Nucleic Acids Research

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RNA regulators responding to ribosomal protein S15 are frequent in sequence space

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

There are several natural examples of distinct RNA structures that interact with the same ligand to regulate the expression of homologous genes in different organisms. One essential question regarding this phenomenon is whether such RNA regulators are the result of convergent or divergent evolution. Are the RNAs derived from some common ancestor and diverged to the point where we cannot identify the similarity, or have multiple solutions to the same biological problem arisen independently? A key variable in assessing these alternatives is how frequently such regulators arise within sequence space. Ribosomal protein S15 is autogenously regulated via an RNA regulator in many bacterial species; four apparently distinct regulators have been functionally validated in different bacterial phyla. Here, we explore how frequently such regulators arise within a partially randomized sequence population. We find many RNAs that interact specifically with ribosomal protein S15 from Geobacillus kaustophilus with biologically relevant dissociation constants. Furthermore, of the six sequences we characterize, four show regulatory activity in an Escherichia coli reporter assay. Subsequent footprinting and mutagenesis analysis indicates that protein binding proximal to regulatory features such as the Shine–Dalgarno sequence is sufficient to enable regulation, suggesting that regulation in response to S15 is relatively easily acquired.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Stable nuclear expression of ATP8 and ATP6 genes rescues a mtDNA Complex V null mutant

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

We explore the possibility of re-engineering mitochondrial genes and expressing them from the nucleus as an approach to rescue defects arising from mitochondrial DNA mutations. We have used a patient cybrid cell line with a single point mutation in the overlap region of the ATP8 and ATP6 genes of the human mitochondrial genome. These cells are null for the ATP8 protein, have significantly lowered ATP6 protein levels and no Complex V function. Nuclear expression of only the ATP8 gene with the ATP5G1 mitochondrial targeting sequence appended restored viability on Krebs cycle substrates and ATP synthesis capabilities but, failed to restore ATP hydrolysis and was insensitive to various inhibitors of oxidative phosphorylation. Co-expressing both ATP8 and ATP6 genes under similar conditions resulted in stable protein expression leading to successful integration into Complex V of the oxidative phosphorylation machinery. Tests for ATP hydrolysis / synthesis, oxygen consumption, glycolytic metabolism and viability all indicate a significant functional rescue of the mutant phenotype (including re-assembly of Complex V) following stable co-expression of ATP8 and ATP6. Thus, we report the stable allotopic expression, import and function of two mitochondria encoded genes, ATP8 and ATP6, resulting in simultaneous rescue of the loss of both mitochondrial proteins.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Arginine methylation promotes translation repression activity of eIF4G-binding protein, Scd6

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

Regulation of translation plays a critical role in determining mRNA fate. A new role was recently reported for a subset of RGG-motif proteins in repressing translation initiation by binding eIF4G1. However the signaling mechanism(s) that leads to spatial and temporal regulation of repression activity of RGG-motif proteins remains unknown. Here we report the role of arginine methylation in regulation of repression activity of Scd6, a conserved RGG-motif protein. We demonstrate that Scd6 gets arginine methylated at its RGG-motif and Hmt1 plays an important role in its methylation. We identify specific methylated arginine residues in the Scd6 RGG-motif in vivo. We provide evidence that methylation augments Scd6 repression activity. Arginine methylation defective (AMD) mutant of Scd6 rescues the growth defect caused by overexpression of Scd6, a feature of translation repressors in general. Live-cell imaging of the AMD mutant revealed that it is defective in inducing formation of stress granules. Live-cell imaging and pull-down results indicate that it fails to bind eIF4G1 efficiently. Consistent with these results, a strain lacking Hmt1 is also defective in Scd6-eIF4G1 interaction. Our results establish that arginine methylation augments Scd6 repression activity by promoting eIF4G1-binding. We propose that arginine methylation of translation repressors with RGG-motif could be a general modulator of their repression activity.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Transcription of telomeric DNA leads to high levels of homologous recombination and t-loops

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

The formation of DNA loops at chromosome ends (t-loops) and the transcription of telomeres producing G-rich RNA (TERRA) represent two central features of telomeres. To explore a possible link between them we employed artificial human telomeres containing long arrays of TTAGGG repeats flanked by the T7 or T3 promoters. Transcription of these DNAs generates a high frequency of t-loops within individual molecules and homologous recombination events between different DNAs at their telomeric sequences. T-loop formation does not require a single strand overhang, arguing that both terminal strands insert into the preceding duplex. The loops are very stable and some RNase H resistant TERRA remains at the t-loop, likely adding to their stability. Transcription of DNAs containing TTAGTG or TGAGTG repeats showed greatly reduced loop formation. While in the cell multiple pathways may lead to t-loop formation, the pathway revealed here does not depend on the shelterins but rather on the unique character of telomeric DNA when it is opened for transcription. Hence, telomeric sequences may have evolved to facilitate their ability to loop back on themselves.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

