Transport Granules Bound with Nuclear Cap Binding Protein and Exon Junction Complex Are Associated with Microtubules and Spatially Separated from eIF4E Granules and P Bodies in Human Neuronal Processes.
ABSTRACT: RNA transport and regulated local translation play critically important roles in spatially restricting gene expression in neurons. Heterogeneous population of RNA granules serve as motile units to translocate, store, translate, and degrade mRNAs in the dendrites contain cis-elements and trans-acting factors such as RNA-binding proteins and microRNAs to convey stimulus-, transcript-specific local translation. Here we report a class of mRNA granules in human neuronal processes that are enriched in the nuclear cap-binding protein complex (CBC) and exon junction complex (EJC) core components, Y14 and eIF4AIII. These granules are physically associated with stabilized microtubules and are spatially segregated from eIF4E-enriched granules and P-bodies. The existence of mRNAs retaining both nuclear cap binding protein and EJC in the distal sites of neuronal processes suggests that some localized mRNAs have not yet undergone the "very first translation," which contribute to the spatio-temporal regulation of gene expression.
Project description:The exon junction complex (EJC) is deposited onto spliced mRNAs and is involved in many aspects of mRNA function. We have recently reconstituted and solved the crystal structure of the EJC core made of MAGOH, Y14, the most conserved portion of MLN51, and the DEAD-box ATPase eIF4AIII bound to RNA in the presence of an ATP analog. The heterodimer MAGOH/Y14 inhibits ATP turnover by eIF4AIII, thereby trapping the EJC core onto RNA, but the exact mechanism behind this remains unclear. Here, we present the crystal structure of the EJC core bound to ADP-AIF(3), the first structure of a DEAD-box helicase in the transition-mimicking state during ATP hydrolysis. It reveals a dissociative transition state geometry and suggests that the locking of the EJC onto the RNA by MAGOH/Y14 is not caused by preventing ATP hydrolysis. We further show that ATP can be hydrolyzed inside the EJC, demonstrating that MAGOH/Y14 acts by locking the conformation of the EJC, so that the release of inorganic phosphate, ADP, and RNA is prevented. Unifying features of ATP hydrolysis are revealed by comparison of our structure with the EJC-ADPNP structure and other helicases. The reconstitution of a transition state mimicking complex is not limited to the EJC and eIF4AIII as we were also able to reconstitute the complex Dbp5-RNA-ADP-AlF(3), suggesting that the use of ADP-AlF(3) may be a valuable tool for examining DEAD-box ATPases in general.
Project description:It has long been considered that intron-containing (spliced) mRNAs are translationally more active than intronless mRNAs (identical mRNA not produced by splicing). The splicing-dependent translational enhancement is mediated, in part, by the exon junction complex (EJC). Nonetheless, the molecular mechanism by which each EJC component contributes to the translational enhancement remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate the previously unappreciated role of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4AIII (eIF4AIII), a component of EJC, in the translation of mRNAs bound by the nuclear cap-binding complex (CBC), a heterodimer of cap-binding protein 80 (CBP80) and CBP20. eIF4AIII is recruited to the 5'-end of mRNAs bound by the CBC by direct interaction with the CBC-dependent translation initiation factor (CTIF); this recruitment of eIF4AIII is independent of the presence of introns (deposited EJCs after splicing). Polysome fractionation, tethering experiments, and in vitro reconstitution experiments using recombinant proteins show that eIF4AIII promotes efficient unwinding of secondary structures in 5'UTR, and consequently enhances CBC-dependent translation in vivo and in vitro. Therefore, our data provide evidence that eIF4AIII is a specific translation initiation factor for CBC-dependent translation.
Project description:Although it is currently understood that the exon junction complex (EJC) is recruited on spliced mRNA by a specific interaction between its central protein, eIF4AIII, and splicing factor CWC22, we found that eIF4AIII and the other EJC core proteins Y14 and MAGO bind the nascent transcripts of not only intron-containing but also intronless genes on Drosophila polytene chromosomes. Additionally, Y14 ChIP-seq demonstrates that association with transcribed genes is also splicing-independent in Drosophila S2 cells. The association of the EJC proteins with nascent transcripts does not require CWC22 and that of Y14 and MAGO is independent of eIF4AIII. We also show that eIF4AIII associates with both polysomal and monosomal RNA in S2 cell extracts, whereas Y14 and MAGO fractionate separately. Cumulatively, our data indicate a global role of eIF4AIII in gene expression, which would be independent of Y14 and MAGO, splicing, and of the EJC, as currently understood.
