Mechanistic features of the atypical tRNA m1G9 SPOUT methyltransferase, Trm10.
ABSTRACT: The tRNA m1G9 methyltransferase (Trm10) is a member of the SpoU-TrmD (SPOUT) superfamily of methyltransferases, and Trm10 homologs are widely conserved throughout Eukarya and Archaea. Despite possessing the trefoil knot characteristic of SPOUT enzymes, Trm10 does not share the same quaternary structure or key sequences with other members of the SPOUT family, suggesting a novel mechanism of catalysis. To investigate the mechanism of m1G9 methylation by Trm10, we performed a biochemical and kinetic analysis of Trm10 and variants with alterations in highly conserved residues, using crystal structures solved in the absence of tRNA as a guide. Here we demonstrate that a previously proposed general base residue (D210 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Trm10) is not likely to play this suggested role in the chemistry of methylation. Instead, pH-rate analysis suggests that D210 and other conserved carboxylate-containing residues at the active site collaborate to establish an active site environment that promotes a single ionization that is required for catalysis. Moreover, Trm10 does not depend on a catalytic metal ion, further distinguishing it from the other known SPOUT m1G methyltransferase, TrmD. These results provide evidence for a non-canonical tRNA methyltransferase mechanism that characterizes the Trm10 enzyme family.
Project description:The existence of SpoU-TrmD (SPOUT) RNA methyltransferase superfamily was first predicted by bioinformatics. SpoU is the previous name of TrmH, which catalyzes the 2'-Omethylation of ribose of G18 in tRNA; TrmD catalyzes the formation of N1-methylguanosine at position 37 in tRNA. Although SpoU (TrmH) and TrmD were originally considered to be unrelated, the bioinformatics study suggested that they might share a common evolution origin and form a single superfamily. The common feature of SPOUT RNA methyltransferases is the formation of a deep trefoil knot in the catalytic domain. In the past decade, the SPOUT RNA methyltransferase superfamily has grown; furthermore, knowledge concerning the functions of their modified nucleosides in tRNA has also increased. Some enzymes are potential targets in the design of antibacterial drugs. In humans, defects in some genes may be related to carcinogenesis. In this review, recent findings on the tRNA methyltransferases with a SPOUT fold and their methylated nucleosides in tRNA, including classification of tRNA methyltransferases with a SPOUT fold; knot structures, domain arrangements, subunit structures and reaction mechanisms; tRNA recognition mechanisms, and functions of modified nucleosides synthesized by this superfamily, are summarized. Lastly, the future perspective for studies on tRNA modification enzymes are considered.
Project description:Transfer RNA (tRNA) methylation is necessary for the proper biological function of tRNA. The N(1) methylation of guanine at Position 9 (m(1)G9) of tRNA, which is widely identified in eukaryotes and archaea, was found to be catalyzed by the Trm10 family of methyltransferases (MTases). Here, we report the first crystal structures of the tRNA MTase spTrm10 from Schizosaccharomyces pombe in the presence and absence of its methyl donor product S-adenosyl-homocysteine (SAH) and its ortholog scTrm10 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae in complex with SAH. Our crystal structures indicated that the MTase domain (the catalytic domain) of the Trm10 family displays a typical SpoU-TrmD (SPOUT) fold. Furthermore, small angle X-ray scattering analysis reveals that Trm10 behaves as a monomer in solution, whereas other members of the SPOUT superfamily all function as homodimers. We also performed tRNA MTase assays and isothermal titration calorimetry experiments to investigate the catalytic mechanism of Trm10 in vitro. In combination with mutational analysis and electrophoretic mobility shift assays, our results provide insights into the substrate tRNA recognition mechanism of Trm10 family MTases.
Project description:The SPOUT family of enzymes makes up the second largest of seven structurally distinct groups of methyltransferases and is named after two evolutionarily related RNA methyltransferases, SpoU and TrmD. A deep trefoil knotted domain in the tertiary structures of member enzymes defines the SPOUT family. For many years, formation of a homodimeric quaternary structure was thought to be a strict requirement for all SPOUT enzymes, critical for substrate binding and formation of the active site. However, recent structural characterization of two SPOUT members, Trm10 and Sfm1, revealed that they function as monomers without the requirement of this critical dimerization. This unusual monomeric form implies that these enzymes must exhibit a nontraditional substrate binding mode and active site architecture and may represent a new division in the SPOUT family with distinct properties removed from the dimeric enzymes. Here we discuss the mechanistic features of SPOUT enzymes with an emphasis on the monomeric members and implications of this "novel" monomeric structure on cofactor and substrate binding.
