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Sample records for synthetic splicing ribozymes

  1. Trans-splicing with the group I intron ribozyme from Azoarcus

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Gregory F.; Müller, Ulrich F.

    2014-01-01

    Group I introns are ribozymes (catalytic RNAs) that excise themselves from RNA primary transcripts by catalyzing two successive transesterification reactions. These cis-splicing ribozymes can be converted into trans-splicing ribozymes, which can modify the sequence of a separate substrate RNA, both in vitro and in vivo. Previous work on trans-splicing ribozymes has mostly focused on the 16S rRNA group I intron ribozyme from Tetrahymena thermophila. Here, we test the trans-splicing potential of the tRNAIle group I intron ribozyme from the bacterium Azoarcus. This ribozyme is only half the size of the Tetrahymena ribozyme and folds faster into its active conformation in vitro. Our results showed that in vitro, the Azoarcus and Tetrahymena ribozymes favored the same set of splice sites on a substrate RNA. Both ribozymes showed the same trans-splicing efficiency when containing their individually optimized 5′ terminus. In contrast to the previously optimized 5′-terminal design of the Tetrahymena ribozyme, the Azoarcus ribozyme was most efficient with a trans-splicing design that resembled the secondary structure context of the natural cis-splicing Azoarcus ribozyme, which includes base-pairing between the substrate 5′ portion and the ribozyme 3′ exon. These results suggested preferred trans-splicing interactions for the Azoarcus ribozyme under near-physiological in vitro conditions. Despite the high activity in vitro, however, the splicing efficiency of the Azoarcus ribozyme in Escherichia coli cells was significantly below that of the Tetrahymena ribozyme. PMID:24344321

  2. RNA-based networks: using RNA aptamers and ribozymes as synthetic genetic devices.

    PubMed

    Weigand, Julia E; Wittmann, Alexander; Suess, Beatrix

    2012-01-01

    Within the last few years, a set of synthetic riboswitches has been engineered, which expands the toolbox of genetic regulatory devices. Small molecule binding aptamers have been used for the design of such riboswitches by insertion into untranslated regions of mRNAs, exploiting the fact that upon ligand binding the RNA structure interferes either with translation initiation or pre-mRNA splicing in yeast. In combination with self-cleaving ribozymes, aptamers have been used to modulate RNA stability. In this chapter, we discuss the applicability of different aptamers, ways to identify novel genetic devices, the pros and cons of various insertion sites and the application of allosteric ribozymes. Our expertise help to apply synthetic riboswitches to engineer complex genetic circuits. PMID:22083741

  3. Kinetic characterization of the first step of the ribozyme-catalyzed trans excision-splicing reaction.

    PubMed

    Dotson, P Patrick; Sinha, Joy; Testa, Stephen M

    2008-06-01

    Group I introns catalyze the self-splicing reaction, and their derived ribozymes are frequently used as model systems for the study of RNA folding and catalysis, as well as for the development of non-native catalytic reactions. Utilizing a group I intron-derived ribozyme from Pneumocystis carinii, we previously reported a non-native reaction termed trans excision-splicing (TES). In this reaction, an internal segment of RNA is excised from an RNA substrate, resulting in the covalent reattachment of the flanking regions. TES proceeds through two consecutive phosphotransesterification reactions, which are similar to the reaction steps of self-splicing. One key difference is that TES utilizes the 3'-terminal guanosine of the ribozyme as the first-step nucleophile, whereas self-splicing utilizes an exogenous guanosine. To further aid in our understanding of ribozyme reactions, a kinetic framework for the first reaction step (substrate cleavage) was established. The results demonstrate that the substrate binds to the ribozyme at a rate expected for simple helix formation. In addition, the rate constant for the first step of the TES reaction is more than one order of magnitude lower than the analogous step in self-splicing. Results also suggest that a conformational change, likely similar to that in self-splicing, exists between the two reaction steps of TES. Finally, multiple turnover is curtailed because dissociation of the cleavage product is slower than the rate of chemistry. PMID:18479464

  4. Synthetic shuffling and in vitro selection reveal the rugged adaptive fitness landscape of a kinase ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Curtis, Edward A.; Bartel, David P.

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between genotype and phenotype is often described as an adaptive fitness landscape. In this study, we used a combination of recombination, in vitro selection, and comparative sequence analysis to characterize the fitness landscape of a previously isolated kinase ribozyme. Point mutations present in improved variants of this ribozyme were recombined in vitro in more than 1014 different arrangements using synthetic shuffling, and active variants were isolated by in vitro selection. Mutual information analysis of 65 recombinant ribozymes isolated in the selection revealed a rugged fitness landscape in which approximately one-third of the 91 pairs of positions analyzed showed evidence of correlation. Pairs of correlated positions overlapped to form densely connected networks, and groups of maximally connected nucleotides occurred significantly more often in these networks than they did in randomized control networks with the same number of links. The activity of the most efficient recombinant ribozyme isolated from the synthetically shuffled pool was 30-fold greater than that of any of the ribozymes used to build it, which indicates that synthetic shuffling can be a rich source of ribozyme variants with improved properties. PMID:23798664

  5. Activating the branch-forming splicing pathway by reengineering the ribozyme component of a natural group II intron.

    PubMed

    Monachello, Dario; Michel, François; Costa, Maria

    2016-03-01

    When assayed in vitro, group IIC self-splicing introns, which target bacterial Rho-independent transcription terminators, generally fail to yield branched products during splicing despite their possessing a seemingly normal branchpoint. Starting with intron O.i.I1 from Oceanobacillus iheyensis, whose crystallographically determined structure lacks branchpoint-containing domain VI, we attempted to determine what makes this intron unfit for in vitro branch formation. A major factor was found to be the length of the helix at the base of domain VI: 4 base pairs (bp) are required for efficient branching, even though a majority of group IIC introns have a 3-bp helix. Equally important for lariat formation is the removal of interactions between ribozyme domains II and VI, which are specific to the second step of splicing. Conversely, mismatching of domain VI and its proposed first-step receptor in subdomain IC1 was found to be detrimental; these data suggest that the intron-encoded protein may promote branch formation partly by modulating the equilibrium between conformations specific to the first and second steps of splicing. As a practical application, we show that by making just two changes to the O.i.I1 ribozyme, it is possible to generate sufficient amounts of lariat intron for the latter to be purified and used in kinetic assays in which folding and reaction are uncoupled. PMID:26769855

  6. Who Activates the Nucleophile in Ribozyme Catalysis? An Answer from the Splicing Mechanism of Group II Introns.

    PubMed

    Casalino, Lorenzo; Palermo, Giulia; Rothlisberger, Ursula; Magistrato, Alessandra

    2016-08-24

    Group II introns are Mg(2+)-dependent ribozymes that are considered to be the evolutionary ancestors of the eukaryotic spliceosome, thus representing an ideal model system to understand the mechanism of conversion of premature messenger RNA (mRNA) into mature mRNA. Neither in splicing nor for self-cleaving ribozymes has the role of the two Mg(2+) ions been established, and even the way the nucleophile is activated is still controversial. Here we employed hybrid quantum-classical QM(Car-Parrinello)/MM molecular dynamics simulations in combination with thermodynamic integration to characterize the molecular mechanism of the first and rate-determining step of the splicing process (i.e., the cleavage of the 5'-exon) catalyzed by group II intron ribozymes. Remarkably, our results show a new RNA-specific dissociative mechanism in which the bulk water accepts the nucleophile's proton during its attack on the scissile phosphate. The process occurs in a single step with no Mg(2+) ion activating the nucleophile, at odds with nucleases enzymes. We suggest that the novel reaction path elucidated here might be an evolutionary ancestor of the more efficient two-metal-ion mechanism found in enzymes. PMID:27309711

  7. Mechanistic investigations of a ribozyme derived from the Tetrahymena group I intron: insights into catalysis and the second step of self-splicing.

    PubMed

    Mei, R; Herschlag, D

    1996-05-01

    Self-splicing of Tetrahymena pre-rRNA proceeds in two consecutive phosphoryl transesterification steps. One major difference between these steps is that in the first an exogenous guanosine (G) binds to the active site, while in the second the 3'-terminal G414 residue of the intron binds. The first step has been extensively characterized in studies of the L-21ScaI ribozyme, which uses exogenous G as a nucleophile. In this study, mechanistic features involved in the second step are investigated by using the L-21G414 ribozyme. The L-21G414 reaction has been studied in both directions, with G414 acting as a leaving group in the second step and a nucleophile in its reverse. The rate constant of chemical step is the same with exogenous G bound to the L-21ScaI ribozyme and with the intramolecular guanosine residue of the L-21G414 ribozyme. The result supports the previously proposed single G-binding site model and further suggests that the orientation of the bound G and the overall active site structure is the same in both steps of the splicing reaction. An evolutionary rationale for the use of exogenous G in the first step is also presented. The results suggest that the L-21G414 ribozyme exists predominantly with the 3'-terminal G414 docked into the G-binding site. This docking is destabilized by approximately 100-fold when G414 is attached to an electron-withdrawing pA group. The internal equilibrium with K(int) = 0.7 for the ribozyme reaction indicates that bound substrate and product are thermodynamically matched and is consistent with a degree of symmetry within the active site. These observations are consistent with the presence of a second Mg ion in the active site. Finally, the slow dissociation of a 5' exon analog relative to a ligated exon analog from the L-21G414 ribozyme suggests a kinetic mechanism for ensuring efficient ligation of exons and raises new questions about the overall self-splicing reaction. PMID:8639540

  8. Ribozyme-based insulator parts buffer synthetic circuits from genetic context

    PubMed Central

    Lou, Chunbo; Stanton, Brynne; Chen, Ying-Ja; Munsky, Brian; Voigt, Christopher A

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic genetic programs are built from circuits that integrate sensors and implement temporal control of gene expression1–4. Transcriptional circuits are layered by using promoters to carry the signal between circuits. In other words, the output promoter of one circuit serves as the input promoter to the next. Thus, connecting circuits requires physically connecting a promoter to the next circuit. We show that the sequence at the junction between the input promoter and circuit can affect the input-output response (transfer function) of the circuit5–9. A library of putative sequences that might reduce (or buffer) such context effects, which we refer to as ‘insulator parts’, is screened in Escherichia coli. We find that ribozymes that cleave the 5′ untranslated region (5′-UTR) of the mRNA are effective insulators. They generate quantitatively identical transfer functions, irrespective of the identity of the input promoter. When these insulators are used to join synthetic gene circuits, the behavior of layered circuits can be predicted using a mathematical model. The inclusion of insulators will be critical in reliably permuting circuits to build different programs. PMID:23034349

  9. Tecto-GIRz: Engineered Group I Ribozyme the Catalytic Ability of Which Can Be Controlled by Self-Dimerization.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Takahiro; Matsumura, Shigeyoshi; Furuta, Hiroyuki; Ikawa, Yoshiya

    2016-08-01

    RNA is a promising biomaterial for self-assembly of nano-sized structures with a wide range of applications in nanotechnology and synthetic biology. Several RNA-based nanostructures have been reported, but most are unrelated to intracellular RNA, which possesses modular structures that are sufficiently large and complex to serve as catalysts to promote sophisticated chemical reactions. In this study, we designed dimeric RNA structures based on the Tetrahymena group I ribozyme. The resulting dimeric RNAs (tecto group I ribozyme; tecto-GIRz) exhibit catalytic ability that depended on controlled dimerization, by which a pair of ribozymes can be activated to perform cleavage and splicing reactions of two distinct substrates. Modular redesign of complex RNA structures affords large ribozymes for use as modules in RNA nanotechnology and RNA synthetic biology. PMID:27247120

  10. Hammerhead ribozyme cleavage of hamster prion pre-mRNA in complex cell-free model systems.

    PubMed

    Denman, R B; Purow, B; Rubenstein, R; Miller, D L

    1992-07-31

    The cleavage properties of a trans-acting hammerhead ribozyme targeted 51 bases upstream of the putative splicing branch point in the hamster prion pre-mRNA intron were investigated in cell-free model systems in vitro. The specificity of cleavage was demonstrated by the inability of this ribozyme to cleave a non-homologous synthetic message encoding part of the beta amyloid peptide precursor, beta APP, and by the inability of the prion pre-mRNA to be cleaved by a ribozyme targeted to beta amyloid peptide precursor mRNA. Also, the addition of total RNA isolated from rat brain had only a minimal effect on the cleavage of the prion substrate pre-mRNA by the ribozyme. Finally neither the presence of 100 ng of nuclear or cytoplasmic proteins were found to affect the rate of cleavage in vitro. PMID:1379801

  11. Spliced synthetic genes as internal controls in RNA sequencing experiments.

    PubMed

    Hardwick, Simon A; Chen, Wendy Y; Wong, Ted; Deveson, Ira W; Blackburn, James; Andersen, Stacey B; Nielsen, Lars K; Mattick, John S; Mercer, Tim R

    2016-09-01

    RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) can be used to assemble spliced isoforms, quantify expressed genes and provide a global profile of the transcriptome. However, the size and diversity of the transcriptome, the wide dynamic range in gene expression and inherent technical biases confound RNA-seq analysis. We have developed a set of spike-in RNA standards, termed 'sequins' (sequencing spike-ins), that represent full-length spliced mRNA isoforms. Sequins have an entirely artificial sequence with no homology to natural reference genomes, but they align to gene loci encoded on an artificial in silico chromosome. The combination of multiple sequins across a range of concentrations emulates alternative splicing and differential gene expression, and it provides scaling factors for normalization between samples. We demonstrate the use of sequins in RNA-seq experiments to measure sample-specific biases and determine the limits of reliable transcript assembly and quantification in accompanying human RNA samples. In addition, we have designed a complementary set of sequins that represent fusion genes arising from rearrangements of the in silico chromosome to aid in cancer diagnosis. RNA sequins provide a qualitative and quantitative reference with which to navigate the complexity of the human transcriptome. PMID:27502218

  12. Molecular characterization of a new member of the lariat capping twin-ribozyme introns

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Twin-ribozyme introns represent a complex class of mobile group I introns that harbour a lariat capping (LC) ribozyme and a homing endonuclease gene embedded in a conventional self-splicing group I ribozyme (GIR2). Twin-ribozyme introns have so far been confined to nucleolar DNA in Naegleria amoeboflagellates and the myxomycete Didymium iridis. Results We characterize structural organization, catalytic properties and molecular evolution of a new twin-ribozyme intron in Allovahlkampfia (Heterolobosea). The intron contains two ribozyme domains with different functions in ribosomal RNA splicing and homing endonuclease mRNA maturation. We found Allovahlkampfia GIR2 to be a typical group IC1 splicing ribozyme responsible for addition of the exogenous guanosine cofactor (exoG), exon ligation and circularization of intron RNA. The Allovahlkampfia LC ribozyme, by contrast, represents an efficient self-cleaving ribozyme that generates a small 2′,5′ lariat cap at the 5′ end of the homing endonuclease mRNA, and thus contributes to intron mobility. Conclusions The discovery of a twin-ribozyme intron in a member of Heterolobosea expands the distribution pattern of LC ribozymes. We identify a putative regulatory RNA element (AP2.1) in the Allovahlkampfia LC ribozyme that involves homing endonuclease mRNA coding sequences as an important structural component. PMID:25342998

  13. Hammerhead ribozymes going viral.

    PubMed

    Hammann, Christian

    2016-01-01

    An association between hammerhead ribozymes and non-autonomous, long terminal repeat retrotransposons is uncovered in plants, shedding light on the biological function of genomically encoded ribozymes. PMID:27339278

  14. Molecular modelling of the GIR1 branching ribozyme gives new insight into evolution of structurally related ribozymes

    PubMed Central

    Beckert, Bertrand; Nielsen, Henrik; Einvik, Christer; Johansen, Steinar D; Westhof, Eric; Masquida, Benoît

    2008-01-01

    Twin-ribozyme introns contain a branching ribozyme (GIR1) followed by a homing endonuclease (HE) encoding sequence embedded in a peripheral domain of a group I splicing ribozyme (GIR2). GIR1 catalyses the formation of a lariat with 3 nt in the loop, which caps the HE mRNA. GIR1 is structurally related to group I ribozymes raising the question about how two closely related ribozymes can carry out very different reactions. Modelling of GIR1 based on new biochemical and mutational data shows an extended substrate domain containing a GoU pair distinct from the nucleophilic residue that dock onto a catalytic core showing a different topology from that of group I ribozymes. The differences include a core J8/7 region that has been reduced and is complemented by residues from the pre-lariat fold. These findings provide the basis for an evolutionary mechanism that accounts for the change from group I splicing ribozyme to the branching GIR1 architecture. Such an evolutionary mechanism can be applied to other large RNAs such as the ribonuclease P. PMID:18219270

  15. Identification of the nucleotides in the A-rich bulge of the Tetrahymena ribozyme responsible for an efficient self-splicing reaction.

    PubMed

    Ikawa, Y; Okada, A; Imahori, H; Shiraishi, H; Inoue, T

    1997-10-01

    P5abc is a large extension of the P5 element characteristic of subclasses IC1 and IC2 of group I introns. It has a conserved region termed the A-rich bulge, that is responsible for activation of the Tetrahymena self-splicing intron. By employing a modified color-colony assay system, we identified four adenosines in the bulge that are responsible for an efficient splicing reaction. On comparison with the X-ray crystal structure of the P4-5-6 domains of the Tetrahymena intron, three adenosines at positions 183, 184, and 186 were found to be identical to those significantly contributing to the formation of its tertiary structure. However, our results show that an adenosine at 187 is involved in the formation of a Watson-Crick base pair with U135, although it forms a Hoogsteen base pair in the crystal structure. PMID:9399595

  16. A versatile cis-blocking and trans-activation strategy for ribozyme characterization

    PubMed Central

    Kennedy, Andrew B.; Liang, Joe C.; Smolke, Christina D.

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic RNA control devices that use ribozymes as gene-regulatory components have been applied to controlling cellular behaviors in response to environmental signals. Quantitative measurement of the in vitro cleavage rate constants associated with ribozyme-based devices is essential for advancing the molecular design and optimization of this class of gene-regulatory devices. One of the key challenges encountered in ribozyme characterization is the efficient generation of full-length RNA from in vitro transcription reactions, where conditions generally lead to significant ribozyme cleavage. Current methods for generating full-length ribozyme-encoding RNA rely on a trans-blocking strategy, which requires a laborious gel separation and extraction step. Here, we develop a simple two-step gel-free process including cis-blocking and trans-activation steps to support scalable generation of functional full-length ribozyme-encoding RNA. We demonstrate our strategy on various types of natural ribozymes and synthetic ribozyme devices, and the cleavage rate constants obtained for the RNA generated from our strategy are comparable with those generated through traditional methods. We further develop a rapid, label-free ribozyme cleavage assay based on surface plasmon resonance, which allows continuous, real-time monitoring of ribozyme cleavage. The surface plasmon resonance-based characterization assay will complement the versatile cis-blocking and trans-activation strategy to broadly advance our ability to characterize and engineer ribozyme-based devices. PMID:23155065

  17. Ribozyme-Spherical Nucleic Acids

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Liangliang; Kouri, Fotini M.; Briley, William E.; Stegh, Alexander H.; Mirkin, Chad A.

    2015-01-01

    Ribozymes are highly structured RNA sequences that can be tailored to recognize and cleave specific stretches of mRNA. Their current therapeutic efficacy remains low due to their large size and structural instability compared to shorter therapeutically relevant RNA such as small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA). Herein, a synthetic strategy that makes use of the spherical nucleic acid (SNA) architecture to stabilize ribozymes and transfect them into live cells is reported. The properties of this novel ribozyme SNA are characterized in the context of the targeted knockdown of O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), a DNA repair protein involved in chemotherapeutic resistance of solid tumors, foremost glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Data showing the direct cleavage of full-length MGMT mRNA, knockdown of MGMT protein, and increased sensitization of GBM cells to therapy-mediated apoptosis, independent of transfection agents, provide compelling evidence for the promising properties of this new chemical architecture. PMID:26271335

  18. Ribozyme-Spherical Nucleic Acids.

    PubMed

    Rouge, Jessica L; Sita, Timothy L; Hao, Liangliang; Kouri, Fotini M; Briley, William E; Stegh, Alexander H; Mirkin, Chad A

    2015-08-26

    Ribozymes are highly structured RNA sequences that can be tailored to recognize and cleave specific stretches of mRNA. Their current therapeutic efficacy remains low due to their large size and structural instability compared to shorter therapeutically relevant RNA such as small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA). Herein, a synthetic strategy that makes use of the spherical nucleic acid (SNA) architecture to stabilize ribozymes and transfect them into live cells is reported. The properties of this novel ribozyme-SNA are characterized in the context of the targeted knockdown of O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), a DNA repair protein involved in chemotherapeutic resistance of solid tumors, foremost glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Data showing the direct cleavage of full-length MGMT mRNA, knockdown of MGMT protein, and increased sensitization of GBM cells to therapy-mediated apoptosis, independent of transfection agents, provide compelling evidence for the promising properties of this new chemical architecture. PMID:26271335

  19. High-throughput assay and engineering of self-cleaving ribozymes by sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Kobori, Shungo; Nomura, Yoko; Miu, Anh; Yokobayashi, Yohei

    2015-01-01

    Self-cleaving ribozymes are found in all domains of life and are believed to play important roles in biology. Additionally, self-cleaving ribozymes have been the subject of extensive engineering efforts for applications in synthetic biology. These studies often involve laborious assays of multiple individual variants that are either designed rationally or discovered through selection or screening. However, these assays provide only a limited view of the large sequence space relevant to the ribozyme function. Here, we report a strategy that allows quantitative characterization of greater than 1000 ribozyme variants in a single experiment. We generated a library of predefined ribozyme variants that were converted to DNA and analyzed by high-throughput sequencing. By counting the number of cleaved and uncleaved reads of every variant in the library, we obtained a complete activity profile of the ribozyme pool which was used to both analyze and engineer allosteric ribozymes. PMID:25829176

  20. The unforeseeable hammerhead ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Hammann, Christian

    2009-01-01

    Despite its small size, the complex behavior of the hammerhead ribozyme keeps surprising us, even more than 20 years after its discovery. Here, we summarize recent developments in the field, in particular the discovery of the first split hammerhead ribozyme. PMID:20948624

  1. A complex ligase ribozyme evolved in vitro from a group I ribozyme domain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaeger, L.; Wright, M. C.; Joyce, G. F.; Bada, J. L. (Principal Investigator)

    1999-01-01

    Like most proteins, complex RNA molecules often are modular objects made up of distinct structural and functional domains. The component domains of a protein can associate in alternative combinations to form molecules with different functions. These observations raise the possibility that complex RNAs also can be assembled from preexisting structural and functional domains. To test this hypothesis, an in vitro evolution procedure was used to isolate a previously undescribed class of complex ligase ribozymes, starting from a pool of 10(16) different RNA molecules that contained a constant region derived from a large structural domain that occurs within self-splicing group I ribozymes. Attached to this constant region were three hypervariable regions, totaling 85 nucleotides, that gave rise to the catalytic motif within the evolved catalysts. The ligase ribozymes catalyze formation of a 3',5'-phosphodiester linkage between adjacent template-bound oligonucleotides, one bearing a 3' hydroxyl and the other a 5' triphosphate. Ligation occurs in the context of a Watson-Crick duplex, with a catalytic rate of 0.26 min(-1) under optimal conditions. The constant region is essential for catalytic activity and appears to retain the tertiary structure of the group I ribozyme. This work demonstrates that complex RNA molecules, like their protein counterparts, can share common structural domains while exhibiting distinct catalytic functions.

  2. A Faster Triphosphorylation Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Gregory F.; Akoopie, Arvin; Müller, Ulrich F.

    2015-01-01

    In support of the RNA world hypothesis, previous studies identified trimetaphosphate (Tmp) as a plausible energy source for RNA world organisms. In one of these studies, catalytic RNAs (ribozymes) that catalyze the triphosphorylation of RNA 5'-hydroxyl groups using Tmp were obtained by in vitro selection. One ribozyme (TPR1) was analyzed in more detail. TPR1 catalyzes the triphosphorylation reaction to a rate of 0.013 min-1 under selection conditions (50 mM Tmp, 100 mM MgCl2, 22°C). To identify a triphosphorylation ribozyme that catalyzes faster triphosphorylation, and possibly learn about its secondary structure TPR1 was subjected to a doped selection. The resulting ribozyme, TPR1e, contains seven mutations relative to TPR1, displays a previously unidentified duplex that constrains the ribozyme's structure, and reacts at a 24-fold faster rate than the parent ribozyme. Under optimal conditions (150 mM Tmp, 650 mM MgCl2, 40°C), the triphosphorylation rate of TRP1e reaches 6.8 min-1. PMID:26545116

  3. A kinetic and thermodynamic framework for the Azoarcus group I ribozyme reaction

    PubMed Central

    Gleitsman, Kristin R.

    2014-01-01

    Determination of quantitative thermodynamic and kinetic frameworks for ribozymes derived from the Azoarcus group I intron and comparisons to their well-studied analogs from the Tetrahymena group I intron reveal similarities and differences between these RNAs. The guanosine (G) substrate binds to the Azoarcus and Tetrahymena ribozymes with similar equilibrium binding constants and similar very slow association rate constants. These and additional literature observations support a model in which the free ribozyme is not conformationally competent to bind G and in which the probability of assuming the binding-competent state is determined by tertiary interactions of peripheral elements. As proposed previously, the slow binding of guanosine may play a role in the specificity of group I intron self-splicing, and slow binding may be used analogously in other biological processes. The internal equilibrium between ribozyme-bound substrates and products is similar for these ribozymes, but the Azoarcus ribozyme does not display the coupling in the binding of substrates that is observed with the Tetrahymena ribozyme, suggesting that local preorganization of the active site and rearrangements within the active site upon substrate binding are different for these ribozymes. Our results also confirm the much greater tertiary binding energy of the 5′-splice site analog with the Azoarcus ribozyme, binding energy that presumably compensates for the fewer base-pairing interactions to allow the 5′-exon intermediate in self splicing to remain bound subsequent to 5′-exon cleavage and prior to exon ligation. Most generally, these frameworks provide a foundation for design and interpretation of experiments investigating fundamental properties of these and other structured RNAs. PMID:25246656

  4. Optimization of hammerhead ribozymes for the cleavage of S100A4 (CAPL) mRNA.

    PubMed

    Hovig, E; Maelandsmo, G; Mellingsaeter, T; Fodstad, O; Mielewczyk, S S; Wolfe, J; Goodchild, J

    2001-04-01

    Previously, suppression of the S100A4 mRNA by an endogenously expressed ribozyme in osteosarcoma cells was shown to inhibit their metastasis in rats. As a prelude to performing similar studies with exogenous, synthetic ribozymes, we compared a series of hammerhead ribozymes targeted against different sites in the mRNA. The ribozymes differed only in the 7-base flanking sequences complementary to the substrate and were protected against nucleases by chemical modification. Cleavage efficiency varied widely and was not obviously related to the predicted secondary structure of the target RNA. The most active ribozyme of the series was chosen for further optimization. Lengthening its flanking sequences was counterproductive and reduced cleavage even when using excess ribozyme. Using excess substrate (multiple-turnover kinetics), cleavage was fastest with the (6+8) ribozyme having 6 nucleotides (nt) in stem III and 8 nt in stem I. Although these stems strongly influence ribozyme performance, their optimization is still empirical. Faster cleavage was obtained by adding facilitator oligonucleotides to ribozymes with shorter stems of (6+6) and (5+5) nt. Stimulation was particularly strong in the case of the (5+5) ribozyme, which was poorly active by itself. The enhancement caused by different facilitator oligonucleotides paralleled their expected ability to hybridize to RNA as a function of length and chemical modification. PMID:11334142

  5. The ubiquitous hammerhead ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Hammann, Christian; Luptak, Andrej; Perreault, Jonathan; de la Peña, Marcos

    2012-01-01

    The hammerhead ribozyme is a small catalytic RNA motif capable of endonucleolytic (self-) cleavage. It is composed of a catalytic core of conserved nucleotides flanked by three helices, two of which form essential tertiary interactions for fast self-scission under physiological conditions. Originally discovered in subviral plant pathogens, its presence in several eukaryotic genomes has been reported since. More recently, this catalytic RNA motif has been shown to reside in a large number of genomes. We review the different approaches in discovering these new hammerhead ribozyme sequences and discuss possible biological functions of the genomic motifs. PMID:22454536

  6. Group I Ribozymes as a Paradigm for RNA Folding and Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodson, Sarah A.; Chauhan, Seema

    Group I ribozymes are an ancient class of RNA catalysts that serve as a paradigm for the self-assembly of complex structures of non-coding RNA. The diversity of subtypes illustrates the modular character of RNA architecture and the potential for the evolution of new functions. The folding mechanisms of group I ribozymes illustrate the hierarchy of folding transitions and the importance of kinetic partitioning among competing folding pathways. Studies on group I splicing factors demonstrate how proteins facilitate the assembly of splicing complexes by stabilizing tertiary interactions between domains and by ATP-dependent cycles of RNA unfolding.

  7. Synthetic oligonucleotides recruit ILF2/3 to RNA transcripts to modulate splicing

    PubMed Central

    Rigo, Frank; Hua, Yimin; Chun, Seung J; Prakash, Thazha P; Krainer, Adrian R; Bennett, C Frank

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new technology for recruiting specific proteins to RNA through selective recognition of heteroduplexes formed with chemically modified antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs). Typically, ASOs function by hybridizing to their RNA targets and blocking the binding of single-stranded RNA–binding proteins. Unexpectedly, we found that ASOs with 2′-deoxy-2′-fluoro (2′-F) nucleotides, but not with other 2′ chemical modifications, have an additional property: they form heteroduplexes with RNA that are specifically recognized by the interleukin enhancer-binding factor 2 and 3 complex (ILF2/3). 2′-F ASO–directed recruitment of ILF2/3 to RNA can be harnessed to control gene expression by modulating alternative splicing of target transcripts. ILF2/3 recruitment to precursor mRNA near an exon results in omission of the exon from the mature mRNA, both in cell culture and in mice. We discuss the possibility of using chemically engineered ASOs that recruit specific proteins to modulate gene expression for therapeutic intervention. PMID:22504300

  8. Synthetic oligonucleotides recruit ILF2/3 to RNA transcripts to modulate splicing.

    PubMed

    Rigo, Frank; Hua, Yimin; Chun, Seung J; Prakash, Thazha P; Krainer, Adrian R; Bennett, C Frank

    2012-06-01

    We describe a new technology for recruiting specific proteins to RNA through selective recognition of heteroduplexes formed with chemically modified antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs). Typically, ASOs function by hybridizing to their RNA targets and blocking the binding of single-stranded RNA-binding proteins. Unexpectedly, we found that ASOs with 2'-deoxy-2'-fluoro (2'-F) nucleotides, but not with other 2' chemical modifications, have an additional property: they form heteroduplexes with RNA that are specifically recognized by the interleukin enhancer-binding factor 2 and 3 complex (ILF2/3). 2'-F ASO-directed recruitment of ILF2/3 to RNA can be harnessed to control gene expression by modulating alternative splicing of target transcripts. ILF2/3 recruitment to precursor mRNA near an exon results in omission of the exon from the mature mRNA, both in cell culture and in mice. We discuss the possibility of using chemically engineered ASOs that recruit specific proteins to modulate gene expression for therapeutic intervention. PMID:22504300

  9. A ribozyme selected from variants of U6 snRNA promotes 2',5'-branch formation.

    PubMed Central

    Tuschl, T; Sharp, P A; Bartel, D P

    2001-01-01

    In vitro selection was used to sample SnRNA-related sequences for ribozyme activities, and several 2',5'-branch-forming ribozymes were isolated. One such ribozyme is highly dependent upon an 11-nt motif that contains a conserved U6 snRNA sequence (ACAGAGA-box) known to be important for pre-mRNA splicing. The ribozyme reaction is similar to the first step of splicing in that an internal 2'-hydroxyl of an unpaired adenosine attacks at the 5'-phosphate of a guanosine. It differs in that the leaving group is diphosphate rather than a 5' exon. The finding that lariat formation can be accomplished by a small RNA with sequences related to U6 snRNA indicates that the RNA available in the spliceosome may be involved in RNA-catalyzed branch formation. PMID:11214178

  10. In vivo screening of ligand-dependent hammerhead ribozymes.

    PubMed

    Saragliadis, Athanasios; Klauser, Benedikt; Hartig, Jörg S

    2012-01-01

    The development of artificial switches of gene expression is of high importance for future applications in biotechnology and synthetic biology. We have developed a powerful RNA-based system which allows for the ligand-dependent and reprogrammable control of gene expression in Escherichia coli. Our system makes use of the hammerhead ribozyme (HHR) which acts as molecular scaffold for the sequestration of the ribosome binding site (RBS), mimicking expression platforms in naturally occurring riboswitches. Aptamer domains can be attached to the ribozyme as exchangeable ligand-sensing modules. Addition of ligands to the bacterial growth medium changes the activity of the ligand-dependent self-cleaving ribozyme which in turn switches gene expression. In this chapter, we describe the in vivo screening procedure allowing for reprogramming the ligand-specificity of our system. PMID:22315086

  11. Complete RNA inverse folding: computational design of functional hammerhead ribozymes

    PubMed Central

    Dotu, Ivan; Garcia-Martin, Juan Antonio; Slinger, Betty L.; Mechery, Vinodh; Meyer, Michelle M.; Clote, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Nanotechnology and synthetic biology currently constitute one of the most innovative, interdisciplinary fields of research, poised to radically transform society in the 21st century. This paper concerns the synthetic design of ribonucleic acid molecules, using our recent algorithm, RNAiFold, which can determine all RNA sequences whose minimum free energy secondary structure is a user-specified target structure. Using RNAiFold, we design ten cis-cleaving hammerhead ribozymes, all of which are shown to be functional by a cleavage assay. We additionally use RNAiFold to design a functional cis-cleaving hammerhead as a modular unit of a synthetic larger RNA. Analysis of kinetics on this small set of hammerheads suggests that cleavage rate of computationally designed ribozymes may be correlated with positional entropy, ensemble defect, structural flexibility/rigidity and related measures. Artificial ribozymes have been designed in the past either manually or by SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment); however, this appears to be the first purely computational design and experimental validation of novel functional ribozymes. RNAiFold is available at http://bioinformatics.bc.edu/clotelab/RNAiFold/. PMID:25209235

  12. Ribozyme cleaves rex/tax mRNA and inhibits bovine leukemia virus expression.

    PubMed Central

    Cantor, G H; McElwain, T F; Birkebak, T A; Palmer, G H

    1993-01-01

    Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) encodes at least two regulatory proteins, Rex and Tax. Tax, the transactivating protein, stimulates the long terminal repeat to promote viral transcription and may be involved in tumorigenesis. Rex is involved in the transition from early expression of regulatory proteins to later expression of viral structural proteins. We have targeted ribozymes against the mRNA encoding Rex and Tax. The ribozymes consist of the hammer-head catalytic motif flanked by antisense sequences that hybridize with the complementary rex/tax mRNA. To evaluate cleavage in a cell-free system, we transcribed portions of rex/tax mRNA and incubated them with synthetic RNA ribozymes. A ribozyme was identified that cleaves > 80% of the target RNA. Synthetic DNA encoding this ribozyme was cloned into the expression vector pRc/RSV and transfected into BLV-infected bat lung cells. Intracellular cleavage of rex/tax mRNA was confirmed by reverse transcriptase PCR. In cells expressing the ribozyme, viral expression was markedly inhibited. Expression of the BLV core protein p24 was inhibited by 61%, and reverse transcriptase activity in supernatant was inhibited by 92%. Ribozyme inhibition of BLV expression suggests that cattle expressing these sequences may be able to control BLV replication. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 PMID:7504287

  13. Ribozymes and Riboswitches: Modulation of RNA Function by Small Molecules†

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jinwei; Lau, Matthew W.; Ferré-D'Amaré, Adrian R.

    2010-01-01

    Diverse small molecules interact with catalytic RNAs (ribozymes) as substrates and cofactors, and their intracellular concentrations are sensed by gene-regulatory mRNA domains (riboswitches) that modulate transcription, splicing, translation, or RNA stability. Although recognition mechanisms vary from RNA to RNA, structural analyses reveal recurring strategies that arise from the intrinsic properties of RNA such as base pairing and stacking with conjugated heterocycles, and cation-dependent recognition of anionic functional groups. These studies also suggest that, to a first approximation, the magnitude of ligand-induced reorganization of an RNA is inversely proportional to the complexity of the riboswitch or ribozyme. How these small molecule binding-induced changes in RNA lead to alteration in gene expression is less well understood. While different riboswitches have been proposed to be under either kinetic or thermodynamic control, the biochemical and structural mechanisms that give rise to regulatory consequences downstream of small molecule recognition by RNAs mostly remain to be elucidated. PMID:20931966

  14. Kinetic characterization of hairpin ribozyme variants.

    PubMed

    Appel, Bettina; Marschall, Thomas; Strahl, Anne; Müller, Sabine

    2012-01-01

    Kinetic analysis of ribozyme reactions is a common method to evaluate and compare activities of catalytic RNAs. The hairpin ribozyme catalyzes the reversible cleavage of a suitable RNA substrate at a specific site. Hairpin ribozyme variants as an allosteric ribozyme responsive to flavine mononucleotide and a hairpin-derived twin ribozyme that catalyzes two cleavage reactions and two ligation events with the result of a fragment exchange have been developed by rational design and were kinetically characterized. Herein, protocols for preparation of ribozymes and dye-labeled substrates as well as for analysis of cleavage, ligation, and fragment exchange reactions are provided. PMID:22315062

  15. Conditional control of mammalian gene expression by tetracycline-dependent hammerhead ribozymes.

    PubMed

    Beilstein, Kim; Wittmann, Alexander; Grez, Manuel; Suess, Beatrix

    2015-05-15

    Robust synthetic devices are requisite for the construction of synthetic genetic circuits and important scientific and technological tools to control cellular processes. We developed tetracycline-dependent ribozymes, which can switch on gene expression up to 8.7-fold upon addition of tetracycline. A tetracycline aptamer was grafted onto the hammerhead ribozyme in such a way that ligand binding to the aptamers destroys a loop-loop interaction within the ribozyme thereby inhibiting ribozyme cleavage and allowing gene expression. The advantage of the presented regulatory system is its independence of any regulatory proteins. The stable integration of the ribozyme into the genome of HeLa cells indicates a low background activity in the absence of ligand. Furthermore, the ligand concentration required to robustly flip the switch does not affect cell viability and therefore allows a long-term application of the system. These properties turn the tetracycline-dependent ribozymes into a very promising tool for conditional gene expression in mammalian cells. PMID:25265236

  16. Two group I ribozymes with different functions in a nuclear rDNA intron.

    PubMed Central

    Decatur, W A; Einvik, C; Johansen, S; Vogt, V M

    1995-01-01

    DiSSU1, a mobile intron in the nuclear rRNA gene of Didymium iridis, was previously reported to contain two independent catalytic RNA elements. We have found that both catalytic elements, renamed GIR1 and GIR2, are group I ribozymes, but with differing functionality. GIR2 carries out the several reactions associated with self-splicing. GIR1 carries out a hydrolysis reaction at an internal processing site (IPS-1). These conclusions are based on the catalytic properties of RNAs transcribed in vitro. Mutation of the P7 pairing segment of GIR2 abrogated self-splicing, while mutation of P7 in GIR1 abrogated hydrolysis at the IPS-1. Much of the P2 stem and all of the associated loop could be deleted without effect on self-splicing. These results are accounted for by a secondary structure model, in which a long P2 pairing segment brings the 5' splice site to the GIR2 catalytic core. GIR1 is the smallest natural group I ribozyme yet reported and is the first example of a group I ribozyme whose presumptive biological function is hydrolysis. We hypothesize that GIR1-mediated cleavage of the excised intron RNA functions in the generation and expression of the mRNA for the intron-encoded endonuclease I-DirI. Images PMID:7556099

  17. Sequence specificity of a group II intron ribozyme: multiple mechanisms for promoting unusually high discrimination against mismatched targets.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Q; Qin, P Z; Michels, W J; Freeland, K; Pyle, A M

    1998-03-17

    Group II intron ai5 gamma was reconstructed into a multiple-turnover ribozyme that efficiently cleaves small oligonucleotide substrates in-trans. This construct makes it possible to investigate sequence specificity, since second-order rate constants (kcat/K(m), or the specificity constant) can be obtained and compared with values for mutant substrates and with other ribozymes. The ribozyme used in this study consists of intron domains 1 and 3 connected in-cis, together with domain 5 as a separate catalytic cofactor. This ribozyme has mechanistic features similar to the first step of reverse-splicing, in which a lariat intron attacks exogenous RNA and DNA substrates, and it therefore serves as a model for the sequence specificity of group II intron mobility. To quantitatively evaluate the sequence specificity of this ribozyme, the WT kcat/Km value was compared to individual kcat/Km values for a series of mutant substrates and ribozymes containing single base changes, which were designed to create mismatches at varying positions along the two ribozyme-substrate recognition helices. These mismatches had remarkably large effects on the discrimination index (1/relative kcat/K(m)), resulting in values > 10,000 in several cases. The delta delta G++ for mismatches ranged from 2 to 6 kcal/mol depending on the mismatch and its position. The high specificity of the ribozyme is attributable to effects on duplex stabilization (1-3 kcal/mol) and unexpectedly large effects on the chemical step of reaction (0.5-2.5 kcal/mol). In addition, substrate association is accompanied by an energetic penalty that lowers the overall binding energy between ribozyme and substrate, thereby causing the off-rate to be faster than the rate of catalysis and resulting in high specificity for the cleavage of long target sequences (> or = 13 nucleotides). PMID:9521704

  18. Intracellular RNA cleavage by the hairpin ribozyme.

    PubMed Central

    Seyhan, A A; Amaral, J; Burke, J M

    1998-01-01

    Studies involving ribozyme-directed inactivation of targeted RNA molecules have met with mixed success, making clear the importance of methods to measure and optimize ribozyme activity within cells. The interpretation of biochemical assays for determining ribozyme activity in the cellular environment have been complicated by recent results indicating that hammerhead and hairpin ribozymes can cleave RNA following cellular lysis. Here, we report the results of experiments in which the catalytic activity of hairpin ribozymes is monitored following expression in mammalian cells, and in which post-lysis cleavage is rigorously excluded through a series of biochemical and genetic controls. Following transient transfection, self-processing transcripts containing active and inactive hairpin ribozymes together with cleavable and non-cleavable substrates were generated within the cytoplasm of mouse OST7-1 cells using T7 RNA polymerase. Unprocessed RNA and products ofintracellular cleavage were detected and analyzed using a primer-extension assay. Ribozyme-containing transcripts accumulated to a level of 4 x 10(4) copies per cell, and self-processing proceeded to an extent of >75% within cells. Cellular RNA processing was blocked by mutations within the ribozyme (G8A, G21U) or substrate (DeltaA-1) that, in vitro , eliminate cleavage without affecting substrate binding. In addition to self-processing activity, trans -cleavage reactions were supported by the ribozyme-containing product of the self-processing reaction, and by the ribozyme linked to the non-cleavable substrate analog. Ribozyme activity was present in extracts of cells expressing constructs with active ribozyme domains. These results provide direct biochemical evidence for the catalytic activity of the hairpin ribozyme in a cellular environment, and indicate that self-processing ribozyme transcripts may be well suited for cellular RNA-inactivation experiments. PMID:9671810

  19. Engineering of ribozyme-based riboswitches for mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Wieland, Markus; Ausländer, David; Fussenegger, Martin

    2012-03-01

    Artificial RNA riboswitches--apart from protein-based gene regulation systems, which have been known about for a long time--have become increasingly important in biotechnology and synthetic biology. Aptamer-controlled hammerhead ribozymes (so-called aptazymes) have been shown to be a versatile platform for the engineering of novel gene regulators. Since aptazymes are cis-acting elements that are located in the untranslated regions of a gene of interest, their application does not need any further protein co-factor. This presents the opportunity to simplify complex gene networks while simultaneously expanding the repertoire of available parts. Nevertheless, the generation of novel aptazymes requires a functional aptamer-ribozyme connection, which can be difficult to engineer. This article describes a novel approach for using fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) in order to identify functional aptazymes in bacteria and their subsequent transfer into mammalian cells. PMID:22305857

  20. Group II Intron Self-Splicing.

    PubMed

    Pyle, Anna Marie

    2016-07-01

    Group II introns are large, autocatalytic ribozymes that catalyze RNA splicing and retrotransposition. Splicing by group II introns plays a major role in the metabolism of plants, fungi, and yeast and contributes to genetic variation in many bacteria. Group II introns have played a major role in genome evolution, as they are likely progenitors of spliceosomal introns, retroelements, and other machinery that controls genetic variation and stability. The structure and catalytic mechanism of group II introns have recently been elucidated through a combination of genetics, chemical biology, solution biochemistry, and crystallography. These studies reveal a dynamic machine that cycles progressively through multiple conformations as it stimulates the various stages of splicing. A central active site, containing a reactive metal ion cluster, catalyzes both steps of self-splicing. These studies provide insights into RNA structure, folding, and catalysis, as they raise new questions about the behavior of RNA machines. PMID:27391926

  1. Recent developments in the hammerhead ribozyme field.

    PubMed Central

    Vaish, N K; Kore, A R; Eckstein, F

    1998-01-01

    Developments in the hammerhead ribozyme field during the last two years are reviewed here. New results on the specificity of this ribozyme, the mechanism of its action and on the question of metal ion involvement in the cleavage reaction are discussed. To demonstrate the potential of ribozyme technology examples of the application of this ribozyme for the inhibition of gene expression in cell culture, in animals, as well as in plant models are presented. Particular emphasis is given to critical steps in the approach, including RNA site selection, delivery, vector development and cassette construction. PMID:9826743

  2. Protein-responsive ribozyme switches in eukaryotic cells

    PubMed Central

    Kennedy, Andrew B.; Vowles, James V.; d'Espaux, Leo; Smolke, Christina D.

    2014-01-01

    Genetic devices that directly detect and respond to intracellular concentrations of proteins are important synthetic biology tools, supporting the design of biological systems that target, respond to or alter specific cellular states. Here, we develop ribozyme-based devices that respond to protein ligands in two eukaryotic hosts, yeast and mammalian cells, to regulate the expression of a gene of interest. Our devices allow for both gene-ON and gene-OFF response upon sensing the protein ligand. As part of our design process, we describe an in vitro characterization pipeline for prescreening device designs to identify promising candidates for in vivo testing. The in vivo gene-regulatory activities in the two types of eukaryotic cells correlate with in vitro cleavage activities determined at different physiologically relevant magnesium concentrations. Finally, localization studies with the ligand demonstrate that ribozyme switches respond to ligands present in the nucleus and/or cytoplasm, providing new insight into their mechanism of action. By extending the sensing capabilities of this important class of gene-regulatory device, our work supports the implementation of ribozyme-based devices in applications requiring the detection of protein biomarkers. PMID:25274734

  3. Cryoenzymology of the hammerhead ribozyme.

    PubMed Central

    Feig, A L; Ammons, G E; Uhlenbeck, O C

    1998-01-01

    The technique of cryoenzymology has been applied to the hammerhead ribozyme in an attempt to uncover a structural rearrangement step prior to cleavage. Several cryosolvents were tested and 40% (v/v) methanol in water was found to perturb the system only minimally. This solvent allowed the measurement of ribozyme activity between 30 and -33 degrees C. Eyring plots are linear down to -27 degrees C, but a drastic reduction in activity occurs below this temperature. However, even at extremely low temperatures, the rate is still quite pH dependent, suggesting that the chemical step rather than a structural rearrangement is still rate-limiting. The nonlinearity of the Eyring plot may be the result of a transition to a cold-denatured state or a glassed state. PMID:9769099

  4. Specificity of hammerhead ribozyme cleavage.

    PubMed Central

    Hertel, K J; Herschlag, D; Uhlenbeck, O C

    1996-01-01

    To be effective in gene inactivation, the hammerhead ribozyme must cleave a complementary RNA target without deleterious effects from cleaving non-target RNAs that contain mismatches and shorter stretches of complementarity. The specificity of hammerhead cleavage was evaluated using HH16, a well-characterized ribozyme designed to cleave a target of 17 residues. Under standard reaction conditions, HH16 is unable to discriminate between its full-length substrate and 3'-truncated substrates, even when six fewer base pairs are formed between HH16 and the substrate. This striking lack of specificity arises because all the substrates bind to the ribozyme with sufficient affinity so that cleavage occurs before their affinity differences are manifested. In contrast, HH16 does exhibit high specificity towards certain 3'-truncated versions of altered substrates that either also contain a single base mismatch or are shortened at the 5' end. In addition, the specificity of HH16 is improved in the presence of p7 nucleocapsid protein from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1, which accelerates the association and dissociation of RNA helices. These results support the view that the hammerhead has an intrinsic ability to discriminate against incorrect bases, but emphasizes that the high specificity is only observed in a certain range of helix lengths. Images PMID:8670879

  5. Increased Ribozyme Activity in Crowded Solutions*

    PubMed Central

    Desai, Ravi; Kilburn, Duncan; Lee, Hui-Ting; Woodson, Sarah A.

    2014-01-01

    Noncoding RNAs must function in the crowded environment of the cell. Previous small-angle x-ray scattering experiments showed that molecular crowders stabilize the structure of the Azoarcus group I ribozyme, allowing the ribozyme to fold at low physiological Mg2+ concentrations. Here, we used an RNA cleavage assay to show that the PEG and Ficoll crowder molecules increased the biochemical activity of the ribozyme, whereas sucrose did not. Crowding lowered the Mg2+ threshold at which activity was detected and increased total RNA cleavage at high Mg2+ concentrations sufficient to fold the RNA in crowded or dilute solution. After correcting for solution viscosity, the observed reaction rate was proportional to the fraction of active ribozyme. We conclude that molecular crowders stabilize the native ribozyme and favor the active structure relative to compact inactive folding intermediates. PMID:24337582

  6. Novel RNA structural features of an alternatively splicing group II intron from Clostridium tetani.

    PubMed

    McNeil, Bonnie A; Zimmerly, Steven

    2014-06-01

    Group II introns are ribozymes in bacterial and organellar genomes that function as self-splicing introns and as retroelements. Previously, we reported that the group II intron C.te.I1 of Clostridium tetani alternatively splices in vivo to produce five distinct coding mRNAs. Accurate fusion of upstream and downstream reading frames requires a shifted 5' splice site located 8 nt upstream of the usual 5' GUGYG motif. This site is specified by the ribozyme through an altered intron/exon-binding site 1 (IBS1-EBS1) pairing. Here we use mutagenesis and self-splicing assays to investigate in more detail the significance of the structural features of the C.te.I1 ribozyme. The shifted 5' splice site is shown to be affected by structures in addition to IBS1-EBS1, and unlike other group II introns, C.te.I1 appears to require a spacer between IBS1 and the GUGYG motif. In addition, the mechanism of 3' exon recognition is modified from the ancestral IIB mechanism to a IIA-like mechanism that appears to be longer than the typical single base-pair interaction and may extend up to 4 bp. The novel ribozyme properties that have evolved for C.te.I1 illustrate the plasticity of group II introns in adapting new structural and catalytic properties that can be utilized to affect gene expression. PMID:24751650

  7. Novel RNA structural features of an alternatively splicing group II intron from Clostridium tetani

    PubMed Central

    McNeil, Bonnie A.; Zimmerly, Steven

    2014-01-01

    Group II introns are ribozymes in bacterial and organellar genomes that function as self-splicing introns and as retroelements. Previously, we reported that the group II intron C.te.I1 of Clostridium tetani alternatively splices in vivo to produce five distinct coding mRNAs. Accurate fusion of upstream and downstream reading frames requires a shifted 5′ splice site located 8 nt upstream of the usual 5′ GUGYG motif. This site is specified by the ribozyme through an altered intron/exon-binding site 1 (IBS1–EBS1) pairing. Here we use mutagenesis and self-splicing assays to investigate in more detail the significance of the structural features of the C.te.I1 ribozyme. The shifted 5′ splice site is shown to be affected by structures in addition to IBS1–EBS1, and unlike other group II introns, C.te.I1 appears to require a spacer between IBS1 and the GUGYG motif. In addition, the mechanism of 3′ exon recognition is modified from the ancestral IIB mechanism to a IIA-like mechanism that appears to be longer than the typical single base-pair interaction and may extend up to 4 bp. The novel ribozyme properties that have evolved for C.te.I1 illustrate the plasticity of group II introns in adapting new structural and catalytic properties that can be utilized to affect gene expression. PMID:24751650

  8. Fluorescence and solution NMR study of the active site of a 160-kDa group II intron ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Gumbs, Orlando H.; Padgett, Richard A.; Dayie, Kwaku T.

    2006-01-01

    We have reconstructed the group II intron from Pylaiella littoralis (PL) into a hydrolytic ribozyme, comprising domains 1–3 (D123) connected in cis plus domain 5 (D5) supplied in trans that efficiently cleaves spliced exon substrates. Using a novel gel-based fluorescence assay and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, we monitored the direct binding of D5 to D123, characterized the kinetics of the spliced exon hydrolysis reaction (which is mechanistically analogous to the reverse of the second catalytic step of splicing), and identified the binding surface of D123 on D5. This PL ribozyme acts as an RNA endonuclease even at low monovalent (100 mM KCl) and divalent ion concentrations (1–10 mM MgCl2). This is in contrast to other group II intron ribozyme systems that require high levels of salt, making NMR analysis problematic. D5 binds tightly to D123 with a K d of 650 ± 250 nM, a K m of ∼300 nM, and a K cat of 0.02 min−1 under single turnover conditions. Within the ∼160-kDa D123–D5 binary complex, site-specific binding to D123 leads to dramatic chemical shift perturbation of residues localized to the tetraloop and internal bulge within D5, suggesting a structural switch model for D5-assisted splicing. This minimal ribozyme thus recapitulates the essential features of the reverse of the second catalytic step and represents a well-behaved system for ongoing high-resolution structural work to complement folding and catalytic functional studies. PMID:16894219

  9. A strategy for developing a hammerhead ribozyme for selective RNA cleavage depending on substitutional RNA editing

    PubMed Central

    Fukuda, Masatora; Kurihara, Kei; Tanaka, Yasuyoshi; Deshimaru, Masanobu

    2012-01-01

    Substitutional RNA editing plays a crucial role in the regulation of biological processes. Cleavage of target RNA that depends on the specific site of substitutional RNA editing is a useful tool for analyzing and regulating intracellular processes related to RNA editing. Hammerhead ribozymes have been utilized as small catalytic RNAs for cleaving target RNA at a specific site and may be used for RNA-editing-specific RNA cleavage. Here we reveal a design strategy for a hammerhead ribozyme that specifically recognizes adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) and cytosine to uracil (C-to-U) substitutional RNA-editing sites and cleaves target RNA. Because the hammerhead ribozyme cleaves one base upstream of the target-editing site, the base that pairs with the target-editing site was utilized for recognition. RNA-editing-specific ribozymes were designed such that the recognition base paired only with the edited base. These ribozymes showed A-to-I and C-to-U editing-specific cleavage activity against synthetic serotonin receptor 2C and apolipoprotein B mRNA fragments in vitro, respectively. Additionally, the ribozyme designed for recognizing A-to-I RNA editing at the Q/R site on filamin A (FLNA) showed editing-specific cleavage activity against physiologically edited FLNA mRNA extracted from cells. We demonstrated that our strategy is effective for cleaving target RNA in an editing-dependent manner. The data in this study provided an experimental basis for the RNA-editing-dependent degradation of specific target RNA in vivo. PMID:22798264

  10. Crystal Structure of a Self-Spliced Group ll Intron

    SciTech Connect

    Toor,N.; Keating, K.; Taylor, S.; Pyle, A.

    2008-01-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing ribozymes that catalyze their own excision from precursor transcripts and insertion into new genetic locations. Here we report the crystal structure of an intact, self-spliced group II intron from Oceanobacillus iheyensis at 3.1 angstrom resolution. An extensive network of tertiary interactions facilitates the ordered packing of intron subdomains around a ribozyme core that includes catalytic domain V. The bulge of domain V adopts an unusual helical structure that is located adjacent to a major groove triple helix (catalytic triplex). The bulge and catalytic triplex jointly coordinate two divalent metal ions in a configuration that is consistent with a two-metal ion mechanism for catalysis. Structural and functional analogies support the hypothesis that group II introns and the spliceosome share a common ancestor.

  11. Crystal Structure of a Self-Spliced Group II Intron

    SciTech Connect

    Toor, Navtej; Keating, Kevin S.; Taylor, Sean D.; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2008-04-10

    Group II introns are self-splicing ribozymes that catalyze their own excision from precursor transcripts and insertion into new genetic locations. Here we report the crystal structure of an intact, self-spliced group II intron from Oceanobacillus iheyensis at 3.1 angstrom resolution. An extensive network of tertiary interactions facilitates the ordered packing of intron subdomains around a ribozyme core that includes catalytic domain V. The bulge of domain V adopts an unusual helical structure that is located adjacent to a major groove triple helix (catalytic triplex). The bulge and catalytic triplex jointly coordinate two divalent metal ions in a configuration that is consistent with a two-metal ion mechanism for catalysis. Structural and functional analogies support the hypothesis that group II introns and the spliceosome share a common ancestor.

  12. Functional characterization of the SOFA delta ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    BERGERON, LUCIEN JUNIOR; REYMOND, CÉDRIC; PERREAULT, JEAN-PIERRE

    2005-01-01

    Molecular engineering has led to the development of a novel target-dependent riboswitch that increases δribozyme fidelity. This δ ribozyme possesses a specific on/off adapter (SOFA) that switches the cleavage activity from off (a “safety lock”) to on solely in the presence of the desired RNA substrate. In this report, we investigate the influence of both the structure and the sequence of each domain of the SOFA module. Analysis of the cleavage activity, using a large collection of substrates and SOFA-ribozyme mutants, together with RNase H probing provided several insights into the nature of the sequence and the optimal design of each domain of the SOFA module. For example, we determined that (1) the optimal size of the blocker sequence, which keeps the ribozyme off in the absence of the substrate, is 4 nucleotides (nt); (2) a single nucleotide difference between the substrate and the biosensor domain, which is responsible for the initial binding of the substrate that subsequently switches the SOFA-ribozyme on, is sufficient to cause nonrecognition of the appropriate substrate; (3) the stabilizer, which joins the 5′ and 3′ ends of the SOFA-ribozyme, plays only a structural role; and (4) the optimal spacer sequence, which serves to separate the binding regions of the biosensor and catalytic domain of the ribozyme on the substrate, is from 1 to 5 nt long. Together, these data should facilitate the design of more efficient SOFA-ribozymes with significant potential for many applications in gene-inactivation systems. PMID:16251383

  13. Splicing fidelity

    PubMed Central

    Koodathingal, Prakash; Staley, Jonathan P.

    2013-01-01

    The spliceosome discriminates against suboptimal substrates, both during assembly and catalysis, thereby enhancing specificity during pre-mRNA splicing. Central to such fidelity mechanisms are a conserved subset of the DEAD- and DEAH-box ATPases, which belong to a superfamily of proteins that mediate RNP rearrangements in almost all RNA-dependent processes in the cell. Through an investigation of the mechanisms contributing to the specificity of 5′ splice site cleavage, two related reports, one from our lab and the other from the Cheng lab, have provided insights into fidelity mechanisms utilized by the spliceosome. In our work, we found evidence for a kinetic proofreading mechanism in splicing in which the DEAH-box ATPase Prp16 discriminates against substrates undergoing slow 5′ splice site cleavage. Additionally, our study revealed that discriminated substrates are discarded through a general spliceosome disassembly pathway, mediated by another DEAH-box ATPase Prp43. In their work, Tseng et al. described the underlying molecular events through which Prp16 discriminates against a splicing substrate during 5′ splice site cleavage. Here, we present a synthesis of these two studies and, additionally, provide the first biochemical evidence for discrimination of a suboptimal splicing substrate just prior to 5′ splice site cleavage. Together, these findings support a general mechanism for a ubiquitous superfamily of ATPases in enhancing specificity during RNA-dependent processes in the cell. PMID:23770752

  14. Self-Incorporation of Coenzymes by Ribozymes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Breaker, Ronald R.; Joyce, Gerald F.

    1995-01-01

    RNA molecules that are assembled from the four standard nucleotides contain a limited number of chemical functional groups, a characteristic that is generally thought to restrict the potential for catalysis by ribozymes. Although polypeptides carry a wider range of functional groups, many contemporary protein-based enzymes employ coenzymes to augment their capabilities. The coenzymes possess additional chemical moieties that can participate directly in catalysis and thereby enhance catalytic function. In this work, we demonstrate a mechanism by which ribozymes can supplement their limited repertoire of functional groups through RNAcatalyzed incorporation of various coenzymes and coenzyme analogues. The group I ribozyme of Tetrahymena thermophila normally mediates a phosphoester transfer reaction that results in the covalent attachment of guanosine to the ribozyme. Here, a shortened version of the ribozyme is shown to catalyze the self-incorporation of coenzymes and coenzyme analogues, such as NAD+ and dephosphorylated CoA-SH. Similar ribozyme activities may have played an important role in the "RNA world," when RNA enzymes are thought to have maintained a complex metabolism in the absence of proteins and would have benefited from the inclusion of additional functional groups.

  15. High-Throughput Mutational Analysis of a Twister Ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Kobori, Shungo; Yokobayashi, Yohei

    2016-08-22

    Recent discoveries of new classes of self-cleaving ribozymes in diverse organisms have triggered renewed interest in the chemistry and biology of ribozymes. Functional analysis and engineering of ribozymes often involve performing biochemical assays on multiple ribozyme mutants. However, because each ribozyme mutant must be individually prepared and assayed, the number and variety of mutants that can be studied are severely limited. All of the single and double mutants of a twister ribozyme (a total of 10 296 mutants) were generated and assayed for their self-cleaving activity by exploiting deep sequencing to count the numbers of cleaved and uncleaved sequences for every mutant. Interestingly, we found that the ribozyme is highly robust against mutations such that 71 % and 30 % of all single and double mutants, respectively, retain detectable activity under the assay conditions. It was also observed that the structural elements that comprise the ribozyme exhibit distinct sensitivity to mutations. PMID:27461281

  16. Synthesis of 2'-modified nucleotides and their incorporation into hammerhead ribozymes.

    PubMed Central

    Beigelman, L; Karpeisky, A; Matulic-Adamic, J; Haeberli, P; Sweedler, D; Usman, N

    1995-01-01

    Several 2'-modified ribonucleoside phosphoramidites have been prepared for structure-activity studies of the hammerhead ribozyme. The aim of these studies was to design and synthesize catalytically active and nuclease-resistant ribozymes. Synthetic schemes for stereoselective synthesis of the R isomer of 2'-deoxy-2'-C-allyl uridine and cytidine phosphoramidites, based on the Keck allylation procedure, were developed. Protection of the 2'-amino group in 2'-deoxy-2'-aminouridine was optimized and a method for the convenient preparation of 5'-O-dimethoxytrityl-2'-deoxy-2'-phthalimidouridine 3'-O-(2-cyanoethyl-N,N-diisopropylphosphoramidite) was developed. During the attempted preparation of the 2'-O-t-butyldimethylsilyl-3'-O-phosphoramidite of arabinouridine a reversed regioselectivity in the silylation reaction, compared with the published procedure, was observed, as well as the unexpected formation of the 2,2'-anhydronucleoside. A possible mechanism for this cyclization is proposed. The synthesis of 2'-deoxy-2'-methylene and 2'-deoxy-2'-difluoromethylene uridine phosphoramidites is described. Based on a '5-ribose' model for essential 2'-hydroxyls in the hammerhead ribozyme these 2'-modified monomers were incorporated at positions U4 and/or U7 of the catalytic core. A number of these ribozymes had almost wild-type catalytic activity and improved stability in human serum, compared with an all-RNA molecule. PMID:7501467

  17. Ribozyme-mediated inhibition of HIV 1 suggests nucleolar trafficking of HIV-1 RNA

    PubMed Central

    Michienzi, Alessandro; Cagnon, Laurence; Bahner, Ingrid; Rossi, John J.

    2000-01-01

    The HIV regulatory proteins Tat and Rev have a nucleolar localization property in human cells. However, no functional role has been attributed to this localization. Recently it has been demonstrated that expression of Rev induces nucleolar relocalization of some protein factors involved in Rev export. Because the function of Rev is to bind HIV RNA and facilitate transport of singly spliced and unspliced RNA to the cytoplasm, it is likely that the nucleolus plays a critical role in HIV-1 RNA export. As a test for trafficking of HIV-1 RNAs into the nucleolus, a hammerhead ribozyme that specifically cleaves HIV-1 RNA was inserted into the body of the U16 small nucleolar RNA, resulting in accumulation of the ribozyme within the nucleoli of human cells. HeLa CD4+ and T cells expressing this nucleolar localized ribozyme exhibit dramatically suppressed HIV-1 replication. The results presented here suggest a trafficking of HIV-1 RNA through the nucleoli of human cells, thus posing a different paradigm for lentiviral RNA processing. PMID:10922055

  18. Mapping L1 Ligase ribozyme conformational switch

    PubMed Central

    Giambaşu, George M.; Lee, Tai-Sung; Scott, William G.; York, Darrin M.

    2012-01-01

    L1 Ligase (L1L)molecular switch is an in vitro optimized synthetic allosteric ribozyme that catalyzes the regioselective formation of a 5’-to-3’ phosphodiester bond, a reaction for which there is no known naturally occurring RNA catalyst. L1L serves as a proof of principle that RNA can catalyze a critical reaction for prebiotic RNA self-replication according to the RNA World hypothesis. L1L crystal structure captures two distinct conformations that differ by a re-orientation of one of the stems by around 80 Å and are presumed to correspond to the active and inactive state, respectively. It is of great interest to understand the nature of these two states in solution, and the pathway for their interconversion. In this study, we use explicit solvent molecular simulation together with a novel enhanced sampling method that utilizes concepts from network theory to map out the conformational transition between active and inactive states of L1L. We find that the overall switching mechanism can be described as a 3-state/2-step process. The first step involves a large-amplitude swing that re-orients stem C. The second step involves the allosteric activation of the catalytic site through distant contacts with stem C. Using a conformational space network representation of the L1L switch transition, it is shown that the connection between the three states follows different topographical patterns: the stem C swing step passes through a narrow region of the conformational space network, whereas the allosteric activation step covers a much wider region and a more diverse set of pathways through the network. PMID:22771572

  19. Multiple splicing pathways of group II trans-splicing introns in wheat mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Massel, Karen; Silke, Jordan R; Bonen, Linda

    2016-05-01

    Trans-splicing of discontinuous introns in plant mitochondria requires the assembly of independently-transcribed precursor RNAs into splicing-competent structures, and they are expected to be excised as Y-branched molecules ("broken lariats") because these introns belong to the group II ribozyme family. We now demonstrate that this is just one of several trans-splicing pathways for wheat mitochondrial nad1 intron 4 and nad5 intron 2; they also use a hydrolytic pathway and the liberated 5'-half-intron linear molecules are unexpectedly abundant in the RNA population. We also observe a third productive splicing pathway for nad5 intron 2 that yields full-length excised introns in which the termini are joined in vivo and possess non-encoded nucleotides. In the case of trans-splicing nad1 intron 1, which has a weakly-structured and poorly-conserved core sequence, excision appears to be solely through a hydrolytic pathway. When wheat embryos are germinated in the cold rather than at room temperature, an increased complexity in trans-splicing products is seen for nad1 intron 4, suggesting that there can be environmental effects on the RNA folding of bipartite introns. Our observations provide insights into intron evolution and the complexity of RNA processing events in plant mitochondria. PMID:26970277

  20. Crystal Structure of the VS ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Suslov, Nikolai B.; DasGupta, Saurja; Huang, Hao; Fuller, James R.; Lilley, David M.J.; Rice, Phoebe A.; Piccirilli, Joseph A.

    2015-01-01

    Varkud Satellite (VS) ribozyme mediates rolling circle replication of a plasmid found in the Neurospora mitochondria. We report crystal structures of this ribozyme at 3.1Å resolution, revealing an intertwined dimer formed by an exchange of substrate helices. Within each protomer, an arrangement of three-way helical junctions organizes seven helices into a global fold that creates a docking site for the substrate helix of the other protomer, resulting in the formation of two active sites in trans. This mode of RNA-RNA association resembles the process of domain swapping in proteins and has implications for RNA regulation and evolution. Within each active site, adenine and guanine nucleobases abut the scissile phosphate, poised to serve direct roles in catalysis. Similarities to the active sites of the hairpin and hammerhead ribozymes highlight the functional significance of active site features, underscore the ability of RNA to access functional architectures from distant regions of sequence space, and suggest convergent evolution. PMID:26414446

  1. Crystallographic Analysis of Small Ribozymes and Riboswitches

    PubMed Central

    Lippa, Geoffrey M.; Liberman, Joseph A.; Jenkins, Jermaine L.; Krucinska, Jolanta; Salim, Mohammad; Wedekind, Joseph E.

    2016-01-01

    Ribozymes and riboswitches are RNA motifs that accelerate biological reactions and regulate gene expression in response to metabolite recognition, respectively. These RNA molecules gain functionality via complex folding that cannot be predicted a priori, and thus requires high-resolution three-dimensional structure determination to locate key functional attributes. Herein, we present an overview of the methods used to determine small RNA structures with an emphasis on RNA preparation, crystallization, and structure refinement. We draw upon examples from our own research in the analysis of the leadzyme ribozyme, the hairpin ribozyme, a class I preQ1 riboswitch, and variants of a larger class II preQ1 riboswitch. The methods presented provide a guide for comparable investigations of noncoding RNA molecules including a 48-solution, “first choice” RNA crystal screen compiled from our prior successes with commercially available screens. PMID:22315069

  2. Hammerhead ribozymes: biochemical and chemical considerations.

    PubMed

    Goodchild, J

    2000-06-01

    Ribozymes can be used to cleave specific mRNAs so as to prevent their translation. This presents an alternative to the use of antisense oligonucleotides for drug target validation or therapeutic purposes. The present review covers only one class of ribozymes, the hammerheads, which are small enough for chemical synthesis. Following an account of their structure and ability to catalyze the cleavage of target RNA is a discussion of some problems associated with their use as exogenous therapeutics. Chemical modifications that are used to address these issues are described. PMID:11249621

  3. Searching genomes for ribozymes and riboswitches

    PubMed Central

    Hammann, Christian; Westhof, Eric

    2007-01-01

    New regulatory RNAs with complex structures have recently been discovered, among them the first catalytic riboswitch, a gene-regulatory RNA sequence with catalytic activity. Here we discuss some of the experimental approaches and theoretical difficulties attached to the identification of new ribozymes in genomes. PMID:17472738

  4. Lower temperature optimum of a smaller, fragmented triphosphorylation ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Akoopie, Arvin; Müller, Ulrich F

    2016-07-27

    The RNA world hypothesis describes a stage in the early evolution of life in which catalytic RNAs mediated the replication of RNA world organisms. One challenge to this hypothesis is that most existing ribozymes are much longer than what may be expected to originate from prebiotically plausible methods, or from the polymerization by currently existing polymerase ribozymes. We previously developed a 96-nucleotide long ribozyme, which generates a chemically activated 5'-phosphate (a 5'-triphosphate) from a prebiotically plausible molecule, trimetaphosphate, and an RNA 5'-hydroxyl group. Analogous ribozymes may have been important in the RNA world to access an energy source for the earliest life forms. Here we reduce the length of this ribozyme by fragmenting the ribozyme into multiple RNA strands, and by successively removing its longest double strand. The resulting ribozyme is composed of RNA fragments with none longer than 34 nucleotides. The temperature optimum was ∼20 °C, compared to ∼40 °C for the parent ribozyme. This shift in temperature dependence may be a more general phenomenon for fragmented ribozymes, and may have helped RNA world organisms to emerge at low temperature. PMID:27053323

  5. An engineered small RNA-mediated genetic switch based on a ribozyme expression platform

    PubMed Central

    Klauser, Benedikt; Hartig, Jörg S.

    2013-01-01

    An important requirement for achieving many goals of synthetic biology is the availability of a large repertoire of reprogrammable genetic switches and appropriate transmitter molecules. In addition to engineering genetic switches, the interconnection of individual switches becomes increasingly important for the construction of more complex genetic networks. In particular, RNA-based switches of gene expression have become a powerful tool to post-transcriptionally program genetic circuits. RNAs used for regulatory purposes have the advantage to transmit, sense, process and execute information. We have recently used the hammerhead ribozyme to control translation initiation in a small molecule-dependent fashion. In addition, riboregulators have been constructed in which a small RNA acts as transmitter molecule to control translation of a target mRNA. In this study, we combine both concepts and redesign the hammerhead ribozyme to sense small trans-acting RNAs (taRNAs) as input molecules resulting in repression of translation initiation in Escherichia coli. Importantly, our ribozyme-based expression platform is compatible with previously reported artificial taRNAs, which were reported to act as inducers of gene expression. In addition, we provide several insights into key requirements of riboregulatory systems, including the influences of varying transcriptional induction of the taRNA and mRNA transcripts, 5′-processing of taRNAs, as well as altering the secondary structure of the taRNA. In conclusion, we introduce an RNA-responsive ribozyme-based expression system to the field of artificial riboregulators that can serve as reprogrammable platform for engineering higher-order genetic circuits. PMID:23585277

  6. Solvent Structure and Hammerhead Ribozyme Catalysis

    PubMed Central

    Martick, Monika; Lee, Tai-Sung; York, Darrin M.; Scott, William G.

