(1/1301) Molecular dynamics studies of U1A-RNA complexes.

The U1A protein binds to a hairpin RNA and an internal-loop RNA with picomolar affinities. To probe the molecular basis of U1A binding, we performed state-of-the-art nanosecond molecular dynamics simulations on both complexes. The good agreement with experimental structures supports the protocols used in the simulations. We compare the dynamics, hydrogen-bonding occupancies, and interfacial flexibility of both complexes and also describe a rigid-body motion in the U1A-internal loop complex that is not observed in the U1A-hairpin simulation. We relate these observations to experimental mutational studies and highlight their significance in U1A binding affinity and specificity.  (+info)

(2/1301) Crystal structures of two Sm protein complexes and their implications for the assembly of the spliceosomal snRNPs.

The U1, U2, U4/U6, and U5 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs) involved in pre-mRNA splicing contain seven Sm proteins (B/B', D1, D2, D3, E, F, and G) in common, which assemble around the Sm site present in four of the major spliceosomal small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs). These proteins share a common sequence motif in two segments, Sm1 and Sm2, separated by a short variable linker. Crystal structures of two Sm protein complexes, D3B and D1D2, show that these proteins have a common fold containing an N-terminal helix followed by a strongly bent five-stranded antiparallel beta sheet, and the D1D2 and D3B dimers superpose closely in their core regions, including the dimer interfaces. The crystal structures suggest that the seven Sm proteins could form a closed ring and the snRNAs may be bound in the positively charged central hole.  (+info)

(3/1301) MHC class II gene associations with autoantibodies to U1A and SmD1 proteins.

Autoantibodies against U small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNP) are frequently present in the serum of patients with systemic rheumatic diseases, and have been reported to be associated with HLA-DR and -DQ genes. To better define the role of HLA genes in the production of such antibodies, we studied immunogenetic associations with autoantibodies reacting with U1 RNP, U1A and SmD1 proteins, and synthetic peptides containing immunodominant linear epitopes of these proteins. Only two out of the 15 overlapping peptides of U1A (i.e. peptides 35-58 and 257-282) and three of 11 peptides of SmD1 (i.e. peptides 1-20, 44-67 and 97-119) were significantly recognized by patients' sera selected on the basis of their antibody positivity with RNP in immunodiffusion. The distribution of DRB1, DQB1 and DPB1 alleles among the anti-RNP antibody-positive patients (n = 28) and healthy control subjects was similar. Antibodies against U1A (tested in Western immunoblotting with HeLa cell extracts) were positively associated to DRB1*06 allele; antibodies reacting with SmD1 peptide 44-67 were negatively associated to DRB1*02 and DQB1*0602 alleles. No association was found between DPB1 alleles and antibodies reacting with U1A and SmD1 antigens. This first study reporting an association between autoantibodies reacting with U1A and SmD1 proteins (and peptides of these proteins), and immunogenetic markers suggest that the production of antibody subsets directed against different components (or regions of these proteins) bound to the same snRNP particle is associated with distinct MHC class II alleles.  (+info)

(4/1301) Interaction of the U1 snRNP with nonconserved intronic sequences affects 5' splice site selection.

Intron definition and splice site selection occur at an early stage during assembly of the spliceosome, the complex mediating pre-mRNA splicing. Association of U1 snRNP with the pre-mRNA is required for these early steps. We report here that the yeast U1 snRNP-specific protein Nam8p is a component of the commitment complexes, the first stable complexes assembled on pre-mRNA. In vitro and in vivo, Nam8p becomes indispensable for efficient 5' splice site recognition when this process is impaired as a result of the presence of noncanonical 5' splice sites or the absence of a cap structure. Nam8p stabilizes commitment complexes in the latter conditions. Consistent with this, Nam8p interacts with the pre-mRNA downstream of the 5' splice site, in a region of nonconserved sequence. Substitutions in this region affect splicing efficiency and alternative splice site choice in a Nam8p-dependent manner. Therefore, Nam8p is involved in a novel mechanism by which a snRNP component can affect splice site choice and regulate intron removal through its interaction with a nonconserved sequence. This supports a model where early 5' splice recognition results from a network of interactions established by the splicing machinery with various regions of the pre-mRNA.  (+info)

(5/1301) In vivo nuclease hypersensitivity studies reveal multiple sites of parental origin-dependent differential chromatin conformation in the 150 kb SNRPN transcription unit.

