Massively parallel reporter assay for programmed ribosomal frameshifting on designed sequence libraries
ABSTRACT: We designed an oligonucleotide libraries containing a potential frameshifting site, cloned the library variants into a dedicated reporter construct, transfected and integrated these constructs in the genome of K562 cells, and performed FACSseq (as well as targeted RNA sequencing) to determine if and to what extent frameshifting occurs. Overall design: Massively parallel reporter assay for programmed ribosomal frameshifting
Project description:We designed 4 oligonucleotide libraries containing either a retained intron, a cassette exon, tandem 5' or tandem 3' splice sites, cloned them into dedicated reporter constructs, transfected and integrated these constructs in the genome of K562 cells, and performed targeted RNA sequencing to determine RNA splicing ratios and a FACSseq approach to determine protein isoform ratios. Overall design: Massively parallel reporter assay for alternative splicing
Project description:Programmed ribosomal frameshifting is an essential mechanism used for the expression of orf1b in coronaviruses. Comparative analysis of the frameshift region reveals a universal shift site U_UUA_AAC, followed by a predicted downstream RNA structure in the form of either a pseudoknot or kissing stem loops. Frameshifting in SARS-CoV has been characterized in cultured mammalian cells using a dual luciferase reporter system and mass spectrometry. Mutagenic analysis of the SARS-CoV shift site and mass spectrometry of an affinity tagged frameshift product confirmed tandem tRNA slippage on the sequence U_UUA_AAC. Analysis of the downstream pseudoknot stimulator of frameshifting in SARS-CoV shows that a proposed RNA secondary structure in loop II and two unpaired nucleotides at the stem I-stem II junction in SARS-CoV are important for frameshift stimulation. These results demonstrate key sequences required for efficient frameshifting, and the utility of mass spectrometry to study ribosomal frameshifting.
Project description:Massively parallel reporter assays (MPRAs) can measure the regulatory function of thousands of DNA sequences in a single experiment. Despite growing popularity, MPRA studies are limited by a lack of a unified framework for analyzing the resulting data. Here we present MPRAnalyze: a statistical framework for analyzing MPRA count data. Our model leverages the unique structure of MPRA data to quantify the function of regulatory sequences, compare sequences' activity across different conditions, and provide necessary flexibility in an evolving field. We demonstrate the accuracy and applicability of MPRAnalyze on simulated and published data and compare it with existing methods.
Project description:mRNA contexts containing a 'slippery' sequence and a downstream secondary structure element stall the progression of the ribosome along the mRNA and induce its movement into the -1 reading frame. In this study we build a thermodynamic model based on Bayesian statistics to explain how -1 programmed ribosome frameshifting can work. As training sets for the model, we measured frameshifting efficiencies on 64 dnaX mRNA sequence variants in vitro and also used 21 published in vivo efficiencies. With the obtained free-energy difference between mRNA-tRNA base pairs in the 0 and -1 frames, the frameshifting efficiency of a given sequence can be reproduced and predicted from the tRNA-mRNA base pairing in the two frames. Our results further explain how modifications in the tRNA anticodon modulate frameshifting and show how the ribosome tunes the strength of the base-pair interactions.
Project description:Synthesis of the Gag-Pol protein of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) requires a programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting when ribosomes translate the unspliced viral messenger RNA. This frameshift occurs at a slippery sequence followed by an RNA structure motif that stimulates frameshifting. This motif is commonly assumed to be a simple stem-loop for HIV-1. In this study, we show that the frameshift stimulatory signal is more complex than believed and consists of a two-stem helix. The upper stem-loop corresponds to the classic stem-loop, and the lower stem is formed by pairing the spacer region following the slippery sequence and preceding this classic stem-loop with a segment downstream of this stem-loop. A three-purine bulge interrupts the two stems. This structure was suggested by enzymatic probing with nuclease V1 of an RNA fragment corresponding to the gag/pol frameshift region of HIV-1. The involvement of the novel lower stem in frameshifting was supported by site-directed mutagenesis. A fragment encompassing the gag/pol frameshift region of HIV-1 was inserted in the beginning of the coding sequence of a reporter gene coding for the firefly luciferase, such that expression of luciferase requires a -1 frameshift. When the reporter was expressed in COS cells, mutations that disrupt the capacity to form the lower stem reduced frameshifting, whereas compensatory changes that allow re-formation of this stem restored the frameshift efficiency near wild-type level. The two-stem structure that we propose for the frameshift stimulatory signal of HIV-1 differs from the RNA triple helix structure recently proposed.
