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Sample records for ii intron splicing

  1. Visualizing group II intron catalysis through the stages of splicing

    PubMed Central

    Marcia, Marco; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Group II introns are self-splicing ribozymes that share a reaction mechanism and a common ancestor with the eukaryotic spliceosome, thereby providing a model system for understanding the chemistry of pre-mRNA splicing. Here we report fourteen crystal structures of a group II intron at different stages of catalysis. We provide a detailed mechanism for the first step of splicing, we describe a reversible conformational change between the first and the second steps of splicing, and we present the ligand-free intron structure after splicing, in an active state that corresponds to the retrotransposable form of the intron. During each reaction, the reactants are aligned and activated by a heteronuclear four-metal-ion center that contains a metal cluster and obligate monovalent cations, adopting a structural arrangement similar to that of protein endonucleases. Based on our data, we propose a model for the splicing cycle and show that it is applicable to the eukaryotic spliceosome. PMID:23101623

  2. Mechanism of maturase-promoted group II intron splicing

    PubMed Central

    Matsuura, Manabu; Noah, James W.; Lambowitz, Alan M.

    2001-01-01

    Mobile group II introns encode reverse transcriptases that also function as intron-specific splicing factors (maturases). We showed previously that the reverse transcriptase/maturase encoded by the Lactococcus lactis Ll.LtrB intron has a high affinity binding site at the beginning of its own coding region in an idiosyncratic structure, DIVa. Here, we identify potential secondary binding sites in conserved regions of the catalytic core and show via chemical modification experiments that binding of the maturase induces the formation of key tertiary interactions required for RNA splicing. The interaction with conserved as well as idiosyncratic regions explains how maturases in some organisms could evolve into general group II intron splicing factors, potentially mirroring a key step in the evolution of spliceosomal introns. PMID:11743002

  3. 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.

  4. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. and Mitochondria Research Society. All rights reserved.

  5. Metal ion catalysis during group II intron self-splicing: parallels with the spliceosome

    PubMed Central

    Sontheimer, Erik J.; Gordon, Peter M.; Piccirilli, Joseph A.

    1999-01-01

    The identical reaction pathway executed by the spliceosome and self-splicing group II intron ribozymes has prompted the idea that both may be derived from a common molecular ancestor. The minimal sequence and structural similarities between group II introns and the spliceosomal small nuclear RNAs, however, have left this proposal in question. Mechanistic comparisons between group II self-splicing introns and the spliceosome are therefore important in determining whether these two splicing machineries may be related. Here we show that 3′-sulfur substitution at the 5′ splice site of a group II intron causes a metal specificity switch during the first step of splicing. In contrast, 3′-sulfur substitution has no significant effect on the metal specificity of the second step of cis-splicing. Isolation of the second step uncovers a metal specificity switch that is masked during the cis-splicing reaction. These results demonstrate that group II intron ribozymes are metalloenzymes that use a catalytic metal ion for leaving group stabilization during both steps of self-splicing. Furthermore, because 3′-sulfur substitution of a spliceosomal intron has precisely the same effects as were observed during cis-splicing of the group II intron, these results provide striking parallels between the catalytic mechanisms employed by these two systems. PMID:10398685

  6. The group II intron maturase: a reverse transcriptase and splicing factor go hand in hand.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Chen; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2017-05-18

    The splicing of group II introns in vivo requires the assistance of a multifunctional intron encoded protein (IEP, or maturase). Each IEP is also a reverse-transcriptase enzyme that enables group II introns to behave as mobile genetic elements. During splicing or retro-transposition, each group II intron forms a tight, specific complex with its own encoded IEP, resulting in a highly reactive holoenzyme. This review focuses on the structural basis for IEP function, as revealed by recent crystal structures of an IEP reverse transcriptase domain and cryo-EM structures of an IEP-intron complex. These structures explain how the same IEP scaffold is utilized for intron recognition, splicing and reverse transcription, while providing a physical basis for understanding the evolutionary transformation of the IEP into the eukaryotic splicing factor Prp8. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Arabidopsis orthologs of maize chloroplast splicing factors promote splicing of orthologous and species-specific group II introns.

    PubMed

    Asakura, Yukari; Barkan, Alice

    2006-12-01

    Chloroplast genomes in plants and green algae contain numerous group II introns, large ribozymes that splice via the same chemical steps as spliceosome-mediated splicing in the nucleus. Most chloroplast group II introns are degenerate, requiring interaction with nucleus-encoded proteins to splice in vivo. Genetic approaches in maize (Zea mays) and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii have elucidated distinct sets of proteins that assemble with chloroplast group II introns and facilitate splicing. Little information is available, however, concerning these processes in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). To determine whether the paucity of data concerning chloroplast splicing factors in Arabidopsis reflects a fundamental difference between protein-facilitated group II splicing in monocot and dicot plants, we examined the mutant phenotypes associated with T-DNA insertions in Arabidopsis genes encoding orthologs of the maize chloroplast splicing factors CRS1, CAF1, and CAF2 (AtCRS1, AtCAF1, and AtCAF2). We show that the splicing functions and intron specificities of these proteins are largely conserved between maize and Arabidopsis, indicating that these proteins were recruited to promote the splicing of plastid group II introns prior to the divergence of monocot and dicot plants. We show further that AtCAF1 promotes the splicing of two group II introns, rpoC1 and clpP-intron 1, that are found in Arabidopsis but not in maize; AtCAF1 is the first splicing factor described for these introns. Finally, we show that a strong AtCAF2 allele conditions an embryo-lethal phenotype, adding to the body of data suggesting that cell viability is more sensitive to the loss of plastid translation in Arabidopsis than in maize.

  8. Impact of low temperature on splicing of atypical group II introns in wheat mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Dalby, Stephen J; Bonen, Linda

    2013-11-01

    To investigate the impact of cold on group II intron splicing, we compared the physical forms of excised mitochondrial introns from wheat embryos germinated at room temperature and 4°C. For introns which deviate from the conventional branchpoint structure, we observed predominantly heterogeneous circularized introns in the cold rather than linear polyadenylated forms arising from a hydrolytic pathway as seen at room temperature. In addition, intron-containing precursors are elevated relative to mature mRNAs upon cold treatment. Our findings indicate that low temperature growth not only reduces splicing efficiency, but also shifts the splicing biochemistry of atypical group II introns to novel, yet productive, pathways. © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V. and Mitochondria Research Society.

  9. Extensive mis-splicing of a bi-partite plant mitochondrial group II intron.

    PubMed

    Elina, Helen; Brown, Gregory G

    2010-01-01

    Expression of the seed plant mitochondrial nad5 gene involves two trans-splicing events that remove fragmented group II introns and join the small, central exon c to exons b and d. We show that in both monocot and eudicot plants, extensive mis-splicing of the bi-partite intron 2 takes place, resulting in the formation of aberrantly spliced products in which exon c is joined to various sites within exon b. These mis-spliced products accumulate to levels comparable to or greater than that of the correctly spliced mRNA. We suggest that mis-splicing may result from folding constraints imposed on intron 2 by base-pairing between exon a and a portion of the bi-partite intron 3 downstream of exon c. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that mis-splicing does not occur in Oenothera mitochondria, where intron 3 is further fragmented such that the predicted base-pairing region is not covalently linked to exon c. Our findings suggest that intron fragmentation may lead to mis-splicing, which may be corrected by further intron fragmentation.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  12. Structural requirements for selection of 5'- and 3' splice sites of group II introns.

    PubMed Central

    Wallasch, C; Mörl, M; Niemer, I; Schmelzer, C

    1991-01-01

    The group II intron bl1 in the gene for apocytochrome b in yeast mitochondrial DNA (COB) is self-splicing in vitro. It could recently be shown that self-splicing of this intron is fully reversible in vitro. In addition, intron integration is not restricted to parental exons, since the intron can also integrate into a foreign RNA. The position of insertion seems to be immediately 3' to a cryptic intron binding site 1 (IBS1). We confirmed and extended these results by sequencing 26 individual RNAs with transposed introns after reverse transcription and PCR amplification. Results show that intron integration into authentic exons is generally correct, but that integration into a foreign RNA is often inaccurate, i.e. insertion is one nt downstream or upstream of the 3' end of IBS1. This leads to the generation of 5' splice junctions of the new intron-harbouring 'preRNAs' with addition (or deletion) of a single A residue at the 3' end of IBS1. To investigate which structures help to define the position of 5'- and 3' cleavage, preRNAs of i) these clones with aberrant 5' splice junctions and ii) preRNAs with artificial hairpins between domains 5 and 6 of the intron were spliced under different reaction conditions. Results obtained let us conclude that i) branchpoint dependent 5' cleavage is directed by the 5' terminal G residue of the intron and, ii) the first nucleotide(s) of the 3' exon play an important role in defining the 3' splice site. Images PMID:2062646

  13. 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

  14. More than one way to splice an RNA: branching without a bulge and splicing without branching in group II introns.

    PubMed Central

    Chu, V T; Liu, Q; Podar, M; Perlman, P S; Pyle, A M

    1998-01-01

    Domain 6 (D6) of group II introns contains a bulged adenosine that serves as the branch-site during self-splicing. In addition to this adenosine, other structural features in D6 are likely to contribute to the efficiency of branching. To understand their role in promoting self-splicing, the branch-site and surrounding nucleotides were mutagenized. Detailed kinetic analysis on the self-splicing efficiency of the mutants revealed several interesting features. First, elimination of the branch-site does not preclude efficient splicing, which takes place instead through a hydrolytic first step. Second, pairing of the branch-site does not eliminate branching, particularly if the adenosine is involved in a mispair. Third, the G-U pairs that often surround group II intron branch-points contribute to the efficiency of branching. These results suggest that there is a strong driving force for promoting self-splicing by group II introns, which employ a versatile set of different mechanisms for ensuring that splicing is successful. In addition, the behavior of these mutants indicates that a bulged adenosine per se is not the important determinant for branch-site recognition in group II introns. Rather, the data suggest that the branch-site adenosine is recognized as a flipped base, a conformation that can be promoted by a variety of different substructures in RNA and DNA. PMID:9769094

  15. Do DEAD-box proteins promote group II intron splicing without unwinding RNA?

    PubMed

    Del Campo, Mark; Tijerina, Pilar; Bhaskaran, Hari; Mohr, Sabine; Yang, Quansheng; Jankowsky, Eckhard; Russell, Rick; Lambowitz, Alan M

    2007-10-12

    The DEAD-box protein Mss116p promotes group II intron splicing in vivo and in vitro. Here we explore two hypotheses for how Mss116p promotes group II intron splicing: by using its RNA unwinding activity to act as an RNA chaperone or by stabilizing RNA folding intermediates. We show that an Mss116p mutant in helicase motif III (SAT/AAA), which was reported to stimulate splicing without unwinding RNA, retains ATP-dependent unwinding activity and promotes unfolding of a structured RNA. Its unwinding activity increases sharply with decreasing duplex length and correlates with group II intron splicing activity in quantitative assays. Additionally, we show that Mss116p can promote ATP-independent RNA unwinding, presumably via single-strand capture, also potentially contributing to DEAD-box protein RNA chaperone activity. Our findings favor the hypothesis that DEAD-box proteins function in group II intron splicing as in other processes by using their unwinding activity to act as RNA chaperones.

  16. A nicked group II intron and trans-splicing in liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha, chloroplasts.

    PubMed Central

    Kohchi, T; Umesono, K; Ogura, Y; Komine, Y; Nakahigashi, K; Komano, T; Yamada, Y; Ozeki, H; Ohyama, K

    1988-01-01

    The chloroplast gene rps12 for ribosomal protein S12 in a liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha, is split into three exons by two introns, one of which (intron 1) is discontinuous. Exon 1 of rps12 for the N-terminal portion of the S12 protein is far from exons 2 and 3 for the C-terminal portion on the opposite DNA strand. S1-nuclease protection analysis and Northern hybridization with RNA isolated from the liverwort chloroplasts showed that: (i) the exons 1 and 2-3 of the rps12 gene with the neighboring genes were transcribed separately, (ii) the trans-splicing of intron 1 occurred after the processing of two primary transcripts to two pre-mRNAs, and (iii) there was no particular order for the splicing of intron 1 (trans) and intron 2 (cis) in the rps12 gene. We propose a bimolecular interaction model for trans-splicing by assuming that intermolecular base pairings between two pre-mRNAs result in the formation of the structure typical of group II introns except for disruption in the loop III region. This structure could be constructed in intron 1 of tobacco rps12 gene. Images PMID:3194192

  17. 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. © 2014 McNeil and Zimmerly; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

  18. An mTERF domain protein functions in group II intron splicing in maize chloroplasts.

    PubMed

    Hammani, Kamel; Barkan, Alice

    2014-04-01

    The mitochondrial transcription termination factor (mTERF) proteins are nucleic acid binding proteins characterized by degenerate helical repeats of ∼30 amino acids. Metazoan genomes encode a small family of mTERF proteins whose members influence mitochondrial gene expression and DNA replication. The mTERF family in higher plants consists of roughly 30 members, which localize to mitochondria or chloroplasts. Effects of several mTERF proteins on plant development and physiology have been described, but molecular functions of mTERF proteins in plants are unknown. We show that a maize mTERF protein, Zm-mTERF4, promotes the splicing of group II introns in chloroplasts. Zm-mTERF4 coimmunoprecipitates with many chloroplast introns and the splicing of some of these introns is disrupted even in hypomorphic Zm-mterf4 mutants. Furthermore, Zm-mTERF4 is found in high molecular weight complexes that include known chloroplast splicing factors. The splicing of two transfer RNAs (trnI-GAU and trnA-UGC) and one ribosomal protein messenger RNA (rpl2) is particularly sensitive to the loss of Zm-mTERF4, accounting for the loss of plastid ribosomes in Zm-mTERF4 mutants. These findings extend the known functional repertoire of the mTERF family to include group II intron splicing and suggest that a conserved role in chloroplast RNA splicing underlies the physiological defects described for mutations in BSM/Rugosa2, the Zm-mTERF4 ortholog in Arabidopsis.

  19. Alternative splicing by participation of the group II intron ORF in extremely halotolerant and alkaliphilic Oceanobacillus iheyensis.

    PubMed

    Chee, Gab-Joo; Takami, Hideto

    2011-01-01

    Group II introns inserted into genes often undergo splicing at unexpected sites, and participate in the transcription of host genes. We identified five copies of a group II intron, designated Oi.Int, in the genome of an extremely halotolerant and alkaliphilic bacillus, Oceanobacillus iheyensis. The Oi.Int4 differs from the Oi.Int3 at four bases. The ligated exons of the Oi.Int4 could not be detected by RT-PCR assays in vivo or in vitro although group II introns can generally self-splice in vitro without the involvement of an intron-encoded open reading frame (ORF). In the Oi.Int4 mutants with base substitutions within the ORF, ligated exons were detected by in vitro self-splicing. It was clear that the ligation of exons during splicing is affected by the sequence of the intron-encoded ORF since the splice sites corresponded to the joining sites of the intron. In addition, the mutant introns showed unexpected multiple products with alternative 5' splice sites. These findings imply that alternative 5' splicing which causes a functional change of ligated exons presumably has influenced past adaptations of O. iheyensis to various environmental changes.

  20. Group II intron in Bacillus cereus has an unusual 3' extension and splices 56 nucleotides downstream of the predicted site.

    PubMed

    Stabell, Fredrik B; Tourasse, Nicolas J; Ravnum, Solveig; Kolstø, Anne-Brit

    2007-01-01

    All group II introns known to date fold into six functional domains. However, we recently identified an intron in Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987, B.c.I4, that splices 56 nt downstream of the expected 3' splice site in vivo (Tourasse et al. 2005, J. Bacteriol., 187, 5437-5451). In this study, we confirmed by ribonuclease protection assay that the 56-bp segment is part of the intron RNA molecule, and computational prediction suggests that it might form a stable stem-loop structure downstream of domain VI. The splicing of B.c.I4 was further investigated both in vivo and in vitro. Lariat formation proceeded primarily by branching at the ordinary bulged adenosine in domain VI without affecting the fidelity of splicing. In addition, the splicing efficiency of the wild-type intron was better than that of a mutant construct deleted of the 56-bp 3' extension. These results indicate that the intron has apparently adapted to the extra segment, possibly through conformational adjustments. The extraordinary group II intron B.c.I4 harboring an unprecedented extra 3' segment constitutes a dramatic example of the flexibility and adaptability of group II introns.

  1. 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

  2. A CRM domain protein functions dually in group I and group II intron splicing in land plant chloroplasts.

    PubMed

    Asakura, Yukari; Barkan, Alice

    2007-12-01

    The CRM domain is a recently recognized RNA binding domain found in three group II intron splicing factors in chloroplasts, in a bacterial protein that associates with ribosome precursors, and in a family of uncharacterized proteins in plants. To elucidate the functional repertoire of proteins with CRM domains, we studied CFM2 (for CRM Family Member 2), which harbors four CRM domains. RNA coimmunoprecipitation assays showed that CFM2 in maize (Zea mays) chloroplasts is associated with the group I intron in pre-trnL-UAA and group II introns in the ndhA and ycf3 pre-mRNAs. T-DNA insertions in the Arabidopsis thaliana ortholog condition a defective-seed phenotype (strong allele) or chlorophyll-deficient seedlings with impaired splicing of the trnL group I intron and the ndhA, ycf3-int1, and clpP-int2 group II introns (weak alleles). CFM2 and two previously described CRM proteins are bound simultaneously to the ndhA and ycf3-int1 introns and act in a nonredundant fashion to promote their splicing. With these findings, CRM domain proteins are implicated in the activities of three classes of catalytic RNA: group I introns, group II introns, and 23S rRNA.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Monachello, Dario; Michel, François; Costa, Maria

    2016-01-01

    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

  5. A conserved 3' extension in unusual group II introns is important for efficient second-step splicing.

    PubMed

    Stabell, Fredrik B; Tourasse, Nicolas J; Kolstø, Anne-Brit

    2009-06-01

    The B.c.I4 group II intron from Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987 harbors an unusual 3' extension. Here, we report the discovery of four additional group II introns with a similar 3' extension in Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki 4D1 that splice at analogous positions 53/56 nt downstream of domain VI in vivo. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the introns are only 47-61% identical to each other. Strikingly, they do not form a single evolutionary lineage even though they belong to the same Bacterial B class. The extension of these introns is predicted to form a conserved two-stem-loop structure. Mutational analysis in vitro showed that the smaller stem S1 is not critical for self-splicing, whereas the larger stem S2 is important for efficient exon ligation and lariat release in presence of the extension. This study clearly demonstrates that previously reported B.c.I4 is not a single example of a specialized intron, but forms a new functional class with an unusual mode that ensures proper positioning of the 3' splice site.

  6. Albino Leaf 2 is involved in the splicing of chloroplast group I and II introns in rice

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Changhong; Zhu, Haitao; Xing, Yi; Tan, Jianjie; Chen, Xionghui; Zhang, Jianjun; Peng, Haifeng; Xie, Qingjun; Zhang, Zemin

    2016-01-01

    Chloroplasts play an essential role in plant growth and development through manipulating photosynthesis and the production of hormones and metabolites. Although many genes or regulators involved in chloroplast biogenesis and development have been isolated and characterized, identification of novel components is still lacking. We isolated a rice (Oryza sativa) mutant, termed albino leaf 2 (al2), using genetic screening. Phenotypic analysis revealed that the al2 mutation caused obvious albino leaves at the early developmental stage, eventually leading to al2 seedling death. Electron microscopy investigations indicated that the chloroplast structure was disrupted in the al2 mutants at an early developmental stage and subsequently resulted in the breakdown of the entire chloroplast. Molecular cloning illustrated that AL2 encodes a chloroplast group IIA intron splicing facilitator (CRS1) in rice, which was confirmed by a genetic complementation experiment. Moreover, our results demonstrated that AL2 was constitutively expressed in various tissues, including green and non-green tissues. Interestingly, we found that the expression levels of a subset of chloroplast genes that contain group IIA and IIB introns were significantly reduced in the al2 mutant compared to that in the wild type, suggesting that AL2 is a functional CRS1 in rice. Differing from the orthologous CRS1 in maize and Arabidopsis that only regulates splicing of the chloroplast group II intron, our results demonstrated that the AL2 gene is also likely to be involved in the splicing of the chloroplast group I intron. They also showed that disruption of AL2 results in the altered expression of chloroplast-associated genes, including chlorophyll biosynthetic genes, plastid-encoded polymerases and nuclear-encoded chloroplast genes. Taken together, these findings shed new light on the function of nuclear-encoded chloroplast group I and II intron splicing factors in rice. PMID:27543605

  7. Group II Intron-Mediated Trans-Splicing in the Gene-Rich Mitochondrial Genome of an Enigmatic Eukaryote, Diphylleia rotans

    PubMed Central

    Kamikawa, Ryoma; Shiratori, Takashi; Ishida, Ken-Ichiro; Miyashita, Hideaki; Roger, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Although mitochondria have evolved from a single endosymbiotic event, present day mitochondria of diverse eukaryotes display a great range of genome structures, content and features. Group I and group II introns are two features that are distributed broadly but patchily in mitochondrial genomes across branches of the tree of eukaryotes. While group I intron-mediated trans-splicing has been reported from some lineages distantly related to each other, findings of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing has been restricted to members of the Chloroplastida. In this study, we found the mitochondrial genome of the unicellular eukaryote Diphylleia rotans possesses currently the second largest gene repertoire. On the basis of a probable phylogenetic position of Diphylleia, which is located within Amorphea, current mosaic gene distribution in Amorphea must invoke parallel gene losses from mitochondrial genomes during evolution. Most notably, although the cytochrome c oxidase subunit (cox) 1 gene was split into four pieces which located at a distance to each other, we confirmed that a single mature mRNA that covered the entire coding region could be generated by group II intron-mediated trans-splicing. This is the first example of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing outside Chloroplastida. Similar trans-splicing mechanisms likely work for bipartitely split cox2 and nad3 genes to generate single mature mRNAs. We finally discuss origin and evolution of this type of trans-splicing in D. rotans as well as in eukaryotes. PMID:26833505

  8. Overexpression of DEAD box protein pMSS116 promotes ATP-dependent splicing of a yeast group II intron in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Niemer, I; Schmelzer, C; Börner, G V

    1995-01-01

    The group II intron bI1, the first intron of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in yeast is self-splicing in vitro. Genetic evidence suggests that trans-acting factors are required for in vivo splicing of this intron. In accordance with these findings, we present in vitro data showing that splicing of bI1 under physiological conditions depends upon the presence of proteins of a mitochondrial lysate. ATP is an essential component is this reaction. Overexpression of the nuclear-encoded DEAD box protein pMSS-116 results in a marked increase in the ATP-dependent splicing activity of the extract, suggesting that pMSS116 may play an important role in splicing of bI1. Images PMID:7659519

  9. 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.

  10. Depletion of TDP 43 overrides the need for exonic and intronic splicing enhancers in the human apoA-II gene.

    PubMed

    Mercado, Pablo Arrisi; Ayala, Youhna M; Romano, Maurizio; Buratti, Emanuele; Baralle, Francisco E

    2005-01-01

    Exon 3 of the human apolipoprotein A-II (apoA-II) gene is efficiently included in the mRNA although its acceptor site is significantly weak because of a peculiar (GU)16 tract instead of a canonical polypyrimidine tract within the intron 2/exon 3 junction. Our previous studies demonstrated that the SR proteins ASF/SF2 and SC35 bind specifically an exonic splicing enhancer (ESE) within exon 3 and promote exon 3 splicing. In the present study, we show that the ESE is necessary only in the proper context. In addition, we have characterized two novel sequences in the flanking introns that modulate apoA-II exon 3 splicing. There is a G-rich element in intron 2 that interacts with hnRNPH1 and inhibits exon 3 splicing. The second is a purine rich region in intron 3 that binds SRp40 and SRp55 and promotes exon 3 inclusion in mRNA. We have also found that the (GU) repeats in the apoA-II context bind the splicing factor TDP-43 and interfere with exon 3 definition. Significantly, blocking of TDP-43 expression by small interfering RNA overrides the need for all the other cis-acting elements making exon 3 inclusion constitutive even in the presence of disrupted exonic and intronic enhancers. Altogether, our results suggest that exonic and intronic enhancers have evolved to balance the negative effects of the two silencers located in intron 2 and hence rescue the constitutive exon 3 inclusion in apoA-II mRNA.

