Transcription apparatus of the yeast virus-like elements: Architecture, function, and evolutionary origin.
ABSTRACT: Extrachromosomal hereditary elements such as organelles, viruses, and plasmids are important for the cell fitness and survival. Their transcription is dependent on host cellular RNA polymerase (RNAP) or intrinsic RNAP encoded by these elements. The yeast Kluyveromyces lactis contains linear cytoplasmic DNA virus-like elements (VLEs, also known as linear plasmids) that bear genes encoding putative non-canonical two-subunit RNAP. Here, we describe the architecture and identify the evolutionary origin of this transcription machinery. We show that the two RNAP subunits interact in vivo, and this complex interacts with another two VLE-encoded proteins, namely the mRNA capping enzyme and a putative helicase. RNAP, mRNA capping enzyme and the helicase also interact with VLE-specific DNA in vivo. Further, we identify a promoter sequence element that causes 5' mRNA polyadenylation of VLE-specific transcripts via RNAP slippage at the transcription initiation site, and structural elements that precede the termination sites. As a result, we present a first model of the yeast virus-like element transcription initiation and intrinsic termination. Finally, we demonstrate that VLE RNAP and its promoters display high similarity to poxviral RNAP and promoters of early poxviral genes, respectively, thereby pointing to their evolutionary origin.
Project description:We employed virus-like elements (VLEs) pGKL1,2 from Kluyveromyces lactis as a model to investigate the previously neglected transcriptome of the broader group of yeast cytoplasmic linear dsDNA VLEs. We performed 5' and 3' RACE analyses of all pGKL1,2 mRNAs and found them not 3' polyadenylated and containing frequently uncapped 5' poly(A) leaders that are not complementary to VLE genomic DNA. The degree of 5' capping and/or 5' mRNA polyadenylation is specific to each gene and is controlled by the corresponding promoter region. The expression of pGKL1,2 transcripts is independent of eIF4E and Pab1 and is enhanced in lsm1? and pab1? strains. We suggest a model of primitive pGKL1,2 gene expression regulation in which the degree of 5' mRNA capping and 5' non-template polyadenylation, together with the presence of negative regulators such as Pab1 and Lsm1, play important roles. Our data also support a hypothesis of a close relationship between yeast linear VLEs and poxviruses.
Project description:In the human neocortex, single excitatory pyramidal cells can elicit very large glutamatergic EPSPs (VLEs) in inhibitory GABAergic interneurons capable of triggering their firing with short (3-5 ms) delay. Similar strong excitatory connections between two individual neurons have not been found in nonhuman cortices, suggesting that these synapses are specific to human interneurons. The VLEs are crucial for generating neocortical complex events, observed as single pyramidal cell spike-evoked discharge of cell assemblies in the frontal and temporal cortices. However, long-term plasticity of the VLE connections and how the plasticity modulates neocortical complex events has not been studied. Using triple and dual whole-cell recordings from synaptically connected human neocortical layers 2-3 neurons, we show that VLEs in fast-spiking GABAergic interneurons exhibit robust activity-induced long-term depression (LTD). The LTD by single pyramidal cell 40 Hz spike bursts is specific to connections with VLEs, requires group I metabotropic glutamate receptors, and has a presynaptic mechanism. The LTD of VLE connections alters suprathreshold activation of interneurons in the complex events suppressing the discharge of fast-spiking GABAergic cells. The VLEs triggering the complex events may contribute to cognitive processes in the human neocortex, and their long-term plasticity can alter the discharging cortical cell assemblies by learning.
