Project description:Piwi proteins are important for germ cell development in most animals. These proteins are guided to specific targets by small guide RNAs, referred to as piRNAs or 21U RNAs in Caenorhabditis elegans In this organism, even though genetic screens have uncovered 21U RNA biogenesis factors, little is known about how these factors interact or what they do. Based on the previously identified 21U biogenesis factor PID-1 (piRNA-induced silencing-defective 1), we here define a novel protein complex, PETISCO (PID-3, ERH-2, TOFU-6, and IFE-3 small RNA complex), that is required for 21U RNA biogenesis. PETISCO contains both potential 5' cap and 5' phosphate RNA-binding domains and interacts with capped 21U precursor RNA. We resolved the architecture of PETISCO and revealed a second function for PETISCO in embryonic development. This essential function of PETISCO is mediated not by PID-1 but by the novel protein TOST-1 (twenty-one U pathway antagonist). In contrast, TOST-1 is not essential for 21U RNA biogenesis. Both PID-1 and TOST-1 interact directly with ERH-2 using a conserved sequence motif. Finally, our data suggest a role for TOST-1:PETISCO in SL1 homeostasis in the early embryo. Our work describes a key complex for 21U RNA processing in C. elegans and strengthens the view that 21U RNA biogenesis is built on an snRNA-related pathway.
Project description:Pf1, also known as Phf12 (plant homeodomain [PHD] zinc finger protein 12), is a member of the PHD zinc finger family of proteins. Pf1 associates with a chromatin-interacting protein complex comprised of MRG15, Sin3B, and histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) that functions as a transcriptional modulator. The biological function of Pf1 remains largely elusive. We undertook the generation of Pf1 knockout mice to elucidate its physiological role. We demonstrate that Pf1 is required for mid- to late gestation viability. Pf1 inactivation impairs the proliferative potential of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and is associated with a significant decrease in bromodeoxyuridine incorporation; an increase in senescence-associated ?-galactosidase (SA-?-Gal) activity, a marker of cellular senescence; and elevated levels of phosphorylated H2AX (?-H2A.X), a marker associated with DNA double-strand breaks. Analysis of transcripts differentially expressed in wild-type and Pf1-deficient cells revealed the impact of Pf1 in multiple regulatory arms of the ribosome biogenesis pathways. Strikingly, assessment of the morphology of the nucleoli exposed an abnormal nucleolar structure in Pf1-deficient cells. Finally, proteomic analysis of the Pf1-interacting complexes highlighted proteins involved in ribosome biogenesis. Taken together, our data reveal an unsuspected function for the Pf1-associated chromatin complex in the ribosomal biogenesis and senescence pathways.
Project description:Mammalian AATF/Che-1 is essential for embryonic development, however, the underlying molecular mechanism is unclear. By immunoprecipitation of human AATF we discovered that AATF forms a salt-stable protein complex together with neuroguidin (NGDN) and NOL10, and demonstrate that the AATF-NGDN-NOL10 (ANN) complex functions in ribosome biogenesis. All three ANN complex members localize to nucleoli and display a mutual dependence with respect to protein stability. Mapping of protein-protein interaction domains revealed the importance of both the evolutionary conserved WD40 repeats in NOL10 and the UTP3/SAS10 domain in NGDN for complex formation. Functional analysis showed that the ANN complex supports nucleolar steps of 40S ribosomal subunit biosynthesis. All complex members were required for 18S rRNA maturation and their individual depletion affected the same nucleolar cleavage steps in the 5'ETS and ITS1 regions of the ribosomal RNA precursor. Collectively, we identified the ANN complex as a novel functional module supporting the nucleolar maturation of 40S ribosomal subunits. Our data help to explain the described role of AATF in cell proliferation during mouse development as well as its requirement for malignant tumor growth.