  11. Depletion of TDP 43 overrides the need for exonic and intronic splicing enhancers in the human apoA-II gene

    PubMed Central

    Mercado, Pablo Arrisi; Ayala, Youhna M.; Romano, Maurizio; Buratti, Emanuele; Baralle, Francisco E.

    2005-01-01

    Exon 3 of the human apolipoprotein A-II (apoA-II) gene is efficiently included in the mRNA although its acceptor site is significantly weak because of a peculiar (GU)16 tract instead of a canonical polypyrimidine tract within the intron 2/exon 3 junction. Our previous studies demonstrated that the SR proteins ASF/SF2 and SC35 bind specifically an exonic splicing enhancer (ESE) within exon 3 and promote exon 3 splicing. In the present study, we show that the ESE is necessary only in the proper context. In addition, we have characterized two novel sequences in the flanking introns that modulate apoA-II exon 3 splicing. There is a G-rich element in intron 2 that interacts with hnRNPH1 and inhibits exon 3 splicing. The second is a purine rich region in intron 3 that binds SRp40 and SRp55 and promotes exon 3 inclusion in mRNA. We have also found that the (GU) repeats in the apoA-II context bind the splicing factor TDP-43 and interfere with exon 3 definition. Significantly, blocking of TDP-43 expression by small interfering RNA overrides the need for all the other cis-acting elements making exon 3 inclusion constitutive even in the presence of disrupted exonic and intronic enhancers. Altogether, our results suggest that exonic and intronic enhancers have evolved to balance the negative effects of the two silencers located in intron 2 and hence rescue the constitutive exon 3 inclusion in apoA-II mRNA. PMID:16254078

  12. Group II Intron-Mediated Trans-Splicing in the Gene-Rich Mitochondrial Genome of an Enigmatic Eukaryote, Diphylleia rotans.

    PubMed

    Kamikawa, Ryoma; Shiratori, Takashi; Ishida, Ken-Ichiro; Miyashita, Hideaki; Roger, Andrew J

    2016-02-01

    Although mitochondria have evolved from a single endosymbiotic event, present day mitochondria of diverse eukaryotes display a great range of genome structures, content and features. Group I and group II introns are two features that are distributed broadly but patchily in mitochondrial genomes across branches of the tree of eukaryotes. While group I intron-mediated trans-splicing has been reported from some lineages distantly related to each other, findings of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing has been restricted to members of the Chloroplastida. In this study, we found the mitochondrial genome of the unicellular eukaryote Diphylleia rotans possesses currently the second largest gene repertoire. On the basis of a probable phylogenetic position of Diphylleia, which is located within Amorphea, current mosaic gene distribution in Amorphea must invoke parallel gene losses from mitochondrial genomes during evolution. Most notably, although the cytochrome c oxidase subunit (cox) 1 gene was split into four pieces which located at a distance to each other, we confirmed that a single mature mRNA that covered the entire coding region could be generated by group II intron-mediated trans-splicing. This is the first example of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing outside Chloroplastida. Similar trans-splicing mechanisms likely work for bipartitely split cox2 and nad3 genes to generate single mature mRNAs. We finally discuss origin and evolution of this type of trans-splicing in D. rotans as well as in eukaryotes. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  13. An intron-encoded protein assists RNA splicing of multiple similar introns of different bacterial genes.

    PubMed

    Meng, Qing; Wang, Yanfei; Liu, Xiang-Qin

    2005-10-21

    Four group II introns were found in an unusually intron-rich dnaN gene (encoding the beta subunit of DNA polymerase III) of the cyanobacterium Trichodesmium erythraeum, and they have strong similarities to two introns of the RIR gene (encoding ribonucleotide reductase) of the same organism. Of these six introns, only the RIR-3 intron encodes a maturase protein and showed efficient RNA splicing when expressed in Escherichia coli cells. The other five introns do not encode a maturase protein and did not show RNA splicing in E. coli. But these maturase-less introns showed efficient RNA splicing when the RIR-3 intron-encoded maturase protein was co-expressed from a freestanding gene in the same cell. These findings demonstrated that an intron-encoded protein could function as a general maturase for multiple introns of different genes. Major implications may include an intron-mediated co-regulation of the different genes and a resemblance of the evolutionary origin of spliceosomal introns.

  14. Role of helical constraints of the EBS1-IBS1 duplex of a group II intron on demarcation of the 5' splice site.

    PubMed

    Popovic, Milena; Greenbaum, Nancy L

    2014-01-01

    Recognition of the 5' splice site by group II introns involves pairing between an exon binding sequence (EBS) 1 within the ID3 stem-loop of domain 1 and a complementary sequence at the 3' end of exon 1 (IBS1). To identify the molecular basis for splice site definition of a group IIB ai5γ intron, we probed the solution structure of the ID3 stem-loop alone and upon binding of its IBS1 target by solution NMR. The ID3 stem was structured. The base of the ID3 loop was stacked but displayed a highly flexible EBS1 region. The flexibility of EBS1 appears to be a general feature of the ai5γ and the smaller Oceanobacillus iheyensis (O.i.) intron and may help in effective search of conformational space and prevent errors in splicing as a result of fortuitous base-pairing. Binding of IBS1 results in formation of a structured seven base pair duplex that terminates at the 5' splice site in spite of the potential for additional A-U and G•U pairs. Comparison of these data with conformational features of EBS1-IBS1 duplexes extracted from published structures suggests that termination of the duplex and definition of the splice site are governed by constraints of the helical geometry within the ID3 loop. This feature and flexibility of the uncomplexed ID3 loop appear to be common for both the ai5γ and O.i. introns and may help to fine-tune elements of recognition in group II introns.

  15. Localization of a Bacterial Group II Intron-Encoded Protein in Eukaryotic Nuclear Splicing-Related Cell Compartments

    PubMed Central

    Nisa-Martínez, Rafael; Laporte, Philippe; Jiménez-Zurdo, José Ignacio; Frugier, Florian; Crespi, Martin; Toro, Nicolás

    2013-01-01

    Some bacterial group II introns are widely used for genetic engineering in bacteria, because they can be reprogrammed to insert into the desired DNA target sites. There is considerable interest in developing this group II intron gene targeting technology for use in eukaryotes, but nuclear genomes present several obstacles to the use of this approach. The nuclear genomes of eukaryotes do not contain group II introns, but these introns are thought to have been the progenitors of nuclear spliceosomal introns. We investigated the expression and subcellular localization of the bacterial RmInt1 group II intron-encoded protein (IEP) in Arabidopsis thaliana protoplasts. Following the expression of translational fusions of the wild-type protein and several mutant variants with EGFP, the full-length IEP was found exclusively in the nucleolus, whereas the maturase domain alone targeted EGFP to nuclear speckles. The distribution of the bacterial RmInt1 IEP in plant cell protoplasts suggests that the compartmentalization of eukaryotic cells into nucleus and cytoplasm does not prevent group II introns from invading the host genome. Furthermore, the trafficking of the IEP between the nucleolus and the speckles upon maturase inactivation is consistent with the hypothesis that the spliceosomal machinery evolved from group II introns. PMID:24391881

  16. Localization of a bacterial group II intron-encoded protein in eukaryotic nuclear splicing-related cell compartments.

    PubMed

    Nisa-Martínez, Rafael; Laporte, Philippe; Jiménez-Zurdo, José Ignacio; Frugier, Florian; Crespi, Martin; Toro, Nicolás

    2013-01-01

    Some bacterial group II introns are widely used for genetic engineering in bacteria, because they can be reprogrammed to insert into the desired DNA target sites. There is considerable interest in developing this group II intron gene targeting technology for use in eukaryotes, but nuclear genomes present several obstacles to the use of this approach. The nuclear genomes of eukaryotes do not contain group II introns, but these introns are thought to have been the progenitors of nuclear spliceosomal introns. We investigated the expression and subcellular localization of the bacterial RmInt1 group II intron-encoded protein (IEP) in Arabidopsis thaliana protoplasts. Following the expression of translational fusions of the wild-type protein and several mutant variants with EGFP, the full-length IEP was found exclusively in the nucleolus, whereas the maturase domain alone targeted EGFP to nuclear speckles. The distribution of the bacterial RmInt1 IEP in plant cell protoplasts suggests that the compartmentalization of eukaryotic cells into nucleus and cytoplasm does not prevent group II introns from invading the host genome. Furthermore, the trafficking of the IEP between the nucleolus and the speckles upon maturase inactivation is consistent with the hypothesis that the spliceosomal machinery evolved from group II introns.

  17. Group II Introns and Their Protein Collaborators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solem, Amanda; Zingler, Nora; Pyle, Anna Marie; Li-Pook-Than, Jennifer

    Group II introns are an abundant class of autocatalytic introns that excise themselves from precursor mRNAs. Although group II introns are catalytic RNAs, they require the assistance of proteins for efficient splicing in vivo. Proteins that facilitate splicing of organellar group II introns fall into two main categories: intron-encoded maturases and host-encoded proteins. This chapter will focus on the host proteins that group II introns recruited to ensure their function. It will discuss the great diversity of these proteins, define common features, and describe different strategies employed to achieve specificity. Special emphasis will be placed on DEAD-box ATPases, currently the best studied example of host-encoded proteins with a role in group II intron splicing. Since the exact mechanisms by which splicing is facilitated is not known for any of the host proteins, general mechanistic strategies for protein-mediated RNA folding are described and assessed for their potential role in group II intron splicing.

  18. 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.

  19. ATP-dependent roles of the DEAD-box protein Mss116p in group II intron splicing in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Potratz, Jeffrey P.; Campo, Mark Del; Wolf, Rachel Z.; Lambowitz, Alan M.; Russell, Rick

    2011-01-01

    The yeast DEAD-box protein Mss116p functions as a general RNA chaperone in splicing mitochondrial group I and group II introns. For most of its functions, Mss116p is thought to use ATP-dependent RNA unwinding to facilitate RNA structural transitions, but it has been suggested to assist folding of one group II intron (aI5γ) primarily by stabilizing a folding intermediate. Here we compare three aI5γ constructs: one with long exons, one with short exons, and a ribozyme construct lacking exons. The long exons result in slower splicing, suggesting that they misfold and/or stabilize non-native intronic structure. Nevertheless, Mss116p acceleration of all three constructs depends upon ATP and is inhibited by mutations that compromise RNA unwinding, suggesting similar mechanisms. Results of splicing assays and a new two-stage assay that separates ribozyme folding and catalysis indicate that maximal folding of all three constructs by Mss116p requires ATP-dependent RNA unwinding. ATP-independent activation is appreciable for only a subpopulation of the minimal ribozyme construct and not for constructs containing exons. As expected for a general RNA chaperone, Mss116p can also disrupt the native ribozyme, which can refold after Mss116p removal. Finally, using yeast strains with mtDNA containing only the single intron aI5γ, we show that Mss116p mutants promote splicing in vivo to degrees that correlate with their residual ATP-dependent RNA-unwinding activities. Together, our results indicate that, although DEAD-box proteins play multiple roles in RNA folding, the physiological function of Mss116p in aI5γ splicing includes a requirement for ATP-dependent local unfolding, allowing conversion of non-functional to functional RNA structure. PMID:21679717

  20. 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

  1. An Alu-derived intronic splicing enhancer facilitates intronic processing and modulates aberrant splicing in ATM.

    PubMed

    Pastor, Tibor; Talotti, Gabriele; Lewandowska, Marzena Anna; Pagani, Franco

    2009-11-01

    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.

  2. Functional characterisation of an intron retaining K(+) transporter of barley reveals intron-mediated alternate splicing.

    PubMed

    Shahzad, K; Rauf, M; Ahmed, M; Malik, Z A; Habib, I; Ahmed, Z; Mahmood, K; Ali, R; Masmoudi, K; Lemtiri-Chlieh, F; Gehring, C; Berkowitz, G A; Saeed, N A

    2015-07-01

    Intron retention in transcripts and the presence of 5' and 3' splice sites within these introns mediate alternate splicing, which is widely observed in animals and plants. Here, functional characterisation of the K(+) transporter, HvHKT2;1, with stably retained introns from barley (Hordeum vulgare) in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), and transcript profiling in yeast and transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is presented. Expression of intron-retaining HvHKT2;1 cDNA (HvHKT2;1-i) in trk1, trk2 yeast strain defective in K(+) uptake restored growth in medium containing hygromycin in the presence of different concentrations of K(+) and mediated hypersensitivity to Na(+) . HvHKT2;1-i produces multiple transcripts via alternate splicing of two regular introns and three exons in different compositions. HKT isoforms with retained introns and exon skipping variants were detected in relative expression analysis of (i) HvHKT2;1-i in barley under native conditions, (ii) in transgenic tobacco plants constitutively expressing HvHKT2;1-i, and (iii) in trk1, trk2 yeast expressing HvHKT2;1-i under control of an inducible promoter. Mixed proportions of three HKT transcripts: HvHKT2;1-e (first exon region), HvHKT2;1-i1 (first intron) and HvHKT2;1-i2 (second intron) were observed. The variation in transcript accumulation in response to changing K(+) and Na(+) concentrations was observed in both heterologous and plant systems. These findings suggest a link between intron-retaining transcripts and different splice variants to ion homeostasis, and their possible role in salt stress.

  3. Splicing defective mutants of the COXI gene of yeast mitochondrial DNA: initial definition of the maturase domain of the group II intron aI2.

    PubMed

    Moran, J V; Mecklenburg, K L; Sass, P; Belcher, S M; Mahnke, D; Lewin, A; Perlman, P

    1994-06-11

    Six mutations blocking the function of a seven intron form of the mitochondrial gene encoding subunit I of cytochrome c oxidase (COXI) and mapping upstream of exon 3 were isolated and characterized. A cis-dominant mutant of the group IIA intron 1 defines a helical portion of the C1 substructure of domain 1 as essential for splicing. A trans-recessive mutant confirms that the intron 1 reading frame encodes a maturase function. A cis-dominant mutant in exon 2 was found to have no effect on the splicing of intron 1 or 2. A trans-recessive mutant, located in the group IIA intron 2, demonstrates for the first time that intron 2 encodes a maturase. A genetic dissection of the five missense mutations present in the intron 2 reading frame of that strain demonstrates that the maturase defect results from one or both of the missense mutations in a newly-recognized conserved sequence called domain X.

  4. Nuclear group I introns in self-splicing and beyond

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Group I introns are a distinct class of RNA self-splicing introns with an ancient origin. All known group I introns present in eukaryote nuclei interrupt functional ribosomal RNA genes located in ribosomal DNA loci. The discovery of the Tetrahymena intron more than 30 years ago has been essential to our understanding of group I intron catalysis, higher-order RNA structure, and RNA folding, but other intron models have provided information about the biological role. Nuclear group I introns appear widespread among eukaryotic microorganisms, and the plasmodial slime molds (myxomycetes) contain an abundance of self-splicing introns. Here, we summarize the main conclusions from previous work on the Tetrahymena intron on RNA self-splicing catalysis as well as more recent work on myxomycete intron biology. Group I introns in myxomycetes that represent different evolutionary stages, biological roles, and functional settings are discussed. PMID:23738941

  5. An organellar maturase associates with multiple group II introns

    PubMed Central

    Zoschke, Reimo; Nakamura, Masayuki; Liere, Karsten; Sugiura, Masahiro; Börner, Thomas; Schmitz-Linneweber, Christian

    2010-01-01

    Bacterial group II introns encode maturase proteins required for splicing. In organelles of photosynthetic land plants, most of the group II introns have lost the reading frames for maturases. Here, we show that the plastidial maturase MatK not only interacts with its encoding intron within trnK-UUU, but also with six additional group II introns, all belonging to intron subclass IIA. Mapping analyses of RNA binding sites revealed MatK to recognize multiple regions within the trnK intron. Organellar group II introns are considered to be the ancestors of nuclear spliceosomal introns. That MatK associates with multiple intron ligands makes it an attractive model for an early trans-acting nuclear splicing activity. PMID:20133623

  6. In vitro characterization of the splicing efficiency and fidelity of the RmInt1 group II intron as a means of controlling the dispersion of its host mobile element.

    PubMed

    Chillón, Isabel; Molina-Sánchez, María Dolores; Fedorova, Olga; García-Rodríguez, Fernando Manuel; Martínez-Abarca, Francisco; Toro, Nicolás

    2014-12-01

    Group II introns are catalytic RNAs that are excised from their precursors in a protein-dependent manner in vivo. Certain group II introns can also react in a protein-independent manner under nonphysiological conditions in vitro. The efficiency and fidelity of the splicing reaction is crucial, to guarantee the correct formation and expression of the protein-coding mRNA. RmInt1 is an efficient mobile intron found within the ISRm2011-2 insertion sequence in the symbiotic bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti. The RmInt1 intron self-splices in vitro, but this reaction generates side products due to a predicted cryptic IBS1* sequence within the 3' exon. We engineered an RmInt1 intron lacking the cryptic IBS1* sequence, which improved the fidelity of the splicing reaction. However, atypical circular forms of similar electrophoretic mobility to the lariat intron were nevertheless observed. We analyzed a run of four cytidine residues at the 3' splice site potentially responsible for a lack of fidelity at this site leading to the formation of circular intron forms. We showed that mutations of residues base-pairing in the tertiary EBS3-IBS3 interaction increased the efficiency and fidelity of the splicing reaction. Our results indicate that RmInt1 has developed strategies for decreasing its splicing efficiency and fidelity. RmInt1 makes use of unproductive splicing reactions to limit the transposition of the insertion sequence into which it inserts itself in its natural context, thereby preventing potentially harmful dispersion of ISRm2011-2 throughout the genome of its host.

  7. Group II Introns: Mobile Ribozymes that Invade DNA

    PubMed Central

    Lambowitz, Alan M.; Zimmerly, Steven

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Group II introns are mobile ribozymes that self-splice from precursor RNAs to yield excised intron lariat RNAs, which then invade new genomic DNA sites by reverse splicing. The introns encode a reverse transcriptase that stabilizes the catalytically active RNA structure for forward and reverse splicing, and afterwards converts the integrated intron RNA back into DNA. The characteristics of group II introns suggest that they or their close relatives were evolutionary ancestors of spliceosomal introns, the spliceosome, and retrotransposons in eukaryotes. Further, their ribozyme-based DNA integration mechanism enabled the development of group II introns into gene targeting vectors (“targetrons”), which have the unique feature of readily programmable DNA target specificity. PMID:20463000

  8. Splicing of intron 3 of human BACE requires the flanking introns 2 and 4.

    PubMed

    Annies, Maik; Stefani, Muriel; Hueber, Andreas; Fischer, Frauke; Paganetti, Paolo

    2009-10-16

    Regulation of proteolytic cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein by the aspartic protease BACE may occur by alternative splicing and the generation of enzymatically inactive forms. In fact, the presence of exonic donor and acceptor sites for intron 3 generates the two deficient variants BACE457 and BACE476. In HEK293 cells, when introns are inserted separately in the BACE cDNA, we found that whilst introns 2 and 4 are efficiently spliced out, intron 3 is not removed. On the other hand, splicing to wild-type BACE is restored when intron 3 is flanked by the two other introns. The presence of all three introns also leads to alternative splicing of intron 3 and the generation of BACE476. In contrast, BACE457 expression takes place only after mutating the donor splice site of intron 3, indicating that additional regulatory elements are necessary for the use of the splicing site within exon 4. Overall, our data demonstrate that a complex splicing of intron 3 regulates the maturation of the BACE mRNA. This appears orchestrated by domains present in the exons and introns flanking intron 3. Excessive BACE activity is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, therefore this complex regulation might guarantee low neuronal BACE activity and disease prevention.

  9. Structural basis for exon recognition by a group II intron

    SciTech Connect

    Toor, Navtej; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Keating, Kevin S.; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2008-11-18

    Free group II introns are infectious retroelements that can bind and insert themselves into RNA and DNA molecules via reverse splicing. Here we report the 3.4-A crystal structure of a complex between an oligonucleotide target substrate and a group IIC intron, as well as the refined free intron structure. The structure of the complex reveals the conformation of motifs involved in exon recognition by group II introns.

  10. Evolution of trans-splicing plant mitochondrial introns in pre-Permian times

    PubMed Central

    Malek, Olaf; Brennicke, Axel; Knoop, Volker

    1997-01-01

    Trans-splicing in angiosperm plant mitochondria connects exons from independent RNA molecules by means of group II intron fragments. Homologues of trans-splicing introns in the angiosperm mitochondrial nad2 and nad5 genes are now identified as uninterrupted group II introns in the ferns Asplenium nidus and Marsilea drummondii. These fern introns are correctly spliced from the pre-mRNA at the sites predicted from their well-conserved secondary structures. The flanking exon sequences of the nad2 and nad5 genes in the ferns require RNA editing, including the removal of in-frame stop codons by U-to-C changes for correct expression of the genetic information. We conclude that cis-splicing introns like the ones now identified in ferns are the ancestors of trans-splicing introns in angiosperm mitochondria. Intron disruption is apparently due to a size increase of the structurally variable group II intron domain IV followed by DNA recombination in the plant mitochondrial genome. PMID:9012822

  11. 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

  12. The peculiarities of large intron splicing in animals.

    PubMed

    Shepard, Samuel; McCreary, Mark; Fedorov, Alexei

    2009-11-16

    In mammals a considerable 92% of genes contain introns, with hundreds and hundreds of these introns reaching the incredible size of over 50,000 nucleotides. These "large introns" must be spliced out of the pre-mRNA in a timely fashion, which involves bringing together distant 5' and 3' acceptor and donor splice sites. In invertebrates, especially Drosophila, it has been shown that larger introns can be spliced efficiently through a process known as recursive splicing-a consecutive splicing from the 5'-end at a series of combined donor-acceptor splice sites called RP-sites. Using a computational analysis of the genomic sequences, we show that vertebrates lack the proper enrichment of RP-sites in their large introns, and, therefore, require some other method to aid splicing. We analyzed over 15,000 non-redundant, large introns from six mammals, 1,600 from chicken and zebrafish, and 560 non-redundant large introns from five invertebrates. Our bioinformatic investigation demonstrates that, unlike the studied invertebrates, the studied vertebrate genomes contain consistently abundant amounts of direct and complementary strand interspersed repetitive elements (mainly SINEs and LINEs) that may form stems with each other in large introns. This examination showed that predicted stems are indeed abundant and stable in the large introns of mammals. We hypothesize that such stems with long loops within large introns allow intron splice sites to find each other more quickly by folding the intronic RNA upon itself at smaller intervals and, thus, reducing the distance between donor and acceptor sites.

  13. Bacterial Group II Introns: Identification and Mobility Assay.

    PubMed

    Toro, Nicolás; Molina-Sánchez, María Dolores; Nisa-Martínez, Rafael; Martínez-Abarca, Francisco; García-Rodríguez, Fernando Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Group II introns are large catalytic RNAs and mobile retroelements that encode a reverse transcriptase. Here, we provide methods for their identification in bacterial genomes and further analysis of their splicing and mobility capacities.

  14. Alternatively spliced, spliceosomal twin introns in Helminthosporium solani.

    PubMed

    Ág, Norbert; Flipphi, Michel; Karaffa, Levente; Scazzocchio, Claudio; Fekete, Erzsébet

    2015-12-01

    Spliceosomal twin introns, "stwintrons", have been defined as complex intervening sequences that carry a second intron ("internal intron") interrupting one of the conserved sequence domains necessary for their correct splicing via consecutive excision events. Previously, we have described and experimentally verified stwintrons in species of Sordariomycetes, where an "internal intron" interrupted the donor sequence of an "external intron". Here we describe and experimentally verify two novel stwintrons of the potato pathogen Helminthosporium solani. One instance involves alternative splicing of an internal intron interrupting the donor domain of an external intron and a second one interrupting the acceptor domain of an overlapping external intron, both events leading to identical mature mRNAs. In the second case, an internal intron interrupts the donor domain of the external intron, while an alternatively spliced intron leads to an mRNA carrying a premature chain termination codon. We thus extend the stwintron concept to the acceptor domain and establish a link of the occurrence of stwintrons with that of alternative splicing.