Project description:Cytoplasmic virus like elements (VLEs) from Kluyveromyces lactis (Kl), Pichia acaciae (Pa) and Debaryomyces robertsiae (Dr) are extremely A/T-rich (>75%) and encode toxic anticodon nucleases (ACNases) along with specific immunity proteins. Here we show that nuclear, not cytoplasmic expression of either immunity gene (PaORF4, KlORF3 or DrORF5) results in transcript fragmentation and is insufficient to establish immunity to the cognate ACNase. Since rapid amplification of 3' ends (RACE) as well as linker ligation of immunity transcripts expressed in the nucleus revealed polyadenylation to occur along with fragmentation, ORF-internal poly(A) site cleavage due to the high A/T content is likely to prevent functional expression of the immunity genes. Consistently, lowering the A/T content of PaORF4 to 55% and KlORF3 to 46% by gene synthesis entirely prevented transcript cleavage and permitted functional nuclear expression leading to full immunity against the respective ACNase toxin. Consistent with a specific adaptation of the immunity proteins to the cognate ACNases, cross-immunity to non-cognate ACNases is neither conferred by PaOrf4 nor KlOrf3. Thus, the high A/T content of cytoplasmic VLEs minimizes the potential of functional nuclear recruitment of VLE encoded genes, in particular those involved in autoselection of the VLEs via a toxin/antitoxin principle.
Project description:Virtual reality environments (VLEs) such as 360° videos have been introduced as educational tools over the last few years, although the pedagogical value of these media has not been widely examined, especially in the context of craft skill learning. Moreover, emotions and competences have a great impact on the usability and adoption of ICT - and on learning. In this paper, mixed-method strategies were used to address these pedagogical and emotional needs in the context of craft learning and 360° VLE. Furthermore, a quasi-experimental design was used to compare learning outcomes of 360° VLE and traditional groups. Findings based on quantitative analysis suggest that negative or positive ICT-attitude did not affect how students experienced traditional or 360° lessons emotionally. However, ICT- and craft-competences had significant correlations with the described emotions. No significant differences in terms of learning outcomes were observed between the traditional and 360° teaching methods. According to the thematic analysis of the interviews, the 1st-person-view 360° VLE could be used for basic skill observation and visualization to support traditional hands-on learning. Moreover, a head-mounted display was considered to help with focusing on the demonstration. However, more interaction with the interface and opportunities for direct interaction with the instructor were seen as necessary in 360° VLEs for skill learning in the future.
Project description:Rho is the essential RNA helicase that sets the borders between transcription units and adjusts transcriptional yield to translational needs in bacteria. Although Rho was the first termination factor to be discovered, the actual mechanism by which it reaches and disrupts the elongation complex (EC) is unknown. Here we show that the termination-committed Rho molecule associates with RNA polymerase (RNAP) throughout the transcription cycle; that is, it does not require the nascent transcript for initial binding. Moreover, the formation of the RNAP-Rho complex is crucial for termination. We show further that Rho-dependent termination is a two-step process that involves rapid EC inactivation (trap) and a relatively slow dissociation. Inactivation is the critical rate-limiting step that establishes the position of the termination site. The trap mechanism depends on the allosterically induced rearrangement of the RNAP catalytic centre by means of the evolutionarily conserved mobile trigger-loop domain, which is also required for EC dissociation. The key structural and functional similarities, which we found between Rho-dependent and intrinsic (Rho-independent) termination pathways, argue that the allosteric mechanism of termination is general and likely to be preserved for all cellular RNAPs throughout evolution.
Project description:Understanding the mechanism of transcription termination by a eukaryotic RNA polymerase (RNAP) has been limited by lack of a characterizable intermediate that reflects transition from an elongation complex to a true termination event. While other multisubunit RNAPs require multipartite cis-signals and/or ancillary factors to mediate pausing and release of the nascent transcript from the clutches of these enzymes, RNAP III does so with precision and efficiency on a simple oligo(dT) tract, independent of other cis-elements or trans-factors. We report an RNAP III pre-termination complex that reveals termination mechanisms controlled by sequence-specific elements in the non-template strand. Furthermore, the TFIIF-like RNAP III subunit C37 is required for this function of the non-template strand signal. The results reveal the RNAP III terminator as an information-rich control element. While the template strand promotes destabilization via a weak oligo(rU:dA) hybrid, the non-template strand provides distinct sequence-specific destabilizing information through interactions with the C37 subunit.