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY Although the hammerhead ribozyme is regarded as a prototype for understanding RNA catalysis, the mechanistic roles of associated metal ions and water molecules in the cleavage reaction remain controversial. We have investigated the catalytic potential of observed divalent metal ions and water molecules bound to a 2 Å structure of the full-length hammerhead ribozyme by using X-ray crystallography in combination with molecular dynamics simulations. A single Mn2+ is observed to bind directly to the A9 phosphate in the active site, accompanying a hydrogen-bond network involving a well-ordered water molecule spanning N1 of G12 (the general base) and 2′-O of G8 (previously implicated in general acid catalysis) that we propose, based on molecular dynamics calculations, facilitates proton transfer in the cleavage reaction. Phosphate-bridging metal interactions and other mechanistic hypotheses are also tested with this approach. PMID:18420140

  7. Bacterial group II introns: not just splicing.

    PubMed

    Toro, Nicolás; Jiménez-Zurdo, José Ignacio; García-Rodríguez, Fernando Manuel

    2007-04-01

    Group II introns are both catalytic RNAs (ribozymes) and mobile retroelements that were discovered almost 14 years ago. It has been suggested that eukaryotic mRNA introns might have originated from the group II introns present in the alphaproteobacterial progenitor of the mitochondria. Bacterial group II introns are of considerable interest not only because of their evolutionary significance, but also because they could potentially be used as tools for genetic manipulation in biotechnology and for gene therapy. This review summarizes what is known about the splicing mechanisms and mobility of bacterial group II introns, and describes the recent development of group II intron-based gene-targetting methods. Bacterial group II intron diversity, evolutionary relationships, and behaviour in bacteria are also discussed. PMID:17374133

  8. Low Selection Pressure Aids the Evolution of Cooperative Ribozyme Mutations in Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Amini, Zhaleh N.; Müller, Ulrich F.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of functional RNA molecules is important for our molecular understanding of biology. Here we tested experimentally how two evolutionary parameters, selection pressure and recombination, influenced the evolution of an evolving RNA population. This was done using four parallel evolution experiments that employed low or gradually increasing selection pressure, and recombination events either at the end or dispersed throughout the evolution. As model system, a trans-splicing group I intron ribozyme was evolved in Escherichia coli cells over 12 rounds of selection and amplification, including mutagenesis and recombination. The low selection pressure resulted in higher efficiency of the evolved ribozyme populations, whereas differences in recombination did not have a strong effect. Five mutations were responsible for the highest efficiency. The first mutation swept quickly through all four evolving populations, whereas the remaining four mutations accumulated later and more efficiently under low selection pressure. To determine why low selection pressure aided this evolution, all evolutionary intermediates between the wild type and the 5-mutation variant were constructed, and their activities at three different selection pressures were determined. The resulting fitness profiles showed a high cooperativity among the four late mutations, which can explain why high selection pressure led to inefficient evolution. These results show experimentally how low selection pressure can benefit the evolution of cooperative mutations in functional RNAs. PMID:24089519

  9. Exploring purine N7 interactions via atomic mutagenesis: The group I ribozyme as a case study

    PubMed Central

    Forconi, Marcello; Benz-Moy, Tara; Gleitsman, Kristin Rule; Ruben, Eliza; Metz, Clyde; Herschlag, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Atomic mutagenesis has emerged as a powerful tool to unravel specific interactions in complex RNA molecules. An early extensive study of analogs of the exogenous guanosine nucleophile in group I intron self-splicing by Bass and Cech demonstrated structure–function relationships analogous to those seen for protein ligands and provided strong evidence for a well-formed substrate binding site made of RNA. Subsequent functional and structural studies have confirmed these interacting sites and extended our understanding of them, with one notable exception. Whereas 7-methyl guanosine did not affect reactivity in the original study, a subsequent study revealed a deleterious effect of the seemingly more conservative 7-deaza substitution. Here we investigate this paradox, studying these and other analogs with the more thoroughly characterized ribozyme derived from the Tetrahymena group I intron. We found that the 7-deaza substitution lowers binding by ∼20-fold, relative to the cognate exogenous guanosine nucleophile, whereas binding and reaction with 7-methyl and 8-aza-7-deaza substitutions have no effect. These and additional results suggest that there is no functionally important contact between the N7 atom of the exogenous guanosine and the ribozyme. Rather, they are consistent with indirect effects introduced by the N7 substitution on stacking interactions and/or solvation that are important for binding. The set of analogs used herein should be valuable in deciphering nucleic acid interactions and how they change through reaction cycles for other RNAs and RNA/protein complexes. PMID:22543863

  10. Splicing Programs and Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Germann, Sophie; Gratadou, Lise; Dutertre, Martin; Auboeuf, Didier

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies report splicing alterations in a multitude of cancers by using gene-by-gene analysis. However, understanding of the role of alternative splicing in cancer is now reaching a new level, thanks to the use of novel technologies allowing the analysis of splicing at a large-scale level. Genome-wide analyses of alternative splicing indicate that splicing alterations can affect the products of gene networks involved in key cellular programs. In addition, many splicing variants identified as being misregulated in cancer are expressed in normal tissues. These observations suggest that splicing programs contribute to specific cellular programs that are altered during cancer initiation and progression. Supporting this model, recent studies have identified splicing factors controlling cancer-associated splicing programs. The characterization of splicing programs and their regulation by splicing factors will allow a better understanding of the genetic mechanisms involved in cancer initiation and progression and the development of new therapeutic targets. PMID:22132318

  11. Biochemical analysis of hatchet self-cleaving ribozymes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Sanshu; Lünse, Christina E.; Harris, Kimberly A.; Breaker, Ronald R.

    2015-01-01

    Hatchet RNAs are members of a novel self-cleaving ribozyme class that was recently discovered by using a bioinformatics search strategy. The consensus sequence and secondary structure of this class includes 13 highly conserved and numerous other modestly conserved nucleotides interspersed among bulges linking four base-paired substructures. A representative hatchet ribozyme from a metagenomic source requires divalent ions such as Mg2+ to promote RNA strand scission with a maximum rate constant of ∼4 min−1. As with all other small self-cleaving ribozymes discovered to date, hatchet ribozymes employ a general mechanism for catalysis involving the nucleophilic attack of a ribose 2′-oxygen atom on an adjacent phosphorus center. Kinetic characteristics of the reaction demonstrate that members of this ribozyme class have an essential requirement for divalent metal ions and that they might have a complex active site that employs multiple catalytic strategies to accelerate RNA cleavage by internal phosphoester transfer. PMID:26385510

  12. Conformational heterogeneity at position U37 of an all-RNA hairpin ribozyme with implications for metal binding and the catalytic structure of the S-turn.

    PubMed

    Alam, Shabnam; Grum-Tokars, Valerie; Krucinska, Jolanta; Kundracik, Melisa L; Wedekind, Joseph E

    2005-11-01

    The hairpin ribozyme is an RNA enzyme that performs site-specific phosphodiester bond cleavage between nucleotides A-1 and G+1 within its cognate substrate. Previous functional studies revealed that the minimal hairpin ribozyme exhibited "gain-of-function" cleavage properties resulting from U39C or U39 to propyl linker (C3) modifications. Furthermore, each "mutant" displayed different magnesium-dependence in its activity. To investigate the molecular basis for these gain-of-function variants, crystal structures of minimal, junctionless hairpin ribozymes were solved in native (U39), and mutant U39C and U39(C3) forms. The results revealed an overall molecular architecture comprising two docked internal loop domains folded into a wishbone shape, whose tertiary interface forms a sequestered active site. All three minimal hairpin ribozymes bound Co(NH(3))(6)(3+) at G21/A40, the E-loop/S-turn boundary. The native structure also showed that U37 of the S-turn adopts both sequestered and exposed conformations that differ by a maximum displacement of 13 A. In the sequestered form, the U37 base packs against G36, and its 2'-hydroxyl group forms a water mediated hydrogen bond to O4' of G+1. These interactions were not observed in previous four-way-junction hairpin ribozyme structures due to crystal contacts with the U1A splicing protein. Interestingly, the U39C and U39(C3) mutations shifted the equilibrium conformation of U37 into the sequestered form through formation of new hydrogen bonds in the S-turn, proximal to the essential nucleotide A38. A comparison of all three new structures has implications for the catalytically relevant conformation of the S-turn and suggests a rationale for the distinctive metal dependence of each mutant. PMID:16262240

  13. Engineering a ribozyme cleavage-induced split fluorescent aptamer complementation assay

    PubMed Central

    Ausländer, Simon; Fuchs, David; Hürlemann, Samuel; Ausländer, David; Fussenegger, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Hammerhead ribozymes are self-cleaving RNA molecules capable of regulating gene expression in living cells. Their cleavage performance is strongly influenced by intra-molecular loop–loop interactions, a feature not readily accessible through modern prediction algorithms. Ribozyme engineering and efficient implementation of ribozyme-based genetic switches requires detailed knowledge of individual self-cleavage performances. By rational design, we devised fluorescent aptamer-ribozyme RNA architectures that allow for the real-time measurement of ribozyme self-cleavage activity in vitro. The engineered nucleic acid molecules implement a split Spinach aptamer sequence that is made accessible for strand displacement upon ribozyme self-cleavage, thereby complementing the fluorescent Spinach aptamer. This fully RNA-based ribozyme performance assay correlates ribozyme cleavage activity with Spinach fluorescence to provide a rapid and straightforward technology for the validation of loop–loop interactions in hammerhead ribozymes. PMID:26939886

  14. Engineering a ribozyme cleavage-induced split fluorescent aptamer complementation assay.

    PubMed

    Ausländer, Simon; Fuchs, David; Hürlemann, Samuel; Ausländer, David; Fussenegger, Martin

    2016-06-01

    Hammerhead ribozymes are self-cleaving RNA molecules capable of regulating gene expression in living cells. Their cleavage performance is strongly influenced by intra-molecular loop-loop interactions, a feature not readily accessible through modern prediction algorithms. Ribozyme engineering and efficient implementation of ribozyme-based genetic switches requires detailed knowledge of individual self-cleavage performances. By rational design, we devised fluorescent aptamer-ribozyme RNA architectures that allow for the real-time measurement of ribozyme self-cleavage activity in vitro The engineered nucleic acid molecules implement a split Spinach aptamer sequence that is made accessible for strand displacement upon ribozyme self-cleavage, thereby complementing the fluorescent Spinach aptamer. This fully RNA-based ribozyme performance assay correlates ribozyme cleavage activity with Spinach fluorescence to provide a rapid and straightforward technology for the validation of loop-loop interactions in hammerhead ribozymes. PMID:26939886

  15. Intermolecular domain docking in the hairpin ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Sumita, Minako; White, Neil A.; Julien, Kristine R.; Hoogstraten, Charles G.

    2013-01-01

    The hairpin ribozyme is a prototype small, self-cleaving RNA motif. It exists naturally as a four-way RNA junction containing two internal loops on adjoining arms. These two loops interact in a cation-driven docking step prior to chemical catalysis to form a tightly integrated structure, with dramatic changes occurring in the conformation of each loop upon docking. We investigate the thermodynamics and kinetics of the docking process using constructs in which loop A and loop B reside on separate molecules. Using a novel CD difference assay to isolate the effects of metal ions linked to domain docking, we find the intermolecular docking process to be driven by sub-millimolar concentrations of the exchange-inert Co(NH3)63+. RNA self-cleavage requires binding of lower-affinity ions with greater apparent cooperativity than the docking process itself, implying that, even in the absence of direct coordination to RNA, metal ions play a catalytic role in hairpin ribozyme function beyond simply driving loop-loop docking. Surface plasmon resonance assays reveal remarkably slow molecular association, given the relatively tight loop-loop interaction. This observation is consistent with a “double conformational capture” model in which only collisions between loop A and loop B molecules that are simultaneously in minor, docking-competent conformations are productive for binding. PMID:23324606

  16. Molecular Crowding Accelerates Ribozyme Docking and Catalysis

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    All biological processes take place in highly crowded cellular environments. However, the effect that molecular crowding agents have on the folding and catalytic properties of RNA molecules remains largely unknown. Here, we have combined single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) and bulk cleavage assays to determine the effect of a molecular crowding agents on the folding and catalysis of a model RNA enzyme, the hairpin ribozyme. Our single-molecule data reveal that PEG favors the formation of the docked (active) structure by increasing the docking rate constant with increasing PEG concentrations. Furthermore, Mg2+ ion-induced folding in the presence of PEG occurs at concentrations ∼7-fold lower than in the absence of PEG, near the physiological range (∼1 mM). Lastly, bulk cleavage assays in the presence of the crowding agent show that the ribozyme’s activity increases while the heterogeneity decreases. Our data is consistent with the idea that molecular crowding plays an important role in the stabilization of ribozyme active conformations in vivo. PMID:25399908

  17. Structure and Mechanism of the glmS Ribozyme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soukup, Juliane K.; Soukup, Garrett A.

    The self-cleaving glmS ribozyme is a mechanistically unique functional RNA in the category of riboswitches and RNA catalysts. Its catalytic activity provides the basis of genetic regulation and depends upon glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P) as a coenzyme. Substantial biochemical and biophysical data relating to the structure and function of the glmS ribozyme has been amassed in a relatively short period of time since its discovery. A precise and comprehensive mechanistic understanding of coenzyme function in glmS ribozyme self-cleavage has however not been elaborated. Here, evidence regarding the structure and function of the glmS ribozyme is carefully weighed to provide a comprehensive mechanistic model of coenzyme action in acid-base catalysis at the enzyme's active site.

  18. A ribozyme that triphosphorylates RNA 5′-hydroxyl groups

    PubMed Central

    Moretti, Janina E.; Müller, Ulrich F.

    2014-01-01

    The RNA world hypothesis describes a stage in the early evolution of life in which RNA served as genome and as the only genome-encoded catalyst. To test whether RNA world organisms could have used cyclic trimetaphosphate as an energy source, we developed an in vitro selection strategy for isolating ribozymes that catalyze the triphosphorylation of RNA 5′-hydroxyl groups with trimetaphosphate. Several active sequences were isolated, and one ribozyme was analyzed in more detail. The ribozyme was truncated to 96 nt, while retaining full activity. It was converted to a trans-format and reacted with rates of 0.16 min−1 under optimal conditions. The secondary structure appears to contain a four-helical junction motif. This study showed that ribozymes can use trimetaphosphate to triphosphorylate RNA 5′-hydroxyl groups and suggested that RNA world organisms could have used trimetaphosphate as their energy source. PMID:24452796

  19. Chemistry and Biology of Self-Cleaving Ribozymes.

    PubMed

    Jimenez, Randi M; Polanco, Julio A; Lupták, Andrej

    2015-11-01

    Self-cleaving ribozymes were discovered 30 years ago, but their biological distribution and catalytic mechanisms are only beginning to be defined. Each ribozyme family is defined by a distinct structure, with unique active sites accelerating the same transesterification reaction across the families. Biochemical studies show that general acid-base catalysis is the most common mechanism of self-cleavage, but metal ions and metabolites can be used as cofactors. Ribozymes have been discovered in highly diverse genomic contexts throughout nature, from viroids to vertebrates. Their biological roles include self-scission during rolling-circle replication of RNA genomes, co-transcriptional processing of retrotransposons, and metabolite-dependent gene expression regulation in bacteria. Other examples, including highly conserved mammalian ribozymes, suggest that many new biological roles are yet to be discovered. PMID:26481500

  20. Controlling mammalian gene expression by allosteric hepatitis delta virus ribozymes.

    PubMed

    Nomura, Yoko; Zhou, Linlin; Miu, Anh; Yokobayashi, Yohei

    2013-12-20

    We engineered small molecule responsive allosteric ribozymes based on the genomic hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme by replacing the P4-L4 stem-loop with an RNA aptamer through a connector stem. When embedded in the 3' untranslated region of a reporter gene mRNA, these RNA devices enabled regulation of cis-gene expression by theophylline and guanine by up to 29.5-fold in mammalian cell culture. Furthermore, a NOR logic gate device was constructed by placing two engineered ribozymes in tandem, demonstrating the modularity of the RNA devices. The significant improvement in the regulatory dynamic range (ON/OFF ratio) of the RNA devices based on the HDV ribozyme should provide new opportunities for practical applications. PMID:23697539

  1. Oligonucleotide facilitators may inhibit or activate a hammerhead ribozyme.

    PubMed Central

    Jankowsky, E; Schwenzer, B

    1996-01-01

    Facilitators are oligonucleotides capable of affecting hammerhead ribozyme activity by interacting with the substrate at the termini of the ribozyme. Facilitator effects were determined in vitro using a system consisting of a ribozyme with 7 nucleotides in every stem sequence and two substrates with inverted facilitator binding sequences. The effects of 9mer and 12mer RNA as well as DNA facilitators which bind either adjacent to the 3'- or 5'-end of the ribozyme were investigated. A kinetic model was developed which allows determination of the apparent dissociation constant of the ribozyme-substrate complex from single turnover reactions. We observed a decreased dissociation constant of the ribozyme-substrate complex due to facilitator addition corresponding to an additional stabilization energy of delta delta G=-1.7 kcal/mol with 3'-end facilitators. The cleavage rate constant was increased by 3'-end facilitators and decreased by 5'-end facilitators. Values for Km were slightly lowered by all facilitators and kcat was increased by 3'-end facilitators and decreased by 5'-end facilitators in our system. Generally the facilitator effects increased with the length of the facilitators and RNA provided greater effects than DNA of the same sequence. Results suggest facilitator influences on several steps of the hammerhead reaction, substrate association, cleavage and dissociation of products. Moreover, these effects are dependent in different manners on ribozyme and substrate concentration. This leads to the conclusion that there is a concentration dependence whether activation or inhibition is caused by facilitators. Conclusions are drawn with regard to the design of hammerhead ribozyme facilitator systems. PMID:8602353

  2. Dynamic signal processing by ribozyme-mediated RNA circuits to control gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Shensi; Rodrigo, Guillermo; Prakash, Satya; Majer, Eszter; Landrain, Thomas E.; Kirov, Boris; Daròs, José-Antonio; Jaramillo, Alfonso

    2015-01-01

    Organisms have different circuitries that allow converting signal molecule levels to changes in gene expression. An important challenge in synthetic biology involves the de novo design of RNA modules enabling dynamic signal processing in live cells. This requires a scalable methodology for sensing, transmission, and actuation, which could be assembled into larger signaling networks. Here, we present a biochemical strategy to design RNA-mediated signal transduction cascades able to sense small molecules and small RNAs. We design switchable functional RNA domains by using strand-displacement techniques. We experimentally characterize the molecular mechanism underlying our synthetic RNA signaling cascades, show the ability to regulate gene expression with transduced RNA signals, and describe the signal processing response of our systems to periodic forcing in single live cells. The engineered systems integrate RNA–RNA interaction with available ribozyme and aptamer elements, providing new ways to engineer arbitrary complex gene circuits. PMID:25916845

  3. Dynamic signal processing by ribozyme-mediated RNA circuits to control gene expression.

    PubMed

    Shen, Shensi; Rodrigo, Guillermo; Prakash, Satya; Majer, Eszter; Landrain, Thomas E; Kirov, Boris; Daròs, José-Antonio; Jaramillo, Alfonso

    2015-05-26

    Organisms have different circuitries that allow converting signal molecule levels to changes in gene expression. An important challenge in synthetic biology involves the de novo design of RNA modules enabling dynamic signal processing in live cells. This requires a scalable methodology for sensing, transmission, and actuation, which could be assembled into larger signaling networks. Here, we present a biochemical strategy to design RNA-mediated signal transduction cascades able to sense small molecules and small RNAs. We design switchable functional RNA domains by using strand-displacement techniques. We experimentally characterize the molecular mechanism underlying our synthetic RNA signaling cascades, show the ability to regulate gene expression with transduced RNA signals, and describe the signal processing response of our systems to periodic forcing in single live cells. The engineered systems integrate RNA-RNA interaction with available ribozyme and aptamer elements, providing new ways to engineer arbitrary complex gene circuits. PMID:25916845

  4. Crystallization and preliminary diffraction analysis of a group I ribozyme from bacteriophage Twort

    SciTech Connect

    Chase, Elaine; Golden, Barbara L.

    2005-01-01

    A group I self-splicing RNA has been synthesized and cocrystallized with a four-nucleotide product RNA. Iodination of the product RNA produces a heavy-atom derivative suitable for structure determination. Group I introns are catalytic RNAs that are capable of performing a variety of phosphotransesterification reactions including self-splicing and RNA cleavage. The reactions are efficient, accurate and dependent only on the presence of guanosine-nucleotide substrate and sufficient magnesium ion to stabilize the structure of the RNA. To understand how the group I intron active-site facilitates catalysis, crystals of a 242-nucleotide ribozyme bound to a four-nucleotide product RNA have been produced that diffract to 3.6 Å resolution. The space group of these crystals is I2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1} and the unit-cell parameters are a = 94.6, b = 141.0, c = 210.9 Å. A single heavy-atom derivative has been synthesized by covalent modification of the product RNA with iodine.

  5. Kinetic framework for ligation by an efficient RNA ligase ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Bergman, N H; Johnston, W K; Bartel, D P

    2000-03-21

    The class I RNA ligase ribozyme, isolated previously from random sequences, performs an efficient RNA ligation reaction. It ligates two substrate RNAs, promoting the attack of the 3'-hydroxyl of one substrate upon the 5'-triphosphate of the other substrate with release of pyrophosphate. This ligation reaction has similarities to the reaction catalyzed by RNA polymerases. Using data from steady-state kinetic measurements and pulse-chase/pH-jump experiments, we have constructed minimal kinetic frameworks for two versions of the class I ligase, named 207t and 210t. For both ligases, as well as for the self-ligating parent ribozyme, the rate constant for the chemical step (k(c)) is log-linear with pH in the range 5.7-8.0. At physiological pH, the k(c) is 100 min(-1), a value similar to those reported for the fastest naturally occurring ribozymes. At higher pH, product release is limiting for both 207t and 210t. The 210t ribozyme, with its faster product release, attains multiple-turnover rates (k(cat) = 360 min(-1), pH 9.0) exceeding those of 207t and other reported ribozyme reactions. The kinetic framework for the 210t ribozyme describes the limits of this catalysis and suggests how key steps can be targeted for improvement using design or combinatorial approaches. PMID:10715133

  6. In vitro selection of adenine-dependent hairpin ribozymes.

    PubMed

    Meli, Marc; Vergne, Jacques; Maurel, Marie-Christine

    2003-03-14

    Adenine-dependent hairpin ribozymes were isolated by in vitro selection from a degenerated hairpin ribozyme population. Two new adenine-dependent ribozymes catalyze their own reversible cleavage in the presence of free adenine. Both aptamers have Mg(2+) requirements for adenine-assisted cleavage similar to the wild-type hairpin ribozyme. Cleavage kinetics studies in the presence of various other small molecules were compared. The data suggest that adenine does not induce RNA self-cleavage in the same manner for both aptamers. In addition, investigations of pH effects on catalytic rates show that both adenine-dependent aptamers are more active in basic conditions, suggesting that they use new acid/base catalytic strategies in which adenine could be involved directly. The discovery of hairpin ribozymes dependent on adenine for their reversible self-cleavage presents considerable biochemical and evolutionary interests because we show that RNA is able to use exogenous reactive molecules to enhance its own catalytic activity. Such a mechanism may have been a means by which the ribozymes of the RNA world enlarged their chemical repertoire. PMID:12519767

  7. A discontinuous hammerhead ribozyme embedded in a mammalian messenger RNA

    PubMed Central

    Martick, Monika; Horan, Lucas H.; Noller, Harry F.; Scott, William G.

    2008-01-01

    Structured RNAs embedded in the untranslated regions (UTRs) of messenger RNAs can regulate gene expression. In bacteria, control of a metabolite gene is mediated by the self-cleaving activity of a ribozyme embedded in its 5′ UTR1. This discovery has raised the question of whether gene-regulating ribozymes also exist in eukaryotic mRNAs. Here we show that highly active hammerhead ribozymes2,3 are present in the 3′ UTRs of rodent C-type lectin type II (Clec2) genes4–7. Using a hammerhead RNA motif search with relaxed delimitation of the non-conserved regions, we detected ribozyme sequences in which the invariant regions, in contrast to the previously identified continuous hammerheads8–10, occur as two fragments separated by hundreds of nucleotides. Notably, a fragment pair can assemble to form an active hammerhead ribozyme structure between the translation termination and the poly-adenylation signals within the 3′ UTR. We demonstrate that this hammerhead structure can self-cleave both in vitro and in vivo, and is able to reduce protein expression in mouse cells. These results indicate that an unrecognized mechanism of post-transcriptional gene regulation involving association of discontinuous ribozyme sequences within an mRNA may be modulating the expression of several CLEC2 proteins that function in bone remodelling and the immune response of several mammals. PMID:18615019

  8. Efficient Ligation of the Schistosoma Hammerhead Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Canny, Marella D.; Jucker, Fiona M.; Pardi, Arthur

    2011-01-01

    The hammerhead ribozyme from Schistosoma mansoni is the best characterized of the natural hammerhead ribozymes. Biophysical, biochemical, and structural studies have shown that the formation of the loop-loop tertiary interaction between stems I and II alters the global folding, cleavage kinetics, and conformation of the catalytic core of this hammerhead, leading to a ribozyme that is readily cleaved under physiological conditions. This study investigates the ligation kinetics and the internal equilibrium between cleavage and ligation for the Schistosoma hammerhead. Single turnover kinetic studies on a construct where the ribozyme cleaves and ligates substrate(s) in trans showed up to 23% ligation when starting from fully cleaved products. This was achieved by a ~2,000-fold increase in the rate of ligation compared to a minimal hammerhead without the loop-loop tertiary interaction, yielding an internal equilibrium that ranges from 2–3 at physiological Mg2+ ion concentrations (0.1 –1 mM). Thus, the natural Schistosoma hammerhead ribozyme is almost as efficient at ligation as it is at cleavage. The results here are consistent with a model where formation of the loop-loop tertiary interaction leads to a higher population of catalytically active molecules, and where formation of this tertiary interaction has a much larger effect on the ligation than the cleavage activity of the Schistosoma hammerhead ribozyme. PMID:17319693

  9. Structural basis for heterogeneous kinetics: Reengineering the hairpin ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Esteban, José A.; Walter, Nils G.; Kotzorek, Gerd; Heckman, Joyce E.; Burke, John M.

    1998-01-01

    The RNA cleavage reaction catalyzed by the hairpin ribozyme shows biphasic kinetics, and chase experiments show that the slow phase of the reaction results from reversible substrate binding to an inactive conformational isomer. To investigate the structural basis for the heterogeneous kinetics, we have developed an enzymatic RNA modification method that selectively traps substrate bound to the inactive conformer and allows the two forms of the ribozyme-substrate complex to be separated and analyzed by using both physical and kinetic strategies. The inactive form of the complex was trapped by the addition of T4 RNA ligase to a cleavage reaction, resulting in covalent linkage of the 5′ end of the substrate to the 3′ end of the ribozyme and in selective and quantitative ablation of the slow kinetic phase of the reaction. This result indicates that the inactive form of the ribozyme-substrate complex can adopt a conformation in which helices 2 and 3 are coaxially stacked, whereas the active form does not have access to this conformation, because of a sharp bend at the helical junction that presumably is stabilized by inter-domain tertiary contacts required for catalytic activity. These results were used to improve the activity of the hairpin ribozyme by designing new interfaces between the two domains, one containing a non-nucleotidic orthobenzene linkage and the other replacing the two-way junction with a three-way junction. Each of these modified ribozymes preferentially adopts the active conformation and displays improved catalytic efficiency. PMID:9600922

  10. Probabilistic simple splicing systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selvarajoo, Mathuri; Heng, Fong Wan; Sarmin, Nor Haniza; Turaev, Sherzod

    2014-06-01

    A splicing system, one of the early theoretical models for DNA computing was introduced by Head in 1987. Splicing systems are based on the splicing operation which, informally, cuts two strings of DNA molecules at the specific recognition sites and attaches the prefix of the first string to the suffix of the second string, and the prefix of the second string to the suffix of the first string, thus yielding the new strings. For a specific type of splicing systems, namely the simple splicing systems, the recognition sites are the same for both strings of DNA molecules. It is known that splicing systems with finite sets of axioms and splicing rules only generate regular languages. Hence, different types of restrictions have been considered for splicing systems in order to increase their computational power. Recently, probabilistic splicing systems have been introduced where the probabilities are initially associated with the axioms, and the probabilities of the generated strings are computed from the probabilities of the initial strings. In this paper, some properties of probabilistic simple splicing systems are investigated. We prove that probabilistic simple splicing systems can also increase the computational power of the splicing languages generated.

  11. Alternative splicing of SV40 early pre-mRNA in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    van Santen, V L; Spritz, R A

    1986-01-01

    Simian virus 40 (SV40) early pre-mRNA is spliced using either of two alternative 5' splice sites and a common 3' splice site to produce two mRNAs that encode the T and t antigens. We have studied alternative splicing of SV40 early pre-mRNA in vitro using a HeLa cell nuclear extract. Synthetic SV40 early transcripts are processed to T and t antigen mRNAs in vitro. As in SV40-infected cells in vivo, cleavage at the T antigen 5' splice site is more efficient than cleavage at the t antigen 5' splice site in vitro, although both of these 5' splice sites are utilized relatively inefficiently in vitro. The ratio of cleavage at the T and t antigen 5' splice sites is not changed significantly by a number of alterations in the conditions under which the in vitro splicing reactions are carried out. Images PMID:3027668

  12. Inhibition of the hammerhead ribozyme by neomycin.

    PubMed Central

    Stage, T K; Hertel, K J; Uhlenbeck, O C

    1995-01-01

    A series of antibiotics was tested for stimulation or inhibition of the hammerhead ribozyme cleavage reaction. Neomycin was found to be a potent inhibitor of the reaction with a Kl of 13.5 microM. Two hammerheads with well-characterized kinetics were used to determine which steps in the reaction mechanism were inhibited by neomycin. The data suggest that neomycin interacts preferentially with the enzyme-substrate complex and that this interaction leads to a reduction in the cleavage rate by stabilizing the ground state of the complex and destabilizing the transition state of the cleavage step. A comparison of neomycin with other aminoglycosides and inhibitors of hammerhead cleavage implies that the ammonium ions of neomycin are important for the antibiotic-hammerhead interaction. PMID:7489494

  13. Folding pathways of the Tetrahymena ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, David; Russell, Rick

    2014-01-01

    Like many structured RNAs, the Tetrahymena group I intron ribozyme folds through multiple pathways and intermediates. Under standard conditions in vitro, a small fraction reaches the native state (N) with kobs ≈ 0.6 min–1, while the remainder forms a long-lived misfolded conformation (M) thought to differ in topology. These alternative outcomes reflect a pathway that branches late in folding, after disruption of a trapped intermediate (Itrap). Here, we use catalytic activity to probe the folding transitions from Itrap to the native and misfolded states. We show that mutations predicted to weaken the core helix P3 do not increase the rate of folding from Itrap but they increase the fraction that reaches the native state rather than forming the misfolded state. Thus, P3 is disrupted during folding to the native state but not to the misfolded state, and P3 disruption occurs after the rate-limiting step. Interestingly, P3-strengthening mutants also increase native folding. Additional experiments show that these mutants are rapidly committed to folding to the native state, although they reach the native state with approximately the same rate constant as the wild-type ribozyme (~1 min–1). Thus, the P3-strengthening mutants populate a distinct pathway that includes at least one intermediate but avoids the M state, most likely because P3 and the correct topology are formed early. Our results highlight multiple pathways in RNA folding and illustrate how kinetic competitions between rapid events can have long-lasting effects because the ‘choice’ is enforced by energy barriers that grow larger as folding progresses. PMID:24747051

  14. Probing the interplay between the two steps of group I intron splicing: competition of exogenous guanosine with omega G.

    PubMed

    Zarrinkar, P P; Sullenger, B A

    1998-12-22

    One largely unexplored question about group I intron splicing is how the cleavage and ligation steps of the reaction are coordinated. We describe a simple in vitro trans-splicing model system in which both steps take place, including the exchange of ligands in the guanosine-binding site that must occur between the two steps. Using this model system, we show that the switch is accomplished by modulating the relative affinity of the binding site for the two ligands. While the terminal guanosine of the intron (omegaG) and exogenous guanosine compete for binding during the first step of splicing, no competition is apparent during the second step, when omegaG is bound tightly. These results help explain how the ribozyme orchestrates progression through the splicing reaction. In addition to providing a new tool to ask basic questions about RNA catalysis, the trans-splicing model system will also facilitate the development of therapeutically useful group I ribozymes that can repair mutant mRNAs. PMID:9922174

  15. Design of a ribozyme targeting human telomerase reverse transcriptase and cloning of it’s gene

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Zhi-Ming; Luo, Jin-Yan; Cheng, Jin; Wang, Quan-Yin; Yang, Guang-Xiao

    2003-01-01

    AIM: To design a hammerhead ribozyme targeting human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) and clone it’s gene for future use in the study of tumor gene therapy. METHODS: Using the software RNAstructure, the secondary structure of hTERT mRNA was predicted and the cleavage site of ribozyme was selected. A hammerhead ribozyme targeting this site was designed and bimolecular fold between the ribozyme and hTERT was predicted. The DNA encoding the ribozyme was synthesized and cloned into pGEMEX-1 and the sequence of the ribozyme gene was confirmed by DNA sequencing. RESULTS: Triplet GUC at 1742 of hTERT mRNA was chosen as the cleavage site of the ribozyme. The designed ribozyme was comprised of 22 nt catalytic core and 17 nt flanking sequence. Computer-aided prediction suggested that the ribozyme and hTERT mRNA could cofold into a proper conformation. Endonuclease restriction and DNA sequencing confirmed the correct insertion of the ribozyme gene into the vector pGEMEX-1. CONCLUSION: This fundamental work of successful designing and cloning of an anti-hTERT hammerhead ribozyme has paved the way for further study of inhibiting tumor cell growth by cleaving hTERT mRNA with ribozyme. PMID:12508361

  16. The evolution of spliced leader trans-splicing in nematodes.

    PubMed

    Pettitt, Jonathan; Harrison, Neale; Stansfield, Ian; Connolly, Bernadette; Müller, Berndt

    2010-08-01

    Spliced leader trans-splicing occurs in many primitive eukaryotes including nematodes. Most of our knowledge of trans-splicing in nematodes stems from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans and relatives, and from work with Ascaris. Our investigation of spliced leader trans-splicing in distantly related Dorylaimia nematodes indicates that spliced-leader trans-splicing arose before the nematode phylum and suggests that the spliced leader RNA gene complements in extant nematodes have evolved from a common ancestor with a diverse set of spliced leader RNA genes. PMID:20659016

  17. Modulation of Group I Ribozyme Activity by Cationic Porphyrins

    PubMed Central

    Matsumura, Shigeyoshi; Ito, Tatsunobu; Tanaka, Takahiro; Furuta, Hiroyuki; Ikawa, Yoshiya

    2015-01-01

    The effects of cationic porphyrins on the catalytic activities of four group I ribozymes were investigated. A cationic porphyrin possessing four pyridinium moieties (pPyP) inhibited two group IC3 ribozymes (Syn Rz and Azo Rz) and a group IC1 ribozyme (Tet Rz). In the case of a group IA2 ribozyme (Td Rz), however, pPyP served not only as an inhibitor but also as an activator, and the effects of pPyP were dependent on its concentration. To analyze the structural and electronic factors determining the effects of pPyP on group I ribozymes, three cationic porphyrins (pPyNCP, pPyF4P, and TMPyP) were also examined. As interactions between small organic molecules and nucleic acids are attractive and important issues in biochemistry and biotechnology, this study contributes to the development of porphyrin-based molecules that can modulate functions of structured RNA molecules. PMID:25811638

  18. Binding and cleavage of nucleic acids by the "hairpin" ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Chowrira, B M; Burke, J M

    1991-09-01

    The "hairpin" ribozyme derived from the minus strand of tobacco ringspot virus satellite RNA [(-)sTRSV] efficiently catalyzes sequence-specific RNA hydrolysis in trans (Feldstein et al., 1989; Hampel & Triz, 1989; Haseloff & Gerlach, 1989). The ribozyme does not cleave DNA. An RNA substrate analogue containing a single deoxyribonucleotide residue 5' to the cleavage site (A-1) binds to the ribozyme efficiently but cannot be cleaved. A DNA substrate analogue with a ribonucleotide at A-1 is cleaved; thus A-1 provides the only 2'-OH required for cleavage. These results support cleavage via a transphosphorylation mechanism initiated by attack of the 2'-OH of A-1 on the scissile phosphodiester. The ribozyme discriminates between DNA and RNA in both binding and cleavage. Results indicate that the 2'-OH of A-1 functions in complex stabilization as well as cleavage. The ribozyme efficiently cleaves a phosphorothioate diester linkage, suggesting that the pro-Rp oxygen at the scissile phosphodiester does not coordinate Mg2+. PMID:1909564

  19. In vitro evolution of a ribozyme that contains 5-bromouridine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dai, X.; Joyce, G. F.; Bada, J. L. (Principal Investigator)

    2000-01-01

    The Tetrahymena group I ribozyme was modified by replacing all 99 component uridine residues with 5-bromouridine. This resulted in a 13-fold reduction in catalytic efficiency in the RNA-catalyzed phosphoester-transfer reaction compared to the behavior of the unmodified ribozyme. A population of 10(13) variant ribozymes was constructed, each containing 5-bromouridine in place of uridine. Five successive 'generations' of in vitro evolution were carried out, selecting for improved phosphoester transferase activity. The evolved molecules exhibited a 27-fold increase in catalytic efficiency compared to the wild-type bromouridine-containing ribozyme, even exceeding that of the wild-type ribozyme in the non-brominated form. Three specific mutations were found to be responsible for this altered behavior. These mutations enhanced activity in the context of 5-bromouridine, but were detrimental in the context of unmodified uridine. The evolved RNAs not only tolerated but came to exploit the presence of the nucleotide analogue in carrying out their catalytic function.

  20. Biochemical analysis of pistol self-cleaving ribozymes

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Kimberly A.; Lünse, Christina E.; Li, Sanshu; Brewer, Kenneth I.; Breaker, Ronald R.

    2015-01-01

    Pistol RNAs are members of a distinct class of self-cleaving ribozymes that was recently discovered by using a bioinformatics search strategy. Several hundred pistol ribozymes share a consensus sequence including 10 highly conserved nucleotides and many other modestly conserved nucleotides associated with specific secondary structure features, including three base-paired stems and a pseudoknot. A representative pistol ribozyme from the bacterium Lysinibacillus sphaericus was found to promote RNA strand scission with a rate constant of ∼10 min−1 under physiological Mg2+ and pH conditions. The reaction proceeds via the nucleophilic attack of a 2′-oxygen atom on the adjacent phosphorus center, and thus adheres to the same general catalytic mechanism of internal phosphoester transfer as found with all other classes of natural self-cleaving ribozymes discovered to date. Analyses of the kinetic characteristics and the metal ion requirements of the cleavage reaction reveal that members of this ribozyme class likely use several catalytic strategies to promote the rapid cleavage of RNA. PMID:26385507

  1. Biochemical analysis of pistol self-cleaving ribozymes.

    PubMed

    Harris, Kimberly A; Lünse, Christina E; Li, Sanshu; Brewer, Kenneth I; Breaker, Ronald R

    2015-11-01

    Pistol RNAs are members of a distinct class of self-cleaving ribozymes that was recently discovered by using a bioinformatics search strategy. Several hundred pistol ribozymes share a consensus sequence including 10 highly conserved nucleotides and many other modestly conserved nucleotides associated with specific secondary structure features, including three base-paired stems and a pseudoknot. A representative pistol ribozyme from the bacterium Lysinibacillus sphaericus was found to promote RNA strand scission with a rate constant of ∼10 min(-1) under physiological Mg(2+) and pH conditions. The reaction proceeds via the nucleophilic attack of a 2'-oxygen atom on the adjacent phosphorus center, and thus adheres to the same general catalytic mechanism of internal phosphoester transfer as found with all other classes of natural self-cleaving ribozymes discovered to date. Analyses of the kinetic characteristics and the metal ion requirements of the cleavage reaction reveal that members of this ribozyme class likely use several catalytic strategies to promote the rapid cleavage of RNA. PMID:26385507

  2. Cleavage of highly structured viral RNA molecules by combinatorial libraries of hairpin ribozymes. The most effective ribozymes are not predicted by substrate selection rules.

    PubMed

    Yu, Q; Pecchia, D B; Kingsley, S L; Heckman, J E; Burke, J M

    1998-09-01

    Combinatorial libraries of hairpin ribozymes representing all possible cleavage specificities (>10(5)) were used to evaluate all ribozyme cleavage sites within a large (4.2-kilobase) and highly structured viral mRNA, the 26 S subgenomic RNA of Sindbis virus. The combinatorial approach simultaneously accounts for target site structure and dynamics, together with ribozyme folding, and the sequences that result in a ribozyme-substrate complex with maximal activity. Primer extension was used to map and rank the relative activities of the ribozyme pool against individual sites and revealed two striking findings. First, only a small fraction of potential recognition sites are effectively cleaved (activity-selected sites). Second, nearly all of the most effectively cleaved sites deviated substantially from the established consensus selection rules for the hairpin ribozyme and were not predicted by examining the sequence, or through the use of computer-assisted predictions of RNA secondary structure. In vitro selection methods were used to isolate ribozymes with increased activity against substrates that deviate from the GUC consensus sequence. trans-Acting ribozymes targeting nine of the activity-selected sites were synthesized, together with ribozymes targeting four sites with a perfect match to the cleavage site consensus (sequence-selected sites). Activity-selected ribozymes have much higher cleavage activity against the long, structured RNA molecules than do sequence-selected ribozymes, although the latter are effective in cleaving oligoribonucleotides, as predicted. These results imply that, for Sindbis virus 26 S RNA, designing ribozymes based on matches to the consensus sequence may be an ineffective strategy. PMID:9722591

  3. Automated design of hammerhead ribozymes and validation by targeting the PABPN1 gene transcript

    PubMed Central

    Kharma, Nawwaf; Varin, Luc; Abu-Baker, Aida; Ouellet, Jonathan; Najeh, Sabrine; Ehdaeivand, Mohammad-Reza; Belmonte, Gabriel; Ambri, Anas; Rouleau, Guy; Perreault, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    We present a new publicly accessible web-service, RiboSoft, which implements a comprehensive hammerhead ribozyme design procedure. It accepts as input a target sequence (and some design parameters) then generates a set of ranked hammerhead ribozymes, which target the input sequence. This paper describes the implemented procedure, which takes into consideration multiple objectives leading to a multi-objective ranking of the computer-generated ribozymes. Many ribozymes were assayed and validated, including four ribozymes targeting the transcript of a disease-causing gene (a mutant version of PABPN1). These four ribozymes were successfully tested in vitro and in vivo, for their ability to cleave the targeted transcript. The wet-lab positive results of the test are presented here demonstrating the real-world potential of both hammerhead ribozymes and RiboSoft. RiboSoft is freely available at the website http://ribosoft.fungalgenomics.ca/ribosoft/. PMID:26527730

  4. In-ice evolution of RNA polymerase ribozyme activity

    PubMed Central

    Attwater, James; Wochner, Aniela; Holliger, Philipp

    2014-01-01

    Mechanisms of molecular self-replication have the potential to shed light upon the origins of life. In particular, self-replication through RNA-catalysed templated RNA synthesis is thought to have supported a primordial ‘RNA World’. However, existing polymerase ribozymes lack the capacity to synthesise RNAs approaching their own size. Here we report the in vitro evolution of such catalysts directly in the RNA-stabilising medium of water-ice, which yielded RNA polymerase ribozymes specifically adapted to sub-zero temperatures and able to synthesise RNA in ices at temperatures as low as −19°C. Combination of cold-adaptive mutations with a previously described 5′ extension operating at ambient temperatures enabled the design of a first polymerase ribozyme capable of catalysing the accurate synthesis of an RNA sequence longer than itself (adding up to 206 nucleotides), an important stepping stone towards RNA self-replication. PMID:24256864

  5. Fluorescent RNA labeling using self-alkylating ribozymes.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Ashwani K; Plant, Joshua J; Rangel, Alexandra E; Meek, Kirsten N; Anamisis, April J; Hollien, Julie; Heemstra, Jennifer M

    2014-08-15

    The ability to fluorescently label specific RNA sequences is of significant utility for both in vitro and live cell applications. Currently, most RNA labeling methods utilize RNA-nucleic acid or RNA-protein molecular recognition. However, in the search for improved RNA labeling methods, harnessing the small-molecule recognition capabilities of RNA is rapidly emerging as a promising alternative. Along these lines, we propose a novel strategy in which a ribozyme acts to promote self-alkylation with a fluorophore, providing a robust, covalent linkage between the RNA and the fluorophore. Here we describe the selection and characterization of ribozymes that promote self-labeling with fluorescein iodoacetamide (FIA). Kinetic studies reveal a second-order rate constant that is on par with those of other reactions used for biomolecular labeling. Additionally, we demonstrate that labeling is specific to the ribozyme sequences, as FIA does not react nonspecifically with RNA. PMID:24896502

  6. Origins of the temperature dependence of hammerhead ribozyme catalysis.

    PubMed Central

    Peracchi, A

    1999-01-01

    The difficulties in interpreting the temperature dependence of protein enzyme reactions are well recognized. Here, the hammerhead ribozyme cleavage was investigated under single-turnover conditions between 0 and 60 degrees C as a model for RNA-catalyzed reactions. Under the adopted conditions, the chemical step appears to be rate-limiting. However, the observed rate of cleavage is affected by pre-catalytic equilibria involving deprotonation of an essential group and binding of at least one low-affinity Mg2+ion. Thus, the apparent entropy and enthalpy of activation include contributions from the temperature dependence of these equilibria, precluding a simple physical interpretation of the observed activation parameters. Similar pre-catalytic equilibria likely contribute to the observed activation parameters for ribozyme reactions in general. The Arrhenius plot for the hammerhead reaction is substantially curved over the temperature range considered, which suggests the occurrence of a conformational change of the ribozyme ground state around physiological temperatures. PMID:10390528

  7. Cross-ligation and exchange reactions catalyzed by hairpin ribozymes.

    PubMed Central

    Komatsu, Y; Koizumi, M; Sekiguchi, A; Ohtsuka, E

    1993-01-01

    The negative strand of the satellite RNA of tobacco ringspot virus (sTobRV(-)) contains a hairpin catalytic domain that shows self-cleavage and self-ligation activities in the presence of magnesium ions. We describe here that the minimal catalytic domain can catalyze a cross-ligation reaction between two kinds of substrates in trans. The cross-ligated product increased when the reaction temperature was decreased during the reaction from 37 degrees C to 4 degrees C. A two-stranded hairpin ribozyme, divided into two fragments between G45 and U46 in a hairpin loop, showed higher ligation activity than the nondivided ribozyme. The two stranded ribozyme also catalyzed an exchange reaction of the 3'-portion of the cleavage site. Images PMID:8441626

  8. Splice-switching antisense oligonucleotides as therapeutic drugs.

    PubMed

    Havens, Mallory A; Hastings, Michelle L

    2016-08-19

    Splice-switching oligonucleotides (SSOs) are short, synthetic, antisense, modified nucleic acids that base-pair with a pre-mRNA and disrupt the normal splicing repertoire of the transcript by blocking the RNA-RNA base-pairing or protein-RNA binding interactions that occur between components of the splicing machinery and the pre-mRNA. Splicing of pre-mRNA is required for the proper expression of the vast majority of protein-coding genes, and thus, targeting the process offers a means to manipulate protein production from a gene. Splicing modulation is particularly valuable in cases of disease caused by mutations that lead to disruption of normal splicing or when interfering with the normal splicing process of a gene transcript may be therapeutic. SSOs offer an effective and specific way to target and alter splicing in a therapeutic manner. Here, we discuss the different approaches used to target and alter pre-mRNA splicing with SSOs. We detail the modifications to the nucleic acids that make them promising therapeutics and discuss the challenges to creating effective SSO drugs. We highlight the development of SSOs designed to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy, which are currently being tested in clinical trials. PMID:27288447

  9. Alternative Splicing in CKD.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Megan; Oltean, Sebastian

    2016-06-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) has emerged in the postgenomic era as one of the main drivers of proteome diversity, with ≥94% of multiexon genes alternatively spliced in humans. AS is therefore one of the main control mechanisms for cell phenotype, and is a process deregulated in disease. Numerous reports describe pathogenic mutations in splice factors, splice sites, or regulatory sequences. Additionally, compared with the physiologic state, disease often associates with an abnormal proportion of splice isoforms (or novel isoforms), without an apparent driver mutation. It is therefore essential to study how AS is regulated in physiology, how it contributes to pathogenesis, and whether we can manipulate faulty splicing for therapeutic advantage. Although the disease most commonly linked to deregulation of AS in several genes is cancer, many reports detail pathogenic splice variants in diseases ranging from neuromuscular disorders to diabetes or cardiomyopathies. A plethora of splice variants have been implicated in CKDs as well. In this review, we describe examples of these CKD-associated splice variants and ideas on how to manipulate them for therapeutic benefit. PMID:26763787

  10. Structural studies on an internal loop from a hairpin ribozyme

    SciTech Connect

    Cai, Z.; SantaLucia, J. Jr.; Tinoco, I. Jr.

    1994-12-01

    Ribozymes, RNA enzymes, catalyze site-specific RNA cleavage and ligation reactions. We are studying the three-dimensional structure of a hairpin ribozyme derived from the minus strand of tobacco ring spot virus satellite RNA ((-)sTRSV), which has been engineering to specifically cleave the HIV-1 RNA. The minimum structure for the catalytic reaction involves a 50-nucleotide ribozyme and a 14-nucleotide substrate. The proposed secondary structure of the ribozyme-substrate complex consists of four short helices separated by two internal loops. The relatively large size (64-nucleotide) of the ribozyme-substrate complex presents formidable problems in solving the structure using NMR. Therefore we are studying smaller structural subunits of the complex. We are determining the high resolution structure of the symmetric internal loop involving the cleavage site and the flanking helices. One strand of the internal loop was selectively {sup 13}C-labeled at C8 of each purine and C6 of each pyrimidine. By using {sup 13}C-edited two-dimensional NMR, the proton NOESY spectrum was greatly simplified. This allowed unambiguous sequential proton resonance assignments along each strand. Three-dimensional {sup 1}-{sup 13}C HMQC-NOESY was used to further facilitate resonance assignments. We are also enzymatically synthesizing the entire 50-nucleotide ribozyme and will combine it with the {sup 13}C-labeled substrate. Through comparison of the NOE connectivities of the labeled nucleotides from the internal loop alone with those from the entire complex, the differences between the two structures can be elucidated.

  11. Slow formation of a pseudoknot structure is rate limiting in the productive co-transcriptional folding of the self-splicing Candida intron.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Libin; Bao, Penghui; Leibowitz, Michael J; Zhang, Yi

    2009-11-01

    Pseudoknots play critical roles in packing the active structure of various functional RNAs. The importance of the P3-P7 pseudoknot in refolding of group I intron ribozymes has been recently appreciated, while little is known about the pseudoknot function in co-transcriptional folding. Here we used the Candida group I intron as a model to address the question. We show that co-transcriptional folding of the active self-splicing intron is twice as fast as refolding. The P3-P7 pseudoknot folds slowly during co-transcriptional folding at a rate constant similar to the folding of the active ribozyme, and folding of both P3-P7 and P1-P10 pseudoknots are inhibited by antisense oligonucleotides. We conclude that when RNA folding is coupled with transcription, formation of pseudoknot structures dominates the productive folding pathway and serves as a rate-limiting step in producing the self-splicing competent Candida intron. PMID:19710184

  12. Kinetic partitioning mechanism of HDV ribozyme folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jiawen; Gong, Sha; Wang, Yujie; Zhang, Wenbing

    2014-01-01

    RNA folding kinetics is directly tied to RNA biological functions. We introduce here a new approach for predicting the folding kinetics of RNA secondary structure with pseudoknots. This approach is based on our previous established helix-based method for predicting the folding kinetics of RNA secondary structure. In this approach, the transition rates for an elementary step: (1) formation, (2) disruption of a helix stem, and (3) helix formation with concomitant partial melting of an incompatible helix, are calculated with the free energy landscape. The folding kinetics of the Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme and the mutated sequences are studied with this method. The folding pathways are identified by recursive searching the states with high net flux-in(out) population starting from the native state. The theory results are in good agreement with that of the experiments. The results indicate that the bi-phasic folding kinetics for the wt HDV sequence is ascribed to the kinetic partitioning mechanism: Part of the population will quickly fold to the native state along the fast pathway, while another part of the population will fold along the slow pathway, in which the population is trapped in a non-native state. Single mutation not only changes the folding rate but also the folding pathway.

  13. Kinetic partitioning mechanism of HDV ribozyme folding

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Jiawen; Gong, Sha; Wang, Yujie; Zhang, Wenbing

    2014-01-14

    RNA folding kinetics is directly tied to RNA biological functions. We introduce here a new approach for predicting the folding kinetics of RNA secondary structure with pseudoknots. This approach is based on our previous established helix-based method for predicting the folding kinetics of RNA secondary structure. In this approach, the transition rates for an elementary step: (1) formation, (2) disruption of a helix stem, and (3) helix formation with concomitant partial melting of an incompatible helix, are calculated with the free energy landscape. The folding kinetics of the Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme and the mutated sequences are studied with this method. The folding pathways are identified by recursive searching the states with high net flux-in(out) population starting from the native state. The theory results are in good agreement with that of the experiments. The results indicate that the bi-phasic folding kinetics for the wt HDV sequence is ascribed to the kinetic partitioning mechanism: Part of the population will quickly fold to the native state along the fast pathway, while another part of the population will fold along the slow pathway, in which the population is trapped in a non-native state. Single mutation not only changes the folding rate but also the folding pathway.

  14. Engineering of ribozyme-based aminoglycoside switches of gene expression by in vivo genetic selection in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Klauser, Benedikt; Rehm, Charlotte; Summerer, Daniel; Hartig, Jörg S

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic RNA-based switches are a growing class of genetic controllers applied in synthetic biology to engineer cellular functions. In this chapter, we detail a protocol for the selection of posttranscriptional controllers of gene expression in yeast using the Schistosoma mansoni hammerhead ribozyme as a central catalytic unit. Incorporation of a small molecule-sensing aptamer domain into the ribozyme renders its activity ligand-dependent. Aptazymes display numerous advantages over conventional protein-based transcriptional controllers, namely, the use of little genomic space for encryption, their modular architecture allowing for easy reprogramming to new inputs, the physical linkage to the message to be controlled, and the ability to function without protein cofactors. Herein, we describe the method to select ribozyme-based switches of gene expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that we successfully implemented to engineer neomycin- and theophylline-responsive switches. We also highlight how to adapt the protocol to screen for switches responsive to other ligands. Reprogramming of the sensor unit and incorporation into any RNA of interest enables the fulfillment of a variety of regulatory functions. However, proper functioning of the aptazyme is largely dependent on optimal connection between the aptamer and the catalytic core. We obtained functional switches from a pool of variants carrying randomized connection sequences by an in vivo selection in MaV203 yeast cells that allows screening of a large sequence space of up to 1×10(9) variants. The protocol given explains how to construct aptazyme libraries, carry out the in vivo selection and characterize novel ON- and OFF-switches. PMID:25605392

  15. Computational Mutagenesis Studies of Hammerhead Ribozyme Catalysis

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Tai-Sung; York, Darrin M.

    2010-01-01

    Computational studies of the mutational effects at the C3, G8, and G5 positions of the hammerhead ribozyme (HHR) are reported based on a series of twenty four 100-ns molecular dynamics simulations of the native and mutated HHR in the reactant state and in an activated precursor state (G8:2′OH deprotonated). Invoking the assumptions that G12 acts as the general base while the 2′OH of G8 acts as a general acid, the simulations are able to explain the origins of experimentally observed mutational effects, including several that are not easily inferred from the crystal structure. Simulations suggest that the Watson-Crick base-pairing between G8 and C3, the hydrogen bond network between C17 and G5, and the base stacking interactions between G8 and C1.1, collectively, are key to maintaining an active site structure conducive for catalytic activity. Mutation-induced disruption of any of these interactions will adversely affect activity. The simulation results predict that the C3U/G8D double mutant, where D is 2,6-diaminopurine, will have a rescue effect relative to the corresponding single mutations. Two general conclusions about the simulations emerge from this work. Firstly, mutation simulations may require 30 ns or more to suitably relax such that the mutational effects become apparent. Secondly, in some cases, it is necessary to look beyond the reactant state in order to interpret mutational effects in terms of catalytically active structure. The present simulation results lead to better understanding of the origin of experimental mutational effects, and provide insight into the key conserved features necessary to maintain the integrity of the active site architecture. PMID:20812715

  16. Enhanced group II intron retrohoming in magnesium-deficient Escherichia coli via selection of mutations in the ribozyme core

    PubMed Central

    Truong, David M.; Sidote, David J.; Russell, Rick; Lambowitz, Alan M.

    2013-01-01

    Mobile group II introns are bacterial retrotransposons thought to be evolutionary ancestors of spliceosomal introns and retroelements in eukaryotes. They consist of a catalytically active intron RNA (“ribozyme”) and an intron-encoded reverse transcriptase, which function together to promote RNA splicing and intron mobility via reverse splicing of the intron RNA into new DNA sites (“retrohoming”). Although group II introns are active in bacteria, their natural hosts, they function inefficiently in eukaryotes, where lower free Mg2+ concentrations decrease their ribozyme activity and constitute a natural barrier to group II intron proliferation within nuclear genomes. Here, we show that retrohoming of the Ll.LtrB group II intron is strongly inhibited in an Escherichia coli mutant lacking the Mg2+ transporter MgtA, and we use this system to select mutations in catalytic core domain V (DV) that partially rescue retrohoming at low Mg2+ concentrations. We thus identified mutations in the distal stem of DV that increase retrohoming efficiency in the MgtA mutant up to 22-fold. Biochemical assays of splicing and reverse splicing indicate that the mutations increase the fraction of intron RNA that folds into an active conformation at low Mg2+ concentrations, and terbium-cleavage assays suggest that this increase is due to enhanced Mg2+ binding to the distal stem of DV. Our findings indicate that DV is involved in a critical Mg2+-dependent RNA folding step in group II introns and demonstrate the feasibility of selecting intron variants that function more efficiently at low Mg2+ concentrations, with implications for evolution and potential applications in gene targeting. PMID:24043808

  17. Amplification of RNA by an RNA polymerase ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Horning, David P; Joyce, Gerald F

    2016-08-30

    In all extant life, genetic information is stored in nucleic acids that are replicated by polymerase proteins. In the hypothesized RNA world, before the evolution of genetically encoded proteins, ancestral organisms contained RNA genes that were replicated by an RNA polymerase ribozyme. In an effort toward reconstructing RNA-based life in the laboratory, in vitro evolution was used to improve dramatically the activity and generality of an RNA polymerase ribozyme by selecting variants that can synthesize functional RNA molecules from an RNA template. The improved polymerase ribozyme is able to synthesize a variety of complex structured RNAs, including aptamers, ribozymes, and, in low yield, even tRNA. Furthermore, the polymerase can replicate nucleic acids, amplifying short RNA templates by more than 10,000-fold in an RNA-catalyzed form of the PCR. Thus, the two prerequisites of Darwinian life-the replication of genetic information and its conversion into functional molecules-can now be accomplished with RNA in the complete absence of proteins. PMID:27528667

  18. Evolution in vitro: analysis of a lineage of ribozymes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lehman, N.; Joyce, G. F.

    1993-01-01

    Background: Catalytic RNAs, or ribozymes, possessing both a genotype and a phenotype, are ideal molecules for evolution experiments in vitro. A large, heterogeneous pool of RNAs can be subjected to multiple rounds of selection, amplification and mutation, leading to the development of variants that have some desired phenotype. Such experiments allow the investigator to correlate specific genetic changes with quantifiable alterations of the catalytic properties of the RNA. In addition, patterns of evolutionary change can be discerned through a detailed examination of the genotypic composition of the evolving RNA population. Results: Beginning with a pool of 10(13) variants of the Tetrahymena ribozyme, we carried out in vitro evolution experiments that led to the generation of ribozymes with the ability to cleave an RNA substrate in the presence of Ca2+ ions, an activity that does not exist for the wild-type molecule. Over the course of 12 generations, a seven-error variant emerged that has substantial Ca(2+)-dependent RNA-cleavage activity. Advantageous mutations increased in frequency in the population according to three distinct dynamics--logarithmic, linear and transient. Through a comparative analysis of 31 individual variants, we infer how certain mutations influence the catalytic properties of the ribozyme. Conclusions: In vitro evolution experiments make it possible to elucidate important aspects of both evolutionary biology and structural biochemistry on a reasonable short time scale.

  19. A Hairpin Ribozyme Inhibits Expression of Diverse Strains of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Mang; Ojwang, Joshua; Yamada, Osamu; Hampel, Arnold; Rapapport, Jay; Looney, David; Wong-Staal, Flossie

    1993-07-01

    Ribozymes have enormous potential as antiviral agents. We have previously reported that a hairpin ribozyme expressed under the control of the β-actin promoter that cleaves human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA in the leader sequence can inhibit HIV-1 (pHXB2gpt) expression. For such a ribozyme in a retroviral vector delivery system to be useful in gene therapy for the treatment of HIV-1 infection, it must be able to inhibit the expression of multiple HIV-1 strains. We have now cloned this ribozyme into various regular expression vectors (including retroviral vectors) by using various gene expression control strategies. Here we show by transient transfection that inhibition of expression of diverse strains of HIV-1 can be achieved by this ribozyme expressed in the proper vectors. These data further support the potential of this hairpin ribozyme as a therapeutic agent for HIV-1.

  20. Alternative splicing of a group II intron in a surface layer protein gene in Clostridium tetani.

    PubMed

    McNeil, Bonnie A; Simon, Dawn M; Zimmerly, Steven

    2014-02-01

    Group II introns are ribozymes and retroelements found in bacteria, and are thought to have been the ancestors of nuclear pre-mRNA introns. Whereas nuclear introns undergo prolific alternative splicing in some species, group II introns are not known to carry out equivalent reactions. Here we report a group II intron in the human pathogen Clostridium tetani, which undergoes four alternative splicing reactions in vivo. Together with unspliced transcript, five mRNAs are produced, each encoding a distinct surface layer protein isoform. Correct fusion of exon reading frames requires a shifted 5' splice site located 8 nt upstream of the canonical boundary motif. The shifted junction is accomplished by an altered IBS1-EBS1 pairing between the intron and 5' exon. Growth of C. tetani under a variety of conditions did not result in large changes in alternative splicing levels, raising the possibility that alternative splicing is constitutive. This work demonstrates a novel type of gene organization and regulation in bacteria, and provides an additional parallel between group II and nuclear pre-mRNA introns. PMID:24214997

  1. Thiolated uridine substrates and templates improve the rate and fidelity of ribozyme-catalyzed RNA copying.

    PubMed

    Prywes, Noam; Michaels, Yale S; Pal, Ayan; Oh, Seung Soo; Szostak, Jack W

    2016-05-01

    Ribozyme-catalyzed RNA polymerization is inefficient and error prone. Here we demonstrate that two alternative bases, 2-thio-uridine (s(2)U) and 2-thio-ribo-thymidine (s(2)T), improve the rate and fidelity of ribozyme catalyzed nucleotide addition as NTP substrates and as template bases. We also demonstrate the functionality of s(2)U and s(2)T-containing ribozymes. PMID:27109314

  2. Electrical-splicing connector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stringer, E. J.

    1977-01-01

    Connection can be made without removing insulation, and connector case insulates splice. Device can be made in various sizes and saves time, especially when working on prototype boards with several interconnecting test leads.

  3. Secondary structure confirmation and localization of Mg2+ ions in the mammalian CPEB3 ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Skilandat, Miriam; Rowinska-Zyrek, Magdalena; Sigel, Roland K O

    2016-05-01

    Most of today's knowledge of the CPEB3 ribozyme, one of the few small self-cleaving ribozymes known to occur in humans, is based on comparative studies with the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme, which is highly similar in cleavage mechanism and probably also in structure. Here we present detailed NMR studies of the CPEB3 ribozyme in order to verify the formation of the predicted nested double pseudoknot in solution. In particular, the influence of Mg(2+), the ribozyme's crucial cofactor, on the CPEB3 structure is investigated. NMR titrations, Tb(3+)-induced cleavage, as well as stoichiometry determination by hydroxyquinoline sulfonic acid fluorescence and equilibrium dialysis, are used to evaluate the number, location, and binding mode of Mg(2+)ions. Up to eight Mg(2+)ions interact site-specifically with the ribozyme, four of which are bound with high affinity. The global fold of the CPEB3 ribozyme, encompassing 80%-90% of the predicted base pairs, is formed in the presence of monovalent ions alone. Low millimolar concentrations of Mg(2+)promote a more compact fold and lead to the formation of additional structures in the core of the ribozyme, which contains the inner small pseudoknot and the active site. Several Mg(2+)binding sites, which are important for the functional fold, appear to be located in corresponding locations in the HDV and CPEB3 ribozyme, demonstrating the particular relevance of Mg(2+)for the nested double pseudoknot structure. PMID:26966151

  4. In vitro selection of allosteric ribozymes that sense the bacterial second messenger c-di-GMP.

    PubMed

    Furukawa, Kazuhiro; Gu, Hongzhou; Breaker, Ronald R

    2014-01-01

    Recently, a number of study have shown the ligand-dependent allosteric ribozymes can be harnessed as biosensors, high-throughput screening, and agents for the control of gene expression in vivo, called artificial riboswitches. In this chapter, we describe how in vitro selection can be used to create an allosteric ribozyme that senses bacterial second messenger cyclic-di-GMP (c-di-GMP). A hammerhead ribozyme was joined to a natural c-di-GMP class I riboswitch aptamer via communication modules. Both c-di-GMP-activating and -inhibiting ribozyme can be obtained by this approach. PMID:24549622

  5. Development of Therapeutic Splice-Switching Oligonucleotides

    PubMed Central

    Kryczka, Adrianna; Liu, Yuqi; Badi, Yusef E.; Wong, Jessie J.; Owen, James S.; Khoo, Bernard

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Synthetic splice-switching oligonucleotides (SSOs) target nuclear pre-mRNA molecules to change exon splicing and generate an alternative protein isoform. Clinical trials with two competitive SSO drugs are underway to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Beyond DMD, many additional therapeutic applications are possible, with some in phase 1 clinical trials or advanced preclinical evaluation. Here, we present an overview of the central factors involved in developing therapeutic SSOs for the treatment of diseases. The selection of susceptible pre-mRNA target sequences, as well as the design and chemical modification of SSOs to increase SSO stability and effectiveness, are key initial considerations. Identification of effective SSO target sequences is still largely empirical and published guidelines are not a universal guarantee for success. Specifically, exon-targeted SSOs, which are successful in modifying dystrophin splicing, can be ineffective for splice-switching in other contexts. Chemical modifications, importantly, are associated with certain characteristic toxicities, which need to be addressed as target diseases require chronic treatment with SSOs. Moreover, SSO delivery in adequate quantities to the nucleus of target cells without toxicity can prove difficult. Last, the means by which these SSOs are administered needs to be acceptable to the patient. Engineering an efficient therapeutic SSO, therefore, necessarily entails a compromise between desirable qualities and effectiveness. Here, we describe how the application of optimal solutions may differ from case to case. PMID:24826963

  6. Ribozyme Catalysis with a Twist: Active State of the Twister Ribozyme in Solution Predicted from Molecular Simulation.

    PubMed

    Gaines, Colin S; York, Darrin M

    2016-03-01

    We present results from molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations of the twister ribozyme at different stages along the reaction path to gain insight into its mechanism. The results, together with recent biochemical experiments, provide support for a mechanism involving general-acid catalysis by a conserved adenine residue in the active site. Although adenine has been previously implicated as a general acid acting through the N1 position in other ribozymes such as the hairpin and VS ribozymes, in the twister ribozyme there may be a twist. Biochemical experiments suggest that general acid catalysis may occur through the N3 position, which has never before been implicated in this role; however, currently, there is a lack of a detailed structural model for the active state of the twister ribozyme in solution that is consistent with these and other experiments. Simulations in a crystalline environment reported here are consistent with X-ray crystallographic data, and suggest that crystal packing contacts trap the RNA in an inactive conformation with U-1 in an extruded state that is incompatible with an in-line attack to the scissile phosphate. Simulations in solution, on the other hand, reveal this region to be dynamic and able to adopt a conformation where U-1 is stacked with G33. In this state, the nucleophile is in line with the scissile phosphate, and the N1 position of G33 and N3 position of A1 are poised to act as a general base and acid, respectively, as supported by mutational experiments. Free energy calculations further predict the electrostatic environment causes a shift of the microscopic pKa at the N3 position of A1 toward neutrality by approximately 5 pKa units. These results offer a unified interpretation of a broad range of currently available experimental data that points to a novel mode of general acid catalysis through the N3 position of an adenine nucleobase, thus expanding the repertoire of known mechanistic strategies employed by

  7. Differential gene expression and alternative splicing between diploid and tetraploid watermelon lines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Synthetic tetraploid plants have been used for production of seedless triploid watermelon lines being pollinated with diploid plants. When compared to their diploid or triploid counterparts, the tetraploid exhibit wide phenotypic differences. Though many factors, including alternative splicing (AS),...

  8. Freeze-thaw cycles as drivers of complex ribozyme assembly

    PubMed Central

    Mutschler, Hannes; Wochner, Aniela; Holliger, Philipp

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of an RNA catalyst capable of self-replication is considered a key transition in the origin of life. However, how such replicase ribozymes emerged from the pools of short RNA oligomers arising from prebiotic chemistry and non-enzymatic replication is unclear. Here we show that RNA polymerase ribozymes can assemble from simple catalytic networks of RNA oligomers no longer than 30 nucleotides. The entropically disfavoured assembly reaction is driven by iterative freeze-thaw cycles even in the absence of external activation chemistry. The steep temperature and concentration gradients of such cycles result in an RNA chaperone effect that enhances the otherwise only partially realized catalytic potential of the RNA oligomer pool by an order of magnitude. Our work outlines how cyclic physicochemical processes could have driven an expansion of RNA compositional and phenotypic complexity from simple oligomer pools. PMID:25991529

  9. Ribozymes, riboswitches and beyond: regulation of gene expression without proteins

    PubMed Central

    Serganov, Alexander; Patel, Dinshaw J.

    2015-01-01

    Although various functions of RNA are carried out in conjunction with proteins, some catalytic RNAs, or ribozymes, which contribute to a range of cellular processes, require little or no assistance from proteins. Furthermore, the discovery of metabolite-sensing riboswitches and other types of RNA sensors has revealed RNA-based mechanisms that cells use to regulate gene expression in response to internal and external changes. Structural studies have shown how these RNAs can carry out a range of functions. In addition, the contribution of ribozymes and riboswitches to gene expression is being revealed as far more widespread than was previously appreciated. These findings have implications for understanding how cellular functions might have evolved from RNA-based origins. PMID:17846637

  10. Freeze-thaw cycles as drivers of complex ribozyme assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mutschler, Hannes; Wochner, Aniela; Holliger, Philipp

    2015-06-01

    The emergence of an RNA catalyst capable of self-replication is considered a key transition in the origin of life. However, how such replicase ribozymes emerged from the pools of short RNA oligomers arising from prebiotic chemistry and non-enzymatic replication is unclear. Here we show that RNA polymerase ribozymes can assemble from simple catalytic networks of RNA oligomers no longer than 30 nucleotides. The entropically disfavoured assembly reaction is driven by iterative freeze-thaw cycles, even in the absence of external activation chemistry. The steep temperature and concentration gradients of such cycles result in an RNA chaperone effect that enhances the otherwise only partially realized catalytic potential of the RNA oligomer pool by an order of magnitude. Our work outlines how cyclic physicochemical processes could have driven an expansion of RNA compositional and phenotypic complexity from simple oligomer pools.

  11. Freeze-thaw cycles as drivers of complex ribozyme assembly.

    PubMed

    Mutschler, Hannes; Wochner, Aniela; Holliger, Philipp

    2015-06-01

    The emergence of an RNA catalyst capable of self-replication is considered a key transition in the origin of life. However, how such replicase ribozymes emerged from the pools of short RNA oligomers arising from prebiotic chemistry and non-enzymatic replication is unclear. Here we show that RNA polymerase ribozymes can assemble from simple catalytic networks of RNA oligomers no longer than 30 nucleotides. The entropically disfavoured assembly reaction is driven by iterative freeze-thaw cycles, even in the absence of external activation chemistry. The steep temperature and concentration gradients of such cycles result in an RNA chaperone effect that enhances the otherwise only partially realized catalytic potential of the RNA oligomer pool by an order of magnitude. Our work outlines how cyclic physicochemical processes could have driven an expansion of RNA compositional and phenotypic complexity from simple oligomer pools. PMID:25991529

  12. Investigating a new generation of ribozymes in order to target HCV.

    PubMed

    Lévesque, Michel V; Lévesque, Dominique; Brière, Francis P; Perreault, Jean-Pierre

    2010-01-01

    For a long time nucleic acid-based approaches directed towards controlling the propagation of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) have been considered to possess high potential. Towards this end, ribozymes (i.e. RNA enzymes) that specifically recognize and subsequently catalyze the cleavage of their RNA substrate present an attractive molecular tool. Here, the unique properties of a new generation of ribozymes are taken advantage of in order to develop an efficient and durable ribozyme-based technology with which to target HCV (+) RNA strands. These ribozymes resulted from the coupling of a specific on/off adaptor (SOFA) to the ribozyme domain derived from the Hepatitis Delta Virus (HDV). The former switches cleavage activity "on" solely in the presence of the desired RNA substrate, while the latter was the first catalytic RNA reported to function naturally in human cells, specifically in hepatocytes. In order to maximize the chances for success, a step-by-step approach was used for both the design and the selection of the ribozymes. This approach included the use of both bioinformatics and biochemical methods for the identification of the sites possessing the greatest potential for targeting, and the subsequent in vitro testing of the cleavage activities of the corresponding SOFA-HDV ribozymes. These efforts led to a significant improvement in the ribozymes' designs. The ability of the resulting SOFA-HDV ribozymes to inhibit HCV replication was further examined using a luciferase-based replicon. Although some of the ribozymes exhibited high levels of cleavage activity in vitro, none appears to be a potential long term inhibitor in cellulo. Analysis of recent discoveries in the cellular biology of HCV might explain this failure, as well as provide some ideas on the potential limits of using nucleic acid-based drugs to control the propagation of HCV. Finally, the above conclusions received support from experiments performed using a collection of SOFA-HDV ribozymes directed

  13. Monitoring Retroviral RNA Dimerization In Vivo via Hammerhead Ribozyme Cleavage

    PubMed Central

    Pal, Bijay K.; Scherer, Lisa; Zelby, Laurie; Bertrand, Edouard; Rossi, John J.

