Translation of upstream open reading frames in a model of neuronal differentiation
ABSTRACT: Upstream open reading frames (uORFs) initiate translation within mRNA 5’ leaders,and have the potential to altermain coding sequence(CDS) translationontranscripts in which they reside. Ribosome profiling(RP)studies suggest that translating ribosomes are pervasive within 5’ leadersacross model systems. However, the significance of this observationremains unclear. To explore a role for uORF usage in neuronal differentiation, we performed RP on undifferentiated and differentiated human neuroblastoma cells. Using a spectral coherence algorithm (SPECtre),we identify4,954uORFsacross31%of all neuroblastoma transcripts. These uORFspredominantly utilize non-AUG initiationcodonsand exhibit translational efficiencies(TE)comparable to annotated coding regions. Usage of both AUG initiated uORFs and aconservedandconsistently translated subset of non-AUG initiated uORFs correlateswith repressed CDS translation. Ribosomal protein transcripts are enriched in uORFs, and select uORFs on such transcripts were validated for expression. Withneuronal differentiation, we observedan overall positive correlation between translational shifts in uORF/CDSpairs. However,a subset of transcripts exhibit inverse shifts in translation of uORF/CDSpairs. TheseuORFsare enriched in AUG initiation sites, non-overlapping, and shorterin length. Cumulatively, CDSs downstream of uORFs characterized by persistent translation show smaller shifts in TE withneuronal differentiation relative to CDSs without a predicted uORF, suggesting that fluctuations in CDS translation are buffered by uORF translation. In sum, this work provides insights into the dynamic relationshipsand potential regulatory functionsof uORF/CDS pairs in a model of neuronal differentiation. Overall design: Examination of upstream open reading frame dependent translation regulation across non-differentiated and RA-differentiated SH-SY5Y cells
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Upstream open reading frames (uORFs) initiate translation within mRNA 5' leaders, and have the potential to alter main coding sequence (CDS) translation on transcripts in which they reside. Ribosome profiling (RP) studies suggest that translating ribosomes are pervasive within 5' leaders across model systems. However, the significance of this observation remains unclear. To explore a role for uORF usage in a model of neuronal differentiation, we performed RP on undifferentiated and differentiated human neuroblastoma cells.<h4>Results</h4>Using a spectral coherence algorithm (SPECtre), we identify 4954 consistently translated uORFs across 31% of all neuroblastoma transcripts. These uORFs predominantly utilize non-AUG initiation codons and exhibit translational efficiencies (TE) comparable to annotated coding regions. On a population basis, the global impact of both AUG and non-AUG initiated uORFs on basal CDS translation were small, even when analysis is limited to conserved and consistently translated uORFs. However, uORFs did alter the translation of a subset of genes, including the Diamond-Blackfan Anemia associated ribosomal gene RPS24. With retinoic acid induced differentiation, we observed an overall positive correlation in translational shifts between uORF/CDS pairs. However, CDSs downstream of uORFs show smaller shifts in TE with differentiation relative to CDSs without a predicted uORF, suggesting that uORF translation buffers cell state dependent fluctuations in CDS translation.<h4>Conclusion</h4>This work provides insights into the dynamic relationships and potential regulatory functions of uORF/CDS pairs in a model of neuronal differentiation.
Project description:It is generally accepted that the presence of ORFs in the 5' untranslated region of eukaryotic transcripts modulates the production of proteins by controlling the translation initiation rate of the main CDS. In trypanosomatid parasites, which almost exclusively depend on post-transcriptional mechanisms to regulate gene expression, translation has been identified as a key step. However, the mechanisms of control of translation are not fully understood. In the present work, we have annotated the 5'UTRs of the Trypanosoma cruzi genome both in epimastigotes and metacyclic trypomastigotes and, using a stringent classification approach, we identified putative regulatory uORFs in about 9% of the analyzed 5'UTRs. The translation efficiency (TE) and translational levels of transcripts containing putative repressive uORFs were found to be significantly reduced. These findings are supported by the fact that proteomic methods only identify a low number of proteins coded by transcripts containing repressive uORF. We additionally show that AUG is the main translation initiator codon of repressive uORFs in T. cruzi. Interestingly, the decrease in TE is more pronounced when the uORFs overlaps the main CDS. In conclusion, we show that the presence of the uORF and features such as initiation codon and/or location of the uORFs may be acting to fine tune translation levels in these parasites.