DNA polymerase {theta} specializes in incorporating synthetic expanded-size (xDNA) nucleotides

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

DNA polymerase (Pol) is a unique A-family polymerase that is essential for alternative end-joining (alt-EJ) of double-strand breaks (DSBs) and performs translesion synthesis. Because Pol is highly expressed in cancer cells, confers resistance to ionizing radiation and chemotherapy agents, and promotes the survival of homologous recombination (HR) deficient cells, it represents a promising new cancer drug target. As a result, identifying substrates that are selective for this enzyme is a priority. Here, we demonstrate that Pol efficiently and selectively incorporates into DNA large benzo-expanded nucleotide analogs (dxAMP, dxGMP, dxTMP, dxAMP) which exhibit canonical base-pairing and enhanced base stacking. In contrast, functionally related Y-family translesion polymerases exhibit a severely reduced ability to incorporate dxNMPs, and all other human polymerases tested from the X, B and A families fail to incorporate them under the same conditions as Pol. We further find that Pol is inhibited after multiple dxGMP incorporation events, and that Pol efficiency for dxGMP incorporation approaches that of native dGMP. These data demonstrate a unique function for Pol in incorporating synthetic large-sized nucleotides and suggest the future possibility of the use of dxG nucleoside or related prodrug analogs as selective inhibitors of Pol activity.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Multipronged regulatory functions of a novel endonuclease (TieA) from Helicobacter pylori

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

Helicobacter pylori portrays a classical paradigm of persistent bacterial infections. A well balanced homeostasis of bacterial effector functions and host responses is purported to be the key in achieving long term colonization in specific hosts. H. pylori nucleases have been shown to assist in natural transformation, but their role in virulence and colonization remains elusive. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the involvement of these nucleases in the pathogenesis of H. pylori. Here, we report the multifaceted role of a TNFR-1 interacting endonuclease A (TieA) from H. pylori. tieA expression is differentially regulated in response to environmental stress and post adherence to gastric epithelial cells. Studies with isogenic knockouts of tieA revealed it to be a secretory protein which translocates into the host gastric epithelial cells independent of a type IV secretion system, gets phosphorylated by DNA-PK kinase and auto-phosphorylates as serine kinase. Furthermore, TieA binds to and cleaves DNA in a non-specific manner and promotes Fas mediated apoptosis in AGS cells. Additionally, TieA induced pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion via activation of transcription factor AP-1 and signaled through MAP kinase pathway. Collectively, TieA with its multipronged and moonlighting functions could facilitate H. pylori in maintaining a balance of bacterial adaptation, and elimination by the host responses.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Novel m4C modification in type I restriction-modification systems

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

We identify a new subgroup of Type I Restriction-Modification enzymes that modify cytosine in one DNA strand and adenine in the opposite strand for host protection. Recognition specificity has been determined for ten systems using SMRT sequencing and each recognizes a novel DNA sequence motif. Previously characterized Type I systems use two identical copies of a single methyltransferase (MTase) subunit, with one bound at each half site of the specificity (S) subunit to form the MTase. The new m4C-producing Type I systems we describe have two separate yet highly similar MTase subunits that form a heterodimeric M1M2S MTase. The MTase subunits from these systems group into two families, one of which has NPPF in the highly conserved catalytic motif IV and modifies adenine to m6A, and one having an NPPY catalytic motif IV and modifying cytosine to m4C. The high degree of similarity among their cytosine-recognizing components (MTase and S) suggest they have recently evolved, most likely from the far more common m6A Type I systems. Type I enzymes that modify cytosine exclusively were formed by replacing the adenine target recognition domain (TRD) with a cytosine-recognizing TRD. These are the first examples of m4C modification in Type I RM systems.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Structure and mechanism of a molecular rheostat, an RNA thermometer that modulates immune evasion by Neisseria meningitidis

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

Neisseria meningitidis causes bacterial meningitis and septicemia. It evades the host complement system by upregulating expression of immune evasion factors in response to changes in temperature. RNA thermometers within mRNAs control expression of bacterial immune evasion factors, including CssA, in the 5'-untranslated region of the operon for capsule biosynthesis. We dissect the molecular mechanisms of thermoregulation and report the structure of the CssA thermometer. We show that the RNA thermometer acts as a rheostat, whose stability is optimized to respond in a small temperature range around 37°C as occur within the upper airways during infection. Small increases in temperature gradually open up the structure to allow progressively increased access to the ribosome binding site. Even small changes in stability induced by mutations of imperfect base pairs, as in naturally occurring polymorphisms, shift the thermometer response outside of the desired temperature range, suggesting that its activity could be modulated by pharmacological intervention.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Extensive ceRNA-ceRNA interaction networks mediated by miRNAs regulate development in multiple rhesus tissues

