The role of the zinc finger protein ZC3H32 in bloodstream-form Trypanosoma brucei.
ABSTRACT: Kinetoplastids rely heavily on post-transcriptional mechanisms for control of gene expression, with regulation of mRNA processing, translation and degradation by RNA-binding proteins. ZC3H32 is a cytosolic mRNA-binding protein with three non-canonical CCCH zinc finger domains. It is much more abundant in bloodstream-form Trypanosoma brucei than in procyclic forms. Tethering of ZC3H32 to a reporter mRNA suppressed translation and resulted in mRNA degradation, and deletion analysis suggested that this activity was present in both the N- and C-terminal domains, but not the central zinc finger-containing domain. Tandem affinity purification, however, revealed no interaction partners that might account for this activity. RNASeq analyses did not yield any evidence for sequence-specific binding or regulation of specific mRNAs. The presence of ZC3H32 homologues in monogenetic and free-living Euglenids also argues against a role in developmental regulation, although its function may have diverged in evolution. T. brucei ZC3H32 might be implicated in basal mRNA metabolism, with this role perhaps being taken over by another protein in procyclic forms.
Project description:CCCH type zinc finger proteins are RNA binding proteins with regulatory functions at all stages of mRNA metabolism. The best-characterized member, tritetraproline (TTP), binds to AU rich elements in 3' UTRs of unstable mRNAs, mediating their degradation. In kinetoplastids, CCCH type zinc finger proteins have been identified as being involved in the regulation of the life cycle and possibly the cell cycle. To date, no systematic listing of CCCH proteins in kinetoplastids is available.We have identified the complete set of CCCH type zinc finger proteins in the available genomes of the kinetoplastid protozoa Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania major. One fifths (20%) of all CCCH motifs fall into non-conventional classes and many had not been previously identified. One third of all CCCH proteins have more than one CCCH motif, suggesting multivalent RNA binding. One third have additional recognizable domains. The vast majority are unique to Kinetoplastida or to a subgroup within. Two exceptions are of interest: the putative orthologue of the mRNA nuclear export factor Mex67 and a 3'-5' exoribonuclease restricted to Leishmania species. CCCH motifs are absent from these proteins in other organisms and might be unique, novel features of the Kinetoplastida homologues. Of the others, several have a predicted, and in one case experimentally confirmed, connection to the ubiquitination pathways, for instance a HECT-type E3 ubiquitin ligase. The total number of kinetoplastid CCCH proteins is similar to the number in higher eukaryotes but lower than in yeast. A comparison of the genomic loci between the Trypanosomatidae homologues provides insight into both the evolution of the CCCH proteins as well as the CCCH motifs.This study provides the first systematic listing of the Kinetoplastida CCCH proteins. The number of CCCH proteins with more then one CCCH motif is larger than previously estimated, due to the identification of non-conventional CCCH motifs. Experimental approaches are now necessary to examine the functions of the many unique CCCH proteins as well as the function of the putative Mex67 and the Leishmania 3'-5' exoribonuclease.
Project description:The post-transcriptional control of gene expression is becoming increasingly important in the understanding of regulated events in eukaryotic cells. The parasitic kinetoplastids have a unique reliance on such processes, because their genome is organized into polycistronic transcription units in which adjacent genes are not coordinately regulated. Indeed, the number of RNA-binding proteins predicted to be encoded in the genome of kinetoplastids is unusually large, invoking the presence of unique RNA regulators dedicated to gene expression in these evolutionarily ancient organisms. Here, we report that a small CCCH zinc finger protein, TbZFP3, enhances development between life-cycle stages in Trypanosoma brucei. Moreover, we demonstrate that this protein interacts both with the translational machinery and with other small CCCH proteins previously implicated in trypanosome developmental control. Antibodies to this protein also co-immunoprecipitate EP procyclin mRNA and encode the major surface antigen of insect forms of T. brucei. Strikingly, although TbZFP3 is constitutively expressed, it exhibits developmentally regulated association with polyribosomes, and mutational analysis demonstrates that this association is essential for the expression of phenotype. TbZFP3 is therefore a novel regulator of developmental events in kinetoplastids that acts at the level of the post-transcriptional control of gene expression.
