ABSTRACT: Intron removal requires assembly of the spliceosome on precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA) and extensive remodelling to form the spliceosome's catalytic centre. Here we report the cryo-electron microscopy structure of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae pre-catalytic B complex spliceosome at near-atomic resolution. The mobile U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle (snRNP) associates with U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP through the U2/U6 helix II and an interface between U4/U6 di-snRNP and the U2 snRNP SF3b-containing domain, which also transiently contacts the helicase Brr2. The 3' region of the U2 snRNP is flexibly attached to the SF3b-containing domain and protrudes over the concave surface of tri-snRNP, where the U1 snRNP may reside before its release from the pre-mRNA 5' splice site. The U6 ACAGAGA sequence forms a hairpin that weakly tethers the 5' splice site. The B complex proteins Prp38, Snu23 and Spp381 bind the Prp8 N-terminal domain and stabilize U6 ACAGAGA stem-pre-mRNA and Brr2-U4 small nuclear RNA interactions. These results provide important insights into the events leading to active site formation.
Project description:The prespliceosome, comprising U1 and U2 small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) bound to the precursor messenger RNA 5' splice site (5'SS) and branch point sequence, associates with the U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP to form the fully assembled precatalytic pre-B spliceosome. Here, we report cryo-electron microscopy structures of the human pre-B complex captured before U1 snRNP dissociation at 3.3-angstrom core resolution and the human tri-snRNP at 2.9-angstrom resolution. U1 snRNP inserts the 5'SS-U1 snRNA helix between the two RecA domains of the Prp28 DEAD-box helicase. Adenosine 5'-triphosphate-dependent closure of the Prp28 RecA domains releases the 5'SS to pair with the nearby U6 ACAGAGA-box sequence presented as a mobile loop. The structures suggest that formation of the 5'SS-ACAGAGA helix triggers remodeling of an intricate protein-RNA network to induce Brr2 helicase relocation to its loading sequence in U4 snRNA, enabling Brr2 to unwind the U4/U6 snRNA duplex to allow U6 snRNA to form the catalytic center of the spliceosome.
Project description:The spliceosome catalyses the excision of introns from pre-mRNA in two steps, branching and exon ligation, and is assembled from five small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs; U1, U2, U4, U5, U6) and numerous non-snRNP factors1. For branching, the intron 5' splice site and the branch point sequence are selected and brought by the U1 and U2 snRNPs into the prespliceosome1, which is a focal point for regulation by alternative splicing factors2. The U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP subsequently joins the prespliceosome to form the complete pre-catalytic spliceosome. Recent studies have revealed the structural basis of the branching and exon-ligation reactions3, however, the structural basis of the early events in spliceosome assembly remains poorly understood4. Here we report the cryo-electron microscopy structure of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae prespliceosome at near-atomic resolution. The structure reveals an induced stabilization of the 5' splice site in the U1 snRNP, and provides structural insights into the functions of the human alternative splicing factors LUC7-like (yeast Luc7) and TIA-1 (yeast Nam8), both of which have been linked to human disease5,6. In the prespliceosome, the U1 snRNP associates with the U2 snRNP through a stable contact with the U2 3' domain and a transient yeast-specific contact with the U2 SF3b-containing 5' region, leaving its tri-snRNP-binding interface fully exposed. The results suggest mechanisms for 5' splice site transfer to the U6 ACAGAGA region within the assembled spliceosome and for its subsequent conversion to the activation-competent B-complex spliceosome7,8. Taken together, the data provide a working model to investigate the early steps of spliceosome assembly.
Project description:The pre-catalytic spliceosome (B complex) is preceded by its precursor spliceosome (pre-B complex) and followed by the activated spliceosome (Bact complex). The pre-B-to-B and B-to-Bact transitions are driven by the ATPase/helicases Prp28 and Brr2, respectively. In this study, we report the cryo-electron microscopy structures of the human pre-B complex and the human B complex at an average resolution of 5.7 and 3.8?Å, respectively. In the pre-B complex, U1 and U2 small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) associate with two edges of the tetrahedron-shaped U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP. The pre-mRNA is yet to be recognized by U5 or U6 small nuclear RNA (snRNA), and loop I of U5 snRNA remains unengaged. In the B complex, U1 snRNP and Prp28 are dissociated, the 5'-exon is anchored to loop I of U5 snRNA, and the 5'-splice site is recognized by U6 snRNA through duplex formation. In sharp contrast to S. cerevisiae, most components of U2 snRNP and tri-snRNP, exemplified by Brr2, undergo pronounced rearrangements in the human pre-B-to-B transition. Structural analysis reveals mechanistic insights into the assembly and activation of the human spliceosome.