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

Crosstalk between RNAs mediated by shared microRNAs (miRNAs) represents a novel layer of gene regulation, which plays important roles in development. In this study, we analyzed time series expression data for coding genes and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) to identify thousands of interactions among competitive endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) in four rhesus tissues. The ceRNAs exhibited dynamic expression and regulatory patterns during each tissue development process, which suggests that ceRNAs might work synergistically during different developmental stages or tissues to control specific functions. In addition, lncRNAs exhibit higher specificity as ceRNAs than coding-genes and their functions were predicted based on their competitive coding-gene partners to discover their important developmental roles. In addition to the specificity of tissue development, functional analyses demonstrated that the combined effects of multiple ceRNAs can have major impacts on general developmental and metabolic processes in multiple tissues, especially transcription-related functions where competitive interactions. Moreover, ceRNA interactions could sequentially and/or synergistically mediate the crosstalk among different signaling pathways during brain development. Analyzing ceRNA interactions during the development of multiple tissues will provideinsights in the regulation of normal development and the dysregulation of key mechanisms during pathogenesis.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Entropic stabilization of folded RNA in crowded solutions measured by SAXS

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

Non-coding RNAs must fold into specific structures that are stabilized by metal ions and other co-solutes in the cell's interior. Large crowder molecules such as PEG stabilize a bacterial group I ribozyme so that the RNA folds in low Mg2+ concentrations typical of the cell's interior. To understand the thermodynamic origins of stabilization by crowder molecules, small angle X-ray scattering was used to measure the folding and helix assembly of a bacterial group I ribozyme at different temperatures and in different MgCl2 and polyethylene glycol (PEG) concentrations. The resulting phase diagrams show that perturbations to folding by each variable do not overlap. A favorable enthalpy change drives the formation of compact, native-like structures, but requires Mg2+ ions at all temperatures studied (5–55°C). PEG reduces the entropic cost of helix assembly and increases correlations between RNA segments at all temperatures. The phase diagrams also revealed a semi-compact intermediate between the unfolded and folded ensemble that is locally more flexible than the unfolded state, as judged by SHAPE modification. These results suggest that environmental variables such as temperature and solute density will favor different types of RNA structures.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Inverted repeat Alu elements in the human lincRNA-p21 adopt a conserved secondary structure that regulates RNA function

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

LincRNA-p21 is a long intergenic non-coding RNA (lincRNA) involved in the p53-mediated stress response. We sequenced the human lincRNA-p21 (hLincRNA-p21) and found that it has a single exon that includes inverted repeat Alu elements (IRAlus). Sense and antisense Alu elements fold independently of one another into a secondary structure that is conserved in lincRNA-p21 among primates. Moreover, the structures formed by IRAlus are involved in the localization of hLincRNA-p21 in the nucleus, where hLincRNA-p21 colocalizes with paraspeckles. Our results underscore the importance of IRAlus structures for the function of hLincRNA-p21 during the stress response.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Delta chirality ruthenium 'light-switch complexes can bind in the minor groove of DNA with five different binding modes

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

[Ru(phen)2(dppz)]2+ has been studied since the 1990s due to its ‘light-switch’ properties. It can be used as a luminescent DNA probe, with emission switched on through DNA binding. The luminescence observed is dependent on the solvent accessibility of the pyrazine nitrogen atoms, and therefore is sensitive to changes in both binding site of the cation and chromophore orientation. The compound is also chiral, and there are distinct differences between the enantiomers in terms of the emission behaviour when bound to a variety of DNA sequences. Whilst a number of binary DNA-complex X-ray crystal structures are available, most include the enantiomer and there is very little structural information about binding of the enantiomer. Here, we present the first X-ray crystal structure of a enantiomer bound to well-matched DNA, in the absence of the other, enantiomer. We show how the binding site observed here can be related to a more general pattern of motifs in the crystallographic literature and propose that the enantiomer can bind with five different binding modes, offering a new hypothesis for the interpretation of solution data.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

The structure of the pleiotropic transcription regulator CodY provides insight into its GTP-sensing mechanism