Project description:Programmed ribosomal frameshifting (PRF) is the controlled slippage of the translating ribosome to an alternative frame. This process is widely employed by human viruses such as HIV and SARS coronavirus and is critical for their replication. Here, we developed a high-throughput approach to assess the frameshifting potential of a sequence. We designed and tested >12,000 sequences based on 15 viral and human PRF events, allowing us to systematically dissect the rules governing ribosomal frameshifting and discover novel regulatory inputs based on amino acid properties and tRNA availability. We assessed the natural variation in HIV gag-pol frameshifting rates by testing >500 clinical isolates and identified subtype-specific differences and associations between viral load in patients and the optimality of PRF rates. We devised computational models that accurately predict frameshifting potential and frameshifting rates, including subtle differences between HIV isolates. This approach can contribute to the development of antiviral agents targeting PRF.
Project description:Programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting (-1 PRF) is a widely used translational mechanism facilitating the expression of two polypeptides from a single mRNA. Commonly, the ribosome interacts with an mRNA secondary structure that promotes -1 frameshifting on a homopolymeric slippery sequence. Recently, we described an unusual -2 frameshifting (-2 PRF) signal directing efficient expression of a transframe protein [nonstructural protein 2TF (nsp2TF)] of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) from an alternative reading frame overlapping the viral replicase gene. Unusually, this arterivirus PRF signal lacks an obvious stimulatory RNA secondary structure, but as confirmed here, can also direct the occurrence of -1 PRF, yielding a third, truncated nsp2 variant named "nsp2N." Remarkably, we now show that both -2 and -1 PRF are transactivated by a protein factor, specifically a PRRSV replicase subunit (nsp1?). Embedded in nsp1?'s papain-like autoproteinase domain, we identified a highly conserved, putative RNA-binding motif that is critical for PRF transactivation. The minimal RNA sequence required for PRF was mapped within a 34-nt region that includes the slippery sequence and a downstream conserved CCCANCUCC motif. Interaction of nsp1? with the PRF signal was demonstrated in pull-down assays. These studies demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that a protein can function as a transactivator of ribosomal frameshifting. The newly identified frameshifting determinants provide potential antiviral targets for arterivirus disease control and prevention. Moreover, protein-induced transactivation of frameshifting may be a widely used mechanism, potentially including previously undiscovered viral strategies to regulate viral gene expression and/or modulate host cell translation upon infection.
Project description:Base pairing between the 3' end of 16S rRNA and mRNA is shown to be important for the programmed -1 frameshifting utilized in decoding the Escherichia coli dnaX gene. This pairing is the same as the Shine-Dalgarno pairing used by prokaryotic ribosomes in selection of translation initiators, but for frameshifting the interaction occurs within elongating ribosomes. For dnaX -1 frameshifting, the 3' base of the Shine-Dalgarno sequence is 10 nucleotides 5' of the shift site. Previously, Shine-Dalgarno rRNA-mRNA pairing was shown to stimulate the +1 frameshifting necessary for decoding the release factor 2 gene. However, in the release factor 2 gene, the Shine-Dalgarno sequence is located 3 nucleotides 5' of the shift site. When the Shine-Dalgarno sequence is moved to the same position relative to the dnaX shift site, it is inhibitory rather than stimulatory. Shine-Dalgarno interactions by elongating ribosomes are likely to be used in stimulating -1 frameshifting in the decoding of a variety of genes.