  15. Correct in vivo RNA splicing of a mitochondrial intron in algal chloroplasts.

    PubMed Central

    Herdenberger, F; Holländer, V; Kück, U

    1994-01-01

    The self-splicing group II intron (rl1) from Scenedesmus obliquus mitochondria together with its 6 bp intron binding site (IBS1) were inserted in the correct and inverse orientation into the chloroplast tscA gene from C.reinhardtii. Precursor RNA derived from the chimeric tscA-rl1 gene can be used to demonstrate in vitro self-splicing of the rl1 intron RNA. Using the particle bombardment technique, the tscA-rl1 construct was transferred into the chloroplast of the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. We recovered transformants which contain the chimeric tscA-rl1 gene as shown by Southern analysis. Hybridization and PCR analysis of transcripts confirmed that the heterologous intron is correctly spliced in vivo. From sequencing of cDNA clones we conclude that the IBS1 sequence is sufficient for correct splicing of the mitochondrial intron in C. reinhardtii chloroplasts. Using specific probes, we demonstrate by Northern hybridization that the mature RNA, as well as an intron-3' exon intermediate, accumulate in transformants containing the rl1 intron, correctly inserted into the tscA gene. As expected, no RNA splicing at all was observed when the intron had an inverted orientation within the tscA gene. In addition, a mutated intron RNA with an altered 3' terminal nucleotide was tested in vivo. In contrast to similar mutants examined in vitro, this mutated RNA shows accumulated intron and intron-3' exon intermediates, but no ligated exons at all. Our approach should prove useful for elucidating nucleotide residues involved in splicing of organelle introns in vivo. Images PMID:7520566

  16. The Ll.LtrB intron from Lactococcus lactis excises as circles in vivo: insights into the group II intron circularization pathway.

    PubMed

    Monat, Caroline; Quiroga, Cecilia; Laroche-Johnston, Felix; Cousineau, Benoit

    2015-07-01

    Group II introns are large ribozymes that require the assistance of intron-encoded or free-standing maturases to splice from their pre-mRNAs in vivo. They mainly splice through the classical branching pathway, being released as RNA lariats. However, group II introns can also splice through secondary pathways like hydrolysis and circularization leading to the release of linear and circular introns, respectively. Here, we assessed in vivo splicing of various constructs of the Ll.LtrB group II intron from the Gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis. The study of excised intron junctions revealed, in addition to branched intron lariats, the presence of perfect end-to-end intron circles and alternatively circularized introns. Removal of the branch point A residue prevented Ll.LtrB excision through the branching pathway but did not hinder intron circle formation. Complete intron RNA circles were found associated with the intron-encoded protein LtrA forming nevertheless inactive RNPs. Traces of double-stranded head-to-tail intron DNA junctions were also detected in L. lactis RNA and nucleic acid extracts. Some intron circles and alternatively circularized introns harbored variable number of non-encoded nucleotides at their splice junction. The presence of mRNA fragments at the splice junction of some intron RNA circles provides insights into the group II intron circularization pathway in bacteria.

  17. Two CRM protein subfamilies cooperate in the splicing of group IIB introns in chloroplasts.

    PubMed

    Asakura, Yukari; Bayraktar, Omer Ali; Barkan, Alice

    2008-11-01

    Chloroplast genomes in angiosperms encode approximately 20 group II introns, approximately half of which are classified as subgroup IIB. The splicing of all but one of the subgroup IIB introns requires a heterodimer containing the peptidyl-tRNA hydrolase homolog CRS2 and one of two closely related proteins, CAF1 or CAF2, that harbor a recently recognized RNA binding domain called the CRM domain. Two CRS2/CAF-dependent introns require, in addition, a CRM domain protein called CFM2 that is only distantly related to CAF1 and CAF2. Here, we show that CFM3, a close relative of CFM2, associates in vivo with those CRS2/CAF-dependent introns that are not CFM2 ligands. Mutant phenotypes in rice and Arabidopsis support a role for CFM3 in the splicing of most of the introns with which it associates. These results show that either CAF1 or CAF2 and either CFM2 or CFM3 simultaneously bind most chloroplast subgroup IIB introns in vivo, and that the CAF and CFM subunits play nonredundant roles in splicing. These results suggest that the expansion of the CRM protein family in plants resulted in two subfamilies that play different roles in group II intron splicing, with further diversification within a subfamily to accommodate multiple intron ligands.

  18. Circularization pathway of a bacterial group II intron

    PubMed Central

    Monat, Caroline; Cousineau, Benoit

    2016-01-01

    Group II introns are large RNA enzymes that can excise as lariats, circles or in a linear form through branching, circularization or hydrolysis, respectively. Branching is by far the main and most studied splicing pathway while circularization was mostly overlooked. We previously showed that removal of the branch point A residue from Ll.LtrB, the group II intron from Lactococcus lactis, exclusively leads to circularization. However, the majority of the released intron circles harbored an additional C residue of unknown origin at the splice junction. Here, we exploited the Ll.LtrB-ΔA mutant to study the circularization pathway of bacterial group II introns in vivo. We demonstrated that the non-encoded C residue, present at the intron circle splice junction, corresponds to the first nt of exon 2. Intron circularization intermediates, harboring the first 2 or 3 nts of exon 2, were found to accumulate showing that branch point removal leads to 3′ splice site misrecognition. Traces of properly ligated exons were also detected functionally confirming that a small proportion of Ll.LtrB-ΔA circularizes accurately. Overall, our data provide the first detailed molecular analysis of the group II intron circularization pathway and suggests that circularization is a conserved splicing pathway in bacteria. PMID:26673697

  19. Retrohoming of a Mobile Group II Intron in Human Cells Suggests How Eukaryotes Limit Group II Intron Proliferation.

    PubMed

    Truong, David M; Hewitt, F Curtis; Hanson, Joseph H; Cui, Xiaoxia; Lambowitz, Alan M

    2015-08-01

    Mobile bacterial group II introns are evolutionary ancestors of spliceosomal introns and retroelements in eukaryotes. They consist of an autocatalytic intron RNA (a "ribozyme") and an intron-encoded reverse transcriptase, which function together to promote intron integration into new DNA sites by a mechanism termed "retrohoming". Although mobile group II introns splice and retrohome efficiently in bacteria, all examined thus far function inefficiently in eukaryotes, where their ribozyme activity is limited by low Mg2+ concentrations, and intron-containing transcripts are subject to nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) and translational repression. Here, by using RNA polymerase II to express a humanized group II intron reverse transcriptase and T7 RNA polymerase to express intron transcripts resistant to NMD, we find that simply supplementing culture medium with Mg2+ induces the Lactococcus lactis Ll.LtrB intron to retrohome into plasmid and chromosomal sites, the latter at frequencies up to ~0.1%, in viable HEK-293 cells. Surprisingly, under these conditions, the Ll.LtrB intron reverse transcriptase is required for retrohoming but not for RNA splicing as in bacteria. By using a genetic assay for in vivo selections combined with deep sequencing, we identified intron RNA mutations that enhance retrohoming in human cells, but <4-fold and not without added Mg2+. Further, the selected mutations lie outside the ribozyme catalytic core, which appears not readily modified to function efficiently at low Mg2+ concentrations. Our results reveal differences between group II intron retrohoming in human cells and bacteria and suggest constraints on critical nucleotide residues of the ribozyme core that limit how much group II intron retrohoming in eukaryotes can be enhanced. These findings have implications for group II intron use for gene targeting in eukaryotes and suggest how differences in intracellular Mg2+ concentrations between bacteria and eukarya may have impacted the

  20. Retrohoming of a Mobile Group II Intron in Human Cells Suggests How Eukaryotes Limit Group II Intron Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Truong, David M.; Hewitt, F. Curtis; Hanson, Joseph H.; Cui, Xiaoxia; Lambowitz, Alan M.

    2015-01-01

    Mobile bacterial group II introns are evolutionary ancestors of spliceosomal introns and retroelements in eukaryotes. They consist of an autocatalytic intron RNA (a “ribozyme”) and an intron-encoded reverse transcriptase, which function together to promote intron integration into new DNA sites by a mechanism termed “retrohoming”. Although mobile group II introns splice and retrohome efficiently in bacteria, all examined thus far function inefficiently in eukaryotes, where their ribozyme activity is limited by low Mg2+ concentrations, and intron-containing transcripts are subject to nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) and translational repression. Here, by using RNA polymerase II to express a humanized group II intron reverse transcriptase and T7 RNA polymerase to express intron transcripts resistant to NMD, we find that simply supplementing culture medium with Mg2+ induces the Lactococcus lactis Ll.LtrB intron to retrohome into plasmid and chromosomal sites, the latter at frequencies up to ~0.1%, in viable HEK-293 cells. Surprisingly, under these conditions, the Ll.LtrB intron reverse transcriptase is required for retrohoming but not for RNA splicing as in bacteria. By using a genetic assay for in vivo selections combined with deep sequencing, we identified intron RNA mutations that enhance retrohoming in human cells, but <4-fold and not without added Mg2+. Further, the selected mutations lie outside the ribozyme catalytic core, which appears not readily modified to function efficiently at low Mg2+ concentrations. Our results reveal differences between group II intron retrohoming in human cells and bacteria and suggest constraints on critical nucleotide residues of the ribozyme core that limit how much group II intron retrohoming in eukaryotes can be enhanced. These findings have implications for group II intron use for gene targeting in eukaryotes and suggest how differences in intracellular Mg2+ concentrations between bacteria and eukarya may have impacted the

  1. Splicing-Related Features of Introns Serve to Propel Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yuping; Li, Chun; Gong, Xi; Wang, Yanlu; Zhang, Kunshan; Cui, Yaru; Sun, Yi Eve; Li, Siguang

    2013-01-01

    The role of spliceosomal intronic structures played in evolution has only begun to be elucidated. Comparative genomic analyses of fungal snoRNA sequences, which are often contained within introns and/or exons, revealed that about one-third of snoRNA-associated introns in three major snoRNA gene clusters manifested polymorphisms, likely resulting from intron loss and gain events during fungi evolution. Genomic deletions can clearly be observed as one mechanism underlying intron and exon loss, as well as generation of complex introns where several introns lie in juxtaposition without intercalating exons. Strikingly, by tracking conserved snoRNAs in introns, we found that some introns had moved from one position to another by excision from donor sites and insertion into target sties elsewhere in the genome without needing transposon structures. This study revealed the origin of many newly gained introns. Moreover, our analyses suggested that intron-containing sequences were more prone to sustainable structural changes than DNA sequences without introns due to intron's ability to jump within the genome via unknown mechanisms. We propose that splicing-related structural features of introns serve as an additional motor to propel evolution. PMID:23516505

  2. Mechanisms Used for Genomic Proliferation by Thermophilic Group II Introns

    PubMed Central

    Mohr, Georg; Ghanem, Eman; Lambowitz, Alan M.

    2010-01-01

    Mobile group II introns, which are found in bacterial and organellar genomes, are site-specific retroelments hypothesized to be evolutionary ancestors of spliceosomal introns and retrotransposons in higher organisms. Most bacteria, however, contain no more than one or a few group II introns, making it unclear how introns could have proliferated to higher copy numbers in eukaryotic genomes. An exception is the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus, which contains 28 closely related copies of a group II intron, constituting ∼1.3% of the genome. Here, by using a combination of bioinformatics and mobility assays at different temperatures, we identified mechanisms that contribute to the proliferation of T. elongatus group II introns. These mechanisms include divergence of DNA target specificity to avoid target site saturation; adaptation of some intron-encoded reverse transcriptases to splice and mobilize multiple degenerate introns that do not encode reverse transcriptases, leading to a common splicing apparatus; and preferential insertion within other mobile introns or insertion elements, which provide new unoccupied sites in expanding non-essential DNA regions. Additionally, unlike mesophilic group II introns, the thermophilic T. elongatus introns rely on elevated temperatures to help promote DNA strand separation, enabling access to a larger number of DNA target sites by base pairing of the intron RNA, with minimal constraint from the reverse transcriptase. Our results provide insight into group II intron proliferation mechanisms and show that higher temperatures, which are thought to have prevailed on Earth during the emergence of eukaryotes, favor intron proliferation by increasing the accessibility of DNA target sites. We also identify actively mobile thermophilic introns, which may be useful for structural studies, gene targeting in thermophiles, and as a source of thermostable reverse transcriptases. PMID:20543989

  3. Crystal structure of a group II intron in the pre-catalytic state

    SciTech Connect

    Chan, Russell T.; Robart, Aaron R.; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R.; Pyle, Anna Marie; Toor, Navtej

    2012-12-10

    Group II introns are self-splicing catalytic RNAs that are thought to be ancestral to the spliceosome. Here we report the 3.65-{angstrom} crystal structure of the group II intron from Oceanobacillus iheyensis in the pre-catalytic state. The structure reveals the conformation of the 5' splice site in the catalytic core and represents the first structure of an intron prior to the first step of splicing.

  4. Intron cleavage affects processing of alternatively spliced transcripts

    PubMed Central

    Pastor, Tibor; Dal Mas, Andrea; Talotti, Gabriele; Bussani, Erica; Pagani, Franco

    2011-01-01

    We previously showed that the insertion of a hammerhead ribozyme (Rz) in a critical intronic position between the EDA exon and a downstream regulatory element affects alternative splicing. Here we evaluate the effect of other intronic cotranscriptional cleavage events on alternative pre-mRNA processing using different ribozymes (Rz) and Microprocessor target sequences (MTSs). In the context of the fibronectin EDA minigene, intronic MTSs were cleaved very inefficiently and did not affect alternative splicing or the level of mature transcripts. On the contrary, all hammerhead Rz derivatives and hepatitis δ Rz were completely cleaved before a splicing decision and able to affect alternative splicing. Despite the very efficient Rz-mediated cleavage, the levels of mature mRNA were only reduced to ∼40%. We show that this effect on mature transcripts occurs regardless of the type and intronic position of Rzs, or changes in alternative splicing and exon definition. Thus, we suggest that intron integrity is not strictly required for splicing but is necessary for efficient pre-mRNA biosynthesis. PMID:21673105

  5. Functional studies on the ATM intronic splicing processing element.

    PubMed

    Lewandowska, Marzena A; Stuani, Cristiana; Parvizpur, Alireza; Baralle, Francisco E; Pagani, Franco

    2005-01-01

    In disease-associated genes, the understanding of the functional significance of deep intronic nucleotide variants may represent a difficult challenge. We have previously reported a new disease-causing mechanism that involves an intronic splicing processing element (ISPE) in ATM, composed of adjacent consensus 5' and 3' splice sites. A GTAA deletion within ISPE maintains potential adjacent splice sites, disrupts a non-canonical U1 snRNP interaction and activates an aberrant exon. In this paper, we demonstrate that binding of U1 snRNA through complementarity within a approximately 40 nt window downstream of the ISPE prevents aberrant splicing. By selective mutagenesis at the adjacent consensus ISPE splice sites, we show that this effect is not due to a resplicing process occurring at the ISPE. Functional comparison of the ATM mouse counterpart and evaluation of the pre-mRNA splicing intermediates derived from affected cell lines and hybrid minigene assays indicate that U1 snRNP binding at the ISPE interferes with the cryptic acceptor site. Activation of this site results in a stringent 5'-3' order of intron sequence removal around the cryptic exon. Artificial U1 snRNA loading by complementarity to heterologous exonic sequences represents a potential therapeutic method to prevent the usage of an aberrant CFTR cryptic exon. Our results suggest that ISPE-like intronic elements binding U1 snRNPs may regulate correct intron processing.

  6. Functional studies on the ATM intronic splicing processing element

    PubMed Central

    Lewandowska, Marzena A.; Stuani, Cristiana; Parvizpur, Alireza; Baralle, Francisco E.; Pagani, Franco

    2005-01-01

    In disease-associated genes, the understanding of the functional significance of deep intronic nucleotide variants may represent a difficult challenge. We have previously reported a new disease-causing mechanism that involves an intronic splicing processing element (ISPE) in ATM, composed of adjacent consensus 5′ and 3′ splice sites. A GTAA deletion within ISPE maintains potential adjacent splice sites, disrupts a non-canonical U1 snRNP interaction and activates an aberrant exon. In this paper, we demonstrate that binding of U1 snRNA through complementarity within a ∼40 nt window downstream of the ISPE prevents aberrant splicing. By selective mutagenesis at the adjacent consensus ISPE splice sites, we show that this effect is not due to a resplicing process occurring at the ISPE. Functional comparison of the ATM mouse counterpart and evaluation of the pre-mRNA splicing intermediates derived from affected cell lines and hybrid minigene assays indicate that U1 snRNP binding at the ISPE interferes with the cryptic acceptor site. Activation of this site results in a stringent 5′–3′ order of intron sequence removal around the cryptic exon. Artificial U1 snRNA loading by complementarity to heterologous exonic sequences represents a potential therapeutic method to prevent the usage of an aberrant CFTR cryptic exon. Our results suggest that ISPE-like intronic elements binding U1 snRNPs may regulate correct intron processing. PMID:16030351

  7. The low information content of Neurospora splicing signals: implications for RNA splicing and intron origin.

    PubMed

    Collins, Richard A; Stajich, Jason E; Field, Deborah J; Olive, Joan E; DeAbreu, Diane M

    2015-05-01

    When we expressed a small (0.9 kb) nonprotein-coding transcript derived from the mitochondrial VS plasmid in the nucleus of Neurospora we found that it was efficiently spliced at one or more of eight 5' splice sites and ten 3' splice sites, which are present apparently by chance in the sequence. Further experimental and bioinformatic analyses of other mitochondrial plasmids, random sequences, and natural nuclear genes in Neurospora and other fungi indicate that fungal spliceosomes recognize a wide range of 5' splice site and branchpoint sequences and predict introns to be present at high frequency in random sequence. In contrast, analysis of intronless fungal nuclear genes indicates that branchpoint, 5' splice site and 3' splice site consensus sequences are underrepresented compared with random sequences. This underrepresentation of splicing signals is sufficient to deplete the nuclear genome of splice sites at locations that do not comprise biologically relevant introns. Thus, the splicing machinery can recognize a wide range of splicing signal sequences, but splicing still occurs with great accuracy, not because the splicing machinery distinguishes correct from incorrect introns, but because incorrect introns are substantially depleted from the genome.

  8. Introns and Splicing Elements of Five Diverse Fungi†

    PubMed Central

    Kupfer, Doris M.; Drabenstot, Scott D.; Buchanan, Kent L.; Lai, Hongshing; Zhu, Hua; Dyer, David W.; Roe, Bruce A.; Murphy, Juneann W.

    2004-01-01

    Genomic sequences and expressed sequence tag data for a diverse group of fungi (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Aspergillus nidulans, Neurospora crassa, and Cryptococcus neoformans) provided the opportunity to accurately characterize conserved intronic elements. An examination of large intron data sets revealed that fungal introns in general are short, that 98% or more of them belong to the canonical splice site (ss) class (5′GU…AG3′), and that they have polypyrimidine tracts predominantly in the region between the 5′ ss and the branch point. Information content is high in the 5′ ss, branch site, and 3′ ss regions of the introns but low in the exon regions adjacent to the introns in the fungi examined. The two yeasts have broader intron length ranges and correspondingly higher intron information content than the other fungi. Generally, as intron length increases in the fungi, so does intron information content. Homologs of U2AF spliceosomal proteins were found in all species except for S. cerevisiae, suggesting a nonconventional role for U2AF in the absence of canonical polypyrimidine tracts in the majority of introns. Our observations imply that splicing in fungi may be different from that in vertebrates and may require additional proteins that interact with polypyrimidine tracts upstream of the branch point. Theoretical protein homologs for Nam8p and TIA-1, two proteins that require U-rich regions upstream of the branch point to function, were found. There appear to be sufficient differences between S. cerevisiae and S. pombe introns and the introns of two filamentous members of the Ascomycota and one member of the Basidiomycota to warrant the development of new model organisms for studying the splicing mechanisms of fungi. PMID:15470237

  9. Cutting a Long Intron Short: Recursive Splicing and Its Implications

    PubMed Central

    Georgomanolis, Theodore; Sofiadis, Konstantinos; Papantonis, Argyris

    2016-01-01

    Over time eukaryotic genomes have evolved to host genes carrying multiple exons separated by increasingly larger intronic, mostly non-protein-coding, sequences. Initially, little attention was paid to these intronic sequences, as they were considered not to contain regulatory information. However, advances in molecular biology, sequencing, and computational tools uncovered that numerous segments within these genomic elements do contribute to the regulation of gene expression. Introns are differentially removed in a cell type-specific manner to produce a range of alternatively-spliced transcripts, and many span tens to hundreds of kilobases. Recent work in human and fruitfly tissues revealed that long introns are extensively processed cotranscriptionally and in a stepwise manner, before their two flanking exons are spliced together. This process, called “recursive splicing,” often involves non-canonical splicing elements positioned deep within introns, and different mechanisms for its deployment have been proposed. Still, the very existence and widespread nature of recursive splicing offers a new regulatory layer in the transcript maturation pathway, which may also have implications in human disease. PMID:27965595

  10. Ancient nature of alternative splicing and functions of introns

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Kemin; Salamov, Asaf; Kuo, Alan; Aerts, Andrea; Grigoriev, Igor

    2011-03-21

    Using four genomes: Chamydomonas reinhardtii, Agaricus bisporus, Aspergillus carbonarius, and Sporotricum thermophile with EST coverage of 2.9x, 8.9x, 29.5x, and 46.3x respectively, we identified 11 alternative splicing (AS) types that were dominated by intron retention (RI; biased toward short introns) and found 15, 35, 52, and 63percent AS of multiexon genes respectively. Genes with AS were more ancient, and number of AS correlated with number of exons, expression level, and maximum intron length of the gene. Introns with tendency to be retained had either stop codons or length of 3n+1 or 3n+2 presumably triggering nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), but introns retained in major isoforms (0.2-6percent of all introns) were biased toward 3n length and stop codon free. Stopless introns were biased toward phase 0, but 3n introns favored phase 1 that introduced more flexible and hydrophilic amino acids on both ends of introns which would be less disruptive to protein structure. We proposed a model in which minor RI intron could evolve into major RI that could facilitate intron loss through exonization.

  11. Structure of a group II intron in complex with its reverse transcriptase.

    PubMed

    Qu, Guosheng; Kaushal, Prem Singh; Wang, Jia; Shigematsu, Hideki; Piazza, Carol Lyn; Agrawal, Rajendra Kumar; Belfort, Marlene; Wang, Hong-Wei

    2016-06-01

    Bacterial group II introns are large catalytic RNAs related to nuclear spliceosomal introns and eukaryotic retrotransposons. They self-splice, yielding mature RNA, and integrate into DNA as retroelements. A fully active group II intron forms a ribonucleoprotein complex comprising the intron ribozyme and an intron-encoded protein that performs multiple activities including reverse transcription, in which intron RNA is copied into the DNA target. Here we report cryo-EM structures of an endogenously spliced Lactococcus lactis group IIA intron in its ribonucleoprotein complex form at 3.8-Å resolution and in its protein-depleted form at 4.5-Å resolution, revealing functional coordination of the intron RNA with the protein. Remarkably, the protein structure reveals a close relationship between the reverse transcriptase catalytic domain and telomerase, whereas the active splicing center resembles the spliceosomal Prp8 protein. These extraordinary similarities hint at intricate ancestral relationships and provide new insights into splicing and retromobility.

  12. Nested introns in an intron: evidence of multi-step splicing in a large intron of the human dystrophin pre-mRNA.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Hitoshi; Kameyama, Toshiki; Ohe, Kenji; Tsukahara, Toshifumi; Mayeda, Akila

    2013-03-18

    The mechanisms by which huge human introns are spliced out precisely are poorly understood. We analyzed large intron 7 (110199 nucleotides) generated from the human dystrophin (DMD) pre-mRNA by RT-PCR. We identified branching between the authentic 5' splice site and the branch point; however, the sequences far from the branch site were not detectable. This RT-PCR product was resistant to exoribonuclease (RNase R) digestion, suggesting that the detected lariat intron has a closed loop structure but contains gaps in its sequence. Transient and concomitant generation of at least two branched fragments from nested introns within large intron 7 suggests internal nested splicing events before the ultimate splicing at the authentic 5' and 3' splice sites. Nested splicing events, which bring the authentic 5' and 3' splice sites into close proximity, could be one of the splicing mechanisms for the extremely large introns.