    1998-01-01

    We have used a strategy for colocalization of Psi (Ψ)-tethered ribozymes and targets to demonstrate that Ψ sequences are capable of specific interaction in the cytoplasm of both packaging and nonpackaging cells. These results indicate that current in vitro dimerization models may have in vivo counterparts. The methodology used may be applied to further genetic analyses on Ψ domain interactions in vivo. PMID:9733882

  14. A Triplex Ribozyme Expression System Based on a Single Hairpin Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Aquino-Jarquin, Guillermo; Benítez-Hess, María Luisa; DiPaolo, Joseph A.

    2008-01-01

    Triplex ribozyme (RZ) configurations allow for the individual activity of trans-acting RZs in multiple expression cassettes (multiplex), thereby increasing target cleavage relative to conventionally expressed RZs. Although hairpin RZs have been advantageously compared to hammerhead RZs, their longer size and structural features complicated triplex design. We present a triplex expression system based on a single hairpin RZ with trans-cleavage capability and simple engineering. The system was tested in vitro using cis- and trans-cleavage kinetic assays against a known target RNA from HPV-16 E6/E7 mRNA. Single and multiplex triplex RZ constructs were more efficient in cleaving the target than tandem-cloned hairpin RZs, suggesting that the release of individual RZs enhanced trans-cleavage kinetics. Multiplex systems constructed with two different hairpin RZs resulted in better trans-cleavage compared to standard double-RZ constructs. In addition, the triplex RZ performed cis- and trans-cleavage in cervical cancer cells. The use of triplex configurations with multiplex RZs permit differential targeting of the same or different RNA, thus improving potential use against unstable targets. This prototype will provide the basis for the development of future RZ-based therapies and technologies. PMID:18707243

  15. A triplex ribozyme expression system based on a single hairpin ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Aquino-Jarquin, Guillermo; Benítez-Hess, María Luisa; DiPaolo, Joseph A; Alvarez-Salas, Luis M

    2008-09-01

    Triplex ribozyme (RZ) configurations allow for the individual activity of trans-acting RZs in multiple expression cassettes (multiplex), thereby increasing target cleavage relative to conventionally expressed RZs. Although hairpin RZs have been advantageously compared to hammerhead RZs, their longer size and structural features complicated triplex design. We present a triplex expression system based on a single hairpin RZ with transcleavage capability and simple engineering. The system was tested in vitro using cis- and trans-cleavage kinetic assays against a known target RNA from HPV-16 E6/E7 mRNA. Single and multiplex triplex RZ constructs were more efficient in cleaving the target than tandem-cloned hairpin RZs, suggesting that the release of individual RZs enhanced trans-cleavage kinetics. Multiplex systems constructed with two different hairpin RZs resulted in better trans-cleavage compared to standard double-RZ constructs. In addition, the triplex RZ performed cis- and trans-cleavage in cervical cancer cells. The use of triplex configurations with multiplex RZs permit differential targeting of the same or different RNA, thus improving potential use against unstable targets. This prototype will provide the basis for the development of future RZ-based therapies and technologies. PMID:18707243

  16. The Hammerhead Ribozyme: Structure, Catalysis and Gene Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Scott, William G.; Horan, Lucas H.; Martick, Monika

    2014-01-01

    The hammerhead ribozyme has long been considered a prototype for understanding RNA catalysis, but discrepancies between the earlier crystal structures of a minimal hammerhead self-cleaving motif and various biochemical investigations frustrated attempt to understand hammerhead ribozyme catalysis in terms of structure. With the discovery that a tertiary contact distal from the ribozyme’s active site greatly enhances its catalytic prowess, and the emergence of new corresponding crystal structures of full-length hammerhead ribozymes, a unified understanding of catalysis in terms of the structure is now possible. A mechanism in which the invariant residue G12 functions as a general base, and the 2′-OH moiety of the invariant G8, itself forming a tertiary base pair with the invariant C3, is the general acid, appears consistent with both the crystal structure and biochemical experimental results. Originally discovered in the context of plant satellite RNA viruses, the hammerhead more recently has been found embedded in the 3′-untranslated region of mature mammalian mRNAs, suggesting additional biological roles in genetic regulation. PMID:24156940

  17. A small ribozyme with dual-site kinase activity

    PubMed Central

    Biondi, Elisa; Maxwell, Adam W.R.; Burke, Donald H.

    2012-01-01

    Phosphoryl transfer onto backbone hydroxyls is a recognized catalytic activity of nucleic acids. We find that kinase ribozyme K28 possesses an unusually complex active site that promotes (thio)phosphorylation of two residues widely separated in primary sequence. After allowing the ribozyme to radiolabel itself by phosphoryl transfer from [γ-32P]GTP, DNAzyme-mediated cleavage yielded two radiolabeled cleavage fragments, indicating phosphorylation sites within each of the two cleavage fragments. These sites were mapped by alkaline digestion and primer extension pausing. Enzymatic digestion and mutational analysis identified nucleotides important for activity and established the active structure as being a constrained pseudoknot with unusual connectivity that may juxtapose the two reactive sites. Nuclease sensitivities for nucleotides near the pseudoknot core were altered in the presence of GTPγS, indicating donor-induced folding. The 5′ target site was more strongly favored in full-length ribozyme K28 (128 nt) than in truncated RNAs (58 nt). Electrophoretic mobilities of self-thiophosphorylated products on organomercurial gels are distinct from the 5′ mono-thiophosphorylated product produced by reaction with polynucleotide kinase, potentially indicating simultaneous labeling of both sites within individual RNA strands. Our evidence supports a single, compact structure with local dynamics, rather than global rearrangement, as being responsible for dual-site phosphorylation. PMID:22618879

  18. Eukaryotic Penelope-Like Retroelements Encode Hammerhead Ribozyme Motifs

    PubMed Central

    Cervera, Amelia; De la Peña, Marcos

    2014-01-01

    Small self-cleaving RNAs, such as the paradigmatic Hammerhead ribozyme (HHR), have been recently found widespread in DNA genomes across all kingdoms of life. In this work, we found that new HHR variants are preserved in the ancient family of Penelope-like elements (PLEs), a group of eukaryotic retrotransposons regarded as exceptional for encoding telomerase-like retrotranscriptases and spliceosomal introns. Our bioinformatic analysis revealed not only the presence of minimalist HHRs in the two flanking repeats of PLEs but also their massive and widespread occurrence in metazoan genomes. The architecture of these ribozymes indicates that they may work as dimers, although their low self-cleavage activity in vitro suggests the requirement of other factors in vivo. In plants, however, PLEs show canonical HHRs, whereas fungi and protist PLEs encode ribozyme variants with a stable active conformation as monomers. Overall, our data confirm the connection of self-cleaving RNAs with eukaryotic retroelements and unveil these motifs as a significant fraction of the encoded information in eukaryotic genomes. PMID:25135949

  19. Reconciling Ligase Ribozyme Activity with Fatty Acid Vesicle Stability

    PubMed Central

    Anella, Fabrizio; Danelon, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    The “RNA world” and the “Lipid world” theories for the origin of cellular life are often considered incompatible due to the differences in the environmental conditions at which they can emerge. One obstacle resides in the conflicting requirements for divalent metal ions, in particular Mg2+, with respect to optimal ribozyme activity, fatty acid vesicle stability and protection against RNA strand cleavage. Here, we report on the activity of a short L1 ligase ribozyme in the presence of myristoleic acid (MA) vesicles at varying concentrations of Mg2+. The ligation rate is significantly lower at low-Mg2+ conditions. However, the loss of activity is overcompensated by the increased stability of RNA leading to a larger amount of intact ligated substrate after long reaction periods. Combining RNA ligation assays with fatty acid vesicles we found that MA vesicles made of 5 mM amphiphile are stable and do not impair ligase ribozyme activity in the presence of approximately 2 mM Mg2+. These results provide a scenario in which catalytic RNA and primordial membrane assembly can coexist in the same environment. PMID:25513761

  20. Local Neutral Networks Help Maintain Inaccurately Replicating Ribozymes

    PubMed Central

    Szilágyi, András; Kun, Ádám; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2014-01-01

    The error threshold of replication limits the selectively maintainable genome size against recurrent deleterious mutations for most fitness landscapes. In the context of RNA replication a distinction between the genotypic and the phenotypic error threshold has been made; where the latter concerns the maintenance of secondary structure rather than sequence. RNA secondary structure is treated as a proxy for function. The phenotypic error threshold allows higher per digit mutation rates than its genotypic counterpart, and is known to increase with the frequency of neutral mutations in sequence space. Here we show that the degree of neutrality, i.e. the frequency of nearest-neighbour (one-step) neutral mutants is a remarkably accurate proxy for the overall frequency of such mutants in an experimentally verifiable formula for the phenotypic error threshold; this we achieve by the full numerical solution for the concentration of all sequences in mutation-selection balance up to length 16. We reinforce our previous result that currently known ribozymes could be selectively maintained by the accuracy known from the best available polymerase ribozymes. Furthermore, we show that in silico stabilizing selection can increase the mutational robustness of ribozymes due to the fact that they were produced by artificial directional selection in the first place. Our finding offers a better understanding of the error threshold and provides further insight into the plausibility of an ancient RNA world. PMID:25299454

  1. The Novel Chemical Mechanism of the Twister Ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Timothy J; Liu, Yijin; Domnick, Christof; Kath-Schorr, Stephanie; Lilley, David M J

    2016-05-18

    We describe the multifactorial origins of catalysis by the twister ribozyme. We provide evidence that the adenine immediately 3' to the scissile phosphate (A1) acts as a general acid. Substitution of ring nitrogen atoms indicates that very unusually the N3 of A1 is the proton donor to the oxyanion leaving group. A1 is accommodated in a specific binding pocket that raises its pKa toward neutrality, juxtaposes its N3 with the O5' to be protonated, and helps create the in-line trajectory required for nucleophilic attack. A1 performs general acid catalysis while G33 acts as a general base. A 100-fold stereospecific phosphorothioate effect at the scissile phosphate is consistent with a significant stabilization of the transition state by the ribozyme, and functional group substitution at G33 indicates that its exocyclic N2 interacts directly with the scissile phosphate. A model of the ribozyme active site is proposed that accommodates these catalytic strategies. PMID:27153229

  2. Selection, design, and characterization of a new potentially therapeutic ribozyme.

    PubMed Central

    Zinnen, Shawn P; Domenico, Kristal; Wilson, Mike; Dickinson, Brent A; Beaudry, Amber; Mokler, Victor; Daniher, Andrew T; Burgin, Alex; Beigelman, Leonid

    2002-01-01

    An in vitro selection was designed to identify RNA-cleaving ribozymes predisposed for function as a drug. The selection scheme required the catalyst to be trans-acting with phosphodiesterase activity targeting a fragment of the Kras mRNA under simulated physiological conditions. To increase stabilization against nucleases and to offer the potential for improved functionality, modified sequence space was sampled by transcribing with the following NTPs: 2'-F-ATP, 2'-F-UTP, or 2'-F-5-[(N-imidazole-4-acetyl) propylamine]-UTP, 2'-NH2-CTP, and GTP. Active motifs were identified and assessed for their modified NMP and divalent metal dependence. The minimization of the ribozyme's size and the ability to substitute 2'-OMe for 2'-F and 2'-NH2 moieties yielded the motif from these selections most suited for both nuclease stability and therapeutic development. This motif requires only two 2'-NH2-Cs and functions as a 36-mer. Its substrate sequence requirements were determined to be 5'-Y-G-H-3'. Its half-life in human serum is >100 h. In physiologically relevant magnesium concentrations [approximately 1 mM] its kcat = 0.07 min(-1), Km = 70 nM. This report presents a novel nuclease stable ribozyme, designated Zinzyme, possessing optimal activity in simulated physiological conditions and ready for testing in a therapeutic setting. PMID:11911367

  3. Effective Inhibition of Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 Replication by Engineered RNase P Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Trang, Phong; Vu, Gia-Phong; Lu, Sangwei; Wu, Jianguo; Liu, Fenyong

    2012-01-01

    Using an in vitro selection procedure, we have previously isolated RNase P ribozyme variants that efficiently cleave an mRNA sequence in vitro. In this study, a variant was used to target the HIV RNA sequence in the tat region. The variant cleaved the tat RNA sequence in vitro about 20 times more efficiently than the wild type ribozyme. Our results provide the first direct evidence that combined mutations at nucleotide 83 and 340 of RNase P catalytic RNA from Escherichia coli (G83 -> U83 and G340 -> A340) increase the overall efficiency of the ribozyme in cleaving an HIV RNA sequence. Moreover, the variant is more effective in reducing HIV-1 p24 expression and intracellular viral RNA level in cells than the wild type ribozyme. A reduction of about 90% in viral RNA level and a reduction of 150 fold in viral growth were observed in cells that expressed the variant, while a reduction of less than 10% was observed in cells that either did not express the ribozyme or produced a catalytically inactive ribozyme mutant. Thus, engineered ribozyme variants are effective in inhibiting HIV infection. These results also demonstrate the potential of engineering RNase P ribozymes for anti-HIV application. PMID:23300569

  4. Examination of the catalytic fitness of the hammerhead ribozyme by in vitro selection.

    PubMed Central

    Tang, J; Breaker, R R

    1997-01-01

    We have designed a self-cleaving ribozyme construct that is rendered inactive during preparative in vitro transcription by allosteric interactions with ATP. This allosteric ribozyme was constructed by joining a hammerhead domain to an ATP-binding RNA aptamer, thereby creating a ribozyme whose catalytic rate can be controlled by ATP. Upon purification by PAGE, the engineered ribozyme undergoes rapid self-cleavage when incubated in the absence of ATP. This strategy of "allosteric delay" was used to prepare intact hammerhead ribozymes that would otherwise self-destruct during transcription. Using a similar strategy, we have prepared a combinatorial pool of RNA in order to assess the catalytic fitness of ribozymes that carry the natural consensus sequence for the hammerhead. Using in vitro selection, this comprehensive RNA pool was screened for sequence variants of the hammerhead ribozyme that also display catalytic activity. We find that sequences that comprise the core of naturally occurring hammerhead dominate the population of selected RNAs, indicating that the natural consensus sequence of this ribozyme is optimal for catalytic function. PMID:9257650

  5. Hairpin Ribozyme Genes Curtail Alcohol Drinking: from Rational Design to in vivo Effects in the Rat.

    PubMed

    Sapag, Amalia; Irrazábal, Thergiory; Lobos-González, Lorena; Muñoz-Brauning, Carlos R; Quintanilla, María Elena; Tampier, Lutske

    2016-01-01

    Ribozyme genes were designed to reduce voluntary alcohol drinking in a rat model of alcohol dependence. Acetaldehyde generated from alcohol in the liver is metabolized by the mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) such that diminishing ALDH2 activity leads to the aversive effects of blood acetaldehyde upon alcohol intake. A stepwise approach was followed to design genes encoding ribozymes targeted to the rat ALDH2 mRNA. In vitro studies of accessibility to oligonucleotides identified suitable target sites in the mRNA, one of which fulfilled hammerhead and hairpin ribozyme requirements (CGGUC). Ribozyme genes delivered in plasmid constructs were tested in rat cells in culture. While the hairpin ribozyme reduced ALDH2 activity 56% by cleavage and blockade (P < 0.0001), the hammerhead ribozyme elicited minor effects by blockade. The hairpin ribozyme was tested in vivo by adenoviral gene delivery to UChB alcohol drinker rats. Ethanol intake was curtailed 47% for 34 days (P < 0.0001), while blood acetaldehyde more than doubled upon ethanol administration and ALDH2 activity dropped 25% in liver homogenates, not affecting other ALDH isoforms. Thus, hairpin ribozymes targeted to 16 nt in the ALDH2 mRNA provide durable and specific effects in vivo, representing an improvement on previous work and encouraging development of gene therapy for alcoholism. PMID:27404720

  6. Spliced leader trans-splicing in the nematode Trichinella spiralis uses highly polymorphic, noncanonical spliced leaders.

    PubMed

    Pettitt, Jonathan; Müller, Berndt; Stansfield, Ian; Connolly, Bernadette

    2008-04-01

    The trans-splicing of short spliced leader (SL) RNAs onto the 5' ends of mRNAs occurs in a diverse range of taxa. In nematodes, all species so far characterized utilize a characteristic, conserved spliced leader, SL1, as well as variants that are employed in the resolution of operons. Here we report the identification of spliced leader trans-splicing in the basal nematode Trichinella spiralis, and show that this nematode does not possess a canonical SL1, but rather has at least 15 distinct spliced leaders, encoded by at least 19 SL RNA genes. The individual spliced leaders vary in both size and primary sequence, showing a much higher degree of diversity compared to other known trans-spliced leaders. In a survey of T. spiralis mRNAs, individual mRNAs were found to be trans-spliced to a number of different spliced leader sequences. These data provide the first indication that the last common ancestor of the phylum Nematoda utilized spliced leader trans-splicing and that the canonical spliced leader, SL1, found in Caenorhabditis elegans, evolved after the divergence of the major nematode clades. This discovery sheds important light on the nature and evolution of mRNA processing in the Nematoda. PMID:18256244

  7. A widespread self-cleaving ribozyme class is revealed by bioinformatics

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Adam; Weinberg, Zasha; Chen, Andy G. Y.; Kim, Peter B.; Ames, Tyler D.; Breaker, Ronald R.

    2013-01-01

    Ribozymes are noncoding RNAs that promote chemical transformations with rate enhancements approaching those of protein enzymes. Although ribozymes are likely to have been abundant during the RNA world era, only ten classes are known to exist among contemporary organisms. We report the discovery and analysis of an additional self-cleaving ribozyme class, called twister, which is present in many species of bacteria and eukarya. Nearly 2700 twister ribozymes were identified that conform to a secondary structure consensus that is small yet complex, with three stems conjoined by internal and terminal loops. Two pseudoknots provide tertiary structure contacts that are critical for catalytic activity. The twister ribozyme motif provides another example of a natural RNA catalyst and calls attention to the potentially varied biological roles of this and other classes of widely distributed self-cleaving RNAs. PMID:24240507

  8. Transition State Features in the Hepatitis Delta Virus (HDV) Ribozyme Reaction Revealed by Atomic Perturbations

    PubMed Central

    Koo, Selene C.; Lu, Jun; Li, Nan-Sheng; Leung, Edward; Das, Subha R.; Harris, Michael E.; Piccirilli, Joseph A.

    2016-01-01

    Endonucleolytic ribozymes constitute a class of non-coding RNAs that catalyze single strand RNA scission. With crystal structures available for all of the known ribozymes, a major challenge involves relating functional data to the physically observed RNA architecture. In the case of the HDV ribozyme, there are three high-resolution crystal structures, the product state of the reaction and two precursor variants, with distinct mechanistic implications. Here, we develop new strategies to probe the structure and catalytic mechanism of a ribozyme. First, we use double mutant cycles to distinguish differences in functional group proximity implicated by the crystal structures. Second, we use a corrected form of the Brønsted equation to assess the functional significance of general acid catalysis in the system. Our results delineate the functional relevance of atomic interactions inferred from structure, and suggest that the HDV ribozyme transition state resembles the cleavage product in the degree of proton transfer to the leaving group. PMID:26125657

  9. New classes of self-cleaving ribozymes revealed by comparative genomics analysis.

    PubMed

    Weinberg, Zasha; Kim, Peter B; Chen, Tony H; Li, Sanshu; Harris, Kimberly A; Lünse, Christina E; Breaker, Ronald R

    2015-08-01

    Enzymes made of RNA catalyze reactions that are essential for protein synthesis and RNA processing. However, such natural ribozymes are exceedingly rare, as evidenced by the fact that the discovery rate for new classes has dropped to one per decade from about one per year during the 1980s. Indeed, only 11 distinct ribozyme classes have been experimentally validated to date. Recently, we recognized that self-cleaving ribozymes frequently associate with certain types of genes from bacteria. Herein we exploited this association to identify divergent architectures for two previously known ribozyme classes and to discover additional noncoding RNA motifs that are self-cleaving RNA candidates. We identified three new self-cleaving classes, which we named twister sister, pistol and hatchet, from this collection, suggesting that even more ribozymes remain hidden in modern cells. PMID:26167874

  10. New classes of self-cleaving ribozymes revealed by comparative genomics analysis

    PubMed Central

    Weinberg, Zasha; Kim, Peter B.; Chen, Tony H.; Li, Sanshu; Harris, Kimberly A.; Lünse, Christina E.; Breaker, Ronald R.

    2015-01-01

    Enzymes made of RNA catalyze reactions that are essential for protein synthesis and RNA processing. However, such natural ribozymes are exceedingly rare, as evident by the fact that the discovery rate for new classes has dropped to one per decade from about one per year during the 1980s. Indeed, only 11 distinct ribozyme classes have been experimentally validated to date. Recently, we recognized that self-cleaving ribozymes frequently associate with certain types of genes from bacteria. Herein this synteny was exploited to identify divergent architectures for two previously known ribozyme classes and to discover additional noncoding RNA motifs that are self-cleaving RNA candidates. Three new self-cleaving classes, named twister sister, pistol and hatchet, have been identified from this collection, suggesting that even more ribozymes remain hidden in modern cells. PMID:26167874

  11. Polypurine sequences within a downstream exon function as a splicing enhancer

    SciTech Connect

    Tanaka, Kenji; Watakabe, Akiya; Shimura, Yoshiro

    1994-02-01

    We have previously shown that a purine-rich sequence located within exon M2 of the mouse immunoglobulin {mu} gene functions as a splicing enhancer, as judged by its ability to stimulate splicing of a distant upstream intron. This sequence element has been designated ERS (exon recognition sequence). In this study, we investigated the stimulatory effects of various ERS-like sequences, using the in vitro splicing system with HeLa cell nuclear extracts. Here, we show that purine-rich sequences of several natural exons that have previously been shown to be required for splicing function as a splicing enhancer like the ERS of the immunoglobulin {mu} gene. Moreover, even synthetic polypurine sequences had stimulatory effects on the upstream splicing. Evaluation of the data obtained from the analyses of both natural and synthetic purine-rich sequences shows that (i) alternating purine sequences can stimulate splicing, while poly(A) or poly(G) sequences cannot, and (ii) the presence of U residues within the polypurine sequence greatly reduces the level of stimulation. Competition experiments strongly suggest that the stimulatory effects of various purine-rich sequences are mediated by the same trans-acting factor(s). We conclude from these results that the purine-rich sequences that we examined in this study also represent examples of ERS. Thus, ERS is considered a general splicing element that is present in various exons and plays an important role in splice site selection. 50 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.

  12. Splice assembly tool and method of splicing

    DOEpatents

    Silva, Frank A.

    1980-01-01

    A splice assembly tool for assembling component parts of an electrical conductor while producing a splice connection between electrical cables therewith, comprises a first structural member adaptable for supporting force applying means thereon, said force applying means enabling a rotary force applied manually thereto to be converted to a longitudinal force for subsequent application against a first component part of said electrical connection, a second structural member adaptable for engaging a second component part in a manner to assist said first structural member in assembling the component parts relative to one another and transmission means for conveying said longitudinal force between said first and said second structural members, said first and said second structural members being coupled to one another by said transmission means, wherein at least one of said component parts comprises a tubular elastomeric sleeve and said force applying means provides a relatively high mechanical advantage when said rotary force is applied thereto so as to facilitate assembly of said at least one tubular elastomeric sleeve about said other component part in an interference fit manner.

  13. Intracellular ribozyme-catalyzed trans-cleavage of RNA monitored by fluorescence resonance energy transfer.

    PubMed

    Vitiello, D; Pecchia, D B; Burke, J M

    2000-04-01

    Small catalytic RNAs like the hairpin ribozyme are proving to be useful intracellular tools; however, most attempts to demonstrate trans-cleavage of RNA by ribozymes in cells have been frustrated by rapid cellular degradation of the cleavage products. Here, we describe a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assay that directly monitors cleavage of target RNA in tissue-culture cells. An oligoribonucleotide substrate was modified to inhibit cellular ribonuclease degradation without interfering with ribozyme cleavage, and donor (fluorescein) and acceptor (tetramethylrhodamine) fluorophores were introduced at positions flanking the cleavage site. In simple buffers, the intact substrate produces a strong FRET signal that is lost upon cleavage, resulting in a red-to-green shift in dominant fluorescence emission. Hairpin ribozyme and fluorescent substrate were microinjected into murine fibroblasts under conditions in which substrate cleavage can occur only inside the cell. A strong FRET signal was observed by fluorescence microscopy when substrate was injected, but rapid decay of the FRET signal occurred when an active, cognate ribozyme was introduced with the substrate. No acceleration in cleavage rates was observed in control experiments utilizing a noncleavable substrate, inactive ribozyme, or an active ribozyme with altered substrate specificity. Subsequently, the fluorescent substrates were injected into clonal cell lines that expressed cognate or noncognate ribozymes. A decrease in FRET signal was observed only when substrate was microinjected into cells expressing its cognate ribozyme. These results demonstrate trans-cleavage of RNA within mammalian cells, and provide an experimental basis for quantitative analysis of ribozyme activity and specificity within the cell. PMID:10786853

  14. Intracellular ribozyme-catalyzed trans-cleavage of RNA monitored by fluorescence resonance energy transfer.

    PubMed Central

    Vitiello, D; Pecchia, D B; Burke, J M

    2000-01-01

    Small catalytic RNAs like the hairpin ribozyme are proving to be useful intracellular tools; however, most attempts to demonstrate trans-cleavage of RNA by ribozymes in cells have been frustrated by rapid cellular degradation of the cleavage products. Here, we describe a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assay that directly monitors cleavage of target RNA in tissue-culture cells. An oligoribonucleotide substrate was modified to inhibit cellular ribonuclease degradation without interfering with ribozyme cleavage, and donor (fluorescein) and acceptor (tetramethylrhodamine) fluorophores were introduced at positions flanking the cleavage site. In simple buffers, the intact substrate produces a strong FRET signal that is lost upon cleavage, resulting in a red-to-green shift in dominant fluorescence emission. Hairpin ribozyme and fluorescent substrate were microinjected into murine fibroblasts under conditions in which substrate cleavage can occur only inside the cell. A strong FRET signal was observed by fluorescence microscopy when substrate was injected, but rapid decay of the FRET signal occurred when an active, cognate ribozyme was introduced with the substrate. No acceleration in cleavage rates was observed in control experiments utilizing a noncleavable substrate, inactive ribozyme, or an active ribozyme with altered substrate specificity. Subsequently, the fluorescent substrates were injected into clonal cell lines that expressed cognate or noncognate ribozymes. A decrease in FRET signal was observed only when substrate was microinjected into cells expressing its cognate ribozyme. These results demonstrate trans-cleavage of RNA within mammalian cells, and provide an experimental basis for quantitative analysis of ribozyme activity and specificity within the cell. PMID:10786853

  15. A novel minimum ribozyme with oxidoreduction activity

    SciTech Connect

    Yanagawa, Hiroshi; Ogawa, Yoko ); Ueno, Masako; Sasaki, Kazuo; Sato, Toshio )

    1990-11-01

    A nucleoside catalyzing the oxidoreduction of NADH and K{sub 3}Fe(CN){sub 6} was isolated from Torula yeast RNA and also obtained in 0.05{percent} yield by a series of steps: SDS-phenol extraction, nuclease P{sub 1} digestion, alkaline phosphatase digestion, anion exchange chromatography, and HPLC on an ODS column. Its chemical structure was clearly determined at 5-hydroxycytidine, from the results of FAB-MS and {sup 1}H and {sup 13}C NMR spectroscopies. The mass spectra, chromatographic behavior, UV spectra, and NMR spectra of this nucleoside from natural and synthetic sources were identical. This is the first report of an RNA catalyst having catalytic activity except for the cleavage and ligation of phosphodiester bonds of RNA. That an RNA has oxidoreduction activity indicates new possibilities for RNAs as living molecules. 5-hydroxycytidine may be a vestige of RNAs that formerly possessed metabolizing ability.

  16. Cobalt(III)Hexaammine-Dependent Photocrosslinks in the Hairpin Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Kraemer-Chant, Christina M.; Heckman, Joyce E.; Lambert, Dominic; Burke, John M.

    2014-01-01

    We have utilized the hairpin ribozyme, an RNA enzyme whose structure has been solved by high-resolution methods, to develop a new tool for mapping nucleobase-stacking interactions and potential metal-binding sites in RNA molecules. This tool involves the photoactivation of a specifically bound cobalt(III)hexaammine molecule at wavelengths corresponding to excitation of the metal ion complex only; no base excitation is involved. The photoexcitation initiates a process which strongly promotes the formation of a novel covalent bond or crosslink between one base (termed the “first base”), which is close in space to the excited cobalt(III)hexaammine complex, and another base upon which the first base is closely stacked. These crosslinked species can be isolated and sequenced; their activities can be analyzed to ensure that the crosslinked structures represent an active conformation of the molecule. We have shown that, as in electron transfer in DNA, several criteria must be met to result in the successful formation of these crosslinks. These include the appropriate oxidation potential of the first donor base, the stacking and close interaction of the two donor bases involved in the crosslink, and the binding of a specific cobalt(III)hexaammine molecule to the first donor base. Additionally, we have determined that this crosslinking is pH-sensitive, although the cause of this sensitivity remains unknown. This tool has proven useful in the past for the analysis of the hairpin ribozyme folded structure, and has been applied to identifying potential metal-binding sites on the hairpin and extended hammerhead ribozymes. PMID:24295878

  17. A trans acting ribozyme that phosphorylates exogenous RNA.

    PubMed

    Saran, Dayal; Nickens, David G; Burke, Donald H

    2005-11-15

    The structural complexity required for substrate recognition within an active site constrains the evolution of novel catalytic functions. To evaluate those constraints within populations of incipient ribozymes, we performed a selection for kinase ribozymes under conditions that allowed competition for phosphorylation at nine candidate sites. Two candidate sites are the hydroxyl groups on a "quasi-diffusible" chloramphenicol (Cam) moiety tethered to the evolving library through an inert, flexible linker. A subtractive step was included to allow only seven ribose 2' hydroxyls to compete with the two Cam hydroxyls for phosphorylation. After the library was incubated with gamma-thio-ATP (ATPgammaS), active species were recovered from a polyacrylamide gel containing [(N-acryloylamino)phenyl] mercury (APM) and amplified for further cycles of selection. Activity assays on selected isolates and truncated derivatives identified the essential secondary structure of the dominant RNA motif. Phosphorylation was independent of the Cam moiety, indicating ribose 2' phosphorylation. The dominant motif was separated into catalytic "ribozyme" and "substrate" strands. Partial alkaline digestion of the substrate strand before and after phosphorylation identified the precise modification site as the first purine (R) within the required sequence 5'-RAAAANCG-3'. The reaction shows approximately 10-fold preference for ATPgammaS over ATP and is independent of pH over a wide range (5.5-8.9), consistent with a dissociative reaction mechanism that is rate-limited by formation of a metaphosphate transition state. Divalent metal ions are required, with a slight preference of Mn(2+) > Mg(2+) > Ca(2+). Lack of reactivity in [Co(NH(3))(6)](3+) indicates a requirement for inner sphere contact with the metal ion, either for structural stabilization, catalysis, or both. PMID:16274247

  18. Speciation of a group I intron into a lariat capping ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Mélanie; Nielsen, Henrik; Oliéric, Vincent; Roblin, Pierre; Johansen, Steinar D.; Westhof, Eric; Masquida, Benoît

    2014-01-01

    The lariat-capping (LC) ribozyme is a natural ribozyme isolated from eukaryotic microorganisms. Despite apparent structural similarity to group I introns, the LC ribozyme catalyzes cleavage by a 2′,5′ branching reaction, leaving the 3′ product with a 3-nt lariat cap that functionally substitutes for a conventional mRNA cap in the downstream pre-mRNA encoding a homing endonuclease. We describe the crystal structures of the precleavage and postcleavage LC ribozymes, which suggest that structural features inherited from group I ribozymes have undergone speciation due to profound changes in molecular selection pressure, ultimately giving rise to an original branching ribozyme family. The structures elucidate the role of key elements that regulate the activity of the LC ribozyme by conformational switching and suggest a mechanism by which the signal for branching is transmitted to the catalytic core. The structures also show how conserved interactions twist residues, forming the lariat to join chemical groups involved in branching. PMID:24821772

  19. Applicability of PM3 to transphosphorylation reaction path: Toward designing a minimal ribozyme

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manchester, John I.; Shibata, Masayuki; Setlik, Robert F.; Ornstein, Rick L.; Rein, Robert

    1993-01-01

    A growing body of evidence shows that RNA can catalyze many of the reactions necessary both for replication of genetic material and the possible transition into the modern protein-based world. However, contemporary ribozymes are too large to have self-assembled from a prebiotic oligonucleotide pool. Still, it is likely that the major features of the earliest ribozymes have been preserved as molecular fossils in the catalytic RNA of today. Therefore, the search for a minimal ribozyme has been aimed at finding the necessary structural features of a modern ribozyme (Beaudry and Joyce, 1990). Both a three-dimensional model and quantum chemical calculations are required to quantitatively determine the effects of structural features of the ribozyme on the reaction it catalyzes. Using this model, quantum chemical calculations must be performed to determine quantitatively the effects of structural features on catalysis. Previous studies of the reaction path have been conducted at the ab initio level, but these methods are limited to small models due to enormous computational requirements. Semiempirical methods have been applied to large systems in the past; however, the accuracy of these methods depends largely on a simple model of the ribozyme-catalyzed reaction, or hydrolysis of phosphoric acid. We find that the results are qualitatively similar to ab initio results using large basis sets. Therefore, PM3 is suitable for studying the reaction path of the ribozyme-catalyzed reaction.

  20. In vitro evolution of coenzyme-independent variants from the glmS ribozyme structural scaffold.

    PubMed

    Lau, Matthew W L; Ferré-D'Amaré, Adrian R

    2016-08-15

    Uniquely among known natural ribozymes that cleave RNA sequence-specifically, the glmS ribozyme-riboswitch employs a small molecule, glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P) as a catalytic cofactor. In vitro selection was employed to search for coenzyme-independent variants of this ribozyme. In addition to shedding light on the catalytic mechanism of the ribozyme, such variants could resemble the evolutionary ancestors of the modern, GlcN6P-regulated ribozyme-riboswitch. A mutant pool was constructed such that the secondary structure elements, which define the triply-pseudoknotted global fold of the ribozyme, was preserved. A stringent selection scheme that relies on thiol-mercury affinity chromatography for separating active and inactive sequences ultimately yielded a triple mutant with a cleavage rate exceeding 3min(-1) that only requires divalent cations for activity. Mutational analysis demonstrated that a point reversion of the variant toward the wild-type sequence was sufficient to partially restore GlcN6P-dependence, suggesting that coenzyme dependence can be readily be acquired by RNAs that adopt the glmS ribozyme fold. The methods employed to perform this selection experiment are described in detail in this review. PMID:27130889

  1. In vitro evolution of new ribozymes with polynucleotide kinase activity.

    PubMed

    Lorsch, J R; Szostak, J W

    1994-09-01

    We have isolated a large number of polynucleotide kinase ribozymes from a pool of RNA molecules consisting of an ATP-binding domain flanked by regions of random sequence. Different classes of kinases catalyse the transfer of the gamma-thiophosphate of ATP-gamma S to the 5'-hydroxyl or to internal 2'-hydroxyls. An engineered version of one class is able to catalyse the transfer of thiophosphate from ATP-gamma S to the 5'-hydroxyl of an exogenous oligoribonucleotide substrate with multiple turnover, thus acting as a true enzyme. PMID:7521014

  2. Sequence specificity of the hammerhead ribozyme revisited; the NHH rule.

    PubMed Central

    Kore, A R; Vaish, N K; Kutzke, U; Eckstein, F

    1998-01-01

    The sequence specificity of hammerhead ribozyme cleavage has been re-evaluated with respect to the NUH rule. Contrary to previous reports it was found that substrates with GAC triplets were also cleaved. This was established in three different sequence contexts. The rate of cleavage under single turnover conditions was between 3 and 7% that of cleavage 3' of GUC. Specificity of cleavage of substrates containing a central A in the cleavable triplet can be described as NAH, where N can be any nucleotide and H any nucleotide but G. As cleavage 3' of NCH triplets has recently been described, the NUH rule can be reformulated to NHH. PMID:9722629

  3. Isolation of novel ribozymes that ligate AMP-activated RNA substrates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hager, A. J.; Szostak, J. W.

    1997-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The protein enzymes RNA ligase and DNA ligase catalyze the ligation of nucleic acids via an adenosine-5'-5'-pyrophosphate 'capped' RNA or DNA intermediate. The activation of nucleic acid substrates by adenosine 5'-monophosphate (AMP) may be a vestige of 'RNA world' catalysis. AMP-activated ligation seems ideally suited for catalysis by ribozymes (RNA enzymes), because an RNA motif capable of tightly and specifically binding AMP has previously been isolated. RESULTS: We used in vitro selection and directed evolution to explore the ability of ribozymes to catalyze the template-directed ligation of AMP-activated RNAs. We subjected a pool of 10(15) RNA molecules, each consisting of long random sequences flanking a mutagenized adenosine triphosphate (ATP) aptamer, to ten rounds of in vitro selection, including three rounds involving mutagenic polymerase chain reaction. Selection was for the ligation of an oligonucleotide to the 5'-capped active pool RNA species. Many different ligase ribozymes were isolated; these ribozymes had rates of reaction up to 0.4 ligations per hour, corresponding to rate accelerations of approximately 5 x10(5) over the templated, but otherwise uncatalyzed, background reaction rate. Three characterized ribozymes catalyzed the formation of 3'-5'-phosphodiester bonds and were highly specific for activation by AMP at the ligation site. CONCLUSIONS: The existence of a new class of ligase ribozymes is consistent with the hypothesis that the unusual mechanism of the biological ligases resulted from a conservation of mechanism during an evolutionary replacement of a primordial ribozyme ligase by a more modern protein enzyme. The newly isolated ligase ribozymes may also provide a starting point for the isolation of ribozymes that catalyze the polymerization of AMP-activated oligonucleotides or mononucleotides, which might have been the prebiotic analogs of nucleoside triphosphates.

  4. Rapid generation of splicing reporters with pSpliceExpress

    PubMed Central

    Kishore, Shivendra; Khanna, Amit; Stamm, Stefan

    2008-01-01

    Almost all human protein-coding transcripts undergo pre-mRNA splicing and a majority of them is alternatively spliced. The most common technique used to analyze the regulation of an alternative exon is through reporter minigene constructs. However, their construction is time-consuming and is often complicated by the limited availability of appropriate restriction sites. Here, we report a fast and simple recombination-based method to generate splicing reporter genes, using a new vector, pSpliceExpress. The system allows generation of minigenes within one week. Minigenes generated with pSpliceExpress show the same regulation as displayed by conventionally cloned reporter constructs and provide an alternate avenue to study splice site selection in vivo. PMID:18930792

  5. Inventing and improving ribozyme function: rational design versus iterative selection methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Breaker, R. R.; Joyce, G. F.

    1994-01-01

    Two major strategies for generating novel biological catalysts exist. One relies on our knowledge of biopolymer structure and function to aid in the 'rational design' of new enzymes. The other, often called 'irrational design', aims to generate new catalysts, in the absence of detailed physicochemical knowledge, by using selection methods to search a library of molecules for functional variants. Both strategies have been applied, with considerable success, to the remodeling of existing ribozymes and the development of ribozymes with novel catalytic function. The two strategies are by no means mutually exclusive, and are best applied in a complementary fashion to obtain ribozymes with the desired catalytic properties.

  6. BUILDING ROBUST TRANSCRIPTOMES WITH MASTER SPLICING FACTORS

    PubMed Central

    Jangi, Mohini; Sharp, Phillip A.

    2014-01-01

    Coherent splicing networks arise from many discrete splicing decisions regulated in unison. Here, we examine the properties of robust, context-specific splicing networks. We propose that a subset of key splicing regulators, or “master splicing factors,” respond to environmental cues to establish and maintain tissue transcriptomes during development. PMID:25417102

  7. Probing RNA tertiary structure: interhelical crosslinking of the hammerhead ribozyme.

    PubMed Central

    Sigurdsson, S T; Tuschl, T; Eckstein, F

    1995-01-01

    Distinct structural models for the hammerhead ribozyme derived from single-crystal X-ray diffraction and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements have been compared. Both models predict the same overall geometry, a wishbone shape with helices II and III nearly colinear and helix I positioned close to helix II. However, the relative orientations of helices I and II are different. To establish whether one of the models represents a kinetically active structure, a new crosslinking procedure was developed in which helices I and II of hammerhead ribozymes were disulfide-crosslinked via the 2' positions of specific sugar residues. Crosslinking residues on helices I and II that are close according to the X-ray structure did not appreciably reduce the catalytic efficiency. In contrast, crosslinking residues closely situated according to the FRET model dramatically reduced the cleavage rate by at least three orders of magnitude. These correlations between catalytic efficiencies and spatial proximities are consistent with the X-ray structure. PMID:7489517

  8. Splicing Wires Permanently With Explosives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bement, Laurence J.; Kushnick, Anne C.

    1990-01-01

    Explosive joining process developed to splice wires by enclosing and metallurgically bonding wires within copper sheets. Joints exhibit many desirable characteristics, 100-percent conductivity and strength, no heat-induced annealing, no susceptibility to corrosion in contacts between dissimilar metals, and stability at high temperature. Used to join wires to terminals, as well as to splice wires. Applicable to telecommunications industry, in which millions of small wires spliced annually.

  9. Alternative RNA splicing and cancer

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Sali; Cheng, Chonghui

    2015-01-01

    Alternative splicing of pre-messenger RNA (mRNA) is a fundamental mechanism by which a gene can give rise to multiple distinct mRNA transcripts, yielding protein isoforms with different, even opposing, functions. With the recognition that alternative splicing occurs in nearly all human genes, its relationship with cancer-associated pathways has emerged as a rapidly growing field. In this review, we summarize recent findings that have implicated the critical role of alternative splicing in cancer and discuss current understandings of the mechanisms underlying dysregulated alternative splicing in cancer cells. PMID:23765697

  10. Characterization of Ribozymes Targeting a Congenital Night Blindness Mutation in Rhodopsin Mutation.

    PubMed

    Conley, Shannon M; Whalen, Patrick; Lewin, Alfred S; Naash, Muna I

    2016-01-01

    The G90D mutation in the rhodopsin gene leads to autosomal dominant congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB) in patients. This occurs because the G90D mutant protein cannot efficiently bind chromophore and is constitutively active. To combat this mutation, we designed and characterized two different hammerhead ribozymes to cleave G90D transcript. In vitro testing showed that the G90D1 ribozyme efficiently and specifically cleaved the mutant transcript while G90D2 cleaved both WT and mutant transcript. AAV-mediated delivery of G90D1 under the control of the mouse opsin promoter (MOP500) to G90D transgenic eyes showed that the ribozyme partially retarded the functional degeneration (as measured by electroretinography [ERG]) associated with this mutation. These results suggest that with additional optimization, ribozymes may be a useful part of the gene therapy knockdown strategy for dominant retinal disease. PMID:26427453

  11. Continuous In Vitro Evolution of a Ribozyme that Catalyzes Three Successive Nucleotidyl Addition Reactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGinness, Kathleen E.; Wright, Martin C.; Joyce, Gerald F.

    2002-01-01

    Variants of the class I ligase ribozyme, which catalyzes joining of the 3' end of a template bound oligonucleotide to its own 5' end, have been made to evolve in a continuous manner by a simple serial transfer procedure that can be carried out indefinitely. This process was expanded to allow the evolution of ribozymes that catalyze three successive nucleotidyl addition reactions, two template-directed mononucleotide additions followed by RNA ligation. During the development of this behavior, a population of ribozymes was maintained against an overall dilution of more than 10(exp 406). The resulting ribozymes were capable of catalyzing the three-step reaction pathway, with nucleotide addition occurring in either a 5' yieldig 3' or a 3' yielding 5' direction. This purely chemical system provides a functional model of a multi-step reaction pathway that is undergoing Darwinian evolution.

  12. Rescue of abasic hammerhead ribozymes by exogenous addition of specific bases.

    PubMed

    Peracchi, A; Beigelman, L; Usman, N; Herschlag, D

    1996-10-15

    We have synthesized 13 hammerhead ribozyme variants, each containing an abasic residue at a specific position of the catalytic core. The activity of each of the variants is significantly reduced. In four cases, however, activity can be rescued by exogenous addition of the missing base. For one variant, the rescue is 300-fold; for another, the rescue is to the wild-type level. This latter abasic variant (G10.1X) has been characterized in detail. Activation is specific for guanine, the base initially removed. In addition, the specificity for guanine versus adenine is substantially altered by replacing C with U in the opposite strand of the ribozyme. These results show that a binding site for a small, noncharged ligand can be created in a preexisting ribozyme structure. This has implications for structure-function analysis of RNA, and leads to speculations about evolution in an "RNA world" and about the potential therapeutic use of ribozymes. PMID:8876168

  13. Folding of the natural hammerhead ribozyme is enhanced by interaction of auxiliary elements

    PubMed Central

    PENEDO, J. CARLOS; WILSON, TIMOTHY J.; JAYASENA, SUMEDHA D.; KHVOROVA, ANASTASIA; LILLEY, DAVID M.J.

    2004-01-01

    It has been shown that the activity of the hammerhead ribozyme at μM magnesium ion concentrations is markedly increased by the inclusion of loops in helices I and II. We have studied the effect of such loops on the magnesium ion-induced folding of the ribozyme, using fluorescence resonance energy transfer. We find that with the loops in place, folding into the active conformation occurs in a single step, in the μM range of magnesium ion concentration. Disruption of the loop–loop interaction leads to a reversion to two-step folding, with the second stage requiring mM concentrations of magnesium ion. Sodium ions also promote the folding of the natural form of the ribozyme at high concentrations, but the folding occurs as a two-stage process. The loops clearly act as important auxiliary elements in the function of the ribozyme, permitting folding to occur efficiently under physiological conditions. PMID:15100442

  14. A hammerhead ribozyme substrate and reporter for in vitro kinetoplastid RNA editing.

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Bingbing; Salavati, Reza; Heidmann, Stefan; Stuart, Kenneth

    2002-01-01

    Current in vitro assays for RNA editing in kinetoplastids directly examine the products generated by incubation of pre-mRNA substrate with guide RNA (gRNA) and mitochondrial (mt) extract. RNA editing substrates that are modeled on hammerhead ribozymes were designed with catalytic cores that contained or lacked additional uridylates (Us). They proved to be sensitive reporters of editing activity when used for in vitro assays. A deletion editing substrate that is based on A6 pre-mRNA had no ribozyme activity, but its incubation with gRNA and mt extract resulted in its deletion editing and production of a catalytically active ribozyme. Hammerhead ribozymes are thus sensitive tools to assay in vitro RNA editing. PMID:11991648

  15. Chemical synthesis of oligoribonucleotides containing 2-aminopurine: substrates for the investigation of ribozyme function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doudna, J. A.; Szostak, J. W.; Rich, A.; Usman, N.

    1990-01-01

    The chemical synthesis of a fully protected ribonucleoside phosphoramidite, containing 2-aminopurine as the base component, and its incorporation into short oligoribonucleotides as substrates for an engineered ribozyme from Tetrahymena is described.

  16. Rapid kinetic characterization of hammerhead ribozymes by real-time monitoring of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET).

    PubMed Central

    Singh, K K; Parwaresch, R; Krupp, G

    1999-01-01

    In established methods for analyzing ribozyme kinetics, radiolabeled RNA substrates are primarily used. Each data point requires the cumbersome sampling, gel electrophoretic separation, and quantitation of reaction products, apart from the continuous loss of substrate by radioactive decay. We have used stable, double fluorescent end-labeled RNA substrates. Fluorescence of one fluorophore is quenched by intramolecular energy transfer (FRET). Upon substrate cleavage, both dyes become separated in two RNA products and fluorescence is restored. This can be followed in real time and ribozyme reactions can be analyzed under multiple (substrate excess) and under single (ribozyme excess) turnover conditions. A detailed comparison of unlabeled, single, and double fluorescent-labeled RNAs revealed moderate kinetic differences. Results with two systems, hammerhead ribozymes in I/II (small ribozyme, large substrate) and in I/III format (large ribozyme, small substrate), are reported. PMID:10573125

  17. ERISdb: a database of plant splice sites and splicing signals.

    PubMed

    Szcześniak, Michał Wojciech; Kabza, Michał; Pokrzywa, Rafał; Gudyś, Adam; Makałowska, Izabela

    2013-02-01

    Splicing is one of the major contributors to observed spatiotemporal diversification of transcripts and proteins in metazoans. There are numerous factors that affect the process, but splice sites themselves along with the adjacent splicing signals are critical here. Unfortunately, there is still little known about splicing in plants and, consequently, further research in some fields of plant molecular biology will encounter difficulties. Keeping this in mind, we performed a large-scale analysis of splice sites in eight plant species, using novel algorithms and tools developed by us. The analyses included identification of orthologous splice sites, polypyrimidine tracts and branch sites. Additionally we identified putative intronic and exonic cis-regulatory motifs, U12 introns as well as splice sites in 45 microRNA genes in five plant species. We also provide experimental evidence for plant splice sites in the form of expressed sequence tag and RNA-Seq data. All the data are stored in a novel database called ERISdb and are freely available at http://lemur.amu.edu.pl/share/ERISdb/. PMID:23299413

  18. An improved version of the hairpin ribozyme functions as a ribonucleoprotein complex.

    PubMed

    Sargueil, B; Pecchia, D B; Burke, J M

    1995-06-13

    Most RNA molecules that are endowed with catalytic activity function in the form of ribonucleoproteins within cells. These complexes are frequently large, poorly defined, and difficult to study. As a model system to study biological catalysis by ribonucleoproteins, we have modified the hairpin ribozyme by inserting an RNA structure that serves as a binding site for bacteriophage R17 coat protein in the form of an extension to ribozyme helix 4, which lies at the periphery of the catalytic domain. In the absence of protein, we find that incorporation of the protein-binding domain increases the catalytic efficiency of the hairpin ribozyme by 2-fold for the cleavage reaction and 16-fold for the ligation reaction. This increase in activity correlates with an increase in the proportion of molecules which fold into the active tertiary structure, as measured by a UV cross-linking assay. Mobility-shift and filter-binding assays of complex formation show that R17 coat protein binds to the chimeric ribozyme with a dissociation constant essentially identical to that of the isolated protein-binding domain; no binding of the protein to the unmodified ribozyme could be detected. The kinetics of cleavage and ligation reactions are not altered by the presence of saturating concentrations of coat protein, and competition studies demonstrate that the protein remains bound to the ribozyme throughout the catalytic cycle. These studies establish that the hairpin ribozyme can be engineered to function efficiently in the form of a ribonucleoprotein in vitro and will serve as the basis for future experimentation to understand mechanisms of protein modulation of catalytic RNA activity, and to introduce other protein-binding domains, for example, HIV-1 rev-binding and tar elements, which may be useful for influencing subcellular localization, regulating intracellular activity, or generating ribozymes that also function as "decoys" in antiviral applications. PMID:7779820

  19. Stabilization of ribozyme-like cis-noncoding rRNAs induces apoptotic and nonapoptotic death in lung cells

    PubMed Central

    Gee, M; Gu, Y; Fields, J R; Shiao, Y-H

    2012-01-01

    Bidirectional non-protein-coding RNAs are ubiquitously transcribed from the genome. Convergent sense and antisense transcripts may regulate each other. Here, we examined the convergent cis-noncoding rRNAs (nc-rRNAs) in A5 and E9 lung cancer models. Sense nc-rRNAs extending from rDNA intergenic region to internal transcribed spacer of around 10 kb in length were identified. nc-rRNAs in sense direction exhibited in vitro characteristics of ribozymes, namely, degradation upon incubation with MgCl2 and stabilization by complementary oligonucleotides. Detection of endogenous cleavage-ligation products carrying internal deletion of hundreds to thousands nucleotides by massively parallel sequencing confirmed the catalytic properties. Transfection of oligonucleotides pairing with antisense nc-rRNAs stabilized both target and complementary transcripts, perturbed rRNA biogenesis, and induced massive cell death via apoptotic and/or nonapoptotic mechanisms depending on cell type and treatment. Oligonucleotides targeting cellular sense transcripts are less responsive. Spontaneously detached cells, though rare, also showed accumulation of nc-rRNAs and perturbation of rRNA biogenesis. Direct participation of nc-rRNAs in apoptotic and nonapoptotic death was demonstrated by transfection of synthetic nc-rRNAs encompassing the rDNA promoter. In sum, convergent cis-nc-rRNAs follow a feed-forward mechanism to regulate each other and rRNA biogenesis. This opens an opportunity to disrupt rRNA biogenesis, commonly upregulated in cancers, via inhibition of ribozyme-like activities in nc-rRNAs. PMID:22419110

  20. Polymerase ribozyme efficiency increased by G/T-rich DNA oligonucleotides

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Chengguo; Müller, Ulrich F.

    2011-01-01

    The RNA world hypothesis states that the early evolution of life went through a stage where RNA served as genome and as catalyst. The replication of RNA world organisms would have been facilitated by ribozymes that catalyze RNA polymerization. To recapitulate an RNA world in the laboratory, a series of RNA polymerase ribozymes was developed previously. However, these ribozymes have a polymerization efficiency that is too low for self-replication, and the most efficient ribozymes prefer one specific template sequence. The limiting factor for polymerization efficiency is the weak sequence-independent binding to its primer/template substrate. Most of the known polymerase ribozymes bind an RNA heptanucleotide to form the P2 duplex on the ribozyme. By modifying this heptanucleotide, we were able to significantly increase polymerization efficiency. Truncations at the 3′-terminus of this heptanucleotide increased full-length primer extension by 10-fold, on a specific template sequence. In contrast, polymerization on several different template sequences was improved dramatically by replacing the RNA heptanucleotide with DNA oligomers containing randomized sequences of 15 nt. The presence of G and T in the random sequences was sufficient for this effect, with an optimal composition of 60% G and 40% T. Our results indicate that these DNA sequences function by establishing many weak and nonspecific base-pairing interactions to the single-stranded portion of the template. Such low-specificity interactions could have had important functions in an RNA world. PMID:21622900

  1. An in vitro evolved glmS ribozyme has the wildtype fold but loses coenzyme dependence

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Matthew W. L.; Ferré-D’Amaré, Adrian R.

    2014-01-01

    Uniquely among known ribozymes, the glmS ribozyme-riboswitch requires a small-molecule coenzyme, glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P). Although consistent with its gene-regulatory function, use of GlcN6P is unexpected because all other characterized self-cleaving ribozymes employ RNA functional groups or divalent cations for catalysis. To determine what active site features make this ribozyme reliant on GlcN6P, and to evaluate whether it might have evolved from a coenzyme-independent ancestor, we isolated a GlcN6P-independent variant through in vitro selection. Three active site mutations suffice to generate a highly reactive RNA that adopts the wildtype fold but employs divalent cations for catalysis and is insensitive to GlcN6P. Biochemical and crystallographic comparisons of wildtype and mutant ribozymes show that a handful of functional groups fine-tune the RNA to be either coenzyme- or cation-dependent. These results indicate that a few mutations can confer novel biochemical activities on structured RNAs. Thus, families of structurally related ribozymes with divergent function may exist. PMID:24096303

  2. Molecular crowding overcomes the destabilizing effects of mutations in a bacterial ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hui-Ting; Kilburn, Duncan; Behrouzi, Reza; Briber, Robert M.; Woodson, Sarah A.

    2015-01-01

    The native structure of the Azoarcus group I ribozyme is stabilized by the cooperative formation of tertiary interactions between double helical domains. Thus, even single mutations that break this network of tertiary interactions reduce ribozyme activity in physiological Mg2+ concentrations. Here, we report that molecular crowding comparable to that in the cell compensates for destabilizing mutations in the Azoarcus ribozyme. Small angle X-ray scattering, native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and activity assays were used to compare folding free energies in dilute and crowded solutions containing 18% PEG1000. Crowder molecules allowed the wild-type and mutant ribozymes to fold at similarly low Mg2+ concentrations and stabilized the active structure of the mutant ribozymes under physiological conditions. This compensation helps explains why ribozyme mutations are often less deleterious in the cell than in the test tube. Nevertheless, crowding did not rescue the high fraction of folded but less active structures formed by double and triple mutants. We conclude that crowding broadens the fitness landscape by stabilizing compact RNA structures without improving the specificity of self-assembly. PMID:25541198

  3. Robust Suppression of HIV Replication by Intracellularly Expressed Reverse Transcriptase Aptamers Is Independent of Ribozyme Processing

    PubMed Central

    Lange, Margaret J; Sharma, Tarun K; Whatley, Angela S; Landon, Linda A; Tempesta, Michael A; Johnson, Marc C; Burke, Donald H

    2012-01-01

    RNA aptamers that bind human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase (RT) also inhibit viral replication, making them attractive as therapeutic candidates and potential tools for dissecting viral pathogenesis. However, it is not well understood how aptamer-expression context and cellular RNA pathways govern aptamer accumulation and net antiviral bioactivity. Using a previously-described expression cassette in which aptamers were flanked by two “minimal core” hammerhead ribozymes, we observed only weak suppression of pseudotyped HIV. To evaluate the importance of the minimal ribozymes, we replaced them with extended, tertiary-stabilized hammerhead ribozymes with enhanced self-cleavage activity, in addition to noncleaving ribozymes with active site mutations. Both the active and inactive versions of the extended hammerhead ribozymes increased inhibition of pseudotyped virus, indicating that processing is not necessary for bioactivity. Clonal stable cell lines expressing aptamers from these modified constructs strongly suppressed infectious virus, and were more effective than minimal ribozymes at high viral multiplicity of infection (MOI). Tertiary stabilization greatly increased aptamer accumulation in viral and subcellular compartments, again regardless of self-cleavage capability. We therefore propose that the increased accumulation is responsible for increased suppression, that the bioactive form of the aptamer is one of the uncleaved or partially cleaved transcripts, and that tertiary stabilization increases transcript stability by reducing exonuclease degradation. PMID:22948672

  4. Molecular crowding overcomes the destabilizing effects of mutations in a bacterial ribozyme

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Hui-Ting; Kilburn, D.; Behrouzi, R.; Briber, R. M.; Woodson, S. A.

    2014-12-05

    The native structure of the Azoarcus group I ribozyme is stabilized by the cooperative formation of tertiary interactions between double helical domains. Thus, even single mutations that break this network of tertiary interactions reduce ribozyme activity in physiological Mg2+ concentrations. Here, we report that molecular crowding comparable to that in the cell compensates for destabilizing mutations in the Azoarcus ribozyme. Small angle X-ray scattering, native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and activity assays were used to compare folding free energies in dilute and crowded solutions containing 18% PEG1000. Crowder molecules allowed the wild-type and mutant ribozymes to fold at similarly low Mg2+ concentrations and stabilized the active structure of the mutant ribozymes under physiological conditions. This compensation helps explains why ribozyme mutations are often less deleterious in the cell than in the test tube. Nevertheless, crowding did not rescue the high fraction of folded but less active structures formed by double and triple mutants. We conclude that crowding broadens the fitness landscape by stabilizing compact RNA structures without improving the specificity of self-assembly.

  5. RNase P Ribozymes Inhibit the Replication of Human Cytomegalovirus by Targeting Essential Viral Capsid Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zhu; Reeves, Michael; Ye, Jun; Trang, Phong; Zhu, Li; Sheng, Jingxue; Wang, Yu; Zen, Ke; Wu, Jianguo; Liu, Fenyong

    2015-01-01

    An engineered RNase P-based ribozyme variant, which was generated using the in vitro selection procedure, was used to target the overlapping mRNA region of two proteins essential for human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) replication: capsid assembly protein (AP) and protease (PR). In vitro studies showed that the generated variant, V718-A, cleaved the target AP mRNA sequence efficiently and its activity was about 60-fold higher than that of wild type ribozyme M1-A. Furthermore, we observed a reduction of 98%–99% in AP/PR expression and an inhibition of 50,000 fold in viral growth in cells with V718-A, while a 75% reduction in AP/PR expression and a 500-fold inhibition in viral growth was found in cells with M1-A. Examination of the antiviral effects of the generated ribozyme on the HCMV replication cycle suggested that viral DNA encapsidation was inhibited and as a consequence, viral capsid assembly was blocked when the expression of AP and PR was inhibited by the ribozyme. Thus, our study indicates that the generated ribozyme variant is highly effective in inhibiting HCMV gene expression and blocking viral replication, and suggests that engineered RNase P ribozyme can be potentially developed as a promising gene-targeting agent for anti-HCMV therapy. PMID:26114473

  6. Ribozyme recognition of RNA by tertiary interactions with specific ribose 2'-OH groups.

    PubMed

    Pyle, A M; Cech, T R

    1991-04-18

    Shortened forms of the group I intron from Tetrahymena catalyse sequence-specific cleavage of exogenous oligonucleotide substrates. The association between RNA enzyme (ribozyme) and substrate is mediated by pairing between an internal guide sequence on the ribozyme and a complementary sequence on the substrate. RNA substrates and cleavage products associate with a binding energy greater than that of base-pairing by approximately 4 kcal-mol-1 (at 42 degrees C), whereas DNA associates with an energy around that expected for base-pairing. It has been proposed that the difference in binding affinity is due to specific 2'-OH groups on an RNA substrate forming stabilizing tertiary interactions with the core of the ribozyme, or that the RNA.RNA helix formed upon association of an RNA substrate and the ribozyme might be more stable than an RNA.DNA helix of the same sequence. To differentiate between these two models, chimaeric oligonucleotides containing deoxynucleotide residues at successive positions along the chain were synthesized, and their equilibrium binding constants for association with the ribozyme were measured directly by a new gel electrophoresis technique. We report here that most of the extra binding energy can be accounted for by discrete RNA-ribozyme interactions, the 2'-OH group on the sugar residue three nucleotides from the cleavage site contributing the most interaction energy. Thus, in addition to the well documented binding of RNA to RNA by base-pairing, 2'-OH groups within a duplex can also mediate association between RNA molecules. PMID:1708111

  7. Metal ion specificities for folding and cleavage activity in the Schistosoma hammerhead ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Boots, Jennifer L.; Canny, Marella D.; Azimi, Ehsan; Pardi, Arthur

    2008-01-01

    The effects of various metal ions on cleavage activity and global folding have been studied in the extended Schistosoma hammerhead ribozyme. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer was used to probe global folding as a function of various monovalent and divalent metal ions in this ribozyme. The divalent metals ions Ca2+, Mg2+, Mn2+, and Sr2+ have a relatively small variation (less than sixfold) in their ability to globally fold the hammerhead ribozyme, which contrasts with the very large difference (>10,000-fold) in apparent rate constants for cleavage for these divalent metal ions in single-turnover kinetic experiments. There is still a very large range (>4600-fold) in the apparent rate constants for cleavage for these divalent metal ions measured in high salt (2 M NaCl) conditions where the ribozyme is globally folded. These results demonstrate that the identity of the divalent metal ion has little effect on global folding of the Schistosoma hammerhead ribozyme, whereas it has a very large effect on the cleavage kinetics. Mechanisms by which the identity of the divalent metal ion can have such a large effect on cleavage activity in the Schistosoma hammerhead ribozyme are discussed. PMID:18755844

  8. Importance in catalysis of a magnesium ion with very low affinity for a hammerhead ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Inoue, Atsushi; Takagi, Yasuomi; Taira, Kazunari

    2004-01-01

    Available evidence suggests that Mg2+ ions are involved in reactions catalyzed by hammerhead ribozymes. However, the activity in the presence of exclusively monovalent ions led us to question whether divalent metal ions really function as catalysts when they are present. We investigated ribozyme activity in the presence of high levels of Mg2+ ions and the effects of Li+ ions in promoting ribozyme activity. We found that catalytic activity increased linearly with increasing concentrations of Mg2+ ions and did not reach a plateau value even at 1 M Mg2+ ions. Furthermore, this dependence on Mg2+ ions was observed in the presence of a high concentration of Li+ ions. These results indicate that the Mg2+ ion is a very effective cofactor but that the affinity of the ribozyme for a specific Mg2+ ion is very low. Moreover, cleavage by the ribozyme in the presence of both Li+ and Mg2+ ions was more effective than expected, suggesting the existence of a new reaction pathway—a cooperative pathway—in the presence of these multiple ions, and the possibility that a Mg2+ ion with weak affinity for the ribozyme is likely to function in structural support and/or act as a catalyst. PMID:15302920

  9. Molecular crowding overcomes the destabilizing effects of mutations in a bacterial ribozyme

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Lee, Hui-Ting; Kilburn, D.; Behrouzi, R.; Briber, R. M.; Woodson, S. A.

    2014-12-05

    The native structure of the Azoarcus group I ribozyme is stabilized by the cooperative formation of tertiary interactions between double helical domains. Thus, even single mutations that break this network of tertiary interactions reduce ribozyme activity in physiological Mg2+ concentrations. Here, we report that molecular crowding comparable to that in the cell compensates for destabilizing mutations in the Azoarcus ribozyme. Small angle X-ray scattering, native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and activity assays were used to compare folding free energies in dilute and crowded solutions containing 18% PEG1000. Crowder molecules allowed the wild-type and mutant ribozymes to fold at similarly low Mg2+more » concentrations and stabilized the active structure of the mutant ribozymes under physiological conditions. This compensation helps explains why ribozyme mutations are often less deleterious in the cell than in the test tube. Nevertheless, crowding did not rescue the high fraction of folded but less active structures formed by double and triple mutants. We conclude that crowding broadens the fitness landscape by stabilizing compact RNA structures without improving the specificity of self-assembly.« less

  10. Prediction of hammerhead ribozyme intracellular activity with the catalytic core fingerprint.

    PubMed

    Gabryelska, Marta Magdalena; Wyszko, Eliza; Szymański, Maciej; Popenda, Mariusz; Barciszewski, Jan

    2013-05-01

    Hammerhead ribozyme is a versatile tool for down-regulation of gene expression in vivo. Owing to its small size and high activity, it is used as a model for RNA structure-function relationship studies. In the present paper we describe a new extended hammerhead ribozyme HH-2 with a tertiary stabilizing motif constructed on the basis of the tetraloop receptor sequence. This ribozyme is very active in living cells, but shows low activity in vitro. To understand it, we analysed tertiary structure models of substrate-ribozyme complexes. We calculated six unique catalytic core geometry parameters as distances and angles between particular atoms that we call the ribozyme fingerprint. A flanking sequence and tertiary motif change the geometry of the general base, general acid, nucleophile and leaving group. We found almost complete correlation between these parameters and the decrease of target gene expression in the cells. The tertiary structure model calculations allow us to predict ribozyme intracellular activity. Our approach could be widely adapted to characterize catalytic properties of other RNAs. PMID:23418809

  11. Selection of the Most Potent Specific On/Off Adaptor-Hepatitis Delta Virus Ribozymes for Use in Gene Targeting

    PubMed Central

    Lévesque, Michel V.; Rouleau, Samuel G.; Perreault, Jean-Pierre

    2016-01-01

    The Hepatitis Delta Virus (HDV) ribozyme, which is well adapted to the environment of the human cell, is an excellent candidate for the future development of gene-inactivation systems. On top of this, a new generation of HDV ribozymes now exists that benefits from the addition of a specific on/off adaptor (specifically the SOFA-HDV ribozymes) which greatly increases both the ribozyme’s specificity and its cleavage activity. Unlike RNAi and hammerhead ribozymes, the designing of SOFA-HDV ribozymes to cleave, in trans, given RNA species has never been the object of a systematic optimization study, even with their recent use for the gene knockdown of various targets. This report aims at both improving and clarifying the design process of SOFA-HDV ribozymes. Both the ribozyme and the targeted RNA substrate were analyzed in order to provide new criteria that are useful in the selection of the most potent SOFA-HDV ribozymes. The crucial features present in both the ribozyme’s biosensor and blocker, as well as at the target site, were identified and characterized. Simple rules were derived and tested using hepatitis C virus NS5B RNA as a model target. Overall, this method should promote the use of the SOFA-HDV ribozymes in a plethora of applications in both functional genomics and gene therapy. PMID:21793786

  12. NMR structure of the A730 loop of the Neurospora VS ribozyme: insights into the formation of the active site

    PubMed Central

    Bonneau, Eric; Girard, Nicolas; Boisbouvier, Jérôme; Legault, Pascale

    2011-01-01

    The Neurospora VS ribozyme is a small nucleolytic ribozyme with unique primary, secondary and global tertiary structures, which displays mechanistic similarities to the hairpin ribozyme. Here, we determined the high-resolution NMR structure of a stem–loop VI fragment containing the A730 internal loop, which forms part of the active site. In the presence of magnesium ions, the A730 loop adopts a structure that is consistent with existing biochemical data and most likely reflects its conformation in the VS ribozyme prior to docking with the cleavage site internal loop. Interestingly, the A730 loop adopts an S-turn motif that is also present in loop B within the hairpin ribozyme active site. The S-turn appears necessary to expose the Watson–Crick edge of a catalytically important residue (A756) so that it can fulfill its role in catalysis. The A730 loop and the cleavage site loop of the VS ribozyme display structural similarities to internal loops found in the active site of the hairpin ribozyme. These similarities provided a rationale to build a model of the VS ribozyme active site based on the crystal structure of the hairpin ribozyme. PMID:21266483

  13. Alternative splicing and muscular dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Pistoni, Mariaelena; Ghigna, Claudia; Gabellini, Davide

    2013-01-01

    Alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs is a major contributor to proteomic diversity and to the control of gene expression in higher eukaryotic cells. For this reasons, alternative splicing is tightly regulated in different tissues and developmental stages and its disruption can lead to a wide range of human disorders. The aim of this review is to focus on the relevance of alternative splicing for muscle function and muscle disease. We begin by giving a brief overview of alternative splicing, muscle-specific gene expression and muscular dystrophy. Next, to illustrate these concepts we focus on two muscular dystrophy, myotonic muscular dystrophy and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, both associated to disruption of splicing regulation in muscle. PMID:20603608

  14. Therapeutic targeting of splicing in cancer.

    PubMed

    Lee, Stanley Chun-Wei; Abdel-Wahab, Omar

    2016-09-01

    Recent studies have highlighted that splicing patterns are frequently altered in cancer and that mutations in genes encoding spliceosomal proteins, as well as mutations affecting the splicing of key cancer-associated genes, are enriched in cancer. In parallel, there is also accumulating evidence that several molecular subtypes of cancer are highly dependent on splicing function for cell survival. These findings have resulted in a growing interest in targeting splicing catalysis, splicing regulatory proteins, and/or specific key altered splicing events in the treatment of cancer. Here we present strategies that exist and that are in development to target altered dependency on the spliceosome, as well as aberrant splicing, in cancer. These include drugs to target global splicing in cancer subtypes that are preferentially dependent on wild-type splicing for survival, methods to alter post-translational modifications of splicing-regulating proteins, and strategies to modulate pathologic splicing events and protein-RNA interactions in cancer. PMID:27603132

  15. Metal ion cooperativity in ribozyme cleavage of RNA

    PubMed Central

    Brännvall, Mathias; Kirsebom, Leif A.

    2001-01-01

    Combinations of chemical and genetic approaches were used to study the function of divalent metal ions in cleavage of RNA by the ribozyme RNase P RNA. We show that different divalent metal ions have differential effects on cleavage site recognition and rescue of cleavage activity by mixing divalent metal ions that do not promote cleavage by themselves. We conclude that efficient and correct cleavage is the result of cooperativity between divalent metal ions bound at different sites in the RNase P RNA-substrate complex. Complementation of a mutant RNase P RNA phenotype as a result of divalent metal ion replacement is demonstrated also. This finding together with other data indicate that one of the metal ions involved in this cooperativity is positioned near the cleavage site. The possibility that the Mg2+/Ca2+ ratio might regulate the activity of biocatalysts that depend on RNA for activity is discussed. PMID:11606743

  16. Template-directed primer extension catalyzed by the Tetrahymena ribozyme.

    PubMed Central

    Bartel, D P; Doudna, J A; Usman, N; Szostak, J W

    1991-01-01

    The Tetrahymena ribozyme has been shown to catalyze an RNA polymerase-like reaction in which an RNA primer is extended by the sequential addition of pN nucleotides derived from GpN dinucleotides, where N = A, C, or U. Here, we show that this reaction is influenced by the presence of a template; bases that can form Watson-Crick base pairs with a template add as much as 25-fold more efficiently than mismatched bases. A mutant enzyme with an altered guanosine binding site can catalyze template-directed primer extension with all four bases when supplied with dinucleotides of the form 2-aminopurine-pN. Images PMID:2038341

  17. Cleavage of an amide bond by a ribozyme

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dai, X.; De Mesmaeker, A.; Joyce, G. F.; Miller, S. L. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    A variant form of a group I ribozyme, optimized by in vitro evolution for its ability to catalyze magnesium-dependent phosphoester transfer reactions involving DNA substrates, also catalyzes the cleavage of an unactivated alkyl amide when that linkage is presented in the context of an oligodeoxynucleotide analog. Substrates containing an amide bond that joins either two DNA oligos, or a DNA oligo and a short peptide, are cleaved in a magnesium-dependent fashion to generate the expected products. The first-order rate constant, kcat, is 0.1 x 10(-5) min-1 to 1 x 10(-5) min-1 for the DNA-flanked substrates, which corresponds to a rate acceleration of more than 10(3) as compared with the uncatalyzed reaction.

