Apontic binds the translational repressor Bruno and is implicated in regulation of oskar mRNA translation.
The product of the oskar gene directs posterior patterning in the Drosophila oocyte, where it must be deployed specifically at the posterior pole. Proper expression relies on the coordinated localization and translational control of the oskar mRNA. Translational repression prior to localization of the transcript is mediated, in part, by the Bruno protein, which binds to discrete sites in the 3' untranslated region of the oskar mRNA. To begin to understand how Bruno acts in translational repression, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify Bruno-interacting proteins. One interactor, described here, is the product of the apontic gene. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments lend biochemical support to the idea that Bruno and Apontic proteins physically interact in Drosophila. Genetic experiments using mutants defective in apontic and bruno reveal a functional interaction between these genes. Given this interaction, Apontic is likely to act together with Bruno in translational repression of oskar mRNA. Interestingly, Apontic, like Bruno, is an RNA-binding protein and specifically binds certain regions of the oskar mRNA 3' untranslated region. (+info)
Meiosis: MeiRNA hits the spot.
The protein Mei2 performs at least two functions required in fission yeast for the switch from mitotic to meiotic cell cycles. One of these functions also requires meiRNA. It appears that meiRNA targets Mei2 to the nucleus, where it can promote the first meiotic division. (+info)
The splicing factor-associated protein, p32, regulates RNA splicing by inhibiting ASF/SF2 RNA binding and phosphorylation.
The cellular protein p32 was isolated originally as a protein tightly associated with the essential splicing factor ASF/SF2 during its purification from HeLa cells. ASF/SF2 is a member of the SR family of splicing factors, which stimulate constitutive splicing and regulate alternative RNA splicing in a positive or negative fashion, depending on where on the pre-mRNA they bind. Here we present evidence that p32 interacts with ASF/SF2 and SRp30c, another member of the SR protein family. We further show that p32 inhibits ASF/SF2 function as both a splicing enhancer and splicing repressor protein by preventing stable ASF/SF2 interaction with RNA, but p32 does not block SRp30c function. ASF/SF2 is highly phosphorylated in vivo, a modification required for stable RNA binding and protein-protein interaction during spliceosome formation, and this phosphorylation, either through HeLa nuclear extracts or through specific SR protein kinases, is inhibited by p32. Our results suggest that p32 functions as an ASF/SF2 inhibitory factor, regulating ASF/SF2 RNA binding and phosphorylation. These findings place p32 into a new group of proteins that control RNA splicing by sequestering an essential RNA splicing factor into an inhibitory complex. (+info)
Selection and characterization of pre-mRNA splicing enhancers: identification of novel SR protein-specific enhancer sequences.
Splicing enhancers are RNA sequences required for accurate splice site recognition and the control of alternative splicing. In this study, we used an in vitro selection procedure to identify and characterize novel RNA sequences capable of functioning as pre-mRNA splicing enhancers. Randomized 18-nucleotide RNA sequences were inserted downstream from a Drosophila doublesex pre-mRNA enhancer-dependent splicing substrate. Functional splicing enhancers were then selected by multiple rounds of in vitro splicing in nuclear extracts, reverse transcription, and selective PCR amplification of the spliced products. Characterization of the selected splicing enhancers revealed a highly heterogeneous population of sequences, but we identified six classes of recurring degenerate sequence motifs five to seven nucleotides in length including novel splicing enhancer sequence motifs. Analysis of selected splicing enhancer elements and other enhancers in S100 complementation assays led to the identification of individual enhancers capable of being activated by specific serine/arginine (SR)-rich splicing factors (SC35, 9G8, and SF2/ASF). In addition, a potent splicing enhancer sequence isolated in the selection specifically binds a 20-kDa SR protein. This enhancer sequence has a high level of sequence homology with a recently identified RNA-protein adduct that can be immunoprecipitated with an SRp20-specific antibody. We conclude that distinct classes of selected enhancers are activated by specific SR proteins, but there is considerable sequence degeneracy within each class. The results presented here, in conjunction with previous studies, reveal a remarkably broad spectrum of RNA sequences capable of binding specific SR proteins and/or functioning as SR-specific splicing enhancers. (+info)
Substrate specificities of SR proteins in constitutive splicing are determined by their RNA recognition motifs and composite pre-mRNA exonic elements.
