Association of snRNA genes with coiled bodies is mediated by nascent snRNA transcripts.
BACKGROUND: Coiled bodies are nuclear organelles that are highly enriched in small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and certain basal transcription factors. Surprisingly, coiled bodies not only contain mature U snRNPs but also associate with specific chromosomal loci, including gene clusters that encode U snRNAs and histone messenger RNAs. The mechanism(s) by which coiled bodies associate with these genes is completely unknown. RESULTS: Using stable cell lines, we show that artificial tandem arrays of human U1 and U2 snRNA genes colocalize with coiled bodies and that the frequency of the colocalization depends directly on the transcriptional activity of the array. Association of the genes with coiled bodies was abolished when the artificial U2 arrays contained promoter mutations that prevent transcription or when RNA polymerase II transcription was globally inhibited by alpha-amanitin. Remarkably, the association was also abolished when the U2 snRNA coding regions were replaced by heterologous sequences. CONCLUSIONS: The requirement for the U2 snRNA coding region indicates that association of snRNA genes with coiled bodies is mediated by the nascent U2 RNA itself, not by DNA or DNA-bound proteins. Our data provide the first evidence that association of genes with a nuclear organelle can be directed by an RNA and suggest an autogenous feedback regulation model. (+info)
The general transcription factors IIA, IIB, IIF, and IIE are required for RNA polymerase II transcription from the human U1 small nuclear RNA promoter.
RNA polymerase II transcribes the mRNA-encoding genes and the majority of the small nuclear RNA (snRNA) genes. The formation of a minimal functional transcription initiation complex on a TATA-box-containing mRNA promoter has been well characterized and involves the ordered assembly of a number of general transcription factors (GTFs), all of which have been either cloned or purified to near homogeneity. In the human RNA polymerase II snRNA promoters, a single element, the proximal sequence element (PSE), is sufficient to direct basal levels of transcription in vitro. The PSE is recognized by the basal transcription complex SNAPc. SNAPc, which is not required for transcription from mRNA-type RNA polymerase II promoters such as the adenovirus type 2 major late (Ad2ML) promoter, is thought to recruit TATA binding protein (TBP) and nucleate the assembly of the snRNA transcription initiation complex, but little is known about which GTFs other than TBP are required. Here we show that the GTFs IIA, IIB, IIF, and IIE are required for efficient RNA polymerase II transcription from snRNA promoters. Thus, although the factors that recognize the core elements of RNA polymerase II mRNA and snRNA-type promoters differ, they mediate the recruitment of many common GTFs. (+info)
Pseudouridine mapping in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae spliceosomal U small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) reveals that pseudouridine synthase pus1p exhibits a dual substrate specificity for U2 snRNA and tRNA.
Pseudouridine (Psi) residues were localized in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae spliceosomal U small nuclear RNAs (UsnRNAs) by using the chemical mapping method. In contrast to vertebrate UsnRNAs, S. cerevisiae UsnRNAs contain only a few Psi residues, which are located in segments involved in intermolecular RNA-RNA or RNA-protein interactions. At these positions, UsnRNAs are universally modified. When yeast mutants disrupted for one of the several pseudouridine synthase genes (PUS1, PUS2, PUS3, and PUS4) or depleted in rRNA-pseudouridine synthase Cbf5p were tested for UsnRNA Psi content, only the loss of the Pus1p activity was found to affect Psi formation in spliceosomal UsnRNAs. Indeed, Psi44 formation in U2 snRNA was abolished. By using purified Pus1p enzyme and in vitro-produced U2 snRNA, Pus1p is shown here to catalyze Psi44 formation in the S. cerevisiae U2 snRNA. Thus, Pus1p is the first UsnRNA pseudouridine synthase characterized so far which exhibits a dual substrate specificity, acting on both tRNAs and U2 snRNA. As depletion of rRNA-pseudouridine synthase Cbf5p had no effect on UsnRNA Psi content, formation of Psi residues in S. cerevisiae UsnRNAs is not dependent on the Cbf5p-snoRNA guided mechanism. (+info)
