Rapid decay of engulfed extracellular miRNA by XRN1 exonuclease promotes transient epithelial-mesenchymal transition Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-19 Joséphine Zangari, Marius Ilie, Florian Rouaud, Laurie Signetti, Mickaël Ohanna, Robin Didier, Barnabé Roméo, Dana Goldoni, Nicolas Nottet, Cathy Staedel, Jocelyn Gal, Bernard Mari, Baharia Mograbi, Paul Hofman, Patrick Brest
Nucleic Acids Research (2017) 45:4131–4141, https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkw1284
GraftM: a tool for scalable, phylogenetically informed classification of genes within metagenomes Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-19 Joel A Boyd, Ben J Woodcroft, Gene W Tyson
Large-scale metagenomic datasets enable the recovery of hundreds of population genomes from environmental samples. However, these genomes do not typically represent the full diversity of complex microbial communities. Gene-centric approaches can be used to gain a comprehensive view of diversity by examining each read independently, but traditional pairwise comparison approaches typically over-classify taxonomy and scale poorly with increasing metagenome and database sizes. Here we introduce GraftM, a tool that uses gene specific packages to rapidly identify gene families in metagenomic data using hidden Markov models (HMMs) or DIAMOND databases, and classifies these sequences using placement into pre-constructed gene trees. The speed and accuracy of GraftM was benchmarked with in silico and in vitro mock communities using taxonomic markers, and was found to have higher accuracy at the family level with a processing time 2.0–3.7× faster than currently available software. Exploration of a wetland metagenome using 16S rRNA- and methyl-coenzyme M reductase (McrA)-specific gpkgs revealed taxonomic and functional shifts across a depth gradient. Analysis of the NCBI nr database using the McrA gpkg allowed the detection of novel sequences belonging to phylum-level lineages. A growing collection of gpkgs is available online (https://github.com/geronimp/graftM_gpkgs), where curated packages can be uploaded and exchanged.
Efficient pathway enrichment and network analysis of GWAS summary data using GSA-SNP2 Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-19 Sora Yoon, Hai C T Nguyen, Yun J Yoo, Jinhwan Kim, Bukyung Baik, Sounkou Kim, Jin Kim, Sangsoo Kim, Dougu Nam
Pathway-based analysis in genome-wide association study (GWAS) is being widely used to uncover novel multi-genic functional associations. Many of these pathway-based methods have been used to test the enrichment of the associated genes in the pathways, but exhibited low powers and were highly affected by free parameters. We present the novel method and software GSA-SNP2 for pathway enrichment analysis of GWAS P-value data. GSA-SNP2 provides high power, decent type I error control and fast computation by incorporating the random set model and SNP-count adjusted gene score. In a comparative study using simulated and real GWAS data, GSA-SNP2 exhibited high power and best prioritized gold standard positive pathways compared with six existing enrichment-based methods and two self-contained methods (alternative pathway analysis approach). Based on these results, the difference between pathway analysis approaches was investigated and the effects of the gene correlation structures on the pathway enrichment analysis were also discussed. In addition, GSA-SNP2 is able to visualize protein interaction networks within and across the significant pathways so that the user can prioritize the core subnetworks for further studies. GSA-SNP2 is freely available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/gsasnp2.
A comprehensive catalog of predicted functional upstream open reading frames in humans Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-19 Patrick McGillivray, Russell Ault, Mayur Pawashe, Robert Kitchen, Suganthi Balasubramanian, Mark Gerstein
Upstream open reading frames (uORFs) latent in mRNA transcripts are thought to modify translation of coding sequences by altering ribosome activity. Not all uORFs are thought to be active in such a process. To estimate the impact of uORFs on the regulation of translation in humans, we first circumscribed the universe of all possible uORFs based on coding gene sequence motifs and identified 1.3 million unique uORFs. To determine which of these are likely to be biologically relevant, we built a simple Bayesian classifier using 89 attributes of uORFs labeled as active in ribosome profiling experiments. This allowed us to extrapolate to a comprehensive catalog of likely functional uORFs. We validated our predictions using in vivo protein levels and ribosome occupancy from 46 individuals. This is a substantially larger catalog of functional uORFs than has previously been reported. Our ranked list of likely active uORFs allows researchers to test their hypotheses regarding the role of uORFs in health and disease. We demonstrate several examples of biological interest through the application of our catalog to somatic mutations in cancer and disease-associated germline variants in humans.
Structural basis for LeishIF4E-1 modulation by an interacting protein in the human parasite Leishmania major Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-19 Shimi Meleppattu, Haribabu Arthanari, Alexandra Zinoviev, Andras Boeszoermenyi, Gerhard Wagner, Michal Shapira, Mélissa Léger-Abraham
Leishmania parasites are unicellular pathogens that are transmitted to humans through the bite of infected sandflies. Most of the regulation of their gene expression occurs post-transcriptionally, and the different patterns of gene expression required throughout the parasites’ life cycle are regulated at the level of translation. Here, we report the X-ray crystal structure of the Leishmania cap-binding isoform 1, LeishIF4E-1, bound to a protein fragment of previously unknown function, Leish4E-IP1, that binds tightly to LeishIF4E-1. The molecular structure, coupled to NMR spectroscopy experiments and in vitro cap-binding assays, reveal that Leish4E-IP1 allosterically destabilizes the binding of LeishIF4E-1 to the 5′ mRNA cap. We propose mechanisms through which Leish4E-IP1-mediated LeishIF4E-1 inhibition could regulate translation initiation in the human parasite.
Tetramerization of MADS family transcription factors SEPALLATA3 and AGAMOUS is required for floral meristem determinacy in Arabidopsis Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-19 Véronique Hugouvieux, Catarina S Silva, Agnès Jourdain, Arnaud Stigliani, Quentin Charras, Vanessa Conn, Simon J Conn, Cristel C Carles, François Parcy, Chloe Zubieta
The MADS transcription factors (TF) constitute an ancient family of TF found in all eukaryotes that bind DNA as obligate dimers. Plants have dramatically expanded the functional diversity of the MADS family during evolution by adding protein–protein interaction domains to the core DNA-binding domain, allowing the formation of heterotetrameric complexes. Tetramerization of plant MADS TFs is believed to play a central role in the evolution of higher plants by acting as one of the main determinants of flower formation and floral organ specification. The MADS TF, SEPALLATA3 (SEP3), functions as a central protein–protein interaction hub, driving tetramerization with other MADS TFs. Here, we use a SEP3 splice variant, SEP3Δtet, which has dramatically abrogated tetramerization capacity to decouple SEP3 tetramerization and DNA-binding activities. We unexpectedly demonstrate that SEP3 heterotetramer formation is required for correct termination of the floral meristem, but plays a lesser role in floral organogenesis. The heterotetramer formed by SEP3 and the MADS protein, AGAMOUS, is necessary to activate two target genes, KNUCKLES and CRABSCLAW, which are required for meristem determinacy. These studies reveal unique and highly specific roles of tetramerization in flower development and suggest tetramerization may be required to activate only a subset of target genes in closed chromatin regions.
An upstream open reading frame (uORF) signals for cellular localization of the virulence factor implicated in pregnancy associated malaria Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-15 Yair Fastman, Shany Assaraf, Miriam Rose, Elad Milrot, Katherine Basore, B Sivanandam Arasu, Sanjay A Desai, Michael Elbaum, Ron Dzikowski
Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the deadliest form of human malaria, alternates expression of variable antigens, encoded by members of a multi-copy gene family named var. In var2csa, the var gene implicated in pregnancy-associated malaria, translational repression is regulated by a unique upstream open reading frame (uORF) found only in its 5′ UTR. Here, we report that this translated uORF significantly alters both transcription and posttranslational protein trafficking. The parasite can alter a protein's destination without any modifications to the protein itself, but instead by an element within the 5′ UTR of the transcript. This uORF-dependent localization was confirmed by single molecule STORM imaging, followed by fusion of the uORF to a reporter gene which changes its cellular localization from cytoplasmic to ER-associated. These data point towards a novel regulatory role of uORF in protein trafficking, with important implications for the pathology of pregnancy-associated malaria.
Collection of homozygous mutant mouse embryonic stem cells arising from autodiploidization during haploid gene trap mutagenesis Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-15 Ayako Yamanishi, Atsushi Matsuba, Ryohei Kondo, Rie Akamatsu, Sachiyo Tanaka, Masahiro Tokunaga, Kyoji Horie, Chikara Kokubu, Yasumasa Ishida, Junji Takeda
Haploid mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), in which a single hit mutation is sufficient to produce loss-of-function phenotypes, have provided a powerful tool for forward genetic screening. This strategy, however, can be hampered by undesired autodiploidization of haploid ESCs. To overcome this obstacle, we designed a new methodology that facilitates enrichment of homozygous mutant ESC clones arising from autodiploidization during haploid gene trap mutagenesis. Haploid mouse ESCs were purified by fluorescence-activated cell sorting to maintain their haploid property and then transfected with the Tol2 transposon-based biallelically polyA-trapping (BPATrap) vector that carries an invertible G418 plus puromycin double selection cassette. G418 plus puromycin double selection enriched biallelic mutant clones that had undergone autodiploidization following a single vector insertion into the haploid genome. Using this method, we successfully generated 222 homozygous mutant ESCs from 2208 clones by excluding heterozygous ESCs and ESCs with multiple vector insertions. This relatively low efficiency of generating homozygous mutant ESCs was partially overcome by cell sorting of haploid ESCs after Tol2 BPATrap transfection. These results demonstrate the feasibility of our approach to provide an efficient platform for mutagenesis of ESCs and functional analysis of the mammalian genome.