Project description:Genes that are essential for viability represent potential targets for the development of anti-infective agents. However, relatively few have been determined in the filamentous fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. A novel solution employing parasexual genetics coupled with transposon mutagenesis using the Fusarium oxysporum transposon impala had previously enabled the identification of 20 essential genes from A. fumigatus; however, further use of this system required a better understanding of the mode of action of the transposon itself. Examination of a range of conditions indicated that impala is activated by prolonged exposure to low temperatures. This newly identified property was then harnessed to identify 96 loci that are critical for viability in A. fumigatus, including genes required for RNA metabolism, organelle organization, protein transport, ribosome biogenesis, and transcription, as well as a number of noncoding RNAs. A number of these genes represent potential targets for much-needed novel antifungal drugs.
Project description:The evolutionarily conserved TREX (Transcription/Export) complex physically couples transcription, messenger ribonucleoprotein particle biogenesis, RNA processing, and RNA export for a subset of genes. HPR1 encodes an essential component of the S. cerevisiae TREX complex. HPR1 loss compromises transcriptional elongation, nuclear RNA export, and genome stability. Yet, HPR1 is not required for yeast viability. Thoc1 is the recently discovered human functional orthologue of HPR1. Thoc1 is expressed at higher levels in breast cancer than in normal epithelia, and expression levels correlate with tumor size and metastatic potential. Depletion of Thoc1 protein (pThoc1) in human cancer cell lines compromises cell proliferation. It is currently unclear whether Thoc1 is essential for all mammalian cells or whether cancer cells may differ from normal cells in their dependence on Thoc1. To address this issue, we have compared the requirements for Thoc1 in the proliferation and survival of isogenic normal and oncogene-transformed cells. Neoplastic cells rapidly lose viability via apoptotic cell death on depletion of pThoc1. Induction of apoptotic cell death is coincident with increased DNA damage as indicated by the appearance of phosphorylated histone H2AX. In contrast, the viability of normal cells is largely unaffected by pThoc1 loss. Normal cells lacking Thoc1 cannot be transformed by forced expression of E1A and Ha-ras, suggesting that Thoc1 may be important for neoplastic transformation. In sum, our data are consistent with the hypothesis that cancer cells require higher levels of pThoc1 for survival than normal cells. If true, pThoc1 may provide a novel molecular target for cancer therapy.
Project description:Hundreds of cellular host factors are required to support dengue virus infection, but their identity and roles are incompletely characterized. Here, we identify human host dependency factors required for efficient dengue virus-2 (DENV2) infection of human cells. We focused on two, TTC35 and TMEM111, which we previously demonstrated to be required for yellow fever virus (YFV) infection and others subsequently showed were also required by other flaviviruses. These proteins are components of the human endoplasmic reticulum membrane protein complex (EMC), which has roles in ER-associated protein biogenesis and lipid metabolism. We report that DENV, YFV and Zika virus (ZIKV) infections were strikingly inhibited, while West Nile virus infection was unchanged, in cells that lack EMC subunit 4. Furthermore, targeted depletion of EMC subunits in live mosquitoes significantly reduced DENV2 propagation in vivo. Using a novel uncoating assay, which measures interactions between host RNA-binding proteins and incoming viral RNA, we show that EMC is required at or prior to virus uncoating. Importantly, we uncovered a second and important role for the EMC. The complex is required for viral protein accumulation in a cell line harboring a ZIKV replicon, indicating that EMC participates in the complex process of viral protein biogenesis.
Project description:B23 (NPM/nucleophosmin) is a multifunctional nucleolar protein and a member of the nucleoplasmin superfamily of acidic histone chaperones. B23 is essential for normal embryonic development and plays an important role in genomic stability, ribosome biogenesis, and anti-apoptotic signaling. Altered protein expression or genomic mutation of B23 is encountered in many different forms of cancer. Although described as multifunctional, a genuine molecular function of B23 is not fully understood. Here we show that B23 is associated with a protein complex consisting of ribosomal proteins and ribosome-associated RNA helicases. A novel, RNA-independent interaction between ribosomal protein S9 (RPS9) and B23 was further investigated. We found that S9 binding requires an intact B23 oligomerization domain. Depletion of S9 by small interfering RNA resulted in decreased protein synthesis and G(1) cell cycle arrest, in association with induction of p53 target genes. We determined that S9 is a short-lived protein in the absence of ribosome biogenesis, and proteasomal inhibition significantly increased S9 protein level. Overexpression of B23 facilitated nucleolar storage of S9, whereas knockdown of B23 led to diminished levels of nucleolar S9. Our results suggest that B23 selectively stores, and protects ribosomal protein S9 in nucleoli and therefore could facilitate ribosome biogenesis.