  18. Synthetic biology with RNA motifs.

    PubMed

    Saito, Hirohide; Inoue, Tan

    2009-02-01

    Structural motifs in naturally occurring RNAs and RNPs can be employed as new molecular parts for synthetic biology to facilitate the development of novel devices and systems that modulate cellular functions. In this review, we focus on the following: (i) experimental evolution techniques of RNA molecules in vitro and (ii) their applications for regulating gene expression systems in vivo. For experimental evolution, new artificial RNA aptamers and RNA enzymes (ribozymes) have been selected in vitro. These functional RNA molecules are likely to be applicable in the reprogramming of existing gene regulatory systems. Furthermore, they may be used for designing hypothetical RNA-based living systems in the so-called RNA world. For the regulation of gene expressions in living cells, the development of new riboswitches allows us to modulate the target gene expression in a tailor-made manner. Moreover, recently RNA-based synthetic genetic circuits have been reported by employing functional RNA molecules, expanding the repertory of synthetic biology with RNA motifs. PMID:18775792

  19. Minimum Factorization Agreement of Spliced ESTs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonizzoni, Paola; Della Vedova, Gianluca; Dondi, Riccardo; Pirola, Yuri; Rizzi, Raffaella

    Producing spliced EST sequences is a fundamental task in the computational problem of reconstructing splice and transcript variants, a crucial step in the alternative splicing investigation. Now, given an EST sequence, there can be several spliced EST sequences associated to it, since the original EST sequences may have different alignments against wide genomic regions.

  20. Disparate HDV ribozyme crystal structures represent intermediates on a rugged free-energy landscape

    PubMed Central

    Sripathi, Kamali N.; Tay, Wendy W.; Banáš, Pavel; Otyepka, Michal; Šponer, Jiří; Walter, Nils G.

    2014-01-01

    The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme is a member of the class of small, self-cleaving catalytic RNAs found in a wide range of genomes from HDV to human. Both pre- and post-catalysis (precursor and product) crystal structures of the cis-acting genomic HDV ribozyme have been determined. These structures, together with extensive solution probing, have suggested that a significant conformational change accompanies catalysis. A recent crystal structure of a trans-acting precursor, obtained at low pH and by molecular replacement from the previous product conformation, conforms to the product, raising the possibility that it represents an activated conformer past the conformational change. Here, using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), we discovered that cleavage of this ribozyme at physiological pH is accompanied by a structural lengthening in magnitude comparable to previous trans-acting HDV ribozymes. Conformational heterogeneity observed by FRET in solution appears to have been removed upon crystallization. Analysis of a total of 1.8 µsec of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations showed that the crystallographically unresolved cleavage site conformation is likely correctly modeled after the hammerhead ribozyme, but that crystal contacts and the removal of several 2′-oxygens near the scissile phosphate compromise catalytic in-line fitness. A cis-acting version of the ribozyme exhibits a more dynamic active site, while a G-1 residue upstream of the scissile phosphate favors poor fitness, allowing us to rationalize corresponding changes in catalytic activity. Based on these data, we propose that the available crystal structures of the HDV ribozyme represent intermediates on an overall rugged RNA folding free-energy landscape. PMID:24854621

  1. Measurements of weak interactions between truncated substrates and a hammerhead ribozyme by competitive kinetic analyses: implications for the design of new and efficient ribozymes with high sequence specificity

    PubMed Central

    Kasai, Yasuhiro; Shizuku, Hideki; Takagi, Yasuomi; Warashina, Masaki; Taira, Kazunari

    2002-01-01

    Exploitation of ribozymes in a practical setting requires high catalytic activity and strong specificity. The hammerhead ribozyme R32 has considerable potential in this regard since it has very high catalytic activity. In this study, we have examined how R32 recognizes and cleaves a specific substrate, focusing on the mechanism behind the specificity. Comparing rates of cleavage of a substrate in a mixture that included the correct substrate and various substrates with point mutations, we found that R32 cleaved the correct substrate specifically and at a high rate. To clarify the source of this strong specificity, we quantified the weak interactions between R32 and various truncated substrates, using truncated substrates as competitive inhibitors since they were not readily cleaved during kinetic measurements of cleavage of the correct substrate, S11. We found that the strong specificity of the cleavage reaction was due to a closed form of R32 with a hairpin structure. The self-complementary structure within R32 enabled the ribozyme to discriminate between the correct substrate and a mismatched substrate. Since this hairpin motif did not increase the Km (it did not inhibit the binding interaction) or decrease the kcat (it did not decrease the cleavage rate), this kind of hairpin structure might be useful for the design of new ribozymes with strong specificity and high activity. PMID:12034825

  2. Effects of variations in length of hammerhead ribozyme antisense arms upon the cleavage of longer RNA substrates.

    PubMed Central

    Sioud, M

    1997-01-01

    The efficacy of intracellular binding of hammerhead ribozyme to its cleavage site in target RNA is a major requirement for its use as a therapeutic agent. Such efficacy can be influenced by several factors, such as the length of the ribozyme antisense arms and mRNA secondary structures. Analysis of various IL-2 hammerhead ribozymes having different antisense arms but directed to the same site predicts that the hammerhead ribozyme target site is present within a double-stranded region that is flanked by single-stranded loops. Extension of the low cleaving hammerhead ribozyme antisense arms by nucleotides that base pair with the single-stranded regions facilitated the hammerhead ribozyme binding to longer RNA substrates (e.g. mRNA). In addition, a correlation between the in vitro and intracellular results was also found. Thus, the present study would facilitate the design of hammerhead ribozymes directed against higher order structured sites. Further, it emphasises the importance of detailed structural investigations of hammerhead ribozyme full-length target RNAs. PMID:9016562

  3. Modulation of c-fms proto-oncogene in an ovarian carcinoma cell line by a hammerhead ribozyme.

    PubMed Central

    Yokoyama, Y.; Morishita, S.; Takahashi, Y.; Hashimoto, M.; Tamaya, T.

    1997-01-01

    Co-expression of macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) and its receptor (c-fms) is often found in ovarian epithelial carcinoma, suggesting the existence of autocrine regulation of cell growth by M-CSF. To block this autocrine loop, we have developed hammerhead ribozymes against c-fms mRNA. As target sites of the ribozyme, we chose the GUC sequence in codon 18 and codon 27 of c-fms mRNA. Two kinds of ribozymes were able to cleave an artificial c-fms RNA substrate in a cell-free system, although the ribozyme against codon 18 was much more efficient than that against codon 27. We next constructed an expression vector carrying a ribozyme sequence that targeted the GUC sequence in codon 18 of c-fms mRNA. It was introduced into TYK-nu cells that expressed M-CSF and its receptor. Its transfectant showed a reduced growth potential. The expression levels of c-fms protein and mRNA in the transfectant were clearly decreased with the expression of ribozyme RNA compared with that of an untransfected control or a transfectant with the vector without the ribozyme sequence. These results suggest that the ribozyme against GUC in codon 18 of c-fms mRNA is a promising tool for blocking the autocrine loop of M-CSF in ovarian epithelial carcinoma. Images Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 5 Figure 6 PMID:9376277

  4. Splicing Efficiently Couples Optical Fibers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lutes, G. F.

    1985-01-01

    Method of splicing single-mode optical fibers results in very low transmission losses through joined fiber ends. Coupling losses between joined optical-fiber ends only 0.1 dB. Method needs no special operator training.

  5. Inducible Knockdown of Plasmodium Gene Expression Using the glmS Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Prommana, Parichat; Uthaipibull, Chairat; Wongsombat, Chayaphat; Kamchonwongpaisan, Sumalee; Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Knuepfer, Ellen; Holder, Anthony A.; Shaw, Philip J.

    2013-01-01

    Conventional reverse genetic approaches for study of Plasmodium malaria parasite gene function are limited, or not applicable. Hence, new inducible systems are needed. Here we describe a method to control P. falciparum gene expression in which target genes bearing a glmS ribozyme in the 3′ untranslated region are efficiently knocked down in transgenic P. falciparum parasites in response to glucosamine inducer. Using reporter genes, we show that the glmS ribozyme cleaves reporter mRNA in vivo leading to reduction in mRNA expression following glucosamine treatment. Glucosamine-induced ribozyme activation led to efficient reduction of reporter protein, which could be rapidly reversed by removing the inducer. The glmS ribozyme was validated as a reverse-genetic tool by integration into the essential gene and antifolate drug target dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (PfDHFR-TS). Glucosamine treatment of transgenic parasites led to rapid and efficient knockdown of PfDHFR-TS mRNA and protein. PfDHFR-TS knockdown led to a growth/arrest mutant phenotype and hypersensitivity to pyrimethamine. The glmS ribozyme may thus be a tool for study of essential genes in P. falciparum and other parasite species amenable to transfection. PMID:24023691

  6. Activation of PKR by RNA misfolding: HDV ribozyme dimers activate PKR

    PubMed Central

    Heinicke, Laurie A.; Bevilacqua, Philip C.

    2012-01-01

    Protein Kinase R (PKR), the double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-activated protein kinase, plays important roles in innate immunity. Previous studies have shown that PKR is activated by long stretches of dsRNA, RNA pseudoknots, and certain single-stranded RNAs; however, regulation of PKR by RNAs with globular tertiary structure has not been reported. In this study, the HDV ribozyme is used as a model of a mostly globular RNA. In addition to a catalytic core, the ribozyme contains a peripheral 13-bp pairing region (P4), which, upon shortening, affects neither the catalytic activity of the ribozyme nor its ability to crystallize. We report that the HDV ribozyme sequence alone can activate PKR. To elucidate the RNA structural basis for this, we prepared a number of HDV variants, including those with shortened or lengthened P4 pairing regions, with the anticipation that lengthening the P4 extension would yield a more potent activator since it would offer more base pairs of dsRNA. Surprisingly, the variant with a shortened P4 was the most potent activator. Through native gel mobility and enzymatic structure mapping experiments we implicate misfolded HDV ribozyme dimers as the PKR-activating species, and show that the shortened P4 leads to enhanced occupancy of the RNA dimer. These observations have implications for how RNA misfolding relates to innate immune response and human disease. PMID:23105000

  7. New tools provide a second look at HDV ribozyme structure, dynamics and cleavage

    PubMed Central

    Kapral, Gary J.; Jain, Swati; Noeske, Jonas; Doudna, Jennifer A.; Richardson, David C.; Richardson, Jane S.

    2014-01-01

    The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme is a self-cleaving RNA enzyme essential for processing viral transcripts during rolling circle viral replication. The first crystal structure of the cleaved ribozyme was solved in 1998, followed by structures of uncleaved, mutant-inhibited and ion-complexed forms. Recently, methods have been developed that make the task of modeling RNA structure and dynamics significantly easier and more reliable. We have used ERRASER and PHENIX to rebuild and re-refine the cleaved and cis-acting C75U-inhibited structures of the HDV ribozyme. The results correct local conformations and identify alternates for RNA residues, many in functionally important regions, leading to improved R values and model validation statistics for both structures. We compare the rebuilt structures to a higher resolution, trans-acting deoxy-inhibited structure of the ribozyme, and conclude that although both inhibited structures are consistent with the currently accepted hammerhead-like mechanism of cleavage, they do not add direct structural evidence to the biochemical and modeling data. However, the rebuilt structures (PDBs: 4PR6, 4PRF) provide a more robust starting point for research on the dynamics and catalytic mechanism of the HDV ribozyme and demonstrate the power of new techniques to make significant improvements in RNA structures that impact biologically relevant conclusions. PMID:25326328

  8. Assembly of core helices and rapid tertiary folding of a small bacterial group I ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Rangan, Prashanth; Masquida, Benoît; Westhof, Eric; Woodson, Sarah A.

    2003-01-01

    Compact but non-native intermediates have been implicated in the hierarchical folding of several large RNAs, but there is little information on their structure. In this article, ribonuclease and hydroxyl radical cleavage protection assays showed that base pairing of core helices stabilize a compact state of a small group I ribozyme from Azoarcus pre-tRNAile. Base pairing of the ribozyme core requires 10-fold less Mg2+ than stable tertiary interactions, indicating that assembly of helices in the catalytic core represents a distinct phase that precedes the formation of native tertiary structure. Tertiary folding occurs in <100 ms at 37°C. Such rapid folding is unprecedented among group I ribozymes and illustrates the association between structural complexity and folding time. A 3D model of the Azoarcus ribozyme was constructed by identifying homologous sequence motifs in rRNA. The model reveals distinct structural features, such as a large interface between the P4–P6 and P3–P9 domains, that may explain the unusual stability of the Azoarcus ribozyme and the cooperativity of folding. PMID:12574513

  9. Conformational heterogeneity and the determinants of tertiary stabilization in the hammerhead ribozyme from Dolichopoda cave crickets.

    PubMed

    Roychowdhury-Saha, Manami; Roychowdhury, Sugata; Burke, Donald H

    2011-01-01

    Repetitive DNA elements in Dolichopoda cave cricket genomes contain extended hammerhead ribozymes that are functional in adult crickets, but that exhibit very low self-cleavage activity in vitro relative to other extended hammerhead ribozymes. We find that the parental ribozyme tends to misfold into alternate secondary structures in vitro, complicating analysis of contributions by specific nucleotides to activity under biologically relevant magnesium concentrations. However, minor sequence alterations that stabilize the active secondary structure, without altering candidate tertiary interacting nucleotides, boosted observed rates more than 50-fold (4.4 ± 1.7 min(-1)) and doubled the cleavage extent (>60%) in submillimolar magnesium. Productive alterations included flipping two base pairs in stem I, lengthening stem I and opening stem III to generate a trans-cleaving ribozyme. Specific peripheral nucleotides involved in tertiary stabilization were then identified through kinetic analysis for a series of sequence variants and by correlating plateau cleavage values with band intensity in native gel electrophoresis. These results demonstrate that conformational heterogeneity governs self-cleavage by the wild-type Dolichopoda hammerhead ribozyme in vitro, and they suggest a strategy for improving activity and enhancing the suitability of HHRz for intracellular and biotechnology applications. PMID:21712651

  10. Adenine, a hairpin ribozyme cofactor--high-pressure and competition studies.

    PubMed

    Ztouti, Myriam; Kaddour, Hussein; Miralles, Francisco; Simian, Christophe; Vergne, Jacques; Hervé, Guy; Maurel, Marie-Christine

    2009-05-01

    The RNA world hypothesis assumes that life arose from ancestral RNA molecules, which stored genetic information and catalyzed chemical reactions. Although RNA catalysis was believed to be restricted to phosphate chemistry, it is now established that the RNA has much wider catalytic capacities. In this respect, we devised, in a previous study, two hairpin ribozymes (adenine-dependent hairpin ribozyme 1 and adenine-dependent hairpin ribozyme 2) that require adenine as cofactor for their reversible self-cleavage. We have now used high hydrostatic pressure to investigate the role of adenine in the catalytic activity of adenine-dependent hairpin ribozyme 1. High-pressure studies are of interest because they make it possible to determine the volume changes associated with the reactions, which in turn reflect the conformational modifications and changes in hydration involved in the catalytic mechanism. They are also relevant in the context of piezophilic organisms, as well as in relation to the extreme conditions that prevailed at the origin of life. Our results indicate that the catalytic process involves a transition state whose formation is accompanied by a positive activation volume and release of water molecules. In addition, competition experiments with adenine analogs strongly suggest that exogenous adenine replaces the adenine present at the catalytic site of the wild-type hairpin ribozyme. PMID:19476496

  11. Ion-induced folding of the hammerhead ribozyme: a fluorescence resonance energy transfer study.

    PubMed Central

    Bassi, G S; Murchie, A I; Walter, F; Clegg, R M; Lilley, D M

    1997-01-01

    The ion-induced folding transitions of the hammerhead ribozyme have been analysed by fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The hammerhead ribozyme may be regarded as a special example of a three-way RNA junction, the global structure of which has been studied by comparing the distances (as energy transfer efficiencies) between the ends of pairs of labelled arms for the three possible end-to-end vectors as a function of magnesium ion concentration. The data support two sequential ion-dependent transitions, which can be interpreted in the light of the crystal structures of the hammerhead ribozyme. The first transition corresponds to the formation of a coaxial stacking between helices II and III; the data can be fully explained by a model in which the transition is induced by a single magnesium ion which binds with an apparent association constant of 8000-10 000 M-1. The second structural transition corresponds to the formation of the catalytic domain of the ribozyme, induced by a single magnesium ion with an apparent association constant of approximately 1100 M-1. The hammerhead ribozyme provides a well-defined example of ion-dependent folding in RNA. PMID:9405376

  12. An ultraviolet crosslink in the hammerhead ribozyme dependent on 2-thiocytidine or 4-thiouridine substitution.

    PubMed Central

    Wang, L; Ruffner, D E

    1997-01-01

    The hammerhead domain is one of the smallest known ribozymes. Like other ribozymes it catalyzes site-specific cleavage of a phosphodiester bond. The hammerhead ribozyme has been the subject of a vast number of biochemical and structural studies aimed at determining the structure and mechanism of cleavage. Recently crystallographic analysis has produced a structure for the hammerhead. As the hammerhead is capable of undergoing cleavage within the crystal, it would appear that the crystal structure is representative of the catalytically active solution structure. However, the crystal structure conflicts with much of the biochemical data and reveals a catalytic metal ion binding site expected to be of very low affinity. Clearly, additional studies are needed to reconcile the discrepancies and provide a clear understanding of the structure and mechanism of the hammerhead ribozyme. Here we demonstrate that a unique crosslink can be induced in the hammerhead with 2-thiocytidine or 4-thiouridine substitution at different locations within the conserved core. Generation of the same crosslink with different modifications at different positions suggests that the structure trapped by the crosslink may be relevant to the catalytically active solution structure of the hammerhead ribozyme. As this crosslink appears to be incompatible with the crystal structure, this provides yet another indication that the active solution and crystal structures may differ significantly. PMID:9336468

  13. Conformational heterogeneity and the determinants of tertiary stabilization in the hammerhead ribozyme from Dolichopoda cave crickets

    PubMed Central

    Roychowdhury-Saha, Manami; Roychowdhury, Sugata

    2011-01-01

    Repetitive DNA elements in Dolichopoda cave cricket genomes contain extended hammerhead ribozymes that are functional in adult crickets, but that exhibit very low self-cleavage activity in vitro relative to other extended hammerhead ribozymes. We find that the parental ribozyme tends to misfold into alternate secondary structures in vitro, complicating analysis of contributions by specific nucleotides to activity under biologically relevant magnesium concentrations. However, minor sequence alterations that stabilize the active secondary structure, without altering candidate tertiary interacting nucleotides, boosted observed rates more than 50-fold (4.4 ± 1.7 min−1) and doubled the cleavage extent (>60%) in submillimolar magnesium. Productive alterations included flipping two base pairs in stem I, lengthening stem I and opening stem III to generate a trans-cleaving ribozyme. Specific peripheral nucleotides involved in tertiary stabilization were then identified through kinetic analysis for a series of sequence variants and by correlating plateau cleavage values with band intensity in native gel electrophoresis. These results demonstrate that conformational heterogeneity governs self-cleavage by the wild-type Dolichopoda hammerhead ribozyme in vitro, and they suggest a strategy for improving activity and enhancing the suitability of HHRz for intracellular and biotechnology applications. PMID:21712651

  14. Identification and characterization of a novel high affinity metal-binding site in the hammerhead ribozyme.

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, M R; Simorre, J P; Hanson, P; Mokler, V; Bellon, L; Beigelman, L; Pardi, A

    1999-01-01

    A novel metal-binding site has been identified in the hammerhead ribozyme by 31P NMR. The metal-binding site is associated with the A13 phosphate in the catalytic core of the hammerhead ribozyme and is distinct from any previously identified metal-binding sites. 31P NMR spectroscopy was used to measure the metal-binding affinity for this site and leads to an apparent dissociation constant of 250-570 microM at 25 degrees C for binding of a single Mg2+ ion. The NMR data also show evidence of a structural change at this site upon metal binding and these results are compared with previous data on metal-induced structural changes in the core of the hammerhead ribozyme. These NMR data were combined with the X-ray structure of the hammerhead ribozyme (Pley HW, Flaherty KM, McKay DB. 1994. Nature 372:68-74) to model RNA ligands involved in binding the metal at this A13 site. In this model, the A13 metal-binding site is structurally similar to the previously identified A(g) metal-binding site and illustrates the symmetrical nature of the tandem G x A base pairs in domain 2 of the hammerhead ribozyme. These results demonstrate that 31P NMR represents an important method for both identification and characterization of metal-binding sites in nucleic acids. PMID:10445883

  15. An RNA chaperone activity of non-specific RNA binding proteins in hammerhead ribozyme catalysis.

    PubMed Central

    Herschlag, D; Khosla, M; Tsuchihashi, Z; Karpel, R L

    1994-01-01

    We have previously shown that a protein derived from the p7 nucleocapsid (NC) protein of HIV type-1 increases kcat/Km and kcat for cleavage of a cognate substrate by a hammerhead ribozyme. Here we show directly that the increase in kcat/Km arises from catalysis of the annealing of the RNA substrate to the ribozyme and the increase in kcat arises from catalysis of dissociation of the RNA products from the ribozyme. A peptide polymer derived from the consensus sequence of the C-terminal domain of the hnRNP A1 protein (A1 CTD) provides similar enhancements. Although these effects apparently arise from non-specific interactions, not all non-specific binding interactions led to these enhancements. NC and A1 CTD exert their effects by accelerating attainment of the thermodynamically most stable species throughout the ribozyme catalytic cycle. In addition, NC protein is shown to resolve a misfolded ribozyme-RNA complex that is otherwise long lived. These in vitro results suggest that non-specific RNA binding proteins such as NC and hnRNP proteins may have a biological role as RNA chaperones that prevent misfolding of RNAs and resolve RNAs that have misfolded, thereby ensuring that RNA is accessible for its biological functions. Images PMID:8026476

  16. The Effect of Cytidine on the Structure and Function of an RNA Ligase Ribozyme

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rogers, Jeff; Joyce, Gerald F.

    2001-01-01

    A cytidine-free ribozyme with RNA ligase activity was obtained by in vitro evolution, starting from a pool of random- sequence RNAs that contained only guanosine, adenosine, and uridine. This ribozyme contains 74 nt and catalyzes formation of a 3',5' -phosphodiester linkage with a catalytic rate of 0.016/min. The RNA adopts a simple secondary structure based on a three-way junction motif, with ligation occurring at the end of a stem region located several nucleotides away from the junction. Cytidine was introduced to the cytidine-free ribozyme in a combinatorial fashion and additional rounds of in vitro evolution were carried out to allow the molecule to adapt to this added component. The resulting cytidine-containing ribozyme formed a 3',5' linkage with a catalytic rate of 0.32/min. The improved rate of the cytidine-containing ribozyme was the result of 12 mutations, including seven added cytidines, that remodeled the internal bulge loops located adjacent to the three-way junction and stabilized the peripheral stem regions.

  17. Facilitation of hammerhead ribozyme catalysis by the nucleocapsid protein of HIV-1 and the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1.

    PubMed Central

    Bertrand, E L; Rossi, J J

    1994-01-01

    In order to improve the activity of hammerhead ribozymes in vivo, we have analyzed the effect of several prototypical RNA binding proteins on the ribozyme cleavage reaction: bacteriophage T4 gene 32 protein (gp32), hnRNP A1 (A1) and the nucleocapsid protein of HIV-1 (NCp7). We show that, while gp32 has no effect on the cleavage reaction, A1 and NCp7 affect different steps of the reaction. Moreover, some of these effects depend upon the ribozyme-substrate hybrid length. A1 and NCp7 inhibit the reaction of the least stable ribozyme-substrate complexes, which have 12 bp of duplex. NCp7, but not A1, inhibits the cleavage of substrates that have long ribozyme-substrate duplexes (17 or 20 bp), while cleavage of complexes having shorter duplexes (13 or 14 bp) is not affected. NCp7 and A1 enhance the turnover of ribozymes by increasing the rate of product dissociation, but only when both cleavage products are bound with < or = 7 bp. A1 and NCp7 enhance ribozyme binding to long substrates, such as mRNAs, the structure of which otherwise limits ribozyme binding. Therefore, the effects of A1 or NCp7 on the different steps of the cleavage reaction define a length of the ribozyme-substrate duplex which allows enhancement of the rate of binding and product release without inhibiting the cleavage step. Interestingly, this duplex length (14 bases, or 7 on each side of the cleavage site) is identical for A1 and NCp7. Since A1 is thought to interact with most, if not all mRNAs in vivo, it may enhance the intracellular activity of ribozymes targeted against any mRNA.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) Images PMID:8026475

  18. The Mitochondrial Genome of the Prasinophyte Prasinoderma coloniale Reveals Two Trans-Spliced Group I Introns in the Large Subunit rRNA Gene

    PubMed Central

    Pombert, Jean-François; Otis, Christian; Turmel, Monique; Lemieux, Claude

    2013-01-01

    Organelle genes are often interrupted by group I and or group II introns. Splicing of these mobile genetic occurs at the RNA level via serial transesterification steps catalyzed by the introns'own tertiary structures and, sometimes, with the help of external factors. These catalytic ribozymes can be found in cis or trans configuration, and although trans-arrayed group II introns have been known for decades, trans-spliced group I introns have been reported only recently. In the course of sequencing the complete mitochondrial genome of the prasinophyte picoplanktonic green alga Prasinoderma coloniale CCMP 1220 (Prasinococcales, clade VI), we uncovered two additional cases of trans-spliced group I introns. Here, we describe these introns and compare the 54,546 bp-long mitochondrial genome of Prasinoderma with those of four other prasinophytes (clades II, III and V). This comparison underscores the highly variable mitochondrial genome architecture in these ancient chlorophyte lineages. Both Prasinoderma trans-spliced introns reside within the large subunit rRNA gene (rnl) at positions where cis-spliced relatives, often containing homing endonuclease genes, have been found in other organelles. In contrast, all previously reported trans-spliced group I introns occur in different mitochondrial genes (rns or coxI). Each Prasinoderma intron is fragmented into two pieces, forming at the RNA level a secondary structure that resembles those of its cis-spliced counterparts. As observed for other trans-spliced group I introns, the breakpoint of the first intron maps to the variable loop L8, whereas that of the second is uniquely located downstream of P9.1. The breakpoint In each Prasinoderma intron corresponds to the same region where the open reading frame (ORF) occurs when present in cis-spliced orthologs. This correlation between the intron breakpoint and the ORF location in cis-spliced orthologs also holds for other trans-spliced introns; we discuss the possible implications

  19. Secondary structure prediction and in vitro accessibility of mRNA as tools in the selection of target sites for ribozymes

    PubMed Central

    Amarzguioui, Mohammed; Brede, Gaute; Babaie, Eshrat; Grøtli, Morten; Sproat, Brian; Prydz, Hans

    2000-01-01

    We have investigated the relative merits of two commonly used methods for target site selection for ribozymes: secondary structure prediction (MFold program) and in vitro accessibility assays. A total of eight methylated ribozymes with DNA arms were synthesized and analyzed in a transient co-transfection assay in HeLa cells. Residual expression levels ranging from 23 to 72% were obtained with anti-PSKH1 ribozymes compared to cells transfected with an irrelevant control ribozyme. Ribozyme efficacy depended on both ribozyme concentration and the steady state expression levels of the target mRNA. Allylated ribozymes against a subset of the target sites generally displayed poorer efficacy than their methylated counterparts. This effect appeared to be influenced by in vivo accessibility of the target site. Ribozymes designed on the basis of either selection method displayed a wide range of efficacies with no significant differences in the average activities of the two groups of ribozymes. While in vitro accessibility assays had limited predictive power, there was a significant correlation between certain features of the predicted secondary structure of the target sequence and the efficacy of the corresponding ribozyme. Specifically, ribozyme efficacy appeared to be positively correlated with the presence of short stem regions and helices of low stability within their target sequences. There were no correlations with predicted free energy or loop length. PMID:11058107

  20. ERRβ splice variants differentially regulate cell cycle progression

    PubMed Central

    Heckler, Mary Mazzotta; Riggins, Rebecca B

    2015-01-01

    Orphan receptors comprise nearly half of all members of the nuclear receptor superfamily. Despite having broad structural similarities to the classical estrogen receptors, estrogen-related receptors (ERRs) have their own unique DNA response elements and functions. In this study, we focus on 2 ERRβ splice variants, short form ERRβ (ERRβsf) and ERRβ2, and identify their differing roles in cell cycle regulation. Using DY131 (a synthetic agonist of ERRβ), splice-variant selective shRNA, and exogenous ERRβsf and ERRβ2 cDNAs, we demonstrate the role of ERRβsf in mediating the G1 checkpoint through p21. We also show ERRβsf is required for DY131-induced cellular senescence. A key novel finding of this study is that ERRβ2 can mediate a G2/M arrest in response to DY131. In the absence of ERRβ2, the DY131-induced G2/M arrest is reversed, and this is accompanied by p21 induction and a G1 arrest. This study illustrates novel functions for ERRβ splice variants and provides evidence for splice variant interaction. PMID:25496115

  1. Slow formation of a pseudoknot structure is rate limiting in the productive co-transcriptional folding of the self-splicing Candida intron

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Libin; Bao, Penghui; Leibowitz, Michael J.; Zhang, Yi

    2009-01-01

    Pseudoknots play critical roles in packing the active structure of various functional RNAs. The importance of the P3–P7 pseudoknot in refolding of group I intron ribozymes has been recently appreciated, while little is known about the pseudoknot function in co-transcriptional folding. Here we used the Candida group I intron as a model to address the question. We show that co-transcriptional folding of the active self-splicing intron is twice as fast as refolding. The P3–P7 pseudoknot folds slowly during co-transcriptional folding at a rate constant similar to the folding of the active ribozyme, and folding of both P3–P7 and P1–P10 pseudoknots are inhibited by antisense oligonucleotides. We conclude that when RNA folding is coupled with transcription, formation of pseudoknot structures dominates the productive folding pathway and serves as a rate-limiting step in producing the self-splicing competent Candida intron. PMID:19710184

  2. Tertiary Contacts Distant from the Active Site Prime a Ribozyme for Catalysis

    PubMed Central

    Martick, Monika; Scott, William G.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Minimal hammerhead ribozymes have been characterized extensively by static and time-resolved crystallography as well as numerous biochemical analyses, leading to mutually contradictory mechanistic explanations for catalysis. We present the 2.2 Å resolution crystal structure of a full-length Schistosoma mansoni hammerhead ribozyme that permits us to explain the structural basis for its 1000-fold catalytic enhancement. The full-length hammerhead structure reveals how tertiary interactions occurring remotely from the active site prime this ribozyme for catalysis. G-12 and G-8 are positioned consistent with their previously suggested roles in acid-base catalysis, the nucleophile is aligned with a scissile phosphate positioned proximal to the A-9 phosphate, and previously unexplained roles of other conserved nucleotides become apparent within the context of a distinctly new fold that nonetheless accommodates the previous structural studies. These interactions permit us to explain the previously irreconcilable sets of experimental results in a unified, consistent, and unambiguous manner. PMID:16859740

  3. RNA Synthesis by in Vitro Selected Ribozymes for Recreating an RNA World

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Lyssa L.; Unrau, Peter J.; Müller, Ulrich F.

    2015-01-01

    The RNA world hypothesis states that during an early stage of life, RNA molecules functioned as genome and as the only genome-encoded catalyst. This hypothesis is supported by several lines of evidence, one of which is the in vitro selection of catalytic RNAs (ribozymes) in the laboratory for a wide range of reactions that might have been used by RNA world organisms. This review focuses on three types of ribozymes that could have been involved in the synthesis of RNA, the core activity in the self-replication of RNA world organisms. These ribozyme classes catalyze nucleoside synthesis, triphosphorylation, and the polymerization of nucleoside triphosphates. The strengths and weaknesses regarding each ribozyme’s possible function in a self-replicating RNA network are described, together with the obstacles that need to be overcome before an RNA world organism can be generated in the laboratory. PMID:25610978

  4. Capturing Hammerhead Ribozyme Structures in Action by Modulating General Base Catalysis

    PubMed Central

    Chi, Young-In; Martick, Monika; Lares, Monica; Kim, Rosalind; Scott, William G; Kim, Sung-Hou

    2008-01-01

    We have obtained precatalytic (enzyme–substrate complex) and postcatalytic (enzyme–product complex) crystal structures of an active full-length hammerhead RNA that cleaves in the crystal. Using the natural satellite tobacco ringspot virus hammerhead RNA sequence, the self-cleavage reaction was modulated by substituting the general base of the ribozyme, G12, with A12, a purine variant with a much lower pKa that does not significantly perturb the ribozyme's atomic structure. The active, but slowly cleaving, ribozyme thus permitted isolation of enzyme–substrate and enzyme–product complexes without modifying the nucleophile or leaving group of the cleavage reaction, nor any other aspect of the substrate. The predissociation enzyme-product complex structure reveals RNA and metal ion interactions potentially relevant to transition-state stabilization that are absent in precatalytic structures. PMID:18834200

  5. SpliceVista, a Tool for Splice Variant Identification and Visualization in Shotgun Proteomics Data*

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Yafeng; Hultin-Rosenberg, Lina; Forshed, Jenny; Branca, Rui M. M.; Orre, Lukas M.; Lehtiö, Janne

    2014-01-01

    Alternative splicing is a pervasive process in eukaryotic organisms. More than 90% of human genes have alternatively spliced products, and aberrant splicing has been shown to be associated with many diseases. Current methods employed in the detection of splice variants include prediction by clustering of expressed sequence tags, exon microarray, and mRNA sequencing, all methods focusing on RNA-level information. There is a lack of tools for analyzing splice variants at the protein level. Here, we present SpliceVista, a tool for splice variant identification and visualization based on mass spectrometry proteomics data. SpliceVista retrieves gene structure and translated sequences from alternative splicing databases and maps MS-identified peptides to splice variants. The visualization module plots the exon composition of each splice variant and aligns identified peptides with transcript positions. If quantitative mass spectrometry data are used, SpliceVista plots the quantitative patterns for each peptide and provides users with the option to cluster peptides based on their quantitative patterns. SpliceVista can identify splice-variant-specific peptides, providing the possibility for variant-specific analysis. The tool was tested on two experimental datasets (PXD000065 and PXD000134). In A431 cells treated with gefitinib, 2983 splice-variant-specific peptides corresponding to 939 splice variants were identified. Through comparison of splice-variant-centric, protein-centric, and gene-centric quantification, several genes (e.g. EIF4H) were found to have differentially regulated splice variants after gefitinib treatment. The same discrepancy between protein-centric and splice-centric quantification was detected in the other dataset, in which induced pluripotent stem cells were compared with parental fibroblast and human embryotic stem cells. In addition, SpliceVista can be used to visualize novel splice variants inferred from peptide-level evidence. In summary, Splice

  6. SpliceVista, a tool for splice variant identification and visualization in shotgun proteomics data.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yafeng; Hultin-Rosenberg, Lina; Forshed, Jenny; Branca, Rui M M; Orre, Lukas M; Lehtiö, Janne

    2014-06-01

    Alternative splicing is a pervasive process in eukaryotic organisms. More than 90% of human genes have alternatively spliced products, and aberrant splicing has been shown to be associated with many diseases. Current methods employed in the detection of splice variants include prediction by clustering of expressed sequence tags, exon microarray, and mRNA sequencing, all methods focusing on RNA-level information. There is a lack of tools for analyzing splice variants at the protein level. Here, we present SpliceVista, a tool for splice variant identification and visualization based on mass spectrometry proteomics data. SpliceVista retrieves gene structure and translated sequences from alternative splicing databases and maps MS-identified peptides to splice variants. The visualization module plots the exon composition of each splice variant and aligns identified peptides with transcript positions. If quantitative mass spectrometry data are used, SpliceVista plots the quantitative patterns for each peptide and provides users with the option to cluster peptides based on their quantitative patterns. SpliceVista can identify splice-variant-specific peptides, providing the possibility for variant-specific analysis. The tool was tested on two experimental datasets (PXD000065 and PXD000134). In A431 cells treated with gefitinib, 2983 splice-variant-specific peptides corresponding to 939 splice variants were identified. Through comparison of splice-variant-centric, protein-centric, and gene-centric quantification, several genes (e.g. EIF4H) were found to have differentially regulated splice variants after gefitinib treatment. The same discrepancy between protein-centric and splice-centric quantification was detected in the other dataset, in which induced pluripotent stem cells were compared with parental fibroblast and human embryotic stem cells. In addition, SpliceVista can be used to visualize novel splice variants inferred from peptide-level evidence. In summary, Splice

  7. Spliced-leader trans-splicing in freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    Zayas, Ricardo M; Bold, Tyler D; Newmark, Phillip A

    2005-10-01

    trans-Splicing, in which a spliced-leader (SL) RNA is appended to the most 5' exon of independently transcribed pre-mRNAs, has been described in a wide range of eukaryotes, from protozoans to chordates. Here we describe trans-splicing in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, a free-living member of the phylum Platyhelminthes. Analysis of an expressed sequence tag (EST) collection from this organism showed that over 300 transcripts shared one of two approximately 35-base sequences (Smed SL-1 and SL-2) at their 5' ends. Examination of genomic sequences encoding representatives of these transcripts revealed that these shared sequences were transcribed elsewhere in the genome. RNA blot analysis, 5' and 3' rapid amplification of cDNA ends, as well as genomic sequence data showed that 42-nt SL sequences were derived from small RNAs of approximately 110 nt. Similar sequences were also found at the 5' ends of ESTs from the planarian Dugesia japonica. trans-Splicing has already been described in numerous representatives of the phylum Platyhelminthes (trematodes, cestodes, and polyclads); its presence in two representatives of the triclads supports the hypothesis that this mode of RNA processing is ancestral within this group. The upcoming complete genome sequence of S. mediterranea, combined with this animal's experimental accessibility and susceptibility to RNAi, provide another model organism in which to study the function of the still-enigmatic trans-splicing. PMID:15972844

  8. Molecular Crowding Favors Reactivity of a Human Ribozyme Under Physiological Ionic Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Strulson, Christopher A.; Yennawar, Neela H.; Rambo, Robert P.; Bevilacqua, Philip C.

    2013-01-01

    In an effort to relate RNA folding to function under cellular-like conditions, we monitored the self-cleavage reaction of the human hepatitis delta virus (HDV)-like CPEB3 ribozyme in the background of physiological ionic concentrations and various crowding and cosolute agents. We found that under physiological free Mg2+ concentrations (~0.1 to 0.5 mM Mg2+), both crowders and cosolutes stimulate the rate of self-cleavage, up to ~6-fold, but that in 10 mM Mg2+—conditions widely used for in vitro ribozyme studies—these same additives have virtually no effect on self-cleavage rate. We further observe a dependence of self-cleavage rate on crowder size, wherein rate stimulation is diminished for crowders larger than the size of the unfolded RNA. Monitoring effects of crowding and cosolute agents on rates in biological amounts of urea revealed additive-promoted increases in both low and high Mg2+ concentrations, with a maximal stimulation of more than 10-fold and a rescue of the rate to its urea-free values. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments reveal a structural basis for this stimulation in that higher molecular weight crowding agents favor a more compact form of the ribozyme in 0.5 mM Mg2+ that is essentially equivalent to the form under standard ribozyme conditions of 10 mM Mg2+ and no crowder. This finding suggests that at least a portion of the rate enhancement arises from favoring the native RNA tertiary structure. We conclude that cellular-like crowding supports ribozyme reactivity by favoring a compact form of the ribozyme, but only under physiological ionic and cosolute conditions. PMID:24187989

  9. A small modified hammerhead ribozyme and its conformational characteristics determined by mutagenesis and lattice calculation.

    PubMed Central

    Lustig, B; Lin, N H; Smith, S M; Jernigan, R L; Jeang, K T

    1995-01-01

    A prototypic hammerhead ribozyme has three helices that surround an asymmetrical central core loop. We have mutagenized a hammerhead type ribozyme. In agreement with previous studies, progressive removal of stem-loop II from a three stemmed ribozyme showed that this region is not absolutely critical for catalysis. However, complete elimination of stem II and its loop did reduce, but did not eliminate, function. In a stem-loop II-deleted ribozyme, activity was best preserved when a purine, preferably a G, was present at position 10.1. This G contributed to catalysis irregardless of its role as either one part of a canonical pair with a C residue at 11.1 or a lone nucleotide with C (11.1) deleted. Computational methods using lattices generated 87 million three-dimensional chain forms for a stem-loop II-deleted RNA complex that preserved one potential G.C base pair at positions 10.1 and 11.1. This exhaustive set of chain forms included one major class of structures with G(10.1) being spatially proximal to the GUCX cleavage site of the substrate strand. Strong correlations were observed between colinear arrangement of stems I and III, constraints of base-pairing in the central core loop, and one particular placement of G(10.1) relative to the cleavage site. Our calculations of a stem-loop II-deleted ribozyme indicate that without needing to invoke any other constraints, the inherent asymmetry in the lengths of the two loop strands (3 nt in one and 7 nt in the other) that compose the core and flank G10.1-C11.1 stipulated strongly this particular G placement. This suggests that the hammerhead ribozyme maintains an asymmetry in its internal loop for a necessary structure/function reason. Images PMID:7567466

  10. Two Divalent Metal Ions and Conformational Changes Play Roles in the Hammerhead Ribozyme Cleavage Reaction.

    PubMed

    Mir, Aamir; Chen, Ji; Robinson, Kyle; Lendy, Emma; Goodman, Jaclyn; Neau, David; Golden, Barbara L

    2015-10-20

    The hammerhead ribozyme is a self-cleaving RNA broadly dispersed across all kingdoms of life. Although it was the first of the small, nucleolytic ribozymes discovered, the mechanism by which it catalyzes its reaction remains elusive. The nucleobase of G12 is well positioned to be a general base, but it is unclear if or how this guanine base becomes activated for proton transfer. Metal ions have been implicated in the chemical mechanism, but no interactions between divalent metal ions and the cleavage site have been observed crystallographically. To better understand how this ribozyme functions, we have solved crystal structures of wild-type and G12A mutant ribozymes. We observe a pH-dependent conformational change centered around G12, consistent with this nucleotide becoming deprotonated. Crystallographic and kinetic analysis of the G12A mutant reveals a Zn(2+) specificity switch suggesting a direct interaction between a divalent metal ion and the purine at position 12. The metal ion specificity switch and the pH-rate profile of the G12A mutant suggest that the minor imino tautomer of A12 serves as the general base in the mutant ribozyme. We propose a model in which the hammerhead ribozyme rearranges prior to the cleavage reaction, positioning two divalent metal ions in the process. The first metal ion, positioned near G12, becomes directly coordinated to the O6 keto oxygen, to lower the pKa of the general base and organize the active site. The second metal ion, positioned near G10.1, bridges the N7 of G10.1 and the scissile phosphate and may participate directly in the cleavage reaction. PMID:26398724

  11. Characterization of a native hammerhead ribozyme derived from schistosomes

    PubMed Central

    OSBORNE, EDITH M.; SCHAAK, JANELL E.; DEROSE, VICTORIA J.

    2005-01-01

    A recent re-examination of the role of the helices surrounding the conserved core of the hammerhead ribozyme has identified putative loop–loop interactions between stems I and II in native hammerhead sequences. These extended hammerhead sequences are more active at low concentrations of divalent cations than are minimal hammerheads. The loop–loop interactions are proposed to stabilize a more active conformation of the conserved core. Here, a kinetic and thermodynamic characterization of an extended hammerhead sequence derived from Schistosoma mansoni is performed. Biphasic kinetics are observed, suggesting the presence of at least two conformers, one cleaving with a fast rate and the other with a slow rate. Replacing loop II with a poly(U) sequence designed to eliminate the interaction between the two loops results in greatly diminished activity, suggesting that the loop–loop interactions do aid in forming a more active conformation. Previous studies with minimal hammerheads have shown deleterious effects of Rp-phosphorothioate substitutions at the cleavage site and 5′ to A9, both of which could be rescued with Cd2+. Here, phosphorothioate modifications at the cleavage site and 5′ to A9 were made in the schistosome-derived sequence. In Mg2+, both phosphorothioate substitutions decreased the overall fraction cleaved without significantly affecting the observed rate of cleavage. The addition of Cd2+ rescued cleavage in both cases, suggesting that these are still putative metal binding sites in this native sequence. PMID:15659358

  12. A role for U2/U6 helix Ib in 5' splice site selection.

    PubMed Central

    Luukkonen, B G; Séraphin, B

    1998-01-01

    Selection of pre-mRNA splice sites is a highly accurate process involving many trans-acting factors. Recently, we described a role for U6 snRNA position G52 in selection of the first intron nucleotide (+1G). Because some U2 alleles suppress U6-G52 mutations, we investigated whether the corresponding U2 snRNA region also influenced 5' splice site selection. Our results demonstrate that U2 snRNAs mutated at position U23, but not adjacent nucleotides, specifically affect 5' splice site cleavage. Furthermore, all U2 position U23 mutations are synthetic lethal with the thermosensitive U6-G52U allele. Interestingly, the U2-U23C substitution has an unprecedented hyperaccurate splicing phenotype in which cleavage of introns with a +1G substitution is reduced, whereas the strain grows with wild-type kinetics. U2 position U23 forms the first base pair with U6 position A59 in U2/U6 helix Ib. Restoration of the helical structure suppresses 5' splice site cleavage defects, showing an important role for the helix Ib structure in 5' splice site selection. U2/U6 helix Ib and helix II have recently been described as being functionally redundant. This report demonstrates a unique role for helix Ib in 5' splice site selection that is not shared with helix II. PMID:9701283

  13. Methods for Characterization of Alternative RNA Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Samuel E.; Cheng, Chonghui

    2016-01-01

    Quantification of alternative splicing to detect the abundance of differentially spliced isoforms of a gene in total RNA can be accomplished via RT-PCR using both quantitative real-time and semi-quantitative PCR methods. These methods require careful PCR primer design to ensure specific detection of particular splice isoforms. We also describe analysis of alternative splicing using a splicing “minigene” in mammalian cell tissue culture to facilitate investigation of the regulation of alternative splicing of a particular exon of interest. PMID:26721495

  14. An Engineered Split Intein for Photoactivated Protein Trans-Splicing.

    PubMed

    Wong, Stanley; Mosabbir, Abdullah A; Truong, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Protein splicing is mediated by inteins that auto-catalytically join two separated protein fragments with a peptide bond. Here we engineered a genetically encoded synthetic photoactivatable intein (named LOVInC), by using the light-sensitive LOV2 domain from Avena sativa as a switch to modulate the splicing activity of the split DnaE intein from Nostoc punctiforme. Periodic blue light illumination of LOVInC induced protein splicing activity in mammalian cells. To demonstrate the broad applicability of LOVInC, synthetic protein systems were engineered for the light-induced reassembly of several target proteins such as fluorescent protein markers, a dominant positive mutant of RhoA, caspase-7, and the genetically encoded Ca2+ indicator GCaMP2. Spatial precision of LOVInC was demonstrated by targeting activity to specific mammalian cells. Thus, LOVInC can serve as a general platform for engineering light-based control for modulating the activity of many different proteins. PMID:26317656

  15. MapSplice: Accurate mapping of RNA-seq reads for splice junction discovery

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Kai; Singh, Darshan; Zeng, Zheng; Coleman, Stephen J.; Huang, Yan; Savich, Gleb L.; He, Xiaping; Mieczkowski, Piotr; Grimm, Sara A.; Perou, Charles M.; MacLeod, James N.; Chiang, Derek Y.; Prins, Jan F.; Liu, Jinze

    2010-01-01

    The accurate mapping of reads that span splice junctions is a critical component of all analytic techniques that work with RNA-seq data. We introduce a second generation splice detection algorithm, MapSplice, whose focus is high sensitivity and specificity in the detection of splices as well as CPU and memory efficiency. MapSplice can be applied to both short (<75 bp) and long reads (≥75 bp). MapSplice is not dependent on splice site features or intron length, consequently it can detect novel canonical as well as non-canonical splices. MapSplice leverages the quality and diversity of read alignments of a given splice to increase accuracy. We demonstrate that MapSplice achieves higher sensitivity and specificity than TopHat and SpliceMap on a set of simulated RNA-seq data. Experimental studies also support the accuracy of the algorithm. Splice junctions derived from eight breast cancer RNA-seq datasets recapitulated the extensiveness of alternative splicing on a global level as well as the differences between molecular subtypes of breast cancer. These combined results indicate that MapSplice is a highly accurate algorithm for the alignment of RNA-seq reads to splice junctions. Software download URL: http://www.netlab.uky.edu/p/bioinfo/MapSplice. PMID:20802226

  16. MapSplice: accurate mapping of RNA-seq reads for splice junction discovery.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai; Singh, Darshan; Zeng, Zheng; Coleman, Stephen J; Huang, Yan; Savich, Gleb L; He, Xiaping; Mieczkowski, Piotr; Grimm, Sara A; Perou, Charles M; MacLeod, James N; Chiang, Derek Y; Prins, Jan F; Liu, Jinze

    2010-10-01

    The accurate mapping of reads that span splice junctions is a critical component of all analytic techniques that work with RNA-seq data. We introduce a second generation splice detection algorithm, MapSplice, whose focus is high sensitivity and specificity in the detection of splices as well as CPU and memory efficiency. MapSplice can be applied to both short (<75 bp) and long reads (≥ 75 bp). MapSplice is not dependent on splice site features or intron length, consequently it can detect novel canonical as well as non-canonical splices. MapSplice leverages the quality and diversity of read alignments of a given splice to increase accuracy. We demonstrate that MapSplice achieves higher sensitivity and specificity than TopHat and SpliceMap on a set of simulated RNA-seq data. Experimental studies also support the accuracy of the algorithm. Splice junctions derived from eight breast cancer RNA-seq datasets recapitulated the extensiveness of alternative splicing on a global level as well as the differences between molecular subtypes of breast cancer. These combined results indicate that MapSplice is a highly accurate algorithm for the alignment of RNA-seq reads to splice junctions. Software download URL: http://www.netlab.uky.edu/p/bioinfo/MapSplice. PMID:20802226

  17. Design and Analysis of Hammerhead Ribozyme Activity Against an Artificial Gene Target

    PubMed Central

    Carter, James; Nawtaisong, Pruksa; Balaraman, Velmurugan; Fraser, Malcolm J.

    2014-01-01

    In vitro cleavage assays are routinely conducted to properly assess the catalytic activity of hammerhead ribozymes (HHR) against target RNA molecules like the dengue virus RNA genomes. These experiments are performed for initial assessment of HHR catalysis in a cell-free system and have been simplified by the substitution of agarose gel electrophoresis for SDS-PAGE. Substituting mobility assays enables the analysis of ribozymes in a more rapid fashion without radioisotopes. Here we describe the in vitro transcription of an HHR and corresponding target from T7-promoted plasmids into RNA molecules leading to the analysis of HHR activity against the RNA target by in vitro cleavage assays. PMID:24318886

  18. A horizontally acquired group II intron in the chloroplast psbA gene of a psychrophilic Chlamydomonas: In vitro self-splicing and genetic evidence for maturase activity

    PubMed Central

    ODOM, OBED W.; SHENKENBERG, DAVID L.; GARCIA, JOSHUA A.; HERRIN, DAVID L.

    2004-01-01

    The majority of known group II introns are from chloroplast genomes, yet the first self-splicing group II intron from a chloroplast gene was reported only recently, from the psbA gene of the euglenoid, Euglena myxocylindracea. Herein, we describe a large (2.6-kb) group II intron from the psbA gene (psbA1) of a psychrophilic Chlamydomonas sp. from Antarctica that self-splices accurately in vitro. Remarkably, this intron, which also encodes an ORF with putative reverse transcriptase, maturase, and endonuclease domains, is in the same location, and is related to the E. myxocylindracea intron, as well as to group IIB2 introns from cyanobacteria. In vitro self-splicing of Chs.psbA1 occurred via a lariat, and required Mg2+ (>12 mM) and NH4+. Self-splicing was improved by deleting most of the ORF and by using pre-RNAs directly from transcription reactions, suggestive of a role for folding during transcription. Self-splicing of Chs.psbA1 pre-RNAs showed temperature optima of ~44°C, but with a broad shoulder on the low side of the peak; splicing was nearly absent at 50°C, indicative of thermolability. Splicing of wild-type Chs.psbA1 also occurred in Escherichia coli, but not when the ORF was disrupted by mutations, providing genetic evidence that it has maturase activity. This work provides the first description of a ribozyme from a psychrophilic organism. It also appears to provide a second instance of interkingdom horizontal transfer of this group IIB2 intron (or a close relative) from cyanobacteria to chloroplasts. PMID:15208445

  19. Alternatively Spliced Androgen Receptor Variants

    PubMed Central

    Dehm, Scott M.; Tindall, Donald J.

    2011-01-01

    Alternative splicing is an important mechanism for increasing functional diversity from a limited set of genes. De-regulation of this process is common in diverse pathologic conditions. The androgen receptor (AR) is a steroid receptor transcription factor with functions critical for normal male development as well as the growth and survival of normal and cancerous prostate tissue. Studies of AR function in androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) and prostate cancer (PCa) have demonstrated loss-of-function AR alterations in AIS, and gain-of-function AR alterations in PCa. Over the past two decades, AR gene alterations have been identified in various individuals with AIS, which disrupt normal AR splicing patterns and yield dysfunctional AR protein variants. More recently, altered AR splicing patterns have been identified as a mechanism of PCa progression and resistance to androgen-depletion therapy. Several studies have described the synthesis of alternatively spliced transcripts encoding truncated AR isoforms that lack the ligand-binding domain, which is the ultimate target of androgen depletion. Many of these truncated AR isoforms function as constitutively active, ligand-independent transcription factors that can support androgen-independent expression of AR target genes, as well as the androgen-independent growth of PCa cells. In this review, we will summarize the various alternatively spliced AR variants that have been discovered, with a focus on their role and origin in the pathologic conditions of AIS and PCa. PMID:21778211

  20. Chimeric DNA-RNA hammerhead ribozymes have enhanced in vitro catalytic efficiency and increased stability in vivo.

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, N R; Kaplan, B E; Swiderski, P; Li, H; Rossi, J J

    1992-01-01

    Subsequent to the discovery that RNA can have site specific cleavage activity, there has been a great deal of interest in the design and testing of trans-acting catalytic RNAs as both surrogate genetic tools and as therapeutic agents. We have been developing catalytic RNAs or ribozymes with target specificity for HIV-1 RNA and have been exploring chemical synthesis as one method for their production. To this end, we have chemically synthesized and experimentally analyzed chimeric catalysts consisting of DNA in the non-enzymatic portions, and RNA in the enzymatic core of hammerhead type ribozymes. Substitutions of DNA for RNA in the various stems of a hammerhead ribozyme have been analyzed in vitro for kinetic efficiency. One of the chimeric ribozymes used in this study, which harbors 24 bases of DNA capable of base-pairing interactions with an HIV-1 gag target, but maintains RNA in the catalytic center and in stem-loop II, has a sixfold greater kcat value than the all RNA counterpart. This increased activity appears to be the direct result of enhanced product dissociation. Interestingly, a chimeric ribozyme in which stem-loop II (which divides the catalytic core) is comprised of DNA, exhibited a marked reduction in cleavage activity, suggesting that DNA in this region of the ribozyme can impart a negative effect on the catalytic function of the ribozyme. DNA-RNA chimeric ribozymes transfected by cationic liposomes into human T-lymphocytes are more stable than their all-RNA counterparts. Enhanced catalytic turnover and stability in the absence of a significant effect on Km make chimeric ribozymes favorable candidates for therapeutic agents. Images PMID:1408757

  1. Protein Trans-Splicing of Multiple Atypical Split Inteins Engineered from Natural Inteins

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Ying; Li, Mengmeng; Song, Huiling; Xu, Lingling; Meng, Qing; Liu, Xiang-Qin

    2013-01-01

    Protein trans-splicing by split inteins has many uses in protein production and research. Splicing proteins with synthetic peptides, which employs atypical split inteins, is particularly useful for site-specific protein modifications and labeling, because the synthetic peptide can be made to contain a variety of unnatural amino acids and chemical modifications. For this purpose, atypical split inteins need to be engineered to have a small N-intein or C-intein fragment that can be more easily included in a synthetic peptide that also contains a small extein to be trans-spliced onto target proteins. Here we have successfully engineered multiple atypical split inteins capable of protein trans-splicing, by modifying and testing more than a dozen natural inteins. These included both S1 split inteins having a very small (11–12 aa) N-intein fragment and S11 split inteins having a very small (6 aa) C-intein fragment. Four of the new S1 and S11 split inteins showed high efficiencies (85–100%) of protein trans-splicing both in E. coli cells and in vitro. Under in vitro conditions, they exhibited reaction rate constants ranging from ∼1.7×10−4 s−1 to ∼3.8×10−4 s−1, which are comparable to or higher than those of previously reported atypical split inteins. These findings should facilitate a more general use of trans-splicing between proteins and synthetic peptides, by expanding the availability of different atypical split inteins. They also have implications on understanding the structure-function relationship of atypical split inteins, particularly in terms of intein fragment complementation. PMID:23593141

  2. Intracellular Immunization of Human Fetal Cord Blood Stem/Progenitor Cells with a Ribozyme Against Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Mang; Leavitt, Mark C.; Maruyama, Midori; Yamada, Osamu; Young, Dennis; Ho, Anthony D.; Wong-Staal, Flossie

    1995-01-01

    Successful treatment of human immunodeficiency virus infection may ultimately require targeting of hematopoietic stem cells. Here we used retroviral vectors carrying the ribozyme gene to transduce CD34^+ cells from human fetal cord blood. Transduction and ribozyme expression had no apparent adverse effect on cell differentiation and/or proliferation. The macrophage-like cells, differentiated from the stem/progenitor cells in vitro, expressed the ribozyme gene and resisted infection by a macrophage tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1. These results suggest the feasibility of stem cell gene therapy for human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients.

  3. The tolerance to exchanges of the Watson–Crick base pair in the hammerhead ribozyme core is determined by surrounding elements

    PubMed Central

    Przybilski, Rita; Hammann, Christian

    2007-01-01

    Tertiary interacting elements are important features of functional RNA molecules, for example, in all small nucleolytic ribozymes. The recent crystal structure of a tertiary stabilized type I hammerhead ribozyme revealed a conventional Watson–Crick base pair in the catalytic core, formed between nucleotides C3 and G8. We show that any Watson–Crick base pair between these positions retains cleavage competence in two type III ribozymes. In the Arabidopsis thaliana sequence, only moderate differences in cleavage rates are observed for the different base pairs, while the peach latent mosaic viroid (PLMVd) ribozyme exhibits a preference for a pyrimidine at position 3 and a purine at position 8. To understand these differences, we created a series of chimeric ribozymes in which we swapped sequence elements that surround the catalytic core. The kinetic characterization of the resulting ribozymes revealed that the tertiary interacting loop sequences of the PLMVd ribozyme are sufficient to induce the preference for Y3–R8 base pairs in the A. thaliana hammerhead ribozyme. In contrast to this, only when the entire stem–loops I and II of the A. thaliana sequences are grafted on the PLMVd ribozyme is any Watson–Crick base pair similarly tolerated. The data provide evidence for a complex interplay of secondary and tertiary structure elements that lead, mediated by long-range effects, to an individual modulation of the local structure in the catalytic core of different hammerhead ribozymes. PMID:17666711

  4. Diverse alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing landscape of circular RNAs.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Ou; Dong, Rui; Zhang, Yang; Zhang, Jia-Lin; Luo, Zheng; Zhang, Jun; Chen, Ling-Ling; Yang, Li

    2016-09-01

    Circular RNAs (circRNAs) derived from back-spliced exons have been widely identified as being co-expressed with their linear counterparts. A single gene locus can produce multiple circRNAs through alternative back-splice site selection and/or alternative splice site selection; however, a detailed map of alternative back-splicing/splicing in circRNAs is lacking. Here, with the upgraded CIRCexplorer2 pipeline, we systematically annotated different types of alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing events in circRNAs from various cell lines. Compared with their linear cognate RNAs, circRNAs exhibited distinct patterns of alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing. Alternative back-splice site selection was correlated with the competition of putative RNA pairs across introns that bracket alternative back-splice sites. In addition, all four basic types of alternative splicing that have been identified in the (linear) mRNA process were found within circRNAs, and many exons were predominantly spliced in circRNAs. Unexpectedly, thousands of previously unannotated exons were detected in circRNAs from the examined cell lines. Although these novel exons had similar splice site strength, they were much less conserved than known exons in sequences. Finally, both alternative back-splicing and circRNA-predominant alternative splicing were highly diverse among the examined cell lines. All of the identified alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing in circRNAs are available in the CIRCpedia database (http://www.picb.ac.cn/rnomics/circpedia). Collectively, the annotation of alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing in circRNAs provides a valuable resource for depicting the complexity of circRNA biogenesis and for studying the potential functions of circRNAs in different cells. PMID:27365365

  5. Specialization of the DNA-Cleaving Activity of a Group I Ribozyme Through In Vitro Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsang, Joyce; Joyce, Gerald F.

    1996-01-01

    In an earlier study, an in vitro evolution procedure was applied to a large population of variants of the Tetrahymena group 1 ribozyme to obtain individuals with a 10(exp 5)-fold improved ability to cleave a target single-stranded DNA substrate under simulated physiological conditions. The evolved ribozymes also showed a twofold improvement, compared to the wild-type, in their ability to cleave a single-stranded RNA substrate. Here, we report continuation of the in vitro evolution process using a new selection strategy to achieve both enhanced DNA and diminished RNA-cleavage activity. Our strategy combines a positive selection for DNA cleavage with a negative selection against RNA binding. After 36 "generations" of in vitro evolution, the evolved population showed an approx. 100-fold increase in the ratio of DNA to RNA-cleavage activity. Site-directed mutagenesis experiment confirmed the selective advantage of two covarying mutations within the catalytic core of ribozyme that are largely responsible for this modified behavior. The population of ribozymes has now undergone a total of 63 successive generations of evolution, resulting in an average 28 mutations relative to the wild-type that are responsible for the altered phenotype.

  6. The emergence of ribozymes synthesizing membrane components in RNA-based protocells.

    PubMed

    Ma, Wentao; Yu, Chunwu; Zhang, Wentao; Zhou, Ping; Hu, Jiming

    2010-03-01

    A significant problem of the origin of life is the emergence of cellular self-replication. In the context of the "RNA world", a crucial concern is how the RNA-based protocells could achieve the ability to produce their own membrane. Here we show, with the aid of a computer simulation, that for these protocells, there would be "immediately" a selection pressure for the emergence of a ribozyme synthesizing membrane components. The ribozyme would promote the enlargement of cellular space and favor the incoming (by permeation) of RNA's precursors, thus benefit the replication of inner RNA, including itself. Via growth and division, protocells containing the ribozyme would achieve superiority and spread in the system, and meanwhile the ribozyme would spread in the system. The present work is inspiring because it suggests that the transition from molecular self-replication to cellular self-replication might have occurred naturally (and necessarily) in the origin of life, leading to the emergence of Darwinian evolution at the cellular level. PMID:19961895

  7. Pistol ribozyme adopts a pseudoknot fold facilitating site-specific in-line cleavage.

    PubMed

    Ren, Aiming; Vušurović, Nikola; Gebetsberger, Jennifer; Gao, Pu; Juen, Michael; Kreutz, Christoph; Micura, Ronald; Patel, Dinshaw J

    2016-09-01

    The field of small self-cleaving nucleolytic ribozymes has been invigorated by the recent discovery of the twister, twister-sister, pistol and hatchet ribozymes. We report the crystal structure of a pistol ribozyme termed env25, which adopts a compact tertiary architecture stabilized by an embedded pseudoknot fold. The G-U cleavage site adopts a splayed-apart conformation with in-line alignment of the modeled 2'-O of G for attack on the adjacent to-be-cleaved P-O5' bond. Highly conserved residues G40 (N1 position) and A32 (N3 and 2'-OH positions) are aligned to act as a general base and a general acid, respectively, to accelerate cleavage chemistry, with their roles confirmed by cleavage assays on variants, and an increased pKa of 4.7 for A32. Our structure of the pistol ribozyme defined how the overall and local topologies dictate the in-line alignment at the G-U cleavage site, with cleavage assays on variants revealing key residues that participate in acid-base-catalyzed cleavage chemistry. PMID:27398999

  8. General acid-base catalysis mediated by nucleobases in the hairpin ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Kath-Schorr, Stephanie; Wilson, Timothy J.; Li, Nan-Sheng; Lu, Jun; Piccirilli, Joseph A.; Lilley, David M. J.

    2012-01-01

    The catalytic mechanism by which the hairpin ribozyme accelerates cleavage or ligation of the phosphodiester backbone of RNA has been incompletely understood. There is experimental evidence for an important role for an adenine (A38) and a guanine (G8), and it has been proposed that these act in general acid-base catalysis. In this work we show that a large reduction in cleavage rate on substitution of A38 by purine (A38P) can be reversed by replacement of the 5′-oxygen atom at the scissile phosphate by sulfur (5′-PS), which is a much better leaving group. This is consistent with A38 acting as the general acid in the unmodified ribozyme. The rate of cleavage of the 5′-PS substrate by the A38P ribozyme increases with pH log-linearly, indicative of a requirement for a deprotonated base with a relatively high pKa. On substitution of G8 by diaminopurine, the 5′-PS substrate cleavage rate at first increases with pH and then remains at a plateau, exhibiting an apparent pKa consistent with this nucleotide acting in general base catalysis. Alternative explanations for the pH dependence of hairpin ribozyme reactivity are discussed, from which we conclude that general acid-base catalysis by A38 and G8 is the simplest and most probable explanation consistent with all the experimental data. PMID:22958171

  9. The glmS Ribozyme Cofactor is a General Acid-Base Catalyst

    PubMed Central

    Viladoms, Julia; Fedor, Martha J.

    2012-01-01

    The glmS ribozyme is the first natural self-cleaving ribozyme known to require a cofactor. The D-glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P) cofactor has been proposed to serve as a general acid, but its role in the catalytic mechanism has not been established conclusively. We surveyed GlcN6P-like molecules for their ability to support self-cleavage of the glmS ribozyme and found a strong correlation between the pH dependence of the cleavage reaction and the intrinsic acidity of the cofactors. For cofactors with low binding affinities the contribution to rate enhancement was proportional to their intrinsic acidity. This linear free-energy relationship between cofactor efficiency and acid dissociation constants is consistent with a mechanism in which the cofactors participate directly in the reaction as general acid-base catalysts. A high value for the Brønsted coefficient (β ~ 0.7) indicates that a significant amount of proton transfer has already occurred in the transition state. The glmS ribozyme is the first self-cleaving RNA to use an exogenous acid-base catalyst. PMID:23113700

  10. Active-Site Monovalent Cations Revealed in a 1.55 Å Resolution Hammerhead Ribozyme Structure

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Michael; Schultz, Eric P.; Martick, Monika; Scott, William G.