Project description:The exon-junction complex (EJC) deposited on a newly spliced mRNA plays an important role in subsequent mRNA metabolic events. Here we show that an EJC core heterodimer, Y14/Magoh, specifically associates with mRNA-degradation factors, including the mRNA-decapping complex and exoribonucleases, whereas another core factor, eIF4AIII/MLN51, does not. We also demonstrate that Y14 interacts directly with the decapping factor Dcp2 and the 5' cap structure of mRNAs via different but overlapping domains and that Y14 inhibits the mRNA-decapping activity of Dcp2 in vitro. Accordingly, overexpression of Y14 prolongs the half-life of a reporter mRNA. Therefore Y14 may function independently of the EJC in preventing mRNA decapping and decay. Furthermore, we observe that depletion of Y14 disrupts the formation of processing bodies, whereas overexpression of a phosphomimetic Y14 considerably increases the number of processing bodies, perhaps by sequestering the mRNA-degradation factors. In conclusion, this report provides unprecedented evidence for a role of Y14 in regulating mRNA degradation and processing body formation and reinforces the influence of phosphorylation of Y14 on its activity in postsplicing mRNA metabolism.
Project description:The exon junction complex (EJC) that is deposited onto spliced mRNAs upstream of exon-exon junctions plays important roles in multiple post-splicing gene expression events, such as mRNA export, surveillance, localization, and translation. However, a direct role for the human EJC in pre-mRNA splicing has not been fully understood. Using HeLa cells, we depleted one of the EJC core components, Y14, and the resulting transcriptome was analyzed by deep sequencing (RNA-Seq) and confirmed by RT-PCR. We found that Y14 is required for efficient and faithful splicing of a group of transcripts that is enriched in short intron-containing genes involved in mitotic cell-cycle progression. Tethering of EJC core components (Y14, eIF4AIII or MAGOH) to a model reporter pre-mRNA harboring a short intron showed that these core components are prerequisites for the splicing activation. Taken together, we conclude that the EJC core assembled on pre-mRNA is critical for efficient and faithful splicing of a specific subset of short introns in mitotic cell cycle-related genes.
Project description:In mammals, Up-frameshift proteins (UPFs) form a surveillance complex that interacts with the exon junction complex (EJC) to elicit nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). UPF3b is the component of the surveillance complex that bridges the interaction with the EJC. Here, we report the 3.4 A resolution crystal structure of a minimal UPF3b-EJC assembly, consisting of the interacting domains of five proteins (UPF3b, MAGO, Y14, eIF4AIII, and Barentsz) together with RNA and adenylyl-imidodiphosphate. Human UPF3b binds with the C-terminal domain stretched over a composite surface formed by eIF4AIII, MAGO, and Y14. Residues that affect NMD when mutated are found at the core interacting surfaces, whereas differences between UPF3b and UPF3a map at peripheral interacting residues. Comparison with the binding mode of the protein PYM underscores how a common molecular surface of MAGO and Y14 recognizes different proteins acting at different times in the same pathway. The binding mode to eIF4AIII identifies a surface hot spot that is used by different DEAD-box proteins to recruit their regulators.
Project description:The exon junction complex (EJC) is assembled on spliced mRNAs upstream of exon-exon junctions and can regulate their subsequent translation, localization, or degradation. We isolated mutations in Drosophila mago nashi (mago), which encodes a core EJC subunit, based on their unexpectedly specific effects on photoreceptor differentiation. Loss of Mago prevents epidermal growth factor receptor signaling, due to a large reduction in MAPK mRNA levels. MAPK expression also requires the EJC subunits Y14 and eIF4AIII and EJC-associated splicing factors. Mago depletion does not affect the transcription or stability of MAPK mRNA but alters its splicing pattern. MAPK expression from an exogenous promoter requires Mago only when the template includes introns. MAPK is the primary functional target of mago in eye development; in cultured cells, Mago knockdown disproportionately affects other large genes located in heterochromatin. These data support a nuclear role for EJC components in splicing a specific subset of introns.