G-quadruplexes and G-quadruplex ligands: targets and tools in antiviral therapy Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-15 Emanuela Ruggiero, Sara N Richter
G-quadruplexes (G4s) are non-canonical nucleic acids secondary structures that form within guanine-rich strands of regulatory genomic regions. G4s have been extensively described in the human genome, especially in telomeres and oncogene promoters; in recent years the presence of G4s in viruses has attracted increasing interest. Indeed, G4s have been reported in several viruses, including those involved in recent epidemics, such as the Zika and Ebola viruses. Viral G4s are usually located in regulatory regions of the genome and implicated in the control of key viral processes; in some cases, they have been involved also in viral latency. In this context, G4 ligands have been developed and tested both as tools to study the complexity of G4-mediated mechanisms in the viral life cycle, and as therapeutic agents. In general, G4 ligands showed promising antiviral activity, with G4-mediated mechanisms of action both at the genome and transcript level. This review aims to provide an updated close-up of the literature on G4s in viruses. The current state of the art of G4 ligands in antiviral research is also reported, with particular focus on the structural and physicochemical requirements for optimal biological activity. The achievements and the to-dos in the field are discussed.
Limited reverse transcriptase activity of phi29 DNA polymerase Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-15 Tomasz Krzywkowski, Malte Kühnemund, Di Wu, Mats Nilsson
Phi29 (Φ29) DNA polymerase is an enzyme commonly used in DNA amplification methods such as rolling circle amplification (RCA) and multiple strand displacement amplification (MDA), as well as in DNA sequencing methods such as single molecule real time (SMRT) sequencing. Here, we report the ability of phi29 DNA polymerase to amplify RNA-containing circular substrates during RCA. We found that circular substrates with single RNA substitutions are amplified at a similar amplification rate as non-chimeric DNA substrates, and that consecutive RNA pyrimidines were generally preferred over purines. We observed RCA suppression with higher number of ribonucleotide substitutions, which was partially restored by interspacing RNA bases with DNA. We show that supplementing manganese ions as cofactor supports replication of RNAs during RCA. Sequencing of the RCA products demonstrated accurate base incorporation at the RNA base with both Mn2+ and Mg2+ as cofactors during replication, proving reverse transcriptase activity of the phi29 DNA polymerase. In summary, the ability of phi29 DNA polymerase to accept RNA-containing substrates broadens the spectrum of applications for phi29 DNA polymerase-mediated RCA. These include amplification of chimeric circular probes, such as padlock probes and molecular inversion probes.
IFIT3 and IFIT2/3 promote IFIT1-mediated translation inhibition by enhancing binding to non-self RNA Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-15 Renata C Fleith, Harriet V Mears, Xin Yun Leong, Thomas J Sanford, Edward Emmott, Stephen C Graham, Daniel S Mansur, Trevor R Sweeney
Interferon-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats (IFITs) are highly expressed during the cell-intrinsic immune response to viral infection. IFIT1 inhibits translation by binding directly to the 5′ end of foreign RNAs, particularly those with non-self cap structures, precluding the recruitment of the cap-binding eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4F and ribosome recruitment. The presence of IFIT1 imposes a requirement on viruses that replicate in the cytoplasm to maintain mechanisms to avoid its restrictive effects. Interaction of different IFIT family members is well described, but little is known of the molecular basis of IFIT association or its impact on function. Here, we reconstituted different complexes of IFIT1, IFIT2 and IFIT3 in vitro, which enabled us to reveal critical aspects of IFIT complex assembly. IFIT1 and IFIT3 interact via a YxxxL motif present in the C-terminus of each protein. IFIT2 and IFIT3 homodimers dissociate to form a more stable heterodimer that also associates with IFIT1. We show for the first time that IFIT3 stabilizes IFIT1 protein expression, promotes IFIT1 binding to a cap0 Zika virus reporter mRNA and enhances IFIT1 translation inhibition. This work reveals molecular aspects of IFIT interaction and provides an important missing link between IFIT assembly and function.
A survey of Type III restriction-modification systems reveals numerous, novel epigenetic regulators controlling phase-variable regulons; phasevarions Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-15 John M Atack, Yuedong Yang, Kate L Seib, Yaoqi Zhou, Michael P Jennings
Many bacteria utilize simple DNA sequence repeats as a mechanism to randomly switch genes on and off. This process is called phase variation. Several phase-variable N6-adenine DNA-methyltransferases from Type III restriction-modification systems have been reported in bacterial pathogens. Random switching of DNA methyltransferases changes the global DNA methylation pattern, leading to changes in gene expression. These epigenetic regulatory systems are called phasevarions — phase-variable regulons. The extent of these phase-variable genes in the bacterial kingdom is unknown. Here, we interrogated a database of restriction-modification systems, REBASE, by searching for all simple DNA sequence repeats in mod genes that encode Type III N6-adenine DNA-methyltransferases. We report that 17.4% of Type III mod genes (662/3805) contain simple sequence repeats. Of these, only one-fifth have been previously identified. The newly discovered examples are widely distributed and include many examples in opportunistic pathogens as well as in environmental species. In many cases, multiple phasevarions exist in one genome, with examples of up to 4 independent phasevarions in some species. We found several new types of phase-variable mod genes, including the first example of a phase-variable methyltransferase in pathogenic Escherichia coli. Phasevarions are a common epigenetic regulation contingency strategy used by both pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria.
Increased H3K9 methylation and impaired expression of Protocadherins are associated with the cognitive dysfunctions of the Kleefstra syndrome Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-15 Giovanni Iacono, Aline Dubos, Hamid Méziane, Marco Benevento, Ehsan Habibi, Amit Mandoli, Fabrice Riet, Mohammed Selloum, Robert Feil, Huiqing Zhou, Tjitske Kleefstra, Nael Nadif Kasri, Hans van Bokhoven, Yann Herault, Hendrik G Stunnenberg
Kleefstra syndrome, a disease with intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders and other developmental defects is caused in humans by haploinsufficiency of EHMT1. Although EHMT1 and its paralog EHMT2 were shown to be histone methyltransferases responsible for deposition of the di-methylated H3K9 (H3K9me2), the exact nature of epigenetic dysfunctions in Kleefstra syndrome remains unknown. Here, we found that the epigenome of Ehmt1+/− adult mouse brain displays a marked increase of H3K9me2/3 which correlates with impaired expression of protocadherins, master regulators of neuronal diversity. Increased H3K9me3 was present already at birth, indicating that aberrant methylation patterns are established during embryogenesis. Interestingly, we found that Ehmt2+/− mice do not present neither the marked increase of H3K9me2/3 nor the cognitive deficits found in Ehmt1+/− mice, indicating an evolutionary diversification of functions. Our finding of increased H3K9me3 in Ehmt1+/− mice is the first one supporting the notion that EHMT1 can quench the deposition of tri-methylation by other Histone methyltransferases, ultimately leading to impaired neurocognitive functioning. Our insights into the epigenetic pathophysiology of Kleefstra syndrome may offer guidance for future developments of therapeutic strategies for this disease.
4EHP-independent repression of endogenous mRNAs by the RNA-binding protein GIGYF2 Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-15 Cinthia C Amaya Ramirez, Petra Hubbe, Nicolas Mandel, Julien Béthune
Initially identified as a factor involved in tyrosine kinase receptor signaling, Grb10-interacting GYF protein 2 (GIGYF2) has later been shown to interact with the 5′ cap-binding protein 4EHP as part of a translation repression complex, and to mediate post-transcriptional repression of tethered reporter mRNAs. A current model proposes that GIGYF2 is indirectly recruited to mRNAs by specific RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) leading to translation repression through its association with 4EHP. Accordingly, we recently observed that GIGYF2 also interacts with the miRNA-induced silencing complex and probably modulates its translation repression activity. Here we have further investigated how GIGYF2 represses mRNA function. In a tethering reporter assay, we identify three independent domains of GIGYF2 with repressive activity. In this assay, GIGYF2-mediated repression is independent of 4EHP but largely dependent on the CCR4/NOT complex that GIGYF2 recruits through multiple interfaces. Importantly, we show that GIGYF2 is an RBP and identify for the first time endogenous mRNA targets that recapitulate 4EHP-independent repression. Altogether, we propose that GIGYF2 has two distinct mechanisms of repression: one depends on 4EHP binding and mainly affects translation; the other is 4EHP-independent and involves the CCR4/NOT complex and its deadenylation activity.
ZYH005, a novel DNA intercalator, overcomes all-trans retinoic acid resistance in acute promyelocytic leukemia Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-15 Qingyi Tong, Huijuan You, Xintao Chen, Kongchao Wang, Weiguang Sun, Yufeng Pei, Xiaodan Zhao, Ming Yuan, Hucheng Zhu, Zengwei Luo, Yonghui Zhang
Despite All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) has transformed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) from the most fatal to the most curable hematological cancer, there remains a clinical challenge that many high-risk APL patients who fail to achieve a complete molecular remission or relapse and become resistant to ATRA. Herein, we report that 5-(4-methoxyphenethyl)-[1, 3] dioxolo [4, 5-j] phenanthridin-6(5H)–one (ZYH005) exhibits specific anticancer effects on APL and ATRA-resistant APL in vitro and vivo, while shows negligible cytotoxic effect on non-cancerous cell lines and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy donors. Using single-molecule magnetic tweezers and molecule docking, we demonstrate that ZYH005 is a DNA intercalator. Further mechanistic studies show that ZYH005 triggers DNA damage, and caspase-dependent degradation of the PML-RARa fusion protein. As a result, APL and ATRA-resistant APL cells underwent apoptosis upon ZYH005 treatment and this apoptosis-inducing effect is even stronger than that of arsenic trioxide and anticancer agents including 5-fluorouracil, cisplatin and doxorubicin. Moreover, ZYH005 represses leukemia development in vivo and prolongs the survival of both APL and ATRA-resistant APL mice. To our knowledge, ZYH005 is the first synthetic phenanthridinone derivative, which functions as a DNA intercalator and can serve as a potential candidate drug for APL, particularly for ATRA-resistant APL.
