, stability, and translation. To better investigate their cytoplasmic activities, we applied an RNA immunoprecipitation and chip analysis to define the mRNAs associated to TDP-43 and FUS in the cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein complexes from motoneuronal NSC-34 cells. We found that they bind different sets of mRNAs although converging on common cellular pathways. Bioinformatics analyses identified the (UG)(n) consensus motif in 80% of 3'-UTR sequences of TDP-43 targets, whereas for FUS the binding motif was less evident. By in vitro assays we validated binding to selected target 3'-UTRs, including Vegfa and Grn for TDP-43, and Vps54, Nvl, and Taf15 for FUS. We showed that TDP-43 has a destabilizing activity on Vegfa and Grn mRNAs and may ultimately affect progranulin protein content, whereas FUS does not affect mRNA stability/translation of its targets. We also demonstrated that three different point mutations in TDP-43 did not change the binding affinity for Vegfa and Grn mRNAs or their protein level. Our data indicate that TDP-43 and FUS recognize distinct sets of mRNAs and differently regulate their fate in the cytoplasm of motoneuron-like cells, therefore suggesting complementary roles in neuronal RNA metabolism and neurodegeneration.