  13. Detained introns are a novel, widespread class of post-transcriptionally spliced introns

    PubMed Central

    Boutz, Paul L.; Bhutkar, Arjun

    2015-01-01

    Deep sequencing of embryonic stem cell RNA revealed many specific internal introns that are significantly more abundant than the other introns within polyadenylated transcripts; we classified these as “detained” introns (DIs). We identified thousands of DIs, many of which are evolutionarily conserved, in human and mouse cell lines as well as the adult mouse liver. DIs can have half-lives of over an hour yet remain in the nucleus and are not subject to nonsense-mediated decay (NMD). Drug inhibition of Clk, a stress-responsive kinase, triggered rapid splicing changes for a specific subset of DIs; half showed increased splicing, and half showed increased intron detention, altering transcript pools of >300 genes. Srsf4, which undergoes a dramatic phosphorylation shift in response to Clk kinase inhibition, regulates the splicing of some DIs, particularly in genes encoding RNA processing and splicing factors. The splicing of some DIs—including those in Mdm4, a negative regulator of p53—was also altered following DNA damage. After 4 h of Clk inhibition, the expression of >400 genes changed significantly, and almost one-third of these are p53 transcriptional targets. These data suggest a widespread mechanism by which the rate of splicing of DIs contributes to the level of gene expression. PMID:25561496

  14. Splicing enhancement in the yeast rp51b intron.

    PubMed Central

    Libri, D; Lescure, A; Rosbash, M

    2000-01-01

    Splicing enhancement in higher eukaryotes has been linked to SR proteins, to U1 snRNP, and to communication between splice sites across introns or exons mediated by protein-protein interactions. It has been previously shown that, in yeast, communication mediated by RNA-RNA interactions between the two ends of introns is a basis for splicing enhancement. We designed experiments of randomization-selection to isolate splicing enhancers that would work independently from RNA secondary structures. Surprisingly, one of the two families of sequences selected was essentially composed of 5' splice site variants. We show that this sequence enhances splicing independently of secondary structure, is exportable to heterologous contexts, and works in multiple copies with additive effects. The data argue in favor of an early role for splicing enhancement, possibly coincident with commitment complex formation. Genetic compensation experiments with U1 snRNA mutants suggest that U1 snRNP binding to noncanonical locations is required for splicing enhancement. PMID:10744020

  15. Splice Sites Seldom Slide: Intron Evolution in Oomycetes

    PubMed Central

    Sêton Bocco, Steven; Csűrös, Miklós

    2016-01-01

    We examine exon junctions near apparent amino acid insertions and deletions in alignments of orthologous protein-coding genes. In 1,917 ortholog families across nine oomycete genomes, 10–20% of introns are near an alignment gap, indicating at first sight that splice-site displacements are frequent. We designed a robust algorithmic procedure for the delineation of intron-containing homologous regions, and combined it with a parsimony-based reconstruction of intron loss, gain, and splice-site shift events on a phylogeny. The reconstruction implies that 12% of introns underwent an acceptor-site shift, and 10% underwent a donor-site shift. In order to offset gene annotation problems, we amended the procedure with the reannotation of intron boundaries using alignment evidence. The corresponding reconstruction involves much fewer intron gain and splice-site shift events. The frequency of acceptor- and donor-side shifts drops to 4% and 3%, respectively, which are not much different from what one would expect by random codon insertions and deletions. In other words, gaps near exon junctions are mostly artifacts of gene annotation rather than evidence of sliding intron boundaries. Our study underscores the importance of using well-supported gene structure annotations in comparative studies. When transcription evidence is not available, we propose a robust ancestral reconstruction procedure that corrects misannotated intron boundaries using sequence alignments. The results corroborate the view that boundary shifts and complete intron sliding are only accidental in eukaryotic genome evolution and have a negligible impact on protein diversity. PMID:27412607

  16. Splice Sites Seldom Slide: Intron Evolution in Oomycetes.

    PubMed

    Sêton Bocco, Steven; Csűrös, Miklós

    2016-08-25

    We examine exon junctions near apparent amino acid insertions and deletions in alignments of orthologous protein-coding genes. In 1,917 ortholog families across nine oomycete genomes, 10-20% of introns are near an alignment gap, indicating at first sight that splice-site displacements are frequent. We designed a robust algorithmic procedure for the delineation of intron-containing homologous regions, and combined it with a parsimony-based reconstruction of intron loss, gain, and splice-site shift events on a phylogeny. The reconstruction implies that 12% of introns underwent an acceptor-site shift, and 10% underwent a donor-site shift. In order to offset gene annotation problems, we amended the procedure with the reannotation of intron boundaries using alignment evidence. The corresponding reconstruction involves much fewer intron gain and splice-site shift events. The frequency of acceptor- and donor-side shifts drops to 4% and 3%, respectively, which are not much different from what one would expect by random codon insertions and deletions. In other words, gaps near exon junctions are mostly artifacts of gene annotation rather than evidence of sliding intron boundaries. Our study underscores the importance of using well-supported gene structure annotations in comparative studies. When transcription evidence is not available, we propose a robust ancestral reconstruction procedure that corrects misannotated intron boundaries using sequence alignments. The results corroborate the view that boundary shifts and complete intron sliding are only accidental in eukaryotic genome evolution and have a negligible impact on protein diversity. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  17. Multiple splicing defects in an intronic false exon.

    PubMed

    Sun, H; Chasin, L A

    2000-09-01

    Splice site consensus sequences alone are insufficient to dictate the recognition of real constitutive splice sites within the typically large transcripts of higher eukaryotes, and large numbers of pseudoexons flanked by pseudosplice sites with good matches to the consensus sequences can be easily designated. In an attempt to identify elements that prevent pseudoexon splicing, we have systematically altered known splicing signals, as well as immediately adjacent flanking sequences, of an arbitrarily chosen pseudoexon from intron 1 of the human hprt gene. The substitution of a 5' splice site that perfectly matches the 5' consensus combined with mutation to match the CAG/G sequence of the 3' consensus failed to get this model pseudoexon included as the central exon in a dhfr minigene context. Provision of a real 3' splice site and a consensus 5' splice site and removal of an upstream inhibitory sequence were necessary and sufficient to confer splicing on the pseudoexon. This activated context also supported the splicing of a second pseudoexon sequence containing no apparent enhancer. Thus, both the 5' splice site sequence and the polypyrimidine tract of the pseudoexon are defective despite their good agreement with the consensus. On the other hand, the pseudoexon body did not exert a negative influence on splicing. The introduction into the pseudoexon of a sequence selected for binding to ASF/SF2 or its replacement with beta-globin exon 2 only partially reversed the effect of the upstream negative element and the defective polypyrimidine tract. These results support the idea that exon-bridging enhancers are not a prerequisite for constitutive exon definition and suggest that intrinsically defective splice sites and negative elements play important roles in distinguishing the real splicing signal from the vast number of false splicing signals.

  18. Crystal structure of a group I intron splicing intermediate

    PubMed Central

    ADAMS, PETER L.; STAHLEY, MARY R.; GILL, MICHELLE L.; KOSEK, ANNE B.; WANG, JIMIN; STROBEL, SCOTT A.

    2004-01-01

    A recently reported crystal structure of an intact bacterial group I self-splicing intron in complex with both its exons provided the first molecular view into the mechanism of RNA splicing. This intron structure, which was trapped in the state prior to the exon ligation reaction, also reveals the architecture of a complex RNA fold. The majority of the intron is contained within three internally stacked, but sequence discontinuous, helical domains. Here the tertiary hydrogen bonding and stacking interactions between the domains, and the single-stranded joiner segments that bridge between them, are fully described. Features of the structure include: (1) A pseudoknot belt that circumscribes the molecule at its longitudinal midpoint; (2) two tetraloop-tetraloop receptor motifs at the peripheral edges of the structure; (3) an extensive minor groove triplex between the paired and joiner segments, P6-J6/6a and P3-J3/4, which provides the major interaction interface between the intron’s two primary domains (P4-P6 and P3-P9.0); (4) a six-nucleotide J8/7 single stranded element that adopts a μ-shaped structure and twists through the active site, making critical contacts to all three helical domains; and (5) an extensive base stacking architecture that realizes 90% of all possible stacking interactions. The intron structure was validated by hydroxyl radical footprinting, where strong correlation was observed between experimental and predicted solvent accessibility. Models of the pre-first and pre-second steps of intron splicing are proposed with full-sized tRNA exons. They suggest that the tRNA undergoes substantial angular motion relative to the intron between the two steps of splicing. PMID:15547134

  19. Mobile Bacterial Group II Introns at the Crux of Eukaryotic Evolution.

    PubMed

    Lambowitz, Alan M; Belfort, Marlene

    2015-02-01

    This review focuses on recent developments in our understanding of group II intron function, the relationships of these introns to retrotransposons and spliceosomes, and how their common features have informed thinking about bacterial group II introns as key elements in eukaryotic evolution. Reverse transcriptase-mediated and host factor-aided intron retrohoming pathways are considered along with retrotransposition mechanisms to novel sites in bacteria, where group II introns are thought to have originated. DNA target recognition and movement by target-primed reverse transcription infer an evolutionary relationship among group II introns, non-LTR retrotransposons, such as LINE elements, and telomerase. Additionally, group II introns are almost certainly the progenitors of spliceosomal introns. Their profound similarities include splicing chemistry extending to RNA catalysis, reaction stereochemistry, and the position of two divalent metals that perform catalysis at the RNA active site. There are also sequence and structural similarities between group II introns and the spliceosome's small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) and between a highly conserved core spliceosomal protein Prp8 and a group II intron-like reverse transcriptase. It has been proposed that group II introns entered eukaryotes during bacterial endosymbiosis or bacterial-archaeal fusion, proliferated within the nuclear genome, necessitating evolution of the nuclear envelope, and fragmented giving rise to spliceosomal introns. Thus, these bacterial self-splicing mobile elements have fundamentally impacted the composition of extant eukaryotic genomes, including the human genome, most of which is derived from close relatives of mobile group II introns.

  20. Mobile Bacterial Group II Introns at the Crux of Eukaryotic Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Lambowitz, Alan M.; Belfort, Marlene

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY This review focuses on recent developments in our understanding of group II intron function, the relationships of these introns to retrotransposons and spliceosomes, and how their common features have informed thinking about bacterial group II introns as key elements in eukaryotic evolution. Reverse transcriptase-mediated and host factor-aided intron retrohoming pathways are considered along with retrotransposition mechanisms to novel sites in bacteria, where group II introns are thought to have originated. DNA target recognition and movement by target-primed reverse transcription infer an evolutionary relationship among group II introns, non-LTR retrotransposons, such as LINE elements, and telomerase. Additionally, group II introns are almost certainly the progenitors of spliceosomal introns. Their profound similarities include splicing chemistry extending to RNA catalysis, reaction stereochemistry, and the position of two divalent metals that perform catalysis at the RNA active site. There are also sequence and structural similarities between group II introns and the spliceosome’s small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) and between a highly conserved core spliceosomal protein Prp8 and a group II intron-like reverse transcriptase. It has been proposed that group II introns entered eukaryotes during bacterial endosymbiosis or bacterial-archaeal fusion, proliferated within the nuclear genome, necessitating evolution of the nuclear envelope, and fragmented giving rise to spliceosomal introns. Thus, these bacterial self-splicing mobile elements have fundamentally impacted the composition of extant eukaryotic genomes, including the human genome, most of which is derived from close relatives of mobile group II introns. PMID:25878921

  1. The brown algae Pl.LSU/2 group II intron-encoded protein has functional reverse transcriptase and maturase activities.

    PubMed

    Zerbato, Madeleine; Holic, Nathalie; Moniot-Frin, Sophie; Ingrao, Dina; Galy, Anne; Perea, Javier

    2013-01-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing mobile elements found in prokaryotes and eukaryotic organelles. These introns propagate by homing into precise genomic locations, following assembly of a ribonucleoprotein complex containing the intron-encoded protein (IEP) and the spliced intron RNA. Engineered group II introns are now commonly used tools for targeted genomic modifications in prokaryotes but not in eukaryotes. We speculate that the catalytic activation of currently known group II introns is limited in eukaryotic cells. The brown algae Pylaiella littoralis Pl.LSU/2 group II intron is uniquely capable of in vitro ribozyme activity at physiological level of magnesium but this intron remains poorly characterized. We purified and characterized recombinant Pl.LSU/2 IEP. Unlike most IEPs, Pl.LSU/2 IEP displayed a reverse transcriptase activity without intronic RNA. The Pl.LSU/2 intron could be engineered to splice accurately in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and splicing efficiency was increased by the maturase activity of the IEP. However, spliced transcripts were not expressed. Furthermore, intron splicing was not detected in human cells. While further tool development is needed, these data provide the first functional characterization of the PI.LSU/2 IEP and the first evidence that the Pl.LSU/2 group II intron splicing occurs in vivo in eukaryotes in an IEP-dependent manner.

  2. The Brown Algae Pl.LSU/2 Group II Intron-Encoded Protein Has Functional Reverse Transcriptase and Maturase Activities

    PubMed Central

    Zerbato, Madeleine; Holic, Nathalie; Moniot-Frin, Sophie; Ingrao, Dina; Galy, Anne; Perea, Javier

    2013-01-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing mobile elements found in prokaryotes and eukaryotic organelles. These introns propagate by homing into precise genomic locations, following assembly of a ribonucleoprotein complex containing the intron-encoded protein (IEP) and the spliced intron RNA. Engineered group II introns are now commonly used tools for targeted genomic modifications in prokaryotes but not in eukaryotes. We speculate that the catalytic activation of currently known group II introns is limited in eukaryotic cells. The brown algae Pylaiella littoralis Pl.LSU/2 group II intron is uniquely capable of in vitro ribozyme activity at physiological level of magnesium but this intron remains poorly characterized. We purified and characterized recombinant Pl.LSU/2 IEP. Unlike most IEPs, Pl.LSU/2 IEP displayed a reverse transcriptase activity without intronic RNA. The Pl.LSU/2 intron could be engineered to splice accurately in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and splicing efficiency was increased by the maturase activity of the IEP. However, spliced transcripts were not expressed. Furthermore, intron splicing was not detected in human cells. While further tool development is needed, these data provide the first functional characterization of the PI.LSU/2 IEP and the first evidence that the Pl.LSU/2 group II intron splicing occurs in vivo in eukaryotes in an IEP-dependent manner. PMID:23505475

  3. Predicted group II intron lineages E and F comprise catalytically active ribozymes.

    PubMed

    Nagy, Vivien; Pirakitikulr, Nathan; Zhou, Katherine Ismei; Chillón, Isabel; Luo, Jerome; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2013-09-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing, retrotransposable ribozymes that contribute to gene expression and evolution in most organisms. The ongoing identification of new group II introns and recent bioinformatic analyses have suggested that there are novel lineages, which include the group IIE and IIF introns. Because the function and biochemical activity of group IIE and IIF introns have never been experimentally tested and because these introns appear to have features that distinguish them from other introns, we set out to determine if they were indeed self-splicing, catalytically active RNA molecules. To this end, we transcribed and studied a set of diverse group IIE and IIF introns, quantitatively characterizing their in vitro self-splicing reactivity, ionic requirements, and reaction products. In addition, we used mutational analysis to determine the relative role of the EBS-IBS 1 and 2 recognition elements during splicing by these introns. We show that group IIE and IIF introns are indeed distinct active intron families, with different reactivities and structures. We show that the group IIE introns self-splice exclusively through the hydrolytic pathway, while group IIF introns can also catalyze transesterifications. Intriguingly, we observe one group IIF intron that forms circular intron. Finally, despite an apparent EBS2-IBS2 duplex in the sequences of these introns, we find that this interaction plays no role during self-splicing in vitro. It is now clear that the group IIE and IIF introns are functional ribozymes, with distinctive properties that may be useful for biotechnological applications, and which may contribute to the biology of host organisms.

  4. Predicted group II intron lineages E and F comprise catalytically active ribozymes

    PubMed Central

    Nagy, Vivien; Pirakitikulr, Nathan; Zhou, Katherine Ismei; Chillón, Isabel; Luo, Jerome; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2013-01-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing, retrotransposable ribozymes that contribute to gene expression and evolution in most organisms. The ongoing identification of new group II introns and recent bioinformatic analyses have suggested that there are novel lineages, which include the group IIE and IIF introns. Because the function and biochemical activity of group IIE and IIF introns have never been experimentally tested and because these introns appear to have features that distinguish them from other introns, we set out to determine if they were indeed self-splicing, catalytically active RNA molecules. To this end, we transcribed and studied a set of diverse group IIE and IIF introns, quantitatively characterizing their in vitro self-splicing reactivity, ionic requirements, and reaction products. In addition, we used mutational analysis to determine the relative role of the EBS-IBS 1 and 2 recognition elements during splicing by these introns. We show that group IIE and IIF introns are indeed distinct active intron families, with different reactivities and structures. We show that the group IIE introns self-splice exclusively through the hydrolytic pathway, while group IIF introns can also catalyze transesterifications. Intriguingly, we observe one group IIF intron that forms circular intron. Finally, despite an apparent EBS2-IBS2 duplex in the sequences of these introns, we find that this interaction plays no role during self-splicing in vitro. It is now clear that the group IIE and IIF introns are functional ribozymes, with distinctive properties that may be useful for biotechnological applications, and which may contribute to the biology of host organisms. PMID:23882113

  5. Violating the splicing rules: TG dinucleotides function as alternative 3' splice sites in U2-dependent introns.

    PubMed

    Szafranski, Karol; Schindler, Stefanie; Taudien, Stefan; Hiller, Michael; Huse, Klaus; Jahn, Niels; Schreiber, Stefan; Backofen, Rolf; Platzer, Matthias

    2007-01-01

    Despite some degeneracy of sequence signals that govern splicing of eukaryotic pre-mRNAs, it is an accepted rule that U2-dependent introns exhibit the 3' terminal dinucleotide AG. Intrigued by anecdotal evidence for functional non-AG 3' splice sites, we carried out a human genome-wide screen. We identified TG dinucleotides functioning as alternative 3' splice sites in 36 human genes. The TG-derived splice variants were experimentally validated with a success rate of 92%. Interestingly, ratios of alternative splice variants are tissue-specific for several introns. TG splice sites and their flanking intron sequences are substantially conserved between orthologous vertebrate genes, even between human and frog, indicating functional relevance. Remarkably, TG splice sites are exclusively found as alternative 3' splice sites, never as the sole 3' splice site for an intron, and we observed a distance constraint for TG-AG splice site tandems. Since TGs splice sites are exclusively found as alternative 3' splice sites, the U2 spliceosome apparently accomplishes perfect specificity for 3' AGs at an early splicing step, but may choose 3' TGs during later steps. Given the tiny fraction of TG 3' splice sites compared to the vast amount of non-viable TGs, cis-acting sequence signals must significantly contribute to splice site definition. Thus, we consider TG-AG 3' splice site tandems as promising subjects for studies on the mechanisms of 3' splice site selection.

  6. The Euglena gracilis intron-encoded mat2 locus is interrupted by three additional group II introns.

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, L; Jenkins, K P; Stutz, E; Hallick, R B

    1995-01-01

    The 4,144 nt Euglena gracilis chloroplast psbC intron 2 has been characterized as a single, cis-spliced 593 nt group II intron interrupted by an open reading frame of 758 codons in the loop region of domain IV. The 2,277 nt coding region of orf 758 is interrupted by two additional group II introns of 369 nt and 352 nt. Another 553 nt group II intron is located in the 5' untranslated leader region of orf 758. Because the psbC intron 2 orf encodes a maturase-like protein that has reverse transcriptase domains and a domain X characteristic of group II intron-encoded proteins, the locus has been designated mat2. The psbC intron 2 is the first member of a new category of twintron, characterized by introns within a gene within another intron. A potential role of psbC intron 2 as a "founder" intron involved in the spread of introns to new sites in the plastid genome of the Euglenophycae is discussed. PMID:8595563

  7. The Euglena gracilis intron-encoded mat2 locus is interrupted by three additional group II introns.

    PubMed

    Zhang, L; Jenkins, K P; Stutz, E; Hallick, R B

    1995-12-01

    The 4,144 nt Euglena gracilis chloroplast psbC intron 2 has been characterized as a single, cis-spliced 593 nt group II intron interrupted by an open reading frame of 758 codons in the loop region of domain IV. The 2,277 nt coding region of orf 758 is interrupted by two additional group II introns of 369 nt and 352 nt. Another 553 nt group II intron is located in the 5' untranslated leader region of orf 758. Because the psbC intron 2 orf encodes a maturase-like protein that has reverse transcriptase domains and a domain X characteristic of group II intron-encoded proteins, the locus has been designated mat2. The psbC intron 2 is the first member of a new category of twintron, characterized by introns within a gene within another intron. A potential role of psbC intron 2 as a "founder" intron involved in the spread of introns to new sites in the plastid genome of the Euglenophycae is discussed.

  8. Intronic splicing mutations in PTCH1 cause Gorlin syndrome.

    PubMed

    Bholah, Zaynab; Smith, Miriam J; Byers, Helen J; Miles, Emma K; Evans, D Gareth; Newman, William G

    2014-09-01

    Gorlin syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by multiple early-onset basal cell carcinoma, odontogenic keratocysts and skeletal abnormalities. It is caused by heterozygous mutations in the tumour suppressor PTCH1. Routine clinical genetic testing, by Sanger sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) to confirm a clinical diagnosis of Gorlin syndrome, identifies a mutation in 60-90 % of cases. We undertook RNA analysis on lymphocytes from ten individuals diagnosed with Gorlin syndrome, but without known PTCH1 mutations by exonic sequencing or MLPA. Two altered PTCH1 transcripts were identified. Genomic DNA sequence analysis identified an intron 7 mutation c.1068-10T>A, which created a strong cryptic splice acceptor site, leading to an intronic insertion of eight bases; this is predicted to create a frameshift p.(His358Alafs*12). Secondly, a deep intronic mutation c.2561-2057A>G caused an inframe insertion of 78 intronic bases in the cDNA transcript, leading to a premature stop codon p.(Gly854fs*3). The mutations are predicted to cause loss of function of PTCH1, consistent with its tumour suppressor function. The findings indicate the importance of RNA analysis to detect intronic mutations in PTCH1 not identified by routine screening techniques.

  9. Database for bacterial group II introns.

    PubMed

    Candales, Manuel A; Duong, Adrian; Hood, Keyar S; Li, Tony; Neufeld, Ryan A E; Sun, Runda; McNeil, Bonnie A; Wu, Li; Jarding, Ashley M; Zimmerly, Steven

    2012-01-01

    The Database for Bacterial Group II Introns (http://webapps2.ucalgary.ca/~groupii/index.html#) provides a catalogue of full-length, non-redundant group II introns present in bacterial DNA sequences in GenBank. The website is divided into three sections. The first section provides general information on group II intron properties, structures and classification. The second and main section lists information for individual introns, including insertion sites, DNA sequences, intron-encoded protein sequences and RNA secondary structure models. The final section provides tools for identification and analysis of intron sequences. These include a step-by-step guide to identify introns in genomic sequences, a local BLAST tool to identify closest intron relatives to a query sequence, and a boundary-finding tool that predicts 5' and 3' intron-exon junctions in an input DNA sequence. Finally, selected intron data can be downloaded in FASTA format. It is hoped that this database will be a useful resource not only to group II intron and RNA researchers, but also to microbiologists who encounter these unexpected introns in genomic sequences.

  10. Mechanistic insights into human pre-mRNA splicing of human ultra-short introns: potential unusual mechanism identifies G-rich introns.