Simultaneous determination of ribonucleoside and deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates in biological samples by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-15 Ziqing Kong, Shaodong Jia, Anna Lena Chabes, Patrik Appelblad, Richard Lundmark, Thomas Moritz, Andrei Chabes
Information about the intracellular concentration of dNTPs and NTPs is important for studies of the mechanisms of DNA replication and repair, but the low concentration of dNTPs and their chemical similarity to NTPs present a challenge for their measurement. Here, we describe a new rapid and sensitive method utilizing hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry for the simultaneous determination of dNTPs and NTPs in biological samples. The developed method showed linearity (R2 > 0.99) in wide concentration ranges and could accurately quantify dNTPs and NTPs at low pmol levels. The intra-day and inter-day precision were below 13%, and the relative recovery was between 92% and 108%. In comparison with other chromatographic methods, the current method has shorter analysis times and simpler sample pre-treatment steps, and it utilizes an ion-pair-free mobile phase that enhances mass-spectrometric detection. Using this method, we determined dNTP and NTP concentrations in actively dividing and quiescent mouse fibroblasts.
Tn5Prime, a Tn5 based 5′ capture method for single cell RNA-seq Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-14 Charles Cole, Ashley Byrne, Anna E Beaudin, E Camilla Forsberg, Christopher Vollmers
RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) is a powerful technique to investigate and quantify entire transcriptomes. Recent advances in the field have made it possible to explore the transcriptomes of single cells. However, most widely used RNA-seq protocols fail to provide crucial information regarding transcription start sites. Here we present a protocol, Tn5Prime, that takes advantage of the Tn5 transposase-based Smart-seq2 protocol to create RNA-seq libraries that capture the 5′ end of transcripts. The Tn5Prime method dramatically streamlines the 5′ capture process and is both cost effective and reliable. By applying Tn5Prime to bulk RNA and single cell samples, we were able to define transcription start sites as well as quantify transcriptomes at high accuracy and reproducibility. Additionally, similar to 3′ end-based high-throughput methods like Drop-seq and 10× Genomics Chromium, the 5′ capture Tn5Prime method allows the introduction of cellular identifiers during reverse transcription, simplifying the analysis of large numbers of single cells. In contrast to 3′ end-based methods, Tn5Prime also enables the assembly of the variable 5′ ends of the antibody sequences present in single B-cell data. Therefore, Tn5Prime presents a robust tool for both basic and applied research into the adaptive immune system and beyond.
A novel transcript isoform of STING that sequesters cGAMP and dominantly inhibits innate nucleic acid sensing Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-14 Pei-Hui Wang, Sin-Yee Fung, Wei-Wei Gao, Jian-Jun Deng, Yun Cheng, Vidyanath Chaudhary, Kit-San Yuen, Ting-Hin Ho, Ching-Ping Chan, Yan Zhang, Kin-Hang Kok, Wanling Yang, Chi-Ping Chan, Dong-Yan Jin
STING is a core adaptor in innate nucleic acid sensing in mammalian cells, on which different sensing pathways converge to induce type I interferon (IFN) production. Particularly, STING is activated by 2′3′-cGAMP, a cyclic dinucleotide containing mixed phosphodiester linkages and produced by cytoplasmic DNA sensor cGAS. Here, we reported on a novel transcript isoform of STING designated STING-β that dominantly inhibits innate nucleic acid sensing. STING-β without transmembrane domains was widely expressed at low levels in various human tissues and viral induction of STING-β correlated inversely with IFN-β production. The expression of STING-β declined in patients with lupus, in which type I IFNs are commonly overproduced. STING-β suppressed the induction of IFNs, IFN-stimulated genes and other cytokines by various immunostimulatory agents including cyclic dinucleotides, DNA, RNA and viruses, whereas depletion of STING-β showed the opposite effect. STING-β interacted with STING-α and antagonized its antiviral function. STING-β also interacted with TBK1 and prevented it from binding with STING-α, TRIF or other transducers. In addition, STING-β bound to 2′3′-cGAMP and impeded its binding with and activation of STING-α, leading to suppression of IFN-β production. Taken together, STING-β sequesters 2′3′-cGAMP second messenger and other transducer molecules to inhibit innate nucleic acid sensing dominantly.
Drosophila tsRNAs preferentially suppress general translation machinery via antisense pairing and participate in cellular starvation response Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-14 Shiqi Luo, Feng He, Junjie Luo, Shengqian Dou, Yirong Wang, Annan Guo, Jian Lu
Transfer RNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs) are an emerging class of small RNAs, yet their regulatory roles have not been well understood. Here we studied the molecular mechanisms and consequences of tsRNA-mediated regulation in Drosophila. By analyzing 495 public small RNA libraries, we demonstrate that most tsRNAs are conserved, prevalent and abundant in Drosophila. By carrying out mRNA sequencing and ribosome profiling of S2 cells transfected with single-stranded tsRNA mimics and mocks, we show that tsRNAs recognize target mRNAs through conserved complementary sequence matching and suppress target genes by translational inhibition. The target prediction suggests that tsRNAs preferentially suppress translation of the key components of the general translation machinery, which explains how tsRNAs inhibit the global mRNA translation. Serum starvation experiments confirm tsRNAs participate in cellular starvation responses by preferential targeting the ribosomal proteins and translational initiation or elongation factors. Knock-down of AGO2 in S2 cells under normal and starved conditions reveals a dependence of the tsRNA-mediated regulation on AGO2. We also validated the repressive effects of representative tsRNAs on cellular global translation and specific targets with luciferase reporter assays. Our study suggests the tsRNA-mediated regulation might be crucial for the energy homeostasis and the metabolic adaptation in the cellular systems.
Mbd2-CP2c loop drives adult-type globin gene expression and definitive erythropoiesis Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-14 Min Young Kim, Ji Sook Kim, Seung Han Son, Chang Su Lim, Hea Young Eum, Dae Hyun Ha, Mi Ae Park, Eun Jung Baek, Buom-Yong Ryu, Ho Chul Kang, Vladimir N Uversky, Chul Geun Kim
During hematopoiesis, red blood cells originate from the hematopoietic stem cell reservoir. Although the regulation of erythropoiesis and globin expression has been intensively investigated, the underlining mechanisms are not fully understood, including the interplay between transcription factors and epigenetic factors. Here, we uncover that the Mbd2-free NuRD chromatin remodeling complex potentiates erythroid differentiation of proerythroblasts via managing functions of the CP2c complexes. We found that both Mbd2 and Mbd3 expression is downregulated during differentiation of MEL cells in vitro and in normal erythropoiesis in mouse bone marrow, and Mbd2 downregulation is crucial for erythropoiesis. In uninduced MEL cells, the Mbd2-NuRD complex is recruited to the promoter via Gata1/Fog1, and, via direct binding through p66α, it acts as a transcriptional inhibitor of the CP2c complexes, preventing their DNA binding and promoting degradation of the CP2c family proteins to suppress globin gene expression. Conversely, during erythropoiesis in vitro and in vivo, the Mbd2-free NuRD does not dissociate from the chromatin and acts as a transcriptional coactivator aiding the recruitment of the CP2c complexes to chromatin, and thereby leading to the induction of the active hemoglobin synthesis and erythroid differentiation. Our study highlights the regulation of erythroid differentiation by the Mbd2-CP2c loop.
N4-cytosine DNA methylation regulates transcription and pathogenesis in Helicobacter pylori Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-10 Sumith Kumar, Bipul C Karmakar, Deepesh Nagarajan, Asish K Mukhopadhyay, Richard D Morgan, Desirazu N Rao
Nucleic Acids Res (2018) doi: 10.1093/nar/gky126
Protein-mediated loops in supercoiled DNA create large topological domains Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-10 Yan Yan, Yue Ding, Fenfei Leng, David Dunlap, Laura Finzi
Supercoiling can alter the form and base pairing of the double helix and directly impact protein binding. More indirectly, changes in protein binding and the stress of supercoiling also influence the thermodynamic stability of regulatory, protein-mediated loops and shift the equilibria of fundamental DNA/chromatin transactions. For example, supercoiling affects the hierarchical organization and function of chromatin in topologically associating domains (TADs) in both eukaryotes and bacteria. On the other hand, a protein-mediated loop in DNA can constrain supercoiling within a plectonemic structure. To characterize the extent of constrained supercoiling, 400 bp, lac repressor-secured loops were formed in extensively over- or under-wound DNA under gentle tension in a magnetic tweezer. The protein-mediated loops constrained variable amounts of supercoiling that often exceeded the maximum writhe expected for a 400 bp plectoneme. Loops with such high levels of supercoiling appear to be entangled with flanking domains. Thus, loop-mediating proteins operating on supercoiled substrates can establish topological domains that may coordinate gene regulation and other DNA transactions across spans in the genome that are larger than the separation between the binding sites.
Easy quantification of template-directed CRISPR/Cas9 editing Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-10 Eva K Brinkman, Arne N Kousholt, Tim Harmsen, Christ Leemans, Tao Chen, Jos Jonkers, Bas van Steensel
Template-directed CRISPR/Cas9 editing is a powerful tool for introducing subtle mutations in genomes. However, the success rate of incorporation of the desired mutations at the target site is difficult to predict and therefore must be empirically determined. Here, we adapted the widely used TIDE method for quantification of templated editing events, including point mutations. The resulting TIDER method is a rapid, cheap and accessible tool for testing and optimization of template-directed genome editing strategies. A free web tool for TIDER data analysis is available at http://tide.nki.nl.