Project description:The deep trefoil knot architecture is unique to the SpoU and tRNA methyltransferase D (TrmD) (SPOUT) family of methyltransferases (MTases) in all three domains of life. In bacteria, TrmD catalyzes the N(1)-methylguanosine (m(1)G) modification at position 37 in transfer RNAs (tRNAs) with the (36)GG(37) sequence, using S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) as the methyl donor. The m(1)G37-modified tRNA functions properly to prevent +1 frameshift errors on the ribosome. Here we report the crystal structure of the TrmD homodimer in complex with a substrate tRNA and an AdoMet analog. Our structural analysis revealed the mechanism by which TrmD binds the substrate tRNA in an AdoMet-dependent manner. The trefoil-knot center, which is structurally conserved among SPOUT MTases, accommodates the adenosine moiety of AdoMet by loosening/retightening of the knot. The TrmD-specific regions surrounding the trefoil knot recognize the methionine moiety of AdoMet, and thereby establish the entire TrmD structure for global interactions with tRNA and sequential and specific accommodations of G37 and G36, resulting in the synthesis of m(1)G37-tRNA.
Project description:Purine nucleosides on position 9 of eukaryal and archaeal tRNAs are frequently modified in vivo by the post-transcriptional addition of a methyl group on their N1 atom. The methyltransferase Trm10 is responsible for this modification in both these domains of life. While certain Trm10 orthologues specifically methylate either guanosine or adenosine at position 9 of tRNA, others have a dual specificity. Until now structural information about this enzyme family was only available for the catalytic SPOUT domain of Trm10 proteins that show specificity toward guanosine. Here, we present the first crystal structure of a full length Trm10 orthologue specific for adenosine, revealing next to the catalytic SPOUT domain also N- and C-terminal domains. This structure hence provides crucial insights in the tRNA binding mechanism of this unique monomeric family of SPOUT methyltransferases. Moreover, structural comparison of this adenosine-specific Trm10 orthologue with guanosine-specific Trm10 orthologues suggests that the N1 methylation of adenosine relies on additional catalytic residues.
Project description:tRNA molecules get heavily modified post-transcriptionally. The N-1 methylation of purines at position 9 of eukaryal and archaeal tRNA is catalyzed by the SPOUT methyltranferase Trm10. Remarkably, while certain Trm10 orthologs are specific for either guanosine or adenosine, others show a dual specificity. Structural and functional studies have been performed on guanosine- and adenosine-specific enzymes. Here we report the structure and biochemical analysis of the dual-specificity enzyme from Thermococcus kodakaraensis (TkTrm10). We report the first crystal structure of a construct of this enzyme, consisting of the N-terminal domain and the catalytic SPOUT domain. Moreover, crystal structures of the SPOUT domain, either in the apo form or bound to S-adenosyl-l-methionine or S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine reveal the conformational plasticity of two active site loops upon substrate binding. Kinetic analysis shows that TkTrm10 has a high affinity for its tRNA substrates, while the enzyme on its own has a very low methyltransferase activity. Mutation of either of two active site aspartate residues (Asp206 and Asp245) to Asn or Ala results in only modest effects on the N-1 methylation reaction, with a small shift toward a preference for m1G formation over m1A formation. Only a double D206A/D245A mutation severely impairs activity. These results are in line with the recent finding that the single active-site aspartate was dispensable for activity in the guanosine-specific Trm10 from yeast, and suggest that also dual-specificity Trm10 orthologs use a noncanonical tRNA methyltransferase mechanism without residues acting as general base catalysts.
Project description:Unlike other transfer RNAs (tRNA)-modifying enzymes from the SPOUT methyltransferase superfamily, the tRNA (Um34/Cm34) methyltransferase TrmL lacks the usual extension domain for tRNA binding and consists only of a SPOUT domain. Both the catalytic and tRNA recognition mechanisms of this enzyme remain elusive. By using tRNAs purified from an Escherichia coli strain with the TrmL gene deleted, we found that TrmL can independently catalyze the methyl transfer from S-adenosyl-L-methionine to and isoacceptors without the involvement of other tRNA-binding proteins. We have solved the crystal structures of TrmL in apo form and in complex with S-adenosyl-homocysteine and identified the cofactor binding site and a possible active site. Methyltransferase activity and tRNA-binding affinity of TrmL mutants were measured to identify residues important for tRNA binding of TrmL. Our results suggest that TrmL functions as a homodimer by using the conserved C-terminal half of the SPOUT domain for catalysis, whereas residues from the less-conserved N-terminal half of the other subunit participate in tRNA recognition.