Project description:Post-transcriptional control has emerged as a major regulatory event in gene expression and often occurs at the level of translation initiation. Although overexpression or constitutive activation of tyrosine kinases (TKs) through gene amplification, translocation or mutation are well-characterized oncogenic events, current knowledge about translational mechanisms of TK activation is scarce. Here, we report the presence of translational cis-regulatory upstream open reading frames (uORFs) in the majority of transcript leader sequences of human TK mRNAs. Genetic ablation of uORF initiation codons in TK transcripts resulted in enhanced translation of the associated downstream main protein-coding sequences (CDSs) in all cases studied. Similarly, experimental removal of uORF start codons in additional non-TK proto-oncogenes, and naturally occurring loss-of-uORF alleles of the c-met proto-oncogene (MET) and the kinase insert domain receptor (KDR), was associated with increased CDS translation. Based on genome-wide sequence analyses we identified polymorphisms in 15.9% of all human genes affecting uORF initiation codons, associated Kozak consensus sequences or uORF-related termination codons. Together, these data suggest a comprehensive role of uORF-mediated translational control and delineate how aberrant induction of proto-oncogenes through loss-of-function mutations at uORF initiation codons may be involved in the etiology of cancer. We provide a detailed map of uORFs across the human genome to stimulate future research on the pathogenic role of uORFs.
Project description:Upstream open reading frames (uORFs), located in transcript leaders (5' UTRs), are potent cis-acting regulators of translation and mRNA turnover. Recent genome-wide ribosome profiling studies suggest that thousands of uORFs initiate with non-AUG start codons. Although intriguing, these non-AUG uORF predictions have been made without statistical control or validation; thus, the importance of these elements remains to be demonstrated. To address this, we took a comparative genomics approach to study AUG and non-AUG uORFs. We mapped transcription leaders in multiple Saccharomyces yeast species and applied a novel machine learning algorithm (uORF-seqr) to ribosome profiling data to identify statistically significant uORFs. We found that AUG and non-AUG uORFs are both frequently found in Saccharomyces yeasts. Although most non-AUG uORFs are found in only one species, hundreds have either conserved sequence or position within Saccharomyces uORFs initiating with UUG are particularly common and are shared between species at rates similar to that of AUG uORFs. However, non-AUG uORFs are translated less efficiently than AUG-uORFs and are less subject to removal via alternative transcription initiation under normal growth conditions. These results suggest that a subset of non-AUG uORFs may play important roles in regulating gene expression.
Project description:We engineered short ORFs and used them to control the expression level of recombinant proteins. These short ORFs, encoding a two-amino acid peptide, were placed upstream of an ORF encoding a protein of interest. Insertion of these upstream ORFs (uORFs) resulted in suppression of protein expression. By varying the base sequence preceding the uORF, we sought to vary the translation initiation rate of the uORF and subsequently control the degree of this suppression. Using this strategy, we generated a library of RNA sequence elements that can specify protein expression over a broad range of levels. By also using multiple uORFs in series and non-AUG start codons, we were able to generate particularly low expression levels, allowing us to achieve expression levels spanning three orders of magnitude. Modeling supported a mechanism where uORFs shunt the flow of ribosomes away from the downstream protein-coding ORF. With a lower translation initiation rate at the uORF, more ribosomes "leak" past the uORF; consequently, more ribosomes are able to reach and translate the downstream ORF. We report expression control by engineering uORFs and translation initiation to be robust, predictable, and reproducible across all cell types tested. We propose control of translation initiation as a primary method of choice for tuning expression in mammalian systems.
Project description:The Chlamydomonas genome has been sequenced, assembled, and annotated to produce a rich resource for genetics and molecular biology in this well-studied model organism. The annotated genome is very rich in open reading frames upstream of the annotated coding sequence ('uORFs'): almost three quarters of the assigned transcripts have at least one uORF, and frequently more than one. This is problematic with respect to the standard 'scanning' model for eukaryotic translation initiation. These uORFs can be grouped into three classes: class 1, initiating in-frame with the coding sequence (CDS) (thus providing a potential in-frame N-terminal extension); class 2, initiating in the 5' untranslated sequences (5UT) and terminating out-of-frame in the CDS; and class 3, initiating and terminating within the 5UT. Multiple bioinformatics criteria (including analysis of Kozak consensus sequence agreement and BLASTP comparisons to the closely related Volvox genome, and statistical comparison to cds and to random sequence controls) indicate that of ?4000 class 1 uORFs, approximately half are likely in vivo translation initiation sites. The proposed resulting N-terminal extensions in many cases will sharply alter the predicted biochemical properties of the encoded proteins. These results suggest significant modifications in ?2000 of the ?20,000 transcript models with respect to translation initiation and encoded peptides. In contrast, class 2 uORFs may be subject to purifying selection, and the existent ones (surviving selection) are likely inefficiently translated. Class 3 uORFs are found in more than half of transcripts, frequently multiple times per transcript; however, they are remarkably similar to random sequence expectations with respect to size, number, and composition, and therefore may in most cases be selectively neutral.