Project description:The ability of RNA polymerase (RNAP) III to efficiently recycle from termination to reinitiation is critical for abundant tRNA production during cellular proliferation, development and cancer. Yet understanding of the unique termination mechanisms used by RNAP III is incomplete, as is its link to high transcription output. We used two tRNA-mediated suppression systems to screen for Rpc1 mutants with gain- and loss- of termination phenotypes in S. pombe. 122 point mutation mutants were mapped to a recently solved 3.9 Å structure of yeast RNAP III elongation complex (EC); they cluster in the active center bridge helix and trigger loop, as well as the pore and funnel, the latter of which indicate involvement of the RNA cleavage domain of the C11 subunit in termination. Purified RNAP III from a readthrough (RT) mutant exhibits increased elongation rate. The data strongly support a kinetic coupling model in which elongation rate is inversely related to termination efficiency. The mutants exhibit good correlations of terminator RT in vitro and in vivo, and surprisingly, amounts of transcription in vivo. Because assessing in vivo transcription can be confounded by various parameters, we used a tRNA reporter with a processing defect and a strong terminator. By ruling out differences in RNA decay rates, the data indicate that mutants with the RT phenotype synthesize more RNA than wild type cells, and than can be accounted for by their increased elongation rate. Finally, increased activity by the mutants appears unrelated to the RNAP III repressor, Maf1. The results show that the mobile elements of the RNAP III active center, including C11, are key determinants of termination, and that some of the mutations activate RNAP III for overall transcription. Similar mutations in spontaneous cancer suggest this as an unforeseen mechanism of RNAP III activation in disease.
Project description:Eukaryotic messenger RNA precursors (pre-mRNAs) synthesized by RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) are processed co-transcriptionally. The carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II is thought to mediate the coupling of transcription with pre-mRNA processing by coordinating the recruitment of processing factors during synthesis of nascent transcripts. Previous studies have demonstrated that the phosphorylated CTD is required for efficient co-transcriptional processing. In the study presented here we investigated whether the CTD is sufficient to coordinate transcription with pre-mRNA capping and splicing in the context of two other DNA-dependent RNA polymerases, mammalian RNAP III and bacteriophage T7 RNAP. Our results indicate that the CTD fused to the largest subunit of RNAP III (POLR3A) is not sufficient to enhance co-transcriptional pre-mRNA splicing or capping in vivo. Additionally, we analyzed a T7 RNAP-CTD fusion protein and examined its ability to enhance pre-mRNA splicing and capping of both constitutively and alternatively spliced substrates. We observed that the CTD in the context of T7 RNAP was not sufficient to enhance pre-mRNA splicing or capping either in vitro or in vivo. We propose that the efficient coupling of transcription to pre-mRNA processing requires not only the phosphorylated CTD but also other RNAP II specific subunits or associated factors.
Project description:Bacteriophage Q protein engages ?-dependent paused RNA polymerase (RNAP) by binding to a DNA site embedded in late gene promoter and renders RNAP resistant to termination signals. Here, we report a single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of an intact Q-engaged arrested complex. The structure reveals key interactions responsible for ?-dependent pause, Q engagement, and Q-mediated transcription antitermination. The structure shows that two Q protomers (QI and QII) bind to a direct-repeat DNA site and contact distinct elements of the RNA exit channel. Notably, QI forms a narrow ring inside the RNA exit channel and renders RNAP resistant to termination signals by prohibiting RNA hairpin formation in the RNA exit channel. Because the RNA exit channel is conserved among all multisubunit RNAPs, it is likely to serve as an important contact site for regulators that modify the elongation properties of RNAP in other organisms, as well.
Project description:Transcription elongation in vitro is affected by the interactions between RNA polymerase (RNAP) subunits and the nucleic acid scaffold of the ternary elongation complex (TEC, RNAP-DNA-RNA). We have investigated the role of the RNAP subunits F/E (homologous to eukaryotic RPB4/7) during transcription elongation and termination using a wholly recombinant archaeal RNAP and synthetic nucleic acid scaffolds. The F/E complex greatly stimulates the processivity of RNAP, it enhances the formation of full length products, reduces pausing, and increases transcription termination facilitated by weak termination signals. Mutant variants of F/E that are defective in RNA binding show that these activities correlate with the nucleic acid binding properties of F/E. However, a second RNA-binding independent component also contributes to the stimulatory activities of F/E. In summary, our results suggest that interactions between RNAP subunits F/E and the RNA transcript are pivotal to the molecular mechanisms of RNAP during transcription elongation and termination.