Project description:The spliceosome is formed on pre-mRNA substrates from five small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (U1, U2, U4/U6 and U5 snRNPs), and numerous non-snRNP factors. Saccharomyces cerevisiae U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP comprises U5 snRNA, U4/U6 snRNA duplex and approximately 30 proteins and represents a substantial part of the spliceosome before activation. Schizosaccharomyces pombe U2.U6.U5 spliceosomal complex is a post-catalytic intron lariat spliceosome containing U2 and U5 snRNPs, NTC (nineteen complex), NTC-related proteins (NTR), U6 snRNA, and an RNA intron lariat. Two recent papers describe near-complete atomic structures of these complexes based on cryoEM single-particle analysis. The U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP structure provides crucial insight into the activation mechanism of the spliceosome. The U2.U6.U5 complex reveals the striking architecture of NTC and NTR and important features of the group II intron-like catalytic RNA core remaining after spliced mRNA is released. These two structures greatly advance our understanding of the mechanism of pre-mRNA splicing.
Project description:U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP is a 1.5-megadalton pre-assembled spliceosomal complex comprising U5 small nuclear RNA (snRNA), extensively base-paired U4/U6 snRNAs and more than 30 proteins, including the key components Prp8, Brr2 and Snu114. The tri-snRNP combines with a precursor messenger RNA substrate bound to U1 and U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs), and transforms into a catalytically active spliceosome after extensive compositional and conformational changes triggered by unwinding of the U4 and U6 (U4/U6) snRNAs. Here we use cryo-electron microscopy single-particle reconstruction of Saccharomyces cerevisiae tri-snRNP at 5.9 Å resolution to reveal the essentially complete organization of its RNA and protein components. The single-stranded region of U4 snRNA between its 3' stem-loop and the U4/U6 snRNA stem I is loaded into the Brr2 helicase active site ready for unwinding. Snu114 and the amino-terminal domain of Prp8 position U5 snRNA to insert its loop I, which aligns the exons for splicing, into the Prp8 active site cavity. The structure provides crucial insights into the activation process and the active site of the spliceosome.
Project description:The spliceosome assembles on a pre-mRNA intron by binding of five snRNPs and numerous proteins, leading to the formation of the pre-catalytic B complex. While the general morphology of the B complex is known, the spatial arrangement of proteins and snRNP subunits within it remain to be elucidated. To shed light on the architecture of the yeast B complex, we immuno-labelled selected proteins and located them by negative-stain electron microscopy. The B complex exhibited a triangular shape with main body, head and neck domains. We located the U5 snRNP components Brr2 at the top and Prp8 and Snu114 in the centre of the main body. We found several U2 SF3a (Prp9 and Prp11) and SF3b (Hsh155 and Cus1) proteins in the head domain and two U4/U6 snRNP proteins (Prp3 and Lsm4) in the neck domain that connects the main body with the head. Thus, we could assign distinct domains of the B complex to the respective snRNPs and provide the first detailed picture of the subunit architecture and protein arrangements of the B complex.
Project description:The yeast Sad1 protein was previously identified in a screen for factors involved in the assembly of the U4/U6 di-snRNP particle. Sad1 is required for pre-mRNA splicing both in vivo and in vitro, and its human orthologue has been shown to associate with U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP. We show here that Sad1 plays a role in maintaining a functional form of the tri-snRNP by promoting the association of U5 snRNP with U4/U6 di-snRNP. In the absence of Sad1, the U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP dissociates into U5 and U4/U6 upon ATP hydrolysis and cannot bind to the spliceosome. The separated U4/U6 and U5 can reassociate upon incubation more favorably in the absence of ATP and in the presence of Sad1. Brr2 is responsible for mediating ATP-dependent dissociation of the tri-snRNP. Our results demonstrate a role of Sad1 in maintaining the integrity of the tri-snRNP by counteracting Brr2-mediated dissociation of tri-snRNP and provide insights into homeostasis of the tri-snRNP.