    PubMed

    Sasaki-Haraguchi, Noriko; Shimada, Makoto K; Taniguchi, Ichiro; Ohno, Mutsuhito; Mayeda, Akila

    2012-06-29

    It is unknown how very short introns (<65 nt; termed 'ultra-short' introns) could be spliced in a massive spliceosome (>2.7 MDa) without steric hindrance. By screening an annotated human transcriptome database (H-InvDB), we identified three model ultra-short introns: the 56-nt intron in the HNRNPH1 (hnRNP H1) gene, the 49-nt intron in the NDOR1 (NADPH dependent diflavin oxidoreductase 1) gene, and the 43-nt intron in the ESRP2 (epithelial splicing regulatory protein 2) gene. We verified that these endogenous ultra-short introns are spliced, and also recapitulated this in cultured cells transfected with the corresponding mini-genes. The splicing of these ultra-short introns was repressed by a splicing inhibitor, spliceostatin A, suggesting that SF3b (a U2 snRNP component) is involved in their splicing processes. The 56-nt intron containing a pyrimidine-rich tract was spliced out in a lariat form, and this splicing was inhibited by the disruption of U1, U2, or U4 snRNA. In contrast, the 49- and 43-nt introns were purine-rich overall without any pyrimidine-rich tract, and these lariat RNAs were not detectable. Remarkably, shared G-rich intronic sequences in the 49- and 43-nt introns were required for their splicing, suggesting that these ultra-short introns may recruit a novel auxiliary splicing mechanism linked to G-rich intronic splicing enhancers.

  11. The RAD52-like protein ODB1 is required for the efficient excision of two mitochondrial introns spliced via first-step hydrolysis.

    PubMed

    Gualberto, José M; Le Ret, Monique; Beator, Barbara; Kühn, Kristina

    2015-07-27

    Transcript splicing in plant mitochondria involves numerous nucleus-encoded factors, most of which are of eukaryotic origin. Some of these belong to protein families initially characterised to perform unrelated functions. The RAD52-like ODB1 protein has been reported to have roles in homologous recombination-dependent DNA repair in the nuclear and mitochondrial compartments in Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that it is additionally involved in splicing and facilitates the excision of two cis-spliced group II introns, nad1 intron 2 and nad2 intron 1, in Arabidopsis mitochondria. odb1 mutants lacking detectable amounts of ODB1 protein over-accumulated incompletely spliced nad1 and nad2 transcripts. The two ODB1-dependent introns were both found to splice via first-step hydrolysis and to be released as linear or circular molecules instead of lariats. Our systematic analysis of the structures of excised introns in Arabidopsis mitochondria revealed several other hydrolytically spliced group II introns in addition to nad1 intron 2 and nad2 intron 1, indicating that ODB1 is not a general determinant of the hydrolytic splicing pathway.

  12. The RAD52-like protein ODB1 is required for the efficient excision of two mitochondrial introns spliced via first-step hydrolysis

    PubMed Central

    Gualberto, José M.; Le Ret, Monique; Beator, Barbara; Kühn, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    Transcript splicing in plant mitochondria involves numerous nucleus-encoded factors, most of which are of eukaryotic origin. Some of these belong to protein families initially characterised to perform unrelated functions. The RAD52-like ODB1 protein has been reported to have roles in homologous recombination-dependent DNA repair in the nuclear and mitochondrial compartments in Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that it is additionally involved in splicing and facilitates the excision of two cis-spliced group II introns, nad1 intron 2 and nad2 intron 1, in Arabidopsis mitochondria. odb1 mutants lacking detectable amounts of ODB1 protein over-accumulated incompletely spliced nad1 and nad2 transcripts. The two ODB1-dependent introns were both found to splice via first-step hydrolysis and to be released as linear or circular molecules instead of lariats. Our systematic analysis of the structures of excised introns in Arabidopsis mitochondria revealed several other hydrolytically spliced group II introns in addition to nad1 intron 2 and nad2 intron 1, indicating that ODB1 is not a general determinant of the hydrolytic splicing pathway. PMID:26048959

  13. Cotranscriptional splicing of a group I intron is facilitated by the Cbp2 protein

    SciTech Connect

    Lewin, A.S.; Thomas, J. Jr.; Tirupati, H.K.

    1995-12-01

    This report investigates the coupling between transcription and splicing of a mitochondrial group I intron in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the effect of the Cbp2 protein on splicing. 65 refs., 7 figs.

  14. The mitochondrial genome of the prasinophyte Prasinoderma coloniale reveals two trans-spliced group I introns in the large subunit rRNA gene.

    PubMed

    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

  15. Interaction between the first and last nucleotides of pre-mRNA introns is a determinant of 3' splice site selection in S. cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Chanfreau, G; Legrain, P; Dujon, B; Jacquier, A

    1994-01-01

    The splicing of group II and nuclear pre-mRNAs introns occurs via a similar splicing pathway and some of the RNA-RNA interactions involved in these splicing reactions show structural similarities. Recently, genetic analyses performed in a group II intron and the yeast nuclear actin gene suggested that non Watson-Crick interactions between intron boundaries are important for the second splicing step efficiency in both classes of introns. We here show that, in the yeast nuclear rp51A intron, a G to A mutation at the first position activates cryptic 3' splice sites with the sequences UAC/ or UAA/. Moreover, the natural 3' splice site could be reactivated by a G to C substitution of the last intron nucleotide. These results demonstrate that the interaction between the first and last intron nucleotides is a conserved feature of nuclear pre-mRNA splicing in yeast and is involved in the mechanism of 3' splice site selection. Images PMID:8029003

  16. Comparative analyses between retained introns and constitutively spliced introns in Arabidopsis thaliana using random forest and support vector machine.

    PubMed

    Mao, Rui; Raj Kumar, Praveen Kumar; Guo, Cheng; Zhang, Yang; Liang, Chun

    2014-01-01

    One of the important modes of pre-mRNA post-transcriptional modification is alternative splicing. Alternative splicing allows creation of many distinct mature mRNA transcripts from a single gene by utilizing different splice sites. In plants like Arabidopsis thaliana, the most common type of alternative splicing is intron retention. Many studies in the past focus on positional distribution of retained introns (RIs) among different genic regions and their expression regulations, while little systematic classification of RIs from constitutively spliced introns (CSIs) has been conducted using machine learning approaches. We used random forest and support vector machine (SVM) with radial basis kernel function (RBF) to differentiate these two types of introns in Arabidopsis. By comparing coordinates of introns of all annotated mRNAs from TAIR10, we obtained our high-quality experimental data. To distinguish RIs from CSIs, We investigated the unique characteristics of RIs in comparison with CSIs and finally extracted 37 quantitative features: local and global nucleotide sequence features of introns, frequent motifs, the signal strength of splice sites, and the similarity between sequences of introns and their flanking regions. We demonstrated that our proposed feature extraction approach was more accurate in effectively classifying RIs from CSIs in comparison with other four approaches. The optimal penalty parameter C and the RBF kernel parameter [Formula: see text] in SVM were set based on particle swarm optimization algorithm (PSOSVM). Our classification performance showed F-Measure of 80.8% (random forest) and 77.4% (PSOSVM). Not only the basic sequence features and positional distribution characteristics of RIs were obtained, but also putative regulatory motifs in intron splicing were predicted based on our feature extraction approach. Clearly, our study will facilitate a better understanding of underlying mechanisms involved in intron retention.

  17. Evidence for splice site pairing via intron definition in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

    PubMed

    Romfo, C M; Alvarez, C J; van Heeckeren, W J; Webb, C J; Wise, J A

    2000-11-01

    Schizosaccharomyces pombe pre-mRNAs are generally multi-intronic and share certain features with pre-mRNAs from Drosophila melanogaster, in which initial splice site pairing can occur via either exon or intron definition. Here, we present three lines of evidence suggesting that, despite these similarities, fission yeast splicing is most likely restricted to intron definition. First, mutating either or both splice sites flanking an internal exon in the S. pombe cdc2 gene produced almost exclusively intron retention, in contrast to the exon skipping observed in vertebrates. Second, we were unable to induce skipping of the internal microexon in fission yeast cgs2, whereas the default splicing pathway excludes extremely small exons in mammals. Because nearly quantitative removal of the downstream intron in cgs2 could be achieved by expanding the microexon, we propose that its retention is due to steric occlusion. Third, several cryptic 5' junctions in the second intron of fission yeast cdc2 are located within the intron, in contrast to their generally exonic locations in metazoa. The effects of expanding and contracting this intron are as predicted by intron definition; in fact, even highly deviant 5' junctions can compete effectively with the standard 5' splice site if they are closer to the 3' splicing signals. Taken together, our data suggest that pairing of splice sites in S. pombe most likely occurs exclusively across introns in a manner that favors excision of the smallest segment possible.

  18. Cluster J Mycobacteriophages: Intron Splicing in Capsid and Tail Genes

    PubMed Central

    Pope, Welkin H.; Jacobs-Sera, Deborah; Best, Aaron A.; Broussard, Gregory W.; Connerly, Pamela L.; Dedrick, Rebekah M.; Kremer, Timothy A.; Offner, Susan; Ogiefo, Amenawon H.; Pizzorno, Marie C.; Rockenbach, Kate; Russell, Daniel A.; Stowe, Emily L.; Stukey, Joseph; Thibault, Sarah A.; Conway, James F.; Hendrix, Roger W.; Hatfull, Graham F.

    2013-01-01

    Bacteriophages isolated on Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155 represent many distinct genomes sharing little or no DNA sequence similarity. The genomes are architecturally mosaic and are replete with genes of unknown function. A new group of genomes sharing substantial nucleotide sequences constitute Cluster J. The six mycobacteriophages forming Cluster J are morphologically members of the Siphoviridae, but have unusually long genomes ranging from 106.3 to 117 kbp. Reconstruction of the capsid by cryo-electron microscopy of mycobacteriophage BAKA reveals an icosahedral structure with a triangulation number of 13. All six phages are temperate and homoimmune, and prophage establishment involves integration into a tRNA-Leu gene not previously identified as a mycobacterial attB site for phage integration. The Cluster J genomes provide two examples of intron splicing within the virion structural genes, one in a major capsid subunit gene, and one in a tail gene. These genomes also contain numerous free-standing HNH homing endonuclease, and comparative analysis reveals how these could contribute to genome mosaicism. The unusual Cluster J genomes provide new insights into phage genome architecture, gene function, capsid structure, gene mobility, intron splicing, and evolution. PMID:23874930

  19. A mutation in At-nMat1a, which encodes a nuclear gene having high similarity to group II intron maturase, causes impaired splicing of mitochondrial NAD4 transcript and altered carbon metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Nakagawa, Naoki; Sakurai, Naoki

    2006-06-01

    To elucidate the mechanism of cellulose synthesis, we isolated a mutant of Arabidopsis (changed sensitivity to cellulose synthesis inhibitors 1, css1) that showed changed sensitivity to cellulose biosynthesis inhibitor. The analysis of phenotypes indicated that the css1 mutation influenced various fundamental metabolic pathways including amino acid metabolism, triacylglycerol degradation and polysaccharide synthesis (cellulose and starch) during the early stage of plant growth. Unexpectedly, the map-based cloning of the gene responsible for the css1 mutation identified a protein (At-nMat1a) that was assumed to be a splicing factor of the mitochondrial group II intron. In accordance with this result, this mutant exhibited improper splicing of the mitochondrial NAD4 transcript. We noticed that the phenotypes of the css1 mutant are similar to the responses to anoxia that hinders mitochondrial aerobic respiration. It seems that the defect in the function of mitochondria influences various aspects of fundamental cellular metabolism including cellulose synthesis. Our results suggested that sucrose synthase (SuSy), an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of cellulose, plays key roles in the connection between mitochondria and cellulose synthesis. The isolation of the css1 mutant also provides a useful resource in the study of post-transcriptional gene regulation in mitochondria.

  20. The U2AF35-related protein Urp contacts the 3' splice site to promote U12-type intron splicing and the second step of U2-type intron splicing.

    PubMed

    Shen, Haihong; Zheng, Xuexiu; Luecke, Stephan; Green, Michael R

    2010-11-01

    The U2AF35-related protein Urp has been implicated previously in splicing of the major class of U2-type introns. Here we show that Urp is also required for splicing of the minor class of U12-type introns. Urp is recruited in an ATP-dependent fashion to the U12-type intron 3' splice site, where it promotes formation of spliceosomal complexes. Remarkably, Urp also contacts the 3' splice site of a U2-type intron, but in this case is specifically required for the second step of splicing. Thus, through recognition of a common splicing element, Urp facilitates distinct steps of U2- and U12-type intron splicing.

  1. The U2AF35-related protein Urp contacts the 3′ splice site to promote U12-type intron splicing and the second step of U2-type intron splicing

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Haihong; Zheng, Xuexiu; Luecke, Stephan; Green, Michael R.

    2010-01-01

    The U2AF35-related protein Urp has been implicated previously in splicing of the major class of U2-type introns. Here we show that Urp is also required for splicing of the minor class of U12-type introns. Urp is recruited in an ATP-dependent fashion to the U12-type intron 3′ splice site, where it promotes formation of spliceosomal complexes. Remarkably, Urp also contacts the 3′ splice site of a U2-type intron, but in this case is specifically required for the second step of splicing. Thus, through recognition of a common splicing element, Urp facilitates distinct steps of U2- and U12-type intron splicing. PMID:21041408

  2. The histone variant H2A.Z promotes splicing of weak introns.

    PubMed

    Nissen, Kelly E; Homer, Christina M; Ryan, Colm J; Shales, Michael; Krogan, Nevan J; Patrick, Kristin L; Guthrie, Christine

    2017-04-01

    Multiple lines of evidence implicate chromatin in the regulation of premessenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing. However, the influence of chromatin factors on cotranscriptional splice site usage remains unclear. Here we investigated the function of the highly conserved histone variant H2A.Z in pre-mRNA splicing using the intron-rich model yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe Using epistatic miniarray profiles (EMAPs) to survey the genetic interaction landscape of the Swr1 nucleosome remodeling complex, which deposits H2A.Z, we uncovered evidence for functional interactions with components of the spliceosome. In support of these genetic connections, splicing-specific microarrays show that H2A.Z and the Swr1 ATPase are required during temperature stress for the efficient splicing of a subset of introns. Notably, affected introns are enriched for H2A.Z occupancy and more likely to contain nonconsensus splice sites. To test the significance of the latter correlation, we mutated the splice sites in an affected intron to consensus and found that this suppressed the requirement for H2A.Z in splicing of that intron. These data suggest that H2A.Z occupancy promotes cotranscriptional splicing of suboptimal introns that may otherwise be discarded via proofreading ATPases. Consistent with this model, we show that overexpression of splicing ATPase Prp16 suppresses both the growth and splicing defects seen in the absence of H2A.Z. © 2017 Nissen et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  3. Origin and evolution of the chloroplast trnK (matK) intron: a model for evolution of group II intron RNA structures.

    PubMed

    Hausner, Georg; Olson, Robert; Simon, Dawn; Johnson, Ian; Sanders, Erin R; Karol, Kenneth G; McCourt, Richard M; Zimmerly, Steven

    2006-02-01

    The trnK intron of plants encodes the matK open reading frame (ORF), which has been used extensively as a phylogenetic marker for classification of plants. Here we examined the evolution of the trnK intron itself as a model for group II intron evolution in plants. Representative trnK intron sequences were compiled from species spanning algae to angiosperms, and four introns were newly sequenced. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the matK ORFs belong to the ML (mitochondrial-like) subclass of group II intron ORFs, indicating that they were derived from a mobile group II intron of the class. RNA structures of the introns were folded and analyzed, which revealed progressive RNA structural deviations and degenerations throughout plant evolution. The data support a model in which plant organellar group II introns were derived from bacterial-like introns that had "standard" RNA structures and were competent for self-splicing and mobility and that subsequently the ribozyme structures degenerated to ultimately become dependent upon host-splicing factors. We propose that the patterns of RNA structure evolution seen for the trnK intron will apply to the other group II introns in plants.

  4. Subdivision of large introns in Drosophila by recursive splicing at nonexonic elements.

    PubMed

    Burnette, James M; Miyamoto-Sato, Etsuko; Schaub, Marc A; Conklin, Jamie; Lopez, A Javier

    2005-06-01

    Many genes with important roles in development and disease contain exceptionally long introns, but special mechanisms for their expression have not been investigated. We present bioinformatic, phylogenetic, and experimental evidence in Drosophila for a mechanism that subdivides many large introns by recursive splicing at nonexonic elements and alternative exons. Recursive splice sites predicted with highly stringent criteria are found at much higher frequency than expected in the sense strands of introns >20 kb, but they are found only at the expected frequency on the antisense strands, and they are underrepresented within introns <10 kb. The predicted sites in long introns are highly conserved between Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila pseudoobscura, despite extensive divergence of other sequences within the same introns. These patterns of enrichment and conservation indicate that recursive splice sites are advantageous in the context of long introns. Experimental analyses of in vivo processing intermediates and lariat products from four large introns in the unrelated genes kuzbanian, outspread, and Ultrabithorax confirmed that these introns are removed by a series of recursive splicing steps using the predicted nonexonic sites. Mutation of nonexonic site RP3 within Ultrabithorax also confirmed that recursive splicing is the predominant processing pathway even with a shortened version of the intron. We discuss currently known and potential roles for recursive splicing.

  5. Tertiary architecture of the Oceanobacillus iheyensis group II intron

    SciTech Connect

    Toor, Navtej; Keating, Kevin S.; Fedorova, Olga; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Wang, Jimin; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2010-05-03

    Group II introns are large ribozymes that act as self-splicing and retrotransposable RNA molecules. They are of great interest because of their potential evolutionary relationship to the eukaryotic spliceosome, their continued influence on the organization of many genomes in bacteria and eukaryotes, and their potential utility as tools for gene therapy and biotechnology. One of the most interesting features of group II introns is their relative lack of nucleobase conservation and covariation, which has long suggested that group II intron structures are stabilized by numerous unusual tertiary interactions and backbone-mediated contacts. Here, we provide a detailed description of the tertiary interaction networks within the Oceanobacillus iheyensis group IIC intron, for which a crystal structure was recently solved to 3.1 {angstrom} resolution. The structure can be described as a set of several intricately constructed tertiary interaction nodes, each of which contains a core of extended stacking networks and elaborate motifs. Many of these nodes are surrounded by a web of ribose zippers, which appear to further stabilize local structure. As predicted from biochemical and genetic studies, the group II intron provides a wealth of new information on strategies for RNA folding and tertiary structural organization.

  6. The horsetail Equisetum arvense mitochondria share two group I introns with the liverwort Marchantia, acquired a novel group II intron but lost intron-encoded ORFs.

    PubMed

    Bégu, Dominique; Araya, Alejandro

    2009-02-01

    We studied the genomic structure and RNA editing of mitochondrial cox1, cox2, cob and atp9 from the horsetail Equisetum arvense, a representative of an old fern lineage. Editing of cox1, cob and atp9 mRNAs occur only by C-to-U transitions. No changes were found in cox2 transcripts constituting one of the rare examples of unedited mitochondrial mRNA in land plants. From three intervening sequences in cox1, cox1i395 and cox1i624 are group IB introns homologous to the Marchantia polymorpha cox1 introns, and cox1i747 is a group IIA intron different to other introns found in plant mtDNA. The group II intron cox2i373 is very similar to other introns found in cox2 from vascular plants. While cob and atp9 have no introns and display the gene structure found in seed plants, various nucleotide substitutions abolish the only potential ORF, a LAGLIDADG endonuclease present in cox1i395. Thus, E. arvense mitochondria conserve two group I introns from non-vascular plants, probably inherited from a common ancestor with liverworts. Analogous to seed plants, E. arvense has no potential mitochondrial splicing factors encoded in these introns. This is the first report concerning the presence of vertically inherited group I introns in vascular plant mitochondria.

  7. Cotranscriptional recruitment of yeast TRAMP complex to intronic sequences promotes optimal pre-mRNA splicing.

    PubMed

    Kong, Ka-Yiu Edwin; Tang, Hei-Man Vincent; Pan, Kewu; Huang, Zhe; Lee, Tsz-Hang Jimmy; Hinnebusch, Alan G; Jin, Dong-Yan; Wong, Chi-Ming

    2014-01-01

    Most unwanted RNA transcripts in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells, such as splicing-defective pre-mRNAs and spliced-out introns, are rapidly degraded by the nuclear exosome. In budding yeast, a number of these unwanted RNA transcripts, including spliced-out introns, are first recognized by the nuclear exosome cofactor Trf4/5p-Air1/2p-Mtr4p polyadenylation (TRAMP) complex before subsequent nuclear-exosome-mediated degradation. However, it remains unclear when spliced-out introns are recognized by TRAMP, and whether TRAMP may have any potential roles in pre-mRNA splicing. Here, we demonstrated that TRAMP is cotranscriptionally recruited to nascent RNA transcripts, with particular enrichment at intronic sequences. Deletion of TRAMP components led to further accumulation of unspliced pre-mRNAs even in a yeast strain defective in nuclear exosome activity, suggesting a novel stimulatory role of TRAMP in splicing. We also uncovered new genetic and physical interactions between TRAMP and several splicing factors, and further showed that TRAMP is required for optimal recruitment of the splicing factor Msl5p. Our study provided the first evidence that TRAMP facilitates pre-mRNA splicing, and we interpreted this as a fail-safe mechanism to ensure the cotranscriptional recruitment of TRAMP before or during splicing to prepare for the subsequent targeting of spliced-out introns to rapid degradation by the nuclear exosome.

  8. Learning to live together: mutualism between self-splicing introns and their hosts

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Group I and II introns can be considered as molecular parasites that interrupt protein-coding and structural RNA genes in all domains of life. They function as self-splicing ribozymes and thereby limit the phenotypic costs associated with disruption of a host gene while they act as mobile DNA elements to promote their spread within and between genomes. Once considered purely selfish DNA elements, they now seem, in the light of recent work on the molecular mechanisms regulating bacterial and phage group I and II intron dynamics, to show evidence of co-evolution with their hosts. These previously underappreciated relationships serve the co-evolving entities particularly well in times of environmental stress. PMID:21481283

  9. Multiple physical forms of excised group II intron RNAs in wheat mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Li-Pook-Than, Jennifer; Bonen, Linda

    2006-01-01

    Plant mitochondrial group II introns do not all possess hallmark ribozymic features such as the bulged adenosine involved in lariat formation. To gain insight into their splicing pathways, we have examined the physical form of excised introns in germinating wheat embryos. Using RT–PCR and cRT–PCR, we observed conventional lariats consistent with a two-step transesterification pathway for introns such as nad2 intron 4, but this was not the case for the cox2 intron or nad1 intron 2. For cox2, we detected full-length linear introns, which possess non-encoded 3′terminaladenosines, as well as heterogeneous circular introns, which lack 3′ nucleotide stretches. These observations are consistent with hydrolytic splicing followed by polyadenylation as well as an in vivo circularization pathway, respectively. The presence of both linear and circular species in vivo is supported by RNase H analysis. Furthermore, the nad1 intron 2, which lacks a bulged nucleotide at the branchpoint position, comprised a mixed population of precisely full-length molecules and circular ones which also include a short, discrete block of non-encoded nucleotides. The presence of these various linear and circular forms of excised intron molecules in plant mitochondria points to multiple novel group II splicing mechanisms in vivo. PMID:16717283

  10. Host Factors Influencing the Retrohoming Pathway of Group II Intron RmInt1, Which Has an Intron-Encoded Protein Naturally Devoid of Endonuclease Activity

    PubMed Central

    Nisa-Martínez, Rafael; Molina-Sánchez, María Dolores; Toro, Nicolás

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial group II introns are self-splicing catalytic RNAs and mobile retroelements that have an open reading frame encoding an intron-encoded protein (IEP) with reverse transcriptase (RT) and RNA splicing or maturase activity. Some IEPs carry a DNA endonuclease (En) domain, which is required to cleave the bottom strand downstream from the intron-insertion site for target DNA-primed reverse transcription (TPRT) of the inserted intron RNA. Host factors complete the insertion of the intron. By contrast, the major retrohoming pathway of introns with IEPs naturally lacking endonuclease activity, like the Sinorhizobium meliloti intron RmInt1, is thought to involve insertion of the intron RNA into the template for lagging strand DNA synthesis ahead of the replication fork, with possible use of the nascent strand to prime reverse transcription of the intron RNA. The host factors influencing the retrohoming pathway of such introns have not yet been described. Here, we identify key candidates likely to be involved in early and late steps of RmInt1 retrohoming. Some of these host factors are common to En+ group II intron retrohoming, but some have different functions. Our results also suggest that the retrohoming process of RmInt1 may be less dependent on the intracellular free Mg2+ concentration than those of other group II introns. PMID:27588750

  11. Host Factors Influencing the Retrohoming Pathway of Group II Intron RmInt1, Which Has an Intron-Encoded Protein Naturally Devoid of Endonuclease Activity.