Project description:Despite intensive research, there are very few reagents with which to modulate and dissect the mRNA splicing pathway. Here, we describe a novel approach to identify such tools, based on detection of the exon junction complex (EJC), a unique molecular signature that splicing leaves on mRNAs. We developed a high-throughput, splicing-dependent EJC immunoprecipitation (EJIPT) assay to quantitate mRNAs spliced from biotin-tagged pre-mRNAs in cell extracts, using antibodies to EJC components Y14 and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4aIII (eIF4AIII). Deploying EJIPT we performed high-throughput screening (HTS) in conjunction with secondary assays to identify splicing inhibitors. We describe the identification of 1,4-naphthoquinones and 1,4-heterocyclic quinones with known anticancer activity as potent and selective splicing inhibitors. Interestingly, and unlike previously described small molecules, most of which target early steps, our inhibitors represented by the benzothiazole-4,7-dione, BN82685, block the second of two trans-esterification reactions in splicing, preventing the release of intron lariat and ligation of exons. We show that BN82685 inhibits activated spliceosomes' elaborate structural rearrangements that are required for second-step catalysis, allowing definition of spliceosomes stalled in midcatalysis. EJIPT provides a platform for characterization and discovery of splicing and EJC modulators.
Project description:In higher eukaryotes the accelerated degradation of mRNAs harboring premature termination codons is controlled by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), exon junction complex (EJC), and nuclear cap-binding complex (CBC) factors, but the mechanistic basis for this quality-control system and the specific roles of the individual factors remain unclear. Using Neurospora crassa as a model system, we analyzed the mechanisms by which NMD is induced by spliced 3'-UTR introns or upstream open reading frames and observed that the former requires NMD, EJC, and CBC factors whereas the latter requires only the NMD factors. The transcripts for EJC components eIF4A3 and Y14, and translation termination factor eRF1, contain spliced 3'-UTR introns and each was stabilized in NMD, EJC, and CBC mutants. Reporter mRNAs containing spliced 3'-UTR introns, but not matched intronless controls, were stabilized in these mutants and were enriched in mRNPs immunopurified from wild-type cells with antibody directed against human Y14, demonstrating a direct role for spliced 3'-UTR introns in triggering EJC-mediated NMD. These results demonstrate conclusively that NMD, EJC, and CBC factors have essential roles in controlling mRNA stability and that, based on differential requirements for these factors, there are branched mechanisms for NMD. They demonstrate for the first time autoregulatory control of expression at the level of mRNA stability through the EJC/CBC branch of NMD for EJC core components, eIF4A3 and Y14, and for eRF1, which recognizes termination codons. Finally, these results show that EJC-mediated NMD occurs in fungi and thus is an evolutionarily conserved quality-control mechanism.
Project description:In eukaryotes, RNA processing events in the nucleus influence the fate of transcripts in the cytoplasm. The multi-protein exon junction complex (EJC) associates with mRNAs concomitant with splicing in the nucleus and plays important roles in export, translation, surveillance and localization of mRNAs in the cytoplasm. In mammalian cells, the ribosome associated protein PYM (HsPYM) binds the Y14-Mago heterodimer moiety of the EJC core, and disassembles EJCs, presumably during the pioneer round of translation. However, the significance of the association of the EJC with mRNAs in a physiological context has not been tested and the function of PYM in vivo remains unknown. Here we address PYM function in Drosophila, where the EJC core proteins are genetically required for oskar mRNA localization during oogenesis. We provide evidence that the EJC binds oskar mRNA in vivo. Using an in vivo transgenic approach, we show that elevated amounts of the Drosophila PYM (DmPYM) N-terminus during oogenesis cause dissociation of EJCs from oskar RNA, resulting in its mislocalization and consequent female sterility. We find that, in contrast to HsPYM, DmPYM does not interact with the small ribosomal subunit and dismantles EJCs in a translation-independent manner upon over-expression. Biochemical analysis shows that formation of the PYM-Y14-Mago ternary complex is modulated by the PYM C-terminus revealing that DmPYM function is regulated in vivo. Furthermore, we find that whereas under normal conditions DmPYM is dispensable, its loss of function is lethal to flies with reduced y14 or mago gene dosage. Our analysis demonstrates that the amount of DmPYM relative to the EJC proteins is critical for viability and fertility. This, together with the fact that the EJC-disassembly activity of DmPYM is regulated, implicates PYM as an effector of EJC homeostasis in vivo.