Designer epigenome modifiers enable robust and sustained gene silencing in clinically relevant human cells Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-10 Tafadzwa Mlambo, Sandra Nitsch, Markus Hildenbeutel, Marianna Romito, Maximilian Müller, Claudia Bossen, Sven Diederichs, Tatjana I Cornu, Toni Cathomen, Claudio Mussolino
Targeted modulation of gene expression represents a valuable approach to understand the mechanisms governing gene regulation. In a therapeutic context, it can be exploited to selectively modify the aberrant expression of a disease-causing gene or to provide the target cells with a new function. Here, we have established a novel platform for achieving precision epigenome editing using designer epigenome modifiers (DEMs). DEMs combine in a single molecule a DNA binding domain based on highly specific transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) and several effector domains capable of inducing DNA methylation and locally altering the chromatin structure to silence target gene expression. We designed DEMs to target two human genes, CCR5 and CXCR4, with the aim of epigenetically silencing their expression in primary human T lymphocytes. We observed robust and sustained target gene silencing associated with reduced chromatin accessibility, increased promoter methylation at the target sites and undetectable changes in global gene expression. Our results demonstrate that DEMs can be successfully used to silence target gene expression in primary human cells with remarkably high specificity, paving the way for the establishment of a potential new class of therapeutics.
Protein plasticity driven by disorder and collapse governs the heterogeneous binding of CytR to DNA Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-10 Sneha Munshi, Soundhararajan Gopi, Sandhyaa Subramanian, Luis A Campos, Athi N Naganathan
The amplitude of thermodynamic fluctuations in biological macromolecules determines their conformational behavior, dimensions, nature of phase transitions and effectively their specificity and affinity, thus contributing to fine-tuned molecular recognition. Unique among large-scale conformational changes in proteins are temperature-induced collapse transitions in intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). Here, we show that CytR DNA-binding domain, an IDP that folds on binding DNA, undergoes a coil-to-globule transition with temperature in the absence of DNA while exhibiting energetically decoupled local and global structural rearrangements, and maximal thermodynamic fluctuations at the optimal bacterial growth temperature. The collapse is shown to be a continuous transition through a combination of statistical-mechanical modeling and all-atom implicit solvent simulations. Surprisingly, CytR binds single-site cognate DNA with negative cooperativity, described by Hill coefficients less than one, resulting in a graded binding response. We show that heterogeneity arising from varying binding-competent CytR conformations or orientations at the single-molecular level contributes to negative binding cooperativity at the level of bulk measurements due to the conflicting requirements of collapse transition, large fluctuations and folding-upon-binding. Our work reports strong evidence for functionally driven thermodynamic fluctuations in determining the extent of collapse and disorder with implications in protein search efficiency of target DNA sites and regulation.
De novo annotation and characterization of the translatome with ribosome profiling data Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-10 Zhengtao Xiao, Rongyao Huang, Xudong Xing, Yuling Chen, Haiteng Deng, Xuerui Yang
By capturing and sequencing the RNA fragments protected by translating ribosomes, ribosome profiling provides snapshots of translation at subcodon resolution. The growing needs for comprehensive annotation and characterization of the context-dependent translatomes are calling for an efficient and unbiased method to accurately recover the signal of active translation from the ribosome profiling data. Here we present our new method, RiboCode, for such purpose. Being tested with simulated and real ribosome profiling data, and validated with cell type-specific QTI-seq and mass spectrometry data, RiboCode exhibits superior efficiency, sensitivity, and accuracy for de novo annotation of the translatome, which covers various types of ORFs in the previously annotated coding and non-coding regions. As an example, RiboCode was applied to assemble the context-specific translatomes of yeast under normal and stress conditions. Comparisons among these translatomes revealed stress-activated novel upstream and downstream ORFs, some of which are associated with translational dysregulations of the annotated main ORFs under the stress conditions.
A new class of antibacterials, the imidazopyrazinones, reveal structural transitions involved in DNA gyrase poisoning and mechanisms of resistance Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-10 Thomas Germe, Judit Vörös, Frederic Jeannot, Thomas Taillier, Robert A Stavenger, Eric Bacqué, Anthony Maxwell, Benjamin D Bax
Imidazopyrazinones (IPYs) are a new class of compounds that target bacterial topoisomerases as a basis for their antibacterial activity. We have characterized the mechanism of these compounds through structural/mechanistic studies showing they bind and stabilize a cleavage complex between DNA gyrase and DNA (‘poisoning’) in an analogous fashion to fluoroquinolones, but without the requirement for the water–metal–ion bridge. Biochemical experiments and structural studies of cleavage complexes of IPYs compared with an uncleaved gyrase–DNA complex, reveal conformational transitions coupled to DNA cleavage at the DNA gate. These involve movement at the GyrA interface and tilting of the TOPRIM domains toward the scissile phosphate coupled to capture of the catalytic metal ion. Our experiments show that these structural transitions are involved generally in poisoning of gyrase by therapeutic compounds and resemble those undergone by the enzyme during its adenosine triphosphate-coupled strand-passage cycle. In addition to resistance mutations affecting residues that directly interact with the compounds, we characterized a mutant (D82N) that inhibits formation of the cleavage complex by the unpoisoned enzyme. The D82N mutant appears to act by stabilizing the binary conformation of DNA gyrase with uncleaved DNA without direct interaction with the compounds. This provides general insight into the resistance mechanisms to antibiotics targeting bacterial type II topoisomerases.
De novo discovery of structural motifs in RNA 3D structures through clustering Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-09 Ping Ge, Shahidul Islam, Cuncong Zhong, Shaojie Zhang
As functional components in three-dimensional (3D) conformation of an RNA, the RNA structural motifs provide an easy way to associate the molecular architectures with their biological mechanisms. In the past years, many computational tools have been developed to search motif instances by using the existing knowledge of well-studied families. Recently, with the rapidly increasing number of resolved RNA 3D structures, there is an urgent need to discover novel motifs with the newly presented information. In this work, we classify all the loops in non-redundant RNA 3D structures to detect plausible RNA structural motif families by using a clustering pipeline. Compared with other clustering approaches, our method has two benefits: first, the underlying alignment algorithm is tolerant to the variations in 3D structures. Second, sophisticated downstream analysis has been performed to ensure the clusters are valid and easily applied to further research. The final clustering results contain many interesting new variants of known motif families, such as GNAA tetraloop, kink-turn, sarcin-ricin and T-loop. We have also discovered potential novel functional motifs conserved in ribosomal RNA, sgRNA, SRP RNA, riboswitch and ribozyme.
Structural changes in DNA-binding proteins on complexation Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-09 Sayan Poddar, Devlina Chakravarty, Pinak Chakrabarti
Characterization and prediction of the DNA-biding regions in proteins are essential for our understanding of how proteins recognize/bind DNA. We analyze the unbound (U) and the bound (B) forms of proteins from the protein–DNA docking benchmark that contains 66 binary protein–DNA complexes along with their unbound counterparts. Proteins binding DNA undergo greater structural changes on complexation (in particular, those in the enzyme category) than those involved in protein–protein interactions (PPI). While interface atoms involved in PPI exhibit an increase in their solvent-accessible surface area (ASA) in the bound form in the majority of the cases compared to the unbound interface, protein–DNA interactions indicate increase and decrease in equal measure. In 25% structures, the U form has missing residues which are located in the interface in the B form. The missing atoms contribute more toward the buried surface area compared to other interface atoms. Lys, Gly and Arg are prominent in disordered segments that get ordered in the interface on complexation. In going from U to B, there may be an increase in coil and helical content at the expense of turns and strands. Consideration of flexibility cannot distinguish the interface residues from the surface residues in the U form.
An origin of the immunogenicity of in vitro transcribed RNA Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-09 Xin Mu, Emily Greenwald, Sadeem Ahmad, Sun Hur
The emergence of RNA-based therapeutics demands robust and economical methods to produce RNA with few byproducts from aberrant activity. While in vitro transcription using the bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase is one such popular method, its transcripts are known to display an immune-stimulatory activity that is often undesirable and uncontrollable. We here showed that the immune-stimulatory activity of T7 transcript is contributed by its aberrant activity to initiate transcription from a promoter-less DNA end. This activity results in the production of an antisense RNA that is fully complementary to the intended sense RNA product, and consequently a long double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) that can robustly stimulate a cytosolic pattern recognition receptor, MDA5. This promoter-independent transcriptional activity of the T7 RNA polymerase was observed for a wide range of DNA sequences and lengths, but can be suppressed by altering the transcription reaction with modified nucleotides or by reducing the Mg2+ concentration. The current work thus not only offers a previously unappreciated mechanism by which T7 transcripts stimulate the innate immune system, but also shows that the immune-stimulatory activity can be readily regulated.