Human chromosome region 15q11-q13 contains a cluster of oppositely imprinted genes. Loss of the paternal or the maternal alleles by deletion of the region or by uniparental disomy 15 results in Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) or Angelman syndrome (AS), respectively. Hence, the two phenotypically distinct neurodevelopmental disorders are caused by the lack of products of imprinted genes. Subsets of PWS and AS patients exhibit 'imprinting mutations', such as small microdeletions within the 5' region of the small nuclear ribonucleoprotein polypeptide N ( SNRPN ) transcription unit which affect the transcriptional activity and methylation status of distant imprinted genes throughout 15q11-q13 in cis. To elucidate the mechanism of these long-range effects, we have analyzed the chromatin structure of the 150 kb SNRPN transcription unit for DNase I- and Msp I-hypersensitive sites. By using an in vivo approach on lymphoblastoid cell lines from PWS and AS individuals, we discovered that the SNRPN exon 1 is flanked by prominent hypersensitive sites on the paternal allele, but is completely inaccessible to nucleases on the maternal allele. In contrast, we identified several regions of increased nuclease hypersensitivity on the maternal allele, one of which coincides with the AS minimal microdeletion region and another lies in intron 1 immediately downstream of the paternal-specific hypersensitive sites. At several sites, parental origin-specific nuclease hypersensitivity was found to be correlated with hypermethylation on the allele contributed by the other parent. The differential parental origin-dependent chromatin conformations might govern access of regulatory protein complexes and/or RNAs which could mediate interaction of the region with other genes.  (+info)

(6/1301) The role of overlapping U1 and U11 5' splice site sequences in a negative regulator of splicing.

Splicing of Rous sarcoma virus RNA is regulated in part by a cis-acting intronic RNA element called the negative regulator of splicing (NRS). An NRS mutant affecting nt 916-923 disrupts U11 snRNP binding and reduces NRS activity (Gontarek et al., 1993, Genes & Dev 7:1926-1936). However, we observed that a U15' splice site-like sequence, which overlapped the U11 site, was also disrupted by this mutation. To determine whether the U1 or the U11 site was essential for NRS activity, we analyzed twelve additional mutants involving nt 915-926. All mutations that disrupted the potential base pairing between U1 snRNA and the NRS reduced NRS activity, including single point mutations at nt 915, 916, and 919. The point mutation at nt 919 was partially suppressed by a compensatory base change mutation in U1 snRNA. In contrast, a mutation which strengthened the potential base pairing between the U1 site and the NRS increased NRS activity. Surprisingly, mutations that specifically targeted the U115' splice site consensus sequence increased the levels of unspliced RNA, suggesting U11 binding plays an antagonistic role to NRS activity. We propose that U1 snRNP binding to the NRS inhibits splicing and is regulated by U11 snRNP binding to the overlapping sequence. Competition between U1 and U11 snRNPs would result in the appropriate balance of spliced to unspliced RNAs for optimal viral replication. Further, a virus mutated in the U1/U11 region of the NRS was found to have delayed replication.  (+info)

(7/1301) The identification and characterization of a novel splicing protein, Isy1p, of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

We have identified a novel splicing factor, Isy1p, through two-hybrid screens for interacting proteins involved in nuclear pre-mRNA splicing. Isy1p was tagged and demonstrated to be part of the splicing machinery, associated with spliceosomes throughout the splicing reactions. At least a portion of the Isy1 protein population is associated with snRNAs; low levels of U5 and U6 snRNAs are coimmunoprecipitated specifically with Isy1p. When the ISY1 gene was knocked out, no defect in vegetative growth was observed. Using a sensitive in vivo splicing assay, however, we observed lower splicing efficiency in the isy1 null mutant compared to wild-type, indicating that Isy1 p is important in the optimization of splicing.  (+info)

(8/1301) Nop58p is a common component of the box C+D snoRNPs that is required for snoRNA stability.

Eukaryotic nucleoli contain a large family of box C+D small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) species, all of which are associated with a common protein Nop1p/fibrillarin. Nop58p was identified in a screen for synthetic lethality with Nop1p and shown to be an essential nucleolar protein. Here we report that a Protein A-tagged version of Nop58p coprecipitates all tested box C+D snoRNAs and that genetic depletion of Nop58p leads to the loss of all tested box C+D snoRNAs. The box H+ACA class of snoRNAs are not coprecipitated with Nop58p, and are not codepleted. The yeast box C+D snoRNAs include two species, U3 and U14, that are required for the early cleavages in pre-rRNA processing. Consistent with this, Nop58p depletion leads to a strong inhibition of pre-rRNA processing and 18S rRNA synthesis. Unexpectedly, depletion of Nop58p leads to the accumulation of 3' extended forms of U3 and U24, showing that the protein is also involved in snoRNA synthesis. Nop58p is the second common component of the box C+D snoRNPs to be identified and the first to be shown to be required for the stability and for the synthesis of these snoRNAs.  (+info)