    2013-01-01

    We have obtained a 1.55 Å crystal structure of a hammerhead ribozyme derived from Schistosoma mansoni in conditions that permit detailed observations of Na+ ion binding in the ribozyme's active site. At least two such Na+ ions are observed. The first Na+ ion binds to the N7 of G10.1 and the adjacent A9 phosphate in a manner identical to that previously observed for divalent cations. A second Na+ ion binds to the Hoogsteen face of G12, the general base in the hammerhead cleavage reaction, thereby potentially dissipating the negative charge of the catalytically active enolate form of the nucleotide base. A potential but more ambiguous third site bridges the A9 and scissile phosphates in a manner consistent with previous predictions. Hammerhead ribozymes have been observed to be active in the presence of high concentrations of monovalent cations, including Na+, but the mechanism by which monovalent cations substitute for divalent cations in hammerhead catalysis remains unclear. Our results enable us to suggest that Na+ directly and specifically substitutes for divalent cations in the hammerhead active site. The detailed geometry of the pre-catalytic active site complex is also revealed with a new level of precision, thanks to the quality of the electron density maps obtained from what is currently the highest resolution ribozyme structure in the protein data bank. PMID:23711504

  11. Boosting of activity enhancement of K(+)-responsive quadruplex hammerhead ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Yamaoki, Yudai; Mashima, Tsukasa; Nagata, Takashi; Katahira, Masato

    2015-04-01

    Two second-generation quadruplex hammerhead ribozymes, whose activity enhances in response to K(+)via quadruplex formation of embedded r(GGA)3GG, were developed. Different strategies were applied to suppress basal activity when K(+) is absent. As a result, the activity enhancement upon the addition of K(+) has reached as high as 21-fold. PMID:25727931

  12. Differential Assembly of Catalytic Interactions within the Conserved Active Sites of Two Ribozymes

    PubMed Central

    Herschlag, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Molecular recognition is central to biology and a critical aspect of RNA function. Yet structured RNAs typically lack the preorganization needed for strong binding and precise positioning. A striking example is the group I ribozyme from Tetrahymena, which binds its guanosine substrate (G) orders of magnitude slower than diffusion. Binding of G is also thermodynamically coupled to binding of the oligonucleotide substrate (S) and further work has shown that the transition from E•G to E•S•G accompanies a conformational change that allows G to make the active site interactions required for catalysis. The group I ribozyme from Azoarcus has a similarly slow association rate but lacks the coupled binding observed for the Tetrahymena ribozyme. Here we test, using G analogs and metal ion rescue experiments, whether this absence of coupling arises from a higher degree of preorganization within the Azoarcus active site. Our results suggest that the Azoarcus ribozyme forms cognate catalytic metal ion interactions with G in the E•G complex, interactions that are absent in the Tetrahymena E•G complex. Thus, RNAs that share highly similar active site architectures and catalyze the same reactions can differ in the assembly of transition state interactions. More generally, an ability to readily access distinct local conformational states may have facilitated the evolutionary exploration needed to attain RNA machines that carry out complex, multi-step processes. PMID:27501145

  13. Nucleotide synthetase ribozymes may have emerged first in the RNA world

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Wentao; Yu, Chunwu; Zhang, Wentao; Hu, Jiming

    2007-01-01

    Though the “RNA world” hypothesis has gained a central role in ideas concerning the origin of life, the scenario concerning its emergence remains uncertain. It has been speculated that the first scene may have been the emergence of a template-dependent RNA synthetase ribozyme, which catalyzed its own replication: thus, “RNA replicase.” However, the speculation remains uncertain, primarily because of the large sequence length requirement of such a replicase and the lack of a convincing mechanism to ensure its self-favoring features. Instead, we propose a nucleotide synthetase ribozyme as an alternative candidate, especially considering recent experimental evidence suggesting the possibility of effective nonenzymatic template-directed synthesis of RNA. A computer simulation was conducted to support our proposal. The conditions for the emergence of the nucleotide synthetase ribozyme are discussed, based on dynamic analysis on a computer. We suggest the template-dependent RNA synthetase ribozyme emerged later, perhaps after the emergence of protocells. PMID:17878321

  14. The glmS ribozyme cofactor is a general acid-base catalyst.

    PubMed

    Viladoms, Júlia; Fedor, Martha J

    2012-11-21

    The glmS ribozyme is the first natural self-cleaving ribozyme known to require a cofactor. The d-glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P) cofactor has been proposed to serve as a general acid, but its role in the catalytic mechanism has not been established conclusively. We surveyed GlcN6P-like molecules for their ability to support self-cleavage of the glmS ribozyme and found a strong correlation between the pH dependence of the cleavage reaction and the intrinsic acidity of the cofactors. For cofactors with low binding affinities, the contribution to rate enhancement was proportional to their intrinsic acidity. This linear free-energy relationship between cofactor efficiency and acid dissociation constants is consistent with a mechanism in which the cofactors participate directly in the reaction as general acid-base catalysts. A high value for the Brønsted coefficient (β ~ 0.7) indicates that a significant amount of proton transfer has already occurred in the transition state. The glmS ribozyme is the first self-cleaving RNA to use an exogenous acid-base catalyst. PMID:23113700

  15. Helix-length compensation studies reveal the adaptability of the VS ribozyme architecture

    PubMed Central

    Lacroix-Labonté, Julie; Girard, Nicolas; Lemieux, Sébastien; Legault, Pascale

    2012-01-01

    Compensatory mutations in RNA are generally regarded as those that maintain base pairing, and their identification forms the basis of phylogenetic predictions of RNA secondary structure. However, other types of compensatory mutations can provide higher-order structural and evolutionary information. Here, we present a helix-length compensation study for investigating structure–function relationships in RNA. The approach is demonstrated for stem-loop I and stem-loop V of the Neurospora VS ribozyme, which form a kissing–loop interaction important for substrate recognition. To rapidly characterize the substrate specificity (kcat/KM) of several substrate/ribozyme pairs, a procedure was established for simultaneous kinetic characterization of multiple substrates. Several active substrate/ribozyme pairs were identified, indicating the presence of limited substrate promiscuity for stem Ib variants and helix-length compensation between stems Ib and V. 3D models of the I/V interaction were generated that are compatible with the kinetic data. These models further illustrate the adaptability of the VS ribozyme architecture for substrate cleavage and provide global structural information on the I/V kissing–loop interaction. By exploring higher-order compensatory mutations in RNA our approach brings a deeper understanding of the adaptability of RNA structure, while opening new avenues for RNA research. PMID:22086962

  16. Correlation between hammerhead ribozyme-mediated eggshell protein gene cleavage and reproduction inhibition of Schistosoma japonicum

    PubMed Central

    LIANG, YU; ZHOU, YUELAN; YIN, WEIGUO; LI, YINGJU; YANG, QIULIN; GAO, YUAN; ZHANG, YUKUAI; YANG, YAOFEI; PENG, LI; XIAO, JIANHUA

    2012-01-01

    Schistosoma japonicum (S. japonicum) is an extremely harmful pathogen, which infects humans and causes severe public health problems. To date, no effective therapeutic drugs for this pathogen are available. In this study, we designed and constructed three hammerhead ribozymes targeting the eggshell protein gene of S. japonicum (SjESG). The cleavage activities of these three ribozymes were determined using cleavage experiments. The in vitro cleavage results showed that among the three synthesized ribozymes (Rz1, Rz2 and Rz3), Rz1 and Rz3 cleaved their target RNAs effectively. However, Rz2 did not cleave its target RNA detectably. The putative therapeutic roles of these three ribozymes to inhibit the reproduction of S. japonicum in mice were studied in vivo. Compared with the negative controls, Rz1 and Rz3 treatments resulted in increased levels of IFN-γ but decreased levels of IL-4 in mice. Rz2 affected levels of IFN-γ and IL-4 to degrees similar with those caused by the vector controls. In addition, Rz1 and Rz3 reduced the amounts of adult worms and eggs in the livers of mice more extensively than Rz2 and the vector controls. Altogether, these results suggest a correlation between the in vitro cleavage abilities of Rz1 and Rz3 and their roles in reproduction inhibition of S. japonicum. PMID:22246067

  17. A biosensor for theophylline based on fluorescence detection of ligand-induced hammerhead ribozyme cleavage.

    PubMed Central

    Sekella, Phillip T; Rueda, David; Walter, Nils G

    2002-01-01

    Recently, Breaker and coworkers engineered hammerhead ribozymes that rearrange from a catalytically inactive to an active conformation upon allosteric binding of a specific ligand. To monitor cleavage activity in real time, we have coupled a donor-acceptor fluorophore pair to the termini of the substrate RNA of such a hammerhead ribozyme, modified to cleave in trans in the presence of the bronchodilator theophylline. In the intact substrate, the fluorophores interact by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). The specific FRET signal breaks down as the effector ligand binds, the substrate is cleaved, and the products dissociate, with a rate constant dependent on the concentration of the ligand. Our biosensor cleaves substrate at 0.46 min(-1) in 1 mM theophylline and 0.04 min(-1) without effector, and discriminates against caffeine, a structural relative of theophylline. We have measured the theophylline-dependence profile of this biosensor, showing that concentrations as low as 1 microM can be distinguished from background. To probe the mechanism of allosteric regulation, a single nucleotide in the communication domain between the catalytic and ligand-binding domains was mutated to destabilize the inactive conformation of the ribozyme. As predicted, this mutant shows the same activity (0.3 min(-1)) in the presence and absence of theophylline. Additionally, time-resolved FRET measurements on the biosensor ribozyme in complex with a noncleavable substrate analog reveal no significant changes in fluorophore distance distribution upon binding of effector. PMID:12403463

  18. Multiple conformational states of the hammerhead ribozyme, broad time range of relaxation and topology of dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Menger, Marcus; Eckstein, Fritz; Porschke, Dietmar

    2000-01-01

    The dynamics of a hammerhead ribozyme was analyzed by measurements of fluorescence-detected temperature jump relaxation. The ribozyme was substituted at different positions by 2-aminopurine (2-AP) as fluorescence indicator; these substitutions do not inhibit catalysis. The general shape of relaxation curves reported from different positions of the ribozyme is very similar: a fast decrease of fluorescence, mainly due to physical quenching, is followed by a slower increase of fluorescence due to conformational relaxation. In most cases at least three relaxation time constants in the time range from a few microseconds to ~200 ms are required for fitting. Although the relaxation at different positions of the ribozyme is similar in general, suggesting a global type of ribozyme dynamics, a close examination reveals differences, indicating an individual local response. For example, 2-AP in a tetraloop reports mainly the local loop dynamics known from isolated loops, whereas 2-AP located at the core, e.g. at the cleavage site or its vicinity, also reports relatively large amplitudes of slower components of the ribozyme dynamics. A variant with an A→G substitution in domain II, resulting in an inactive form, leads to the appearance of a particularly slow relaxation process (τ ≈200 ms). Addition of Mg2+ ions induces a reduction of amplitudes and in most cases a general increase of time constants. Differences between the hammerhead variants are clearly demonstrated by subtraction of relaxation curves recorded under corresponding conditions. The changes induced in the relaxation response by Mg2+ are very similar to those induced by Ca2+. The relaxation data do not provide any evidence for formation of Mg2+-inner sphere complexes in hammerhead ribozymes, because a Mg2+-specific relaxation effect was not visible. However, a Mg2+-specific effect was found for a dodeca-riboadenylate substituted with 2-AP, showing that the fluorescence of 2-AP is able to indicate inner sphere

  19. Wobble Pairs of the HDV Ribozyme Play Specific Roles in Stabilization of Active Site Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Sripathi, Kamali N.; Banáš, Pavel; Reblova, Kamila; Šponer, Jiři; Otyepka, Michal

    2015-01-01

    The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is the only known human pathogen whose genome contains a catalytic RNA motif (ribozyme). The overall architecture of the HDV ribozyme is that of a double-nested pseudoknot, with two GU pairs flanking the active site. Although extensive studies have shown that mutation of either wobble results in decreased catalytic activity, little work has focused on linking these mutations to specific structural effects on catalytic fitness. Here we use molecular dynamics simulations based on an activated structure to probe the active site dynamics as a result of wobble pair mutations. In both wild-type and mutant ribozymes, the in-line fitness of the active site (as a measure of catalytic proficiency) strongly depends on the presence of a C75(N3H3+)N1(O5′) hydrogen bond, which positions C75 as the general acid for the reaction. Our mutational analyses show that each GU wobble supports catalytically fit conformations in distinct ways; the reverse G25U20 wobble promotes high in-line fitness, high occupancy of the C75(N3H3+)G1(O5′) general-acid hydrogen bond and stabilization of the G1U37 wobble, while the G1U37 wobble acts more locally by stabilizing high in-line fitness and the C75(N3H3+)G1(O5′) hydrogen bond. We also find that stable type I A-minor and P1.1 hydrogen bonding above and below the active site, respectively, prevent local structural disorder from spreading and disrupting global conformation. Taken together, our results define specific, often redundant architectural roles for several structural motifs of the HDV ribozyme active site, expanding the known roles of these motifs within all HDV-like ribozymes and other structured RNAs. PMID:25631765

  20. COMMUNICATION: Alternative splicing and genomic stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cahill, Kevin

    2004-06-01

    Alternative splicing allows an organism to make different proteins in different cells at different times, all from the same gene. In a cell that uses alternative splicing, the total length of all the exons is much shorter than in a cell that encodes the same set of proteins without alternative splicing. This economical use of exons makes genes more stable during reproduction and development because a genome with a shorter exon length is more resistant to harmful mutations. Genomic stability may be the reason why higher vertebrates splice alternatively. For a broad class of alternatively spliced genes, a formula is given for the increase in their stability.

  1. Evolution of alternative splicing after gene duplication.

    PubMed

    Su, Zhixi; Wang, Jianmin; Yu, Jun; Huang, Xiaoqiu; Gu, Xun

    2006-02-01

    Alternative splicing and gene duplication are two major sources of proteomic function diversity. Here, we study the evolutionary trend of alternative splicing after gene duplication by analyzing the alternative splicing differences between duplicate genes. We observed that duplicate genes have fewer alternative splice (AS) forms than single-copy genes, and that a negative correlation exists between the mean number of AS forms and the gene family size. Interestingly, we found that the loss of alternative splicing in duplicate genes may occur shortly after the gene duplication. These results support the subfunctionization model of alternative splicing in the early stage after gene duplication. Further analysis of the alternative splicing distribution in human duplicate pairs showed the asymmetric evolution of alternative splicing after gene duplications; i.e., the AS forms between duplicates may differ dramatically. We therefore conclude that alternative splicing and gene duplication may not evolve independently. In the early stage after gene duplication, young duplicates may take over a certain amount of protein function diversity that previously was carried out by the alternative splicing mechanism. In the late stage, the gain and loss of alternative splicing seem to be independent between duplicates. PMID:16365379

  2. Topological constraints of structural elements in regulation of catalytic activity in HDV-like self-cleaving ribozymes

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Chiu-Ho T.; Nguyen, Dang; Myszka, Marie; Lupták, Andrej

    2016-01-01

    Self-cleaving ribozymes fold into intricate structures, which orient active site groups into catalytically competent conformations. Most ribozyme families have distinct catalytic cores stabilized by tertiary interactions between domains peripheral to those cores. We show that large hepatitis delta virus (HDV)-like ribozymes are activated by peripheral domains that bring two helical segments, P1 and P2, into proximity – a “pinch” that results in rate acceleration by almost three orders of magnitude. Kinetic analysis of ribozymes with systematically altered length and stability of the peripheral domain revealed that about one third of its free energy of formation is used to lower an activation energy barrier, likely related to a rate-limiting conformational change leading to the pre-catalytic state. These findings provide a quantitative view of enzyme regulation by peripheral domains and may shed light on the energetics of allosteric regulation. PMID:27302490

  3. Topological constraints of structural elements in regulation of catalytic activity in HDV-like self-cleaving ribozymes.

    PubMed

    Webb, Chiu-Ho T; Nguyen, Dang; Myszka, Marie; Lupták, Andrej

    2016-01-01

    Self-cleaving ribozymes fold into intricate structures, which orient active site groups into catalytically competent conformations. Most ribozyme families have distinct catalytic cores stabilized by tertiary interactions between domains peripheral to those cores. We show that large hepatitis delta virus (HDV)-like ribozymes are activated by peripheral domains that bring two helical segments, P1 and P2, into proximity - a "pinch" that results in rate acceleration by almost three orders of magnitude. Kinetic analysis of ribozymes with systematically altered length and stability of the peripheral domain revealed that about one third of its free energy of formation is used to lower an activation energy barrier, likely related to a rate-limiting conformational change leading to the pre-catalytic state. These findings provide a quantitative view of enzyme regulation by peripheral domains and may shed light on the energetics of allosteric regulation. PMID:27302490

  4. The RNA Splicing Response to DNA Damage.

    PubMed

    Shkreta, Lulzim; Chabot, Benoit

    2015-01-01

    The number of factors known to participate in the DNA damage response (DDR) has expanded considerably in recent years to include splicing and alternative splicing factors. While the binding of splicing proteins and ribonucleoprotein complexes to nascent transcripts prevents genomic instability by deterring the formation of RNA/DNA duplexes, splicing factors are also recruited to, or removed from, sites of DNA damage. The first steps of the DDR promote the post-translational modification of splicing factors to affect their localization and activity, while more downstream DDR events alter their expression. Although descriptions of molecular mechanisms remain limited, an emerging trend is that DNA damage disrupts the coupling of constitutive and alternative splicing with the transcription of genes involved in DNA repair, cell-cycle control and apoptosis. A better understanding of how changes in splice site selection are integrated into the DDR may provide new avenues to combat cancer and delay aging. PMID:26529031

  5. The RNA Splicing Response to DNA Damage

    PubMed Central

    Shkreta, Lulzim; Chabot, Benoit

    2015-01-01

    The number of factors known to participate in the DNA damage response (DDR) has expanded considerably in recent years to include splicing and alternative splicing factors. While the binding of splicing proteins and ribonucleoprotein complexes to nascent transcripts prevents genomic instability by deterring the formation of RNA/DNA duplexes, splicing factors are also recruited to, or removed from, sites of DNA damage. The first steps of the DDR promote the post-translational modification of splicing factors to affect their localization and activity, while more downstream DDR events alter their expression. Although descriptions of molecular mechanisms remain limited, an emerging trend is that DNA damage disrupts the coupling of constitutive and alternative splicing with the transcription of genes involved in DNA repair, cell-cycle control and apoptosis. A better understanding of how changes in splice site selection are integrated into the DDR may provide new avenues to combat cancer and delay aging. PMID:26529031

  6. Traceless protein splicing utilizing evolved split inteins

    PubMed Central

    Lockless, Steve W.; Muir, Tom W.

    2009-01-01

    Split inteins are parasitic genetic elements frequently found inserted into reading frames of essential proteins. Their association and excision restore host protein function through a protein self-splicing reaction. They have gained an increasingly important role in the chemical modification of proteins to create cyclical, segmentally labeled, and fluorescently tagged proteins. Ideally, inteins would seamlessly splice polypeptides together with no remnant sequences and at high efficiency. Here, we describe experiments that identify the branched intermediate, a transient step in the overall splicing reaction, as a key determinant of the splicing efficiency at different splice-site junctions. To alter intein specificity, we developed a cell-based selection scheme to evolve split inteins that splice with high efficiency at different splice junctions and at higher temperatures. Mutations within these evolved inteins occur at sites distant from the active site. We present a hypothesis that a network of conserved coevolving amino acids in inteins mediates these long-range effects. PMID:19541616

  7. The genetics of splicing in neuroblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Justin; Hackett, Christopher S.; Zhang, Shile; Song, Young K.; Bell, Robert J.A.; Molinaro, Annette M.; Quigley, David A.; Balmain, Allan; Song, Jun S.; Costello, Joseph F.; Gustafson, W. Clay; Dyke, Terry Van; Kwok, Pui-Yan; Khan, Javed; Weiss, William A.

    2015-01-01

    Regulation of mRNA splicing, a critical and tightly regulated cellular function, underlies the majority of proteomic diversity, and is frequently disrupted in disease. Using an integrative genomics approach, we combined both genome and exon level transcriptome data in two somatic tissues (cerebella and peripheral ganglia) from a transgenic mouse model of neuroblastoma, a tumor that arises from peripheral neural crest. Here we describe splicing quantitative trait loci (sQTL) associated with differential splicing across the genome that we use to identify genes with previously unknown functions within the splicing pathway and to define de novo intronic splicing motifs that influence splicing from hundreds of bases away. Our results show that these splicing motifs represent sites for functional recurrent mutations and highlight novel candidate genes in human cancers, including childhood neuroblastoma. PMID:25637275

  8. Development of a Functionally Minimized Mutant of the R3C Ligase Ribozyme Offers Insight into the Plausibility of the RNA World Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Kurihara, Eri; Uchida, Sayuri; Umehara, Takuya; Tamura, Koji

    2014-01-01

    The R3C ligase ribozyme is an artificial ligase ribozyme produced by modification of the ribozyme that lacks cytidine. Here, we attempted to modify the original R3C ribozyme (73 nucleotides) by reducing the number of nucleotides while maintaining the maximum possible catalytic efficiency. By partially deleting both the “grip” (P4 + P5) and “hammer” (P3) stem-loops, we found the critical border to retain activity comparable to that of full-length R3C. The three-way junction structure was necessary to maintain enzymatic function and the stability of the “grip” (P4 + P5) stem had a large influence on the catalytic activity of R3C. The final minimized ribozyme we obtained comprised ~50 nucleotides, comparable to the estimated length of prebiotically synthesized RNA. Our findings suggest that the autocatalytic function in ribozymes is indeed possible to obtain using sequence lengths achievable with prebiotic synthesis. PMID:25256424

  9. The role of splicing factors in deregulation of alternative splicing during oncogenesis and tumor progression

    PubMed Central

    Shilo, Asaf; Siegfried, Zahava; Karni, Rotem

    2015-01-01

    In past decades, cancer research has focused on genetic alterations that are detected in malignant tissues and contribute to the initiation and progression of cancer. These changes include mutations, copy number variations, and translocations. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that epigenetic changes, including alternative splicing, play a major role in cancer development and progression. There are relatively few studies on the contribution of alternative splicing and the splicing factors that regulate this process to cancer development and progression. Recently, multiple studies have revealed altered splicing patterns in cancers and several splicing factors were found to contribute to tumor development. Studies using high-throughput genomic analysis have identified mutations in components of the core splicing machinery and in splicing factors in several cancers. In this review, we will highlight new findings on the role of alternative splicing and its regulators in cancer initiation and progression, in addition to novel approaches to correct oncogenic splicing. PMID:27308389

  10. Synthetic fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Sammons, V.O.

    1980-01-01

    This guide is designed for those who wish to learn more about the science and technology of synthetic fuels by reviewing materials in the collections of the Library of Congress. This is not a comprehensive bibliography, it is designed to put the reader on target. Subject headings used by the Library of Congress under which books on synthetic fuels can be located are: oil-shale industry; oil-shales; shale oils; synthetic fuels; synthetic fuels industry; coal gasification; coal liquefaction; fossil fuels; hydrogen as fuel; oil sands; petroleum, synthesis gas; biomass energy; pyrolysis; and thermal oil recovery. Basic texts, handbooks, government publications, journals, etc. were included. (DP)

  11. A synthetic biology approach identifies the mammalian UPR RNA ligase RtcB

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yanyan; Liang, Feng-Xia; Wang, Xiaozhong

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Signaling in the ancestral branch of the unfolded protein response (UPR) is initiated by unconventional splicing of HAC1/XBP1 mRNA during endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. In mammals, IRE1α has been known to cleave the XBP1 intron. However, the enzyme responsible for ligation of two XBP1 exons remains unknown. Using an XBP1 splicing-based synthetic circuit, we identify RtcB as the primary UPR RNA ligase. In RtcB knockout cells, XBP1 mRNA splicing is defective during ER stress. Genetic rescue and in vitro splicing show that the RNA ligase activity of RtcB is directly required for the splicing of XBP1 mRNA. Taken together, these data demonstrate that RtcB is the long sought RNA ligase that catalyzes unconventional RNA splicing during the mammalian UPR. PMID:25087875

  12. Construction of HBV-specific ribozyme and its recombinant with HDV and their cleavage activity in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Shu-Juan; Xiang, Kai-Jun; Huang, Zhen-Hua; Zhou, Rong; Qi, Xue-Zhong

    2000-01-01

    AIM: To construct the recombinant of HDV cDNA and HBV-specific ribozyme gene by recombinant PCR in order to use HDV as a transporting vector carrying HBV-specific ribozyme into liver cells for inhibiting the replication of HBV. METHODS: We separately cloned the ribozyme (RZ) gene and recombinant DVRZ (comprising HDV cDNA and HBV-specific ribozyme gene) into the downstream of T7 promoter of pTAdv-T vector and studied the in vitro cleavage activity of their transcripts (rRZ, rDVRZ) on target RNA (rBVCF) from in vitro transcription of HBV C gene fragment(BVCF). RESULTS: Both the simple (rRZ) and the recombinant ribozyme rDVRZ could efficiently catalyze the cleavage of target RNA (rBVCF) under different temperatures (37 °C, 42 °C and 55 °C) and Mg2+ concentrations (10 mmol/L, 15 mmol/L and 20 mmol/L) and their catalytic activity tended to increase as the temperature was rising. But the activity of rRZ was evidently higher than that of rDVRZ. CONCLUSION: The recombinant of HDV cDNA and ribozyme gene had the potential of being further explored and used in gene therapy of HBV infection. PMID:11819602

  13. Structural and chemical basis for glucosamine 6-phosphate binding and activation of the glmS ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Cochrane, Jesse C; Lipchock, Sarah V; Smith, Kathryn D; Strobel, Scott A

    2009-04-21

    The glmS ribozyme is the first naturally occurring catalytic RNA that relies on an exogenous, nonnucleotide cofactor for reactivity. From a biochemical perspective, the glmS ribozyme derived from Bacillus anthracis is the best characterized. However, much of the structural work to date has been done on a variant glmS ribozyme, derived from Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis. Here we present structures of the B. anthracis glmS ribozyme in states before the activating sugar, glucosamine 6-phosphate (GlcN6P), has bound and after the reaction has occurred. These structures show an active site preorganized to bind GlcN6P that retains some affinity for the sugar even after cleavage of the RNA backbone. A structure of an inactive glmS ribozyme with a mutation distal from the ligand-binding pocket highlights a nucleotide critical to the reaction that does not affect GlcN6P binding. Structures of the glmS ribozyme bound to a naturally occurring inhibitor, glucose 6-phosphate (Glc6P), and a nonnatural activating sugar, mannosamine 6-phosphate (MaN6P), reveal a binding mode similar to that of GlcN6P. Kinetic analyses show a pH dependence of ligand binding that is consistent with titration of the cofactor's phosphate group and support a model in which the major determinant of activity is the sugar amine independent of its stereochemical presentation. PMID:19228039

  14. Structural and Chemical Basis for Glucosamine 6-Phosphate Binding and Activation of the glmS Ribozyme

    SciTech Connect

    Cochrane, J.; Lipchock, S; Smith, K; Strobel, S

    2009-01-01

    The glmS ribozyme is the first naturally occurring catalytic RNA that relies on an exogenous, nonnucleotide cofactor for reactivity. From a biochemical perspective, the glmS ribozyme derived from Bacillus anthracis is the best characterized. However, much of the structural work to date has been done on a variant glmS ribozyme, derived from Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis. Here we present structures of the B. anthracis glmS ribozyme in states before the activating sugar, glucosamine 6-phosphate (GlcN6P), has bound and after the reaction has occurred. These structures show an active site preorganized to bind GlcN6P that retains some affinity for the sugar even after cleavage of the RNA backbone. A structure of an inactive glmS ribozyme with a mutation distal from the ligand-binding pocket highlights a nucleotide critical to the reaction that does not affect GlcN6P binding. Structures of the glmS ribozyme bound to a naturally occurring inhibitor, glucose 6-phosphate (Glc6P), and a nonnatural activating sugar, mannosamine 6-phosphate (MaN6P), reveal a binding mode similar to that of GlcN6P. Kinetic analyses show a pH dependence of ligand binding that is consistent with titration of the cofactor's phosphate group and support a model in which the major determinant of activity is the sugar amine independent of its stereochemical presentation.

  15. Peptide nucleic acid (PNA) is capable of enhancing hammerhead ribozyme activity with long but not with short RNA substrates.

    PubMed Central

    Jankowsky, E; Strunk, G; Schwenzer, B

    1997-01-01

    Long RNA substrates are inefficiently cleaved by hammerhead ribozymes in trans. Oligonucleotide facilitators capable of affecting the ribozyme activity by interacting with the substrates at the termini of the ribozyme provide a possibility to improve ribozyme mediated cleavage of long RNA substrates. We have examined the effect of PNA as facilitator in vitro in order to test if even artificial compounds have facilitating potential. Effects of 12mer PNA- (peptide nucleic acid), RNA- and DNA-facilitators of identical sequence were measured with three substrates containing either 942, 452 or 39 nucleotides. The PNA facilitator enhances the ribozyme activity with both, the 942mer and the 452mer substrate to a slightly smaller extent than RNA and DNA facilitators. This effect was observed up to PNA facilitator:substrate ratios of 200:1. The enhancement becomes smaller as the PNA facilitator:substrate ratio exceeds 200:1. With the 39mer substrate, the PNA facilitator decreases the ribozyme activity by more than 100-fold, even at PNA facilitator:substrate ratios of 1:1. Although with long substrates the effect of the PNA facilitator is slightly smaller than the effect of identical RNA or DNA facilitators, PNA may be a more practical choice for potential applications in vivo because PNA is much more resistant to degradation by cellular enzymes. PMID:9207013

  16. Leakage and slow allostery limit performance of single drug-sensing aptazyme molecules based on the hammerhead ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    de Silva, Chamaree; Walter, Nils G.

    2009-01-01

    Engineered “aptazymes” fuse in vitro selected aptamers with ribozymes to create allosteric enzymes as biosensing components and artificial gene regulatory switches through ligand-induced conformational rearrangement and activation. By contrast, activating ligand is employed as an enzymatic cofactor in the only known natural aptazyme, the glmS ribozyme, which is devoid of any detectable conformational rearrangements. To better understand this difference in biosensing strategy, we monitored by single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and 2-aminopurine (AP) fluorescence the global conformational dynamics and local base (un)stacking, respectively, of a prototypical drug-sensing aptazyme, built from a theophylline aptamer and the hammerhead ribozyme. Single molecule FRET reveals that a catalytically active state with distal Stems I and III of the hammerhead ribozyme is accessed both in the theophylline-bound and, if less frequently, in the ligand-free state. The resultant residual activity (leakage) in the absence of theophylline contributes to a limited dynamic range of the aptazyme. In addition, site-specific AP labeling shows that rapid local theophylline binding to the aptamer domain leads to only slow allosteric signal transduction into the ribozyme core. Our findings allow us to rationalize the suboptimal biosensing performance of the engineered compared to the natural aptazyme and to suggest improvement strategies. Our single molecule FRET approach also monitors in real time the previously elusive equilibrium docking dynamics of the hammerhead ribozyme between several inactive conformations and the active, long-lived, Y-shaped conformer. PMID:19029309

  17. Spliced leader RNA trans-splicing discovered in copepods

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Feifei; Xu, Donghui; Zhuang, Yunyun; Yi, Xiaoyan; Huang, Yousong; Chen, Hongju; Lin, Senjie; Campbell, David A.; Sturm, Nancy R.; Liu, Guangxing; Zhang, Huan

    2015-01-01

    Copepods are one of the most abundant metazoans in the marine ecosystem, constituting a critical link in aquatic food webs and contributing significantly to the global carbon budget, yet molecular mechanisms of their gene expression are not well understood. Here we report the detection of spliced leader (SL) trans-splicing in calanoid copepods. We have examined nine species of wild-caught copepods from Jiaozhou Bay, China that represent the major families of the calanoids. All these species contained a common 46-nt SL (CopepodSL). We further determined the size of CopepodSL precursor RNA (slRNA; 108-158 nt) through genomic analysis and 3′-RACE technique, which was confirmed by RNA blot analysis. Structure modeling showed that the copepod slRNA folded into typical slRNA secondary structures. Using a CopepodSL-based primer set, we selectively enriched and sequenced copepod full-length cDNAs, which led to the characterization of copepod transcripts and the cataloging of the complete set of 79 eukaryotic cytoplasmic ribosomal proteins (cRPs) for a single copepod species. We uncovered the SL trans-splicing in copepod natural populations, and demonstrated that CopepodSL was a sensitive and specific tool for copepod transcriptomic studies at both the individual and population levels and that it would be useful for metatranscriptomic analysis of copepods. PMID:26621068

  18. Spliced leader RNA trans-splicing discovered in copepods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Feifei; Xu, Donghui; Zhuang, Yunyun; Yi, Xiaoyan; Huang, Yousong; Chen, Hongju; Lin, Senjie; Campbell, David A.; Sturm, Nancy R.; Liu, Guangxing; Zhang, Huan

    2015-12-01

    Copepods are one of the most abundant metazoans in the marine ecosystem, constituting a critical link in aquatic food webs and contributing significantly to the global carbon budget, yet molecular mechanisms of their gene expression are not well understood. Here we report the detection of spliced leader (SL) trans-splicing in calanoid copepods. We have examined nine species of wild-caught copepods from Jiaozhou Bay, China that represent the major families of the calanoids. All these species contained a common 46-nt SL (CopepodSL). We further determined the size of CopepodSL precursor RNA (slRNA; 108-158 nt) through genomic analysis and 3‧-RACE technique, which was confirmed by RNA blot analysis. Structure modeling showed that the copepod slRNA folded into typical slRNA secondary structures. Using a CopepodSL-based primer set, we selectively enriched and sequenced copepod full-length cDNAs, which led to the characterization of copepod transcripts and the cataloging of the complete set of 79 eukaryotic cytoplasmic ribosomal proteins (cRPs) for a single copepod species. We uncovered the SL trans-splicing in copepod natural populations, and demonstrated that CopepodSL was a sensitive and specific tool for copepod transcriptomic studies at both the individual and population levels and that it would be useful for metatranscriptomic analysis of copepods.

  19. Spliced leader RNA trans-splicing discovered in copepods.

    PubMed

    Yang, Feifei; Xu, Donghui; Zhuang, Yunyun; Yi, Xiaoyan; Huang, Yousong; Chen, Hongju; Lin, Senjie; Campbell, David A; Sturm, Nancy R; Liu, Guangxing; Zhang, Huan

    2015-01-01

    Copepods are one of the most abundant metazoans in the marine ecosystem, constituting a critical link in aquatic food webs and contributing significantly to the global carbon budget, yet molecular mechanisms of their gene expression are not well understood. Here we report the detection of spliced leader (SL) trans-splicing in calanoid copepods. We have examined nine species of wild-caught copepods from Jiaozhou Bay, China that represent the major families of the calanoids. All these species contained a common 46-nt SL (CopepodSL). We further determined the size of CopepodSL precursor RNA (slRNA; 108-158 nt) through genomic analysis and 3'-RACE technique, which was confirmed by RNA blot analysis. Structure modeling showed that the copepod slRNA folded into typical slRNA secondary structures. Using a CopepodSL-based primer set, we selectively enriched and sequenced copepod full-length cDNAs, which led to the characterization of copepod transcripts and the cataloging of the complete set of 79 eukaryotic cytoplasmic ribosomal proteins (cRPs) for a single copepod species. We uncovered the SL trans-splicing in copepod natural populations, and demonstrated that CopepodSL was a sensitive and specific tool for copepod transcriptomic studies at both the individual and population levels and that it would be useful for metatranscriptomic analysis of copepods. PMID:26621068

  20. Protein Trans-Splicing of an Atypical Split Intein Showing Structural Flexibility and Cross-Reactivity

    PubMed Central

    Song, Huiling; Meng, Qing; Liu, Xiang-Qin

    2012-01-01

    Inteins catalyze a protein splicing reaction to excise the intein from a precursor protein and join the flanking sequences (exteins) with a peptide bond. In a split intein, the intein fragments (IN and IC) can reassemble non-covalently to catalyze a trans-splicing reaction that joins the exteins from separate polypeptides. An atypical split intein having a very small IN and a large IC is particularly useful for joining synthetic peptides with recombinant proteins, which can be a generally useful method of introducing site-specific chemical labeling or modifications into proteins. However, a large IC derived from an Ssp DnaX intein was found recently to undergo spontaneous C-cleavage, which raised questions regarding its structure-function and ability to trans-splice. Here, we show that this IC could undergo trans-splicing in the presence of IN, and the trans-splicing activity completely suppressed the C-cleavage activity. We also found that this IC could trans-splice with small IN sequences derived from two other inteins, showing a cross-reactivity of this atypical split intein. Furthermore, we found that this IC could trans-splice even when the IN sequence was embedded in a nearly complete intein sequence, suggesting that the small IN could project out of the central pocket of the intein to become accessible to the IC. Overall, these findings uncovered a new atypical split intein that can be valuable for peptide-protein trans-splicing, and they also revealed an interesting structural flexibility and cross-reactivity at the active site of this intein. PMID:23024818

  1. Ribozymes targeted to stearoyl-ACP delta9 desaturase mRNA produce heritable increases of stearic acid in transgenic maize leaves.

    PubMed Central

    Merlo, A O; Cowen, N; Delate, T; Edington, B; Folkerts, O; Hopkins, N; Lemeiux, C; Skokut, T; Smith, K; Woosley, A; Yang, Y; Young, S; Zwick, M

    1998-01-01

    Ribozymes are RNAs that can be designed to catalyze the specific cleavage or ligation of target RNAs. We have explored the possibility of using ribozymes in maize to downregulate the expression of the stearoyl-acyl carrier protein (Delta9) desaturase gene. Based on site accessibility and catalytic activity, several ribozyme constructs were designed and transformed into regenerable maize lines. One of these constructs, a multimer hammerhead ribozyme linked to a selectable marker gene, was shown to increase leaf stearate in two of 13 maize lines. There were concomitant decreases in Delta9 desaturase mRNA and protein. The plants with the altered stearate phenotype were shown to express ribozyme RNA. The ribozyme-mediated trait was heritable, as evidenced by stearate increases in the leaves of the R1 plants derived from a high-stearate line. The increase in stearate correlated with the presence of the ribozyme gene. A catalytically inactive version of this ribozyme did not produce any significant effect in transgenic maize. This is evidence that ribozymes can be used to modulate the expression of endogenous genes in maize. PMID:9761789

  2. Hallmarks of alternative splicing in cancer.

    PubMed

    Oltean, S; Bates, D O

    2014-11-13

    The immense majority of genes are alternatively spliced and there are many isoforms specifically associated with cancer progression and metastasis. The splicing pattern of specific isoforms of numerous genes is altered as cells move through the oncogenic process of gaining proliferative capacity, acquiring angiogenic, invasive, antiapoptotic and survival properties, becoming free from growth factor dependence and growth suppression, altering their metabolism to cope with hypoxia, enabling them to acquire mechanisms of immune escape, and as they move through the epithelial-mesenchymal and mesenchymal-epithelial transitions and metastasis. Each of the 'hallmarks of cancer' is associated with a switch in splicing, towards a more aggressive invasive cancer phenotype. The choice of isoforms is regulated by several factors (signaling molecules, kinases, splicing factors) currently being identified systematically by a number of high-throughput, independent and unbiased methodologies. Splicing factors are de-regulated in cancer, and in some cases are themselves oncogenes or pseudo-oncogenes and can contribute to positive feedback loops driving cancer progression. Tumour progression may therefore be associated with a coordinated splicing control, meaning that there is the potential for a relatively small number of splice factors or their regulators to drive multiple oncogenic processes. The understanding of how splicing contributes to the various phenotypic traits acquired by tumours as they progress and metastasise, and in particular how alternative splicing is coordinated, can and is leading to the development of a new class of anticancer therapeutics-the alternative-splicing inhibitors. PMID:24336324

  3. Safely splicing glass optical fibers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Korbelak, K.

    1980-01-01

    Field-repair technique fuses glass fibers in flammable environment. Apparatus consists of v-groove vacuum chucks on manipulators, high-voltage dc power supply and tungsten electrodes, microscope to observe joint alignment and fusion, means of test transmission through joint. Apparatus is enclosed in gas tight bos filled with inert gas during fusion. About 2 feet of fiber end are necessary for splicing.

  4. Preparation of anti-mouse caspase-12 mRNA hammerhead ribozyme and identification of its activity in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Shan; Xie, Qing; Zhang, Wei; Zhou, Xia-Qiu; Jin, You-Xin

    2005-01-01

    AIM: To prepare and identify specific anti-mouse caspase-12 hammerhead ribozymes in vitro, in order to select a more effective ribozyme against mouse caspase-12 as a potential tool to rescue cells from endoplasmic reticulum stress induced apoptosis. METHODS: Two hammerhead ribozymes directed separately against 138 and 218 site of nucleotide of mouse caspase-12 mRNA were designed by computer software, and their DNA sequences were synthesized. The synthesized ribozymes were cloned into an eukaryotic expression vector-neorpBSKU6 and embedded in U6 SnRNA context for further study. Mouse caspase-12 gene segment was cloned into PGEM-T vector under the control of T7 RNA polymerase promoter (containing gene sequence from positions nt 41 to nt 894) as target. In vitro transcription both the ribozymes and target utilize T7 promoter. The target was labeled with [α-32P]UTP, while ribozymes were not labeled. After gel purification the RNAs were dissolved in RNase free water. Ribozyme and target were incubated for 90 min at 37°C in reaction buffer (40 mmol/L Tris-HCL, pH 7.5, 10 mmol/L Mg2+). Molar ratio of ribozyme vs target was 30:1. Samples were analyzed on 6% PAGE (containing 8 mol/L urea). RESULTS: Both caspase-12 and ribozyme gene sequences were successfully cloned into expression vector confirmed by sequencing. Ribozymes and caspase-12 mRNA were obtained by in vitro transcription. Cleavage experiment showed that in a physiological similar condition (37°C, pH 7.5), Rz138 and Rz218 both cleaved targets at predicted sites, for Rz138 the cleavage efficiency was about 100%, for Rz218 the value was 36.66%. CONCLUSION: Rz138 prepared in vitro can site specific cleave mouse caspase-12 mRNA with an excellent efficiency. It shows a potential to suppress the expression of caspase-12 in vivo, thus provided a new way to protect cells from ER stress induced apoptosis. PMID:15996037

  5. Underwater splice for submarine coaxial cable

    SciTech Connect

    Inouye, A.T.; Roe, T. Jr.; Tausing, W.R.; Wilson, J.V.

    1984-10-30

    The invention is a device for splicing submarine coaxial cable underwater on the seafloor with a simple push-on operation to restore and maintain electrical and mechanical strength integrity; the splice device is mateable directly with the severed ends of a coaxial cable to be repaired. Splicing assemblies comprise a dielectric pressure compensating fluid filled guide cavity, a gelled castor oil cap and wiping seals for exclusion of seawater, electrical contacts, a cable strength restoration mechanism, and a pressure compensation system for controlled extrusion of and depletion loss prevention of dielectric seal fluid during cable splicing. A splice is made underwater by directly inserting prepared ends of coaxial cable, having no connector attachments, into splicing assemblies.

  6. Functional consequences of developmentally regulated alternative splicing

    PubMed Central

    Kalsotra, Auinash; Cooper, Thomas A.

    2012-01-01

    Genome-wide analyses of metazoan transcriptomes have revealed an unexpected level of mRNA diversity that is generated by alternative splicing. Recently, regulatory networks have been identified through which splicing promotes dynamic remodeling of the transcriptome to promote physiological changes, which involve robust and coordinated alternative splicing transitions. The regulation of splicing in yeast, worms, flies and vertebrates affects a variety of biological processes. The functional classes of genes that are regulated by alternative splicing include both those with widespread homeostatic activities and genes with cell-type-specific functions. Alternative splicing can drive determinative physiological change or can have a permissive role by providing mRNA variability that is utilized by other regulatory mechanisms. PMID:21921927

  7. Investigating alternative RNA splicing in Xenopus.

    PubMed

    Mereau, Agnès; Hardy, Serge

    2012-01-01

    Alternative splicing, the process by which distinct mature mRNAs can be produced from a single primary transcript, is a key mechanism to increase the organism complexity. The generation of alternative splicing pattern is a means to expand the proteome diversity and also to control gene expression through the regulation of mRNA abundance. Alternative splicing is therefore particularly prevalent during development and accordingly numerous splicing events are regulated in a tissue or temporal manner. To study the roles of alternative splicing during developmental processes and decipher the molecular mechanisms that underlie temporal and spatial regulation, it is important to develop in vivo whole animal studies. In this chapter, we present the advantages of using the amphibian Xenopus as a fully in vivo model to study alternative splicing and we describe the experimental procedures that can be used with Xenopus laevis embryos and oocytes to define the cis-regulatory elements and identify the associated trans-acting factors. PMID:22956098

  8. A recombinant RNA bacteriophage system to identify functionally important nucleotides in a self-cleaving ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background RNA bacteriophages like Qbeta and MS2 are well known for their high mutation rate, short infection cycle and strong selection against foreign inserts. The hammerhead ribozyme (HHRz) is a small self-cleaving RNA molecule whose active residues have previously been identified by mutational analysis of each individual base. Here the functionally important bases of HHRz were determined in a single screening experiment by inserting the HHRz into the genome of MS2. Findings The minimal HHRz of satellite Tobacco ringspot virus was cloned into the genome of RNA bacteriophage MS2. Sequence analysis of the surviving phages revealed that the majority had acquired single base-substitutions that apparently inactivated the HHRz. The positions of these substitutions exactly matched that of the previously determined core residues of the HHRz. Conclusions Natural selection against a ribozyme in the genome of MS2 can be used to quickly identify nucleotides required for self-cleavage. PMID:24946926

  9. Signal amplification of glucosamine-6-phosphate based on ribozyme glmS.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yongyun; Chen, Haodong; Du, Feng; Yasmeen, Afshan; Dong, Juan; Cui, Xin; Tang, Zhuo

    2014-12-15

    Ribozyme glmS based isothermal amplification assay is developed for the colorimetric detection of glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P). Upon binding to the metabolite target GlcN6P, self-cleavage of glmS ribozyme is initiated to release RNA fragment that can trigger the cascade signal amplification to release large amount of G-quadruplex DNAzymes as reporter for colorimetric detection. Given the importance of GlcN6P for cell wall biosynthesis, the glmS riboswitch has become a new drug target for the development of antibiotics. This assay not only offers a convenient detection of GlcN6P with high specificity and sensitivity, but also provides a platform for high-throughput screening of antibiotics based on glmS riboswitches. PMID:25038539

  10. Chimeric DNA-RNA hammerhead ribozyme targeting transforming growth factor-beta 1 mRNA inhibits neointima formation in rat carotid artery after balloon injury.

    PubMed

    Ando, Hideyuki; Fukuda, Noboru; Kotani, Motoko; Yokoyama, Shin ichiro; Kunimoto, Satoshi; Matsumoto, Koichi; Saito, Satoshi; Kanmatsuse, Katsuo; Mugishima, Hideo

    2004-01-12

    We designed and synthesized a chimeric DNA-RNA hammerhead ribozyme targeting transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta 1 mRNA and found that this ribozyme effectively and specifically inhibited growth of vascular smooth muscle cells. We examined the effects of the chimeric DNA-RNA hammerhead ribozyme targeting TGF-beta 1 mRNA on neointima formation and investigated the underlying mechanism to develop a possible gene therapy for coronary artery restenosis after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. Expression of mRNAs encoding TGF-beta 1, p27kip1, and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) in carotid artery increased after balloon injury. Fluorescein-isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled ribozyme was taken up into the midlayer smooth muscle of the injured carotid artery. Both 2 and 5 mg of ribozyme reduced neointima formation by 65% compared to that of controls. Ribozyme markedly decreased expression of TGF-beta 1 mRNA and protein in injured vessel. Mismatch ribozyme had no effect on expression of TGF-beta 1 mRNA protein in injured vessel. Ribozyme markedly decreased expression of fibronectin, p27kip1, and CTGF mRNAs in injured vessel, whereas a mismatch ribozyme had no effect on these mRNAs. These findings indicate that the chimeric DNA-RNA hammerhead ribozyme targeting TGF-beta 1 mRNA inhibits neointima formation in rat carotid artery after balloon injury with suppression of TGF-beta 1 and inhibition of extracellular matrix and CTGF. In conclusion, the hammerhead ribozyme against TGF-beta 1 may have promise as a therapy for coronary artery restenosis after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. PMID:14729108

  11. Molecular aspects of DNA splicing system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yusof, Yuhani; Lim, Wen Li; Goode, T. Elizabeth; Sarmin, Nor Haniza; Heng, Fong Wan; Wahab, Mohd Firdaus Abd

    2015-05-01

    The pioneer model of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) splicing system in a framework of Formal Language Theory was introduced by Head that led to the existence of other models of splicing system, namely Paun, Pixton and Yusof-Goode. These entire models are inspired by the molecular biological process of DNA splicing. Hence, this paper focuses on the translucent DNA splicing process, particularly on the generated language. Starting with some preliminaries in a limit graph, this paper also provides the experimental design with the predicted and actual result.

  12. Recursive splicing in long vertebrate genes

    PubMed Central

    Blazquez, Lorea; Faro, Ana; Haberman, Nejc; Briese, Michael; Trabzuni, Daniah; Ryten, Mina; Weale, Michael E; Hardy, John; Modic, Miha; Curk, Tomaž; Wilson, Stephen W; Plagnol, Vincent; Ule, Jernej

    2015-01-01

    It is generally believed that splicing removes introns as single units from pre-mRNA transcripts. However, some long D. melanogaster introns contain a cryptic site, called a recursive splice site (RS-site), that enables a multi-step process of intron removal termed recursive splicing1,2. The extent to which recursive splicing occurs in other species and its mechanistic basis remain unclear. Here we identify highly conserved RS-sites in genes expressed in the mammalian brain that encode proteins functioning in neuronal development. Moreover, the RS-sites are found in some of the longest introns across vertebrates. We find that vertebrate recursive splicing requires initial definition of a “RS-exon” that follows the RS-site. The RS-exon is then excluded from the dominant mRNA isoform due to competition with a reconstituted 5′ splice site formed at the RS-site after the first splicing step. Conversely, the RS-exon is included when preceded by cryptic exons or promoters that are prevalent in long introns, but which fail to reconstitute an efficient 5′ splice site. Most RS-exons contain a premature stop codon such that their inclusion may decrease mRNA stability. Thus, by establishing a binary splicing switch, RS-sites demarcate different mRNA isoforms emerging from long genes by coupling inclusion of cryptic elements with RS-exons. PMID:25970246

  13. Tropomyosin exons as models for alternative splicing.

    PubMed

    Gooding, Clare; Smith, Christopher W J

    2008-01-01

    Three of the four mammalian tropomyosin (Tm) genes are alternatively spliced, most commonly by mutually exclusive selection from pairs of internal or 3' end exons. Alternative splicing events in the TPM1, 2 and 3 genes have been analysed experimentally in various levels ofdetail. In particular, mutually exclusive exon pairs in the betaTm (TPM2) and alphaTm (TPM1) genes are among the most intensively studied models for striated and smooth muscle specific alternative splicing, respectively. Analysis of these model systems has provided important insights into general mechanisms and strategies of splicing regulation. PMID:19209811

  14. Recursive splicing in long vertebrate genes.

    PubMed

    Sibley, Christopher R; Emmett, Warren; Blazquez, Lorea; Faro, Ana; Haberman, Nejc; Briese, Michael; Trabzuni, Daniah; Ryten, Mina; Weale, Michael E; Hardy, John; Modic, Miha; Curk, Tomaž; Wilson, Stephen W; Plagnol, Vincent; Ule, Jernej

    2015-05-21

    It is generally believed that splicing removes introns as single units from precursor messenger RNA transcripts. However, some long Drosophila melanogaster introns contain a cryptic site, known as a recursive splice site (RS-site), that enables a multi-step process of intron removal termed recursive splicing. The extent to which recursive splicing occurs in other species and its mechanistic basis have not been examined. Here we identify highly conserved RS-sites in genes expressed in the mammalian brain that encode proteins functioning in neuronal development. Moreover, the RS-sites are found in some of the longest introns across vertebrates. We find that vertebrate recursive splicing requires initial definition of an 'RS-exon' that follows the RS-site. The RS-exon is then excluded from the dominant mRNA isoform owing to competition with a reconstituted 5' splice site formed at the RS-site after the first splicing step. Conversely, the RS-exon is included when preceded by cryptic promoters or exons that fail to reconstitute an efficient 5' splice site. Most RS-exons contain a premature stop codon such that their inclusion can decrease mRNA stability. Thus, by establishing a binary splicing switch, RS-sites demarcate different mRNA isoforms emerging from long genes by coupling cryptic elements with inclusion of RS-exons. PMID:25970246

  15. Regulation of Splicing Factors by Alternative Splicing and NMD Is Conserved between Kingdoms Yet Evolutionarily Flexible

    PubMed Central

    Lareau, Liana F.; Brenner, Steven E.

    2015-01-01

    Ultraconserved elements, unusually long regions of perfect sequence identity, are found in genes encoding numerous RNA-binding proteins including arginine-serine rich (SR) splicing factors. Expression of these genes is regulated via alternative splicing of the ultraconserved regions to yield mRNAs that are degraded by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), a process termed unproductive splicing (Lareau et al. 2007; Ni et al. 2007). As all human SR genes are affected by alternative splicing and NMD, one might expect this regulation to have originated in an early SR gene and persisted as duplications expanded the SR family. But in fact, unproductive splicing of most human SR genes arose independently (Lareau et al. 2007). This paradox led us to investigate the origin and proliferation of unproductive splicing in SR genes. We demonstrate that unproductive splicing of the splicing factor SRSF5 (SRp40) is conserved among all animals and even observed in fungi; this is a rare example of alternative splicing conserved between kingdoms, yet its effect is to trigger mRNA degradation. As the gene duplicated, the ancient unproductive splicing was lost in paralogs, and distinct unproductive splicing evolved rapidly and repeatedly to take its place. SR genes have consistently employed unproductive splicing, and while it is exceptionally conserved in some of these genes, turnover in specific events among paralogs shows flexible means to the same regulatory end. PMID:25576366

  16. A remarkably stable kissing-loop interaction defines substrate recognition by the Neurospora Varkud Satellite ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Bouchard, Patricia; Legault, Pascale

    2014-01-01

    Kissing loops are tertiary structure elements that often play key roles in functional RNAs. In the Neurospora VS ribozyme, a kissing-loop interaction between the stem–loop I (SLI) substrate and stem–loop V (SLV) of the catalytic domain is known to play an important role in substrate recognition. In addition, this I/V kissing-loop interaction is associated with a helix shift in SLI that activates the substrate for catalysis. To better understand the role of this kissing-loop interaction in substrate recognition and activation by the VS ribozyme, we performed a thermodynamic characterization by isothermal titration calorimetry using isolated SLI and SLV stem–loops. We demonstrate that preshifted SLI variants have higher affinity for SLV than shiftable SLI variants, with an energetic cost of 1.8–3 kcal/mol for the helix shift in SLI. The affinity of the preshifted SLI for SLV is remarkably high, the interaction being more stable by 7–8 kcal/mol than predicted for a comparable duplex containing three Watson–Crick base pairs. The structural basis of this remarkable stability is discussed in light of previous NMR studies. Comparative thermodynamic studies reveal that kissing-loop complexes containing 6–7 Watson–Crick base pairs are as stable as predicted from comparable RNA duplexes; however, those with 2–3 Watson–Crick base pairs are more stable than predicted. Interestingly, the stability of SLI/ribozyme complexes is similar to that of SLI/SLV complexes. Thus, the I/V kissing loop interaction represents the predominant energetic contribution to substrate recognition by the trans-cleaving VS ribozyme. PMID:25051972

  17. Thio Effects and an Unconventional Metal Ion Rescue in the Genomic HDV Ribozyme§

    PubMed Central

    Thaplyal, Pallavi; Ganguly, Abir; Golden, Barbara L.; Hammes-Schiffer, Sharon; Bevilacqua, Philip C.

    2013-01-01

    Metal ion and nucleobase catalysis are important for ribozyme mechanism, but the extent to which they cooperate is unclear. A crystal structure of the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme suggested that the pro-RP oxygen at the scissile phosphate directly coordinates a catalytic Mg2+ ion and is within hydrogen bonding distance of the amine of the general acid C75. Prior studies on the genomic HDV ribozyme, however, showed neither a thio effect nor metal ion rescue using Mn2+. Here, we combine experiment and theory to explore phosphorothioate substitutions at the scissile phosphate. We report significant thio effects at the scissile phosphate and metal ion rescue with Cd2+. Reaction profiles with an SP-phosphorothioate substitution are indistinguishable from those of the unmodified substrate in the presence of Mg2+ or Cd2+, supporting that the pro-SP oxygen does not coordinate metal ions. The RP-phosphorothioate substitution, however, exhibits biphasic kinetics, with the fast-reacting phase displaying a thio effect of up to 5-fold effect and the slow-reacting phase displaying a thio effect of ~1,000-fold. Moreover, the fast- and slow-reacting phases give metal ion rescues in Cd2+ of up to 10- and 330-fold, respectively. The metal ion rescues are unconventional in that they arise from Cd2+ inhibiting the oxo substrate but not the RP substrate. This metal ion rescue suggests a direct interaction of the catalytic metal ion with the pro-RP oxygen, in line with experiments on the antigenomic HDV ribozyme. Experiments without divalent ions, with mutants that interfere with Mg2+ binding, or with C75 deleted suggest that the pro-RP oxygen plays at most a redundant role in positioning C75. Quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) studies indicate that the metal ion contributes to catalysis by interacting with both the pro-RP oxygen and the nucleophilic 2’- hydroxyl, supporting the experimental findings. PMID:24001219

  18. Ligation of RNA Oligomers by the Schistosoma mansoni Hammerhead Ribozyme in Frozen Solution.

    PubMed

    Lie, Lively; Biliya, Shweta; Vannberg, Fredrik; Wartell, Roger M

    2016-03-01

    The interstitial liquid phase within frozen aqueous solutions is an environment that minimizes RNA degradation and facilitates reactions that may have relevance to the RNA World hypothesis. Previous work has shown that frozen solutions support condensation of activated nucleotides into RNA oligomers, RNA ligation by the hairpin ribozyme, and RNA synthesis by a RNA polymerase ribozyme. In the current study, we examined the activity of a hammerhead ribozyme (HHR) in frozen solution. The Schistosoma mansoni hammerhead ribozyme, which predominantly cleaves RNA, can ligate its cleaved products (P1 and P2) with yields up to ~23 % in single turnover experiments at 25 °C in the presence of Mg(2+). Our studies show that this HHR ligates RNA oligomers in frozen solution in the absence of divalent cations. Citrate and other anions that exhibit strong ion-water affinity enhanced ligation. Yields up to 43 % were observed in one freeze-thaw cycle and a maximum of 60 % was obtained after several freeze-thaw cycles using wild-type P1 and P2. Truncated and mutated P1 substrates were ligated to P2 with yields of 14-24 % in one freeze-thaw cycle. A pool of P2 substrates with mixtures of all four bases at five positions were ligated with P1 in frozen solution. High-throughput sequencing indicated that 70 of the 1024 possible P2 sequences were represented in ligated products at 1000 or more read counts per million reads. The results indicate that the HHR can ligate a range of short RNA oligomers into an ensemble of diverse sequences in ice. PMID:26897022

  19. Ribozyme-based aminoglycoside switches of gene expression engineered by genetic selection in S. cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Klauser, Benedikt; Atanasov, Janina; Siewert, Lena K; Hartig, Jörg S

    2015-05-15

    Systems for conditional gene expression are powerful tools in basic research as well as in biotechnology. For future applications, it is of great importance to engineer orthogonal genetic switches that function reliably in diverse contexts. RNA-based switches have the advantage that effector molecules interact immediately with regulatory modules inserted into the target RNAs, getting rid of the need of transcription factors usually mediating genetic control. Artificial riboswitches are characterized by their simplicity and small size accompanied by a high degree of modularity. We have recently reported a series of hammerhead ribozyme-based artificial riboswitches that allow for post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression via switching mRNA, tRNA, or rRNA functions. A more widespread application was so far hampered by moderate switching performances and a limited set of effector molecules available. Here, we report the re-engineering of hammerhead ribozymes in order to respond efficiently to aminoglycoside antibiotics. We first established an in vivo selection protocol in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that enabled us to search large sequence spaces for optimized switches. We then envisioned and characterized a novel strategy of attaching the aptamer to the ribozyme catalytic core, increasing the design options for rendering the ribozyme ligand-dependent. These innovations enabled the development of neomycin-dependent RNA modules that switch gene expression up to 25-fold. The presented aminoglycoside-responsive riboswitches belong to the best-performing RNA-based genetic regulators reported so far. The developed in vivo selection protocol should allow for sampling of large sequence spaces for engineering of further optimized riboswitches. PMID:24871672

  20. Distinct reaction pathway promoted by non-divalent-metal cations in a tertiary stabilized hammerhead ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Roychowdhury-Saha, Manami; Burke, Donald H.

    2007-01-01

    Divalent ion sensitivity of hammerhead ribozymes is significantly reduced when the RNA structure includes appropriate tertiary stabilization. Therefore, we investigated the activity of the tertiary stabilized “RzB” hammerhead ribozyme in several nondivalent ions. Ribozyme RzB is active in spermidine and Na+ alone, although the cleavage rates are reduced by more than 1,000-fold relative to the rates observed in Mg2+ and in transition metal ions. The trivalent cobalt hexammine (CoHex) ion is often used as an exchange-inert analog of hydrated magnesium ion. Trans-cleavage rates exceeded 8 min−1 in 20 mM CoHex, which promoted cleavage through outersphere interactions. The stimulation of catalysis afforded by the tertiary structural interactions within RzB does not require Mg2+, unlike other extended hammerhead ribozymes. Site-specific interaction with at least one Mg2+ ion is suggested by CoHex competition experiments. In the presence of a constant, low concentration of Mg2+, low concentrations of CoHex decreased the rate by two to three orders of magnitude relative to the rate in Mg2+ alone. Cleavage rates increased as CoHex concentrations were raised further, but the final fraction cleaved was lower than what was observed in CoHex or Mg2+ alone. These observations suggest that Mg2+ and CoHex compete for binding and that they cause misfolded structures when they are together. The results of this study support the existence of an alternate catalytic mechanism used by nondivalent ions (especially CoHex) that is distinct from the one promoted by divalent metal ions, and they imply that divalent metals influence catalysis through a specific nonstructural role. PMID:17456566

  1. Bacterial Riboswitches and Ribozymes Potently Activate the Human Innate Immune Sensor PKR.

    PubMed

    Hull, Chelsea M; Anmangandla, Ananya; Bevilacqua, Philip C

    2016-04-15

    The innate immune system provides the first line of defense against pathogens through the recognition of nonspecific patterns in RNA to protect the cell in a generalized way. The human RNA-activated protein kinase, PKR, is a dsRNA binding protein and an essential sensor in the innate immune response, which recognizes viral and bacterial pathogens through their RNAs. Upon activation via RNA-dependent autophosphorylation, PKR phosphorylates the eukaryotic initiation factor eIF2α, leading to termination of translation. PKR has a well-characterized role in recognizing viral RNA, where it binds long stretches of double-stranded RNA nonsequence specifically to promote activation; however, the mechanism by which bacterial RNA activates PKR and the mode by which self RNA avoids activating PKR are unknown. We characterized activation of PKR by three functional bacterial RNAs with pseudoknots and extensive tertiary structure: the cyclic di-GMP riboswitch, the glmS riboswitch-ribozyme, and the twister ribozyme, two of which are ligand-activated. These RNAs were found to activate PKR with comparable potency to long dsRNA. Enzymatic structure mapping in the absence and presence of PKR reveals a clear PKR footprint and provides a structural basis for how these bacterial RNAs activate PKR. In the case of the cyclic di-GMP riboswitch and the glmS riboswitch-ribozyme, PKR appears to dimerize on the peripheral double-stranded regions of the native RNA tertiary structure. Overall, these results provide new insights into how PKR acts as an innate immune signaling protein for the presence of bacteria and suggest a reason for the apparent absence of protein-free riboswitches and ribozymes in the human genome. PMID:27011290

  2. A Transition-State Interaction Shifts Nucleobase Ionization Toward Neutrality to Facilitate Small Ribozyme Catalysis

    PubMed Central

    Liberman, Joseph A.; Guo, Man; Jenkins, Jermaine L.; Krucinska, Jolanta; Chen, Yuanyuan; Carey, Paul R.; Wedekind, Joseph E.

    2012-01-01

    One mechanism by which ribozymes can accelerate biological reactions is by adopting folds that favorably perturb nucleobase ionization. Herein we used Raman crystallography to directly measure pKa values for the Ade38 N1-imino group of a hairpin ribozyme in distinct conformational states. A transition-state analogue gave a pKa value of 6.27 ± 0.05, which agrees strikingly well with values measured by pH-rate analyses. To identify the chemical attributes that contribute to the shifted pKa we determined crystal structures of hairpin ribozyme variants containing single-atom substitutions at the active site and measured their respective Ade38 N1 pKa values. This approach led to the identification of a single interaction in the transition-state conformation that elevates the base pKa >0.8 log units relative to the precatalytic state. The agreement of the microscopic and macroscopic pKa values and the accompanying structural analysis support a mechanism in which Ade38 N1(H)+ functions as a general acid in phosphodiester bond cleavage. Overall the results quantify the contribution of a single electrostatic interaction to base ionization, which has broad relevance for understanding how RNA structure can control chemical reactivity. PMID:22989273

  3. Hammerhead ribozyme activity and oligonucleotide duplex stability in mixed solutions of water and organic compounds

    PubMed Central

    Nakano, Shu-ichi; Kitagawa, Yuichi; Miyoshi, Daisuke; Sugimoto, Naoki

    2014-01-01

    Nucleic acids are useful for biomedical targeting and sensing applications in which the molecular environment is different from that of a dilute aqueous solution. In this study, the influence of various types of mixed solutions of water and water-soluble organic compounds on RNA was investigated by measuring the catalytic activity of the hammerhead ribozyme and the thermodynamic stability of an oligonucleotide duplex. The compounds with a net neutral charge, such as poly(ethylene glycol), small primary alcohols, amide compounds, and aprotic solvent molecules, added at high concentrations changed the ribozyme-catalyzed RNA cleavage rate, with the magnitude of the effect dependent on the NaCl concentration. These compounds also changed the thermodynamic stability of RNA base pairs of an oligonucleotide duplex and its dependence on the NaCl concentration. Specific interactions with RNA molecules and reduced water activity could account for the inhibiting effects on the ribozyme catalysis and destabilizing effects on the duplex stability. The salt concentration dependence data correlated with the dielectric constant, but not with water activity, viscosity, and the size of organic compounds. This observation suggests the significance of the dielectric constant effects on the RNA reactions under molecular crowding conditions created by organic compounds. PMID:25161873

  4. Secondary structure encodes a cooperative tertiary folding funnel in the Azoarcus ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Mustoe, Anthony M.; Al-Hashimi, Hashim M.; Brooks, Charles L.

    2016-01-01

    A requirement for specific RNA folding is that the free-energy landscape discriminate against non-native folds. While tertiary interactions are critical for stabilizing the native fold, they are relatively non-specific, suggesting additional mechanisms contribute to tertiary folding specificity. In this study, we use coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to explore how secondary structure shapes the tertiary free-energy landscape of the Azoarcus ribozyme. We show that steric and connectivity constraints posed by secondary structure strongly limit the accessible conformational space of the ribozyme, and that these so-called topological constraints in turn pose strong free-energy penalties on forming different tertiary contacts. Notably, native A-minor and base-triple interactions form with low conformational free energy, while non-native tetraloop/tetraloop–receptor interactions are penalized by high conformational free energies. Topological constraints also give rise to strong cooperativity between distal tertiary interactions, quantitatively matching prior experimental measurements. The specificity of the folding landscape is further enhanced as tertiary contacts place additional constraints on the conformational space, progressively funneling the molecule to the native state. These results indicate that secondary structure assists the ribozyme in navigating the otherwise rugged tertiary folding landscape, and further emphasize topological constraints as a key force in RNA folding. PMID:26481360

  5. Structural Investigation of the GlmS Ribozyme Bound to Its Catalytic Cofactor

    SciTech Connect

    Cochrane,J.; Lipchock, S.; Strobel, S.

    2007-01-01

    The GlmS riboswitch is located in the 5'-untranslated region of the gene encoding glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P) synthetase. The GlmS riboswitch is a ribozyme with activity triggered by binding of the metabolite GlcN6P. Presented here is the structure of the GlmS ribozyme (2.5 {angstrom} resolution) with GlcN6P bound in the active site. The GlmS ribozyme adopts a compact double pseudoknot tertiary structure, with two closely packed helical stacks. Recognition of GlcN6P is achieved through coordination of the phosphate moiety by two hydrated magnesium ions as well as specific nucleobase contacts to the GlcN6P sugar ring. Comparison of this activator bound and the previously published apoenzyme complex supports a model in which GlcN6P does not induce a conformational change in the RNA, as is typical of other riboswitches, but instead functions as a catalytic cofactor for the reaction. This demonstrates that RNA, like protein enzymes, can employ the chemical diversity of small molecules to promote catalytic activity.

  6. Gene silencing of HIV chemokine receptors using ribozymes and single-stranded antisense RNA.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Amer; Zheng, Richard; Parlett, Terry; Shi, Xiaoju; Balaraman, Priyadhashini; Cheloufi, Sihem; Murphy, Brendan; Guntermann, Christine; Eagles, Peter

    2006-03-01

    The chemokine receptors CXCR4 and CCR5 are required for HIV-1 to enter cells, and the progression of HIV-1 infection to AIDS involves a switch in the co-receptor usage of the virus from CCR5 to CXCR4. These receptors therefore make attractive candidates for therapeutic intervention, and we have investigated the silencing of their genes by using ribozymes and single-stranded antisense RNAs. In the present study, we demonstrate using ribozymes that a depletion of CXCR4 and CCR5 mRNAs can be achieved simultaneously in human PBMCs (peripheral blood mononuclear cells), cells commonly used by the virus for infection and replication. Ribozyme activity leads to an inhibition of the cell-surface expression of both CCR5 and CXCR4, resulting in a significant inhibition of HIV-1 replication when PBMCs are challenged with the virus. In addition, we show that small single-stranded antisense RNAs can also be used to silence CCR5 and CXCR4 genes when delivered to PBMCs. This silencing is caused by selective degradation of receptor mRNAs. PMID:16293105

  7. Gene silencing of HIV chemokine receptors using ribozymes and single-stranded antisense RNA

    PubMed Central

    Qureshi, Amer; Zheng, Richard; Parlett, Terry; Shi, Xiaoju; Balaraman, Priyadhashini; Cheloufi, Sihem; Murphy, Brendan; Guntermann, Christine; Eagles, Peter

    2005-01-01

    The chemokine receptors CXCR4 and CCR5 are required for HIV-1 to enter cells, and the progression of HIV-1 infection to AIDS involves a switch in the co-receptor usage of the virus from CCR5 to CXCR4. These receptors therefore make attractive candidates for therapeutic intervention, and we have investigated the silencing of their genes by using ribozymes and single-stranded antisense RNAs. In the present study, we demonstrate using ribozymes that a depletion of CXCR4 and CCR5 mRNAs can be achieved simultaneously in human PBMCs (peripheral blood mononuclear cells), cells commonly used by the virus for infection and replication. Ribozyme activity leads to an inhibition of the cell-surface expression of both CCR5 and CXCR4, resulting in a significant inhibition of HIV-1 replication when PBMCs are challenged with the virus. In addition, we show that small single-stranded antisense RNAs can also be used to silence CCR5 and CXCR4 genes when delivered to PBMCs. This silencing is caused by selective degradation of receptor mRNAs. PMID:16293105

  8. NMR structure of the active conformation of the Varkud satellite ribozyme cleavage site

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Bernd; Mitchell, G. Thomas; Gendron, Patrick; Major, François; Andersen, Angela A.; Collins, Richard A.; Legault, Pascale

    2003-01-01

    Substrate cleavage by the Neurospora Varkud satellite (VS) ribozyme involves a structural change in the stem-loop I substrate from an inactive to an active conformation. We have determined the NMR solution structure of a mutant stem-loop I that mimics the active conformation of the cleavage site internal loop. This structure shares many similarities, but also significant differences, with the previously determined structures of the inactive internal loop. The active internal loop displays different base-pairing interactions and forms a novel RNA fold composed exclusively of sheared G-A base pairs. From chemical-shift mapping we identified two Mg2+ binding sites in the active internal loop. One of the Mg2+ binding sites forms in the active but not the inactive conformation of the internal loop and is likely important for catalysis. Using the structure comparison program mc-search, we identified the active internal loop fold in other RNA structures. In Thermus thermophilus 16S rRNA, this RNA fold is directly involved in a long-range tertiary interaction. An analogous tertiary interaction may form between the active internal loop of the substrate and the catalytic domain of the VS ribozyme. The combination of NMR and bioinformatic approaches presented here has identified a novel RNA fold and provides insights into the structural basis of catalytic function in the Neurospora VS ribozyme. PMID:12782785

  9. Dissection of the ion-induced folding of the hammerhead ribozyme using 19F NMR

    PubMed Central

    Hammann, Christian; Norman, David G.; Lilley, David M. J.

    2001-01-01

    We have used 19F NMR to analyze the metal ion-induced folding of the hammerhead ribozyme by selective incorporation of 5fluorouridine. We have studied the chemical shift and linewidths of 19F resonances of 5-fluorouridine at the 4 and 7 positions in the ribozyme core as a function of added Mg2+. The data fit well to a simple two-state model whereby the formation of domain 1 is induced by the noncooperative binding of Mg2+ with an association constant in the range of 100 to 500 M−1, depending on the concentration of monovalent ions present. The results are in excellent agreement with data reporting on changes in the global shape of the ribozyme. However, the NMR experiments exploit reporters located in the center of the RNA sections undergoing the folding transitions, thereby allowing the assignment of specific nucleotides to the separate stages. The results define the folding pathway at high resolution and provide a time scale for the first transition in the millisecond range. PMID:11331743

  10. Cations and hydration in catalytic RNA: molecular dynamics of the hepatitis delta virus ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Krasovska, Maryna V; Sefcikova, Jana; Réblová, Kamila; Schneider, Bohdan; Walter, Nils G; Sponer, Jirí

    2006-07-15

    The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme is an RNA enzyme from the human pathogenic HDV. Cations play a crucial role in self-cleavage of the HDV ribozyme, by promoting both folding and chemistry. Experimental studies have revealed limited but intriguing details on the location and structural and catalytic functions of metal ions. Here, we analyze a total of approximately 200 ns of explicit-solvent molecular dynamics simulations to provide a complementary atomistic view of the binding of monovalent and divalent cations as well as water molecules to reaction precursor and product forms of the HDV ribozyme. Our simulations find that an Mg2+ cation binds stably, by both inner- and outer-sphere contacts, to the electronegative catalytic pocket of the reaction precursor, in a position to potentially support chemistry. In contrast, protonation of the catalytically involved C75 in the precursor or artificial placement of this Mg2+ into the product structure result in its swift expulsion from the active site. These findings are consistent with a concerted reaction mechanism in which C75 and hydrated Mg2+ act as general base and acid, respectively. Monovalent cations bind to the active site and elsewhere assisted by structurally bridging long-residency water molecules, but are generally delocalized. PMID:16617077

  11. A thiamin-utilizing ribozyme decarboxylates a pyruvate-like substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cernak, Paul; Sen, Dipankar

    2013-11-01

    Vitamins are hypothesized to be relics of an RNA world, and were probably participants in RNA-mediated primordial metabolism. If catalytic RNAs, or ribozymes, could harness vitamin cofactors to aid their function in a manner similar to protein enzymes, it would enable them to catalyse a much larger set of chemical reactions. The cofactor thiamin diphosphate, a derivative of vitamin B1 (thiamin), is used by enzymes to catalyse difficult metabolic reactions, including decarboxylation of stable α-keto acids such as pyruvate. Here, we report a ribozyme that uses free thiamin to decarboxylate a pyruvate-based suicide substrate (LnkPB). Thiamin conjugated to biotin was used to isolate catalytic individuals from a pool of random-sequence RNAs attached to LnkPB. Analysis of a stable guanosine adduct obtained via digestion of an RNA sequence (clone dc4) showed the expected decarboxylation product. The discovery of a prototypic thiamin-utilizing ribozyme has implications for the role of RNA in orchestrating early metabolic cycles.

  12. Synthetic oils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hatton, R. E.

    1973-01-01

    Synthetic lubricants are discussed by chemical class and their general strengths and weaknesses in terms of lubrication properties are analyzed. Comparative ratings are given for 14 chemical classes and are used as a guide for lubricant selection. The effects of chemical structure on the properties of the lubricant are described with special emphasis on thermal stability. The diversity of synthetic lubricants which is provided by the wide range of properties permits many applications, some of which are reported.

  13. SplicingTypesAnno: annotating and quantifying alternative splicing events for RNA-Seq data.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiaoyong; Zuo, Fenghua; Ru, Yuanbin; Guo, Jiqiang; Yan, Xiaoyan; Sablok, Gaurav

    2015-04-01

    Alternative splicing plays a key role in the regulation of the central dogma. Four major types of alternative splicing have been classified as intron retention, exon skipping, alternative 5 splice sites or alternative donor sites, and alternative 3 splice sites or alternative acceptor sites. A few algorithms have been developed to detect splice junctions from RNA-Seq reads. However, there are few tools targeting at the major alternative splicing types at the exon/intron level. This type of analysis may reveal subtle, yet important events of alternative splicing, and thus help gain deeper understanding of the mechanism of alternative splicing. This paper describes a user-friendly R package, extracting, annotating and analyzing alternative splicing types for sequence alignment files from RNA-Seq. SplicingTypesAnno can: (1) provide annotation for major alternative splicing at exon/intron level. By comparing the annotation from GTF/GFF file, it identifies the novel alternative splicing sites; (2) offer a convenient two-level analysis: genome-scale annotation for users with high performance computing environment, and gene-scale annotation for users with personal computers; (3) generate a user-friendly web report and additional BED files for IGV visualization. SplicingTypesAnno is a user-friendly R package for extracting, annotating and analyzing alternative splicing types at exon/intron level for sequence alignment files from RNA-Seq. It is publically available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/splicingtypes/files/ or http://genome.sdau.edu.cn/research/software/SplicingTypesAnno.html. PMID:25720307

  14. The structure of the isolated, central hairpin of the HDV antigenomic ribozyme: novel structural features and similarity of the loop in the ribozyme and free in solution.

    PubMed Central

    Kolk, M H; Heus, H A; Hilbers, C W

    1997-01-01

    The structure of an RNA hairpin containing a seven-nucleotide loop that is present in the self-cleaving sequence of hepatitis delta virus antigenomic RNA was determined by high resolution NMR spectroscopy. The loop, which is composed of only one purine and six pyrimidines, has a suprisingly stable structure, mainly supported by sugar hydroxyl hydrogen bonds and base-base and base-phosphate stacking interactions. Compared with the structurally well-determined, seven-membered anticodon loop in tRNA, the sharp turn which affects the required 180 degrees change in direction of the sugar-phosphate backbone in the loop is shifted one nucleotide in the 3' direction. This change in direction can be characterized as a reversed U-turn. It is expected that the reversed U-turn may be found frequently in other molecules as well. There is evidence for a new non-Watson-Crick UC base pair formed between the first and the last residue in the loop, while most of the other bases in the loop are pointing outwards making them accessible to solvent. From chemical modification, mutational and photocrosslinking studies, a similar picture develops for the structure of the hairpin in the active ribozyme indicating that the loop structure in the isolated hairpin and in the ribozyme is very similar. PMID:9218809

  15. Efficient hammerhead ribozyme-mediated cleavage of the structured hepatitis B virus encapsidation signal in vitro and in cell extracts, but not in intact cells.