Quantifying the stability of oxidatively damaged DNA by single-molecule DNA stretching Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-07 Micah J McCauley, Leah Furman, Catherine A Dietrich, Ioulia Rouzina, Megan E Núñez, Mark C Williams
One of the most common DNA lesions is created when reactive oxygen alters guanine. 8-oxo-guanine may bind in the anti-conformation with an opposing cytosine or in the syn-conformation with an opposing adenine paired by transversion, and both conformations may alter DNA stability. Here we use optical tweezers to measure the stability of DNA hairpins containing 8-oxoguanine (8oxoG) lesions, comparing the results to predictive models of base-pair energies in the absence of the lesion. Contrasted with either a canonical guanine-cytosine or adenine-thymine pair, an 8oxoG-cytosine base pair shows significant destabilization of several kBT. The magnitude of destabilization is comparable to guanine-thymine ‘wobble’ and cytosine-thymine mismatches. Furthermore, the measured energy of 8oxoG-adenine corresponds to theoretical predictions for guanine-adenine pairs, indicating that oxidative damage does not further destabilize this mismatch in our experiments, in contrast to some previous observations. These results support the hypothesis that oxidative damage to guanine subtly alters the direction of the guanine dipole, base stacking interactions, the local backbone conformation, and the hydration of the modified base. This localized destabilization under stress provides additional support for proposed mechanisms of enzyme repair.
Ammonium and arsenic trioxide are potent facilitators of oligonucleotide function when delivered by gymnosis Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-07 Xiaowei Zhang, Daniela Castanotto, Xueli Liu, Amotz Shemi, Cy A Stein
Oligonucleotide (ON) concentrations employed for therapeutic applications vary widely, but in general are high enough to raise significant concerns for off target effects and cellular toxicity. However, lowering ON concentrations reduces the chances of a therapeutic response, since typically relatively small amounts of ON are taken up by targeted cells in tissue culture. It is therefore imperative to identify new strategies to improve the concentration dependence of ON function. In this work, we have identified ammonium ion (NH4+) as a non-toxic potent enhancer of ON activity in the nucleus and cytoplasm following delivery by gymnosis. NH4+ is a metabolite that has been extensively employed as diuretic, expectorant, for the treatment of renal calculi and in a variety of other diseases. Enhancement of function can be found in attached and suspension cells, including in difficult-to-transfect Jurkat T and CEM T cells. We have also demonstrated that NH4+ can synergistically interact with arsenic trioxide (arsenite) to further promote ON function without producing any apparent increased cellular toxicity. These small, inexpensive, widely distributed molecules could be useful not only in laboratory experiments but potentially in therapeutic ON-based combinatorial strategy for clinical applications.
Overexpression of the base excision repair NTHL1 glycosylase causes genomic instability and early cellular hallmarks of cancer Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-07 Kristin L Limpose, Kelly S Trego, Zhentian Li, Sara W Leung, Altaf H Sarker, Jason A Shah, Suresh S Ramalingam, Erica M Werner, William S Dynan, Priscilla K Cooper, Anita H Corbett, Paul W Doetsch
Base excision repair (BER), which is initiated by DNA N-glycosylase proteins, is the frontline for repairing potentially mutagenic DNA base damage. The NTHL1 glycosylase, which excises DNA base damage caused by reactive oxygen species, is thought to be a tumor suppressor. However, in addition to NTHL1 loss-of-function mutations, our analysis of cancer genomic datasets reveals that NTHL1 frequently undergoes amplification or upregulation in some cancers. Whether NTHL1 overexpression could contribute to cancer phenotypes has not yet been explored. To address the functional consequences of NTHL1 overexpression, we employed transient overexpression. Both NTHL1 and a catalytically-dead NTHL1 (CATmut) induce DNA damage and genomic instability in non-transformed human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC) when overexpressed. Strikingly, overexpression of either NTHL1 or CATmut causes replication stress signaling and a decrease in homologous recombination (HR). HBEC cells that overexpress NTHL1 or CATmut acquire the ability to grow in soft agar and exhibit loss of contact inhibition, suggesting that a mechanism independent of NTHL1 catalytic activity contributes to acquisition of cancer-related cellular phenotypes. We provide evidence that NTHL1 interacts with the multifunctional DNA repair protein XPG suggesting that interference with HR is a possible mechanism that contributes to acquisition of early cellular hallmarks of cancer.
Chromatin assembly factor-1 (CAF-1) chaperone regulates Cse4 deposition into chromatin in budding yeast Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-07 Geetha S Hewawasam, Karthik Dhatchinamoorthy, Mark Mattingly, Chris Seidel, Jennifer L Gerton
Correct localization of the centromeric histone variant CenH3/CENP-A/Cse4 is an important part of faithful chromosome segregation. Mislocalization of CenH3 could affect chromosome segregation, DNA replication and transcription. CENP-A is often overexpressed and mislocalized in cancer genomes, but the underlying mechanisms are not understood. One major regulator of Cse4 deposition is Psh1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase that controls levels of Cse4 to prevent deposition into non-centromeric regions. We present evidence that Chromatin assembly factor-1 (CAF-1), an evolutionarily conserved histone H3/H4 chaperone with subunits shown previously to interact with CenH3 in flies and human cells, regulates Cse4 deposition in budding yeast. yCAF-1 interacts with Cse4 and can assemble Cse4 nucleosomes in vitro. Loss of yCAF-1 dramatically reduces the amount of Cse4 deposited into chromatin genome-wide when Cse4 is overexpressed. The incorporation of Cse4 genome-wide may have multifactorial effects on growth and gene expression. Loss of yCAF-1 can rescue growth defects and some changes in gene expression associated with Cse4 deposition that occur in the absence of Psh1-mediated proteolysis. Incorporation of Cse4 into promoter nucleosomes at transcriptionally active genes depends on yCAF-1. Overall our findings suggest CAF-1 can act as a CenH3 chaperone, regulating levels and incorporation of CenH3 in chromatin.
Human RTEL1 stabilizes long G-overhangs allowing telomerase-dependent over-extension Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-07 Rosa M Porreca, Galina Glousker, Aya Awad, Maria I Matilla Fernandez, Anne Gibaud, Christian Naucke, Scott B Cohen, Tracy M Bryan, Yehuda Tzfati, Irena Draskovic, Arturo Londoño-Vallejo
Telomere maintenance protects the cell against genome instability and senescence. Accelerated telomere attrition is a characteristic of premature aging syndromes including Dyskeratosis congenita (DC). Mutations in hRTEL1 are associated with a severe form of DC called Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome (HHS). HHS patients carry short telomeres and HHS cells display telomere damage. Here we investigated how hRTEL1 contributes to telomere maintenance in human primary as well as tumor cells. Transient depletion of hRTEL1 resulted in rapid telomere shortening only in the context of telomerase-positive cells with very long telomeres and high levels of telomerase. The effect of hRTEL1 on telomere length is telomerase dependent without impacting telomerase biogenesis or targeting of the enzyme to telomeres. Instead, RTEL1 depletion led to a decrease in both G-overhang content and POT1 association with telomeres with limited telomere uncapping. Strikingly, overexpression of POT1 restored telomere length but not the overhang, demonstrating that G-overhang loss is the primary defect caused by RTEL1 depletion. We propose that hRTEL1 contributes to the maintenance of long telomeres by preserving long G-overhangs, thereby facilitating POT1 binding and elongation by telomerase.
Polyadenylation and degradation of structurally abnormal mitochondrial tRNAs in human cells Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-06 Marina Toompuu, Tea Tuomela, Pia Laine, Lars Paulin, Eric Dufour, Howard T Jacobs
RNA 3′ polyadenylation is known to serve diverse purposes in biology, in particular, regulating mRNA stability and translation. Here we determined that, upon exposure to high levels of the intercalating agent ethidium bromide (EtBr), greater than those required to suppress mitochondrial transcription, mitochondrial tRNAs in human cells became polyadenylated. Relaxation of the inducing stress led to rapid turnover of the polyadenylated tRNAs. The extent, kinetics and duration of tRNA polyadenylation were EtBr dose-dependent, with mitochondrial tRNAs differentially sensitive to the stress. RNA interference and inhibitor studies indicated that ongoing mitochondrial ATP synthesis, plus the mitochondrial poly(A) polymerase and SUV3 helicase were required for tRNA polyadenylation, while polynucleotide phosphorylase counteracted the process and was needed, along with SUV3, for degradation of the polyadenylated tRNAs. Doxycycline treatment inhibited both tRNA polyadenylation and turnover, suggesting a possible involvement of the mitoribosome, although other translational inhibitors had only minor effects. The dysfunctional tRNALeu(UUR) bearing the pathological A3243G mutation was constitutively polyadenylated at a low level, but this was markedly enhanced after doxycycline treatment. We propose that polyadenylation of structurally and functionally abnormal mitochondrial tRNAs entrains their PNPase/SUV3-mediated destruction, and that this pathway could play an important role in mitochondrial diseases associated with tRNA mutations.
Genetic and epigenetic variation in 5S ribosomal RNA genes reveals genome dynamics in Arabidopsis thaliana Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-06 Lauriane Simon, Fernando A Rabanal, Tristan Dubos, Cecilia Oliver, Damien Lauber, Axel Poulet, Alexander Vogt, Ariane Mandlbauer, Samuel Le Goff, Andreas Sommer, Hervé Duborjal, Christophe Tatout, Aline V Probst
Organized in tandem repeat arrays in most eukaryotes and transcribed by RNA polymerase III, expression of 5S rRNA genes is under epigenetic control. To unveil mechanisms of transcriptional regulation, we obtained here in depth sequence information on 5S rRNA genes from the Arabidopsis thaliana genome and identified differential enrichment in epigenetic marks between the three 5S rDNA loci situated on chromosomes 3, 4 and 5. We reveal the chromosome 5 locus as the major source of an atypical, long 5S rRNA transcript characteristic of an open chromatin structure. 5S rRNA genes from this locus translocated in the Landsberg erecta ecotype as shown by linkage mapping and chromosome-specific FISH analysis. These variations in 5S rDNA locus organization cause changes in the spatial arrangement of chromosomes in the nucleus. Furthermore, 5S rRNA gene arrangements are highly dynamic with alterations in chromosomal positions through translocations in certain mutants of the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway and important copy number variations among ecotypes. Finally, variations in 5S rRNA gene sequence, chromatin organization and transcripts indicate differential usage of 5S rDNA loci in distinct ecotypes. We suggest that both the usage of existing and new 5S rDNA loci resulting from translocations may impact neighboring chromatin organization.
Molecular basis of titin exon exclusion by RBM20 and the novel titin splice regulator PTB4 Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-06 Vita Dauksaite, Michael Gotthardt
RNA-binding motif protein 20 (RBM20) is a cardiac splice regulator that adapts cardiac filling via its diverse substrates—including the sarcomeric protein titin. The molecular basis and regulation of RBM20-dependent exon exclusion are largely unknown. In tissue culture experiments, we show that the combination of RNA recognition motif (RRM) and C-terminus is necessary and sufficient for RBM20 activity, indicating an important function of the ZnF2 domain in splicing repression. Using splice reporter and in vitro binding assays targeting titin exons 241–243, we identified a minimal genomic segment that is necessary for RBM20-mediated splicing repression of the alternative exon. Here, RBM20 binds the cluster containing most RBM20 binding motifs through its RRM domain and represses the upstream and downstream introns. For subsequent exon exclusion, specific regions upstream, downstream and within the alternative exon 242 are required. Regulation of exon exclusion involves PTB4 as a novel titin splice regulator, which counteracts RBM20 repressor activity in HEK293 cells. Together, these mechanistic insights into the regulation and action of RBM20 and PTB4 provide a basis for the future development of RBM20 modulators that adapt titin elasticity in cardiac disease.
A screen for deeply conserved non-coding GWAS SNPs uncovers a MIR-9-2 functional mutation associated to retinal vasculature defects in human Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-06 Romain Madelaine, James H Notwell, Gemini Skariah, Caroline Halluin, Charles C Chen, Gill Bejerano, Philippe Mourrain
Thousands of human disease-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) lie in the non-coding genome, but only a handful have been demonstrated to affect gene expression and human biology. We computationally identified risk-associated SNPs in deeply conserved non-exonic elements (CNEs) potentially contributing to 45 human diseases. We further demonstrated that human CNE1/rs17421627 associated with retinal vasculature defects showed transcriptional activity in the zebrafish retina, while introducing the risk-associated allele completely abolished CNE1 enhancer activity. Furthermore, deletion of CNE1 led to retinal vasculature defects and to a specific downregulation of microRNA-9, rather than MEF2C as predicted by the original genome-wide association studies. Consistent with these results, miR-9 depletion affects retinal vasculature formation, demonstrating MIR-9-2 as a critical gene underpinning the associated trait. Importantly, we validated that other CNEs act as transcriptional enhancers that can be disrupted by conserved non-coding SNPs. This study uncovers disease-associated non-coding mutations that are deeply conserved, providing a path for in vivo testing to reveal their cis-regulated genes and biological roles.
The DNMT3A R882H mutant displays altered flanking sequence preferences Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-06 Max Emperle, Arumugam Rajavelu, Stefan Kunert, Paola B Arimondo, Richard Reinhardt, Renata Z Jurkowska, Albert Jeltsch
The DNMT3A R882H mutation is frequently observed in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). It is located in the subunit and DNA binding interface of DNMT3A and has been reported to cause a reduction in activity and dominant negative effects. We investigated the mechanistic consequences of the R882H mutation on DNMT3A showing a roughly 40% reduction in overall DNA methylation activity. Biochemical assays demonstrated that R882H does not change DNA binding affinity, protein stability or subnuclear distribution of DNMT3A. Strikingly, DNA methylation experiments revealed pronounced changes in the flanking sequence preference of the DNMT3A-R882H mutant. Based on these results, different DNA substrates with selected flanking sequences were designed to be favored or disfavored by R882H. Kinetic analyses showed that the R882H favored substrate was methylated by R882H with 45% increased rate when compared with wildtype DNMT3A, while methylation of the disfavored substrate was reduced 7-fold. Our data expand the model of the potential carcinogenic effect of the R882H mutation by showing CpG site specific activity changes. This result suggests that R882 is involved in the indirect readout of flanking sequence preferences of DNMT3A and it may explain the particular enrichment of the R882H mutation in cancer patients by revealing mutation specific effects.
Improving the value of public RNA-seq expression data by phenotype prediction Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-05 Shannon E Ellis, Leonardo Collado-Torres, Andrew Jaffe, Jeffrey T Leek
Publicly available genomic data are a valuable resource for studying normal human variation and disease, but these data are often not well labeled or annotated. The lack of phenotype information for public genomic data severely limits their utility for addressing targeted biological questions. We develop an in silico phenotyping approach for predicting critical missing annotation directly from genomic measurements using well-annotated genomic and phenotypic data produced by consortia like TCGA and GTEx as training data. We apply in silico phenotyping to a set of 70 000 RNA-seq samples we recently processed on a common pipeline as part of the recount2 project. We use gene expression data to build and evaluate predictors for both biological phenotypes (sex, tissue, sample source) and experimental conditions (sequencing strategy). We demonstrate how these predictions can be used to study cross-sample properties of public genomic data, select genomic projects with specific characteristics, and perform downstream analyses using predicted phenotypes. The methods to perform phenotype prediction are available in the phenopredict R package and the predictions for recount2 are available from the recount R package. With data and phenotype information available for 70,000 human samples, expression data is available for use on a scale that was not previously feasible.
The yeast Ty1 retrotransposon requires components of the nuclear pore complex for transcription and genomic integration Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-05 Savrina Manhas, Lina Ma, Vivien Measday
Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) orchestrate cargo between the cytoplasm and nucleus and regulate chromatin organization. NPC proteins, or nucleoporins (Nups), are required for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gene expression and genomic integration of viral DNA. We utilize the Ty1 retrotransposon of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) to study retroviral integration because retrotransposons are the progenitors of retroviruses and have conserved integrase (IN) enzymes. Ty1-IN targets Ty1 elements into the genome upstream of RNA polymerase (Pol) III transcribed genes such as transfer RNA (tRNA) genes. Evidence that S. cerevisiae tRNA genes are recruited to NPCs prompted our investigation of a functional role for the NPC in Ty1 targeting into the genome. We find that Ty1 mobility is reduced in multiple Nup mutants that cannot be accounted for by defects in Ty1 gene expression, cDNA production or Ty1-IN nuclear entry. Instead, we find that Ty1 insertion upstream of tRNA genes is impaired. We also identify Nup mutants with wild type Ty1 mobility but impaired Ty1 targeting. The NPC nuclear basket, which interacts with chromatin, is required for both Ty1 expression and nucleosome targeting. Deletion of components of the NPC nuclear basket causes mis-targeting of Ty1 elements to the ends of chromosomes.
Enzymatic synthesis of cyclic dinucleotide analogs by a promiscuous cyclic-AMP-GMP synthetase and analysis of cyclic dinucleotide responsive riboswitches Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-05 Katherine D Launer-Felty, Scott A Strobel
Cyclic dinucleotides are second messenger molecules produced by both prokaryotes and eukaryotes in response to external stimuli. In bacteria, these molecules bind to RNA riboswitches and several protein receptors ultimately leading to phenotypic changes such as biofilm formation, ion transport and secretion of virulence factors. Some cyclic dinucleotide analogs bind differentially to biological receptors and can therefore be used to better understand cyclic dinucleotide mechanisms in vitro and in vivo. However, production of some of these analogs involves lengthy, multistep syntheses. Here, we describe a new, simple method for enzymatic synthesis of several 3′, 5′ linked cyclic dinucleotide analogs of c-di-GMP, c-di-AMP and c-AMP-GMP using the cyclic-AMP-GMP synthetase, DncV. The enzymatic reaction efficiently produced most cyclic dinucleotide analogs, such as 2′-amino sugar substitutions and phosphorothioate backbone modifications, for all three types of cyclic dinucleotides without the use of protecting groups or organic solvents. We used these novel analogs to explore differences in phosphate backbone and 2′-hydroxyl recognition between GEMM-I and GEMM-Ib riboswitches.
Cytotoxic and mutagenic properties of alkyl phosphotriester lesions in Escherichia coli cells Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-05 Jiabin Wu, Pengcheng Wang, Yinsheng Wang
Exposure to many endogenous and exogenous agents can give rise to DNA alkylation, which constitutes a major type of DNA damage. Among the DNA alkylation products, alkyl phosphotriesters have relatively high frequencies of occurrence and are resistant to repair in mammalian tissues. However, little is known about how these lesions affect the efficiency and fidelity of DNA replication in cells or how the replicative bypass of these lesions is modulated by translesion synthesis DNA polymerases. In this study, we synthesized oligodeoxyribonucleotides containing four pairs (Sp and Rp) of alkyl phosphotriester lesions at a defined site, and examined how these lesions are recognized by DNA replication machinery in Escherichia coli cells. We found that the Sp diastereomer of the alkyl phosphotriester lesions could be efficiently bypassed, whereas the Rp counterparts moderately blocked DNA replication. Moreover, the Sp-methyl phosphotriester induced TT→GT and TT→GC mutations at the flanking TT dinucleotide site, and the induction of these mutations required Ada protein, which is known to remove efficiently the methyl group from the Sp-methyl phosphotriester. Together, our study provided a comprehensive understanding about the recognition of alkyl phosphotriester lesions by DNA replication machinery in cells, and revealed for the first time the Ada-dependent induction of mutations at the Sp-methyl phosphotriester site.
Cellular uptake mediated by epidermal growth factor receptor facilitates the intracellular activity of phosphorothioate-modified antisense oligonucleotides Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-05 Shiyu Wang, Nickolas Allen, Timothy A Vickers, Alexey S Revenko, Hong Sun, Xue-hai Liang, Stanley T Crooke
Chemically modified antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) with phosphorothioate (PS) linkages have been extensively studied as research and therapeutic agents. PS-ASOs can enter the cell and trigger cleavage of complementary RNA by RNase H1 even in the absence of transfection reagent. A number of cell surface proteins have been identified that bind PS-ASOs and mediate their cellular uptake; however, the mechanisms that lead to productive internalization of PS-ASOs are not well understood. Here, we characterized the interaction between PS-ASOs and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). We found that PS-ASOs trafficked together with EGF and EGFR into clathrin-coated pit structures. Their co-localization was also observed at early endosomes and inside enlarged late endosomes. Reduction of EGFR decreased PS-ASO activity without affecting EGF-mediated signaling pathways and overexpression of EGFR increased PS-ASO activity in cells. Furthermore, reduction of EGFR delays PS-ASO trafficking from early to late endosomes. Thus, EGFR binds to PS-ASOs at the cell surface and mediates essential steps for active (productive) cellular uptake of PS-ASOs through its cargo-dependent trafficking processes which migrate PS-ASOs from early to late endosomes. This EGFR-mediated process can also serve as an additional model to better understand the mechanism of intracellular uptake and endosomal release of PS-ASOs.
In cell mutational interference mapping experiment (in cell MIME) identifies the 5′ polyadenylation signal as a dual regulator of HIV-1 genomic RNA production and packaging Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-05 Redmond P Smyth, Maureen R Smith, Anne-Caroline Jousset, Laurence Despons, Géraldine Laumond, Thomas Decoville, Pierre Cattenoz, Christiane Moog, Fabrice Jossinet, Marylène Mougel, Jean-Christophe Paillart, Max von Kleist, Roland Marquet
Non-coding RNA regulatory elements are important for viral replication, making them promising targets for therapeutic intervention. However, regulatory RNA is challenging to detect and characterise using classical structure-function assays. Here, we present in cell Mutational Interference Mapping Experiment (in cell MIME) as a way to define RNA regulatory landscapes at single nucleotide resolution under native conditions. In cell MIME is based on (i) random mutation of an RNA target, (ii) expression of mutated RNA in cells, (iii) physical separation of RNA into functional and non-functional populations, and (iv) high-throughput sequencing to identify mutations affecting function. We used in cell MIME to define RNA elements within the 5′ region of the HIV-1 genomic RNA (gRNA) that are important for viral replication in cells. We identified three distinct RNA motifs controlling intracellular gRNA production, and two distinct motifs required for gRNA packaging into virions. Our analysis reveals the 73AAUAAA78 polyadenylation motif within the 5′ PolyA domain as a dual regulator of gRNA production and gRNA packaging, and demonstrates that a functional polyadenylation signal is required for viral packaging even though it negatively affects gRNA production.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa MutL promotes large chromosomal deletions through non-homologous end joining to prevent bacteriophage predation Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-05 Mengyu Shen, Huidong Zhang, Wei Shen, Zhenyu Zou, Shuguang Lu, Gang Li, Xuesong He, Melissa Agnello, Wenyuan Shi, Fuquan Hu, Shuai Le
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen with a relatively large genome, and has been shown to routinely lose genomic fragments during environmental selection. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms that promote chromosomal deletion are still poorly understood. In a recent study, we showed that by deleting a large chromosomal fragment containing two closely situated genes, hmgA and galU, P. aeruginosa was able to form ‘brown mutants’, bacteriophage (phage) resistant mutants with a brown color phenotype. In this study, we show that the brown mutants occur at a frequency of 227 ± 87 × 10−8 and contain a deletion ranging from ∼200 to ∼620 kb. By screening P. aeruginosa transposon mutants, we identified mutL gene whose mutation constrained the emergence of phage-resistant brown mutants. Moreover, the P. aeruginosa MutL (PaMutL) nicking activity can result in DNA double strand break (DSB), which is then repaired by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), leading to chromosomal deletions. Thus, we reported a noncanonical function of PaMutL that promotes chromosomal deletions through NHEJ to prevent phage predation.
Structural insights into the unique mechanism of transcription activation by Caulobacter crescentus GcrA Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-05 Xiaoxian Wu, Diane L Haakonsen, Allen G Sanderlin, Yue J Liu, Liqiang Shen, Ningning Zhuang, Michael T Laub, Yu Zhang
Canonical bacterial transcription activators bind to non-transcribed promoter elements to increase transcription of their target genes. Here we report crystal structures of binary complexes comprising domains of Caulobacter crescentus GcrA, a noncanonical bacterial transcription factor, that support a novel mechanism for transcription activation through the preferential binding of methylated cis-regulatory elements and the promotion of open complex formation through an interaction with region 2 of the principal σ factor, σ70. We present crystal structures of the C-terminal, σ factor-interacting domain (GcrA-SID) in complex with domain 2 of σ70 (σ702), and the N-terminal, DNA-binding domain (GcrA-DBD) in complex with methylated double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). The structures reveal interactions essential for transcription activation and DNA recognition by GcrA. These structures, along with mutational analyses, support a mechanism of transcription activation in which GcrA associates with RNA polymerase (RNAP) prior to promoter binding through GcrA-SID, arming RNAP with a flexible GcrA-DBD. The RNAP–GcrA complex then binds and activates target promoters harboring a methylated GcrA binding site either upstream or downstream of the transcription start site.
Capturing the ‘ome’: the expanding molecular toolbox for RNA and DNA library construction Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-03-05 Morgane Boone, Andries De Koker, Nico Callewaert
All sequencing experiments and most functional genomics screens rely on the generation of libraries to comprehensively capture pools of targeted sequences. In the past decade especially, driven by the progress in the field of massively parallel sequencing, numerous studies have comprehensively assessed the impact of particular manipulations on library complexity and quality, and characterized the activities and specificities of several key enzymes used in library construction. Fortunately, careful protocol design and reagent choice can substantially mitigate many of these biases, and enable reliable representation of sequences in libraries. This review aims to guide the reader through the vast expanse of literature on the subject to promote informed library generation, independent of the application.
Editorial: Nucleic Acids Research and Nucleic Acid Therapeutics Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-02-23 Barry L Stoddard, Anastasia Khvorova, David R Corey, William S Dynan, Keith R Fox
Over the past several decades, the concept of using molecules composed partially or wholly of nucleic acids as therapeutic moieties, and the modification of such molecules via synthetic strategies, has been discussed and actively pursued by many academic and industrial laboratories. As compared to small molecules (and more recently antibodies and other protein-based drugs) the use of oligonucleotides and related compounds as therapeutics has advanced more slowly—a fact that is not surprising, given the challenges that such molecules (and their investigators) face. Nucleic acids are large, highly charged, rapidly degraded and cleared from the body, and offer generally poor pharmacological properties. The development of nucleic acids as potential therapeutic agents has nonetheless moved forward at a steady pace, owing in large part to important discoveries regarding their role in regulating gene expression, and in part to the development of increasingly sophisticated synthetic and biochemical methods to alter many of the physical properties that might limit their potential as drugs.
Metabolic and chemical regulation of tRNA modification associated with taurine deficiency and human disease Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-01-30 Kana Asano, Takeo Suzuki, Ayaka Saito, Fan-Yan Wei, Yoshiho Ikeuchi, Tomoyuki Numata, Ryou Tanaka, Yoshihisa Yamane, Takeshi Yamamoto, Takanobu Goto, Yoshihito Kishita, Kei Murayama, Akira Ohtake, Yasushi Okazaki, Kazuhito Tomizawa, Yuriko Sakaguchi, Tsutomu Suzuki
Modified uridine containing taurine, 5-taurinomethyluridine (τm5U), is found at the anticodon first position of mitochondrial (mt-)transfer RNAs (tRNAs). Previously, we reported that τm5U is absent in mt-tRNAs with pathogenic mutations associated with mitochondrial diseases. However, biogenesis and physiological role of τm5U remained elusive. Here, we elucidated τm5U biogenesis by confirming that 5,10-methylene-tetrahydrofolate and taurine are metabolic substrates for τm5U formation catalyzed by MTO1 and GTPBP3. GTPBP3-knockout cells exhibited respiratory defects and reduced mitochondrial translation. Very little τm5U34 was detected in patient’s cells with the GTPBP3 mutation, demonstrating that lack of τm5U results in pathological consequences. Taurine starvation resulted in downregulation of τm5U frequency in cultured cells and animal tissues (cat liver and flatfish). Strikingly, 5-carboxymethylaminomethyluridine (cmnm5U), in which the taurine moiety of τm5U is replaced with glycine, was detected in mt-tRNAs from taurine-depleted cells. These results indicate that tRNA modifications are dynamically regulated via sensing of intracellular metabolites under physiological condition.
Chemistry, mechanism and clinical status of antisense oligonucleotides and duplex RNAs Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2017-12-12 Xiulong Shen, David R Corey
RNA plays a central role in the expression of all genes. Because any sequence within RNA can be recognized by complementary base pairing, synthetic oligonucleotides and oligonucleotide mimics offer a general strategy for controlling processes that affect disease. The two primary antisense approaches for regulating expression through recognition of cellular RNAs are single-stranded antisense oligonucleotides and duplex RNAs. This review will discuss the chemical modifications and molecular mechanisms that make synthetic nucleic acid drugs possible. Lessons learned from recent clinical trials will be summarized. Ongoing clinical trials are likely to decisively test the adequacy of our current generation of antisense nucleic acid technologies and highlight areas where more basic research is needed.