    PubMed

    Nisa-Martínez, Rafael; Molina-Sánchez, María Dolores; Toro, Nicolás

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial group II introns are self-splicing catalytic RNAs and mobile retroelements that have an open reading frame encoding an intron-encoded protein (IEP) with reverse transcriptase (RT) and RNA splicing or maturase activity. Some IEPs carry a DNA endonuclease (En) domain, which is required to cleave the bottom strand downstream from the intron-insertion site for target DNA-primed reverse transcription (TPRT) of the inserted intron RNA. Host factors complete the insertion of the intron. By contrast, the major retrohoming pathway of introns with IEPs naturally lacking endonuclease activity, like the Sinorhizobium meliloti intron RmInt1, is thought to involve insertion of the intron RNA into the template for lagging strand DNA synthesis ahead of the replication fork, with possible use of the nascent strand to prime reverse transcription of the intron RNA. The host factors influencing the retrohoming pathway of such introns have not yet been described. Here, we identify key candidates likely to be involved in early and late steps of RmInt1 retrohoming. Some of these host factors are common to En+ group II intron retrohoming, but some have different functions. Our results also suggest that the retrohoming process of RmInt1 may be less dependent on the intracellular free Mg2+ concentration than those of other group II introns.

  12. Influence of intron length on interaction characters between post-spliced intron and its CDS in ribosomal protein genes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Xiaoqing; Li, Hong; Bao, Tonglaga; Ying, Zhiqiang

    2012-09-01

    Many experiment evidences showed that sequence structures of introns and intron loss/gain can influence gene expression, but current mechanisms did not refer to the functions of post-spliced introns directly. We propose that postspliced introns play their functions in gene expression by interacting with their mRNA sequences and the interaction is characterized by the matched segments between introns and their CDS. In this study, we investigated the interaction characters with length series by improved Smith-Waterman local alignment software for the ribosomal protein genes in C. elegans and D. melanogaster. Our results showed that RF values of five intron groups are significantly high in the central non-conserved region and very low in 5'-end and 3'-end splicing region. It is interesting that the number of the optimal matched regions gradually increases with intron length. Distributions of the optimal matched regions are different for five intron groups. Our study revealed that there are more interaction regions between longer introns and their CDS than shorter, and it provides a positive pattern for regulating the gene expression.

  13. Site-specific reverse splicing of a HEG-containing group I intron in ribosomal RNA

    PubMed Central

    Birgisdottir, Åsa B.; Johansen, Steinar

    2005-01-01

    The wide, but scattered distribution of group I introns in nature is a result of two processes; the vertical inheritance of introns with or without losses, and the occasional transfer of introns across species barriers. Reversal of the group I intron self-splicing reaction, termed reverse splicing, coupled with reverse transcription and genomic integration potentially mediate an RNA-based intron mobility pathway. Compared to the well characterized endonuclease-mediated intron homing, reverse splicing is less specific and represents a likely explanation for many intron transpositions into new genomic sites. However, the frequency and general role of an RNA-based mobility pathway in the spread of natural group I introns is still unclear. We have used the twin-ribozyme intron (Dir.S956-1) from the myxomycete Didymium iridis to test how a mobile group I intron containing a homing endonuclease gene (HEG) selects between potential insertion sites in the small subunit (SSU) rRNA in vitro, in Escherichia coli and in yeast. Surprisingly, the results show a site-specific RNA-based targeting of Dir.S956-1 into its natural (S956) SSU rRNA site. Our results suggest that reverse splicing, in addition to the established endonuclease-mediated homing mechanism, potentially accounts for group I intron spread into the homologous sites of different strains and species. PMID:15817568

  14. Structure of a Group II Intron Complexed with its Reverse Transcriptase

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Guosheng; Kaushal, Prem Singh; Wang, Jia; Shigematsu, Hideki; Piazza, Carol Lyn; Agrawal, Rajendra Kumar; Belfort, Marlene; Wang, Hong-Wei

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial group II introns are large catalytic RNAs related to nuclear spliceosomal introns and eukaryotic retrotransposons. They self-splice to yield mature RNA, and integrate into DNA as retroelements. A fully active group II intron forms a ribonucleoprotein complex comprising the intron ribozyme and an intron-encoded protein, with multiple activities including reverse transcriptase. This activity is responsible for copying the intron RNA into the DNA target. Here we report cryo-EM structures of an endogenously spliced Lactococcus lactis group IIA intron in its ribonucleoprotein complex form at 3.8 Å resolution and in its protein-depleted form at 4.5 Å resolution, revealing functional coordination of the intron RNA with the protein. Remarkably, the protein structure reveals a close relationship of the reverse transcriptase catalytic domain to telomerase, whereas the active center for splicing resembles the spliceosomal Prp8 protein. These extraordinary similarities hint at intricate ancestral relationships and provide new insights into splicing and retromobility. PMID:27136327

  15. Inactivation of group II intron RmInt1 in the Sinorhizobium meliloti genome.

    PubMed

    Molina-Sánchez, María Dolores; Toro, Nicolás

    2015-07-09

    Group II introns are self-splicing catalytic RNAs that probably originated in bacteria and act as mobile retroelements. The dispersal and dynamics of group II intron spread within a bacterial genome are thought to follow a selection-driven extinction model. Likewise, various studies on the evolution of group II introns have suggested that they are evolving toward an inactive form by fragmentation, with the loss of the intron 3'-terminus, but with some intron fragments remaining and continuing to evolve in the genome. RmInt1 is a mobile group II intron that is widespread in natural populations of Sinorhizobium meliloti, but some strains of this species have no RmInt1 introns. We studied the splicing ability and mobility of the three full-length RmInt1 copies harbored by S. meliloti 1021, and obtained evidence suggesting that specific mutations may lead to the impairment of intron splicing and retrohoming. Our data suggest that the RmInt1 copies in this strain are undergoing a process of inactivation.

  16. The doublesex splicing enhancer components Tra2 and Rbp1 also repress splicing through an intronic silencer.

    PubMed

    Qi, Junlin; Su, Shihuang; Mattox, William

    2007-01-01

    The activation of sex-specific alternative splice sites in the Drosophila melanogaster doublesex and fruitless pre-mRNAs has been well studied and depends on the serine-arginine-rich (SR) splicing factors Tra, Tra2, and Rbp1. Little is known, however, about how SR factors negatively regulate splice sites in other RNAs. Here we examine how Tra2 blocks splicing of the M1 intron from its own transcript. We identify an intronic splicing silencer (ISS) adjacent to the M1 branch point that is sufficient to confer Tra2-dependent repression on another RNA. The ISS was found to function independently of its position within the intron, arguing against the idea that bound repressors function by simply interfering with branch point accessibility to general splicing factors. Conserved subelements of the silencer include five short repeated sequences that are required for Tra2 binding but differ from repeated binding sites found in Tra2-dependent splicing enhancers. The ISS also contains a consensus binding site for Rbp1, and this protein was found to facilitate repression of M1 splicing both in vitro and in Drosophila larvae. In contrast to the cooperative binding of SR proteins observed on the doublesex splicing enhancer, we found that Rbp1 and Tra2 bind to the ISS independently through distinct sequences. Our results suggest that functionally synergistic interactions of these SR factors can cause either splicing activation or repression.

  17. Phylogenetic relationships among group II intron ORFs

    PubMed Central

    Zimmerly, Steven; Hausner, Georg; Wu, Xu-chu

    2001-01-01

    Group II introns are widely believed to have been ancestors of spliceosomal introns, yet little is known about their own evolutionary history. In order to address the evolution of mobile group II introns, we have compiled 71 open reading frames (ORFs) related to group II intron reverse transcriptases and subjected their derived amino acid sequences to phylogenetic analysis. The phylogenetic tree was rooted with reverse transcriptases (RTs) of non-long terminal repeat retroelements, and the inferred phylogeny reveals two major clusters which we term the mitochondrial and chloroplast-like lineages. Bacterial ORFs are mainly positioned at the bases of the two lineages but with weak bootstrap support. The data give an overview of an apparently high degree of horizontal transfer of group II intron ORFs, mostly among related organisms but also between organelles and bacteria. The Zn domain (nuclease) and YADD motif (RT active site) were lost multiple times during evolution. Differences in domain structures suggest that the oldest ORFs were concise, while the ORF in the mitochondrial lineage subsequently expanded in three locations. The data are consistent with a bacterial origin for mobile group II introns. PMID:11222775

  18. Splicing and intron-internal RNA editing of trnK-matK transcripts in barley plastids: support for MatK as an essential splice factor.

    PubMed

    Vogel, J; Hübschmann, T; Börner, T; Hess, W R

    1997-07-11

    Group II introns frequently require assistance by specific factors, maturases, for folding and effective splicing in vivo. The only putative maturase of higher plant chloroplasts is encoded by matK, located in the intron of trnK. We show that in barley matK transcripts are modified at a first codon base by C-to-U RNA editing. The resulting H --> Y substitution restores a sequence motif that is present in maturases of yeast and plant mitochondria and of Lactococcus ltrA and that is positioned within the X domain. Processing of trnK-matK transcripts was further investigated in plastids lacking functional ribosomes due to a mutation. Absence of the intron-encoded matK gene product in these plastids is correlated with the accumulation of precursor transcripts for tRNALys(UUU)-matK, processed to different degrees, and by the lack of mature and spliced tRNA molecules. These results suggest an essential role of MatK for splicing of its own transcript in vivo. Processing of the 5' end of trnK exon 1 was found to proceed efficiently also in the mutant plastids although the two tRNA exons were separated by the 2481 nt intron. Consequently, presence of the intron does not interfere with the formation of mature 5' termini.

  19. NMR structure of the 5' splice site in the group IIB intron Sc.ai5γ--conformational requirements for exon-intron recognition.

    PubMed

    Kruschel, Daniela; Skilandat, Miriam; Sigel, Roland K O

    2014-03-01

    A crucial step of the self-splicing reaction of group II intron ribozymes is the recognition of the 5' exon by the intron. This recognition is achieved by two regions in domain 1 of the intron, the exon-binding sites EBS1 and EBS2 forming base pairs with the intron-binding sites IBS1 and IBS2 located at the end of the 5' exon. The complementarity of the EBS1•IBS1 contact is most important for ensuring site-specific cleavage of the phosphodiester bond between the 5' exon and the intron. Here, we present the NMR solution structures of the d3' hairpin including EBS1 free in solution and bound to the IBS1 7-mer. In the unbound state, EBS1 is part of a flexible 11-nucleotide (nt) loop. Binding of IBS1 restructures and freezes the entire loop region. Mg(2+) ions are bound near the termini of the EBS1•IBS1 helix, stabilizing the interaction. Formation of the 7-bp EBS1•IBS1 helix within a loop of only 11 nt forces the loop backbone to form a sharp turn opposite of the splice site, thereby presenting the scissile phosphate in a position that is structurally unique.

  20. Changes in exon–intron structure during vertebrate evolution affect the splicing pattern of exons

    PubMed Central

    Gelfman, Sahar; Burstein, David; Penn, Osnat; Savchenko, Anna; Amit, Maayan; Schwartz, Schraga; Pupko, Tal; Ast, Gil

    2012-01-01

    Exon–intron architecture is one of the major features directing the splicing machinery to the short exons that are located within long flanking introns. However, the evolutionary dynamics of exon–intron architecture and its impact on splicing is largely unknown. Using a comparative genomic approach, we analyzed 17 vertebrate genomes and reconstructed the ancestral motifs of both 3′ and 5′ splice sites, as also the ancestral length of exons and introns. Our analyses suggest that vertebrate introns increased in length from the shortest ancestral introns to the longest primate introns. An evolutionary analysis of splice sites revealed that weak splice sites act as a restrictive force keeping introns short. In contrast, strong splice sites allow recognition of exons flanked by long introns. Reconstruction of the ancestral state suggests these phenomena were not prevalent in the vertebrate ancestor, but appeared during vertebrate evolution. By calculating evolutionary rate shifts in exons, we identified cis-acting regulatory sequences that became fixed during the transition from early vertebrates to mammals. Experimental validations performed on a selection of these hexamers confirmed their regulatory function. We additionally revealed many features of exons that can discriminate alternative from constitutive exons. These features were integrated into a machine-learning approach to predict whether an exon is alternative. Our algorithm obtains very high predictive power (AUC of 0.91), and using these predictions we have identified and successfully validated novel alternatively spliced exons. Overall, we provide novel insights regarding the evolutionary constraints acting upon exons and their recognition by the splicing machinery. PMID:21974994

  1. Functionality of In vitro Reconstituted Group II Intron RmInt1-Derived Ribonucleoprotein Particles.

    PubMed

    Molina-Sánchez, Maria D; García-Rodríguez, Fernando M; Toro, Nicolás

    2016-01-01

    The functional unit of mobile group II introns is a ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP) consisting of the intron-encoded protein (IEP) and the excised intron RNA. The IEP has reverse transcriptase activity but also promotes RNA splicing, and the RNA-protein complex triggers site-specific DNA insertion by reverse splicing, in a process called retrohoming. In vitro reconstituted ribonucleoprotein complexes from the Lactococcus lactis group II intron Ll.LtrB, which produce a double strand break, have recently been studied as a means of developing group II intron-based gene targeting methods for higher organisms. The Sinorhizobium meliloti group II intron RmInt1 is an efficient mobile retroelement, the dispersal of which appears to be linked to transient single-stranded DNA during replication. The RmInt1IEP lacks the endonuclease domain (En) and cannot cut the bottom strand to generate the 3' end to initiate reverse transcription. We used an Escherichia coli expression system to produce soluble and active RmInt1 IEP and reconstituted RNPs with purified components in vitro. The RNPs generated were functional and reverse-spliced into a single-stranded DNA target. This work constitutes the starting point for the use of group II introns lacking DNA endonuclease domain-derived RNPs for highly specific gene targeting methods.

  2. Functionality of In vitro Reconstituted Group II Intron RmInt1-Derived Ribonucleoprotein Particles

    PubMed Central

    Molina-Sánchez, Maria D.; García-Rodríguez, Fernando M.; Toro, Nicolás

    2016-01-01

    The functional unit of mobile group II introns is a ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP) consisting of the intron-encoded protein (IEP) and the excised intron RNA. The IEP has reverse transcriptase activity but also promotes RNA splicing, and the RNA-protein complex triggers site-specific DNA insertion by reverse splicing, in a process called retrohoming. In vitro reconstituted ribonucleoprotein complexes from the Lactococcus lactis group II intron Ll.LtrB, which produce a double strand break, have recently been studied as a means of developing group II intron-based gene targeting methods for higher organisms. The Sinorhizobium meliloti group II intron RmInt1 is an efficient mobile retroelement, the dispersal of which appears to be linked to transient single-stranded DNA during replication. The RmInt1IEP lacks the endonuclease domain (En) and cannot cut the bottom strand to generate the 3′ end to initiate reverse transcription. We used an Escherichia coli expression system to produce soluble and active RmInt1 IEP and reconstituted RNPs with purified components in vitro. The RNPs generated were functional and reverse-spliced into a single-stranded DNA target. This work constitutes the starting point for the use of group II introns lacking DNA endonuclease domain-derived RNPs for highly specific gene targeting methods. PMID:27730127

  3. Activation of cryptic 3' splice sites within introns of cellular genes following gene entrapment.

    PubMed

    Osipovich, Anna B; White-Grindley, Erica K; Hicks, Geoffrey G; Roshon, Michael J; Shaffer, Christian; Moore, Jason H; Ruley, H Earl

    2004-01-01

    Gene trap vectors developed for genome-wide mutagenesis can be used to study factors governing the expression of exons inserted throughout the genome. For example, entrapment vectors consisting of a partial 3'-terminal exon [i.e. a neomycin resistance gene (Neo), a poly(A) site, but no 3' splice site] were typically expressed following insertion into introns, from cellular transcripts that spliced to cryptic 3' splice sites present either within the targeting vector or in the adjacent intron. A vector (U3NeoSV1) containing the wild-type Neo sequence preferentially disrupted genes that spliced in-frame to a cryptic 3' splice site in the Neo coding sequence and expressed functional neomycin phosphotransferase fusion proteins. Removal of the cryptic Neo 3' splice site did not reduce the proportion of clones with inserts in introns; rather, the fusion transcripts utilized cryptic 3' splice sites present in the adjacent intron or generated by virus integration. However, gene entrapment with U3NeoSV2 was considerably more random than with U3NeoSV1, consistent with the widespread occurrence of potential 3' splice site sequences in the introns of cellular genes. These results clarify the mechanisms of gene entrapment by U3 gene trap vectors and illustrate features of exon definition required for 3' processing and polyadenylation of cellular transcripts.

  4. Activation of cryptic 3′ splice sites within introns of cellular genes following gene entrapment

    PubMed Central

    Osipovich, Anna B.; White-Grindley, Erica K.; Hicks, Geoffrey G.; Roshon, Michael J.; Shaffer, Christian; Moore, Jason H.; Ruley, H. Earl

    2004-01-01

    Gene trap vectors developed for genome-wide mutagenesis can be used to study factors governing the expression of exons inserted throughout the genome. For example, entrapment vectors consisting of a partial 3′-terminal exon [i.e. a neomycin resistance gene (Neo), a poly(A) site, but no 3′ splice site] were typically expressed following insertion into introns, from cellular transcripts that spliced to cryptic 3′ splice sites present either within the targeting vector or in the adjacent intron. A vector (U3NeoSV1) containing the wild-type Neo sequence preferentially disrupted genes that spliced in-frame to a cryptic 3′ splice site in the Neo coding sequence and expressed functional neomycin phosphotransferase fusion proteins. Removal of the cryptic Neo 3′ splice site did not reduce the proportion of clones with inserts in introns; rather, the fusion transcripts utilized cryptic 3′ splice sites present in the adjacent intron or generated by virus integration. However, gene entrapment with U3NeoSV2 was considerably more random than with U3NeoSV1, consistent with the widespread occurrence of potential 3′ splice site sequences in the introns of cellular genes. These results clarify the mechanisms of gene entrapment by U3 gene trap vectors and illustrate features of exon definition required for 3′ processing and polyadenylation of cellular transcripts. PMID:15155860

  5. An intronic open reading frame was released from one of group II introns in the mitochondrial genome of the haptophyte Chrysochromulina sp. NIES-1333.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Yuki; Kamikawa, Ryoma; Hashimoto, Tetsuo; Inagaki, Yuji

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondrial (mt) genome sequences, which often bear introns, have been sampled from phylogenetically diverse eukaryotes. Thus, we can anticipate novel insights into intron evolution from previously unstudied mt genomes. We here investigated the origins and evolution of three introns in the mt genome of the haptophyte Chrysochromulina sp. NIES-1333, which was sequenced completely in this study. All the three introns were characterized as group II, on the basis of predicted secondary structure, and the conserved sequence motifs at the 5' and 3' termini. Our comparative studies on diverse mt genomes prompt us to propose that the Chrysochromulina mt genome laterally acquired the introns from mt genomes in distantly related eukaryotes. Many group II introns harbor intronic open reading frames for the proteins (intron-encoded proteins or IEPs), which likely facilitate the splicing of their host introns. However, we propose that a "free-standing," IEP-like protein, which is not encoded within any introns in the Chrysochromulina mt genome, is involved in the splicing of the first cox1 intron that lacks any open reading frames.

  6. An intronic open reading frame was released from one of group II introns in the mitochondrial genome of the haptophyte Chrysochromulina sp. NIES-1333

    PubMed Central

    Nishimura, Yuki; Kamikawa, Ryoma; Hashimoto, Tetsuo; Inagaki, Yuji

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondrial (mt) genome sequences, which often bear introns, have been sampled from phylogenetically diverse eukaryotes. Thus, we can anticipate novel insights into intron evolution from previously unstudied mt genomes. We here investigated the origins and evolution of three introns in the mt genome of the haptophyte Chrysochromulina sp. NIES-1333, which was sequenced completely in this study. All the three introns were characterized as group II, on the basis of predicted secondary structure, and the conserved sequence motifs at the 5′ and 3′ termini. Our comparative studies on diverse mt genomes prompt us to propose that the Chrysochromulina mt genome laterally acquired the introns from mt genomes in distantly related eukaryotes. Many group II introns harbor intronic open reading frames for the proteins (intron-encoded proteins or IEPs), which likely facilitate the splicing of their host introns. However, we propose that a “free-standing,” IEP-like protein, which is not encoded within any introns in the Chrysochromulina mt genome, is involved in the splicing of the first cox1 intron that lacks any open reading frames. PMID:25054084

  7. Alternative splicing mechanisms orchestrating post-transcriptional gene expression: intron retention and the intron-rich genome of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Lunghi, Matteo; Spano, Furio; Magini, Alessandro; Emiliani, Carla; Carruthers, Vern B; Di Cristina, Manlio

    2016-02-01

    Apicomplexan parasites including Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium species have complex life cycles that include multiple hosts and differentiation through several morphologically distinct stages requiring marked changes in gene expression. This review highlights emerging evidence implicating regulation of mRNA splicing as a mechanism to prime these parasites for rapid gene expression upon differentiation. We summarize the most important insights in alternative splicing including its role in regulating gene expression by decreasing mRNA abundance via 'Regulated Unproductive Splicing and Translation'. As a related but less well-understood mechanism, we discuss also our recent work suggesting a role for intron retention for precluding translation of stage specific isoforms of T. gondii glycolytic enzymes. We additionally provide new evidence that intron retention might be a widespread mechanism during parasite differentiation. Supporting this notion, recent genome-wide analysis of Toxoplasma and Plasmodium suggests intron retention is more pervasive than heretofore thought. These findings parallel recent emergence of intron retention being more prevalent in mammals than previously believed, thereby adding to the established roles in plants, fungi and unicellular eukaryotes. Deeper mechanistic studies of intron retention will provide important insight into its role in regulating gene expression in apicomplexan parasites and more general in eukaryotic organisms.