    PubMed Central

    Beck, J; Nassal, M

    1995-01-01

    Hepatitis B virus (HBV), the causative agent of B-type hepatitis in man, is a small enveloped DNA virus that replicates through reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate, the terminally redundant RNA pregenome. An essential highly conserved cis-element present twice on this RNA is the encapsidation signal epsilon, a stem-loop structure that is critical for pregenome packaging and reverse transcription. Epsilon is hence an attractive target for antiviral therapy. Its structure, however, is a potential obstacle to antivirals whose action depends on hybridization, e.g. ribozymes. Here we demonstrate effective in vitro cleavage inside epsilon by hammerhead ribozymes containing flanking sequences complementary to an adjacent less structured region. Upon co-transfection with a HBV expression construct corresponding ribozymes embedded in a U6 snRNA context led to a significant, though modest, reduction in the steady-state level of HBV pregenomes. Inactive ribozyme mutants revealed that antisense effects contributed substantially to this reduction, however, efficient epsilon cleavage by the intracellularly expressed ribozymes was observed in Mg(2+)-supplemented cell lysates. Artificial HBV pregenomes carrying the ribozymes in cis and model RNAs lacking all HBV sequences except epsilon exhibited essentially the same behaviour. Hence, neither the absence of co-localization of ribozyme and target nor a viral component, but rather a cellular factor(s), is responsible for the strikingly different ribozyme activities inside cells and in cellular extracts. Images PMID:8559651

  16. The splice is right: Guarantors of fidelity in pre-mRNA splicing

    PubMed Central

    Horowitz, David S.

    2011-01-01

    Two recent papers, one from the Staley laboratory (Koodathingal and colleagues) and the other from the Cheng laboratory (Tseng and colleagues), show that the RNA-dependent ATPase Prp16, which is required for the second step of splicing, acts to reject slowly splicing pre-mRNAs immediately before the first catalytic reaction in pre-mRNA splicing. The results answer long-investigated questions about the actions of Prp16 and provide a wealth of molecular details on the proofreading process in pre-mRNA splicing. The discussion here reviews and integrates the results of the two papers and describes the implications for proofreading in splicing. PMID:21357751

  17. Cutting, Splicing, and Kelvin Waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheeler, Martin; Kleckner, Dustin; Irvine, William T. M.

    2013-11-01

    Recent experimental advances have allowed us to create, visualize and track vortices of prescribed shape and topology in classical fluids. We study the effect of surgery (cutting and splicing) on the evolution of the geometry and topology of these vortex loops, with a particular focus on the wave-like excitations generated by these operations. We interpret the dynamics of these excitations and the role they play within the broader context of vortex evolution. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Materials Research and Engineering Centers (MRSEC) Program at the University of Chicago (DMR-0820054) and the Packard Foundation through a Packard fellowship.

  18. SNEV is an evolutionarily conserved splicing factor whose oligomerization is necessary for spliceosome assembly

    PubMed Central

    Grillari, Johannes; Ajuh, Paul; Stadler, Guido; Löscher, Marlies; Voglauer, Regina; Ernst, Wolfgang; Chusainow, Janet; Eisenhaber, Frank; Pokar, Marion; Fortschegger, Klaus; Grey, Martin; Lamond, Angus I.; Katinger, Hermann

    2005-01-01

    We have isolated the human protein SNEV as downregulated in replicatively senescent cells. Sequence homology to the yeast splicing factor Prp19 suggested that SNEV might be the orthologue of Prp19 and therefore might also be involved in pre-mRNA splicing. We have used various approaches including gene complementation studies in yeast using a temperature sensitive mutant with a pleiotropic phenotype and SNEV immunodepletion from human HeLa nuclear extracts to determine its function. A human–yeast chimera was indeed capable of restoring the wild-type phenotype of the yeast mutant strain. In addition, immunodepletion of SNEV from human nuclear extracts resulted in a decrease of in vitro pre-mRNA splicing efficiency. Furthermore, as part of our analysis of protein–protein interactions within the CDC5L complex, we found that SNEV interacts with itself. The self-interaction domain was mapped to amino acids 56–74 in the protein's sequence and synthetic peptides derived from this region inhibit in vitro splicing by surprisingly interfering with spliceosome formation and stability. These results indicate that SNEV is the human orthologue of yeast PRP19, functions in splicing and that homo-oligomerization of SNEV in HeLa nuclear extract is essential for spliceosome assembly and that it might also be important for spliceosome stability. PMID:16332694

  19. Splicing factor SRSF1 negatively regulates alternative splicing of MDM2 under damage

    PubMed Central

    Comiskey, Daniel F.; Jacob, Aishwarya G.; Singh, Ravi K.; Tapia-Santos, Aixa S.; Chandler, Dawn S.

    2015-01-01

    Genotoxic stress induces alternative splicing of the oncogene MDM2 generating MDM2-ALT1, an isoform attributed with tumorigenic properties. However, the mechanisms underlying this event remain unclear. Here we explore MDM2 splicing regulation by utilizing a novel minigene that mimics endogenous MDM2 splicing in response to UV and cisplatinum-induced DNA damage. We report that exon 11 is necessary and sufficient for the damage-specific alternative splicing of the MDM2 minigene and that the splicing factor SRSF1 binds exon 11 at evolutionarily conserved sites. Interestingly, mutations disrupting this interaction proved sufficient to abolish the stress-induced alternative splicing of the MDM2 minigene. Furthermore, SRSF1 overexpression promoted exclusion of exon 11, while its siRNA-mediated knockdown prevented the stress-induced alternative splicing of endogenous MDM2. Additionally, we observed elevated SRSF1 levels under stress and in tumors correlating with the expression of MDM2-ALT1. Notably, we demonstrate that MDM2-ALT1 splicing can be blocked by targeting SRSF1 sites on exon 11 using antisense oligonucleotides. These results present conclusive evidence supporting a negative role for SRSF1 in MDM2 alternative splicing. Importantly, we define for the first time, a clear-cut mechanism for the regulation of damage-induced MDM2 splicing and present potential strategies for manipulating MDM2 expression via splicing modulation. PMID:25845590

  20. Functional selection of splicing enhancers that stimulate trans-splicing in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Boukis, L A; Bruzik, J P

    2001-01-01

    The role of exonic sequences in naturally occurring trans-splicing has not been explored in detail. Here, we have identified trans-splicing enhancers through the use of an iterative selection scheme. Several classes of enhancer sequences were identified that led to dramatic increases in trans-splicing efficiency. Two sequence families were investigated in detail. These include motifs containing the element (G/C)GAC(G/C) and also 5' splice site-like sequences. Distinct elements were tested for their ability to function as splicing enhancers and in competition experiments. In addition, discrete trans-acting factors were identified. This work demonstrates that splicing enhancers are able to effect a large increase in trans-splicing efficiency and that the process of exon definition is able to positively enhance trans-splicing even though the reaction itself is independent of the need for the 5' end of U1 snRNA. Due to the presence of internal introns in messages that are trans-spliced, the natural arrangement of 5' splice sites downstream of trans-splicing acceptors may lead to a general promotion of this unusual reaction. PMID:11421358

  1. Aberrant RNA splicing in cancer; expression changes and driver mutations of splicing factor genes.

    PubMed

    Sveen, A; Kilpinen, S; Ruusulehto, A; Lothe, R A; Skotheim, R I

    2016-05-12

    Alternative splicing is a widespread process contributing to structural transcript variation and proteome diversity. In cancer, the splicing process is commonly disrupted, resulting in both functional and non-functional end-products. Cancer-specific splicing events are known to contribute to disease progression; however, the dysregulated splicing patterns found on a genome-wide scale have until recently been less well-studied. In this review, we provide an overview of aberrant RNA splicing and its regulation in cancer. We then focus on the executors of the splicing process. Based on a comprehensive catalog of splicing factor encoding genes and analyses of available gene expression and somatic mutation data, we identify cancer-associated patterns of dysregulation. Splicing factor genes are shown to be significantly differentially expressed between cancer and corresponding normal samples, and to have reduced inter-individual expression variation in cancer. Furthermore, we identify enrichment of predicted cancer-critical genes among the splicing factors. In addition to previously described oncogenic splicing factor genes, we propose 24 novel cancer-critical splicing factors predicted from somatic mutations. PMID:26300000

  2. A novel RNA-binding protein from Triturus carnifex identified by RNA-ligand screening with the newt hammerhead ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Denti, M A; Martínez de Alba, A E; Sägesser, R; Tsagris, M; Tabler, M

    2000-03-01

    The newt hammerhead ribozyme is transcribed from Satellite 2 DNA, which consists of tandemly repeated units of 330 bp. However, different transcripts are synthesized in different tissues. In all somatic tissues and in testes, dimeric and multimeric RNA transcripts are generated which, to some extent, self-cleave into monomers at the hammerhead domain. In ovaries, primarily a distinct monomeric unit is formed by transcription, which retains an intact hammerhead self-cleavage site. The ovarian monomeric RNA associates to form a 12S complex with proteins that are poorly characterised so far. In this work we identified NORA, a protein that binds the ovarian form of the newt ribozyme. We show that the newt ribozyme binds to the Escherichia coli -expressed protein, as well as to a protein of identical size that is found exclusively in newt ovaries. Also NORA mRNA was detectable only in ovary, but in neither somatic tissues nor testes. The tissue-specific expression of NORA is analogous to the ovary-specific transcription of the newt ribozyme. Although NORA was identified by its ability to bind to the newt ribozyme in the presence of a vast excess of carrier RNA, it was able to interact with certain other RNA probes. This novel RNA-binding protein does not contain any motif characteristic for RNA-binding proteins or any other known protein domain, but it shares a striking similarity with a rat resiniferatoxin-binding protein. PMID:10666442

  3. Rational engineering of the Neurospora VS ribozyme to allow substrate recognition via different kissing-loop interactions.

    PubMed

    Lacroix-Labonté, Julie; Girard, Nicolas; Dagenais, Pierre; Legault, Pascale

    2016-08-19

    The Neurospora VS ribozyme is a catalytic RNA that has the unique ability to specifically recognize and cleave a stem-loop substrate through formation of a highly stable kissing-loop interaction (KLI). In order to explore the engineering potential of the VS ribozyme to cleave alternate substrates, we substituted the wild-type KLI by other known KLIs using an innovative engineering method that combines rational and combinatorial approaches. A bioinformatic search of the protein data bank was initially performed to identify KLIs that are structurally similar to the one found in the VS ribozyme. Next, substrate/ribozyme (S/R) pairs that incorporate these alternative KLIs were kinetically and structurally characterized. Interestingly, several of the resulting S/R pairs allowed substrate cleavage with substantial catalytic efficiency, although with reduced activity compared to the reference S/R pair. Overall, this study describes an innovative approach for RNA engineering and establishes that the KLI of the trans VS ribozyme can be adapted to cleave other folded RNA substrates. PMID:27166370

  4. Thirty-five years of research into ribozymes and nucleic acid catalysis: where do we stand today?

    PubMed

    Müller, Sabine; Appel, Bettina; Balke, Darko; Hieronymus, Robert; Nübel, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first catalytic RNA in 1981, the field of ribozyme research has developed from the discovery of catalytic RNA motifs in nature and the elucidation of their structures and catalytic mechanisms, into a field of engineering and design towards application in diagnostics, molecular biology and medicine. Owing to the development of powerful protocols for selection of nucleic acid catalysts with a desired functionality from random libraries, the spectrum of nucleic acid supported reactions has greatly enlarged, and importantly, ribozymes have been accompanied by DNAzymes. Current areas of research are the engineering of allosteric ribozymes for artificial regulation of gene expression, the design of ribozymes and DNAzymes for medicinal and environmental diagnostics, and the demonstration of RNA world relevant ribozyme activities. In addition, new catalytic motifs or novel genomic locations of known motifs continue to be discovered in all branches of life by the help of high-throughput bioinformatic approaches. Understanding the biological role of the catalytic RNA motifs widely distributed in diverse genetic contexts belongs to the big challenges of future RNA research. PMID:27408700

  5. Thirty-five years of research into ribozymes and nucleic acid catalysis: where do we stand today?

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Sabine; Appel, Bettina; Balke, Darko; Hieronymus, Robert; Nübel, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first catalytic RNA in 1981, the field of ribozyme research has developed from the discovery of catalytic RNA motifs in nature and the elucidation of their structures and catalytic mechanisms, into a field of engineering and design towards application in diagnostics, molecular biology and medicine. Owing to the development of powerful protocols for selection of nucleic acid catalysts with a desired functionality from random libraries, the spectrum of nucleic acid supported reactions has greatly enlarged, and importantly, ribozymes have been accompanied by DNAzymes. Current areas of research are the engineering of allosteric ribozymes for artificial regulation of gene expression, the design of ribozymes and DNAzymes for medicinal and environmental diagnostics, and the demonstration of RNA world relevant ribozyme activities. In addition, new catalytic motifs or novel genomic locations of known motifs continue to be discovered in all branches of life by the help of high-throughput bioinformatic approaches. Understanding the biological role of the catalytic RNA motifs widely distributed in diverse genetic contexts belongs to the big challenges of future RNA research.

  6. A novel RNA-binding protein from Triturus carnifex identified by RNA-ligand screening with the newt hammerhead ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Denti, Michela A.; Alba, A. Emilio Martínez de; Sägesser, Rudolf; Tsagris, Mina; Tabler, Martin

    2000-01-01

    The newt hammerhead ribozyme is transcribed from Satellite 2 DNA, which consists of tandemly repeated units of 330 bp. However, different transcripts are synthesized in different tissues. In all somatic tissues and in testes, dimeric and multimeric RNA transcripts are generated which, to some extent, self-cleave into monomers at the hammerhead domain. In ovaries, primarily a distinct monomeric unit is formed by transcription, which retains an intact hammerhead self-cleavage site. The ovarian monomeric RNA associates to form a 12S complex with proteins that are poorly characterised so far. In this work we identified NORA, a protein that binds the ovarian form of the newt ribozyme. We show that the newt ribozyme binds to the Escherichia coli-expressed protein, as well as to a protein of identical size that is found exclusively in newt ovaries. Also NORA mRNA was detectable only in ovary, but in neither somatic tissues nor testes. The tissue-specific expression of NORA is analogous to the ovary-specific transcription of the newt ribozyme. Although NORA was identified by its ability to bind to the newt ribozyme in the presence of a vast excess of carrier RNA, it was able to interact with certain other RNA probes. This novel RNA-binding protein does not contain any motif characteristic for RNA-binding proteins or any other known protein domain, but it shares a striking similarity with a rat resiniferatoxin-binding protein. PMID:10666442

  7. Synthetic environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lukes, George E.; Cain, Joel M.

    1996-02-01

    The Advanced Distributed Simulation (ADS) Synthetic Environments Program seeks to create robust virtual worlds from operational terrain and environmental data sources of sufficient fidelity and currency to interact with the real world. While some applications can be met by direct exploitation of standard digital terrain data, more demanding applications -- particularly those support operations 'close to the ground' -- are well-served by emerging capabilities for 'value-adding' by the user working with controlled imagery. For users to rigorously refine and exploit controlled imagery within functionally different workstations they must have a shared framework to allow interoperability within and between these environments in terms of passing image and object coordinates and other information using a variety of validated sensor models. The Synthetic Environments Program is now being expanded to address rapid construction of virtual worlds with research initiatives in digital mapping, softcopy workstations, and cartographic image understanding. The Synthetic Environments Program is also participating in a joint initiative for a sensor model applications programer's interface (API) to ensure that a common controlled imagery exploitation framework is available to all researchers, developers and users. This presentation provides an introduction to ADS and the associated requirements for synthetic environments to support synthetic theaters of war. It provides a technical rationale for exploring applications of image understanding technology to automated cartography in support of ADS and related programs benefitting from automated analysis of mapping, earth resources and reconnaissance imagery. And it provides an overview and status of the joint initiative for a sensor model API.

  8. Subgroup Specific Alternative Splicing in Medulloblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Kloosterhof, Nanne K; Northcott, Paul A; Yu, Emily PY; Shih, David; Peacock, John; Grajkowska, Wieslawa; van Meter, Timothy; Eberhart, Charles G; Pfister, Stefan; Marra, Marco A; Weiss, William A; Scherer, Stephen W; Rutka, James T; French, Pim J; Taylor, Michael D

    2014-01-01

    Medulloblastoma is comprised of four distinct molecular variants: WNT, SHH, Group 3, and Group 4. We analyzed alternative splicing usage in 14 normal cerebellar samples and 103 medulloblastomas of known subgroup. Medulloblastoma samples have a statistically significant increase in alternative splicing as compared to normal fetal cerebella (2.3-times; P<6.47E-8). Splicing patterns are distinct and specific between molecular subgroups. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of alternative splicing events accurately assigns medulloblastomas to their correct subgroup. Subgroup-specific splicing and alternative promoter usage was most prevalent in Group 3 (19.4%) and SHH (16.2%) medulloblastomas, while observed less frequently in WNT (3.2%), and Group 4 (9.3%) tumors. Functional annotation of alternatively spliced genes reveals over-representation of genes important for neuronal development. Alternative splicing events in medulloblastoma may be regulated in part by the correlative expression of antisense transcripts, suggesting a possible mechanism affecting subgroup specific alternative splicing. Our results identify additional candidate markers for medulloblastoma subgroup affiliation, further support the existence of distinct subgroups of the disease, and demonstrate an additional level of transcriptional heterogeneity between medulloblastoma subgroups. PMID:22358458

  9. Folding of the hammerhead ribozyme: Pyrrolo-cytosine fluorescence separates core folding from global folding and reveals a pH-dependent conformational change

    PubMed Central

    Buskiewicz, Iwona A.; Burke, John M.

    2012-01-01

    The catalytic activity of the hammerhead ribozyme is limited by its ability to fold into the native tertiary structure. Analysis of folding has been hampered by a lack of assays that can independently monitor the environment of nucleobases throughout the ribozyme–substrate complex in real time. Here, we report the development and application of a new folding assay in which we use pyrrolo-cytosine (pyC) fluorescence to (1) probe active-site formation, (2) examine the ability of peripheral ribozyme domains to support native folding, (3) identify a pH-dependent conformational change within the ribozyme, and (4) explore its influence on the equilibrium between the folded and unfolded core of the hammerhead ribozyme. We conclude that the natural ribozyme folds in two distinct noncooperative steps and the pH-dependent correlation between core folding and activity is linked to formation of the G8-C3 base pair. PMID:22274955

  10. Phosphoregulation of Ire1 RNase splicing activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prischi, Filippo; Nowak, Piotr R.; Carrara, Marta; Ali, Maruf M. U.

    2014-04-01

    Ire1 is activated in response to accumulation of misfolded proteins within the endoplasmic reticulum as part of the unfolded protein response (UPR). It is a unique enzyme, possessing both kinase and RNase activity that is required for specific splicing of Xbp1 mRNA leading to UPR activation. How phosphorylation impacts on the Ire1 splicing activity is unclear. In this study, we isolate distinct phosphorylated species of Ire1 and assess their effects on RNase splicing both in vitro and in vivo. We find that phosphorylation within the kinase activation loop significantly increases RNase splicing in vitro. Correspondingly, mutants of Ire1 that cannot be phosphorylated on the activation loop show decreased specific Xbp1 and promiscuous RNase splicing activity relative to wild-type Ire1 in cells. These data couple the kinase phosphorylation reaction to the activation state of the RNase, suggesting that phosphorylation of the activation loop is an important step in Ire1-mediated UPR activation.

  11. The Characterizations of Different Splicing Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karimi, Fariba; Sarmin, Nor Haniza; Heng, Fong Wan

    The concept of splicing system was first introduced by Head in 1987 to model the biological process of DNA recombination mathematically. This model was made on the basis of formal language theory which is a branch of applied discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science. In fact, splicing system treats DNA molecule and the recombinant behavior by restriction enzymes and ligases in the form of words and splicing rules respectively. The notion of splicing systems was taken into account from different points of view by many mathematicians. Several modified definitions have been introduced by many researchers. In this paper, some properties of different kinds of splicing systems are presented and their relationships are investigated. Furthermore, these results are illustrated by some examples.

  12. Synthetic Jets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Milanovic, Ivana M.

    2003-01-01

    Current investigation of synthetic jets and synthetic jets in cross-flow examined the effects of orifice geometry and dimensions, momentum-flux ratio, cluster of orifices, pitch and yaw angles as well as streamwise development of the flow field. This comprehensive study provided much needed experimental information related to the various control strategies. The results of the current investigation on isolated and clustered synthetic jets with and without cross-flow will be further analyzed and documented in detail. Presentations at national conferences and publication of peer- reviewed journal articles are also expected. Projected publications will present both the mean and turbulent properties of the flow field, comparisons made with the data available in an open literature, as well as recommendations for the future work.

  13. Cytoplasmic delivery of ribozymes leads to efficient reduction in alpha-lactalbumin mRNA levels in C127I mouse cells.

    PubMed Central

    L'Huillier, P J; Davis, S R; Bellamy, A R

    1992-01-01

    Ribozymes targeted to five sites along the alpha-lactalbumin (alpha-lac) mRNA were delivered to the cytoplasm of mouse C127I mammary cells using the T7-vaccinia virus delivery system and the amount of alpha-lac mRNA was monitored 24-48 h post-transfection. Three target sites were selected in the alpha-lac coding region (nucleotides 15, 145 and 361) and two were located in the 3' non-coding region (nucleotides 442 and 694). Acting in trans and at a target:ribozyme ratio of 1:1000, ribozymes targeting sites 361 and 694 reduced alpha-lac mRNA by > 80%; another two ribozymes (targeting nucleotides 442 and 145) reduced mRNA levels by 80 and 60% respectively; the fifth ribozyme (targeting nucleotide 15, near the AUG) was largely ineffective. The kinetic activity (kcat) of each ribozyme in vitro was somewhat predictive of the activity of the two ribozymes that targeted nucleotides 361 and 694, but was not predictive of the in vivo activity of the other three ribozymes. Down-regulation of the intracellular levels of alpha-lac paralleled the ribozyme-dependent reduction achieved for mRNA. For site 442, the reduction in both mRNA and protein was attributed to the catalytic activity of the ribozyme rather than to the antisense effects of the flanking arms, because delivery of an engineered (catalytically-inactive) variant had no effect on mRNA levels and a minimal effect on the level of alpha-lac present in the cell. Images PMID:1425576

  14. Human splicing factor SPF45 (RBM17) confers broad multidrug resistance to anticancer drugs when overexpressed--a phenotype partially reversed by selective estrogen receptor modulators.

    PubMed

    Perry, William L; Shepard, Robert L; Sampath, Janardhan; Yaden, Benjamin; Chin, William W; Iversen, Philip W; Jin, Shengfang; Lesoon, Andrea; O'Brien, Kathryn A; Peek, Victoria L; Rolfe, Mark; Shyjan, Andrew; Tighe, Michelle; Williamson, Mark; Krishnan, Venkatesh; Moore, Robert E; Dantzig, Anne H

    2005-08-01

    The splicing factor SPF45 (RBM17) is frequently overexpressed in many solid tumors, and stable expression in HeLa cells confers resistance to doxorubicin and vincristine. In this study, we characterized stable transfectants of A2780 ovarian carcinoma cells. In a 3-day cytotoxicity assay, human SPF45 overexpression conferred 3- to 21-fold resistance to carboplatin, vinorelbine, doxorubicin, etoposide, mitoxantrone, and vincristine. In addition, resistance to gemcitabine and pemetrexed was observed at the highest drug concentrations tested. Knockdown of SPF45 in parental A2780 cells using a hammerhead ribozyme sensitized A2780 cells to etoposide by approximately 5-fold relative to a catalytically inactive ribozyme control and untransfected cells, suggesting a role for SPF45 in intrinsic resistance to some drugs. A2780-SPF45 cells accumulated similar levels of doxorubicin as vector-transfected and parental A2780 cells, indicating that drug resistance is not due to differences in drug accumulation. Efforts to identify small molecules that could block SPF45-mediated drug resistance revealed that the selective estrogen receptor (ER) modulators tamoxifen and LY117018 (a raloxifene analogue) partially reversed SPF45-mediated drug resistance to mitoxantrone in A2780-SPF45 cells from 21-fold to 8- and 5-fold, respectively, but did not significantly affect the mitoxantrone sensitivity of vector control cells. Quantitative PCR showed that ERbeta but not ERalpha was expressed in A2780 transfectants. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments suggest that SPF45 and ERbeta physically interact in vivo. Thus, SPF45-mediated drug resistance in A2780 cells may result in part from effects of SPF45 on the transcription or alternate splicing of ERbeta-regulated genes. PMID:16061639

  15. Threshold occupancy and specific cation binding modes in the hammerhead ribozyme active site are required for active conformation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Tai-Sung; Giambaşu, George M.; Sosa, Carlos P.; Martick, Monika; Scott, William G.; York, Darrin M.

    2009-01-01

    The relationship between formation of active in-line attack conformations and monovalent (Na+) and divalent (Mg2+) metal ion binding in the hammerhead ribozyme has been explored with molecular dynamics simulations. To stabilize repulsions between negatively charged groups, different requirements of threshold occupancy of metal ions were observed in the reactant and activated precursor states both in the presence or absence of a Mg2+ in the active site. Specific bridging coordination patterns of the ions are correlated with the formation of active in-line attack conformations and can be accommodated in both cases. Furthermore, simulation results suggest that the hammerhead ribozyme folds to form an electronegative recruiting pocket that attracts high local concentrations of positive charge. The present simulations help to reconcile experiments that probe the metal ion sensitivity of hammerhead ribozyme catalysis and support the supposition that Mg2+, in addition to stabilizing active conformations, plays a specific chemical role in catalysis. PMID:19265710

  16. Thiosulfate-Hydrogen Peroxide Redox Oscillator as pH Driver for Ribozyme Activity in the RNA World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ball, Rowena; Brindley, John

    2016-03-01

    The RNA world of more than 3.7 billion years ago may have drawn on thermal and pH oscillations set up by the oxidation of thiosulfate by hydrogen peroxide (the THP oscillator) as a power source to drive replication. Since this primordial RNA also must have developed enzyme functionalities, in this work we examine the responses of two simple ribozymes to a THP periodic drive, using experimental rate and thermochemical data in a dynamical model for the coupled, self-consistent evolution of all reactants and intermediates. The resulting time traces show that ribozyme performance can be enhanced under pH cycling, and that thermal cycling may have been necessary to achieve large performance gains. We discuss three important ways in which the dynamic hydrogen peroxide medium may have acted as an agent for development of the RNA world towards a cellular world: proton gradients, resolution of the ribozyme versus replication paradox, and vesicle formation.

  17. Synthetic Astrobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - has the potential to transform fields from pharmaceuticals to fuels. Our lab has focused on the potential of synthetic biology to revolutionize all three major parts of astrobiology: Where do we come from? Where are we going? and Are we alone? For the first and third, synthetic biology is allowing us to answer whether the evolutionary narrative that has played out on planet earth is likely to have been unique or universal. For example, in our lab we are re-evolving the biosynthetic pathways of amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids and developing techniques for the recovery of metals from spent electronics on other planetary bodies. And what about the limits for life? Can we create organisms that expand the envelope for life? In the future synthetic biology will play an increasing role in human activities both on earth, in fields as diverse as human health and the industrial production of novel bio-composites. Beyond earth, we will rely increasingly on biologically-provided life support, as we have throughout our evolutionary history. In order to do this, the field will build on two of the great contributions of astrobiology: studies of the origin of life and life in extreme environments.

  18. Synthetic Astrobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - has the potential to transform fields from pharmaceuticals to fuels. Our lab has focused on the potential of synthetic biology to revolutionize all three major parts of astrobiology: Where do we come from? Where are we going? and Are we alone? For the first and third, synthetic biology is allowing us to answer whether the evolutionary narrative that has played out on planet earth is likely to have been unique or universal. For example, in our lab we are re-evolving the biosynthetic pathways of amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids and developing techniques for the recovery of metals from spent electronics on other planetary bodies. In the future synthetic biology will play an increasing role in human activities both on earth, in fields as diverse as human health and the industrial production of novel bio-composites. Beyond earth, we will rely increasingly on biologically-provided life support, as we have throughout our evolutionary history. In order to do this, the field will build on two of the great contributions of astrobiology: studies of the origin of life and life in extreme environments.

  19. Splicing regulation: From a parts list of regulatory elements to an integrated splicing code

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zefeng; Burge, Christopher B.

    2008-01-01

    Alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs is a major contributor to both proteomic diversity and control of gene expression levels. Splicing is tightly regulated in different tissues and developmental stages, and its disruption can lead to a wide range of human diseases. An important long-term goal in the splicing field is to determine a set of rules or “code” for splicing that will enable prediction of the splicing pattern of any primary transcript from its sequence. Outside of the core splice site motifs, the bulk of the information required for splicing is thought to be contained in exonic and intronic cis-regulatory elements that function by recruitment of sequence-specific RNA-binding protein factors that either activate or repress the use of adjacent splice sites. Here, we summarize the current state of knowledge of splicing cis-regulatory elements and their context-dependent effects on splicing, emphasizing recent global/genome-wide studies and open questions. PMID:18369186

  20. Role of the 3′ Splice Site in U12-Dependent Intron Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Dietrich, Rosemary C.; Peris, Marian J.; Seyboldt, Andrew S.; Padgett, Richard A.

    2001-01-01

    U12-dependent introns containing alterations of the 3′ splice site AC dinucleotide or alterations in the spacing between the branch site and the 3′ splice site were examined for their effects on splice site selection in vivo and in vitro. Using an intron with a 5′ splice site AU dinucleotide, any nucleotide could serve as the 3′-terminal nucleotide, although a C residue was most active, while a U residue was least active. The penultimate A residue, by contrast, was essential for 3′ splice site function. A branch site-to-3′ splice site spacing of less than 10 or more than 20 nucleotides strongly activated alternative 3′ splice sites. A strong preference for a spacing of about 12 nucleotides was observed. The combined in vivo and in vitro results suggest that the branch site is recognized in the absence of an active 3′ splice site but that formation of the prespliceosomal complex A requires an active 3′ splice site. Furthermore, the U12-type spliceosome appears to be unable to scan for a distal 3′ splice site. PMID:11238930

  1. Characterization of the Trans Watson-Crick GU Base Pair Located in the Catalytic Core of the Antigenomic HDV Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Lévesque, Dominique; Reymond, Cédric; Perreault, Jean-Pierre

    2012-01-01

    The HDV ribozyme’s folding pathway is, by far, the most complex folding pathway elucidated to date for a small ribozyme. It includes 6 different steps that have been shown to occur before the chemical cleavage. It is likely that other steps remain to be discovered. One of the most critical of these unknown steps is the formation of the trans Watson-Crick GU base pair within loop III. The U23 and G28 nucleotides that form this base pair are perfectly conserved in all natural variants of the HDV ribozyme, and therefore are considered as being part of the signature of HDV-like ribozymes. Both the formation and the transformation of this base pair have been studied mainly by crystal structure and by molecular dynamic simulations. In order to obtain physical support for the formation of this base pair in solution, a set of experiments, including direct mutagenesis, the site-specific substitution of chemical groups, kinetic studies, chemical probing and magnesium-induced cleavage, were performed with the specific goal of characterizing this trans Watson-Crick GU base pair in an antigenomic HDV ribozyme. Both U23 and G28 can be substituted for nucleotides that likely preserve some of the H-bond interactions present before and after the cleavage step. The formation of the more stable trans Watson-Crick base pair is shown to be a post-cleavage event, while a possibly weaker trans Watson-Crick/Hoogsteen interaction seems to form before the cleavage step. The formation of this unusually stable post-cleavage base pair may act as a driving force on the chemical cleavage by favouring the formation of a more stable ground state of the product-ribozyme complex. To our knowledge, this represents the first demonstration of a potential stabilising role of a post-cleavage conformational switch event in a ribozyme-catalyzed reaction. PMID:22768274

  2. A three-nucleotide helix I is sufficient for full activity of a hammerhead ribozyme: advantages of an asymmetric design.

    PubMed Central

    Tabler, M; Homann, M; Tzortzakaki, S; Sczakiel, G

    1994-01-01

    Trans-cleaving hammerhead ribozymes with long target-specific antisense sequences flanking the catalytic domain share some features with conventional antisense RNA and are therefore termed 'catalytic antisense RNAs'. Sequences 5' to the catalytic domain form helix I and sequences 3' to it form helix III when complexed with the target RNA. A catalytic antisense RNA of more than 400 nucleotides, and specific for the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), was systematically truncated within the arm that constituted originally a helix I of 128 base pairs. The resulting ribozymes formed helices I of 13, 8, 5, 3, 2, 1 and 0 nucleotides, respectively, and a helix III of about 280 nucleotides. When their in vitro cleavage activity was compared with the original catalytic antisense RNA, it was found that a helix I of as little as three nucleotides was sufficient for full endonucleolytic activity. The catalytically active constructs inhibited HIV-1 replication about four-fold more effectively than the inactive ones when tested in human cells. A conventional hammerhead ribozyme having helices of just 8 nucleotides on either side failed to cleave the target RNA in vitro when tested under the conditions for catalytic antisense RNA. Cleavage activity could only be detected after heat-treatment of the ribozyme substrate mixture which indicates that hammerhead ribozymes with short arms do not associate as efficiently to the target RNA as catalytic antisense RNA. The requirement of just a three-nucleotide helix I allows simple PCR-based generation strategies for asymmetric hammerhead ribozymes. Advantages of an asymmetric design will be discussed. Images PMID:7937118

  3. EASI--enrichment of alternatively spliced isoforms.

    PubMed

    Venables, Julian P; Burn, John

    2006-01-01

    Alternative splicing produces more than one protein from the majority of genes and the rarer forms can have dominant functions. Instability of alternative transcripts can also hinder the study of regulation of gene expression by alternative splicing. To investigate the true extent of alternative splicing we have developed a simple method of enriching alternatively spliced isoforms (EASI) from PCRs using beads charged with Thermus aquaticus single-stranded DNA-binding protein (T.Aq ssb). This directly purifies the single-stranded regions of heteroduplexes between alternative splices formed in the PCR, enabling direct sequencing of all the rare alternative splice forms of any gene. As a proof of principle the alternative transcripts of three tumour suppressor genes, TP53, MLH1 and MSH2, were isolated from testis cDNA. These contain missing exons, cryptic splice sites or include completely novel exons. EASI beads are stable for months in the fridge and can be easily combined with standard protocols to speed the cloning of novel transcripts. PMID:16951290

  4. 30 CFR 57.12088 - Splicing trailing cables.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Splicing trailing cables. 57.12088 Section 57... Underground Only § 57.12088 Splicing trailing cables. No splice, except a vulcanized splice or its equivalent, shall be made in a trailing cable within 25 feet of the machine unless the machine is equipped with...

  5. 30 CFR 57.12088 - Splicing trailing cables.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Splicing trailing cables. 57.12088 Section 57... Underground Only § 57.12088 Splicing trailing cables. No splice, except a vulcanized splice or its equivalent, shall be made in a trailing cable within 25 feet of the machine unless the machine is equipped with...

  6. 30 CFR 57.12088 - Splicing trailing cables.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Splicing trailing cables. 57.12088 Section 57... Underground Only § 57.12088 Splicing trailing cables. No splice, except a vulcanized splice or its equivalent, shall be made in a trailing cable within 25 feet of the machine unless the machine is equipped with...

  7. 30 CFR 57.12088 - Splicing trailing cables.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Splicing trailing cables. 57.12088 Section 57... Underground Only § 57.12088 Splicing trailing cables. No splice, except a vulcanized splice or its equivalent, shall be made in a trailing cable within 25 feet of the machine unless the machine is equipped with...

  8. Aberrant splicing and drug resistance in AML.

    PubMed

    de Necochea-Campion, Rosalia; Shouse, Geoffrey P; Zhou, Qi; Mirshahidi, Saied; Chen, Chien-Shing

    2016-01-01

    The advent of next-generation sequencing technologies has unveiled a new window into the heterogeneity of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In particular, recurrent mutations in spliceosome machinery and genome-wide aberrant splicing events have been recognized as a prominent component of this disease. This review will focus on how these factors influence drug resistance through altered splicing of tumor suppressor and oncogenes and dysregulation of the apoptotic signaling network. A better understanding of these factors in disease progression is necessary to design appropriate therapeutic strategies recognizing specific alternatively spliced or mutated oncogenic targets. PMID:27613060

  9. Regulation of Alternative Splicing in Vivo by Overexpression of Antagonistic Splicing Factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caceres, Javier F.; Stamm, Stefan; Helfman, David M.; Krainer, Adrian R.

    1994-09-01

    The opposing effects of SF2/ASF and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A1 influence alternative splicing in vitro. SF2/ASF or hnRNP A1 complementary DNAs were transiently overexpressed in HeLa cells, and the effect on alternative splicing of several cotransfected reporter genes was measured. Increased expression of SF2/ASF activated proximal 5' splice sites, promoted inclusion of a neuron-specific exon, and prevented abnormal exon skipping. Increased expression of hnRNP A1 activated distal 5' splice sites. Therefore, variations in the intracellular levels of antagonistic splicing factors influence different modes of alternative splicing in vivo and may be a natural mechanism for tissue-specific or developmental regulation of gene expression.

  10. RNA-Binding Proteins: Splicing Factors and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Fredericks, Alger M.; Cygan, Kamil J.; Brown, Brian A.; Fairbrother, William G.

    2015-01-01

    Pre-mRNA splicing is mediated by interactions of the Core Spliceosome and an array of accessory RNA binding proteins with cis-sequence elements. Splicing is a major regulatory component in higher eukaryotes. Disruptions in splicing are a major contributor to human disease. One in three hereditary disease alleles are believed to cause aberrant splicing. Hereditary disease alleles can alter splicing by disrupting a splicing element, creating a toxic RNA, or affecting splicing factors. One of the challenges of medical genetics is identifying causal variants from the thousands of possibilities discovered in a clinical sequencing experiment. Here we review the basic biochemistry of splicing, the mechanisms of splicing mutations, the methods for identifying splicing mutants, and the potential of therapeutic interventions. PMID:25985083

  11. Behavior of a hammerhead ribozyme in aqueous solution at medium to high temperatures.

    PubMed

    El-Murr, Nizar; Maurel, Marie-Christine; Rihova, Martina; Vergne, Jacques; Hervé, Guy; Kato, Mikio; Kawamura, Kunio

    2012-09-01

    The "RNA world" hypothesis proposes that--early in the evolution of life--RNA molecules played important roles both in information storage and in enzymatic functions. However, this hypothesis seems to be inconsistent with the concept that life may have emerged under hydrothermal conditions since RNA molecules are considered to be labile under such extreme conditions. Presently, the possibility that the last common ancestor of the present organisms was a hyperthermophilic organism which is important to support the hypothesis of the hydrothermal origin of life has been subject of strong discussions. Consequently, it is of importance to study the behavior of RNA molecules under hydrothermal conditions from the viewpoints of stability, catalytic functions, and storage of genetic information of RNA molecules and determination of the upper limit of temperature where life could have emerged. In the present work, self-cleavage of a natural hammerhead ribozyme was examined at temperatures 10-200 °C. Self-cleavage was investigated in the presence of Mg(2+), which facilitates and accelerates this reaction. Self-cleavage of the hammerhead ribozyme was clearly observed at temperatures up to 60 °C, but at higher temperatures self-cleavage occurs together with hydrolysis and with increasing temperature hydrolysis becomes dominant. The influence of the amount of Mg(2+) on the reaction rate was also investigated. In addition, we discovered that the reaction proceeds in the presence of high concentrations of monovalent cations (Na(+) or K(+)), although very slowly. Furthermore, at high temperatures (above 60 °C), monovalent cations protect the ribozyme against degradation. PMID:22915317

  12. Evolution of the R2 Retrotransposon Ribozyme and Its Self-Cleavage Site

    PubMed Central

    Eickbush, Danna G.; Burke, William D.; Eickbush, Thomas H.

    2013-01-01

    R2 is a non-long terminal repeat retrotransposon that inserts site-specifically in the tandem 28S rRNA genes of many animals. Previously, R2 RNA from various species of Drosophila was shown to self-cleave from the 28S rRNA/R2 co-transcript by a hepatitis D virus (HDV)-like ribozyme encoded at its 5' end. RNA cleavage was at the precise 5' junction of the element with the 28S gene. Here we report that RNAs encompassing the 5' ends of R2 elements from throughout its species range fold into HDV-like ribozymes. In vitro assays of RNA self-cleavage conducted in many R2 lineages confirmed activity. For many R2s, RNA self-cleavage was not at the 5' end of the element but at 28S rRNA sequences up to 36 nucleotides upstream of the junction. The location of cleavage correlated well with the types of endogenous R2 5' junctions from different species. R2 5' junctions were uniform for most R2s in which RNA cleavage was upstream in the rRNA sequences. The 28S sequences remaining on the first DNA strand synthesized during retrotransposition are postulated to anneal to the target site and uniformly prime second strand DNA synthesis. In species where RNA cleavage occurred at the R2 5' end, the 5' junctions were variable. This junction variation is postulated to result from the priming of second strand DNA synthesis by chance microhomologies between the target site and the first DNA strand. Finally, features of R2 ribozyme evolution, especially changes in cleavage site and convergence on the same active site sequences, are discussed. PMID:24066021

  13. Identification of the Catalytic Mg2+ Ion in the HDV Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ji; Ganguly, Abir; Miswan, Zulaika; Hammes-Schiffer, Sharon; Bevilacqua, Philip C.; Golden, Barbara L.

    2013-01-01

    The hepatitis delta virus ribozyme catalyzes an RNA cleavage reaction using a catalytic nucleobase and a divalent metal ion. The catalytic base, C75, serves as a general acid and has a pKa shifted towards neutrality. Less is known about the role of metal ions in the mechanism. A recent crystal structure of the pre-cleavage ribozyme identified a Mg2+ ion that interacts through its partial hydration sphere with the G25•U20 reverse wobble. In addition, this Mg2+ ion is in position to directly coordinate the nucleophile, the 2’-hydroxyl of U(-1), suggesting it can serve as a Lewis acid to facilitate deprotonation of the 2’-hydroxyl. To test the role of the active site Mg2+ ion, we replaced the G25•U20 reverse wobble with an isosteric A25•C20 reverse wobble. This change was found to significantly reduce the negative potential at the active site, as supported by electrostatics calculations, suggesting that active site Mg2+ binding could be adversely affected by the mutation. Kinetic analysis and molecular dynamics of the A25•C20 double mutant suggest that this variant stably folds into an active structure. However, pH-rate profiles of the double mutant are inverted relative to the profiles for wild-type ribozyme, suggesting that the A25•C20 double mutant has lost the active site metal ion. Overall, these studies support a model wherein the partially hydrated Mg2+ positioned at the G25•U20 reverse wobble is catalytic and could serve as a Lewis acid, a Brønsted base, or both to facilitate deprotonation of the nucleophile. PMID:23311293

  14. Behavior of a hammerhead ribozyme in aqueous solution at medium to high temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Murr, Nizar; Maurel, Marie-Christine; Rihova, Martina; Vergne, Jacques; Hervé, Guy; Kato, Mikio; Kawamura, Kunio

    2012-09-01

    The "RNA world" hypothesis proposes that—early in the evolution of life—RNA molecules played important roles both in information storage and in enzymatic functions. However, this hypothesis seems to be inconsistent with the concept that life may have emerged under hydrothermal conditions since RNA molecules are considered to be labile under such extreme conditions. Presently, the possibility that the last common ancestor of the present organisms was a hyperthermophilic organism which is important to support the hypothesis of the hydrothermal origin of life has been subject of strong discussions. Consequently, it is of importance to study the behavior of RNA molecules under hydrothermal conditions from the viewpoints of stability, catalytic functions, and storage of genetic information of RNA molecules and determination of the upper limit of temperature where life could have emerged. In the present work, self-cleavage of a natural hammerhead ribozyme was examined at temperatures 10-200 °C. Self-cleavage was investigated in the presence of Mg2+, which facilitates and accelerates this reaction. Self-cleavage of the hammerhead ribozyme was clearly observed at temperatures up to 60 °C, but at higher temperatures self-cleavage occurs together with hydrolysis and with increasing temperature hydrolysis becomes dominant. The influence of the amount of Mg2+ on the reaction rate was also investigated. In addition, we discovered that the reaction proceeds in the presence of high concentrations of monovalent cations (Na+ or K+), although very slowly. Furthermore, at high temperatures (above 60 °C), monovalent cations protect the ribozyme against degradation.

  15. Structure-function relationships in the hammerhead ribozyme probed by base rescue.

    PubMed

    Peracchi, A; Matulic-Adamic, J; Wang, S; Beigelman, L; Herschlag, D

    1998-11-01

    We previously showed that the deleterious effects from introducing abasic nucleotides in the hammerhead ribozyme core can, in some instances, be relieved by exogenous addition of the ablated base and that the relative ability of different bases to rescue catalysis can be used to probe functional aspects of the ribozyme structure [Peracchi et al., Proc NatAcad Sci USA 93:11522]. Here we examine rescue at four additional positions, 3, 9, 12 and 13, to probe transition state interactions and to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of base rescue as a tool for structure-function studies. The results confirm functional roles for groups previously probed by mutagenesis, provide evidence that specific interactions observed in the ground-state X-ray structure are maintained in the transition state, and suggest formation in the transition state of other interactions that are absent in the ground state. In addition, the results suggest transition state roles for some groups that did not emerge as important in previous mutagenesis studies, presumably because base rescue has the ability to reveal interactions that are obscured by local structural redundancy in traditional mutagenesis. The base rescue results are complemented by comparing the effects of the abasic and phenyl nucleotide substitutions. The results together suggest that stacking of the bases at positions 9, 13 and 14 observed in the ground state is important for orienting other groups in the transition state. These findings add to our understanding of structure-function relationships in the hammerhead ribozyme and help delineate positions that may undergo rearrangements in the active hammerhead structure relative to the ground-state structure. Finally, the particularly efficient rescue by 2-methyladenine at position 13 relative to adenine and other bases suggests that natural base modifications may, in some instance, provide additional stability by taking advantage of hydrophobic interactions in folded RNAs

  16. Role of SLV in SLI substrate recognition by the Neurospora VS ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Bouchard, Patricia; Lacroix-Labonté, Julie; Desjardins, Geneviève; Lampron, Philipe; Lisi, Véronique; Lemieux, Sébastien; Major, François; Legault, Pascale

    2008-01-01

    Substrate recognition by the VS ribozyme involves a magnesium-dependent loop/loop interaction between the SLI substrate and the SLV hairpin from the catalytic domain. Recent NMR studies of SLV demonstrated that magnesium ions stabilize a U-turn loop structure and trigger a conformational change for the extruded loop residue U700, suggesting a role for U700 in SLI recognition. Here, we kinetically characterized VS ribozyme mutants to evaluate the contribution of U700 and other SLV loop residues to SLI recognition. To help interpret the kinetic data, we structurally characterized the SLV mutants by NMR spectroscopy and generated a three-dimensional model of the SLI/SLV complex by homology modeling with MC-Sym. We demonstrated that the mutation of U700 by A, C, or G does not significantly affect ribozyme activity, whereas deletion of U700 dramatically impairs this activity. The U700 backbone is likely important for SLI recognition, but does not appear to be required for either the structural integrity of the SLV loop or for direct interactions with SLI. Thus, deletion of U700 may affect other aspects of SLI recognition, such as magnesium ion binding and SLV loop dynamics. As part of our NMR studies, we developed a convenient assay based on detection of unusual 31P and 15N N7 chemical shifts to probe the formation of U-turn structures in RNAs. Our model of the SLI/SLV complex, which is compatible with biochemical data, leads us to propose novel interactions at the loop I/loop V interface. PMID:18314503

  17. Selected classes of minimised hammerhead ribozyme have very high cleavage rates at low Mg2+ concentration.

    PubMed Central

    Conaty, J; Hendry, P; Lockett, T

    1999-01-01

    In vitro selection was used to enrich for highly efficient RNA phosphodiesterases within a size-constrained (18 nt) ribonucleotide domain. The starting population (g0) was directed in trans against an RNA oligonucleotide substrate immobilised to an avidin-magnetic phase. Four rounds of selection were conducted using 20 mM Mg2+to fractionate the population on the basis of divalent metal ion-dependent phosphodiesterase activity. The resulting generation 4 (g4) RNA was then directed through a further two rounds of selection using low concentrations of Mg2+. Generation 6 (g6) was composed of sets of active, trans cleaving minimised ribozymes, containing recognised hammerhead motifs in the conserved nucleotides, but with highly variable linker domains (loop II-L.1-L.4). Cleavage rate constants in the g6 population ranged from 0.004 to 1.3 min-1at 1 mM Mg2+(pH 8.0, 37 degrees C). Selection was further used to define conserved positions between G(10.1) and C(11.1) required for high cleavage activity at low Mg2+concentration. At 10 mM MgCl2the kinetic phenotype of these molecules was comparable to a hammerhead ribozyme with 4 bp in helix II. At low Mg2+concentration, the disparity in cleavage rate constants increases in favour of the minimised ribozymes. Favourable kinetic traits appeared to be a general property for specific selected linker sequences, as the high rates of catalysis were transferable to a different substrate system. PMID:10325431

  18. Structure-function relationships in the hammerhead ribozyme probed by base rescue.

    PubMed Central

    Peracchi, A; Matulic-Adamic, J; Wang, S; Beigelman, L; Herschlag, D

    1998-01-01

    We previously showed that the deleterious effects from introducing abasic nucleotides in the hammerhead ribozyme core can, in some instances, be relieved by exogenous addition of the ablated base and that the relative ability of different bases to rescue catalysis can be used to probe functional aspects of the ribozyme structure [Peracchi et al., Proc NatAcad Sci USA 93:11522]. Here we examine rescue at four additional positions, 3, 9, 12 and 13, to probe transition state interactions and to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of base rescue as a tool for structure-function studies. The results confirm functional roles for groups previously probed by mutagenesis, provide evidence that specific interactions observed in the ground-state X-ray structure are maintained in the transition state, and suggest formation in the transition state of other interactions that are absent in the ground state. In addition, the results suggest transition state roles for some groups that did not emerge as important in previous mutagenesis studies, presumably because base rescue has the ability to reveal interactions that are obscured by local structural redundancy in traditional mutagenesis. The base rescue results are complemented by comparing the effects of the abasic and phenyl nucleotide substitutions. The results together suggest that stacking of the bases at positions 9, 13 and 14 observed in the ground state is important for orienting other groups in the transition state. These findings add to our understanding of structure-function relationships in the hammerhead ribozyme and help delineate positions that may undergo rearrangements in the active hammerhead structure relative to the ground-state structure. Finally, the particularly efficient rescue by 2-methyladenine at position 13 relative to adenine and other bases suggests that natural base modifications may, in some instance, provide additional stability by taking advantage of hydrophobic interactions in folded RNAs

  19. Role of Mg2+ in Hammerhead Ribozyme Catalysis from Molecular Simulation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Tai-Sung; López, Carlos Silva; Giambaºu, George M.; Martick, Monika; Scott, William G.; York, Darrin M.

    2008-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have been performed to investigate the role of Mg2+ in the full-length hammerhead ribozyme cleavage reaction. In particular, the aim of this work is to characterize the binding mode and conformational events that give rise to catalytically active conformations and stabilization of the transition state. Toward this end, a series of eight 12 ns molecular dynamics simulations have been performed with different divalent metal binding occupations for the reactant, early and late transition state using recently developed force field parameters for metal ions and reactive intermediates in RNA catalysis. In addition, hybrid QM/MM calculations of the early and late transition state were performed to study the proton-transfer step in general acid catalysis that is facilitated by the catalytic Mg2+ ion. The simulations suggest that Mg2+ is profoundly involved in the hammerhead ribozyme mechanism both at structural and catalytic levels. Binding of Mg2+ in the active site plays a key structural role in the stabilization of stem I and II and to facilitate formation of near attack conformations and interactions between the nucleophile and G12, the implicated general base catalyst. In the transition state, Mg2+ binds in a bridging position where it stabilizes the accumulated charge of the leaving group while interacting with the 2′OH of G8, the implicated general acid catalyst. The QM/MM simulations provide support that, in the late transition state, the 2′OH of G8 can transfer a proton to the leaving group while directly coordinating the bridging Mg2+ ion. The present study provides evidence for the role of Mg2+ in hammerhead ribozyme catalysis. The proposed simulation model reconciles the interpretation of available experimental structural and biochemical data, and provides a starting point for more detailed investigation of the chemical reaction path with combined QM/MM methods. PMID:18271579

  20. Connective tissue growth factor hammerhead ribozyme attenuates human hepatic stellate cell function

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Run-Ping; Brigstock, David R

    2009-01-01

    AIM: To determine the effect of hammerhead ribozyme targeting connective tissue growth factor (CCN2) on human hepatic stellate cell (HSC) function. METHODS: CCN2 hammerhead ribozyme cDNA plus two self-cleaving sequences were inserted into pTriEx2 to produce pTriCCN2-Rz. Each vector was individually transfected into cultured LX-2 human HSCs, which were then stimulated by addition of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 to the culture medium. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR was used to determine mRNA levels for CCN2 or collagen I, while protein levels of each molecule in cell lysates and conditioned medium were measured by ELISA. Cell-cycle progression of the transfected cells was assessed by flow cytometry. RESULTS: In pTriEx2-transfected LX-2 cells, TGF-β1 treatment caused an increase in the mRNA level for CCN2 or collagen I, and an increase in produced and secreted CCN2 or extracellular collagen I protein levels. pTriCCN2-Rz-transfected LX-2 cells showed decreased basal CCN2 or collagen mRNA levels, as well as produced and secreted CCN2 or collagen I protein. Furthermore, the TGF-β1-induced increase in mRNA or protein for CCN2 or collagen I was inhibited partially in pTriCCN2-Rz-transfected LX-2 cells. Inhibition of CCN2 using hammerhead ribozyme cDNA resulted in fewer of the cells transitioning into S phase. CONCLUSION: Endogenous CCN2 is a mediator of basal or TGF-β1-induced collagen I production in human HSCs and regulates entry of the cells into S phase. PMID:19673024

  1. Redesigned and chemically-modified hammerhead ribozymes with improved activity and serum stability

    PubMed Central

    Hendry, Philip; McCall, Maxine J; Stewart, Tom S; Lockett, Trevor J

    2004-01-01

    Background Hammerhead ribozymes are RNA-based molecules which bind and cleave other RNAs specifically. As such they have potential as laboratory reagents, diagnostics and therapeutics. Despite having been extensively studied for 15 years or so, their wide application is hampered by their instability in biological media, and by the poor translation of cleavage studies on short substrates to long RNA molecules. This work describes a systematic study aimed at addressing these two issues. Results A series of hammerhead ribozyme derivatives, varying in their hybridising arm length and size of helix II, were tested in vitro for cleavage of RNA derived from the carbamoyl phosphate synthetase II gene of Plasmodium falciparum. Against a 550-nt transcript the most efficient (t1/2 = 26 seconds) was a miniribozyme with helix II reduced to a single G-C base pair and with twelve nucleotides in each hybridising arm. Miniribozymes of this general design were targeted to three further sites, and they demonstrated exceptional cleavage activity. A series of chemically modified derivatives was prepared and examined for cleavage activity and stability in human serum. One derivative showed a 103-fold increase in serum stability and a doubling in cleavage efficiency compared to the unmodified miniribozyme. A second was almost 104-fold more stable and only 7-fold less active than the unmodified parent. Conclusion Hammerhead ribozyme derivatives in which helix II is reduced to a single G-C base pair cleave long RNA substrates very efficiently in vitro. Using commonly available phosphoramidites and reagents, two patterns of nucleotide substitution in this derivative were identified which conferred both good cleavage activity against long RNA targets and good stability in human serum. PMID:15588292

  2. Synthetic chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Schindler, Daniel; Waldminghaus, Torsten

    2015-11-01

    What a living organism looks like and how it works and what are its components-all this is encoded on DNA, the genetic blueprint. Consequently, the way to change an organism is to change its genetic information. Since the first pieces of recombinant DNA have been used to transform cells in the 1970s, this approach has been enormously extended. Bigger and bigger parts of the genetic information have been exchanged or added over the years. Now we are at a point where the construction of entire chromosomes becomes a reachable goal and first examples appear. This development leads to fundamental new questions, for example, about what is possible and desirable to build or what construction rules one needs to follow when building synthetic chromosomes. Here we review the recent progress in the field, discuss current challenges and speculate on the appearance of future synthetic chromosomes. PMID:26111960

  3. A 32-nucleotide exon-splicing enhancer regulates usage of competing 5' splice sites in a differential internal exon.

    PubMed Central

    Humphrey, M B; Bryan, J; Cooper, T A; Berget, S M

    1995-01-01

    Large alternatively spliced internal exons are uncommon in vertebrate genes, and the mechanisms governing their usage are unknown. In this report, we examined alternative splicing of a 1-kb internal exon from the human caldesmon gene containing two regulated 5' splice sites that are 687 nucleotides apart. In cell lines normally splicing caldesmon RNA via utilization of the exon-internal 5' splice site, inclusion of the differential exon required a long purine-rich sequence located between the two competing 5' splice sites. This element consisted of four identical 32-nucleotide purine-rich repeats that resemble exon-splicing enhancers (ESE) identified in other genes. One 32-nucleotide repeat supported exon inclusion, repressed usage of the terminal 5' splice site, and functioned in a heterologous exon dependent on exon enhancers for inclusion, indicating that the caldesmon purine-rich sequence can be classified as an ESE. The ESE was required for utilization of the internal 5' splice site only in the presence of the competing 5' splice site and had no effect when placed downstream of the terminal 5' splice site. In the absence of the internal 5' splice site, the ESE activated a normally silent cryptic 5' splice site near the natural internal 5' splice site, indicating that the ESE stimulates upstream 5' splice site selection. We propose that the caldesmon ESE functions to regulate competition between two 5' splice sites within a differential internal exon. PMID:7623794

  4. Ligation activity of fragmented ribozymes in frozen solution: implications for the RNA world

    PubMed Central

    Vlassov, Alexander V.; Johnston, Brian H.; Landweber, Laura F.; Kazakov, Sergei A.

    2004-01-01

    A vexing difficulty of the RNA world hypothesis is how RNA molecules of significant complexity could ever have evolved given their susceptibility to degradation. One way degradation might have been reduced is through low temperature. Here we report that truncated and fragmented derivatives of the hairpin ribozyme can catalyze ligation of a wide variety of RNA molecules to a given sequence in frozen solution despite having little or no activity under standard solution conditions. These results suggest that complex RNAs could have evolved in freezing environments on the early earth and perhaps elsewhere. PMID:15161960

  5. Anti-clarin-1 AAV-delivered ribozyme induced apoptosis in the mouse cochlea.

    PubMed

    Aarnisalo, A A; Pietola, L; Joensuu, J; Isosomppi, J; Aarnisalo, P; Dinculescu, A; Lewin, A S; Flannery, J; Hauswirth, W W; Sankila, E-M; Jero, J

    2007-08-01

    Usher syndrome type 3 is caused by mutations in the USH3A gene, which encodes the protein clarin-1. Clarin-1 is a member of the tetraspanin superfamily (TM4SF) of transmembrane proteins, expressed in the organ of Corti and spiral ganglion cells of the mouse ear. We have examined whether the AAV-mediated anti-clarin ribozyme delivery causes apoptotic cell death in vivo in the organ of Corti. We used an AAV-2 vector delivered hammerhead ribozyme, AAV-CBA-Rz, which specifically recognizes and cleaves wild type mouse clarin-1 mRNA. Cochleae of CD-1 mice were injected either with 1mul of the AAV-CBA-Rz, or control AAV vectors containing the green fluorescent protein (GFP) marker gene (AAV-CBA-GFP). Additional controls were performed with saline only. At one-week and one-month post-injection, the animals were sacrificed and the cochleae were studied by histology and fluorescence imaging. Mice injected with AAV-CBA-GFP displayed GFP reporter expression of varying fluorescence intensity throughout the length of the cochlea in the outer and inner hair cells and stria vascularis, and to a lesser extent, in vestibular epithelial cells. GFP expression was not detectable in the spiral ganglion. The pro-apoptotic effect of AAV-CBA-delivered anti-clarin-1 ribozymes was evaluated by TUNEL-staining. We observed in the AAV-CBA-Rz, AAV-CBA-GFP and saline control groups apoptotic nuclei in the outer and inner hair cells and in the stria vascularis one week after the microinjection. The vestibular epithelium was also observed to contain apoptotic cells. No TUNEL-positive spiral ganglion neurons were detected. After one-month post-injection, the AAV-CBA-Rz-injected group had significantly more apoptotic outer and inner hair cells and cells of the stria vascularis than the AAV-CBA-GFP group. In this study, we demonstrate that AAV-CBA mediated clarin-1 ribozyme may induce apoptosis of the cochlear hair cells and cells of the stria vascularis. Surprisingly, we did not observe apoptosis in

  6. Competition between pre-mRNAs for the splicing machinery drives global regulation of splicing.

    PubMed

    Munding, Elizabeth M; Shiue, Lily; Katzman, Sol; Donohue, John Paul; Ares, Manuel

    2013-08-01

    During meiosis in yeast, global splicing efficiency increases and then decreases. Here we provide evidence that splicing improves due to reduced competition for the splicing machinery. The timing of this regulation corresponds to repression and reactivation of ribosomal protein genes (RPGs) during meiosis. In vegetative cells, RPG repression by rapamycin treatment also increases splicing efficiency. Downregulation of the RPG-dedicated transcription factor gene IFH1 genetically suppresses two spliceosome mutations, prp11-1 and prp4-1, and globally restores splicing efficiency in prp4-1 cells. We conclude that the splicing apparatus is limiting and that pre-messenger RNAs compete. Splicing efficiency of a pre-mRNA therefore depends not just on its own concentration and affinity for limiting splicing factor(s), but also on those of competing pre-mRNAs. Competition between RNAs for limiting processing factors appears to be a general condition in eukaryotes for a variety of posttranscriptional control mechanisms including microRNA (miRNA) repression, polyadenylation, and splicing. PMID:23891561

  7. Lessons from non-canonical splicing.

    PubMed

    Sibley, Christopher R; Blazquez, Lorea; Ule, Jernej

    2016-07-01

    Recent improvements in experimental and computational techniques that are used to study the transcriptome have enabled an unprecedented view of RNA processing, revealing many previously unknown non-canonical splicing events. This includes cryptic events located far from the currently annotated exons and unconventional splicing mechanisms that have important roles in regulating gene expression. These non-canonical splicing events are a major source of newly emerging transcripts during evolution, especially when they involve sequences derived from transposable elements. They are therefore under precise regulation and quality control, which minimizes their potential to disrupt gene expression. We explain how non-canonical splicing can lead to aberrant transcripts that cause many diseases, and also how it can be exploited for new therapeutic strategies. PMID:27240813

  8. The NMR structure of the II-III-VI three-way junction from the Neurospora VS ribozyme reveals a critical tertiary interaction and provides new insights into the global ribozyme structure.

    PubMed

    Bonneau, Eric; Girard, Nicolas; Lemieux, Sébastien; Legault, Pascale

    2015-09-01

    As part of an effort to structurally characterize the complete Neurospora VS ribozyme, NMR solution structures of several subdomains have been previously determined, including the internal loops of domains I and VI, the I/V kissing-loop interaction and the III-IV-V junction. Here, we expand this work by determining the NMR structure of a 62-nucleotide RNA (J236) that encompasses the VS ribozyme II-III-VI three-way junction and its adjoining stems. In addition, we localize Mg(2+)-binding sites within this structure using Mn(2+)-induced paramagnetic relaxation enhancement. The NMR structure of the J236 RNA displays a family C topology with a compact core stabilized by continuous stacking of stems II and III, a cis WC/WC G•A base pair, two base triples and two Mg(2+) ions. Moreover, it reveals a remote tertiary interaction between the adenine bulges of stems II and VI. Additional NMR studies demonstrate that both this bulge-bulge interaction and Mg(2+) ions are critical for the stable folding of the II-III-VI junction. The NMR structure of the J236 RNA is consistent with biochemical studies on the complete VS ribozyme, but not with biophysical studies performed with a minimal II-III-VI junction that does not contain the II-VI bulge-bulge interaction. Together with previous NMR studies, our findings provide important new insights into the three-dimensional architecture of this unique ribozyme. PMID:26124200

  9. The NMR structure of the II–III–VI three-way junction from the Neurospora VS ribozyme reveals a critical tertiary interaction and provides new insights into the global ribozyme structure

    PubMed Central

    Bonneau, Eric; Girard, Nicolas; Lemieux, Sébastien; Legault, Pascale

    2015-01-01

    As part of an effort to structurally characterize the complete Neurospora VS ribozyme, NMR solution structures of several subdomains have been previously determined, including the internal loops of domains I and VI, the I/V kissing-loop interaction and the III–IV–V junction. Here, we expand this work by determining the NMR structure of a 62-nucleotide RNA (J236) that encompasses the VS ribozyme II–III–VI three-way junction and its adjoining stems. In addition, we localize Mg2+-binding sites within this structure using Mn2+-induced paramagnetic relaxation enhancement. The NMR structure of the J236 RNA displays a family C topology with a compact core stabilized by continuous stacking of stems II and III, a cis WC/WC G•A base pair, two base triples and two Mg2+ ions. Moreover, it reveals a remote tertiary interaction between the adenine bulges of stems II and VI. Additional NMR studies demonstrate that both this bulge–bulge interaction and Mg2+ ions are critical for the stable folding of the II–III–VI junction. The NMR structure of the J236 RNA is consistent with biochemical studies on the complete VS ribozyme, but not with biophysical studies performed with a minimal II–III–VI junction that does not contain the II–VI bulge–bulge interaction. Together with previous NMR studies, our findings provide important new insights into the three-dimensional architecture of this unique ribozyme. PMID:26124200

  10. Re-splicing of mature mRNA in cancer cells promotes activation of distant weak alternative splice sites

    PubMed Central

    Kameyama, Toshiki; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Mayeda, Akila

    2012-01-01

    Transcripts of the human tumor susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101) are aberrantly spliced in many cancers. A major aberrant splicing event on the TSG101 pre-mRNA involves joining of distant alternative 5′ and 3′ splice sites within exon 2 and exon 9, respectively, resulting in the extensive elimination of the mRNA. The estimated strengths of the alternative splice sites are much lower than those of authentic splice sites. We observed that the equivalent aberrant mRNA could be generated from an intron-less TSG101 gene expressed ectopically in breast cancer cells. Remarkably, we identified a pathway-specific endogenous lariat RNA consisting solely of exonic sequences, predicted to be generated by a re-splicing between exon 2 and exon 9 on the spliced mRNA. Our results provide evidence for a two-step splicing pathway in which the initial constitutive splicing removes all 14 authentic splice sites, thereby bringing the weak alternative splice sites into close proximity. We also demonstrate that aberrant multiple-exon skipping of the fragile histidine triad (FHIT) pre-mRNA in cancer cells occurs via re-splicing of spliced FHIT mRNA. The re-splicing of mature mRNA can potentially generate mutation-independent diversity in cancer transcriptomes. Conversely, a mechanism may exist in normal cells to prevent potentially deleterious mRNA re-splicing events. PMID:22675076

  11. A Mini-Twister Variant and Impact of Residues/Cations on the Phosphodiester Cleavage of this Ribozyme Class

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Aiming; Flür, Sara; Wunderlich, Christoph; Mairhofer, Elisabeth; Vušurović, Nikola; Seikowski, Jan; Breuker, Kathrin; Höbartner, Claudia; Patel, Dinshaw J.; Kreutz, Christoph; Micura, Ronald

    2015-01-01

    Nucleolytic ribozymes catalyze site-specific cleavage of their phosphodiester backbones. A minimal version of the twister ribozyme is reported that lacks the phylogenetically conserved stem P1 while retaining wild-type activity. Atomic mutagenesis revealed that nitrogen atoms N1 and N3 of the adenine-6 at the cleavage site are indispensable for cleavage. By NMR spectroscopy, a pKa value of 5.1 was determined for a 13C2-labeled adenine at this position in the twister ribozyme, which is significantly shifted compared to the pKa of the same adenine in the substrate alone. This finding pinpoints at a potential role for adenine-6 in the catalytic mechanism besides the previously identified invariant guanine-48 and a Mg2+ ion, both of which are directly coordinated to the non-bridging oxygen atoms of the scissile phosphate; for the latter, additional evidence stems from the observation that Mn2+ or Cd2+ accelerated cleavage of phosphorothioate substrates. The relevance of this metal ion binding site is further emphasized by a new 2.6 Å X-ray structure of a 2′-OCH3-U5 modified twister ribozyme. PMID:26473980

  12. In-line alignment and Mg2+ coordination at the cleavage site of the env22 twister ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Aiming; Košutić, Marija; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R.; Frener, Marina; Santner, Tobias; Westhof, Eric; Micura, Ronald; Patel, Dinshaw J.

    2015-01-01

    Small self-cleaving nucleolytic ribozymes contain catalytic domains that accelerate site-specific cleavage/ligation of phosphodiester backbones. We report on the 2.9-Å crystal structure of the env22 twister ribozyme, which adopts a compact tertiary fold stabilized by co-helical stacking, double-pseudoknot formation and long-range pairing interactions. The U-A cleavage site adopts a splayed-apart conformation with the modeled 2′-O of U positioned for in-line attack on the adjacent to-be-cleaved P-O5′ bond. Both an invariant guanosine and a Mg2+ are directly coordinated to the non-bridging phosphate oxygens at the U-A cleavage step, with the former positioned to contribute to catalysis and the latter to structural integrity. The impact of key mutations on cleavage activity identified an invariant guanosine that contributes to catalysis. Our structure of the in-line aligned env22 twister ribozyme is compared with two recently-reported twister ribozymes structures, which adopt similar global folds, but differ in conformational features around the cleavage site. PMID:25410397

  13. Structure of the ribozyme substrate hairpin of Neurospora VS RNA: a close look at the cleavage site.

    PubMed Central

    Michiels, P J; Schouten, C H; Hilbers, C W; Heus, H A

    2000-01-01

    The cleavage site of the Neurospora VS RNA ribozyme is located in a separate hairpin domain containing a hexanucleotide internal loop with an A-C mismatch and two adjacent G-A mismatches. The solution structure of the internal loop and helix la of the ribozyme substrate hairpin has been determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The 2 nt in the internal loop, flanking the cleavage site, a guanine and adenine, are involved in two sheared G.A base pairs similar to the magnesium ion-binding site of the hammerhead ribozyme. Adjacent to the tandem G.A base pairs, the adenine and cytidine, which are important for cleavage, form a noncanonical wobble A+-C base pair. The dynamic properties of the internal loop and details of the high-resolution structure support the view that the hairpin structure represents a ground state, which has to undergo a conformational change prior to cleavage. Results of chemical modification and mutagenesis data of the Neurospora VS RNA ribozyme can be explained in context with the present three-dimensional structure. PMID:11142381

  14. Construction of a directed hammerhead ribozyme library: towards the identification of optimal target sites for antisense-mediated gene inhibition.

    PubMed Central

    Pierce, M L; Ruffner, D E

    1998-01-01

    Antisense-mediated gene inhibition uses short complementary DNA or RNA oligonucleotides to block expression of any mRNA of interest. A key parameter in the success or failure of an antisense therapy is the identification of a suitable target site on the chosen mRNA. Ultimately, the accessibility of the target to the antisense agent determines target suitability. Since accessibility is a function of many complex factors, it is currently beyond our ability to predict. Consequently, identification of the most effective target(s) requires examination of every site. Towards this goal, we describe a method to construct directed ribozyme libraries against any chosen mRNA. The library contains nearly equal amounts of ribozymes targeting every site on the chosen transcript and the library only contains ribozymes capable of binding to that transcript. Expression of the ribozyme library in cultured cells should allow identification of optimal target sites under natural conditions, subject to the complexities of a fully functional cell. Optimal target sites identified in this manner should be the most effective sites for therapeutic intervention. PMID:9801305

  15. Evidence for a hydroxide ion bridging two magnesium ions at the active site of the hammerhead ribozyme.

    PubMed Central

    Hermann, T; Auffinger, P; Scott, W G; Westhof, E

    1997-01-01

    In the presence of magnesium ions, cleavage by the hammerhead ribozyme RNA at a specific residue leads to 2'3'-cyclic phosphate and 5'-OH extremities. In the cleavage reaction an activated ribose 2'-hydroxyl group attacks its attached 3'-phosphate. Molecular dynamics simulations of the crystal structure of the hammerhead ribozyme, obtained after flash-freezing of crystals under conditions where the ribozyme is active, provide evidence that a mu-bridging OH-ion is located between two Mg2+ions close to the cleavable phosphate. Constrained simulations show further that a flip from the C3'- endo to the C2'- endo conformation of the ribose at the cleavable phosphate brings the 2'-hydroxyl in proximity to both the attacked phosphorous atom and the mu-bridging OH-ion. Thus, the simulations lead to a detailed new insight into the mechanism of hammerhead ribozyme cleavage where a mu-hydroxo bridged magnesium cluster, located on the deep groove side, provides an OH-ion that is able to activate the 2'-hydroxyl nucleophile after a minor and localized conformational change in the RNA. PMID:9254698

  16. Synthesis of 2'-C-alpha-difluoromethylarauridine and its 3'-O-phosphoramidite incorporation into a hammerhead ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Dunkel, M; Reither, V

    1999-03-01

    The 2'-C-difluoromethylated nucleoside 4 was synthesized starting from uridine. 4 was then converted to the 3'-O-phosphoramidite derivative 5 and was incorporated into a hammerhead ribozyme (7). The cleavage characteristics of the modified oligonucleotide have been analysed. PMID:10201848

  17. Synthetic Cathinones ("Bath Salts")

    MedlinePlus

    ... still unknown about how synthetic cathinones affect the human brain. Researchers do know that synthetic cathinones are chemically ... of the chemicals in synthetic cathinones affect the human brain. Synthetic cathinones can cause: nosebleeds paranoia increased sociability ...