Project description:In most organisms, the heat-shock response involves increased heat-shock gene transcription. In Kinetoplastid protists, however, virtually all control of gene expression is post-transcriptional. Correspondingly, Trypanosoma brucei heat-shock protein 70 (HSP70) synthesis after heat shock depends on regulation of HSP70 mRNA turnover. We here show that the T. brucei CCCH zinc finger protein ZC3H11 is a post-transcriptional regulator of trypanosome chaperone mRNAs. ZC3H11 is essential in bloodstream-form trypanosomes and for recovery of insect-form trypanosomes from heat shock. ZC3H11 binds to mRNAs encoding heat-shock protein homologues, with clear specificity for the subset of trypanosome chaperones that is required for protein refolding. In procyclic forms, ZC3H11 was required for stabilisation of target chaperone-encoding mRNAs after heat shock, and the HSP70 mRNA was also decreased upon ZC3H11 depletion in bloodstream forms. Many mRNAs bound to ZC3H11 have a consensus AUU repeat motif in the 3'-untranslated region. ZC3H11 bound preferentially to AUU repeats in vitro, and ZC3H11 regulation of HSP70 mRNA in bloodstream forms depended on its AUU repeat region. Tethering of ZC3H11 to a reporter mRNA increased reporter expression, showing that it is capable of actively stabilizing an mRNA. These results show that expression of trypanosome heat-shock genes is controlled by a specific RNA-protein interaction. They also show that heat-shock-induced chaperone expression in procyclic trypanosome enhances parasite survival at elevated temperatures.
Project description:CCCH zinc finger proteins (ZC3Hs) are a novel class of RNA-binding protein involved in post-transcriptional mechanisms controlling gene expression. We show TbZC3H20 from Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of sleeping sickness and other diseases, stabilizes two developmentally regulated transcripts encoding a mitochondrial carrier protein (MCP12) and trans-sialidase (TS-like E). TbZC3H20 is shown to be an RNA-binding protein that is enriched in insect procyclic form T. brucei and is the first ZC3H discovered controlling gene expression through modulating mRNA abundance in trypanosomes. Previous studies have demonstrated that RNA recognition motif-containing and PUF family RNA-binding proteins can control gene expression by stabilizing specific target mRNA levels. This work is the first to describe a ZC3H stabilizing rather than destabilizing target mRNAs as a regulatory mechanism and the first report of a ZC3H regulating a gene encoding a mitochondrial protein. This suggests a broader role for ZC3Hs in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression than previously thought.
Project description:Nearly 60 CCCH zinc finger proteins have been identified in humans and mice. These proteins are involved in the regulation of multiple steps of RNA metabolism, including mRNA splicing, polyadenylation, transportation, translation and decay. Several CCCH zinc finger proteins, such as tristetraprolin (TTP), roquin 1 and MCPIP1 (also known as regnase 1), are crucial for many aspects of immune regulation by targeting mRNAs for degradation and modulation of signalling pathways. In this Review, we focus on the emerging roles of CCCH zinc finger proteins in the regulation of immune responses through their effects on cytokine production, immune cell activation and immune homeostasis.
Project description:Cell differentiation in Trypanosoma brucei involves highly regulated changes in morphology, proliferation and metabolism. However, the controls of these developmental processes are unknown. We have identified two novel proteins from the rare CCCH zinc finger family, each <140 amino acids in length and implicated in life cycle regulation. TbZFP1 is transiently enriched during differentiation from the bloodstream to procyclic form, whereas tbZFP2, when ablated in bloodstream forms by RNA interference, inhibits this developmental step. Moreover, expressing an ectopic copy of tbZFP2 results in a dramatic procyclic stage-specific remodelling of the trypanosome cytoskeleton similar to the morphogenic events of differentiation. This phenotype, we term 'nozzle', involves polar extension of microtubules at the posterior end of the cell and is dependent upon a motif hitherto restricted to E3 ubiquitin ligases. TbZFP1 and tbZFP2 represent the first molecules implicated in the control of trypanosome differentiation to the procyclic form.