  8. Splicing signals in Drosophila: intron size, information content, and consensus sequences.

    PubMed Central

    Mount, S M; Burks, C; Hertz, G; Stormo, G D; White, O; Fields, C

    1992-01-01

    A database of 209 Drosophila introns was extracted from Genbank (release number 64.0) and examined by a number of methods in order to characterize features that might serve as signals for messenger RNA splicing. A tight distribution of sizes was observed: while the smallest introns in the database are 51 nucleotides, more than half are less than 80 nucleotides in length, and most of these have lengths in the range of 59-67 nucleotides. Drosophila splice sites found in large and small introns differ in only minor ways from each other and from those found in vertebrate introns. However, larger introns have greater pyrimidine-richness in the region between 11 and 21 nucleotides upstream of 3' splice sites. The Drosophila branchpoint consensus matrix resembles C T A A T (in which branch formation occurs at the underlined A), and differs from the corresponding mammalian signal in the absence of G at the position immediately preceding the branchpoint. The distribution of occurrences of this sequence suggests a minimum distance between 5' splice sites and branchpoints of about 38 nucleotides, and a minimum distance between 3' splice sites and branchpoints of 15 nucleotides. The methods we have used detect no information in exon sequences other than in the few nucleotides immediately adjacent to the splice sites. However, Drosophila resembles many other species in that there is a discontinuity in A + T content between exons and introns, which are A + T rich. PMID:1508718

  9. A Conditional Role of U2AF in Splicing of Introns with Unconventional Polypyrimidine Tracts▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Sridharan, Vinod; Singh, Ravinder

    2007-01-01

    Recognition of polypyrimidine (Py) tracts typically present between the branch point and the 3′ splice site by the large subunit of the essential splicing factor U2AF is a key early step in pre-mRNA splicing. Diverse intronic sequence arrangements exist, however, including 3′ splice sites lacking recognizable Py tracts, which raises the question of how general the requirement for U2AF is for various intron architectures. Our analysis of fission yeast introns in vivo has unexpectedly revealed that whereas introns lacking Py tracts altogether remain dependent on both subunits of U2AF, introns with long Py tracts, unconventionally positioned upstream of branch points, are unaffected by U2AF inactivation. Nevertheless, mutation of these Py tracts causes strong dependence on the large subunit U2AF59. We also find that Py tract diversity influences the requirement for the conserved C-terminal domain of U2AF59 (RNA recognition motif 3), which has been implicated in protein-protein interactions with other splicing factors. Together, these results suggest that in addition to Py tract binding by U2AF, supplementary mechanisms of U2AF recruitment and 3′ splice site identification exist to accommodate diverse intron architectures, which have gone unappreciated in biochemical studies of model pre-mRNAs. PMID:17709389

  10. A Three-Dimensional Model of a Group II Intron RNA and Its Interaction with the Intron-Encoded Reverse Transcriptase

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Lixin; Chai, Dinggeng; Gu, Shan-Qing; Gabel, Jesse; Noskov, Sergei Y.; Blocker, Forrest J. H.; Lambowitz, Alan M.; Zimmerly, Steven

    2009-01-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing ribozymes believed to be the ancestors of spliceosomal introns. Many group II introns encode reverse transcriptases that promote both RNA splicing and intron mobility to new genomic sites. Here we used a circular permutation and cross-linking method to establish sixteen intramolecular distance relationships within the mobile Lactococcus lactis Ll.LtrB-ΔORF intron. Using these new constraints together with thirteen established tertiary interactions and eight published cross-links, we modeled a complete three-dimensional structure of the intron. We also used the circular permutation strategy to map RNA-protein interaction sites through fluorescence quenching and cross-linking assays. Our model provides a comprehensive structural framework for understanding the function of group II ribozymes, their natural structural variations, and the mechanisms by which the intron-encoded protein promotes RNA splicing and intron mobility. The model also suggests an arrangement of active site elements that may be conserved in the spliceosome. PMID:18424209

  11. Insights into the strategies used by related group II introns to adapt successfully for the colonisation of a bacterial genome.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Rodríguez, Laura; García-Rodríguez, Fernando M; Molina-Sánchez, María Dolores; Toro, Nicolás; Martínez-Abarca, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing RNAs and site-specific mobile retroelements found in bacterial and organellar genomes. The group II intron RmInt1 is present at high copy number in Sinorhizobium meliloti species, and has a multifunctional intron-encoded protein (IEP) with reverse transcriptase/maturase activities, but lacking the DNA-binding and endonuclease domains. We characterized two RmInt1-related group II introns RmInt2 from S. meliloti strain GR4 and Sr.md.I1 from S. medicae strain WSM419 in terms of splicing and mobility activities. We used both wild-type and engineered intron-donor constructs based on ribozyme ΔORF-coding sequence derivatives, and we determined the DNA target requirements for RmInt2, the element most distantly related to RmInt1. The excision and mobility patterns of intron-donor constructs expressing different combinations of IEP and intron RNA provided experimental evidence for the co-operation of IEPs and intron RNAs from related elements in intron splicing and, in some cases, in intron homing. We were also able to identify the DNA target regions recognized by these IEPs lacking the DNA endonuclease domain. Our results provide new insight into the versatility of related group II introns and the possible co-operation between these elements to facilitate the colonization of bacterial genomes.

  12. Insights into the strategies used by related group II introns to adapt successfully for the colonisation of a bacterial genome

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Rodríguez, Laura; García-Rodríguez, Fernando M; Molina-Sánchez, María Dolores; Toro, Nicolás; Martínez-Abarca, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing RNAs and site-specific mobile retroelements found in bacterial and organellar genomes. The group II intron RmInt1 is present at high copy number in Sinorhizobium meliloti species, and has a multifunctional intron-encoded protein (IEP) with reverse transcriptase/maturase activities, but lacking the DNA-binding and endonuclease domains. We characterized two RmInt1-related group II introns RmInt2 from S. meliloti strain GR4 and Sr.md.I1 from S. medicae strain WSM419 in terms of splicing and mobility activities. We used both wild-type and engineered intron-donor constructs based on ribozyme ΔORF-coding sequence derivatives, and we determined the DNA target requirements for RmInt2, the element most distantly related to RmInt1. The excision and mobility patterns of intron-donor constructs expressing different combinations of IEP and intron RNA provided experimental evidence for the co-operation of IEPs and intron RNAs from related elements in intron splicing and, in some cases, in intron homing. We were also able to identify the DNA target regions recognized by these IEPs lacking the DNA endonuclease domain. Our results provide new insight into the versatility of related group II introns and the possible co-operation between these elements to facilitate the colonization of bacterial genomes. PMID:25482895

  13. Secondary loss of a cis-spliced intron during the divergence of Giardia intestinalis assemblages.

    PubMed

    Kamikawa, Ryoma; Inagaki, Yuji; Hashimoto, Tetsuo

    2014-06-30

    Giardia intestinalis is a parasitic unicellular eukaryote with a highly reduced genome, in which only six cis-spliced and four trans-spliced introns have been discovered. However, we anticipate that more cis- and trans-spliced introns likely remain unidentified in genes encoding hypothetical proteins that occupy ca. 2/3 of all of the open reading frames (ORFs) in the Giardia genome. Consequently, comprehensive surveys of introns in ORFs for hypothetical proteins are critical for better understanding of the intron evolution in this organism. In this study, we identified two novel cis-spliced introns in the draft genome data of G. intestinalis strain WB, by surveying the conserved sequence motifs shared amongst the previously known introns. G. intestinalis strains can be divided into phylogenetically distinct assemblages A-H, and all the introns identified in past studies are shared among the published genome data from strains WB, DH, GS, and P15 representing assemblages A1, A2, B, and E, respectively. Nevertheless one of the two novel introns identified in this study was found to be absent in strain P15. By considering the organismal relationship among G. intestinalis assemblages A1, A2, B, and E, one of the two introns identified in this study has highly likely been lost after the divergence of the assemblages. On the basis of a sequence comparison between the intron-bearing loci in WB, DH, and GS genomes and the homologous but intron-free locus in P15 genome, we propose that the loss of this particular intron was mediated by integration of the DNA fragment reverse-transcribed from mature mRNAs.

  14. Yin Yang 1 Intronic Binding Sequences and Splicing Elicit Intron-Mediated Enhancement of Ubiquitin C Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Bianchi, Marzia; Crinelli, Rita; Giacomini, Elisa; Carloni, Elisa; Radici, Lucia; Magnani, Mauro

    2013-01-01

    In a number of organisms, introns affect expression of the gene in which they are contained. Our previous studies revealed that the 5′-UTR intron of human ubiquitin C (UbC) gene is responsible for the boost of reporter gene expression and is able to bind, in vitro, Yin Yang 1 (YY1) trans-acting factor. In this work, we demonstrate that intact YY1 binding sequences are required for maximal promoter activity and YY1 silencing causes downregulation of luciferase mRNA levels. However, YY1 motifs fail to enhance gene expression when the intron is moved upstream of the proximal promoter, excluding the typical enhancer hypothesis and supporting a context-dependent action, like intron-mediated enhancement (IME). Yet, almost no expression is seen in the construct containing an unspliceable version of UbC intron, indicating that splicing is essential for promoter activity. Moreover, mutagenesis of YY1 binding sites and YY1 knockdown negatively affect UbC intron removal from both endogenous and reporter transcripts. Modulation of splicing efficiency by YY1 cis-elements and protein factor may thus be part of the mechanism(s) by which YY1 controls UbC promoter activity. Our data highlight the first evidence of the involvement of a sequence-specific DNA binding factor in IME. PMID:23776572

  15. A mutation in a rare type of intron in a sodium-channel gene results in aberrant splicing and causes myotonia.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Tomoya; Roca, Xavier; Kimura, Takashi; Kokunai, Yosuke; Nishino, Ichizo; Sakoda, Saburo; Krainer, Adrian R; Takahashi, Masanori P

    2011-07-01

    Many mutations in the skeletal-muscle sodium-channel gene SCN4A have been associated with myotonia and/or periodic paralysis, but so far all of these mutations are located in exons. We found a patient with myotonia caused by a deletion/insertion located in intron 21 of SCN4A, which is an AT-AC type II intron. This is a rare class of introns that, despite having AT-AC boundaries, are spliced by the major or U2-type spliceosome. The patient's skeletal muscle expressed aberrantly spliced SCN4A mRNA isoforms generated by activation of cryptic splice sites. In addition, genetic suppression experiments using an SCN4A minigene showed that the mutant 5' splice site has impaired binding to the U1 and U6 snRNPs, which are the cognate factors for recognition of U2-type 5' splice sites. One of the aberrantly spliced isoforms encodes a channel with a 35-amino acid insertion in the cytoplasmic loop between domains III and IV of Nav1.4. The mutant channel exhibited a marked disruption of fast inactivation, and a simulation in silico showed that the channel defect is consistent with the patient's myotonic symptoms. This is the first report of a disease-associated mutation in an AT-AC type II intron, and also the first intronic mutation in a voltage-gated ion channel gene showing a gain-of-function defect.

  16. Enhancement of Transcription by a Splicing-Competent Intron Is Dependent on Promoter Directionality

    PubMed Central

    Agarwal, Neha; Ansari, Athar

    2016-01-01

    Enhancement of transcription by a splicing-competent intron is an evolutionarily conserved feature among eukaryotes. The molecular mechanism underlying the phenomenon, however, is not entirely clear. Here we show that the intron is an important regulator of promoter directionality. Employing strand-specific transcription run-on (TRO) analysis, we show that the transcription of mRNA is favored over the upstream anti-sense transcripts (uaRNA) initiating from the promoter in the presence of an intron. Mutation of either the 5′ or 3′ splice site resulted in the reversal of promoter directionality, thereby suggesting that it is not merely the 5′ splice site but the entire splicing-competent intron that regulates transcription directionality. ChIP analysis revealed the recruitment of termination factors near the promoter region in the presence of an intron. Removal of intron or the mutation of splice sites adversely affected the promoter localization of termination factors. We have earlier demonstrated that the intron-mediated enhancement of transcription is dependent on gene looping. Here we show that gene looping is crucial for the recruitment of termination factors in the promoter-proximal region of an intron-containing gene. In a looping-defective mutant, despite normal splicing, the promoter occupancy of factors required for poly(A)-dependent termination of transcription was compromised. This was accompanied by a concomitant loss of transcription directionality. On the basis of these results, we propose that the intron-dependent gene looping places the terminator-bound factors in the vicinity of the promoter region for termination of the promoter-initiated upstream antisense transcription, thereby conferring promoter directionality. PMID:27152651

  17. A conserved intronic U1 snRNP-binding sequence promotes trans-splicing in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Gao, Jun-Li; Fan, Yu-Jie; Wang, Xiu-Ye; Zhang, Yu; Pu, Jia; Li, Liang; Shao, Wei; Zhan, Shuai; Hao, Jianjiang; Xu, Yong-Zhen

    2015-04-01

    Unlike typical cis-splicing, trans-splicing joins exons from two separate transcripts to produce chimeric mRNA and has been detected in most eukaryotes. Trans-splicing in trypanosomes and nematodes has been characterized as a spliced leader RNA-facilitated reaction; in contrast, its mechanism in higher eukaryotes remains unclear. Here we investigate mod(mdg4), a classic trans-spliced gene in Drosophila, and report that two critical RNA sequences in the middle of the last 5' intron, TSA and TSB, promote trans-splicing of mod(mdg4). In TSA, a 13-nucleotide (nt) core motif is conserved across Drosophila species and is essential and sufficient for trans-splicing, which binds U1 small nuclear RNP (snRNP) through strong base-pairing with U1 snRNA. In TSB, a conserved secondary structure acts as an enhancer. Deletions of TSA and TSB using the CRISPR/Cas9 system result in developmental defects in flies. Although it is not clear how the 5' intron finds the 3' introns, compensatory changes in U1 snRNA rescue trans-splicing of TSA mutants, demonstrating that U1 recruitment is critical to promote trans-splicing in vivo. Furthermore, TSA core-like motifs are found in many other trans-spliced Drosophila genes, including lola. These findings represent a novel mechanism of trans-splicing, in which RNA motifs in the 5' intron are sufficient to bring separate transcripts into close proximity to promote trans-splicing.

  18. A conserved intronic U1 snRNP-binding sequence promotes trans-splicing in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Jun-Li; Fan, Yu-Jie; Wang, Xiu-Ye; Zhang, Yu; Pu, Jia; Li, Liang; Shao, Wei; Zhan, Shuai; Hao, Jianjiang

    2015-01-01

    Unlike typical cis-splicing, trans-splicing joins exons from two separate transcripts to produce chimeric mRNA and has been detected in most eukaryotes. Trans-splicing in trypanosomes and nematodes has been characterized as a spliced leader RNA-facilitated reaction; in contrast, its mechanism in higher eukaryotes remains unclear. Here we investigate mod(mdg4), a classic trans-spliced gene in Drosophila, and report that two critical RNA sequences in the middle of the last 5′ intron, TSA and TSB, promote trans-splicing of mod(mdg4). In TSA, a 13-nucleotide (nt) core motif is conserved across Drosophila species and is essential and sufficient for trans-splicing, which binds U1 small nuclear RNP (snRNP) through strong base-pairing with U1 snRNA. In TSB, a conserved secondary structure acts as an enhancer. Deletions of TSA and TSB using the CRISPR/Cas9 system result in developmental defects in flies. Although it is not clear how the 5′ intron finds the 3′ introns, compensatory changes in U1 snRNA rescue trans-splicing of TSA mutants, demonstrating that U1 recruitment is critical to promote trans-splicing in vivo. Furthermore, TSA core-like motifs are found in many other trans-spliced Drosophila genes, including lola. These findings represent a novel mechanism of trans-splicing, in which RNA motifs in the 5′ intron are sufficient to bring separate transcripts into close proximity to promote trans-splicing. PMID:25838544

  19. Global control of aberrant splice-site activation by auxiliary splicing sequences: evidence for a gradient in exon and intron definition.

    PubMed

    Královicová, Jana; Vorechovsky, Igor

    2007-01-01

    Auxiliary splicing signals play a major role in the regulation of constitutive and alternative pre-mRNA splicing, but their relative importance in selection of mutation-induced cryptic or de novo splice sites is poorly understood. Here, we show that exonic sequences between authentic and aberrant splice sites that were activated by splice-site mutations in human disease genes have lower frequencies of splicing enhancers and higher frequencies of splicing silencers than average exons. Conversely, sequences between authentic and intronic aberrant splice sites have more enhancers and less silencers than average introns. Exons that were skipped as a result of splice-site mutations were smaller, had lower SF2/ASF motif scores, a decreased availability of decoy splice sites and a higher density of silencers than exons in which splice-site mutation activated cryptic splice sites. These four variables were the strongest predictors of the two aberrant splicing events in a logistic regression model. Elimination or weakening of predicted silencers in two reporters consistently promoted use of intron-proximal splice sites if these elements were maintained at their original positions, with their modular combinations producing expected modification of splicing. Together, these results show the existence of a gradient in exon and intron definition at the level of pre-mRNA splicing and provide a basis for the development of computational tools that predict aberrant splicing outcomes.

  20. The intronic splicing code: multiple factors involved in ATM pseudoexon definition.

    PubMed

    Dhir, Ashish; Buratti, Emanuele; van Santen, Maria A; Lührmann, Reinhard; Baralle, Francisco E

    2010-02-17

    Abundance of pseudo splice sites in introns can potentially give rise to innumerable pseudoexons, outnumbering the real ones. Nonetheless, these are efficiently ignored by the splicing machinery, a process yet to be understood completely. Although numerous 5' splice site-like sequences functioning as splicing silencers have been found to be enriched in predicted human pseudoexons, the lack of active pseudoexons pose a fundamental challenge to how these U1snRNP-binding sites function in splicing inhibition. Here, we address this issue by focusing on a previously described pathological ATM pseudoexon whose inhibition is mediated by U1snRNP binding at intronic splicing processing element (ISPE), composed of a consensus donor splice site. Spliceosomal complex assembly demonstrates inefficient A complex formation when ISPE is intact, implying U1snRNP-mediated unproductive U2snRNP recruitment. Furthermore, interaction of SF2/ASF with its motif seems to be dependent on RNA structure and U1snRNP interaction. Our results suggest a complex combinatorial interplay of RNA structure and trans-acting factors in determining the splicing outcome and contribute to understanding the intronic splicing code for the ATM pseudoexon.

  1. Branch point identification and sequence requirements for intron splicing in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaohong; Tolzmann, Caitlin A; Melcher, Martin; Haas, Brian J; Gardner, Malcolm J; Smith, Joseph D; Feagin, Jean E

    2011-11-01

    Splicing of mRNA is an ancient and evolutionarily conserved process in eukaryotic organisms, but intron-exon structures vary. Plasmodium falciparum has an extreme AT nucleotide bias (>80%), providing a unique opportunity to investigate how evolutionary forces have acted on intron structures. In this study, we developed an in vivo luciferase reporter splicing assay and employed it in combination with lariat isolation and sequencing to characterize 5' and 3' splicing requirements and experimentally determine the intron branch point in P. falciparum. This analysis indicates that P. falciparum mRNAs have canonical 5' and 3' splice sites. However, the 5' consensus motif is weakly conserved and tolerates nucleotide substitution, including the fifth nucleotide in the intron, which is more typically a G nucleotide in most eukaryotes. In comparison, the 3' splice site has a strong eukaryotic consensus sequence and adjacent polypyrimidine tract. In four different P. falciparum pre-mRNAs, multiple branch points per intron were detected, with some at U instead of the typical A residue. A weak branch point consensus was detected among 18 identified branch points. This analysis indicates that P. falciparum retains many consensus eukaryotic splice site features, despite having an extreme codon bias, and possesses flexibility in branch point nucleophilic attack.

  2. Localization of a bacterial group II intron-encoded protein in human cells

    PubMed Central

    Reinoso-Colacio, Mercedes; García-Rodríguez, Fernando Manuel; García-Cañadas, Marta; Amador-Cubero, Suyapa; Pérez, José Luis García; Toro, Nicolás

    2015-01-01

    Group II introns are mobile retroelements that self-splice from precursor RNAs to form ribonucleoparticles (RNP), which can invade new specific genomic DNA sites. This specificity can be reprogrammed, for insertion into any desired DNA site, making these introns useful tools for bacterial genetic engineering. However, previous studies have suggested that these elements may function inefficiently in eukaryotes. We investigated the subcellular distribution, in cultured human cells, of the protein encoded by the group II intron RmInt1 (IEP) and several mutants. We created fusions with yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) and with a FLAG epitope. We found that the IEP was localized in the nucleus and nucleolus of the cells. Remarkably, it also accumulated at the periphery of the nuclear matrix. We were also able to identify spliced lariat intron RNA, which co-immunoprecipitated with the IEP, suggesting that functional RmInt1 RNPs can be assembled in cultured human cells. PMID:26244523

  3. Localization of a bacterial group II intron-encoded protein in human cells.

    PubMed

    Reinoso-Colacio, Mercedes; García-Rodríguez, Fernando Manuel; García-Cañadas, Marta; Amador-Cubero, Suyapa; García Pérez, José Luis; Toro, Nicolás

    2015-08-05

    Group II introns are mobile retroelements that self-splice from precursor RNAs to form ribonucleoparticles (RNP), which can invade new specific genomic DNA sites. This specificity can be reprogrammed, for insertion into any desired DNA site, making these introns useful tools for bacterial genetic engineering. However, previous studies have suggested that these elements may function inefficiently in eukaryotes. We investigated the subcellular distribution, in cultured human cells, of the protein encoded by the group II intron RmInt1 (IEP) and several mutants. We created fusions with yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) and with a FLAG epitope. We found that the IEP was localized in the nucleus and nucleolus of the cells. Remarkably, it also accumulated at the periphery of the nuclear matrix. We were also able to identify spliced lariat intron RNA, which co-immunoprecipitated with the IEP, suggesting that functional RmInt1 RNPs can be assembled in cultured human cells.

  4. Information content of Caenorhabditis elegans splice site sequences varies with intron length.

    PubMed Central

    Fields, C

    1990-01-01

    A database of sequences of 139 introns from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was analyzed using the information measure of Schneider et al. (1986) J. Mol. Biol. 128: 415-431. Statistically significant information is encoded by at least the first 30 nt and last 20 nt of C. elegans introns. Both the quantity and the distribution of information in the 5' splice site sequences differs between the typical short (length less than 75 nt) and rarer long (length greater than 75 nt) introns, with the 5 sites of long introns containing approximately one bit more information. 3' splice site sequences of long and short C. elegans introns differ significantly in the region between -20 and -10 nt. PMID:2326191

  5. Inhibition of Telomerase Activity Using an EGFP-Intron Splicing System Encoding Multiple RNAi Sequences.

    PubMed

    Sakiragaoglu, O; Munn, A L

    2016-12-01

    To inhibit telomerase activity, a construct which contains artificial introns in the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) gene that encodes small hairpin RNA (shRNA) sequences that target human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene expression was designed and tested for its effect on lung cancer cell line. On intron splicing from the construct, intronic sequences were released and formed shRNA in the cells. After transfection of the construct, hTERT mRNA expression decreased by approximately 55 % in A549 cells. Correspondingly, in the same cell line, telomerase activity was decreased by approximately 23 %. The telomerase activity was transiently inhibited by this non-viral shRNA expression system that uses intron splicing to release artificial introns in an EGFP marker gene that contain shRNA targeting telomerase.

  6. Inhibition of self-splicing group I intron RNA: high-throughput screening assays.

    PubMed Central

    Mei, H Y; Cui, M; Sutton, S T; Truong, H N; Chung, F Z; Czarnik, A W

    1996-01-01

    High-throughput screening assays have been developed to rapidly identify small molecule inhibitors targeting catalytic group I introns. Biochemical reactions catalyzed by a self-splicing group I intron derived from Pneumocystis carinii or from bacteriophage T4 have been investigated. In vitro biochemical assays amenable to high-throughput screening have been established. Small molecules that inhibit the functions of group I introns have been identified. These inhibitors should be useful in better understanding ribozyme catalysis or in therapeutic intervention of group I intron-containing microorganisms. PMID:9016680

  7. Unusual Intron Conservation near Tissue-Regulated Exons Found by Splicing Microarrays

    PubMed Central

    Sugnet, Charles W; Srinivasan, Karpagam; Clark, Tyson A; O'Brien, Georgeann; Cline, Melissa S; Wang, Hui; Williams, Alan; Kulp, David; Blume, John E; Haussler, David; Ares, Manuel

    2006-01-01

    Alternative splicing contributes to both gene regulation and protein diversity. To discover broad relationships between regulation of alternative splicing and sequence conservation, we applied a systems approach, using oligonucleotide microarrays designed to capture splicing information across the mouse genome. In a set of 22 adult tissues, we observe differential expression of RNA containing at least two alternative splice junctions for about 40% of the 6,216 alternative events we could detect. Statistical comparisons identify 171 cassette exons whose inclusion or skipping is different in brain relative to other tissues and another 28 exons whose splicing is different in muscle. A subset of these exons is associated with unusual blocks of intron sequence whose conservation in vertebrates rivals that of protein-coding exons. By focusing on sets of exons with similar regulatory patterns, we have identified new sequence motifs implicated in brain and muscle splicing regulation. Of note is a motif that is strikingly similar to the branchpoint consensus but is located downstream of the 5′ splice site of exons included in muscle. Analysis of three paralogous membrane-associated guanylate kinase genes reveals that each contains a paralogous tissue-regulated exon with a similar tissue inclusion pattern. While the intron sequences flanking these exons remain highly conserved among mammalian orthologs, the paralogous flanking intron sequences have diverged considerably, suggesting unusually complex evolution of the regulation of alternative splicing in multigene families. PMID:16424921

  8. Position-dependent repression and promotion of DQB1 intron 3 splicing by GGGG motifs.

    PubMed

    Královicová, Jana; Vorechovsky, Igor

    2006-02-15

    Alternative splicing of HLA-DQB1 exon 4 is allele-dependent and results in variable expression of soluble DQbeta. We have recently shown that differential inclusion of this exon in mature transcripts is largely due to intron 3 variants in the branch point sequence (BPS) and polypyrimidine tract. To identify additional regulatory cis-elements that contribute to haplotype-specific splicing of DQB1, we systematically examined the effect of guanosine (G) repeats on intron 3 removal. We found that the GGG or GGGG repeats generally improved splicing of DQB1 intron 3, except for those that were adjacent to the 5' splice site where they had the opposite effect. The most prominent splicing enhancement was conferred by GGGG motifs arranged in tandem upstream of the BPS. Replacement of a G-rich segment just 5' of the BPS with a series of random sequences markedly repressed splicing, whereas substitutions of a segment further upstream that lacked the G-rich elements and had the same size did not result in comparable splicing inhibition. Systematic mutagenesis of both suprabranch guanosine quadruplets (G(4)) revealed a key role of central G residues in splicing enhancement, whereas cytosines in these positions had the most prominent repressive effects. Together, these results show a significant role of tandem G(4)NG(4) structures in splicing of both complete and truncated DQB1 intron 3, support position dependency of G repeats in splicing promotion and inhibition, and identify positively and negatively acting sequences that contribute to the haplotype-specific DQB1 expression.