We report striking differences in the substrate specificities of two human SR proteins, SF2/ASF and SC35, in constitutive splicing. beta-Globin pre-mRNA (exons 1 and 2) is spliced indiscriminately with either SR protein. Human immunodeficiency virus tat pre-mRNA (exons 2 and 3) and immunoglobulin mu-chain (IgM) pre-mRNA (exons C3 and C4) are preferentially spliced with SF2/ASF and SC35, respectively. Using in vitro splicing with mutated or chimeric derivatives of the tat and IgM pre-mRNAs, we defined specific combinations of segments in the downstream exons, which mediate either positive or negative effects to confer SR protein specificity. A series of recombinant chimeric proteins consisting of domains of SF2/ASF and SC35 in various combinations was used to localize trans-acting domains responsible for substrate specificity. The RS domains of SF2/ASF and SC35 can be exchanged without effect on substrate specificity. The RNA recognition motifs (RRMs) of SF2/ASF are active only in the context of a two-RRM structure, and RRM2 has a dominant role in substrate specificity. In contrast, the single RRM of SC35 can function alone, but its substrate specificity can be influenced by the presence of an additional RRM. The RRMs behave as modules that, when present in different combinations, can have positive, neutral, or negative effects on splicing, depending upon the specific substrate. We conclude that SR protein-specific recognition of specific positive and negative pre-mRNA exonic elements via one or more RRMs is a crucial determinant of the substrate specificity of SR proteins in constitutive splicing. (+info)
A human sequence homologue of Staufen is an RNA-binding protein that is associated with polysomes and localizes to the rough endoplasmic reticulum.
In the course of a two-hybrid screen with the NS1 protein of influenza virus, a human clone capable of coding for a protein with high homology to the Staufen protein from Drosophila melanogaster (dmStaufen) was identified. With these sequences used as a probe, cDNAs were isolated from a lambda cDNA library. The encoded protein (hStaufen-like) contained four double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-binding domains with 55% similarity and 38% identity to those of dmStaufen, including identity at all residues involved in RNA binding. A recombinant protein containing all dsRNA-binding domains was expressed in Escherichia coli as a His-tagged polypeptide. It showed dsRNA binding activity in vitro, with an apparent Kd of 10(-9) M. Using a specific antibody, we detected in human cells a major form of the hStaufen-like protein with an apparent molecular mass of 60 to 65 kDa. The intracellular localization of hStaufen-like protein was investigated by immunofluorescence using a series of markers for the cell compartments. Colocalization was observed with the rough endoplasmic reticulum but not with endosomes, cytoskeleton, or Golgi apparatus. Furthermore, sedimentation analyses indicated that hStaufen-like protein associates with polysomes. These results are discussed in relation to the possible functions of the protein. (+info)
Mammalian staufen is a double-stranded-RNA- and tubulin-binding protein which localizes to the rough endoplasmic reticulum.
Staufen (Stau) is a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-binding protein involved in mRNA transport and localization in Drosophila. To understand the molecular mechanisms of mRNA transport in mammals, we cloned human (hStau) and mouse (mStau) staufen cDNAs. In humans, four transcripts arise by differential splicing of the Stau gene and code for two proteins with different N-terminal extremities. In vitro, hStau and mStau bind dsRNA via each of two full-length dsRNA-binding domains and tubulin via a region similar to the microtubule-binding domain of MAP-1B, suggesting that Stau cross-links cytoskeletal and RNA components. Immunofluorescent double labeling of transfected mammalian cells revealed that Stau is localized to the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), implicating this RNA-binding protein in mRNA targeting to the RER, perhaps via a multistep process involving microtubules. These results are the first demonstration of the association of an RNA-binding protein in addition to ribosomal proteins, with the RER, implicating this class of proteins in the transport of RNA to its site of translation. (+info)
NMD3 encodes an essential cytoplasmic protein required for stable 60S ribosomal subunits in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
A mutation in NMD3 was found to be lethal in the absence of XRN1, which encodes the major cytoplasmic exoribonuclease responsible for mRNA turnover. Molecular genetic analysis of NMD3 revealed that it is an essential gene required for stable 60S ribosomal subunits. Cells bearing a temperature-sensitive allele of NMD3 had decreased levels of 60S subunits at the nonpermissive temperature which resulted in the formation of half-mer polysomes. Pulse-chase analysis of rRNA biogenesis indicated that 25S rRNA was made and processed with kinetics similar to wild-type kinetics. However, the mature RNA was rapidly degraded, with a half-life of 4 min. Nmd3p fractionated as a cytoplasmic protein and sedimented in the position of free 60S subunits in sucrose gradients. These results suggest that Nmd3p is a cytoplasmic factor required for a late cytoplasmic assembly step of the 60S subunit but is not a ribosomal protein. Putative orthologs of Nmd3p exist in Drosophila, in nematodes, and in archaebacteria but not in eubacteria. The Nmd3 protein sequence does not contain readily recognizable motifs of known function. However, these proteins all have an amino-terminal domain containing four repeats of Cx2C, reminiscent of zinc-binding proteins, implicated in nucleic acid binding or protein oligomerization. (+info)