Project description:An AUG-initiated upstream open reading frame (uORF) encoding a potential polypeptide of 3 to 13 amino acids (aa) is found within the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of >75% of coronavirus genomes based on 38 reference strains. Potential CUG-initiated uORFs are also found in many strains. The AUG-initiated uORF is presumably translated following genomic 5'-end cap-dependent ribosomal scanning, but its function is unknown. Here, in a reverse-genetics study with mouse hepatitis coronavirus, the following were observed. (i) When the uORF AUG-initiating codon was replaced with a UAG stop codon along with a U112A mutation to maintain a uORF-harboring stem-loop 4 structure, an unimpaired virus with wild-type (WT) growth kinetics was recovered. However, reversion was found at all mutated sites within five virus passages. (ii) When the uORF was fused with genomic (main) ORF1 by converting three in-frame stop codons to nonstop codons, a uORF-ORF1 fusion protein was made, and virus replicated at WT levels. However, a frameshifting G insertion at virus passage 7 established a slightly 5'-extended original uORF. (iii) When uAUG-eliminating deletions of 20, 30, or 51 nucleotides (nt) were made within stem-loop 4, viable but debilitated virus was recovered. However, a C80U mutation in the first mutant and an A77G mutation in the second appeared by passage 10, which generated alternate uORFs that correlated with restored WT growth kinetics. In vitro, the uORF-disrupting nondeletion mutants showed enhanced translation of the downstream ORF1 compared with the WT. These results together suggest that the uORF represses ORF1 translation yet plays a beneficial but nonessential role in coronavirus replication in cell culture.
Project description:Translated regions distinct from annotated coding sequences have emerged as essential elements of the proteome. This includes upstream open reading frames (uORFs) present in mRNAs controlled by the integrated stress response (ISR) that show "privileged" translation despite inhibited eukaryotic initiation factor 2-guanosine triphosphate-initiator methionyl transfer RNA (eIF2·GTP·Met-tRNA(i )(Met)). We developed tracing translation by T cells to directly measure the translation products of uORFs during the ISR. We identified signature translation events from uORFs in the 5' untranslated region of binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP) mRNA (also called heat shock 70-kilodalton protein 5 mRNA) that were not initiated at the start codon AUG. BiP expression during the ISR required both the alternative initiation factor eIF2A and non-AUG-initiated uORFs. We propose that persistent uORF translation, for a variety of chaperones, shelters select mRNAs from the ISR, while simultaneously generating peptides that could serve as major histocompatibility complex class I ligands, marking cells for recognition by the adaptive immune system.
Project description:Upstream open reading frames (uORFs) are ubiquitous repressive genetic elements in vertebrate mRNAs. While much is known about the regulation of individual genes by their uORFs, the range of uORF-mediated translational repression in vertebrate genomes is largely unexplored. Moreover, it is unclear whether the repressive effects of uORFs are conserved across species. To address these questions, we analyse transcript sequences and ribosome profiling data from human, mouse and zebrafish. We find that uORFs are depleted near coding sequences (CDSes) and have initiation contexts that diminish their translation. Linear modelling reveals that sequence features at both uORFs and CDSes modulate the translation of CDSes. Moreover, the ratio of translation over 5' leaders and CDSes is conserved between human and mouse, and correlates with the number of uORFs. These observations suggest that the prevalence of vertebrate uORFs may be explained by their conserved role in repressing CDS translation.
Project description:Most of our knowledge about translation regulatory mechanisms comes from studies on lower organisms. However, the translation control system of higher organisms is less understood. Here we find that in 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) of human Annexin II receptor (AXIIR) mRNA, there are two upstream open reading frames (uORFs) acting in a fail-safe manner to inhibit the translation from the main AUG. These uORFs are unfavorable for re-initiation after termination of uORF translation. Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2B1 (hnRNPA2B1), hnRNPA0 and ELAV like RNA binding protein 1 (ELAVL1) bind to the 5'UTR of AXIIR mRNA. They focus the translation of uORFs on uORF1 and attenuate leaky scanning that bypasses uORFs. The cooperation between the two uORFs and the three proteins formed a multiple fail-safe system that tightly inhibits the translation of downstream AXIIR. Such cooperation between multiple molecules and elements reflects that higher organism develops a complex translation regulatory system to achieve accurate and flexible gene expression control.