  18. Stereospecificity of Oligonucleotide Interactions Revisited: No Evidence for Heterochiral Hybridization and Ribozyme/DNAzyme Activity

    PubMed Central

    Hoehlig, Kai; Bethge, Lucas; Klussmann, Sven

    2015-01-01

    A major challenge for the application of RNA- or DNA-oligonucleotides in biotechnology and molecular medicine is their susceptibility to abundant nucleases. One intriguing possibility to tackle this problem is the use of mirror-image (l-)oligonucleotides. For aptamers, this concept has successfully been applied to even develop therapeutic agents, so-called Spiegelmers. However, for technologies depending on RNA/RNA or RNA/DNA hybridization, like antisense or RNA interference, it has not been possible to use mirror-image oligonucleotides because Watson-Crick base pairing of complementary strands is (thought to be) stereospecific. Many scientists consider this a general principle if not a dogma. A recent publication proposing heterochiral Watson-Crick base pairing and sequence-specific hydrolysis of natural RNA by mirror-image ribozymes or DNAzymes (and vice versa) prompted us to systematically revisit the stereospecificity of oligonucleotides hybridization and catalytic activity. Using hyperchromicity measurements we demonstrate that hybridization only occurs among homochiral anti-parallel complementary oligonucleotide strands. As expected, achiral PNA hybridizes to RNA and DNA irrespective of their chirality. In functional assays we could not confirm an alleged heterochiral hydrolytic activity of ribozymes or DNAzymes. Our results confirm a strict stereospecificity of oligonucleotide hybridization and clearly argue against the possibility to use mirror-image oligonucleotides for gene silencing or antisense applications. PMID:25679211

  19. Microscale thermophoresis provides insights into mechanism and thermodynamics of ribozyme catalysis

    PubMed Central

    Gaffarogullari, Ece Cazibe; Krause, André; Balbo, Jessica; Herten, Dirk-Peter; Jäschke, Andres

    2013-01-01

    The analysis of binding interactions between small molecules and biopolymers is important for understanding biological processes. While fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) requires fluorescence labeling on the small molecule, which often interferes with binding, in microscale thermophoresis (MST) the label can be placed on the biopolymer. Ribozymes have not been analyzed by MST so far. The Diels-Alderase ribozyme (DAse) is a true catalyst, facilitating the Diels-Alder reaction between two free small substrates, anthracene dienes, and maleimide dienophiles. Despite high efforts, the determination of the dissociation constant (KD) of maleimide dienophiles to the DAse by FCS has been unsuccessful. Here, we determined the binding interactions of the DAse to its substrates and the Diels-Alder product using MST. The results supported a positive cooperativity for substrate binding to the DAse. By varying the temperature, we furthermore studied the thermodynamics of dienophile dissociation. The entropic contribution was found to be the energetic driving force for the binding of the dienophile to the DAse. PMID:24448206

  20. Structural basis for the fast self-cleavage reaction catalyzed by the twister ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Eiler, Daniel; Wang, Jimin; Steitz, Thomas A.

    2014-01-01

    Twister is a recently discovered RNA motif that is estimated to have one of the fastest known catalytic rates of any naturally occurring small self-cleaving ribozyme. We determined the 4.1-Å resolution crystal structure of a twister sequence from an organism that has not been cultured in isolation, and it shows an ordered scissile phosphate and nucleotide 5′ to the cleavage site. A second crystal structure of twister from Orzyza sativa determined at 3.1-Å resolution exhibits a disordered scissile phosphate and nucleotide 5′ to the cleavage site. The core of twister is stabilized by base pairing, a large network of stacking interactions, and two pseudoknots. We observe three nucleotides that appear to mediate catalysis: a guanosine that we propose deprotonates the 2′-hydroxyl of the nucleotide 5′ to the cleavage site and a conserved adenosine. We suggest the adenosine neutralizes the negative charge on a nonbridging phosphate oxygen atom at the cleavage site. The active site also positions the labile linkage for in-line nucleophilic attack, and thus twister appears to simultaneously use three strategies proposed for small self-cleaving ribozymes. The twister crystal structures (i) show its global structure, (ii) demonstrate the significance of the double pseudoknot fold, (iii) provide a possible hypothesis for enhanced catalysis, and (iv) illuminate the roles of all 10 highly conserved nucleotides of twister that participate in the formation of its small and stable catalytic pocket. PMID:25157168

  1. Silencing of Amyloid Precursor Protein Expression Using a New Engineered Delta Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Ben Aissa, Manel; April, Marie-Claude; Bergeron, Lucien-Junior; Perreault, Jean-Pierre; Levesque, Georges

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) etiological studies suggest that an elevation in amyloid-β peptides (Aβ) level contributes to aggregations of the peptide and subsequent development of the disease. The major constituent of these amyloid peptides is the 1 to 40–42 residue peptide (Aβ40−42) derived from amyloid protein precursor (APP). Most likely, reducing Aβ levels in the brain may block both its aggregation and neurotoxicity and would be beneficial for patients with AD. Among the several possible ways to lower Aβ accumulation in the cells, we have selectively chosen to target the primary step in the Aβ cascade, namely, to reduce APP gene expression. Toward this end, we engineered specific SOFA-HDV ribozymes, a new generation of catalytic RNA tools, to decrease APP mRNA levels. Additionally, we demonstrated that APP-ribozymes are effective at decreasing APP mRNA and protein levels as well as Aβ levels in neuronal cells. Our results could lay the groundwork for a new protective treatment for AD. PMID:22482079

  2. Determination of HDV ribozyme N(-1) nucleobase and functional group specificity using internal competition kinetics

    PubMed Central

    Kellerman, Daniel L; Simmons, Kandice S; Pedraza, Mayra; Piccirilli, Joseph A; York, Darrin M; Harris, Michael E

    2015-01-01

    Biological catalysis involves interactions distant from the site of chemistry that can position the substrate for reaction. Catalysis of RNA 2′-O-transphosphorylation by the HDV ribozyme is sensitive to the identity of the N(-1) nucleotide flanking the reactive phosphoryl group. However, the interactions that affect the conformation of this position, and in turn the 2′O nucleophile, are unclear. Here, we describe the application of multiple substrate internal competition kinetic analyses to understand how the N(-1) nucleobase contributes to HDV catalysis, and to test the utility of this approach for RNA structure-function studies. Internal competition reactions containing all four substrate sequence variants at the N(-1) position in reactions using ribozyme active site mutations at A77 and A78 were used to test a proposed basepairing interaction. Mutants A78U, A78G and A79G retain significant catalytic activity, but do not alter the specificity for the N(-1) nucleobase. Effects of nucleobase analog substitutions at N(-1) indicate that U is preferred due to the ability to donate an H-bond in the Watson-Crick face and avoid minor groove steric clash. The results provide information essential for evaluating models of the HDV active site, and illustrate multiple-substrate kinetic analyses as a practical approach for characterizing structure-function relationships in RNA reactions. PMID:25937290

  3. Heat capacity changes in RNA folding: application of perturbation theory to hammerhead ribozyme cold denaturation

    PubMed Central

    Mikulecky, Peter J.; Feig, Andrew L.

    2004-01-01

    In proteins, empirical correlations have shown that changes in heat capacity (ΔCP) scale linearly with the hydrophobic surface area buried upon folding. The influence of ΔCP on RNA folding has been widely overlooked and is poorly understood. In addition to considerations of solvent reorganization, electrostatic effects might contribute to ΔCPs of folding in polyanionic species such as RNAs. Here, we employ a perturbation method based on electrostatic theory to probe the hot and cold denaturation behavior of the hammerhead ribozyme. This treatment avoids much of the error associated with imposing two-state folding models on non-two-state systems. Ribozyme stability is perturbed across a matrix of solvent conditions by varying the concentration of NaCl and methanol co-solvent. Temperature-dependent unfolding is then monitored by circular dichroism spectroscopy. The resulting array of unfolding transitions can be used to calculate a ΔCP of folding that accurately predicts the observed cold denaturation temperature. We confirm the accuracy of the calculated ΔCP by using isothermal titration calorimetry, and also demonstrate a methanol-dependence of the ΔCP. We weigh the strengths and limitations of this method for determining ΔCP values. Finally, we discuss the data in light of the physical origins of the ΔCPs for RNA folding and consider their impact on biological function. PMID:15282329

  4. Ubiquitous presence of the hammerhead ribozyme motif along the tree of life

    PubMed Central

    de la Peña, Marcos; García-Robles, Inmaculada

    2010-01-01

    Examples of small self-cleaving RNAs embedded in noncoding regions already have been found to be involved in the control of gene expression, although their origin remains uncertain. In this work, we show the widespread occurrence of the hammerhead ribozyme (HHR) motif among genomes from the Bacteria, Chromalveolata, Plantae, and Metazoa kingdoms. Intergenic HHRs were detected in three different bacterial genomes, whereas metagenomic data from Galapagos Islands showed the occurrence of similar ribozymes that could be regarded as direct relics from the RNA world. Among eukaryotes, HHRs were detected in the genomes of three water molds as well as 20 plant species, ranging from unicellular algae to vascular plants. These HHRs were very similar to those previously described in small RNA plant pathogens and, in some cases, appeared as close tandem repetitions. A parallel situation of tandemly repeated HHR motifs was also detected in the genomes of lower metazoans from cnidarians to invertebrates, with special emphasis among hematophagous and parasitic organisms. Altogether, these findings unveil the HHR as a widespread motif in DNA genomes, which would be involved in new forms of retrotransposable elements. PMID:20705646

  5. Identification of alternative splicing regulators by RNA interference in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jung W.; Parisky, Katherine; Celotto, Alicia M.; Reenan, Robert A.; Graveley, Brenton R.

    2004-01-01

    Alternative splicing is thought to be regulated by nonspliceosomal RNA binding proteins that modulate the association of core components of the spliceosome with the pre-mRNA. Although the majority of metazoan genes encode pre-mRNAs that are alternatively spliced, remarkably few splicing regulators are currently known. Here, we used RNA interference to examine the role of >70% of the Drosophila RNA-binding proteins in regulating alternative splicing. We identified 47 proteins as splicing regulators, 26 of which have not previously been implicated in alternative splicing. Many of the regulators we identified are nonspliceosomal RNA-binding proteins. However, our screen unexpectedly revealed that altering the concentration of certain core components of the spliceosome specifically modulates alternative splicing. These results significantly expand the number of known splicing regulators and reveal an extraordinary richness in the mechanisms that regulate alternative splicing. PMID:15492211

  6. Splicing in action: assessing disease causing sequence changes

    PubMed Central

    Baralle, D; Baralle, M

    2005-01-01

    Variations in new splicing regulatory elements are difficult to identify exclusively by sequence inspection and may result in deleterious effects on precursor (pre) mRNA splicing. These mutations can result in either complete skipping of the exon, retention of the intron, or the introduction of a new splice site within an exon or intron. Sometimes mutations that do not disrupt or create a splice site activate pre-existing pseudo splice sites, consistent with the proposal that introns contain splicing inhibitory sequences. These variants can also affect the fine balance of isoforms produced by alternatively spliced exons and in consequence cause disease. Available genomic pathology data reveal that we are still partly ignorant of the basic mechanisms that underlie the pre-mRNA splicing process. The fact that human pathology can provide pointers to new modulatory elements of splicing should be exploited. PMID:16199547

  7. Alternative splicing of Drosophila Nmnat functions as a switch to enhance neuroprotection under stress

    PubMed Central

    Ruan, Kai; Zhu, Yi; Li, Chong; Brazill, Jennifer M.; Zhai, R. Grace

    2015-01-01

    Nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NMNAT) is a conserved enzyme in the NAD synthetic pathway. It has also been identified as an effective and versatile neuroprotective factor. However, it remains unclear how healthy neurons regulate the dual functions of NMNAT and achieve self-protection under stress. Here we show that Drosophila Nmnat (DmNmnat) is alternatively spliced into two mRNA variants, RA and RB, which translate to protein isoforms with divergent neuroprotective capacities against spinocerebellar ataxia 1-induced neurodegeneration. Isoform PA/PC translated from RA is nuclear-localized with minimal neuroprotective ability, and isoform PB/PD translated from RB is cytoplasmic and has robust neuroprotective capacity. Under stress, RB is preferably spliced in neurons to produce the neuroprotective PB/PD isoforms. Our results indicate that alternative splicing functions as a switch that regulates the expression of functionally distinct DmNmnat variants. Neurons respond to stress by driving the splicing switch to produce the neuroprotective variant and therefore achieve self-protection. PMID:26616331

  8. Does distance matter? Variations in alternative 3' splicing regulation.

    PubMed

    Akerman, Martin; Mandel-Gutfreund, Yael

    2007-01-01

    Alternative splicing constitutes a major mechanism creating protein diversity in humans. This diversity can result from the alternative skipping of entire exons or by alternative selection of the 5' or 3' splice sites that define the exon boundaries. In this study, we analyze the sequence and evolutionary characteristics of alternative 3' splice sites conserved between human and mouse genomes for distances ranging from 3 to 100 nucleotides. We show that alternative splicing events can be distinguished from constitutive splicing by a combination of properties which vary depending on the distance between the splice sites. Among the unique features of alternative 3' splice sites, we observed an unexpectedly high occurrence of events in which a polypyrimidine tract was found to overlap the upstream splice site. By applying a machine-learning approach, we show that we can successfully discriminate true alternative 3' splice sites from constitutive 3' splice sites. Finally, we propose that the unique features of the intron flanking alternative splice sites are indicative of a regulatory mechanism that is involved in splice site selection. We postulate that the process of splice site selection is influenced by the distance between the competitive splice sites. PMID:17704130

  9. Alternative Splice in Alternative Lice.

    PubMed

    Tovar-Corona, Jaime M; Castillo-Morales, Atahualpa; Chen, Lu; Olds, Brett P; Clark, John M; Reynolds, Stuart E; Pittendrigh, Barry R; Feil, Edward J; Urrutia, Araxi O

    2015-10-01

    Genomic and transcriptomics analyses have revealed human head and body lice to be almost genetically identical; although con-specific, they nevertheless occupy distinct ecological niches and have differing feeding patterns. Most importantly, while head lice are not known to be vector competent, body lice can transmit three serious bacterial diseases; epidemictyphus, trench fever, and relapsing fever. In order to gain insights into the molecular bases for these differences, we analyzed alternative splicing (AS) using next-generation sequencing data for one strain of head lice and one strain of body lice. We identified a total of 3,598 AS events which were head or body lice specific. Exon skipping AS events were overrepresented among both head and body lice, whereas intron retention events were underrepresented in both. However, both the enrichment of exon skipping and the underrepresentation of intron retention are significantly stronger in body lice compared with head lice. Genes containing body louse-specific AS events were found to be significantly enriched for functions associated with development of the nervous system, salivary gland, trachea, and ovarian follicle cells, as well as regulation of transcription. In contrast, no functional categories were overrepresented among genes with head louse-specific AS events. Together, our results constitute the first evidence for transcript pool differences in head and body lice, providing insights into molecular adaptations that enabled human lice to adapt to clothing, and representing a powerful illustration of the pivotal role AS can play in functional adaptation. PMID:26169943

  10. Splicing therapy for neuromuscular disease.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Andrew G L; Wood, Matthew J A

    2013-09-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) are two of the most common inherited neuromuscular diseases in humans. Both conditions are fatal and no clinically available treatments are able to significantly alter disease course in either case. However, by manipulation of pre-mRNA splicing using antisense oligonucleotides, defective transcripts from the DMD gene and from the SMN2 gene in SMA can be modified to once again produce protein and restore function. A large number of in vitro and in vivo studies have validated the applicability of this approach and an increasing number of preliminary clinical trials have either been completed or are under way. Several different oligonucleotide chemistries can be used for this purpose and various strategies are being developed to facilitate increased delivery efficiency and prolonged therapeutic effect. As these novel therapeutic compounds start to enter the clinical arena, attention must also be drawn to the question of how best to facilitate the clinical development of such personalised genetic therapies and how best to implement their provision. PMID:23631896

  11. Alternative Splice in Alternative Lice

    PubMed Central

    Tovar-Corona, Jaime M.; Castillo-Morales, Atahualpa; Chen, Lu; Olds, Brett P.; Clark, John M.; Reynolds, Stuart E.; Pittendrigh, Barry R.; Feil, Edward J.; Urrutia, Araxi O.

    2015-01-01

    Genomic and transcriptomics analyses have revealed human head and body lice to be almost genetically identical; although con-specific, they nevertheless occupy distinct ecological niches and have differing feeding patterns. Most importantly, while head lice are not known to be vector competent, body lice can transmit three serious bacterial diseases; epidemictyphus, trench fever, and relapsing fever. In order to gain insights into the molecular bases for these differences, we analyzed alternative splicing (AS) using next-generation sequencing data for one strain of head lice and one strain of body lice. We identified a total of 3,598 AS events which were head or body lice specific. Exon skipping AS events were overrepresented among both head and body lice, whereas intron retention events were underrepresented in both. However, both the enrichment of exon skipping and the underrepresentation of intron retention are significantly stronger in body lice compared with head lice. Genes containing body louse-specific AS events were found to be significantly enriched for functions associated with development of the nervous system, salivary gland, trachea, and ovarian follicle cells, as well as regulation of transcription. In contrast, no functional categories were overrepresented among genes with head louse-specific AS events. Together, our results constitute the first evidence for transcript pool differences in head and body lice, providing insights into molecular adaptations that enabled human lice to adapt to clothing, and representing a powerful illustration of the pivotal role AS can play in functional adaptation. PMID:26169943

  12. Alternative Splicing Signatures in RNA-seq Data: Percent Spliced in (PSI).

    PubMed

    Schafer, Sebastian; Miao, Kui; Benson, Craig C; Heinig, Matthias; Cook, Stuart A; Hubner, Norbert

    2015-01-01

    Thousands of alternative exons are spliced out of messenger RNA to increase protein diversity. High-throughput sequencing of short cDNA fragments (RNA-seq) generates a genome-wide snapshot of these post-transcriptional processes. RNA-seq reads yield insights into the regulation of alternative splicing by revealing the usage of known or unknown splice sites as well as the expression level of exons. Constitutive exons are never covered by split alignments, whereas alternative exonic parts are located within highly expressed splicing junctions. The ratio between reads including or excluding exons, also known as percent spliced in index (PSI), indicates how efficiently sequences of interest are spliced into transcripts. This protocol describes a method to calculate the PSI without prior knowledge of splicing patterns. It provides a quantitative, global assessment of exon usage that can be integrated with other tools that identify differential isoform processing. Novel, complex splicing events along a genetic locus can be visualized in an exon-centric manner and compared across conditions. PMID:26439713

  13. An Alu-derived intronic splicing enhancer facilitates intronic processing and modulates aberrant splicing in ATM

    PubMed Central

    Pastor, Tibor; Talotti, Gabriele; Lewandowska, Marzena Anna; Pagani, Franco

    2009-01-01

    We have previously reported a natural GTAA deletion within an intronic splicing processing element (ISPE) of the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene that disrupts a non-canonical U1 snRNP interaction and activates the excision of the upstream portion of the intron. The resulting pre-mRNA splicing intermediate is then processed to a cryptic exon, whose aberrant inclusion in the final mRNA is responsible for ataxia telangiectasia. We show here that the last 40 bases of a downstream intronic antisense Alu repeat are required for the activation of the cryptic exon by the ISPE deletion. Evaluation of the pre-mRNA splicing intermediate by a hybrid minigene assay indicates that the identified intronic splicing enhancer represents a novel class of enhancers that facilitates processing of splicing intermediates possibly by recruiting U1 snRNP to defective donor sites. In the absence of this element, the splicing intermediate accumulates and is not further processed to generate the cryptic exon. Our results indicate that Alu-derived sequences can provide intronic splicing regulatory elements that facilitate pre-mRNA processing and potentially affect the severity of disease-causing splicing mutations. PMID:19773425

  14. Analysis of the tertiary structure of the ribonuclease P ribozyme-substrate complex by site-specific photoaffinity crosslinking.

    PubMed

    Harris, M E; Kazantsev, A V; Chen, J L; Pace, N R

    1997-06-01

    Bacterial ribonuclease P (RNase P), an endonuclease involved in tRNA maturation, is a ribonucleoprotein containing a catalytic RNA. The secondary structure of this ribozyme is well-established, and a low-resolution model of the three-dimensional structure of the ribozyme-substrate complex has been proposed based on site-specific crosslinking and phylogenetic comparative data [Harris ME et al., 1994 EMBO J 13:3953-3963]. However, several substructures of that model were poorly constrained by the available data. In the present analysis, additional constraints between elements within the Escherichia coli RNase P RNA-pre-tRNA complex were determined by intra- and intermolecular crosslinking experiments. Circularly permuted RNase P RNAs were used to position an azidophenacyl photoactive crosslinking agent specifically at strategic sites within the ribozyme-substrate complex. Crosslink sites were mapped by primer extension and confirmed by analysis of the mobility of the crosslinked RNA lariats on denaturing acrylamide gels relative to circular and linear RNA standards. Crosslinked species generally retained significant catalytic activity, indicating that the results reflect the native ribozyme structure. The crosslinking results support the general configuration of the structure model and predicate new positions and orientations for helices that were previously poorly constrained by the data set. The expanded library of crosslinking constraints was used, together with secondary and tertiary structure identified by phylogenetic sequence comparisons, to refine significantly the model of RNase P RNA with bound substrate pre-tRNA. The crosslinking results and data from chemical-modification and mutational studies are discussed in the context of the current structural perspective on this ribozyme. PMID:9174092

  15. BRCA1 EXON 11, a CERES (composite regulatory element of splicing) element involved in splice regulation.

    PubMed

    Tammaro, Claudia; Raponi, Michela; Wilson, David I; Baralle, Diana

    2014-01-01

    Unclassified variants (UV) of BRCA1 can affect normal pre-mRNA splicing. Here, we investigate the UV c.693G>A, a "silent" change in BRCA1 exon 11, which we have found induces aberrant splicing in patient carriers and in vitro. Using a minigene assay, we show that the UV c.693G>A has a strong effect on the splicing isoform ratio of BRCA1. Systematic site-directed mutagenesis of the area surrounding the nucleotide position c.693G>A induced variable changes in the level of exon 11 inclusion/exclusion in the mRNA, pointing to the presence of a complex regulatory element with overlapping enhancer and silencer functions. Accordingly, protein binding analysis in the region detected several splicing regulatory factors involved, including SRSF1, SRSF6 and SRSF9, suggesting that this sequence represents a composite regulatory element of splicing (CERES). PMID:25056543

  16. RNA splicing. The human splicing code reveals new insights into the genetic determinants of disease.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Hui Y; Alipanahi, Babak; Lee, Leo J; Bretschneider, Hannes; Merico, Daniele; Yuen, Ryan K C; Hua, Yimin; Gueroussov, Serge; Najafabadi, Hamed S; Hughes, Timothy R; Morris, Quaid; Barash, Yoseph; Krainer, Adrian R; Jojic, Nebojsa; Scherer, Stephen W; Blencowe, Benjamin J; Frey, Brendan J

    2015-01-01

    To facilitate precision medicine and whole-genome annotation, we developed a machine-learning technique that scores how strongly genetic variants affect RNA splicing, whose alteration contributes to many diseases. Analysis of more than 650,000 intronic and exonic variants revealed widespread patterns of mutation-driven aberrant splicing. Intronic disease mutations that are more than 30 nucleotides from any splice site alter splicing nine times as often as common variants, and missense exonic disease mutations that have the least impact on protein function are five times as likely as others to alter splicing. We detected tens of thousands of disease-causing mutations, including those involved in cancers and spinal muscular atrophy. Examination of intronic and exonic variants found using whole-genome sequencing of individuals with autism revealed misspliced genes with neurodevelopmental phenotypes. Our approach provides evidence for causal variants and should enable new discoveries in precision medicine. PMID:25525159

  17. Vitamin D and alternative splicing of RNA

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Rui; Chun, Rene F.; Lisse, Thomas S.; Garcia, Alejandro J.; Xu, Jianzhong; Adams, John S.; Hewison, Martin

    2014-01-01

    The active form of vitamin D (1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, 1,25(OH)2D) exerts its genomic effects via binding to a nuclear high-affinity vitamin D receptor (VDR). Recent deep sequencing analysis of VDR binding locations across the complete genome has significantly expanded our understanding of the actions of vitamin D and VDR on gene transcription. However, these studies have also promoted appreciation of the extra-transcriptional impact of vitamin D on gene expression. It is now clear that vitamin D interacts with the epigenome via effects on DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and microRNA generation to maintain normal biological functions. There is also increasing evidence that vitamin D can influence pre-mRNA constitutive splicing and alternative splicing, although the mechanism for this remains unclear. Pre-mRNA splicing has long been thought to be a post-transcription RNA processing event, but current data indicate that this occurs co-transcriptionally. Several steroid hormones have been recognized to coordinately control gene transcription and pre-mRNA splicing through the recruitment of nuclear receptor co-regulators that can both control gene transcription and splicing. The current review will discuss this concept with specific reference to vitamin D, and the potential role of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein C (hnRNPC), a nuclear factor with an established function in RNA splicing. hnRNPC, has been shown to be involved in the VDR transcriptional complex as a vitamin D-response element-binding protein (VDRE-BP), and may act as a coupling factor linking VDR-directed gene transcription with RNA splicing. In this way hnRNPC may provide an additional mechanism for the fine-tuning of vitamin D-regulated target gene expression. PMID:25447737

  18. Tau exon 10 alternative splicing and tauopathies

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Fei; Gong, Cheng-Xin

    2008-01-01

    Abnormalities of microtubule-associated protein tau play a central role in neurofibrillary degeneration in several neurodegenerative disorders that collectively called tauopathies. Six isoforms of tau are expressed in adult human brain, which result from alternative splicing of pre-mRNA generated from a single tau gene. Alternative splicing of tau exon 10 results in tau isoforms containing either three or four microtubule-binding repeats (3R-tau and 4R-tau, respectively). Approximately equal levels of 3R-tau and 4R-tau are expressed in normal adult human brain, but the 3R-tau/4R-tau ratio is altered in the brains in several tauopathies. Discovery of silence mutations and intronic mutations of tau gene in some individuals with frontotemporal dementia with Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17), which only disrupt tau exon 10 splicing but do not alter tau's primary sequence, demonstrates that dysregulation of tau exon 10 alternative splicing and consequently of 3R-tau/4R-tau balance is sufficient to cause neurodegeneration and dementia. Here, we review the gene structure, transcripts and protein isoforms of tau, followed by the regulation of exon 10 splicing that determines the expression of 3R-tau or 4R-tau. Finally, dysregulation of exon 10 splicing of tau in several tauopathies is discussed. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which tau exon 10 splicing is regulated and how it is disrupted in tauopathies will provide new insight into the mechanisms of these tauopathies and help identify new therapeutic targets to treat these disorders. PMID:18616804

  19. Variation in alternative splicing across human tissues

    PubMed Central

    Yeo, Gene; Holste, Dirk; Kreiman, Gabriel; Burge, Christopher B

    2004-01-01

    Background Alternative pre-mRNA splicing (AS) is widely used by higher eukaryotes to generate different protein isoforms in specific cell or tissue types. To compare AS events across human tissues, we analyzed the splicing patterns of genomically aligned expressed sequence tags (ESTs) derived from libraries of cDNAs from different tissues. Results Controlling for differences in EST coverage among tissues, we found that the brain and testis had the highest levels of exon skipping. The most pronounced differences between tissues were seen for the frequencies of alternative 3' splice site and alternative 5' splice site usage, which were about 50 to 100% higher in the liver than in any other human tissue studied. Quantifying differences in splice junction usage, the brain, pancreas, liver and the peripheral nervous system had the most distinctive patterns of AS. Analysis of available microarray expression data showed that the liver had the most divergent pattern of expression of serine-arginine protein and heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein genes compared to the other human tissues studied, possibly contributing to the unusually high frequency of alternative splice site usage seen in liver. Sequence motifs enriched in alternative exons in genes expressed in the brain, testis and liver suggest specific splicing factors that may be important in AS regulation in these tissues. Conclusions This study distinguishes the human brain, testis and liver as having unusually high levels of AS, highlights differences in the types of AS occurring commonly in different tissues, and identifies candidate cis-regulatory elements and trans-acting factors likely to have important roles in tissue-specific AS in human cells. PMID:15461793

  20. The behavior of bonded doubler splices for composite sandwich panels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeller, T. A.; Weisahaar, T. A.

    1980-01-01

    The results of an investigation into the behavior of adhesively bonded doubler splices of two composite material sandwich panels are presented. The splices are studied from three approaches: analytical; numerical (finite elements); and experimental. Several parameters that characterize the splice are developed to determine their influence upon joint strength. These parameters are: doubler overlap length; core stiffness; laminate bending stiffness; the size of the gap between the spliced sandwich panels; and room and elevated temperatures. Similarities and contrasts between these splices and the physically similar single and double lap joints are discussed. The results of this investigation suggest several possible approaches to improving the strength of the sandwich splices.

  1. Existence of efficient divalent metal ion-catalyzed and inefficient divalent metal ion-independent channels in reactions catalyzed by a hammerhead ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jing-Min; Zhou, De-Min; Takagi, Yasuomi; Kasai, Yasuhiro; Inoue, Atsushi; Baba, Tadashi; Taira, Kazunari

    2002-01-01

    The hammerhead ribozyme is generally accepted as a well characterized metalloenzyme. However, the precise nature of the interactions of the RNA with metal ions remains to be fully defined. Examination of metal ion-catalyzed hammerhead reactions at limited concentrations of metal ions is useful for evaluation of the role of metal ions, as demonstrated in this study. At concentrations of Mn2+ ions from 0.3 to 3 mM, addition of the ribozyme to the reaction mixture under single-turnover conditions enhances the reaction with the product reaching a fixed maximum level. Further addition of the ribozyme inhibits the reaction, demonstrating that a certain number of divalent metal ions is required for proper folding and also for catalysis. At extremely high concentrations, monovalent ions, such as Na+ ions, can also serve as cofactors in hammerhead ribozyme-catalyzed reactions. However, the catalytic efficiency of monovalent ions is extremely low and, thus, high concentrations are required. Furthermore, addition of monovalent ions to divalent metal ion-catalyzed hammerhead reactions inhibits the divalent metal ion-catalyzed reactions, suggesting that the more desirable divalent metal ion–ribozyme complexes are converted to less desirable monovalent metal ion–ribozyme complexes via removal of divalent metal ions, which serve as a structural support in the ribozyme complex. Even though two channels appear to exist, namely an efficient divalent metal ion-catalyzed channel and an inefficient monovalent metal ion-catalyzed channel, it is clear that, under physiological conditions, hammerhead ribozymes are metalloenzymes that act via the significantly more efficient divalent metal ion-dependent channel. Moreover, the observed kinetic data are consistent with Lilley’s and DeRose’s two-phase folding model that was based on ground state structure analyses. PMID:12034824

  2. A 1.9 Å Crystal Structure of the HDV Ribozyme Precleavage Suggests both Lewis Acid and General Acid Mechanisms Contribute to Phosphodiester Cleavage

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Jui-Hui; Yajima, Rieko; Chadalavada, Durga M.; Chase, Elaine; Bevilacqua, Philip C.; Golden, Barbara L.

    2010-11-01

    The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme and HDV-like ribozymes are self-cleaving RNAs found throughout all kingdoms of life. These RNAs fold into a double-nested pseudoknot structure and cleave RNA, yielding 2{prime},3{prime}-cyclic phosphate and 5{prime}-hydroxyl termini. The active site nucleotide C75 has a pK{sub a} shifted >2 pH units toward neutrality and has been implicated as a general acid/base in the cleavage reaction. An active site Mg{sup 2+} ion that helps activate the 2{prime}-hydroxyl for nucleophilic attack has been characterized biochemically; however, this ion has not been visualized in any previous structures. To create a snapshot of the ribozyme in a state poised for catalysis, we have crystallized and determined the structure of the HDV ribozyme bound to an inhibitor RNA containing a deoxynucleotide at the cleavage site. This structure includes the wild-type C75 nucleotide and Mg{sup 2+} ions, both of which are required for maximal ribozyme activity. This structure suggests that the position of C75 does not change during the cleavage reaction. A partially hydrated Mg{sup 2+} ion is also found within the active site where it interacts with a newly resolved G {center_dot} U reverse wobble. Although the inhibitor exhibits crystallographic disorder, we modeled the ribozyme-substrate complex using the conformation of the inhibitor strand observed in the hammerhead ribozyme. This model suggests that the pro-RP oxygen of the scissile phosphate and the 2{prime}-hydroxyl nucleophile are inner-sphere ligands to the active site Mg{sup 2+} ion. Thus, the HDV ribozyme may use a combination of metal ion Lewis acid and nucleobase general acid strategies to effect RNA cleavage.

  3. Effects of substrate structure on the kinetics of circle opening reactions of the self-splicing intervening sequence from Tetrahymena thermophila: evidence for substrate and Mg2+ binding interactions.

    PubMed Central

    Sugimoto, N; Tomka, M; Kierzek, R; Bevilacqua, P C; Turner, D H

    1989-01-01

    The self-splicing intervening sequence from the precursor rRNA of Tetrahymena thermophila cyclizes to form a covalently closed circle. This circle can be reopened by reaction with oligonucleotides or water. The kinetics of circle opening as a function of substrate and Mg2+ concentrations have been measured for dCrU, rCdU, dCdT, and H2O addition. Comparisons with previous results for rCrU suggest: (1) the 2' OH of the 5' sugar of a dinucleoside phosphate is involved in substrate binding, and (2) the 2' OH of the 3' sugar of a dimer substrate is involved in Mg2+ binding. Evidently, the binding site for a required Mg2+ ion is dependent on both the ribozyme and the dimer substrate. The apparent activation energy and entropy for circle opening by hydrolysis are 31 kcal/mol and 50 eu, respectively. The large, positive activation entropy suggests a partial unfolding of the ribozyme is required for reaction. Images PMID:2643083

  4. Gene and alternative splicing annotation with AIR

    PubMed Central

    Florea, Liliana; Di Francesco, Valentina; Miller, Jason; Turner, Russell; Yao, Alison; Harris, Michael; Walenz, Brian; Mobarry, Clark; Merkulov, Gennady V.; Charlab, Rosane; Dew, Ian; Deng, Zuoming; Istrail, Sorin; Li, Peter; Sutton, Granger

    2005-01-01

    Designing effective and accurate tools for identifying the functional and structural elements in a genome remains at the frontier of genome annotation owing to incompleteness and inaccuracy of the data, limitations in the computational models, and shifting paradigms in genomics, such as alternative splicing. We present a methodology for the automated annotation of genes and their alternatively spliced mRNA transcripts based on existing cDNA and protein sequence evidence from the same species or projected from a related species using syntenic mapping information. At the core of the method is the splice graph, a compact representation of a gene, its exons, introns, and alternatively spliced isoforms. The putative transcripts are enumerated from the graph and assigned confidence scores based on the strength of sequence evidence, and a subset of the high-scoring candidates are selected and promoted into the annotation. The method is highly selective, eliminating the unlikely candidates while retaining 98% of the high-quality mRNA evidence in well-formed transcripts, and produces annotation that is measurably more accurate than some evidence-based gene sets. The process is fast, accurate, and fully automated, and combines the traditionally distinct gene annotation and alternative splicing detection processes in a comprehensive and systematic way, thus considerably aiding in the ensuing manual curation efforts. PMID:15632090

  5. Phosphoregulation of Ire1 RNase splicing activity

    PubMed Central

    Prischi, Filippo; Nowak, Piotr R.; Carrara, Marta; Ali, Maruf M. U.

    2014-01-01

    Ire1 is activated in response to accumulation of misfolded proteins within the endoplasmic reticulum as part of the unfolded protein response (UPR). It is a unique enzyme, possessing both kinase and RNase activity that is required for specific splicing of Xbp1 mRNA leading to UPR activation. How phosphorylation impacts on the Ire1 splicing activity is unclear. In this study, we isolate distinct phosphorylated species of Ire1 and assess their effects on RNase splicing both in vitro and in vivo. We find that phosphorylation within the kinase activation loop significantly increases RNase splicing in vitro. Correspondingly, mutants of Ire1 that cannot be phosphorylated on the activation loop show decreased specific Xbp1 and promiscuous RNase splicing activity relative to wild-type Ire1 in cells. These data couple the kinase phosphorylation reaction to the activation state of the RNase, suggesting that phosphorylation of the activation loop is an important step in Ire1-mediated UPR activation. PMID:24704861

  6. Differential effects of the protein cofactor on the interactions between an RNase P ribozyme and its target mRNA substrate

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Amy W.; Kilani, Ahmed F.; Liou, Kwa; Lee, Jarone; Liu, Fenyong

    2000-01-01

    RNase P from Escherichia coli is a tRNA-processing enzyme and consists of a catalytic RNA subunit (M1 RNA) and a protein component (C5 protein). M1GS, a gene-targeting ribozyme derived from M1, can cleave a herpes simplex virus 1 mRNA efficiently in vitro and inhibit its expression effectively in viral-infected cells. In this study, the effects of C5 on the interactions between a M1GS ribozyme and a model mRNA substrate were investigated by site-specific UV crosslink mapping. In the presence of the protein cofactor, the ribozyme regions crosslinked to the substrate sequence 3′ immediately to the cleavage site were similar to those found in the absence of C5. Meanwhile, some of the ribozyme regions (e.g. P12 and J11/12) that were crosslinked to the leader sequence 5′ immediately to the cleavage site in the presence of C5 were different from those regions (e.g. P3 and P4) found in the absence of the protein cofactor and were not among those that are believed to interact with a tRNA. Understanding how C5 affects the specific interactions between the ribozyme and its target mRNA may facilitate the development of gene-targeting ribozymes that function effectively in vivo, in the presence of cellular proteins. PMID:10931926

  7. UV cross-link mapping of the substrate-binding site of an RNase P ribozyme to a target mRNA sequence.

    PubMed Central

    Kilani, A F; Liu, F

    1999-01-01

    RNase P ribozyme cleaves an RNA helix that resembles the acceptor stem and T-stem structure of its natural ptRNA substrate. When covalently linked with a guide sequence, the ribozyme can function as a sequence-specific endonuclease and cleave any target RNA sequences that base pair with the guide sequence. Using a site-directed ultraviolet (UV) cross-linking approach, we have mapped the regions of the ribozyme that are in close proximity to a substrate that contains the mRNA sequence encoding thymidine kinase of human herpes simplex virus 1. Our data suggest that the cleavage site of the mRNA substrate is positioned at the same regions of the ribozyme that bind to the cleavage site of a ptRNA. The mRNA-binding domains include regions that interact with the acceptor stem and T-stem and in addition, regions that are unique and not in close contact with a ptRNA. Identification of the mRNA-binding site provides a foundation to study how RNase P ribozymes achieve their sequence specificity and facilitates the development of gene-targeting ribozymes. PMID:10496224

  8. Analysis of differential splicing suggests different modes of short-term splicing regulation

    PubMed Central

    Topa, Hande; Honkela, Antti

    2016-01-01

    Motivation: Alternative splicing is an important mechanism in which the regions of pre-mRNAs are differentially joined in order to form different transcript isoforms. Alternative splicing is involved in the regulation of normal physiological functions but also linked to the development of diseases such as cancer. We analyse differential expression and splicing using RNA-sequencing time series in three different settings: overall gene expression levels, absolute transcript expression levels and relative transcript expression levels. Results: Using estrogen receptor α signaling response as a model system, our Gaussian process-based test identifies genes with differential splicing and/or differentially expressed transcripts. We discover genes with consistent changes in alternative splicing independent of changes in absolute expression and genes where some transcripts change whereas others stay constant in absolute level. The results suggest classes of genes with different modes of alternative splicing regulation during the experiment. Availability and Implementation: R and Matlab codes implementing the method are available at https://github.com/PROBIC/diffsplicing. An interactive browser for viewing all model fits is available at http://users.ics.aalto.fi/hande/splicingGP/ Contact: hande.topa@helsinki.fi or antti.honkela@helsinki.fi Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:27307611

  9. Proteasomes generate spliced epitopes by two different mechanisms and as efficiently as non-spliced epitopes.

    PubMed

    Ebstein, F; Textoris-Taube, K; Keller, C; Golnik, R; Vigneron, N; Van den Eynde, B J; Schuler-Thurner, B; Schadendorf, D; Lorenz, F K M; Uckert, W; Urban, S; Lehmann, A; Albrecht-Koepke, N; Janek, K; Henklein, P; Niewienda, A; Kloetzel, P M; Mishto, M

    2016-01-01

    Proteasome-catalyzed peptide splicing represents an additional catalytic activity of proteasomes contributing to the pool of MHC-class I-presented epitopes. We here biochemically and functionally characterized a new melanoma gp100 derived spliced epitope. We demonstrate that the gp100(mel)47-52/40-42 antigenic peptide is generated in vitro and in cellulo by a not yet described proteasomal condensation reaction. gp100(mel)47-52/40-42 generation is enhanced in the presence of the β5i/LMP7 proteasome-subunit and elicits a peptide-specific CD8(+) T cell response. Importantly, we demonstrate that different gp100(mel)-derived spliced epitopes are generated and presented to CD8(+) T cells with efficacies comparable to non-spliced canonical tumor epitopes and that gp100(mel)-derived spliced epitopes trigger activation of CD8(+) T cells found in peripheral blood of half of the melanoma patients tested. Our data suggest that both transpeptidation and condensation reactions contribute to the frequent generation of spliced epitopes also in vivo and that their immune relevance may be comparable to non-spliced epitopes. PMID:27049119

  10. SeeSite: Characterizing Relationships between Splice Junctions and Splicing Enhancers.

    PubMed

    Lo, Christine; Kakaradov, Boyko; Lokshtanov, Daniel; Boucher, Christina

    2014-01-01

    RNA splicing is a cellular process driven by the interaction between numerous regulatory sequences and binding sites, however, such interactions have been primarily explored by laboratory methods since computational tools largely ignore the relationship between different splicing elements. Current computational methods identify either splice sites or other regulatory sequences, such as enhancers and silencers. We present a novel approach for characterizing co-occurring relationships between splice site motifs and splicing enhancers. Our approach relies on an efficient algorithm for approximately solving Consensus Sequence with Outliers , an NP-complete string clustering problem. In particular, we give an algorithm for this problem that outputs near-optimal solutions in polynomial time. To our knowledge, this is the first formulation and computational attempt for detecting co-occurring sequence elements in RNA sequence data. Further, we demonstrate that SeeSite is capable of showing that certain ESEs are preferentially associated with weaker splice sites, and that there exists a co-occurrence relationship with splice site motifs. PMID:26356335

  11. Proteasomes generate spliced epitopes by two different mechanisms and as efficiently as non-spliced epitopes

    PubMed Central

    Ebstein, F.; Textoris-Taube, K.; Keller, C.; Golnik, R.; Vigneron, N.; Van den Eynde, B. J.; Schuler-Thurner, B.; Schadendorf, D.; Lorenz, F. K. M.; Uckert, W.; Urban, S.; Lehmann, A.; Albrecht-Koepke, N.; Janek, K.; Henklein, P.; Niewienda, A.; Kloetzel, P. M.; Mishto, M.

    2016-01-01

    Proteasome-catalyzed peptide splicing represents an additional catalytic activity of proteasomes contributing to the pool of MHC-class I-presented epitopes. We here biochemically and functionally characterized a new melanoma gp100 derived spliced epitope. We demonstrate that the gp100mel47–52/40–42 antigenic peptide is generated in vitro and in cellulo by a not yet described proteasomal condensation reaction. gp100mel47–52/40–42 generation is enhanced in the presence of the β5i/LMP7 proteasome-subunit and elicits a peptide-specific CD8+ T cell response. Importantly, we demonstrate that different gp100mel-derived spliced epitopes are generated and presented to CD8+ T cells with efficacies comparable to non-spliced canonical tumor epitopes and that gp100mel-derived spliced epitopes trigger activation of CD8+ T cells found in peripheral blood of half of the melanoma patients tested. Our data suggest that both transpeptidation and condensation reactions contribute to the frequent generation of spliced epitopes also in vivo and that their immune relevance may be comparable to non-spliced epitopes. PMID:27049119

  12. Arabidopsis PTB1 and PTB2 proteins negatively regulate splicing of a mini-exon splicing reporter and affect alternative splicing of endogenous genes differentially.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Craig G; Lewandowska, Dominika; Liney, Michele; Davidson, Diane; Chapman, Sean; Fuller, John; McNicol, Jim; Shaw, Paul; Brown, John W S

    2014-07-01

    This paper examines the function of Arabidopsis thaliana AtPTB1 and AtPTB2 as plant splicing factors. The effect on splicing of overexpression of AtPTB1 and AtPTB2 was analysed in an in vivo protoplast transient expression system with a novel mini-exon splicing reporter. A range of mutations in pyrimidine-rich sequences were compared with and without AtPTB and NpU2AF65 overexpression. Splicing analyses of constructs in protoplasts and RNA from overexpression lines used high-resolution reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). AtPTB1 and AtPTB2 reduced inclusion/splicing of the potato invertase mini-exon splicing reporter, indicating that these proteins can repress plant intron splicing. Mutation of the polypyrimidine tract and closely associated Cytosine and Uracil-rich (CU-rich) sequences, upstream of the mini-exon, altered repression by AtPTB1 and AtPTB2. Coexpression of a plant orthologue of U2AF65 alleviated the splicing repression of AtPTB1. Mutation of a second CU-rich upstream of the mini-exon 3' splice site led to a decline in mini-exon splicing, indicating the presence of a splicing enhancer sequence. Finally, RT-PCR of AtPTB overexpression lines with c. 90 known alternative splicing (AS) events showed that AtPTBs significantly altered AS of over half the events. AtPTB1 and AtPTB2 are splicing factors that influence alternative splicing. This occurs in the potato invertase mini-exon via the polypyrimidine tract and associated pyrimidine-rich sequence. PMID:24749484

  13. The heteromeric Nanoarchaeum equitans splicing endonuclease cleaves noncanonical bulge–helix–bulge motifs of joined tRNA halves

    PubMed Central

    Randau, Lennart; Calvin, Kate; Hall, Michelle; Yuan, Jing; Podar, Mircea; Li, Hong; Söll, Dieter

    2005-01-01

    Among the tRNA population of the archaeal parasite Nanoarchaeum equitans are five species assembled from separate 5′ and 3′ tRNA halves and four species derived from tRNA precursors containing introns. In both groups an intervening sequence element must be removed during tRNA maturation. A bulge–helix–bulge (BHB) motif is the hallmark structure required by the archaeal splicing endonuclease for recognition and excision of all introns. BHB motifs are recognizable at the joining sites of all five noncontinuous tRNA species, although deviations from the canonical BHB motif are clearly present in at least two of them. Here, we show that the N. equitans splicing endonuclease cleaves tRNA precursors containing normal introns, as well as all five noncontinuous precursor tRNAs, at the predicted splice sites, indicating the enzyme's dual role in the removal of tRNA introns and processing of tRNA halves to be joined in trans. The cleavage activity on a set of synthetic canonical and noncanonical BHB constructs showed that the N. equitans splicing endonuclease accepts a broader range of substrates than the homodimeric Archaeoglobus fulgidus enzyme. In contrast to the A. fulgidus endonuclease, the N. equitans splicing enzyme possesses two different subunits. This heteromeric endonuclease type, found in N. equitans, in all Crenarchaeota, and in Methanopyrus kandleri, is able to act on the noncanonical tRNA introns present only in these organisms, which suggests coevolution of enzyme and substrate. PMID:16330750

  14. IntSplice: prediction of the splicing consequences of intronic single-nucleotide variations in the human genome.

    PubMed

    Shibata, Akihide; Okuno, Tatsuya; Rahman, Mohammad Alinoor; Azuma, Yoshiteru; Takeda, Jun-Ichi; Masuda, Akio; Selcen, Duygu; Engel, Andrew G; Ohno, Kinji

    2016-07-01

    Precise spatiotemporal regulation of splicing is mediated by splicing cis-elements on pre-mRNA. Single-nucleotide variations (SNVs) affecting intronic cis-elements possibly compromise splicing, but no efficient tool has been available to identify them. Following an effect-size analysis of each intronic nucleotide on annotated alternative splicing, we extracted 105 parameters that could affect the strength of the splicing signals. However, we could not generate reliable support vector regression models to predict the percent-splice-in (PSI) scores for normal human tissues. Next, we generated support vector machine (SVM) models using 110 parameters to directly differentiate pathogenic SNVs in the Human Gene Mutation Database and normal SNVs in the dbSNP database, and we obtained models with a sensitivity of 0.800±0.041 (mean and s.d.) and a specificity of 0.849±0.021. Our IntSplice models were more discriminating than SVM models that we generated with Shapiro-Senapathy score and MaxEntScan::score3ss. We applied IntSplice to a naturally occurring and nine artificial intronic mutations in RAPSN causing congenital myasthenic syndrome. IntSplice correctly predicted the splicing consequences for nine of the ten mutants. We created a web service program, IntSplice (http://www.med.nagoya-u.ac.jp/neurogenetics/IntSplice) to predict splicing-affecting SNVs at intronic positions from -50 to -3. PMID:27009626

  15. Tau Splicing and the Intricacies of Dementia

    PubMed Central

    Andreadis, Athena

    2011-01-01

    Tau is a microtubule associated protein that fulfills several functions critical for neuronal formation and health. Tau discharges its functions by producing multiple isoforms via regulated alternative splicing. These isoforms modulate tau function in normal brain by altering the domains of the protein, thereby influencing its localization, conformation and post-translational modifications and hence its availability and affinity for microtubules and other ligands. Disturbances in tau expression result in disruption of the neuronal cytoskeleton and formation of tau structures (neurofibrillary tangles) found in brains of dementia sufferers. More specifically, aberrations in tau splicing regulation directly cause several neurodegenerative diseases which lead to dementia. In this review, I present our cumulative knowledge of tau splicing regulation in connection with neurodegeneration and also briefly go over the still-extensive list of questions that are connected to tau (dys)function. PMID:21604267

  16. Exon circularization requires canonical splice signals.

    PubMed

    Starke, Stefan; Jost, Isabelle; Rossbach, Oliver; Schneider, Tim; Schreiner, Silke; Hung, Lee-Hsueh; Bindereif, Albrecht

    2015-01-01

    Circular RNAs (circRNAs), an abundant class of noncoding RNAs in higher eukaryotes, are generated from pre-mRNAs by circularization of adjacent exons. Using a set of 15 circRNAs, we demonstrated their cell-type-specific expression and circular versus linear processing in mammalian cells. Northern blot analysis combined with RNase H cleavage conclusively proved a circular configuration for two examples, LPAR1 and HIPK3. To address the circularization mechanism, we analyzed the sequence requirements using minigenes derived from natural circRNAs. Both canonical splice sites are required for circularization, although they vary in flexibility and potential use of cryptic sites. Surprisingly, we found that no specific circRNA exon sequence is necessary and that potential flanking intron structures can modulate circularization efficiency. In combination with splice inhibitor assays, our results argue that the canonical spliceosomal machinery functions in circRNA biogenesis, constituting an alternative splicing mode. PMID:25543144

  17. Origin of Spliceosomal Introns and Alternative Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Irimia, Manuel; Roy, Scott William

    2014-01-01

    In this work we review the current knowledge on the prehistory, origins, and evolution of spliceosomal introns. First, we briefly outline the major features of the different types of introns, with particular emphasis on the nonspliceosomal self-splicing group II introns, which are widely thought to be the ancestors of spliceosomal introns. Next, we discuss the main scenarios proposed for the origin and proliferation of spliceosomal introns, an event intimately linked to eukaryogenesis. We then summarize the evidence that suggests that the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) had remarkably high intron densities and many associated characteristics resembling modern intron-rich genomes. From this intron-rich LECA, the different eukaryotic lineages have taken very distinct evolutionary paths leading to profoundly diverged modern genome structures. Finally, we discuss the origins of alternative splicing and the qualitative differences in alternative splicing forms and functions across lineages. PMID:24890509

  18. Extensive genetic interactions between PRP8 and PRP17/CDC40, two yeast genes involved in pre-mRNA splicing and cell cycle progression.

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Yehuda, S; Russell, C S; Dix, I; Beggs, J D; Kupiec, M

    2000-01-01

    Biochemical and genetic experiments have shown that the PRP17 gene of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae encodes a protein that plays a role during the second catalytic step of the splicing reaction. It was found recently that PRP17 is identical to the cell division cycle CDC40 gene. cdc40 mutants arrest at the restrictive temperature after the completion of DNA replication. Although the PRP17/CDC40 gene product is essential only at elevated temperatures, splicing intermediates accumulate in prp17 mutants even at the permissive temperature. In this report we describe extensive genetic interactions between PRP17/CDC40 and the PRP8 gene. PRP8 encodes a highly conserved U5 snRNP protein required for spliceosome assembly and for both catalytic steps of the splicing reaction. We show that mutations in the PRP8 gene are able to suppress the temperature-sensitive growth phenotype and the splicing defect conferred by the absence of the Prp17 protein. In addition, these mutations are capable of suppressing certain alterations in the conserved PyAG trinucleotide at the 3' splice junction, as detected by an ACT1-CUP1 splicing reporter system. Moreover, other PRP8 alleles exhibit synthetic lethality with the absence of Prp17p and show a reduced ability to splice an intron bearing an altered 3' splice junction. On the basis of these findings, we propose a model for the mode of interaction between the Prp8 and Prp17 proteins during the second catalytic step of the splicing reaction. PMID:10628969

  19. SPA: A Probabilistic Algorithm for Spliced Alignment

    PubMed Central

    van Nimwegen, Erik; Paul, Nicodeme; Sheridan, Robert; Zavolan, Mihaela

    2006-01-01

    Recent large-scale cDNA sequencing efforts show that elaborate patterns of splice variation are responsible for much of the proteome diversity in higher eukaryotes. To obtain an accurate account of the repertoire of splice variants, and to gain insight into the mechanisms of alternative splicing, it is essential that cDNAs are very accurately mapped to their respective genomes. Currently available algorithms for cDNA-to-genome alignment do not reach the necessary level of accuracy because they use ad hoc scoring models that cannot correctly trade off the likelihoods of various sequencing errors against the probabilities of different gene structures. Here we develop a Bayesian probabilistic approach to cDNA-to-genome alignment. Gene structures are assigned prior probabilities based on the lengths of their introns and exons, and based on the sequences at their splice boundaries. A likelihood model for sequencing errors takes into account the rates at which misincorporation, as well as insertions and deletions of different lengths, occurs during sequencing. The parameters of both the prior and likelihood model can be automatically estimated from a set of cDNAs, thus enabling our method to adapt itself to different organisms and experimental procedures. We implemented our method in a fast cDNA-to-genome alignment program, SPA, and applied it to the FANTOM3 dataset of over 100,000 full-length mouse cDNAs and a dataset of over 20,000 full-length human cDNAs. Comparison with the results of four other mapping programs shows that SPA produces alignments of significantly higher quality. In particular, the quality of the SPA alignments near splice boundaries and SPA's mapping of the 5′ and 3′ ends of the cDNAs are highly improved, allowing for more accurate identification of transcript starts and ends, and accurate identification of subtle splice variations. Finally, our splice boundary analysis on the human dataset suggests the existence of a novel non-canonical splice

  20. Coupling of Fast and Slow Modes in the Reaction Pathway of the Minimal Hammerhead Ribozyme Cleavage

    PubMed Central

    Radhakrishnan, Ravi

    2007-01-01

    By employing classical molecular dynamics, correlation analysis of coupling between slow and fast dynamical modes, and free energy (umbrella) sampling using classical as well as mixed quantum mechanics molecular mechanics force fields, we uncover a possible pathway for phosphoryl transfer in the self-cleaving reaction of the minimal hammerhead ribozyme. The significance of this pathway is that it initiates from the minimal hammerhead crystal structure and describes the reaction landscape as a conformational rearrangement followed by a covalent transformation. The delineated mechanism is catalyzed by two metal (Mg2+) ions, proceeds via an in-line-attack by CYT 17 O2′ on the scissile phosphorous (ADE 1.1 P), and is therefore consistent with the experimentally observed inversion configuration. According to the delineated mechanism, the coupling between slow modes involving the hammerhead backbone with fast modes in the cleavage site appears to be crucial for setting up the in-line nucleophilic attack. PMID:17545240

  1. Empirical analysis of RNA robustness and evolution using high-throughput sequencing of ribozyme reactions.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Eric J

    2016-08-15

    RNA molecules provide a realistic but tractable model of a genotype to phenotype relationship. This relationship has been extensively investigated computationally using secondary structure prediction algorithms. Enzymatic RNA molecules, or ribozymes, offer access to genotypic and phenotypic information in the laboratory. Advancements in high-throughput sequencing technologies have enabled the analysis of sequences in the lab that now rivals what can be accomplished computationally. This has motivated a resurgence of in vitro selection experiments and opened new doors for the analysis of the distribution of RNA functions in genotype space. A body of computational experiments has investigated the persistence of specific RNA structures despite changes in the primary sequence, and how this mutational robustness can promote adaptations. This article summarizes recent approaches that were designed to investigate the role of mutational robustness during the evolution of RNA molecules in the laboratory, and presents theoretical motivations, experimental methods and approaches to data analysis. PMID:27215494

  2. 30 CFR 77.602 - Permanent splicing of trailing cables.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Permanent splicing of trailing cables. 77.602... COAL MINES Trailing Cables § 77.602 Permanent splicing of trailing cables. When permanent splices in trailing cables are made, they shall be: (a) Mechanically strong with adequate electrical conductivity;...

  3. 46 CFR 111.60-19 - Cable splices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... with section 25.11 of IEEE 45-2002 (incorporated by reference; see 46 CFR 110.10-1). ... 46 Shipping 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Cable splices. 111.60-19 Section 111.60-19 Shipping... REQUIREMENTS Wiring Materials and Methods § 111.60-19 Cable splices. (a) A cable must not be spliced in...

  4. 30 CFR 75.603 - Temporary splice of trailing cable.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Temporary splice of trailing cable. 75.603... SAFETY AND HEALTH MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS-UNDERGROUND COAL MINES Trailing Cables § 75.603 Temporary splice of trailing cable. One temporary splice may be made in any trailing cable. Such trailing cable...

  5. 30 CFR 75.603 - Temporary splice of trailing cable.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Temporary splice of trailing cable. 75.603... SAFETY AND HEALTH MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS-UNDERGROUND COAL MINES Trailing Cables § 75.603 Temporary splice of trailing cable. One temporary splice may be made in any trailing cable. Such trailing cable...

  6. 30 CFR 75.604 - Permanent splicing of trailing cables.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Permanent splicing of trailing cables. 75.604... SAFETY AND HEALTH MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS-UNDERGROUND COAL MINES Trailing Cables § 75.604 Permanent splicing of trailing cables. When permanent splices in trailing cables are made, they shall be:...

  7. 30 CFR 75.604 - Permanent splicing of trailing cables.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Permanent splicing of trailing cables. 75.604... SAFETY AND HEALTH MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS-UNDERGROUND COAL MINES Trailing Cables § 75.604 Permanent splicing of trailing cables. When permanent splices in trailing cables are made, they shall be:...

  8. 30 CFR 77.602 - Permanent splicing of trailing cables.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Permanent splicing of trailing cables. 77.602... COAL MINES Trailing Cables § 77.602 Permanent splicing of trailing cables. When permanent splices in trailing cables are made, they shall be: (a) Mechanically strong with adequate electrical conductivity;...

  9. 30 CFR 75.603 - Temporary splice of trailing cable.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Temporary splice of trailing cable. 75.603... SAFETY AND HEALTH MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS-UNDERGROUND COAL MINES Trailing Cables § 75.603 Temporary splice of trailing cable. One temporary splice may be made in any trailing cable. Such trailing cable...

  10. 30 CFR 77.602 - Permanent splicing of trailing cables.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Permanent splicing of trailing cables. 77.602... COAL MINES Trailing Cables § 77.602 Permanent splicing of trailing cables. When permanent splices in trailing cables are made, they shall be: (a) Mechanically strong with adequate electrical conductivity;...

  11. 46 CFR 111.60-19 - Cable splices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... with section 25.11 of IEEE 45-2002 (incorporated by reference; see 46 CFR 110.10-1). ... 46 Shipping 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Cable splices. 111.60-19 Section 111.60-19 Shipping... REQUIREMENTS Wiring Materials and Methods § 111.60-19 Cable splices. (a) A cable must not be spliced in...

  12. 30 CFR 75.604 - Permanent splicing of trailing cables.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Permanent splicing of trailing cables. 75.604... SAFETY AND HEALTH MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS-UNDERGROUND COAL MINES Trailing Cables § 75.604 Permanent splicing of trailing cables. When permanent splices in trailing cables are made, they shall be:...

  13. 46 CFR 111.60-19 - Cable splices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... with section 25.11 of IEEE 45-2002 (incorporated by reference; see 46 CFR 110.10-1). ... 46 Shipping 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Cable splices. 111.60-19 Section 111.60-19 Shipping... REQUIREMENTS Wiring Materials and Methods § 111.60-19 Cable splices. (a) A cable must not be spliced in...

  14. 30 CFR 75.604 - Permanent splicing of trailing cables.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Permanent splicing of trailing cables. 75.604... SAFETY AND HEALTH MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS-UNDERGROUND COAL MINES Trailing Cables § 75.604 Permanent splicing of trailing cables. When permanent splices in trailing cables are made, they shall be:...

  15. 30 CFR 77.602 - Permanent splicing of trailing cables.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Permanent splicing of trailing cables. 77.602... COAL MINES Trailing Cables § 77.602 Permanent splicing of trailing cables. When permanent splices in trailing cables are made, they shall be: (a) Mechanically strong with adequate electrical conductivity;...

  16. 30 CFR 75.603 - Temporary splice of trailing cable.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Temporary splice of trailing cable. 75.603... SAFETY AND HEALTH MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS-UNDERGROUND COAL MINES Trailing Cables § 75.603 Temporary splice of trailing cable. One temporary splice may be made in any trailing cable. Such trailing cable...

  17. Roles of Long-Range Tertiary Interactions in Limiting Dynamics of the Tetrahymena Group I Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We determined the effects of mutating the long-range tertiary contacts of the Tetrahymena group I ribozyme on the dynamics of its substrate helix (referred to as P1) and on catalytic activity. Dynamics were assayed by fluorescence anisotropy of the fluorescent base analogue, 6-methyl isoxanthopterin, incorporated into the P1 helix, and fluorescence anisotropy and catalytic activity were measured for wild type and mutant ribozymes over a range of conditions. Remarkably, catalytic activity correlated with P1 anisotropy over 5 orders of magnitude of activity, with a correlation coefficient of 0.94. The functional and dynamic effects from simultaneous mutation of the two long-range contacts that weaken P1 docking are cumulative and, based on this RNA’s topology, suggest distinct underlying origins for the mutant effects. Tests of mechanistic predictions via single molecule FRET measurements of rate constants for P1 docking and undocking suggest that ablation of the P14 tertiary interaction frees P2 and thereby enhances the conformational space explored by the undocked attached P1 helix. In contrast, mutation of the metal core tertiary interaction disrupts the conserved core into which the P1 helix docks. Thus, despite following a single correlation, the two long-range tertiary contacts facilitate P1 helix docking by distinct mechanisms. These results also demonstrate that a fluorescence anisotropy probe incorporated into a specific helix within a larger RNA can report on changes in local helical motions as well as differences in more global dynamics. This ability will help uncover the physical properties and behaviors that underlie the function of RNAs and RNA/protein complexes. PMID:24738560

  18. Chemical rescue, multiple ionizable groups, and general acid-base catalysis in the HDV genomic ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Perrotta, Anne T; Wadkins, Timothy S; Been, Michael D

    2006-07-01

    In the ribozyme from the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) genomic strand RNA, a cytosine side chain is proposed to facilitate proton transfer in the transition state of the reaction and, thus, act as a general acid-base catalyst. Mutation of this active-site cytosine (C75) reduced RNA cleavage rates by as much as one million-fold, but addition of exogenous cytosine and certain nucleobase or imidazole analogs can partially rescue activity in these mutants. However, pH-rate profiles for the rescued reactions were bell shaped, and only one leg of the pH-rate curve could be attributed to ionization of the exogenous nucleobase or buffer. When a second potential ionizable nucleobase (C41) was removed, one leg of the bell-shaped curve was eliminated in the chemical-rescue reaction. With this construct, the apparent pK(a) determined from the pH-rate profile correlated with the solution pK(a) of the buffer, and the contribution of the buffer to the rate enhancement could be directly evaluated in a free-energy or Brønsted plot. The free-energy relationship between the acid dissociation constant of the buffer and the rate constant for cleavage (Brønsted value, beta, = approximately 0.5) was consistent with a mechanism in which the buffer acted as a general acid-base catalyst. These data support the hypothesis that cytosine 75, in the intact ribozyme, acts as a general acid-base catalyst. PMID:16690998

  19. Ribozyme-Mediated Targeting of IκBγ Inhibits Melanoma Invasion and Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Torabian, Sima Z.; de Semir, David; Nosrati, Mehdi; Bagheri, Sepideh; Dar, Altaf A.; Fong, Sylvia; Liu, Yong; Federman, Scot; Simko, Jeff; Haqq, Chris; Debs, Robert J.; Kashani-Sabet, Mohammed

    2009-01-01

    IκBγ is one member of a family of proteins that can inhibit the nuclear localization of nuclear factor-κB. However, the other specific functions of IκBγ are still poorly understood, and its effects on tumor metastasis have not yet been characterized. We examined the consequences of targeting IκBγ in melanoma cells using a hammerhead ribozyme. We developed stable transformant B16-F10 melanoma cell lines that express a ribozyme that targets mouse IκBγ (IκBγ-144-Rz). Tail-vein injection of B16-F10 cells that stably express IκBγ-144-Rz into mice resulted in a significant reduction of the metastatic potential of these cells. IκBγ-144-Rz-expressing B16 cells were shown to have increased transcriptional activity of nuclear factor-κB. We then showed that IκBγ-144-Rz-expressing cells demonstrated both reduced invasion and increased apoptosis, suggesting the existence of pathways through which IκBγ promotes melanoma metastasis. Using gene expression profiling, we identified a differentially expressed gene set that is regulated by the stable suppression of IκBγ that may participate in mediating its anti-metastatic effects; we also confirmed the altered expression levels of several of these genes by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction. Plasmid-mediated expression of IκBγ-144-Rz produced a significant inhibition of the metastatic progression of B16-F10 cells to the lung and resulted in significant anti-invasive and pro-apoptotic effects on murine Lewis lung carcinoma cells. Our results suggest a novel role for IκBγ in promoting the metastatic progression of melanoma. PMID:19179607

  20. Chloroplast ribonuclease P does not utilize the ribozyme-type pre-tRNA cleavage mechanism.

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, B C; Li, X; Gegenheimer, P

    2000-01-01

    The transfer RNA 5' maturation enzyme RNase P has been characterized in Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya. The purified enzyme from all three kingdoms is a ribonucleoprotein containing an essential RNA subunit; indeed, the RNA subunit of bacterial RNase P RNA is the sole catalytic component. In contrast, the RNase P activity isolated from spinach chloroplasts lacks an RNA component and appears to function as a catalytic protein. Nonetheless, the chloroplast enzyme recognizes a pre-tRNA substrate for E. coli RNase P and cleaves it as efficiently and precisely as does the bacterial enzyme. To ascertain whether there are differences in catalytic mechanism between an all-RNA and an all-protein RNase P, we took advantage of the fact that phosphodiester bond selection and hydrolysis by the E. coli RNase P ribozyme is directed by a Mg2+ ion coordinated to the nonbridging pro-Rp oxygen of the scissile bond, and is blocked by sulfur replacement of this oxygen. We therefore tested the ability of the chloroplast enzyme to process a precursor tRNA containing this sulfur substitution. Partially purified RNase P from spinach chloroplasts can accurately and efficiently process phosphorothioate-substituted pre-tRNAs; cleavage occurs exclusively at the thio-containing scissile bond. The enzymatic throughput is fivefold slower, consistent with a general chemical effect of the phosphorothioate substitution rather than with a metal coordination deficiency. The chloroplast RNase P reaction mechanism therefore does not involve a catalytic Mg2+ bonded to the pro-Rp phosphate oxygen, and hence is distinct from the mechanism of the bacterial ribozyme RNase P. PMID:10786845

  1. Discovery of a Splicing Regulator Required for Cell Cycle Progression

    SciTech Connect

    Suvorova, Elena S.; Croken, Matthew; Kratzer, Stella; Ting, Li-Min; Conde de Felipe, Magnolia; Balu, Bharath; Markillie, Lye Meng; Weiss, Louis M.; Kim, Kami; White, Michael W.

    2013-02-01

    In the G1 phase of the cell division cycle, eukaryotic cells prepare many of the resources necessary for a new round of growth including renewal of the transcriptional and protein synthetic capacities and building the machinery for chromosome replication. The function of G1 has an early evolutionary origin and is preserved in single and multicellular organisms, although the regulatory mechanisms conducting G1 specific functions are only understood in a few model eukaryotes. Here we describe a new G1 mutant from an ancient family of apicomplexan protozoans. Toxoplasma gondii temperature-sensitive mutant 12-109C6 conditionally arrests in the G1 phase due to a single point mutation in a novel protein containing a single RNA-recognition-motif (TgRRM1). The resulting tyrosine to asparagine amino acid change in TgRRM1 causes severe temperature instability that generates an effective null phenotype for this protein when the mutant is shifted to the restrictive temperature. Orthologs of TgRRM1 are widely conserved in diverse eukaryote lineages, and the human counterpart (RBM42) can functionally replace the missing Toxoplasma factor. Transcriptome studies demonstrate that gene expression is downregulated in the mutant at the restrictive temperature due to a severe defect in splicing that affects both cell cycle and constitutively expressed mRNAs. The interaction of TgRRM1 with factors of the tri-SNP complex (U4/U6 & U5 snRNPs) indicate this factor may be required to assemble an active spliceosome. Thus, the TgRRM1 family of proteins is an unrecognized and evolutionarily conserved class of splicing regulators. This study demonstrates investigations into diverse unicellular eukaryotes, like the Apicomplexa, have the potential to yield new insights into important mechanisms conserved across modern eukaryotic kingdoms.

  2. Inhibition of Splicing but not Cleavage at the 5' Splice Site by Truncating Human β -globin Pre-mRNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furdon, Paul J.; Kole, Ryszard

    1986-02-01

    Human β -globin mRNAs truncated in the second exon or in the first intron have been processed in vitro in a HeLa cell nuclear extract. Transcripts containing a fragment of the second exon as short as 53 nucleotides are efficiently spliced, whereas transcripts truncated 24 or 14 nucleotides downstream from the 3' splice site are spliced inefficiently, if at all. All of these transcripts, however, are efficiently and accurately cleaved at the 5' splice site. In contrast, RNA truncated in the first intron, 54 nucleotides upstream from the 3' splice site, is not processed at all. These findings suggest that cleavage at the 5' splice site and subsequent splicing steps--i.e., cleavage at the 3' splice site and exon ligation--need not be coupled. Anti-Sm serum inhibits the complete splicing reaction and cleavage at the 5' splice site, suggesting involvement of certain ribonucleoprotein particles in the cleavage reaction. ATP and Mg2+ are required for cleavage at the 5' splice site at concentrations similar to those for the complete splicing reaction.

  3. Efficient new ribozyme mimics: direct mapping of molecular design principles from small molecules to macromolecular, biomimetic catalysts

    PubMed Central

    Putnam, William C.; Daniher, Andrew T.; Trawick, Bobby N.; Bashkin, James K.