Genome-wide bioinformatic and molecular analysis of introns in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Introns have typically been discovered in an ad hoc fashion: introns are found as a gene is characterized for other reasons. As complete eukaryotic genome sequences become available, better methods for predicting RNA processing signals in raw sequence will be necessary in order to discover genes and predict their expression. Here we present a catalog of 228 yeast introns, arrived at through a combination of bioinformatic and molecular analysis. Introns annotated in the Saccharomyces Genome Database (SGD) were evaluated, questionable introns were removed after failing a test for splicing in vivo, and known introns absent from the SGD annotation were added. A novel branchpoint sequence, AAUUAAC, was identified within an annotated intron that lacks a six-of-seven match to the highly conserved branchpoint consensus UACUAAC. Analysis of the database corroborates many conclusions about pre-mRNA substrate requirements for splicing derived from experimental studies, but indicates that splicing in yeast may not be as rigidly determined by splice-site conservation as had previously been thought. Using this database and a molecular technique that directly displays the lariat intron products of spliced transcripts (intron display), we suggest that the current set of 228 introns is still not complete, and that additional intron-containing genes remain to be discovered in yeast. The database can be accessed at http://www.cse.ucsc.edu/research/compbi o/yeast_introns.html. (+info)
A computational screen for methylation guide snoRNAs in yeast.
Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) are required for ribose 2'-O-methylation of eukaryotic ribosomal RNA. Many of the genes for this snoRNA family have remained unidentified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, despite the availability of a complete genome sequence. Probabilistic modeling methods akin to those used in speech recognition and computational linguistics were used to computationally screen the yeast genome and identify 22 methylation guide snoRNAs, snR50 to snR71. Gene disruptions and other experimental characterization confirmed their methylation guide function. In total, 51 of the 55 ribose methylated sites in yeast ribosomal RNA were assigned to 41 different guide snoRNAs. (+info)
An RNA switch at the 5' splice site requires ATP and the DEAD box protein Prp28p.
Pre-mRNA splicing requires dramatic RNA rearrangements hypothesized to be catalyzed by ATP-dependent RNA unwindases of the DExD/H box family. In a rearrangement critical for the fidelity of 5' splice site recognition, a base-pairing interaction between the 5' splice site and U1 snRNA must be switched for a mutually exclusive interaction between the 5' splice site and U6 snRNA. By lengthening the U1:5' splice site duplex, we impeded this switch in a temperature-dependent manner and prevented formation of the spliceosome's catalytic core. Using genetics, we identified the DExD/H box protein Prp28p as a potential mediator of the switch. In vitro, the switch requires both Prp28p and ATP. We propose that Prp28p directs isomerization of RNA at the 5' splice site and promotes fidelity in splicing. (+info)
Splicing factor Prp8 governs U4/U6 RNA unwinding during activation of the spliceosome.
The pre-mRNA 5' splice site is recognized by the ACAGA box of U6 spliceosomal RNA prior to catalysis of splicing. We previously identified a mutant U4 spliceosomal RNA, U4-cs1, that masks the ACAGA box in the U4/U6 complex, thus conferring a cold-sensitive splicing phenotype in vivo. Here, we show that U4-cs1 blocks in vitro splicing in a temperature-dependent, reversible manner. Analysis of splicing complexes that accumulate at low temperature shows that U4-cs1 prevents U4/U6 unwinding, an essential step in spliceosome activation. A novel mutation in the evolutionarily conserved U5 snRNP protein Prp8 suppresses the U4-cs1 growth defect. We propose that wild-type Prp8 triggers unwinding of U4 and U6 RNAs only after structurally correct recognition of the 5' splice site by the U6 ACAGA box and that the mutation (prp8-201) relaxes control of unwinding. (+info)
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)