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

GTP and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are metabolic sensors that are indispensable for the determination of the metabolic status of cells. However, their molecular sensing mechanism remains unclear. CodY is a unique global transcription regulator that recognizes GTP and BCAAs as specific signals and affects expression of more than 100 genes associated with metabolism. Herein, we report the first crystal structures of the full-length CodY complex with sensing molecules and describe their functional states. We observed two different oligomeric states of CodY: a dimeric complex of CodY from Staphylococcus aureus with the two metabolites GTP and isoleucine, and a tetrameric form (apo) of CodY from Bacillus cereus. Notably, the tetrameric state shows in an auto-inhibitory manner by blocking the GTP-binding site, whereas the binding sites of GTP and isoleucine are clearly visible in the dimeric state. The GTP is located at a hinge site between the long helical region and the metabolite-binding site. Together, data from structural and electrophoretic mobility shift assay analyses improve understanding of how CodY senses GTP and operates as a DNA-binding protein and a pleiotropic transcription regulator.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Structural basis for single-stranded RNA recognition and cleavage by C3PO

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

Translin and translin-associated factor-x are highly conserved in eukaroytes; they can form heteromeric complexes (known as C3POs) and participate in various nucleic acid metabolism pathways. In humans and Drosophila, C3POs cleave the fragmented siRNA passenger strands and facilitate the activation of RNA-induced silencing complex, the effector complex of RNA interference (RNAi). Here, we report three crystal structures of Nanoarchaeum equitans (Ne) C3PO. The apo-NeC3PO structure adopts an open form and unravels a potential substrates entryway for the first time. The NeC3PO:ssRNA and NeC3PO:ssDNA complexes fold like closed football with the substrates captured at the inner cavities. The NeC3PO:ssRNA structure represents the only catalytic form C3PO complex available to date; with mutagenesis and in vitro cleavage assays, the structure provides critical insights into the substrate binding and the two-cation-assisted catalytic mechanisms that are shared by eukaryotic C3POs. The work presented here further advances our understanding on the RNAi pathway.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Atomic structure of an archaeal GAN suggests its dual roles as an exonuclease in DNA repair and a CMG component in DNA replication

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

In eukaryotic DNA replication initiation, hexameric MCM (mini-chromosome maintenance) unwinds the template double-stranded DNA to form the replication fork. MCM is activated by two proteins, Cdc45 and GINS, which constitute the ‘CMG’ unwindosome complex together with the MCM core. The archaeal DNA replication system is quite similar to that of eukaryotes, but only limited knowledge about the DNA unwinding mechanism is available, from a structural point of view. Here, we describe the crystal structure of an archaeal GAN (GINS-associated nuclease) from Thermococcus kodakaraensis, the homolog of eukaryotic Cdc45, in both the free form and the complex with the C-terminal domain of the cognate Gins51 subunit (Gins51C). This first archaeal GAN structure exhibits a unique, ‘hybrid’ structure between the bacterial RecJ and the eukaryotic Cdc45. GAN possesses the conserved DHH and DHH1 domains responsible for the exonuclease activity, and an inserted CID (CMG interacting domain)-like domain structurally comparable to that in Cdc45, suggesting its dual roles as an exonuclease in DNA repair and a CMG component in DNA replication. A structural comparison of the GAN–Gins51C complex with the GINS tetramer suggests that GINS uses the mobile Gins51C as a hook to bind GAN for CMG formation.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Nucleic Acids Research: Editorial Board

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42
Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

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пн, 2016-10-31 07:42
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High-resolution structure of the presynaptic RAD51 filament on single-stranded DNA by electron cryo-microscopy

пн, 2016-10-31 07:42

Homologous DNA recombination (HR) by the RAD51 recombinase enables error-free DNA break repair. To execute HR, RAD51 first forms a presynaptic filament on single-stranded (ss) DNA, which catalyses pairing with homologous double-stranded (ds) DNA. Here, we report a structure for the presynaptic human RAD51 filament at 3.5–5.0Å resolution using electron cryo-microscopy. RAD51 encases ssDNA in a helical filament of 103Å pitch, comprising 6.4 protomers per turn, with a rise of 16.1Å and a twist of 56.2°. Inter-protomer distance correlates with rotation of an α-helical region in the core catalytic domain that is juxtaposed to ssDNA, suggesting how the RAD51–DNA interaction modulates protomer spacing and filament pitch. We map Fanconi anaemia-like disease-associated RAD51 mutations, clarifying potential phenotypes. We predict binding sites on the presynaptic filament for two modules present in each BRC repeat of the BRCA2 tumour suppressor, a critical HR mediator. Structural modelling suggests that changes in filament pitch mask or expose one binding site with filament-inhibitory potential, rationalizing the paradoxical ability of the BRC repeats to either stabilize or inhibit filament formation at different steps during HR. Collectively, our findings provide fresh insight into the structural mechanism of HR and its dysregulation in human disease.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals