skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on September 19, 2023

Title: A remodeled RNA polymerase II complex catalyzing viroid RNA-templated transcription
Viroids, a fascinating group of plant pathogens, are subviral agents composed of single-stranded circular noncoding RNAs. It is well-known that nuclear-replicating viroids exploit host DNA-dependent RNA polymerase II (Pol II) activity for transcription from circular RNA genome to minus-strand intermediates, a classic example illustrating the intrinsic RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity of Pol II. The mechanism for Pol II to accept single-stranded RNAs as templates remains poorly understood. Here, we reconstituted a robust in vitro transcription system and demonstrated that Pol II also accepts minus-strand viroid RNA template to generate plus-strand RNAs. Further, we purified the Pol II complex on RNA templates for nano-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis and identified a remodeled Pol II missing Rpb4, Rpb5, Rpb6, Rpb7, and Rpb9, contrasting to the canonical 12-subunit Pol II or the 10-subunit Pol II core on DNA templates. Interestingly, the absence of Rpb9, which is responsible for Pol II fidelity, explains the higher mutation rate of viroids in comparison to cellular transcripts. This remodeled Pol II is active for transcription with the aid of TFIIIA-7ZF and appears not to require other canonical general transcription factors (such as TFIIA, TFIIB, TFIID, TFIIE, TFIIF, TFIIH, and TFIIS), suggesting a distinct mechanism/machinery for viroid RNA-templated more » transcription. Transcription elongation factors, such as FACT complex, PAF1 complex, and SPT6, were also absent in the reconstituted transcription complex. Further analyses of the critical zinc finger domains in TFIIIA-7ZF revealed the first three zinc finger domains pivotal for RNA template binding. Collectively, our data illustrated a distinct organization of Pol II complex on viroid RNA templates, providing new insights into viroid replication, the evolution of transcription machinery, as well as the mechanism of RNA-templated transcription. « less
; ; ; ; ;
Daròs, José-Antonio
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
PLOS Pathogens
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    RNA polymerase III (Pol III) transcription initiation requires the action of the transcription factor IIIB (TFIIIB) and is highly regulated. Here, we determine the structures of Pol III pre-initiation complexes (PICs) using single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). We observe stable Pol III–TFIIIB complexes using nucleic acid scaffolds mimicking various functional states, in which TFIIIB tightly encircles the upstream promoter DNA. There is an intricate interaction between TFIIIB and Pol III, which stabilizes the winged-helix domains of the C34 subunit of Pol III over the active site cleft. The architecture of Pol III PIC more resembles that of the Pol II PIC than the Pol I PIC. In addition, we also obtain a 3D reconstruction of Pol III in complex with TFIIIB using the elongation complex (EC) scaffold, shedding light on the mechanism of facilitated recycling of Pol III prior to transcription re-initiation.

  2. Abstract Activation-induced deoxycytidine deaminase (AID) initiates somatic hypermutation (SHM) in immunoglobulin variable (IgV) genes to produce high-affinity antibodies. SHM requires IgV transcription by RNA polymerase II (Pol II). A eukaryotic transcription system including AID has not been reported previously. Here, we reconstitute AID-catalyzed deamination during Pol II transcription elongation in conjunction with DSIF transcription factor. C→T mutations occur at similar frequencies on non-transcribed strand (NTS) and transcribed strand (TS) DNA. In contrast, bacteriophage T7 Pol generates NTS mutations predominantly. AID-Pol II mutations are strongly favored in WRC and WGCW overlapping hot motifs (W = A or T, R = A or G) on both DNA strands. Single mutations occur on 70% of transcribed DNA clones. Mutations are correlated over a 15 nt distance in multiply mutated clones, suggesting that deaminations are catalyzed processively within a stalled or backtracked transcription bubble. Site-by-site comparisons for biochemical and human memory B-cell mutational spectra in an IGHV3-23*01 target show strongly favored deaminations occurring in the antigen-binding complementarity determining regions (CDR) compared to the framework regions (FW). By exhibiting consistency with B-cell SHM, our in vitro data suggest that biochemically defined reconstituted Pol II transcription systems can be used to investigate how, when and wheremore »AID is targeted.« less
  3. Telomerase is a eukaryotic ribonucleoprotein (RNP) enzyme that adds DNA repeats onto chromosome ends to maintain genomic stability and confer cellular immortality in cancer and stem cells. The telomerase RNA (TER) component is essential for telomerase catalytic activity and provides the template for telomeric DNA synthesis. The biogenesis of TERs is extremely divergent across eukaryotic kingdoms, employing distinct types of transcription machinery and processing pathways. In ciliates and plants, TERs are transcribed by RNA polymerase III (Pol III), while animal and ascomycete fungal TERs are transcribed by RNA Pol II and share biogenesis pathways with small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) and small nuclear RNA (snRNA), respectively. Here, we report an unprecedented messenger RNA (mRNA)-derived biogenesis pathway for the 1,291 nucleotide TER from the basidiomycete fungus Ustilago maydis . The U. maydis TER ( Um TER) contains a 5′-monophosphate, distinct from the 5′ 2,2,7-trimethylguanosine (TMG) cap common to animal and ascomycete fungal TERs. The mature Um TER is processed from the 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR) of a larger RNA precursor that possesses characteristics of mRNA including a 5′ 7-methyl-guanosine (m 7 G) cap, alternative splicing of introns, and a poly(A) tail. Moreover, this mRNA transcript encodes a protein called Early meiotic induction proteinmore »1 (Emi1) that is conserved across dikaryotic fungi. A recombinant Um TER precursor expressed from an mRNA promoter is processed correctly to yield mature Um TER, confirming an mRNA-processing pathway for producing TER. Our findings expand the plethora of TER biogenesis mechanisms and demonstrate a pathway for producing a functional long noncoding RNA from a protein-coding mRNA precursor.« less
  4. The sequence of the DNA template has long been thought to influence the rate of transcription by DNA-dependent RNA polymerases, but the influence of DNA sequence on transcription elongation properties of eukaryotic RNA polymerase I (Pol I) from Saccharomyces cerevisiae has not been defined. In this study, we observe changes in dinucleotide production, transcription elongation complex stability, and Pol I pausing in vitro in response to downstream DNA. In vitro studies demonstrate that AT-rich downstream DNA enhances pausing by Pol I and inhibits Pol I nucleolytic cleavage activity. Analysis of Pol I native elongating transcript sequencing data in Saccharomyces cerevisiae suggests that these downstream sequence elements influence Pol I in vivo . Native elongating transcript sequencing studies reveal that Pol I occupancy increases as downstream AT content increases and decreases as downstream GC content increases. Collectively, these data demonstrate that the downstream DNA sequence directly impacts the kinetics of transcription elongation prior to the sequence entering the active site of Pol I both in vivo and in vitro .
  5. Simon, Anne E. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) of virus origin accumulate in cells infected by many positive-strand (+) RNA viruses to bolster viral infectivity. Their biogenesis mostly utilizes exoribonucleases of host cells that degrade viral genomic or subgenomic RNAs in the 5′-to-3′ direction until being stalled by well-defined RNA structures. Here, we report a viral lncRNA that is produced by a novel replication-dependent mechanism. This lncRNA corresponds to the last 283 nucleotides of the turnip crinkle virus (TCV) genome and hence is designated tiny TCV subgenomic RNA (ttsgR). ttsgR accumulated to high levels in TCV-infected Nicotiana benthamiana cells when the TCV-encoded RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), also known as p88, was overexpressed. Both (+) and (−) strand forms of ttsgR were produced in a manner dependent on the RdRp functionality. Strikingly, templates as short as ttsgR itself were sufficient to program ttsgR amplification, as long as the TCV-encoded replication proteins p28 and p88 were provided in trans . Consistent with its replicational origin, ttsgR accumulation required a 5′ terminal carmovirus consensus sequence (CCS), a sequence motif shared by genomic and subgenomic RNAs of many viruses phylogenetically related to TCV. More importantly, introducing a new CCS motif elsewhere in the TCV genome was alonemore »sufficient to cause the emergence of another lncRNA. Finally, abolishing ttsgR by mutating its 5′ CCS gave rise to a TCV mutant that failed to compete with wild-type TCV in Arabidopsis . Collectively, our results unveil a replication-dependent mechanism for the biogenesis of viral lncRNAs, thus suggesting that multiple mechanisms, individually or in combination, may be responsible for viral lncRNA production. IMPORTANCE Many positive-strand (+) RNA viruses produce long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) during the process of cellular infections and mobilize these lncRNAs to counteract antiviral defenses, as well as coordinate the translation of viral proteins. Most viral lncRNAs arise from 5′-to-3′ degradation of longer viral RNAs being stalled at stable secondary structures. Here, we report a viral lncRNA that is produced by the replication machinery of turnip crinkle virus (TCV). This lncRNA, designated ttsgR, shares the terminal characteristics with TCV genomic and subgenomic RNAs and overaccumulates in the presence of moderately overexpressed TCV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). Furthermore, templates that are of similar sizes as ttsgR are readily replicated by TCV replication proteins (p28 and RdRp) provided from nonviral sources. In summary, this study establishes an approach for uncovering low abundance viral lncRNAs, and characterizes a replicating TCV lncRNA. Similar investigations on human-pathogenic (+) RNA viruses could yield novel therapeutic targets.« less