Project description:The hnRNP C1 and C2 proteins are among the most abundant proteins in the nucleus, and as ubiquitous components of RNP complexes, they have been implicated in many aspects of mRNA biogenesis. In this report, we have characterized a null mutation induced in embryonic stem cells by insertion of the U3His gene trap retrovirus into the first intron of the hnRNP C1/C2 gene. cDNAs encoding murine hnRNP C1 and C2 were characterized, and the predicted protein sequences were found to be highly conserved among vertebrates. A human consensus sequence, generated from over 400 expressed sequence tags, suggests two revisions to the previously published human sequence. In addition, alternatively spliced transcripts, expressed only by the murine gene, encode four novel proteins: variants of C1 and C2 with either seven additional amino acids or one fewer amino acid in a region between the oligomerization and C-terminal acidic domains. The disrupted gene was transmitted into the germ line and is tightly linked to a recessive, embryonic lethal phenotype. Homozygous mutant embryos fail to develop beyond the egg cylinder stage and are resorbed by 10.5 days of gestation, a phenotype consistent with a fundamental role in cellular metabolism. However, hnRNP C1 and C2 are not required for cell viability. Embryonic stem cell lines established from homozygous mutant blastocysts did not express detectable levels of either protein yet were able to grow and differentiate in vitro, albeit more slowly than wild-type cells. These results indicate that the C1 and C2 hnRNPs are not required for any essential step in mRNA biogenesis; however, the proteins may influence the rate and/or fidelity of one or more steps.
Project description:The flow of genetic information from DNA to protein requires polymerase-II-transcribed RNA characterized by the presence of a 5'-cap. The cap-binding complex (CBC), consisting of the nuclear cap-binding protein (NCBP) 2 and its adaptor NCBP1, is believed to bind all capped RNA and to be necessary for its processing and intracellular localization. Here we show that NCBP1, but not NCBP2, is required for cell viability and poly(A) RNA export. We identify C17orf85 (here named NCBP3) as a cap-binding protein that together with NCBP1 forms an alternative CBC in higher eukaryotes. NCBP3 binds mRNA, associates with components of the mRNA processing machinery and contributes to poly(A) RNA export. Loss of NCBP3 can be compensated by NCBP2 under steady-state conditions. However, NCBP3 becomes pivotal under stress conditions, such as virus infection. We propose the existence of an alternative CBC involving NCBP1 and NCBP3 that plays a key role in mRNA biogenesis.
Project description:Ribosome biogenesis is a complex process orchestrated by a host of ribosome assembly factors. Although it is known that many of the proteins involved in this process have RNA binding activity, the full repertoire of proteins that interact with the precursor ribosomal RNA is currently unknown. To gain a greater understanding of the extent to which RNA-protein interactions have the potential to control ribosome biogenesis, we used RNA affinity isolation coupled with proteomics to measure the changes in RNA-protein interactions that occur when rRNA transcription is blocked. Our analysis identified 211 out of 457 nuclear RNA binding proteins with a >3-fold decrease in RNA-protein interaction after inhibition of RNA polymerase I (RNAPI). We have designated these 211 RNA binding proteins as the RNAPI RNA interactome. As expected, the RNAPI RNA interactome is highly enriched for nucleolar proteins and proteins associated with ribosome biogenesis. Selected proteins from the interactome were shown to be nucleolar in location and to have RNA binding activity that was dependent on RNAPI activity. Furthermore, our data show that two proteins, which are required for rRNA maturation, AATF and NGDN, and which form part of the RNA interactome, both lack canonical RNA binding domains and yet are novel pre-rRNA binding proteins.