    2001-01-01

    Dramatic improvements in ribozyme mimics have been achieved by employing the principles of small molecule catalysis to the design of macromolecular, biomimetic reagents. Ribozyme mimics derived from the ligand 2,9-dimethylphenanthroline (neocuproine) show at least 30-fold improvements in efficiency at sequence-specific RNA cleavage when compared with analogous o-phenanthroline- and terpyridine-derived reagents. The suppression of hydroxide-bridged dimers and the greater activation of coordinated water by Cu(II) neocuproine (compared with the o-phananthroline and terpyridine complexes) better allow Cu(II) to reach its catalytic potential as a biomimetic RNA cleavage agent. This work demonstrates the direct mapping of molecular design principles from small-molecule cleavage to macromolecular cleavage events, generating enhanced biomimetic, sequence-specific RNA cleavage agents. PMID:11353090

  4. Global genome splicing analysis reveals an increased number of alternatively spliced genes with aging.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Sofía A; Grochová, Diana; McKenna, Tomás; Borate, Bhavesh; Trivedi, Niraj S; Erdos, Michael R; Eriksson, Maria

    2016-04-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) is a key regulatory mechanism for the development of different tissues; however, not much is known about changes to alternative splicing during aging. Splicing events may become more frequent and widespread genome-wide as tissues age and the splicing machinery stringency decreases. Using skin, skeletal muscle, bone, thymus, and white adipose tissue from wild-type C57BL6/J male mice (4 and 18 months old), we examined the effect of age on splicing by AS analysis of the differential exon usage of the genome. The results identified a considerable number of AS genes in skeletal muscle, thymus, bone, and white adipose tissue between the different age groups (ranging from 27 to 246 AS genes corresponding to 0.3-3.2% of the total number of genes analyzed). For skin, skeletal muscle, and bone, we included a later age group (28 months old) that showed that the number of alternatively spliced genes increased with age in all three tissues (P < 0.01). Analysis of alternatively spliced genes across all tissues by gene ontology and pathway analysis identified 158 genes involved in RNA processing. Additional analysis of AS in a mouse model for the premature aging disease Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome was performed. The results show that expression of the mutant protein, progerin, is associated with an impaired developmental splicing. As progerin accumulates, the number of genes with AS increases compared to in wild-type skin. Our results indicate the existence of a mechanism for increased AS during aging in several tissues, emphasizing that AS has a more important role in the aging process than previously known. PMID:26685868

  5. Histone methylation, alternative splicing and neuronal differentiation.

    PubMed

    Fiszbein, Ana; Kornblihtt, Alberto R

    2016-01-01

    Alternative splicing, as well as chromatin structure, greatly contributes to specific transcriptional programs that promote neuronal differentiation. The activity of G9a, the enzyme responsible for mono- and di-methylation of lysine 9 on histone H3 (H3K9me1 and H3K9me2) in mammalian euchromatin, has been widely implicated in the differentiation of a variety of cell types and tissues. In a recent work from our group (Fiszbein et al., 2016) we have shown that alternative splicing of G9a regulates its nuclear localization and, therefore, the efficiency of H3K9 methylation, which promotes neuronal differentiation. We discuss here our results in the light of a report from other group (Laurent et al. 2015) demonstrating a key role for the alternative splicing of the histone demethylase LSD1 in controlling specific gene expression in neurons. All together, these results illustrate the importance of alternative splicing in the generation of a proper equilibrium between methylation and demethylation of histones for the regulation of neuron-specific transcriptional programs. PMID:27606339

  6. Alternative-splicing-mediated gene expression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qianliang; Zhou, Tianshou

    2014-01-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) is a fundamental process during gene expression and has been found to be ubiquitous in eukaryotes. However, how AS impacts gene expression levels both quantitatively and qualitatively remains to be fully explored. Here, we analyze two common models of gene expression, each incorporating a simple splice mechanism that a pre-mRNA is spliced into two mature mRNA isoforms in a probabilistic manner. In the constitutive expression case, we show that the steady-state molecular numbers of two mature mRNA isoforms follow mutually independent Poisson distributions. In the bursting expression case, we demonstrate that the tail decay of the steady-state distribution for both mature mRNA isoforms that in general are not mutually independent can be characterized by the product of mean burst size and splicing probability. In both cases, we find that AS can efficiently modulate both the variability (measured by variance) and the noise level of the total mature mRNA, and in particular, the latter is always lower than the noise level of the pre-mRNA, implying that AS always reduces the noise. These results altogether reveal that AS is a mechanism of efficiently controlling the gene expression noise.

  7. RNA structure in splicing: An evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chien-Ling; Taggart, Allison J; Fairbrother, William G

    2016-09-01

    Pre-mRNA splicing is a key post-transcriptional regulation process in which introns are excised and exons are ligated together. A novel class of structured intron was recently discovered in fish. Simple expansions of complementary AC and GT dimers at opposite boundaries of an intron were found to form a bridging structure, thereby enforcing correct splice site pairing across the intron. In some fish introns, the RNA structures are strong enough to bypass the need of regulatory protein factors for splicing. Here, we discuss the prevalence and potential functions of highly structured introns. In humans, structured introns usually arise through the co-occurrence of C and G-rich repeats at intron boundaries. We explore the potentially instructive example of the HLA receptor genes. In HLA pre-mRNA, structured introns flank the exons that encode the highly polymorphic β sheet cleft, making the processing of the transcript robust to variants that disrupt splicing factor binding. While selective forces that have shaped HLA receptor are fairly atypical, numerous other highly polymorphic genes that encode receptors contain structured introns. Finally, we discuss how the elevated mutation rate associated with the simple repeats that often compose structured intron can make structured introns themselves rapidly evolving elements. PMID:27454491

  8. RNA splicing factors as oncoproteins and tumour suppressors.

    PubMed

    Dvinge, Heidi; Kim, Eunhee; Abdel-Wahab, Omar; Bradley, Robert K

    2016-07-01

    The recent genomic characterization of cancers has revealed recurrent somatic point mutations and copy number changes affecting genes encoding RNA splicing factors. Initial studies of these 'spliceosomal mutations' suggest that the proteins bearing these mutations exhibit altered splice site and/or exon recognition preferences relative to their wild-type counterparts, resulting in cancer-specific mis-splicing. Such changes in the splicing machinery may create novel vulnerabilities in cancer cells that can be therapeutically exploited using compounds that can influence the splicing process. Further studies to dissect the biochemical, genomic and biological effects of spliceosomal mutations are crucial for the development of cancer therapies targeted at these mutations. PMID:27282250

  9. Chemical feasibility of the general acid/base mechanism of glmS ribozyme self-cleavage.

    PubMed

    Dubecký, Matúš; Walter, Nils G; Šponer, Jiří; Otyepka, Michal; Banáš, Pavel

    2015-10-01

    In numerous Gram-positive bacteria, the glmS ribozyme or catalytic riboswitch regulates the expression of glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P) synthase via site-specific cleavage of its sugar-phosphate backbone in response to GlcN6P ligand binding. Biochemical data have suggested a crucial catalytic role for an active site guanine (G40 in Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis, G33 in Bacillus anthracis). We used hybrid quantum chemical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations to probe the mechanism where G40 is deprotonated and acts as a general base. The calculations suggest that the deprotonated guanine G40(-) is sufficiently reactive to overcome the thermodynamic penalty arising from its rare protonation state, and thus is able to activate the A-1(2'-OH) group toward nucleophilic attack on the adjacent backbone. Furthermore, deprotonation of A-1(2'-OH) and nucleophilic attack are predicted to occur as separate steps, where activation of A-1(2'-OH) precedes nucleophilic attack. Conversely, the transition state associated with the rate-determining step corresponds to concurrent nucleophilic attack and protonation of the G1(O5') leaving group by the ammonium moiety of the GlcN6P cofactor. Overall, our calculations help to explain the crucial roles of G40 (as a general base) and GlcN6P (as a general acid) during glmS ribozyme self-cleavage. In addition, we show that the QM/MM description of the glmS ribozyme self-cleavage reaction is significantly more sensitive to the size of the QM region and the quality of the QM-MM coupling than that of other small ribozymes. PMID:25858644

  10. A Single-Stranded Junction Modulates Nanosecond Motional Ordering of the Substrate Recognition Duplex of a Group I Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Phuong; Shi, Xuesong; Sigurdsson, Snorri Th.; Herschlag, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Rigid spinning: Site-directed spin-labeling studies using a rigid nitroxide spin label (Ç) reveal that both length and sequence of a single-stranded junction (J1/2) modulate nanosecond motional ordering of the substrate-recognition duplex (P1) of the 120 kD group I ribozyme. The studies demonstrate an approach for experimental measurements of nanosecond dynamics in high-molecular-weight RNA complexes. PMID:23900919

  11. Ribozyme-mediated gene knock down strategy to dissect the consequences of PDGF stimulation in vascular smooth muscle cells

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells (VSMCs), due to their plasticity and ability to shift from a physiological contractile-quiescent phenotype to a pathological proliferating-activated status, play a central role in the onset and progression of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. PDGF-BB, among a series of cytokines and growth factors, has been identified as the critical factor in this phenotypic switch. In order to obtain new insights on the molecular effects triggered by PDGF-BB, a hammerhead ribozyme targeting the membrane receptor PDGFR-β was applied to inhibit PDGF pathway in porcine VSMCs. Findings Ribozymes, loaded on a cationic polymer-based vehicle, were delivered into cultured VSMCs. A significant impairment of the activation mechanisms triggered by PDGF-BB was demonstrated since cell migration decreased after treatments. In order to functionally validate the effects of PDGFR-β partial knock down we focused on the phosphorylation status of two proteins, protein disulfide isomerase-A3 (PDI-A3) and heat shock protein-60 (HSP-60), previously identified as indicative of VSMC phenotypic switch after PDGF-BB stimulation. Interestingly, while PDI-A3 phosphorylation was counteracted by the ribozyme administration indicating that PDI-A3 is a factor downstream the receptor signalling cascade, the HSP-60 phosphorylation status was greatly increased by the ribozyme administration. Conclusion These contradictory observations suggested that PDGF-BB might trigger different parallel pathways that could be modulated by alternative isoforms of the receptors for the growth factor. In conclusion the knock down strategy here described enables to discriminate between two tightly intermingled pathways. Moreover it opens new attractive perspectives in functional investigations where combined gene knock down and proteomic technologies would allow the identification of key factors and pathways involved in VSMC-linked pathological disorders. PMID:22676333

  12. Involvement of a cytosine side chain in proton transfer in the rate-determining step of ribozyme self-cleavage.

    PubMed

    Shih, I H; Been, M D

    2001-02-13

    Ribozymes of hepatitis delta virus have been proposed to use an active-site cytosine as an acid-base catalyst in the self-cleavage reaction. In this study, we have examined the role of cytosine in more detail with the antigenomic ribozyme. Evidence that proton transfer in the rate-determining step involved cytosine 76 (C76) was obtained from examining cleavage activity of the wild-type and imidazole buffer-rescued C76-deleted (C76 Delta) ribozymes in D(2)O and H(2)O. In both reactions, a similar kinetic isotope effect and shift in the apparent pKa indicate that the buffer is functionally substituting for the side chain in proton transfer. Proton inventory of the wild-type reaction supported a mechanism of a single proton transfer at the transition state. This proton transfer step was further characterized by exogenous base rescue of a C76 Delta mutant with cytosine and imidazole analogues. For the imidazole analogues that rescued activity, the apparent pKa of the rescue reaction, measured under k(cat)/K(M) conditions, correlated with the pKa of the base. From these data a Brønsted coefficient (beta) of 0.51 was determined for the base-rescued reaction of C76 Delta. This value is consistent with that expected for proton transfer in the transition state. Together, these data provide strong support for a mechanism where an RNA side chain participates directly in general acid or general base catalysis of the wild-type ribozyme to facilitate RNA cleavage. PMID:11171978

  13. The roles of the conserved pyrimidine bases in hammerhead ribozyme catalysis: evidence for a magnesium ion-binding site.

    PubMed Central

    Murray, J B; Adams, C J; Arnold, J R; Stockley, P G

    1995-01-01

    We report details of the synthesis and characterization of oligoribonucleotides containing 4-thiouridine or 2-pyrimidinone ribonucleoside (4HC). We have used these probes to examine the roles of the conserved pyrimidines in the central core of the hammerhead ribozyme. The effects on catalysis of singly-substituted hammerhead ribozyme and substrate strands were quantified in multiple-turnover reactions. Various effects were observed on kcat. and Km, with up to a 7-fold decrease and a 3-fold increase respectively. For substitutions with 4HC at positions 3 or 17, catalytic activity in single turnover reactions can be increased up to 8-fold equivalent to 40% of wild-type activity, by increasing the concentration of the Mg2+ cofactor, implying that these substitutions had a deleterious effect on Mg2+ binding. Calculations of the change in the apparent free energy of binding for variants at positions 3, 4 or 17 are each consistent with deletion of a single hydrogen-bond to an uncharged group in the ribozyme. The cytidine 5' to the scissile phosphate had not previously been thought to play a direct role in catalysis, however, removal of the exocyclic amino group decreased kcat. 4-fold. Recently, the crystal structures of a hammerhead ribozyme bound to either a non-cleavable 2'-deoxy substrate strand or a ribo-substrate strand have been reported. The kinetic properties of the variants described here are consistent with several key interactions seen in the crystals, in particular they provide experimental support for the assignment of the proposed catalytically active magnesium ion-binding site. PMID:7487885

  14. UnSplicer: mapping spliced RNA-Seq reads in compact genomes and filtering noisy splicing.

    PubMed

    Burns, Paul D; Li, Yang; Ma, Jian; Borodovsky, Mark

    2014-02-01

    Accurate mapping of spliced RNA-Seq reads to genomic DNA has been known as a challenging problem. Despite significant efforts invested in developing efficient algorithms, with the human genome as a primary focus, the best solution is still not known. A recently introduced tool, TrueSight, has demonstrated better performance compared with earlier developed algorithms such as TopHat and MapSplice. To improve detection of splice junctions, TrueSight uses information on statistical patterns of nucleotide ordering in intronic and exonic DNA. This line of research led to yet another new algorithm, UnSplicer, designed for eukaryotic species with compact genomes where functional alternative splicing is likely to be dominated by splicing noise. Genome-specific parameters of the new algorithm are generated by GeneMark-ES, an ab initio gene prediction algorithm based on unsupervised training. UnSplicer shares several components with TrueSight; the difference lies in the training strategy and the classification algorithm. We tested UnSplicer on RNA-Seq data sets of Arabidopsis thaliana, Caenorhabditis elegans, Cryptococcus neoformans and Drosophila melanogaster. We have shown that splice junctions inferred by UnSplicer are in better agreement with knowledge accumulated on these well-studied genomes than predictions made by earlier developed tools. PMID:24259430

  15. Regulation of alternative splicing of CD45 by antagonistic effects of SR protein splicing factors.

    PubMed

    ten Dam, G B; Zilch, C F; Wallace, D; Wieringa, B; Beverley, P C; Poels, L G; Screaton, G R

    2000-05-15

    CD45 is a transmembrane glycoprotein possessing tyrosine phosphatase activity, which is involved in cell signaling. CD45 is expressed on the surface of most leukocytes and can be alternatively spliced by the inclusion or skipping of three variable exons (4, 5, and 6 or A, B, and C) to produce up to eight isoforms. In T cells, the splicing pattern of CD45 isoforms changes after activation; naive cells express high m.w. isoforms of CD45 which predominantly express exon A (CD45RA), whereas activated cells lose expression of exon A to form low m.w. isoforms of CD45 including CD45RO. Little is known about the specific factors controlling the switch in CD45 splicing which occurs on activation. In this study, we examined the influence of the SR family of splicing factors, which, like CD45, are expressed in tissue-specific patterns and have been shown to modulate the alternative splicing of a variety of transcripts. We show that specific SR proteins have antagonistic effects on CD45 splicing, leading either to exon inclusion or skipping. Furthermore, we were able to demonstrate specific changes in the SR protein expression pattern during T cell activation. PMID:10799890

  16. Splicing factor hnRNPH drives an oncogenic splicing switch in gliomas

    PubMed Central

    LeFave, Clare V; Squatrito, Massimo; Vorlova, Sandra; Rocco, Gina L; Brennan, Cameron W; Holland, Eric C; Pan, Ying-Xian; Cartegni, Luca

    2011-01-01

    In tumours, aberrant splicing generates variants that contribute to multiple aspects of tumour establishment, progression and maintenance. We show that in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) specimens, death-domain adaptor protein Insuloma-Glucagonoma protein 20 (IG20) is consistently aberrantly spliced to generate an antagonist, anti-apoptotic isoform (MAP-kinase activating death domain protein, MADD), which effectively redirects TNF-α/TRAIL-induced death signalling to promote survival and proliferation instead of triggering apoptosis. Splicing factor hnRNPH, which is upregulated in gliomas, controls this splicing event and similarly mediates switching to a ligand-independent, constitutively active Recepteur d′Origine Nantais (RON) tyrosine kinase receptor variant that promotes migration and invasion. The increased cell death and the reduced invasiveness caused by hnRNPH ablation can be rescued by the targeted downregulation of IG20/MADD exon 16- or RON exon 11-containing variants, respectively, using isoform-specific knockdown or splicing redirection approaches. Thus, hnRNPH activity appears to be involved in the pathogenesis and progression of malignant gliomas as the centre of a splicing oncogenic switch, which might reflect reactivation of stem cell patterns and mediates multiple key aspects of aggressive tumour behaviour, including evasion from apoptosis and invasiveness. PMID:21915099

  17. Long-term Expression of Apolipoprotein B mRNA-specific Hammerhead Ribozyme via scAAV8.2 Vector Inhibits Atherosclerosis in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Nischal, Hersharan; Sun, Hua; Wang, Yuchun; Ford, David A; Cao, Ying; Wei, Peng; Teng, Ba-Bie

    2013-01-01

    Target substrate-specific hammerhead ribozyme cleaves the specific mRNA efficiently and results in the inhibition of gene expression. In humans, overproduction of apolipoprotein B (apoB) is positively associated with premature coronary artery diseases. The goal of this study is to demonstrate that long-term reduction of apoB gene expression using hammerhead ribozyme would result in inhibition of atherosclerosis development. We designed two hammerhead ribozymes targeted at the nucleotides of apoB mRNA GUC2326 (designated RB1) and GUA6679 (designated RB15), and we used self-complementary adeno-associated virus 8.2 (scAAV8.2) vector to deliver these active ribozymes of RB1, RB15, combination of RB1/RB15, and an inactive hammerhead ribozyme RB15 mutant to atherosclerosis-prone LDb mice (Ldlr−/−Apobec1−/−). LDb mice lack both low density lipoproteins (LDL) receptor (Ldlr−/−) and apoB mRNA editing enzyme (Apobec1−/−) genes and develop atherosclerosis spontaneously. After the RB1, RB15, or combination of RB1/RB15 ribozymes treatment, the LDb mice had significantly decreased plasma triglyceride and apoB levels, resulting in markedly decreased of atherosclerotic lesions, Furthermore, the active ribozymes treatment decreased the levels of diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (Dgat1) mRNA and the levels of multiple diacylglycerol (DAG) molecular species. These results provide the first evidence that decreased apoB levels results to reduction of Dgat1 expression and triglyceride levels (TAG), which had a significant impact on the development of atherosclerosis. PMID:24084845

  18. Single Mode Fiber Optic Connectors And Splices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woods, John G.

    1984-08-01

    There is a trend toward increasing use of single mode transmission, particularly in telecommunications where high data bit rates are transmitted for long distances. Inter-connections of multimode fibers can be made in a number of ways, using ferrules, v-grooves, elastomeric splices, etc. However, the connection of single mode fibers, which have core diameters of 4 to 13 μm, requires more precise alignment than do the multimode fibers having core diameters of 50 μm or more. At TRW, we have adapted the four rod alignment guide concept for single mode fiber inter-connections. The principle of this OPTAGUIDE* alignment guide is presented. The single mode connectors and splices use the four rod scheme with an index matching material to eliminate or reduce the losses incurred through fiber end roughness or angularity. We are able to produce demountable connectors for 80/4.4 pm fibers having typical insertion losses of 1.0dB. The main factors in obtaining this result are the naturally precise fiber alignment provided by the alignment guide, and the ability of several manufacturers to maintain tight diametral and core offset tolerances. The single mode OPTALIGN* SM Connectors have been subjected to performance and environmental tests including repeated matings, temperature cycle and vibration. The results of these tests are described in this paper. A feature of the OPTALIGN* SM Connectors is the relative ease and speed of attachment to fiber optic cable in the field, without the use of epoxy or polishing procedures. The alignment guide concept has also been applied to permanent single mode splices. The splicing procedure is simple to perform in the field without expensive or delicate equipment. Construction and assembly procedures of the demountable connectors and permanent splices will be described with the aid of diagrams and photographs.

  19. Lewis acid catalysis of phosphoryl transfer from a copper(II)-NTP complex in a kinase ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Biondi, Elisa; Poudyal, Raghav R.; Forgy, Joshua C.; Sawyer, Andrew W.; Maxwell, Adam W. R.; Burke, Donald H.

    2013-01-01

    The chemical strategies used by ribozymes to enhance reaction rates are revealed in part from their metal ion and pH requirements. We find that kinase ribozyme K28(1-77)C, in contrast with previously characterized kinase ribozymes, requires Cu2+ for optimal catalysis of thiophosphoryl transfer from GTPγS. Phosphoryl transfer from GTP is greatly reduced in the absence of Cu2+, indicating a specific catalytic role independent of any potential interactions with the GTPγS thiophosphoryl group. In-line probing and ATPγS competition both argue against direct Cu2+ binding by RNA; rather, these data establish that Cu2+ enters the active site within a Cu2+•GTPγS or Cu2+•GTP chelation complex, and that Cu2+•nucleobase interactions further enforce Cu2+ selectivity and position the metal ion for Lewis acid catalysis. Replacing Mg2+ with [Co(NH3)6]3+ significantly reduced product yield, but not kobs, indicating that the role of inner-sphere Mg2+ coordination is structural rather than catalytic. Replacing Mg2+ with alkaline earths of increasing ionic radii (Ca2+, Sr2+ and Ba2+) gave lower yields and approximately linear rates of product accumulation. Finally, we observe that reaction rates increased with pH in log-linear fashion with an apparent pKa = 8.0 ± 0.1, indicating deprotonation in the rate-limiting step. PMID:23358821

  20. Montmorillonite protection of an UV-irradiated hairpin ribozyme: evolution of the RNA world in a mineral environment

    PubMed Central

    Biondi, Elisa; Branciamore, Sergio; Maurel, Marie-Christine; Gallori, Enzo

    2007-01-01

    Background The hypothesis of an RNA-based origin of life, known as the "RNA world", is strongly affected by the hostile environmental conditions probably present in the early Earth. In particular, strong UV and X-ray radiations could have been a major obstacle to the formation and evolution of the first biomolecules. In 1951, J. D. Bernal first proposed that clay minerals could have served as the sites of accumulation and protection from degradation of the first biopolymers, providing the right physical setting for the evolution of more complex systems. Numerous subsequent experimental studies have reinforced this hypothesis. Results The ability of the possibly widespread prebiotic, clay mineral montmorillonite to protect the catalytic RNA molecule ADHR1 (Adenine Dependent Hairpin Ribozyme 1) from UV-induced damages was experimentally checked. In particular, the self-cleavage reaction of the ribozyme was evaluated after UV-irradiation of the molecule in the absence or presence of clay particles. Results obtained showed a three-fold retention of the self-cleavage activity of the montmorillonite-protected molecule, with respect to the same reaction performed by the ribozyme irradiated in the absence of the clay. Conclusion These results provide a suggestion with which RNA, or RNA-like molecules, could have overcame the problem of protection from UV irradiation in the RNA world era, and suggest that a clay-rich environment could have favoured not only the formation of first genetic molecules, but also their evolution towards increasingly complex molecular organization. PMID:17767730

  1. Lewis acid catalysis of phosphoryl transfer from a copper(II)-NTP complex in a kinase ribozyme.

    PubMed

    Biondi, Elisa; Poudyal, Raghav R; Forgy, Joshua C; Sawyer, Andrew W; Maxwell, Adam W R; Burke, Donald H

    2013-03-01

    The chemical strategies used by ribozymes to enhance reaction rates are revealed in part from their metal ion and pH requirements. We find that kinase ribozyme K28(1-77)C, in contrast with previously characterized kinase ribozymes, requires Cu(2+) for optimal catalysis of thiophosphoryl transfer from GTPγS. Phosphoryl transfer from GTP is greatly reduced in the absence of Cu(2+), indicating a specific catalytic role independent of any potential interactions with the GTPγS thiophosphoryl group. In-line probing and ATPγS competition both argue against direct Cu(2+) binding by RNA; rather, these data establish that Cu(2+) enters the active site within a Cu(2+)•GTPγS or Cu(2+)•GTP chelation complex, and that Cu(2+)•nucleobase interactions further enforce Cu(2+) selectivity and position the metal ion for Lewis acid catalysis. Replacing Mg(2+) with [Co(NH3)6](3+) significantly reduced product yield, but not kobs, indicating that the role of inner-sphere Mg(2+) coordination is structural rather than catalytic. Replacing Mg(2+) with alkaline earths of increasing ionic radii (Ca(2+), Sr(2+) and Ba(2+)) gave lower yields and approximately linear rates of product accumulation. Finally, we observe that reaction rates increased with pH in log-linear fashion with an apparent pKa = 8.0 ± 0.1, indicating deprotonation in the rate-limiting step. PMID:23358821

  2. Analysis of hairpin ribozyme base mutations in loops 2 and 4 and their effects on cis-cleavage in vitro.

    PubMed

    Siwkowski, A; Shippy, R; Hampel, A

    1997-04-01

    In order to determine base requirements in loops 2 and 4 of the hairpin ribozyme, a comprehensive mutational analysis of the wild type sequence was done. Each base position in these two loops was mutated to contain each of the three non-wild type bases, and the effects of these mutations were analyzed using cis-cleavage assays. The method of data analysis allowed for the determination of self-cleavage rates as well as the fraction of transcripts produced which were uncleavable. Three positions in loop 2 (A22, A23, and C25) and one position in loop 4 (A38) resulted in no detectable self-cleavage when mutated to any of the non-wild type bases. The remainder of the base positions showed varying degrees of tolerance to base mutations with respect to their support of cis-cleavage. Evidence was obtained for the presence of a non-Watson-Crick base pair between A26 and G36 in the catalytic conformation of the hairpin ribozyme. On the basis of these results, a two-dimensional model for the hairpin ribozyme is presented. PMID:9092823

  3. Modifications and deletions of helices within the hairpin ribozyme–substrate complex: An active ribozyme lacking helix 1

    PubMed Central

    PINARD, ROBERT; LAMBERT, DOMINIC; POTHIAWALA, GULNAR; MAJOR, FRANÇOIS; BURKE, JOHN M.

    2004-01-01

    Within the hairpin ribozyme, structural elements required for formation of the active tertiary structure are localized in two independently folding domains, each consisting of an internal loop flanked by helical elements. Here, we present results of a systematic examination of the relationship between the structure of the helical elements and the ability of the RNA to form the catalytically active tertiary structure. Deletions and mutational analyses indicate that helix 1 (H1) in domain A can be entirely eliminated, while segments of helices 2, 3, and 4 can also be deleted. From these results, we derive a new active minimal ribozyme that contains three helical elements, an internal loop, and a terminal loop. A three-dimensional model of this truncated ribozyme was generated using MC-SYM, and confirms that the catalytic core of the minimized construct can adopt a tertiary structure that is very similar to that of the nontruncated version. A new strategy is described to study the functional importance of various residues and chemical groups and to identify specific interdomain interactions. This approach uses two physically separated and truncated domains derived from the minimal motif. PMID:14970385

  4. Widespread alternative and aberrant splicing revealed by lariat sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Stepankiw, Nicholas; Raghavan, Madhura; Fogarty, Elizabeth A.; Grimson, Andrew; Pleiss, Jeffrey A.

    2015-01-01

    Alternative splicing is an important and ancient feature of eukaryotic gene structure, the existence of which has likely facilitated eukaryotic proteome expansions. Here, we have used intron lariat sequencing to generate a comprehensive profile of splicing events in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, amongst the simplest organisms that possess mammalian-like splice site degeneracy. We reveal an unprecedented level of alternative splicing, including alternative splice site selection for over half of all annotated introns, hundreds of novel exon-skipping events, and thousands of novel introns. Moreover, the frequency of these events is far higher than previous estimates, with alternative splice sites on average activated at ∼3% the rate of canonical sites. Although a subset of alternative sites are conserved in related species, implying functional potential, the majority are not detectably conserved. Interestingly, the rate of aberrant splicing is inversely related to expression level, with lowly expressed genes more prone to erroneous splicing. Although we validate many events with RNAseq, the proportion of alternative splicing discovered with lariat sequencing is far greater, a difference we attribute to preferential decay of aberrantly spliced transcripts. Together, these data suggest the spliceosome possesses far lower fidelity than previously appreciated, highlighting the potential contributions of alternative splicing in generating novel gene structures. PMID:26261211

  5. Cauliflower mosaic virus Transcriptome Reveals a Complex Alternative Splicing Pattern

    PubMed Central

    Bouton, Clément; Geldreich, Angèle; Ramel, Laëtitia; Ryabova, Lyubov A.; Dimitrova, Maria; Keller, Mario

    2015-01-01

    The plant pararetrovirus Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) uses alternative splic-ing to generate several isoforms from its polycistronic pregenomic 35S RNA. This pro-cess has been shown to be essential for infectivity. Previous works have identified four splice donor sites and a single splice acceptor site in the 35S RNA 5’ region and sug-gested that the main role of CaMV splicing is to downregulate expression of open read-ing frames (ORFs) I and II. In this study, we show that alternative splicing is a conserved process among CaMV isolates. In Cabb B-JI and Cabb-S isolates, splicing frequently leads to different fusion between ORFs, particularly between ORF I and II. The corresponding P1P2 fusion proteins expressed in E. coli interact with viral proteins P2 and P3 in vitro. However, they are detected neither during infection nor upon transient expression in planta, which suggests rapid degradation after synthesis and no important biological role in the CaMV infectious cycle. To gain a better understanding of the functional relevance of 35S RNA alternative splicing in CaMV infectivity, we inactivated the previously described splice sites. All the splicing mutants were as pathogenic as the corresponding wild-type isolate. Through RT-PCR-based analysis we demonstrate that CaMV 35S RNA exhibits a complex splicing pattern, as we identify new splice donor and acceptor sites whose selection leads to more than thirteen 35S RNA isoforms in infected turnip plants. Inactivating splice donor or acceptor sites is not lethal for the virus, since disrupted sites are systematically rescued by the activation of cryptic and/or seldom used splice sites. Taken together, our data depict a conserved, complex and flexible process, involving multiple sites, that ensures splicing of 35S RNA. PMID:26162084

  6. IRAS: High-Throughput Identification of Novel Alternative Splicing Regulators.

    PubMed

    Zheng, S

    2016-01-01

    Alternative splicing is a fundamental regulatory process of gene expression. Defects in alternative splicing can lead to various diseases, and modification of disease-causing splicing events presents great therapeutic promise. Splicing outcome is commonly affected by extracellular stimuli and signaling cascades that converge on RNA-binding splicing regulators. These trans-acting factors recognize cis-elements in pre-mRNA transcripts to affect spliceosome assembly and splice site choices. Identification of these splicing regulators and/or upstream modulators has been difficult and traditionally done by piecemeal. High-throughput screening strategies to find multiple regulators of exon splicing have great potential to accelerate the discovery process, but typically confront low sensitivity and low specificity of screening assays. Here we describe a unique screening strategy, IRAS (identifying regulators of alternative splicing), using a pair of dual-output minigene reporters to allow for sensitive detection of exon splicing changes. Each dual-output reporter produces green fluorescent protein (GFP) and red fluorescent protein (RFP) fluorescent signals to assay the two spliced isoforms exclusively. The two complementary minigene reporters alter GFP/RFP output ratios in the opposite direction in response to splicing change. Applying IRAS in cell-based high-throughput screens allows sensitive and specific identification of splicing regulators and modulators for any alternative exons of interest. In comparison to previous high-throughput screening methods, IRAS substantially enhances the specificity of the screening assay. This strategy significantly eliminates false positives without sacrificing sensitive identification of true regulators of splicing. PMID:27241759

  7. Genomic features defining exonic variants that modulate splicing

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Single point mutations at both synonymous and non-synonymous positions within exons can have severe effects on gene function through disruption of splicing. Predicting these mutations in silico purely from the genomic sequence is difficult due to an incomplete understanding of the multiple factors that may be responsible. In addition, little is known about which computational prediction approaches, such as those involving exonic splicing enhancers and exonic splicing silencers, are most informative. Results We assessed the features of single-nucleotide genomic variants verified to cause exon skipping and compared them to a large set of coding SNPs common in the human population, which are likely to have no effect on splicing. Our findings implicate a number of features important for their ability to discriminate splice-affecting variants, including the naturally occurring density of exonic splicing enhancers and exonic splicing silencers of the exon and intronic environment, extensive changes in the number of predicted exonic splicing enhancers and exonic splicing silencers, proximity to the splice junctions and evolutionary constraint of the region surrounding the variant. By extending this approach to additional datasets, we also identified relevant features of variants that cause increased exon inclusion and ectopic splice site activation. Conclusions We identified a number of features that have statistically significant representation among exonic variants that modulate splicing. These analyses highlight putative mechanisms responsible for splicing outcome and emphasize the role of features important for exon definition. We developed a web-tool, Skippy, to score coding variants for these relevant splice-modulating features. PMID:20158892

  8. A serine–arginine-rich (SR) splicing factor modulates alternative splicing of over a thousand genes in Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Yeoh, Lee M.; Goodman, Christopher D.; Hall, Nathan E.; van Dooren, Giel G.; McFadden, Geoffrey I.; Ralph, Stuart A.

    2015-01-01

    Single genes are often subject to alternative splicing, which generates alternative mature mRNAs. This phenomenon is widespread in animals, and observed in over 90% of human genes. Recent data suggest it may also be common in Apicomplexa. These parasites have small genomes, and economy of DNA is evolutionarily favoured in this phylum. We investigated the mechanism of alternative splicing in Toxoplasma gondii, and have identified and localized TgSR3, a homologue of ASF/SF2 (alternative-splicing factor/splicing factor 2, a serine-arginine–rich, or SR protein) to a subnuclear compartment. In addition, we conditionally overexpressed this protein, which was deleterious to growth. qRT-PCR was used to confirm perturbation of splicing in a known alternatively-spliced gene. We performed high-throughput RNA-seq to determine the extent of splicing modulated by this protein. Current RNA-seq algorithms are poorly suited to compact parasite genomes, and hence we complemented existing tools by writing a new program, GeneGuillotine, that addresses this deficiency by segregating overlapping reads into distinct genes. In order to identify the extent of alternative splicing, we released another program, JunctionJuror, that detects changes in intron junctions. Using this program, we identified about 2000 genes that were constitutively alternatively spliced in T. gondii. Overexpressing the splice regulator TgSR3 perturbed alternative splicing in over 1000 genes. PMID:25870410

  9. A serine-arginine-rich (SR) splicing factor modulates alternative splicing of over a thousand genes in Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Yeoh, Lee M; Goodman, Christopher D; Hall, Nathan E; van Dooren, Giel G; McFadden, Geoffrey I; Ralph, Stuart A

    2015-05-19

    Single genes are often subject to alternative splicing, which generates alternative mature mRNAs. This phenomenon is widespread in animals, and observed in over 90% of human genes. Recent data suggest it may also be common in Apicomplexa. These parasites have small genomes, and economy of DNA is evolutionarily favoured in this phylum. We investigated the mechanism of alternative splicing in Toxoplasma gondii, and have identified and localized TgSR3, a homologue of ASF/SF2 (alternative-splicing factor/splicing factor 2, a serine-arginine-rich, or SR protein) to a subnuclear compartment. In addition, we conditionally overexpressed this protein, which was deleterious to growth. qRT-PCR was used to confirm perturbation of splicing in a known alternatively-spliced gene. We performed high-throughput RNA-seq to determine the extent of splicing modulated by this protein. Current RNA-seq algorithms are poorly suited to compact parasite genomes, and hence we complemented existing tools by writing a new program, GeneGuillotine, that addresses this deficiency by segregating overlapping reads into distinct genes. In order to identify the extent of alternative splicing, we released another program, JunctionJuror, that detects changes in intron junctions. Using this program, we identified about 2000 genes that were constitutively alternatively spliced in T. gondii. Overexpressing the splice regulator TgSR3 perturbed alternative splicing in over 1000 genes. PMID:25870410

  10. The Role of an Active Site Mg2+ in HDV Ribozyme Self-Cleavage: Insights from QM/MM Calculations

    PubMed Central

    Mlýnský, Vojtěch; Šponer, Jiří

    2014-01-01

    The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) ribozyme is a catalytic RNA motif embedded in the human pathogenic HDV RNA. It catalyzes self-cleavage of its sugar-phosphate backbone with direct participation of the active site cytosine C75. Biochemical and structural data support a general acid role of C75. Here, we used hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations to probe the reaction mechanism and changes in Gibbs energy along the ribozyme's reaction pathway with an N3-protonated C75H+ in the active site, which acts as the general acid, and a partially hydrated Mg2+ ion with one deprotonated, inner-shell coordinated water molecule that acts as the general base. We followed eight reaction paths with distinct position and coordination of the catalytically important active site Mg2+ ion. For six of them, we observed feasible activation barriers ranging from 14.2 to 21.9 kcal/mol, indicating that the specific position of the Mg2+ ion in the active site is predicted to strongly affect the kinetics of self-cleavage. The deprotonation of the U-1(2′-OH) nucleophile and the nucleophilic attack of the resulting U-1(2′-O−) on the scissile phosphodiester are found to be separate steps, as deprotonation precedes the nucleophilic attack. This sequential mechanism of the HDV ribozyme differs from the concerted nucleophilic activation and attack suggested for the hairpin ribozyme. We estimated the pKa of the U-1(2′-OH) group to range from 8.8 to 11.2, suggesting that the pKa is lowered by several units from that of a free ribose, comparable to and most likely smaller than the pKa of the solvated active site Mg2+ ion. Our results thus support the notion that the structure of the HDV ribozyme, and particularly the positioning of the active site Mg2+ ion, facilitates deprotonation and activation of the 2′-OH nucleophile. PMID:25412464

  11. Computational Selection and Experimental Validation of Allosteric Ribozymes That Sense a Specific Sequence of Human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase mRNAs as Universal Anticancer Therapy Agents

    PubMed Central

    Kostova, Gergana T.

    2013-01-01

    High expression levels of telomerase reverse transcriptase messenger RNAs in differentiated cells can be used as a common marker for cancer development. In this paper, we describe a novel computational method for selection of allosteric ribozymes that sense a specific sequence of human telomerase reverse transcriptase mRNAs. The in silico selection employed is based on computing secondary structures of RNA using the partition function in combination with a random search algorithm. We selected one of the ribozymes for experimental validation. The obtained results demonstrate that the tested ribozyme has a high-speed (∼1.8 per minute) of self-cleavage and is very selective. It can distinguish well between perfectly matching effector and the closest expressed RNA sequence in the human cell with 10 mismatches, with a ∼300-fold difference under physiologically relevant conditions. The presented algorithm is universal since the allosteric ribozymes can be designed to sense any specific RNA or DNA sequence of interest. Such designer ribozymes may be used for monitoring the expression of mRNAs in the cell and for developing novel anticancer gene therapies. PMID:24206267

  12. Introns, alternative splicing, spliced leader trans-splicing and differential expression of pcna and cyclin in Perkinsus marinus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Huan; Dungan, Christopher F; Lin, Senjie

    2011-01-01

    To gain understanding on the structure and regulation of growth-related genes of the parasitic alveolatePerkinsus marinus, we analyzed genes encoding proliferating cell nuclear antigen (pcna) and cyclins (cyclin). Comparison of the full-length cDNAs with the corresponding genomic sequences revealedtrans-splicing of the mRNAs of these genes with a conserved 21-22 nt spliced leader. Over 10 copies ofpcnawere detected, with identical gene structures and similar nucleotide (nt) sequences (88-99%), encoding largely identical amino acid sequences (aa). Two distinct types ofcyclin(Pmacyclin1 andPmacyclin2) were identified, with 66-69% nt and 81-85% aa similarities.Pmacyclin2 was organized in tandem repeats, and was alternatively spliced, giving rise to five subtypes of transcripts. For bothpcnaandcyclingenes, 6-10 introns were found. Quantitative RT-PCR assays showed thatpcnaandPmacyclin2 expression levels were low with small variations during a 28-h time course, whereasPmacyclin1 transcript abundance was 10-100 times higher, and increased markedly during active cell division, suggesting that it is a mitoticcyclinand can be a useful growth marker for this species. The gene structure and expression features along with phylogenetic results position this organism between dinoflagellates and apicomplexans, but its definitive affiliation among alveolates requires further studies. PMID:20650682

  13. Evolution of alternative splicing regulation: changes in predicted exonic splicing regulators are not associated with changes in alternative splicing levels in primates.

    PubMed

    Irimia, Manuel; Rukov, Jakob Lewin; Roy, Scott William

    2009-01-01

    Alternative splicing is tightly regulated in a spatio-temporal and quantitative manner. This regulation is achieved by a complex interplay between spliceosomal (trans) factors that bind to different sequence (cis) elements. cis-elements reside in both introns and exons and may either enhance or silence splicing. Differential combinations of cis-elements allows for a huge diversity of overall splicing signals, together comprising a complex 'splicing code'. Many cis-elements have been identified, and their effects on exon inclusion levels demonstrated in reporter systems. However, the impact of interspecific differences in these elements on the evolution of alternative splicing levels has not yet been investigated at genomic level. Here we study the effect of interspecific differences in predicted exonic splicing regulators (ESRs) on exon inclusion levels in human and chimpanzee. For this purpose, we compiled and studied comprehensive datasets of predicted ESRs, identified by several computational and experimental approaches, as well as microarray data for changes in alternative splicing levels between human and chimpanzee. Surprisingly, we found no association between changes in predicted ESRs and changes in alternative splicing levels. This observation holds across different ESR exon positions, exon lengths, and 5' splice site strengths. We suggest that this lack of association is mainly due to the great importance of context for ESR functionality: many ESR-like motifs in primates may have little or no effect on splicing, and thus interspecific changes at short-time scales may primarily occur in these effectively neutral ESRs. These results underscore the difficulties of using current computational ESR prediction algorithms to identify truly functionally important motifs, and provide a cautionary tale for studies of the effect of SNPs on splicing in human disease. PMID:19495418

  14. Evolution of Nova-Dependent Splicing Regulation in the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Živin, Marko; Darnell, Robert B

    2007-01-01

    A large number of alternative exons are spliced with tissue-specific patterns, but little is known about how such patterns have evolved. Here, we study the conservation of the neuron-specific splicing factors Nova1 and Nova2 and of the alternatively spliced exons they regulate in mouse brain. Whereas Nova RNA binding domains are 94% identical across vertebrate species, Nova-dependent splicing silencer and enhancer elements (YCAY clusters) show much greater divergence, as less than 50% of mouse YCAY clusters are conserved at orthologous positions in the zebrafish genome. To study the relation between the evolution of tissue-specific splicing and YCAY clusters, we compared the brain-specific splicing of Nova-regulated exons in zebrafish, chicken, and mouse. The presence of YCAY clusters in lower vertebrates invariably predicted conservation of brain-specific splicing across species, whereas their absence in lower vertebrates correlated with a loss of alternative splicing. We hypothesize that evolution of Nova-regulated splicing in higher vertebrates proceeds mainly through changes in cis-acting elements, that tissue-specific splicing might in some cases evolve in a single step corresponding to evolution of a YCAY cluster, and that the conservation level of YCAY clusters relates to the functions encoded by the regulated RNAs. PMID:17937501

  15. Entropic contributions to the splicing process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osella, Matteo; Caselle, Michele

    2009-12-01

    It has been recently argued that depletion attraction may play an important role in different aspects of cellular organization, ranging from the organization of transcriptional activity in transcription factories to the formation of nuclear bodies. In this paper, we suggest a new application of these ideas in the context of the splicing process, a crucial step of messenger RNA maturation in eukaryotes. We shall show that entropy effects and the resulting depletion attraction may explain the relevance of the aspecific intron length variable in the choice of splice-site recognition modality. On top of that, some qualitative features of the genome architecture of higher eukaryotes can find evolutionary realistic motivation in the light of our model.

  16. Intravitreal Injection of Splice-switching Oligonucleotides to Manipulate Splicing in Retinal Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gérard, Xavier; Perrault, Isabelle; Munnich, Arnold; Kaplan, Josseline; Rozet, Jean-Michel

    2015-01-01

    Leber congenital amaurosis is a severe hereditary retinal dystrophy responsible for neonatal blindness. The most common disease-causing mutation (c.2991+1655A>G; 10–15%) creates a strong splice donor site that leads to insertion of a cryptic exon encoding a premature stop codon. Recently, we reported that splice-switching oligonucleotides (SSO) allow skipping of the mutant cryptic exon and the restoration of ciliation in fibroblasts of affected patients, supporting the feasibility of a SSO-mediated exon skipping strategy to correct the aberrant splicing. Here, we present data in the wild-type mouse, which demonstrate that intravitreal administration of 2'-OMePS-SSO allows selective alteration of Cep290 splicing in retinal cells, including photoreceptors as shown by successful alteration of Abca4 splicing using the same approach. We show that both SSOs and Cep290 skipped mRNA were detectable for at least 1 month and that intravitreal administration of oligonucleotides did not provoke any serious adverse event. These data suggest that intravitreal injections of SSO should be considered to bypass protein truncation resulting from the c.2991+1655A>G mutation as well as other truncating mutations in genes which like CEP290 or ABCA4 have a mRNA size that exceed cargo capacities of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved adeno-associated virus (AAV)-vectors, thus hampering gene augmentation therapy. PMID:26325627

  17. The missing puzzle piece: splicing mutations

    PubMed Central

    Lewandowska, Marzena A

    2013-01-01

    Proper gene splicing is highly dependent on the correct recognition of exons. Among the elements allowing this process are the “cis” (conserved sequences) and “trans” (snRNP, splicing factors) elements. Splicing mutations are related with a number of genetic disorders and usually induce exon skipping, form new exon/intron boundaries or activate new cryptic exons as a result of alterations at donor/acceptor sites. They constitute more than 9% of the currently published mutations, but this value is highly underestimated as many of the potential mutations are located in the “cis” elements and should be confirmed experimentally. The most commonly detected splicing mutations are located at donor (5’) and acceptor (3’) sites. Mutations at the branch point are rare (only over a dozen are known to date), and are mostly searched and detected when no alteration has been detected in the sequenced exons and UTRs. Polypyrimidine tract mutations are equally rare. High throughput technologies, as well as traditional Sanger sequencing, allow detection of many changes in intronic sequences and intron/exon boundaries. However, the assessment whether a mutation affects exon recognition and results in a genetic disorder has to be conducted using molecular biology methods: in vitro transcription of the sequence of interest cloned into a plasmid, with and without alterations, or mutation analysis via a hybrid minigene system. Even though microarrays and new generation sequencing methods pose difficulties in detecting novel branch point mutations, these tools seem appropriate to expand the mutation detection panel especially for diagnostic purposes. PMID:24294354

  18. Splicing variants of porcine synphilin-1.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Knud; Madsen, Lone Bruhn; Farajzadeh, Leila; Bendixen, Christian

    2015-09-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD), idiopathic and familial, is characterized by degradation of dopaminergic neurons and the presence of Lewy bodies (LB) in the substantia nigra. LBs contain aggregated proteins of which α-synuclein is the major component. The protein synphilin-1 interacts and colocalizes with α-synuclein in LBs. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize porcine synphilin-1 and isoforms hereof with the future perspective to use the pig as a model for Parkinson's disease. The porcine SNCAIP cDNA was cloned by reverse transcriptase PCR. The spatial expression of SNCAIP mRNA was investigated by RNAseq. The presented work reports the molecular cloning and characterization of the porcine (Sus scrofa) synphilin-1 cDNA (SNCAIP) and three splice variants hereof. The porcine SNCAIP cDNA codes for a protein (synphilin-1) of 919 amino acids which shows a high similarity to human (90%) and to mouse (84%) synphilin-1. Three shorter transcript variants of the synphilin-1 gene were identified, all lacking one or more exons. SNCAIP transcripts were detected in most examined organs and tissues and the highest expression was found in brain tissues and lung. Conserved splicing variants and a novel splice form of synhilin-1 were found in this study. All synphilin-1 isoforms encoded by the identified transcript variants lack functional domains important for protein degradation. PMID:26101749

  19. Vials: Visualizing Alternative Splicing of Genes

    PubMed Central

    Strobelt, Hendrik; Alsallakh, Bilal; Botros, Joseph; Peterson, Brant; Borowsky, Mark; Pfister, Hanspeter; Lex, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Alternative splicing is a process by which the same DNA sequence is used to assemble different proteins, called protein isoforms. Alternative splicing works by selectively omitting some of the coding regions (exons) typically associated with a gene. Detection of alternative splicing is difficult and uses a combination of advanced data acquisition methods and statistical inference. Knowledge about the abundance of isoforms is important for understanding both normal processes and diseases and to eventually improve treatment through targeted therapies. The data, however, is complex and current visualizations for isoforms are neither perceptually efficient nor scalable. To remedy this, we developed Vials, a novel visual analysis tool that enables analysts to explore the various datasets that scientists use to make judgments about isoforms: the abundance of reads associated with the coding regions of the gene, evidence for junctions, i.e., edges connecting the coding regions, and predictions of isoform frequencies. Vials is scalable as it allows for the simultaneous analysis of many samples in multiple groups. Our tool thus enables experts to (a) identify patterns of isoform abundance in groups of samples and (b) evaluate the quality of the data. We demonstrate the value of our tool in case studies using publicly available datasets. PMID:26529712

  20. Integrating alternative splicing detection into gene prediction

    PubMed Central

    Foissac, Sylvain; Schiex, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    Background Alternative splicing (AS) is now considered as a major actor in transcriptome/proteome diversity and it cannot be neglected in the annotation process of a new genome. Despite considerable progresses in term of accuracy in computational gene prediction, the ability to reliably predict AS variants when there is local experimental evidence of it remains an open challenge for gene finders. Results We have used a new integrative approach that allows to incorporate AS detection into ab initio gene prediction. This method relies on the analysis of genomically aligned transcript sequences (ESTs and/or cDNAs), and has been implemented in the dynamic programming algorithm of the graph-based gene finder EuGÈNE. Given a genomic sequence and a set of aligned transcripts, this new version identifies the set of transcripts carrying evidence of alternative splicing events, and provides, in addition to the classical optimal gene prediction, alternative optimal predictions (among those which are consistent with the AS events detected). This allows for multiple annotations of a single gene in a way such that each predicted variant is supported by a transcript evidence (but not necessarily with a full-length coverage). Conclusions This automatic combination of experimental data analysis and ab initio gene finding offers an ideal integration of alternatively spliced gene prediction inside a single annotation pipeline. PMID:15705189

  1. Splicing of many human genes involves sites embedded within introns

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Steven; Georgomanolis, Theodore; Zirkel, Anne; Diermeier, Sarah; O'Reilly, Dawn; Murphy, Shona; Längst, Gernot; Cook, Peter R.; Papantonis, Argyris

    2015-01-01

    The conventional model for splicing involves excision of each intron in one piece; we demonstrate this inaccurately describes splicing in many human genes. First, after switching on transcription of SAMD4A, a gene with a 134 kb-long first intron, splicing joins the 3′ end of exon 1 to successive points within intron 1 well before the acceptor site at exon 2 is made. Second, genome-wide analysis shows that >60% of active genes yield products generated by such intermediate intron splicing. These products are present at ∼15% the levels of primary transcripts, are encoded by conserved sequences similar to those found at canonical acceptors, and marked by distinctive structural and epigenetic features. Finally, using targeted genome editing, we demonstrate that inhibiting the formation of these splicing intermediates affects efficient exon–exon splicing. These findings greatly expand the functional and regulatory complexity of the human transcriptome. PMID:25897131

  2. A general role for splicing enhancers in exon definition.

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Bianca J; Hertel, Klemens J

    2002-01-01

    Exonic splicing enhancers (ESEs) facilitate exon definition by assisting in the recruitment of splicing factors to the adjacent intron. Here we demonstrate that suboptimal 5' and 3' splice sites are activated independently by ESEs when they are located on different exons. However, when they are situated within a single exon, the same weak 5' and 3' splice sites are activated simultaneously by a single ESE. These findings demonstrate that a single ESE promotes the recognition of both exon/intron junctions within the same step during exon definition. Our results suggest that ESEs recruit a multicomponent complex that minimally contains components of the splicing machinery required for 5' and 3' splice site selection. PMID:12403462

  3. Splicing Express: a software suite for alternative splicing analysis using next-generation sequencing data

    PubMed Central

    Kroll, Jose E.; Kim, Jihoon; Ohno-Machado, Lucila

    2015-01-01

    Motivation. Alternative splicing events (ASEs) are prevalent in the transcriptome of eukaryotic species and are known to influence many biological phenomena. The identification and quantification of these events are crucial for a better understanding of biological processes. Next-generation DNA sequencing technologies have allowed deep characterization of transcriptomes and made it possible to address these issues. ASEs analysis, however, represents a challenging task especially when many different samples need to be compared. Some popular tools for the analysis of ASEs are known to report thousands of events without annotations and/or graphical representations. A new tool for the identification and visualization of ASEs is here described, which can be used by biologists without a solid bioinformatics background. Results. A software suite named Splicing Express was created to perform ASEs analysis from transcriptome sequencing data derived from next-generation DNA sequencing platforms. Its major goal is to serve the needs of biomedical researchers who do not have bioinformatics skills. Splicing Express performs automatic annotation of transcriptome data (GTF files) using gene coordinates available from the UCSC genome browser and allows the analysis of data from all available species. The identification of ASEs is done by a known algorithm previously implemented in another tool named Splooce. As a final result, Splicing Express creates a set of HTML files composed of graphics and tables designed to describe the expression profile of ASEs among all analyzed samples. By using RNA-Seq data from the Illumina Human Body Map and the Rat Body Map, we show that Splicing Express is able to perform all tasks in a straightforward way, identifying well-known specific events. Availability and Implementation.Splicing Express is written in Perl and is suitable to run only in UNIX-like systems. More details can be found at: http

  4. A Comparison of Vanadate to a 2'-5' Linkage at the Active Site of a Small Ribozyme Suggests a Role for Water in Transition-State Stabilization

    SciTech Connect

    Torelli, A.T.; Krucinska, J.; Wedekind, J.E.

    2009-06-04

    The potential for water to participate in RNA catalyzed reactions has been the topic of several recent studies. Here, we report crystals of a minimal, hinged hairpin ribozyme in complex with the transition-state analog vanadate at 2.05 A resolution. Waters are present in the active site and are discussed in light of existing views of catalytic strategies employed by the hairpin ribozyme. A second structure harboring a 2',5'-phosphodiester linkage at the site of cleavage was also solved at 2.35 A resolution and corroborates the assignment of active site waters in the structure containing vanadate. A comparison of the two structures reveals that the 2',5' structure adopts a conformation that resembles the reaction intermediate in terms of (1) the positioning of its nonbridging oxygens and (2) the covalent attachment of the 2'-O nucleophile with the scissile G+1 phosphorus. The 2',5'-linked structure was then overlaid with scissile bonds of other small ribozymes including the glmS metabolite-sensing riboswitch and the hammerhead ribozyme, and suggests the potential of the 2',5' linkage to elicit a reaction-intermediate conformation without the need to form metalloenzyme complexes. The hairpin ribozyme structures presented here also suggest how water molecules bound at each of the nonbridging oxygens of G+1 may electrostatically stabilize the transition state in a manner that supplements nucleobase functional groups. Such coordination has not been reported for small ribozymes, but is consistent with the structures of protein enzymes. Overall, this work establishes significant parallels between the RNA and protein enzyme worlds.

  5. Phylogenetic footprinting of non-coding RNA: hammerhead ribozyme sequences in a satellite DNA family of Dolichopoda cave crickets (Orthoptera, Rhaphidophoridae)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The great variety in sequence, length, complexity, and abundance of satellite DNA has made it difficult to ascribe any function to this genome component. Recent studies have shown that satellite DNA can be transcribed and be involved in regulation of chromatin structure and gene expression. Some satellite DNAs, such as the pDo500 sequence family in Dolichopoda cave crickets, have a catalytic hammerhead (HH) ribozyme structure and activity embedded within each repeat. Results We assessed the phylogenetic footprints of the HH ribozyme within the pDo500 sequences from 38 different populations representing 12 species of Dolichopoda. The HH region was significantly more conserved than the non-hammerhead (NHH) region of the pDo500 repeat. In addition, stems were more conserved than loops. In stems, several compensatory mutations were detected that maintain base pairing. The core region of the HH ribozyme was affected by very few nucleotide substitutions and the cleavage position was altered only once among 198 sequences. RNA folding of the HH sequences revealed that a potentially active HH ribozyme can be found in most of the Dolichopoda populations and species. Conclusions The phylogenetic footprints suggest that the HH region of the pDo500 sequence family is selected for function in Dolichopoda cave crickets. However, the functional role of HH ribozymes in eukaryotic organisms is unclear. The possible functions have been related to trans cleavage of an RNA target by a ribonucleoprotein and regulation of gene expression. Whether the HH ribozyme in Dolichopoda is involved in similar functions remains to be investigated. Future studies need to demonstrate how the observed nucleotide changes and evolutionary constraint have affected the catalytic efficiency of the hammerhead. PMID:20047671

  6. Superconducting cable-in-conduit low resistance splice

    DOEpatents

    Artman, Thomas A.

    2003-06-24

    A low resistance splice connects two cable-in-conduit superconductors to each other. Dividing collars for arranging sub-cable units from each conduit are provided, along with clamping collars for mating each sub-cable wire assembly to form mated assemblies. The mated assemblies ideally can be accomplished by way of splicing collar. The mated assemblies are cooled by way of a flow of coolant, preferably helium. A method for implementing such a splicing is also described.

  7. Glucosamine and Glucosamine-6-phosphate Derivatives: Catalytic Cofactor Analogs for the glmS Ribozyme

    PubMed Central

    Posakony, Jeffrey J.; Ferré-D'Amaré, Adrian R.

    2013-01-01

    Two analogues of glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P, 1) and five of glucosamine (GlcN, 2) were prepared for evaluation as catalytic cofactor of the glmS ribozyme, a bacterial gene-regulatory RNA that controls cell wall biosynthesis. Glucosamine and allosamine with 3-azido substitutions were prepared by SN2 reactions of the respective 1,2,4,6-protected sugars; final acidic hydrolysis afforded the fully deprotected compounds as their TFA salts. A 6-phospho-2-aminoglucolactam (31) was prepared from glucosamine in a 13-step synthesis, which included a late-stage POCl3-phosphorylation. A simple and widely applicable 2-step procedure with the triethylsilyl (TES) protecting group was developed to selectively expose the 6-OH group in N-protected glucosamine analogs, which provided another route to chemical phosphorylation. Mitsunobu chemistry afforded 6-cyano (35) and 6-azido (36) analogues of GlcN-(Cbz) and the selectivity for the 6-position was confirmed by NMR (COSY, HMBC, HMQC) experiments. Compound 36 was converted to the fully deprotected 6-azido-GlcN (37) and 2,6-diaminoglucose (38) analogs. A 2-hydroxylamino glucose (42) analogue was prepared via an oxaziridine (41). Enzymatic phosphorylation of 42 and chemical phosphorylation of its 6-OH precursor (43) were possible, but 42 and the 6-phospho product (44) were unstable under neutral or basic conditions. Chemical phosphorylation of the previously described 2-guanidinyl-glucose (46) afforded its 6-phospho analogue (49) after final deprotection. PMID:23578404

  8. Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Experiment to Derive a Detailed Understanding of Hammerhead Ribozyme Catalysis

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Tai-Sung; Wong, Kin-Yiu; Giambasu, George M.; York, Darrin M.

    2016-01-01

    Herein we summarize our progress toward the understanding of hammerhead ribozyme (HHR) catalysis through a multiscale simulation strategy. Simulation results collectively paint a picture of HHR catalysis: HHR first folds to form an electronegative active site pocket to recruit a threshold occupation of cationic charges, either a Mg2+ ion or multiple monovalent cations. Catalytically active conformations that have good in-line fitness are supported by specific metal ion coordination patterns that involve either a bridging Mg2+ ion or multiple Na+ ions, one of which is also in a bridging coordination pattern. In the case of a single Mg2+ ion bound in the active site, the Mg2+ ion undergoes a migration that is coupled with deprotonation of the nucleophile (C17:O2′). As the reaction proceeds, the Mg2+ ion stabilizes the accumulating charge of the leaving group and significantly increases the general acid ability of G8:O2′. Further computational mutagenesis simulations suggest that the disruptions due to mutations may severely impact HHR catalysis at different stages of the reaction. Catalytic mechanisms supported by the simulation results are consistent with available structural and biochemical experiments, and together they advance our understanding of HHR catalysis. PMID:24156941

  9. Ligation of the hairpin ribozyme in cis induced by freezing and dehydration

    PubMed Central

    KAZAKOV, SERGEI A.; BALATSKAYA, SVETLANA V.; JOHNSTON, BRIAN H.

    2006-01-01

    Although reducing the temperature slows most chemical reactions, freezing can stimulate some reactions by mechanisms that are only partially understood. Here we show that freezing stimulates the self-ligation (circularization) of linear forms of the hairpin ribozyme (HPR) containing 2′,3′-cyclic phosphate and 5′-OH termini. Divalent metal ions (M2+) are not required, but monovalent cations and anions at millimolar concentrations can have various effects on this reaction depending on the specific ion. Under optimal conditions, the observed rate of M2+-independent self-ligation reaches a peak (0.04 min−1) at −10°C with a yield of −60% after 1 h. In contrast, no ligation occurs either at above 0°C or in solutions that remain unfrozen when supercooled to subzero temperatures. Under freezing conditions, the cleavage–ligation equilibrium strongly favors ligation. Besides freezing, evaporation of the aqueous solvent as well as the presence of ethanol at levels of 40% or above can also induce M2+-independent HPR ligation at 25°C. We argue that partial RNA dehydration, which is a common feature of freezing, evaporation, and the presence of ethanol, is a key factor supporting HPR ligation activity at both above- and below-freezing temperatures. In the context of the RNA world hypothesis, freezing-induced ligation is an attractive mechanism by which complex RNAs could have evolved under conditions in which RNA was relatively protected against degradation. PMID:16495237

  10. Limits of Neutral Drift: Lessons from the In Vitro Evolution of Two Ribozymes

    PubMed Central

    Petrie, Katherine L.; Joyce, Gerald F.

    2014-01-01

    The relative contributions of adaptive selection and neutral drift to observed genetic change are unknown, but likely depend on the inherent abundance of functional genotypes in sequence space and how accessible those genotypes are to one another. To better understand the relative roles of selection and drift in evolution, local fitness landscapes for two different RNA ligase ribozymes were examinedusing a continuous in vitro evolution system under conditions that foster the capacity for neutral drift to mediate genetic change.The exploration of sequence spacewas acceleratedby increasing the mutation rate using mutagenic nucleotide analogs. Drift wasencouraged by carrying out evolution within millions of separate compartments to exploit the founder effect. Deep sequencing of individuals from the evolved populations revealed that the distribution of genotypes did not escape the starting local fitness peak, remaining clustered around the sequenceused to initiate evolution.This is consistent with a fitness landscape where high-fitness genotypes are sparse and well isolated, and suggests, at least in this context, that neutral drift alone is not a primary driver of genetic change. Neutral driftdoes, however, provide a repository of genetic variation upon which adaptive selection can act. PMID:25155818

  11. In vitro evolution of distinct self-cleaving ribozymes in diverse environments

    PubMed Central

    Popović, Milena; Fliss, Palmer S.; Ditzler, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    In vitro evolution experiments have long been used to evaluate the roles of RNA in both modern and ancient biology, and as a tool for biotechnology applications. The conditions under which these experiments have been conducted, however, do not reflect the range of cellular environments in modern biology or our understanding of chemical environments on the early earth, when the atmosphere and oceans were largely anoxic and soluble Fe2+ was abundant. To test the impact of environmental factors relevant to RNA's potential role in the earliest forms of life, we evolved populations of self-cleaving ribozymes in an anoxic atmosphere with varying pH in the presence of either Fe2+ or Mg2+. Populations evolved under these different conditions are dominated by different sequences and secondary structures, demonstrating global differences in the underlying fitness landscapes. Comparisons between evolutionary outcomes and catalytic activities also indicate that Mg2+ can readily take the place of Fe2+ in supporting the catalysis of RNA cleavage at neutral pH, but not at lower pH. These results highlight the importance of considering the specific environments in which functional biopolymers evolve when evaluating their potential roles in the origin of life, extant biology, or biotechnology. PMID:26130717

  12. In vitro evolution of distinct self-cleaving ribozymes in diverse environments.

    PubMed

    Popović, Milena; Fliss, Palmer S; Ditzler, Mark A

    2015-08-18

    In vitro evolution experiments have long been used to evaluate the roles of RNA in both modern and ancient biology, and as a tool for biotechnology applications. The conditions under which these experiments have been conducted, however, do not reflect the range of cellular environments in modern biology or our understanding of chemical environments on the early earth, when the atmosphere and oceans were largely anoxic and soluble Fe(2+) was abundant. To test the impact of environmental factors relevant to RNA's potential role in the earliest forms of life, we evolved populations of self-cleaving ribozymes in an anoxic atmosphere with varying pH in the presence of either Fe(2+) or Mg(2+). Populations evolved under these different conditions are dominated by different sequences and secondary structures, demonstrating global differences in the underlying fitness landscapes. Comparisons between evolutionary outcomes and catalytic activities also indicate that Mg(2+) can readily take the place of Fe(2+) in supporting the catalysis of RNA cleavage at neutral pH, but not at lower pH. These results highlight the importance of considering the specific environments in which functional biopolymers evolve when evaluating their potential roles in the origin of life, extant biology, or biotechnology. PMID:26130717

  13. Antibiotic interactions with the hammerhead ribozyme:tetracyclines as a new class of hammerhead inhibitor.

    PubMed Central

    Murray, J B; Arnold, J R

    1996-01-01

    A screening of a range of common laboratory antibiotics for inhibition of the hammerhead ribozyme has shown that in addition to certain aminoglycosides (most notably neomycin B) the tetracyclines are also effective inhibitors, with chlorotetracycline being more effective than tetracycline. Inhibition by chlorotetracycline is not as strong as that by neomycin B but is more complicated, with at least two binding sites apparent. As with hammerhead inhibition by neomycin B, chlorotetracycline inhibition can be overcome by raising the concentration of the Mg2+ ion cofactor. We find that around six Mg2+ ions will displace neomycin B, compared with twelve for chlorotetracycline. Inhibition observed in the presence of mixtures of neomycin B and chlorotetracycline is consistent with separate binding sites on the hammerhead for these two classes of antibiotic. Under certain conditions of the mixing order and low concentration of chlorotetracycline, enhancement of single-turnover hammerhead cleavage by up to 20% is observed, with higher concentrations of antibiotic being inhibitory. We have also found that the presence of 2.5% (v/v) DMSO causes a 30% enhancement of the single-turnover cleavage. These results thus extend the range of known inhibitors of hammerhead cleavage, and also demonstrate how the cleavage can be accelerated. PMID:8760373

  14. Functional involvement of G8 in the hairpin ribozyme cleavage mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Pinard, Robert; Hampel, Ken J.; Heckman, Joyce E.; Lambert, Dominic; Chan, Philip A.; Major, Francois; Burke, John M.

    2001-01-01

    The catalytic determinants for the cleavage and ligation reactions mediated by the hairpin ribozyme are integral to the polyribonucleotide chain. We describe experiments that place G8, a critical guanosine, at the active site, and point to an essential role in catalysis. Cross-linking and modeling show that formation of a catalytic complex is accompanied by a conformational change in which N1 and O6 of G8 become closely apposed to the scissile phosphodiester. UV cross-linking, hydroxyl-radical footprinting and native gel electrophoresis indicate that G8 variants inhibit the reaction at a step following domain association, and that the tertiary structure of the inactive complex is not measurably altered. Rate–pH profiles and fluorescence spectroscopy show that protonation at the N1 position of G8 is required for catalysis, and that modification of O6 can inhibit the reaction. Kinetic solvent isotope analysis suggests that two protons are transferred during the rate-limiting step, consistent with rate-limiting cleavage chemistry involving concerted deprotonation of the attacking 2′-OH and protonation of the 5′-O leaving group. We propose mechanistic models that are consistent with these data, including some that invoke a novel keto–enol tautomerization. PMID:11707414

  15. Evolutionary Insights into RNA trans-Splicing in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Lei, Quan; Li, Cong; Zuo, Zhixiang; Huang, Chunhua; Cheng, Hanhua; Zhou, Rongjia

    2016-01-01

    Pre-RNA splicing is an essential step in generating mature mRNA. RNA trans-splicing combines two separate pre-mRNA molecules to form a chimeric non-co-linear RNA, which may exert a function distinct from its original molecules. Trans-spliced RNAs may encode novel proteins or serve as noncoding or regulatory RNAs. These novel RNAs not only increase the complexity of the proteome but also provide new regulatory mechanisms for gene expression. An increasing amount of evidence indicates that trans-splicing occurs frequently in both physiological and pathological processes. In addition, mRNA reprogramming based on trans-splicing has been successfully applied in RNA-based therapies for human genetic diseases. Nevertheless, clarifying the extent and evolution of trans-splicing in vertebrates and developing detection methods for trans-splicing remain challenging. In this review, we summarize previous research, highlight recent advances in trans-splicing, and discuss possible splicing mechanisms and functions from an evolutionary viewpoint. PMID:26966239

  16. RNA Splicing: Regulation and Dysregulation in the Heart.

    PubMed

    van den Hoogenhof, Maarten M G; Pinto, Yigal M; Creemers, Esther E

    2016-02-01

    RNA splicing represents a post-transcriptional mechanism to generate multiple functional RNAs or proteins from a single transcript. The evolution of RNA splicing is a prime example of the Darwinian function follows form concept. A mutation that leads to a new mRNA (form) that encodes for a new functional protein (function) is likely to be retained, and this way, the genome has gradually evolved to encode for genes with multiple isoforms, thereby creating an enormously diverse transcriptome. Advances in technologies to characterize RNA populations have led to a better understanding of RNA processing in health and disease. In the heart, alternative splicing is increasingly being recognized as an important layer of post-transcriptional gene regulation. Moreover, the recent identification of several cardiac splice factors, such as RNA-binding motif protein 20 and SF3B1, not only provided important insight into the mechanisms underlying alternative splicing but also revealed how these splicing factors impact functional properties of the heart. Here, we review our current knowledge of alternative splicing in the heart, with a particular focus on the major and minor spliceosome, the factors controlling RNA splicing, and the role of alternative splicing in cardiac development and disease. PMID:26846640

  17. Impacts of Alternative Splicing Events on the Differentiation of Adipocytes

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Jung-Chun

    2015-01-01

    Alternative splicing was found to be a common phenomenon after the advent of whole transcriptome analyses or next generation sequencing. Over 90% of human genes were demonstrated to undergo at least one alternative splicing event. Alternative splicing is an effective mechanism to spatiotemporally expand protein diversity, which influences the cell fate and tissue development. The first focus of this review is to highlight recent studies, which demonstrated effects of alternative splicing on the differentiation of adipocytes. Moreover, use of evolving high-throughput approaches, such as transcriptome analyses (RNA sequencing), to profile adipogenic transcriptomes, is also addressed. PMID:26389882

  18. Adenosine to Inosine editing frequency controlled by splicing efficiency.

    PubMed

    Licht, Konstantin; Kapoor, Utkarsh; Mayrhofer, Elisa; Jantsch, Michael F

    2016-07-27

    Alternative splicing and adenosine to inosine (A to I) RNA-editing are major factors leading to co- and post-transcriptional modification of genetic information. Both, A to I editing and splicing occur in the nucleus. As editing sites are frequently defined by exon-intron basepairing, mRNA splicing efficiency should affect editing levels. Moreover, splicing rates affect nuclear retention and will therefore also influence the exposure of pre-mRNAs to the editing-competent nuclear environment. Here, we systematically test the influence of splice rates on RNA-editing using reporter genes but also endogenous substrates. We demonstrate for the first time that the extent of editing is controlled by splicing kinetics when editing is guided by intronic elements. In contrast, editing sites that are exclusively defined by exonic structures are almost unaffected by the splicing efficiency of nearby introns. In addition, we show that editing levels in pre- and mature mRNAs do not match. This phenomenon can in part be explained by the editing state of an RNA influencing its splicing rate but also by the binding of the editing enzyme ADAR that interferes with splicing. PMID:27112566

  19. Viral interactions with components of the splicing machinery.

    PubMed

    Meyer, F

    2016-01-01

    Eukaryotic genes are often interrupted by stretches of sequence with no protein coding potential or obvious function. After transcription, these interrupting sequences must be removed to give rise to the mature messenger RNA. This fundamental process is called RNA splicing and is achieved by complicated machinery made of protein and RNA that assembles around the RNA to be edited. Viruses also use RNA splicing to maximize their coding potential and economize on genetic space, and use clever strategies to manipulate the splicing machinery to their advantage. This article gives an overview of the splicing process and provides examples of viral strategies that make use of various components of the splicing system to promote their replicative cycle. Representative virus families have been selected to illustrate the interaction with various regulatory proteins and ribonucleoproteins. The unifying theme is fine regulation through protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions with the spliceosome components and associated factors to promote or prevent spliceosome assembly on given splice sites, in addition to a strong influence from cis-regulatory sequences on viral transcripts. Because there is an intimate coupling of splicing with the processes that direct mRNA biogenesis, a description of how these viruses couple the regulation of splicing with the retention or stability of mRNAs is also included. It seems that a unique balance of suppression and activation of splicing and nuclear export works optimally for each family of viruses. PMID:27571697

  20. Some characteristics of probabilistic one-sided splicing systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selvarajoo, Mathuri; Fong, Wan Heng; Sarmin, Nor Haniza; Turaev, Sherzod

    2013-04-01

    A theoretical model for DNA computing using the recombination behavior of DNA molecules known as asplicing system has been introduced in 1987. Splicing systems are based on the splicing operation which, informally, cuts two strings at the specific places and attaches the prefix of the first string to the suffix of the second string and the prefix of the second string to the suffix of the first string yielding the new strings. It is known that splicing systems with finite sets of axioms and splicing rules only generate regular languages. Hence, different types of restrictions for splicing systems have been considered to increase the computational power of the languages generated. Recently, probabilistic splicing systems have been introduced where the probabilities are initially associated with the axioms, and the probabilities of the generated strings are computed from the probabilities of the initial strings. In this paper, some properties of probabilistic one-sided splicing systems, which are special types of probabilistic splicing systems, are investigated. We prove that probabilistic one-sided splicing systems can also increase the computational power of the languages generated.