Project description:SPOUT methyltransferases (MTases) are a large class of S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent enzymes that exhibit an unusual alpha/beta fold with a very deep topological knot. In 2001, when no crystal structures were available for any of these proteins, Anantharaman, Koonin, and Aravind identified homology between SpoU and TrmD MTases and defined the SPOUT superfamily. Since then, multiple crystal structures of knotted MTases have been solved and numerous new homologous sequences appeared in the databases. However, no comprehensive comparative analysis of these proteins has been carried out to classify them based on structural and evolutionary criteria and to guide functional predictions.We carried out extensive searches of databases of protein structures and sequences to collect all members of previously identified SPOUT MTases, and to identify previously unknown homologs. Based on sequence clustering, characterization of domain architecture, structure predictions and sequence/structure comparisons, we re-defined families within the SPOUT superfamily and predicted putative active sites and biochemical functions for the so far uncharacterized members. We have also delineated the common core of SPOUT MTases and inferred a multiple sequence alignment for the conserved knot region, from which we calculated the phylogenetic tree of the superfamily. We have also studied phylogenetic distribution of different families, and used this information to infer the evolutionary history of the SPOUT superfamily.We present the first phylogenetic tree of the SPOUT superfamily since it was defined, together with a new scheme for its classification, and discussion about conservation of sequence and structure in different families, and their functional implications. We identified four protein families as new members of the SPOUT superfamily. Three of these families are functionally uncharacterized (COG1772, COG1901, and COG4080), and one (COG1756 represented by Nep1p) has been already implicated in RNA metabolism, but its biochemical function has been unknown. Based on the inference of orthologous and paralogous relationships between all SPOUT families we propose that the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) of all extant organisms contained at least three SPOUT members, ancestors of contemporary RNA MTases that carry out m1G, m3U, and 2'O-ribose methylation, respectively. In this work we also speculate on the origin of the knot and propose possible 'unknotted' ancestors. The results of our analysis provide a comprehensive 'roadmap' for experimental characterization of SPOUT MTases and interpretation of functional studies in the light of sequence-structure relationships.
Project description:TrmJ proteins from the SPOUT methyltransferase superfamily are tRNA Xm32 modification enzymes that occur in bacteria and archaea. Unlike archaeal TrmJ, bacterial TrmJ require full-length tRNA molecules as substrates. It remains unknown how bacterial TrmJs recognize substrate tRNAs and specifically catalyze a 2'-O modification at ribose 32. Herein, we demonstrate that all six Escherichia coli (Ec) tRNAs with 2'-O-methylated nucleosides at position 32 are substrates of EcTrmJ, and we show that the elbow region of tRNA, but not the amino acid acceptor stem, is needed for the methylation reaction. Our crystallographic study reveals that full-length EcTrmJ forms an unusual dimer in the asymmetric unit, with both the catalytic SPOUT domain and C-terminal extension forming separate dimeric associations. Based on these findings, we used electrophoretic mobility shift assay, isothermal titration calorimetry and enzymatic methods to identify amino acids within EcTrmJ that are involved in tRNA binding. We found that tRNA recognition by EcTrmJ involves the cooperative influences of conserved residues from both the SPOUT and extensional domains, and that this process is regulated by the flexible hinge region that connects these two domains.
Project description:The tRNA methyltransferase Trm10, conserved throughout Eukarya and Archaea, catalyzes N1-methylation of purine residues at position 9 using S-adenosyl methionine as the methyl donor. The Trm10 family exhibits diverse target nucleotide specificity, with some homologs that are obligate m¹G₉ or m¹A₉-specific enzymes, while others are bifunctional enzymes catalyzing both m¹G₉ and m¹A₉. This variability is particularly intriguing given different chemical properties of the target N1 atom of guanine and adenine. Here we performed an extensive kinetic and mutational analysis of the m¹G₉ and m¹A₉-catalyzing Trm10 from Thermococcus kodakarensis to gain insight into the active site that facilitates this unique bifunctionality. These results suggest that the rate-determining step for catalysis likely involves a conformational change to correctly position the substrate tRNA in the active site. In this model, kinetic preferences for certain tRNA can be explained by variations in the overall stability of the folded substrate tRNA, consistent with tRNA-specific differences in metal ion dependence. Together, these results provide new insight into the substrate recognition, active site and catalytic mechanism of m¹G/m¹A catalyzing bifunctional enzymes.