Project description:The life cycle of the mammalian pathogen Trypanosoma brucei involves commuting between two markedly different environments: the homeothermic mammalian host and the poikilothermic invertebrate vector. The ability to resist temperature and other stresses is essential for trypanosome survival. Trypanosome gene expression is mainly post-transcriptional, but must nevertheless be adjusted in response to environmental cues, including host-specific physical and chemical stresses. We investigate here the control of ZC3H11, a CCCH zinc finger protein which stabilizes stress response mRNAs. ZC3H11 protein levels increase at least 10-fold when trypanosomes are stressed by heat shock, proteasome inhibitors, ethanol, arsenite, and low doses of puromycin, but not by various other stresses. We found that increases in protein stability and translation efficiency both contribute to ZC3H11 accumulation. ZC3H11 is an in vitro substrate for casein kinase 1 isoform 2 (CK1.2), and results from CK1.2 depletion and other experiments suggest that phosphorylation of ZC3H11 can promote its instability in vivo. Results from sucrose density centrifugation indicate that under normal culture conditions translation initiation on the ZC3H11 mRNA is repressed, but after suitable stresses the ZC3H11 mRNA moves to heavy polysomes. The ZC3H11 3'-UTR is sufficient for translation suppression and a region of 71 nucleotides is required for the regulation. Since the control works in both bloodstream forms, where ZC3H11 translation is repressed at 37°C, and in procyclic forms, where ZC3H11 translation is activated at 37°C, we predict that this regulatory RNA sequence is targeted by repressive trans acting factor that is released upon stress.
Project description:ZFP36L1, a CCCH-type zinc finger protein, is an RNA-binding protein that participates in controlling cellular mRNA abundance and turnover by posttranscriptional regulation. Here, we demonstrated that ZFP36L1 has an important role in host defense against influenza A virus (IAV) infection. Overexpression of ZFP36L1 reduced IAV replication via translational repression of HA, M and NS RNA segment transcripts. IAV infection upregulated cellular ZFP36L1 expression, and endogenous ZFP36L1 knockdown significantly enhanced IAV replication. ZFP36L1 directly binds to IAV NS1 mRNA in the cytoplasm and blocks the expression and function of NS1 protein. Mutation of CCCH-type zinc finger domains of ZFP36L1 lost its antiviral potential and NS1 mRNA binding. Thus, ZFP36L1 can act as a host innate defense by targeting HA, M and NS mRNA transcripts to suppress viral protein translation.
Project description:Post-transcriptional gene regulation is essential to eukaryotic development. This is particularly emphasized in trypanosome parasites where genes are co-transcribed in polycistronic arrays but not necessarily co-regulated. The small CCCH protein, TbZFP3, has been identified as a trans-acting post-transcriptional regulator of Procyclin surface antigen expression in Trypanosoma brucei. To investigate the wider role of TbZFP3 in parasite transmission, a global analysis of associating transcripts was carried out. Examination of a subset of the selected transcripts revealed their increased abundance through mRNA stabilization upon TbZFP3 ectopic overexpression, dependent upon the integrity of the CCCH zinc finger domain. Reporter assays demonstrated that this regulation was mediated through 3'-UTR sequences for two target transcripts. Global developmental expression profiling of the cohort of TbZFP3-selected transcripts revealed their significant enrichment in transmissible stumpy forms of the parasite. This analysis of the specific mRNAs selected by the TbZFP3mRNP provides evidence for a developmental regulon with the potential to co-ordinate genes important in parasite transmission.
Project description:Previously, we have identified a novel CCCH zinc finger protein family as negative regulators of macrophage activation. To gain an overall insight into the entire CCCH zinc finger gene family and to evaluate their potential role in macrophage activation, here we performed a genome-wide survey of CCCH zinc finger genes in mouse and human. Totally 58 CCCH zinc finger genes in mouse and 55 in human were identified and most of them have not been reported previously. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the mouse CCCH family was divided into 6 groups. Meanwhile, we employed quantitative real-time PCR to profile their tissue expression patterns in adult mice. Clustering analysis showed that most of CCCH genes were broadly expressed in all of tissues examined with various levels. Interestingly, several CCCH genes Mbnl3, Zfp36l2, Zfp36, Zc3h12a, Zc3h12d, Zc3h7a and Leng9 were enriched in macrophage-related organs such as thymus, spleen, lung, intestine and adipose. Consistently, a comprehensive assessment of changes in expression of the 58 members of the mouse CCCH family during macrophage activation also revealed that these CCCH zinc finger genes were associated with the activation of bone marrow-derived macrophages by lipopolysaccharide. Taken together, this study not only identified a functional module of CCCH zinc finger genes in the regulation of macrophage activation but also provided the framework for future studies to dissect the function of this emerging gene family.