Project description:We have isolated and microsequenced Snu17p, a novel yeast protein with a predicted molecular mass of 17 kDa that contains an RNA recognition motif. We demonstrate that Snu17p binds specifically to the U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) and that it is part of the spliceosome, since the pre-mRNA and the lariat-exon 2 are specifically coprecipitated with Snu17p. Although the SNU17 gene is not essential, its knockout leads to a slow-growth phenotype and to a pre-mRNA splicing defect in vivo. In addition, the first step of splicing is dramatically decreased in extracts prepared from the snu17 deletion (snu17Delta) mutant. This defect is efficiently reversed by the addition of recombinant Snu17p. To investigate the step of spliceosome assembly at which Snu17p acts, we have used nondenaturing gel electrophoresis. In Snu17p-deficient extracts, the spliceosome runs as a single slowly migrating complex. In wild-type extracts, usually at least two distinct complexes are observed: the prespliceosome, or B complex, containing the U2 but not the U1 snRNP, and the catalytically active spliceosome, or A complex, containing the U2, U6, and U5 snRNPs. Northern blot analysis and affinity purification of the snu17Delta spliceosome showed that it contains the U1, U2, U6, U5, and U4 snRNPs. The unexpected stabilization of the U1 snRNP and the lack of dissociation of the U4 snRNP suggest that loss of Snu17p inhibits the progression of spliceosome assembly prior to U1 snRNP release and after [U4/U6.U5] tri-snRNP addition.
Project description:The cycle of spliceosome assembly, intron excision, and spliceosome disassembly involves large-scale structural rearrangements of U6 snRNA that are functionally important. U6 enters the splicing pathway bound to the Prp24 protein, which chaperones annealing of U6 to U4 RNA to form a U4/U6 di-snRNP. During catalytic activation of the assembled spliceosome, U4 snRNP is released and U6 is paired to U2 snRNA. Here we show that point mutations in U4 and U6 that decrease U4/U6 base-pairing in vivo are lethal in combination. However, this synthetic phenotype is rescued by a mutation in U6 that alters a U6-Prp24 contact and stabilizes U2/U6. Remarkably, the resulting viable triple mutant strain lacks detectable U4/U6 base-pairing and U4/U6 di-snRNP. Instead, this strain accumulates free U4 snRNP, protein-free U6 RNA, and a novel complex containing U2/U6 di-snRNP. Further mutational analysis indicates that disruption of the U6-Prp24 interaction rather than stabilization of U2/U6 renders stable U4/U6 di-snRNP assembly nonessential. We propose that an essential function of U4/U6 pairing is to displace Prp24 from U6 RNA, and thus a destabilized U6-Prp24 complex renders stable U4/U6 pairing nonessential.
Project description:Prp3 is an essential U4/U6 di-snRNP-associated protein whose functions and molecular mechanisms in pre-mRNA splicing are presently poorly understood. We show by structural and biochemical analyses that Prp3 contains a bipartite U4/U6 di-snRNA-binding region comprising an expanded ferredoxin-like fold, which recognizes a 3'-overhang of U6 snRNA, and a preceding peptide, which binds U4/U6 stem II. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the single-stranded RNA-binding domain is exclusively found in Prp3 orthologs, thus qualifying as a spliceosome-specific RNA interaction module. The composite double-stranded/single-stranded RNA-binding region assembles cooperatively with Snu13 and Prp31 on U4/U6 di-snRNAs and inhibits Brr2-mediated U4/U6 di-snRNA unwinding in vitro. RNP-disrupting mutations in Prp3 lead to U4/U6•U5 tri-snRNP assembly and splicing defects in vivo. Our results reveal how Prp3 acts as an important bridge between U4/U6 and U5 in the tri-snRNP and comparison with a Prp24-U6 snRNA recycling complex suggests how Prp3 may be involved in U4/U6 reassembly after splicing.