Structure–activity relationships and cellular mechanism of action of small molecules that enhance the delivery of oligonucleotides Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-01-18 Rudolph L Juliano, Ling Wang, Francis Tavares, Edward G Brown, Lindsey James, Yamuna Ariyarathna, Xin Ming, Chengqiong Mao, Mark Suto
The pharmacological effects of antisense and siRNA oligonucleotides are hindered by the tendency of these molecules to become entrapped in endomembrane compartments thus failing to reach their targets in the cytosol or nucleus. We have previously used high throughput screening to identify small molecules that enhance the escape of oligonucleotides from intracellular membrane compartments and have termed such molecules OECs (oligonucleotide enhancing compounds). Here, we report on the structure–activity relationships of a family of OECs that are analogs of a hit that emerged from our original screen. These studies demonstrate key roles for the lipophilic aromatic groups, the tertiary nitrogen, and the carbamate moiety of the parent compound. We have also investigated the intracellular site of action of the OECs and have shown that activity is due to the release of oligonucleotides from intermediate endosomal compartments rather than from early endosomes or from highly acidic downstream compartments. At high concentrations of OECs toxicity occurs in a manner that is independent of caspases or of lysosomal cathepsins but instead involves increased plasma membrane permeability. Thus, in addition to describing specific characteristics of this family of OECs, the current study provides insights into basic mechanisms of oligonucleotide trafficking and their implications for oligonucleotide delivery.
Structural properties and gene-silencing activity of chemically modified DNA–RNA hybrids with parallel orientation Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-01-24 Maryam Habibian, Maryam Yahyaee-Anzahaee, Matije Lucic, Elena Moroz, Nerea Martín-Pintado, Logan Dante Di Giovanni, Jean-Christophe Leroux, Jonathan Hall, Carlos González, Masad J Damha
We report, herein, a new class of RNAi trigger molecules based on the unconventional parallel hybridization of two oligonucleotide chains. We have prepared and studied several parallel stranded (ps) duplexes, in which the parallel orientation is achieved through incorporation of isoguanine and isocytosine to form reverse Watson-Crick base pairs in ps-DNA:DNA, ps-DNA:RNA, ps-(DNA-2′F-ANA):RNA, and ps-DNA:2′F-RNA duplexes. The formation of these duplexes was confirmed by UV melting experiments, FRET and CD studies. In addition, NMR structural studies were conducted on a ps-DNA:RNA hybrid for the first time. Finally, we provide evidence for the unprecedented finding that ps-DNA:RNA and ps-DNA:2′F-RNA hybrids can engage the RNAi pathway to silence gene expression in vitro.
i-Motif of cytosine-rich human telomere DNA fragments containing natural base lesions Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-01-25 Zuzana Dvořáková, Daniel Renčiuk, Iva Kejnovská, Petra Školáková, Klára Bednářová, Janos Sagi, Michaela Vorlíčková
i-Motif (iM) is a four stranded DNA structure formed by cytosine-rich sequences, which are often present in functionally important parts of the genome such as promoters of genes and telomeres. Using electronic circular dichroism and UV absorption spectroscopies and electrophoretic methods, we examined the effect of four naturally occurring DNA base lesions on the folding and stability of the iM formed by the human telomere DNA sequence (C3TAA)3C3T. The results demonstrate that the TAA loop lesions, the apurinic site and 8-oxoadenine substituting for adenine, and the 5-hydroxymethyluracil substituting for thymine only marginally disturb the formation of iM. The presence of uracil, which is formed by enzymatic or spontaneous deamination of cytosine, shifts iM formation towards substantially more acidic pH values and simultaneously distinctly reduces iM stability. This effect depends on the position of the damage sites in the sequence. The results have enabled us to formulate additional rules for iM formation.
Systematic editing of synthetic RIG-I ligands to produce effective antiviral and anti-tumor RNA immunotherapies Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2018-01-24 Janghyun Lee, Eun-Byeol Park, Jiyoun Min, Si-Eun Sung, Yejin Jang, Jin Soo Shin, Dongmin Chun, Ki-Hun Kim, Jihyun Hwang, Mi-Kyung Lee, Yun Young Go, Dohyeong Kwon, Meehyein Kim, Suk-Jo Kang, Byong-Seok Choi
Retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) recognizes double-stranded viral RNAs (dsRNAs) containing two or three 5′ phosphates. A few reports of 5′-PPP-independent RIG-I agonists have emerged, but little is known about the molecular principles underlying their recognition. We recently found that the bent duplex RNA from the influenza A panhandle promoter activates RIG-I even in the absence of a 5′-triphosphate moiety. Here, we report that non-canonical synthetic RNA oligonucleotides containing G-U wobble base pairs that form a bent helix can exert RIG-I-mediated antiviral and anti-tumor effects in a sequence- and site-dependent manner. We present synthetic RNAs that have been systematically modified to enhance their efficacy and we outline the basic principles for engineering RIG-I agonists applicable to immunotherapy.
Transcription-induced supercoiling as the driving force of chromatin loop extrusion during formation of TADs in interphase chromosomes Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2017-11-13 Dusan Racko, Fabrizio Benedetti, Julien Dorier, Andrzej Stasiak
Using molecular dynamics simulations, we show here that growing plectonemes resulting from transcription-induced supercoiling have the ability to actively push cohesin rings along chromatin fibres. The pushing direction is such that within each topologically associating domain (TAD) cohesin rings forming handcuffs move from the source of supercoiling, constituted by RNA polymerase with associated DNA topoisomerase TOP1, towards borders of TADs, where supercoiling is released by topoisomerase TOPIIB. Cohesin handcuffs are pushed by continuous flux of supercoiling that is generated by transcription and is then progressively released by action of TOPIIB located at TADs borders. Our model explains what can be the driving force of chromatin loop extrusion and how it can be ensured that loops grow quickly and in a good direction. In addition, the supercoiling-driven loop extrusion mechanism is consistent with earlier explanations proposing why TADs flanked by convergent CTCF binding sites form more stable chromatin loops than TADs flanked by divergent CTCF binding sites. We discuss the role of supercoiling in stimulating enhancer promoter contacts and propose that transcription of eRNA sends the first wave of supercoiling that can activate mRNA transcription in a given TAD.
A survey of localized sequence rearrangements in human DNA Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2017-12-19 Martin C Frith, Sofia Khan
Genomes mutate and evolve in ways simple (substitution or deletion of bases) and complex (e.g. chromosome shattering). We do not fully understand what types of complex mutation occur, and we cannot routinely characterize arbitrarily-complex mutations in a high-throughput, genome-wide manner. Long-read DNA sequencing methods (e.g. PacBio, nanopore) are promising for this task, because one read may encompass a whole complex mutation. We describe an analysis pipeline to characterize arbitrarily-complex ‘local’ mutations, i.e. intrachromosomal mutations encompassed by one DNA read. We apply it to nanopore and PacBio reads from one human cell line (NA12878), and survey sequence rearrangements, both real and artifactual. Almost all the real rearrangements belong to recurring patterns or motifs: the most common is tandem multiplication (e.g. heptuplication), but there are also complex patterns such as localized shattering, which resembles DNA damage by radiation. Gene conversions are identified, including one between hemoglobin gamma genes. This study demonstrates a way to find intricate rearrangements with any number of duplications, deletions, and repositionings. It demonstrates a probability-based method to resolve ambiguous rearrangements involving highly similar sequences, as occurs in gene conversion. We present a catalog of local rearrangements in one human cell line, and show which rearrangement patterns occur.
A nucleobase-centered coarse-grained representation for structure prediction of RNA motifs Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2017-12-20 Simón Poblete, Sandro Bottaro, Giovanni Bussi
We introduce the SPlit-and-conQueR (SPQR) model, a coarse-grained (CG) representation of RNA designed for structure prediction and refinement. In our approach, the representation of a nucleotide consists of a point particle for the phosphate group and an anisotropic particle for the nucleoside. The interactions are, in principle, knowledge-based potentials inspired by the E SCORE function, a base-centered scoring function. However, a special treatment is given to base-pairing interactions and certain geometrical conformations which are lost in a raw knowledge-based model. This results in a representation able to describe planar canonical and non-canonical base pairs and base–phosphate interactions and to distinguish sugar puckers and glycosidic torsion conformations. The model is applied to the folding of several structures, including duplexes with internal loops of non-canonical base pairs, tetraloops, junctions and a pseudoknot. For the majority of these systems, experimental structures are correctly predicted at the level of individual contacts. We also propose a method for efficiently reintroducing atomistic detail from the CG representation.
Sequence-dependent response of DNA to torsional stress: a potential biological regulation mechanism Nucleic Acids Res. (IF 10.162) Pub Date : 2017-12-18 Anna Reymer, Krystyna Zakrzewska, Richard Lavery
Torsional restraints on DNA change in time and space during the life of the cell and are an integral part of processes such as gene expression, DNA repair and packaging. The mechanical behavior of DNA under torsional stress has been studied on a mesoscopic scale, but little is known concerning its response at the level of individual base pairs and the effects of base pair composition. To answer this question, we have developed a geometrical restraint that can accurately control the total twist of a DNA segment during all-atom molecular dynamics simulations. By applying this restraint to four different DNA oligomers, we are able to show that DNA responds to both under- and overtwisting in a very heterogeneous manner. Certain base pair steps, in specific sequence environments, are able to absorb most of the torsional stress, leaving other steps close to their relaxed conformation. This heterogeneity also affects the local torsional modulus of DNA. These findings suggest that modifying torsional stress on DNA could act as a modulator for protein binding via the heterogeneous changes in local DNA structure.
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