  9. The tertiary structure of group II introns: implications for biological function and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Pyle, Anna Marie

    2015-01-01

    Group II introns are some of the largest ribozymes in nature, and they are a major source of information about RNA assembly and tertiary structural organization. These introns are of biological significance because they are self-splicing mobile elements that have migrated into diverse genomes and played a major role in the genomic organization and metabolism of most life forms. The tertiary structure of group II introns has been the subject of many phylogenetic, genetic, biochemical and biophysical investigations, all of which are consistent with the recent crystal structure of an intact group IIC intron from the alkaliphilic eubacterium Oceanobacillus iheyensis. The crystal structure reveals that catalytic intron domain V is enfolded within the other intronic domains through an elaborate network of diverse tertiary interactions. Within the folded core, DV adopts an activated conformation that readily binds catalytic metal ions and positions them in a manner appropriate for reaction with nucleic acid targets. The tertiary structure of the group II intron reveals new information on motifs for RNA architectural organization, mechanisms of group II intron catalysis, and the evolutionary relationships among RNA processing systems. Guided by the structure and the wealth of previous genetic and biochemical work, it is now possible to deduce the probable location of DVI and the site of additional domains that contribute to the function of the highly derived group IIB and IIA introns. PMID:20446804

  10. 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

  11. An Intronic G Run within HIV-1 Intron 2 Is Critical for Splicing Regulation of vif mRNA

    PubMed Central

    Widera, Marek; Erkelenz, Steffen; Hillebrand, Frank; Krikoni, Aikaterini; Widera, Darius; Kaisers, Wolfgang; Deenen, René; Gombert, Michael; Dellen, Rafael; Pfeiffer, Tanya; Kaltschmidt, Barbara; Münk, Carsten; Bosch, Valerie; Köhrer, Karl

    2013-01-01

    Within target T lymphocytes, human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1) encounters the retroviral restriction factor APOBEC3G (apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme, catalytic polypeptide-like 3G; A3G), which is counteracted by the HIV-1 accessory protein Vif. Vif is encoded by intron-containing viral RNAs that are generated by splicing at 3′ splice site (3′ss) A1 but lack splicing at 5′ss D2, which results in the retention of a large downstream intron. Hence, the extents of activation of 3′ss A1 and repression of D2, respectively, determine the levels of vif mRNA and thus the ability to evade A3G-mediated antiviral effects. The use of 3′ss A1 can be enhanced or repressed by splicing regulatory elements that control the recognition of downstream 5′ss D2. Here we show that an intronic G run (GI2-1) represses the use of a second 5′ss, termed D2b, that is embedded within intron 2 and, as determined by RNA deep-sequencing analysis, is normally inefficiently used. Mutations of GI2-1 and activation of D2b led to the generation of transcripts coding for Gp41 and Rev protein isoforms but primarily led to considerable upregulation of vif mRNA expression. We further demonstrate, however, that higher levels of Vif protein are actually detrimental to viral replication in A3G-expressing T cell lines but not in A3G-deficient cells. These observations suggest that an appropriate ratio of Vif-to-A3G protein levels is required for optimal virus replication and that part of Vif level regulation is effected by the novel G run identified here. PMID:23255806

  12. Splicing of COB intron 5 requires pairing between the internal guide sequence and both flanking exons.

    PubMed

    Partono, S; Lewin, A S

    1990-11-01

    Group I introns are characterized by a set of conserved sequence elements and secondary structures. Evidence supporting the pairing of certain of these sequences has come from the comparison of intron sequences and from the analysis of mutations that disrupt splicing by interfering with pairing. One of the structures proposed for all group I introns is an internal guide sequence that base pairs with the upstream and the downstream exons, bringing them into alignment for ligation. We made specific mutations in the internal guide sequence and the flanking exons of the fifth intron in the yeast mitochondrial gene for apocytochrome b (COB). Mutations that disrupted the pairing between the internal guide sequence and the upstream exon (the P1 pairing) blocked addition of guanosine to the 5' end of the intron during autocatalytic reactions and prevented formation of the full-length circular intron. In contrast, transcripts containing mutations that disrupted the pairing between the guide sequence and the downstream exon (the P10 helix) initiated splicing but failed to ligate exons. Compensatory mutations that restored helices of normal stability mitigated the effects of the original mutations. These data provide direct evidence for the importance of the base pairing between the internal guide sequence and the downstream exon in the splicing of a wild-type group I intron.

  13. Characterization of the molecular basis of group II intron RNA recognition by CRS1-CRM domains.

    PubMed

    Keren, Ido; Klipcan, Liron; Bezawork-Geleta, Ayenachew; Kolton, Max; Shaya, Felix; Ostersetzer-Biran, Oren

    2008-08-22

    CRM (chloroplast RNA splicing and ribosome maturation) is a recently recognized RNA-binding domain of ancient origin that has been retained in eukaryotic genomes only within the plant lineage. Whereas in bacteria CRM domains exist as single domain proteins involved in ribosome maturation, in plants they are found in a family of proteins that contain between one and four repeats. Several members of this family with multiple CRM domains have been shown to be required for the splicing of specific plastidic group II introns. Detailed biochemical analysis of one of these factors in maize, CRS1, demonstrated its high affinity and specific binding to the single group II intron whose splicing it facilitates, the plastid-encoded atpF intron RNA. Through its association with two intronic regions, CRS1 guides the folding of atpF intron RNA into its predicted "catalytically active" form. To understand how multiple CRM domains cooperate to achieve high affinity sequence-specific binding to RNA, we analyzed the RNA binding affinity and specificity associated with each individual CRM domain in CRS1; whereas CRM3 bound tightly to the RNA, CRM1 associated specifically with a unique region found within atpF intron domain I. CRM2, which demonstrated only low binding affinity, also seems to form specific interactions with regions localized to domains I, III, and IV. We further show that CRM domains share structural similarities and RNA binding characteristics with the well known RNA recognition motif domain.

  14. Antisense Oligonucleotide Mediated Splice Correction of a Deep Intronic Mutation in OPA1

    PubMed Central

    Bonifert, Tobias; Gonzalez Menendez, Irene; Battke, Florian; Theurer, Yvonne; Synofzik, Matthis; Schöls, Ludger; Wissinger, Bernd

    2016-01-01

    Inherited optic neuropathies (ION) present an important cause of blindness in the European working-age population. Recently we reported the discovery of four independent families with deep intronic mutations in the main inherited optic neuropathies gene OPA1. These deep intronic mutations cause mis-splicing of the OPA1 pre-messenger-RNA transcripts by creating cryptic acceptor splice sites. As a rescue strategy we sought to prevent mis-splicing of the mutant pre-messenger-RNA by applying 2′O-methyl-antisense oligonucleotides (AONs) with a full-length phosphorothioate backbone that target the cryptic acceptor splice sites and the predicted novel branch point created by the deep intronic mutations, respectively. Transfection of patient-derived primary fibroblasts with these AONs induced correct splicing of the mutant pre-messenger-RNA in a time and concentration dependent mode of action, as detected by pyrosequencing of informative heterozygous variants. The treatment showed strong rescue effects (~55%) using the cryptic acceptor splice sites targeting AON and moderate rescue (~16%) using the branch point targeting AON. The highest efficacy of Splice correction could be observed 4 days after treatment however, significant effects were still seen 14 days post-transfection. Western blot analysis revealed increased amounts of OPA1 protein with maximum amounts at ~3 days post-treatment. In summary, we provide the first mutation-specific in vitro rescue strategy for OPA1 deficiency using synthetic AONs. PMID:27874857

  15. Forks in the tracks: Group II introns, spliceosomes, telomeres and beyond.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Rajendra Kumar; Wang, Hong-Wei; Belfort, Marlene

    2016-12-01

    Group II introns are large catalytic RNAs that form a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex by binding to an intron-encoded protein (IEP). The IEP, which facilitates both RNA splicing and intron mobility, has multiple activities including reverse transcriptase. Recent structures of a group II intron RNP complex and of IEPs from diverse bacteria fuel arguments that group II introns are ancestrally related to eukaryotic spliceosomes as well as to telomerase and viruses. Furthermore, recent structural studies of various functional states of the spliceosome allow us to draw parallels between the group II intron RNP and the spliceosome. Here we present an overview of these studies, with an emphasis on the structure of the IEPs in their isolated and RNA-bound states and on their evolutionary relatedness. In addition, we address the conundrum of the free, albeit truncated IEPs forming dimers, whereas the IEP bound to the intron ribozyme is a monomer in the mature RNP. Future studies needed to resolve some of the outstanding issues related to group II intron RNP function and dynamics are also discussed.

  16. Regulation of gene expression through inefficient splicing of U12-type introns.

    PubMed

    Niemelä, Elina H; Frilander, Mikko J

    2014-01-01

    U12-type introns are a rare class of nuclear introns that are removed by a dedicated U12-dependent spliceosome and are thought to regulate the expression of their target genes owing through their slower splicing reaction. Recent genome-wide studies on the splicing of U12-type introns are now providing new insights on the biological significance of this parallel splicing machinery. The new studies cover multiple different organisms and experimental systems, including human patient cells with mutations in the components of the minor spliceosome, zebrafish with similar mutations and various experimentally manipulated human cells and Arabidopsis plants. Here, we will discuss the potential implications of these studies on the understanding of the mechanism and regulation of the minor spliceosome, as well as their medical implications.

  17. Categorization and characterization of transcript-confirmed constitutively and alternatively spliced introns and exons from human.

    PubMed

    Clark, Francis; Thanaraj, T A

    2002-02-15

    By spliced alignment of human DNA and transcript sequence data we constructed a data set of transcript-confirmed exons and introns from 2793 genes, 796 of which (28%) were seen to have multiple isoforms. We find that over one-third of human exons can translate in more than one frame, and that this is highly correlated with G+C content. Introns containing adenosine at donor site position +3 (A3), rather than guanosine (G3), are more common in low G+C regions, while the converse is true in high G+C regions. These two classes of introns are shown to have distinct lengths, consensus sequences and correlations among splice signals, leading to the hypothesis that A3 donor sites are associated with exon definition, and G3 donor sites with intron definition. Minor classes of introns, including GC-AG, U12-type GT-AG, weak, and putative AG-dependant introns are identified and characterized. Cassette exons are more prevalent in low G+C regions, while exon isoforms are more prevalent in high G+C regions. Cassette exon events outnumber other alternative events, while exon isoform events involve truncation twice as often as extension, and occur at acceptor sites twice as often as at donor sites. Alternative splicing is usually associated with weak splice signals, and in a majority of cases, preserves the coding frame. The reported characteristics of constitutive and alternative splice signals, and the hypotheses offered regarding alternative splicing and genome organization, have important implications for experimental research into RNA processing. The 'AltExtron' data sets are available at http://www.bit.uq.edu.au/altExtron/ and http://www.ebi.ac.uk/~thanaraj/altExtron/.

  18. Widespread mRNA polyadenylation events in introns indicate dynamic interplay between polyadenylation and splicing.

    PubMed

    Tian, Bin; Pan, Zhenhua; Lee, Ju Youn

    2007-02-01

    mRNA polyadenylation and pre-mRNA splicing are two essential steps for the maturation of most human mRNAs. Studies have shown that some genes generate mRNA variants involving both alternative polyadenylation and alternative splicing. Polyadenylation in introns can lead to conversion of an internal exon to a 3' terminal exon, which is termed composite terminal exon, or usage of a 3' terminal exon that is otherwise skipped, which is termed skipped terminal exon. Using cDNA/EST and genome sequences, we identified polyadenylation sites in introns for all currently known human genes. We found that approximately 20% human genes have at least one intronic polyadenylation event that can potentially lead to mRNA variants, most of which encode different protein products. The conservation of human intronic poly(A) sites in mouse and rat genomes is lower than that of poly(A) sites in 3'-most exons. Quantitative analysis of a number of mRNA variants generated by intronic poly(A) sites suggests that the intronic polyadenylation activity can vary under different cellular conditions for most genes. Furthermore, we found that weak 5' splice site and large intron size are the determining factors controlling the usage of composite terminal exon poly(A) sites, whereas skipped terminal exon poly(A) sites tend to be associated with strong polyadenylation signals. Thus, our data indicate that dynamic interplay between polyadenylation and splicing leads to widespread polyadenylation in introns and contributes to the complexity of transcriptome in the cell.

  19. 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

  20. Homing of a group II intron from Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis ML3.

    PubMed

    Mills, D A; Manias, D A; McKay, L L; Dunny, G M

    1997-10-01

    Ll.ltrB is a functional group II intron located within a gene (ltrB) encoding a conjugative relaxase essential for transfer of the lactococcal element pRSO1. In this work, the Ll.ltrB intron was shown to be an independent mobile element capable of inserting into an intronless allele of the ltrB gene. Ll.ltrB was not observed to insert into a deletion derivative of the ltrB gene in which the intron splice site was removed. In contrast, a second vector containing a 271-nucleotide segment of ltrB spanning the Ll.ltrB splice site was shown to be a proficient recipient of intron insertion. Efficient homing was observed in the absence of a functional host homologous recombination system. This work demonstrates that the Ll.ltrB intron is a novel site-specific mobile element in lactococci and that group II intron self-transfer is a mechanism for intron dissemination among bacteria.

  1. Allele-specific recognition of the 3′ splice site of INS intron 1

    PubMed Central

    Kralovicova, Jana

    2010-01-01

    Genetic predisposition to type 1 diabetes (T1D) has been associated with a chromosome 11 locus centered on the proinsulin gene (INS) and with differential steady-state levels of INS RNA from T1D-predisposing and -protective haplotypes. Here, we show that the haplotype-specific expression is determined by INS variants that control the splicing efficiency of intron 1. The adenine allele at IVS1-6 (rs689), which rapidly expanded in modern humans, renders the 3′ splice site of this intron more dependent on the auxiliary factor of U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (U2AF). This interaction required both zinc fingers of the 35-kD U2AF subunit (U2AF35) and was associated with repression of a competing 3′ splice site in INS exon 2. Systematic mutagenesis of reporter constructs showed that intron 1 removal was facilitated by conserved guanosine-rich enhancers and identified additional splicing regulatory motifs in exon 2. Sequencing of intron 1 in primates revealed that relaxation of its 3′ splice site in Hominidae coevolved with the introduction of a short upstream open reading frame, providing a more efficient coupled splicing and translation control. Depletion of SR proteins 9G8 and transformer-2 by RNA interference was associated with exon 2 skipping whereas depletion of SRp20 with increased representation of transcripts containing a cryptic 3′ splice site in the last exon. Together, these findings reveal critical interactions underlying the allele-dependent INS expression and INS-mediated risk of T1D and suggest that the increased requirement for U2AF35 in higher primates may hinder thymic presentation of autoantigens encoded by transcripts with weak 3′ splice sites. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00439-010-0860-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20628762

  2. Experimental evidence for splicing of intron-containing transcripts of plant LTR retrotransposon Ogre.

    PubMed

    Steinbauerová, Veronika; Neumann, Pavel; Macas, Jirí

    2008-11-01

    Ogre elements are a distinct group of plant Ty3/gypsy-like retrotransposons characterized by several specific features, one of which is a separation of the gag-pol region into two non-overlapping open reading frames: ORF2 coding for Gag-Pro, and ORF3 coding for RT/RH-INT proteins. Previous characterization of Ogre elements from several plant species revealed that part of their transcripts lacks the region between ORF2 and ORF3, carrying one uninterrupted ORF instead. In this work, we investigated a hypothesis that this region represents an intron that is spliced out from part of the Ogre transcripts as a means for preferential production of ORF2-encoded proteins over those encoded by the complete ORF2-ORF3 region. The experiments involved analysis of transcription patterns of well-defined Ogre populations in a model plant Medicago truncatula and examination of transcripts carrying dissected pea Ogre intron expressed within a coding sequence of chimeric reporter gene. Both experimental approaches proved that the region between ORF2 and ORF3 is spliced from Ogre transcripts and showed that this process is only partial, probably due to weak splice signals. This is one of very few known cases of spliced LTR retrotransposons and the only one where splicing does not involve parts of the element's coding sequences, thus resembling intron splicing found in most cellular genes.

  3. Biogenesis of intronic miRNAs located in clusters by independent transcription and alternative splicing

    PubMed Central

    Ramalingam, Pradeep; Palanichamy, Jayanth Kumar; Singh, Anand; Das, Prerna; Bhagat, Mohita; Kassab, Muzaffer Ahmad; Sinha, Subrata; Chattopadhyay, Parthaprasad

    2014-01-01

    miRNAs are generally classified as “intergenic” or “intronic” based upon their genomic location. Intergenic miRNAs are known to be transcribed as independent transcription units, while intronic miRNAs are believed to be processed from the introns of their hosting transcription units and hence share common regulatory mechanisms and expression patterns with its host gene. Recent reports in the literature suggest that some intronic miRNAs, which do not show concordance in expression with their respective host genes, might be transcribed and regulated as independent transcription units. However, there is no direct evidence for the existence of independently transcribed intronic miRNA in humans to date. We have characterized the full-length primary transcripts (pri-miRNAs) of three human intronic miRNAs—miR 106b, miR 93, and miR 24-1—by RNA ligase-mediated RACE and show that human intronic miRNA can indeed be transcribed as independent transcription units. Also, clustered miRNAs are generally believed to arise from a common primary transcript and are expected to have similar expression profiles. However, we have identified several novel alternatively spliced transcripts by RT-PCR, each of which harbors a single pre-miRNA from a cluster of closely located intronic miRNAs. We show that these transcripts represent unique pri-miRNAs for each of these clustered miRNAs. We also report the identification of conserved splice acceptor signals which are responsible for maturation of these novel splice variants. Our results suggest that alternative splicing might play a role in uncoupling the expression of clustered miRNAs from each other, which otherwise are generally believed to be co-transcribed and co-expressed. PMID:24226766

  4. Principles of ion recognition in RNA: insights from the group II intron structures.

    PubMed

    Marcia, Marco; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2014-04-01

    Metal ions promote both RNA folding and catalysis, thus being essential in stabilizing the structure and determining the function of large RNA molecules, including group II introns. The latter are self-splicing metalloribozymes, containing a heteronuclear four-metal-ion center within the active site. In addition to these catalytic ions, group II introns bind many other structural ions, including delocalized ions that bind the RNA diffusively and well-ordered ions that bind the RNA tightly with high occupancy. The latter ions, which can be studied by biophysical methods, have not yet been analyzed systematically. Here, we compare crystal structures of the group IIC intron from Oceanobacillus iheyensis and classify numerous site-bound ions, which are primarily localized in the intron core and near long-range tertiary contacts. Certain ion-binding sites resemble motifs observed in known RNA structures, while others are idiosyncratic to the group II intron. Particularly interesting are (1) ions proximal to the active site, which may participate in splicing together with the catalytic four-metal-ion center, (2) organic ions that bind regions predicted to interact with intron-encoded proteins, and (3) unusual monovalent ions bound to GU wobble pairs, GA mismatches, the S-turn, the tetraloop-receptor, and the T-loop. Our analysis extends the general principles by which ions participate in RNA structural organization and it will aid in the determination and interpretation of future RNA structures.

  5. Principles of ion recognition in RNA: insights from the group II intron structures

    PubMed Central

    Marcia, Marco; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2014-01-01

    Metal ions promote both RNA folding and catalysis, thus being essential in stabilizing the structure and determining the function of large RNA molecules, including group II introns. The latter are self-splicing metalloribozymes, containing a heteronuclear four-metal-ion center within the active site. In addition to these catalytic ions, group II introns bind many other structural ions, including delocalized ions that bind the RNA diffusively and well-ordered ions that bind the RNA tightly with high occupancy. The latter ions, which can be studied by biophysical methods, have not yet been analyzed systematically. Here, we compare crystal structures of the group IIC intron from Oceanobacillus iheyensis and classify numerous site-bound ions, which are primarily localized in the intron core and near long-range tertiary contacts. Certain ion-binding sites resemble motifs observed in known RNA structures, while others are idiosyncratic to the group II intron. Particularly interesting are (1) ions proximal to the active site, which may participate in splicing together with the catalytic four-metal-ion center, (2) organic ions that bind regions predicted to interact with intron-encoded proteins, and (3) unusual monovalent ions bound to GU wobble pairs, GA mismatches, the S-turn, the tetraloop-receptor, and the T-loop. Our analysis extends the general principles by which ions participate in RNA structural organization and it will aid in the determination and interpretation of future RNA structures. PMID:24570483

  6. Nucleotide sequence composition adjacent to intronic splice sites improves splicing efficiency via its effect on pre-mRNA local folding in fungi.

    PubMed

    Zafrir, Zohar; Tuller, Tamir

    2015-10-01

    RNA splicing is the central process of intron removal in eukaryotes known to regulate various cellular functions such as growth, development, and response to external signals. The canonical sequences indicating the splicing sites needed for intronic boundary recognition are well known. However, the roles and evolution of the local folding of intronic and exonic sequence features adjacent to splice sites has yet to be thoroughly studied. Here, focusing on four fungi (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Aspergillus nidulans, and Candida albicans), we performed for the first time a comprehensive high-resolution study aimed at characterizing the encoding of intronic splicing efficiency in pre-mRNA transcripts and its effect on intron evolution. Our analysis supports the conjecture that pre-mRNA local folding strength at intronic boundaries is under selective pressure, as it significantly affects splicing efficiency. Specifically, we show that in the immediate region of 12-30 nucleotides (nt) surrounding the intronic donor site there is a preference for weak pre-mRNA folding; similarly, in the region of 15-33 nt surrounding the acceptor and branch sites there is a preference for weak pre-mRNA folding. We also show that in most cases there is a preference for strong pre-mRNA folding further away from intronic splice sites. In addition, we demonstrate that these signals are not associated with gene-specific functions, and they correlate with splicing efficiency measurements (r = 0.77, P = 2.98 × 10(-21)) and with expression levels of the corresponding genes (P = 1.24 × 10(-19)). We suggest that pre-mRNA folding strength in the above-mentioned regions has a direct effect on splicing efficiency by improving the recognition of intronic boundaries. These new discoveries are contributory steps toward a broader understanding of splicing regulation and intronic/transcript evolution.

  7. In silico analysis of the sequence features responsible for alternatively spliced introns in the model green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed

    Raj-Kumar, Praveen-Kumar; Vallon, Olivier; Liang, Chun

    2017-06-01

    Alternatively spliced introns are the ones that are usually spliced but can be occasionally retained in a transcript isoform. They are the most frequently used alternative splice form in plants (~50% of alternative splicing events). Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a unicellular alga, is a good model to understand alternative splicing (AS) in plants from an evolutionary perspective as it diverged from land plants a billion years ago. Using over 7 million cDNA sequences from both pyrosequencing and Sanger sequencing, we found that a much higher percentage of genes (~20% of multi-exon genes) undergo AS than previously reported (3-5%). We found a full component of SR and SR-like proteins possibly involved in AS. The most prevalent type of AS event (40%) was retention of introns, most of which were supported by multiple cDNA evidence (72%) while only 20% of them have coding capacity. By comparing retained and constitutive introns, we identified sequence features potentially responsible for the retention of introns, in the framework of an "intron definition" model for splicing. We find that retained introns tend to have a weaker 5' splice site, more Gs in their poly-pyrimidine tract and a lesser conservation of nucleotide 'C' at position -3 of the 3' splice site. In addition, the sequence motifs found in the potential branch-point region differed between retained and constitutive introns. Furthermore, the enrichment of G-triplets and C-triplets among the first and last 50 nt of the introns significantly differ between constitutive and retained introns. These could serve as intronic splicing enhancers. All the alternative splice forms can be accessed at http://bioinfolab.miamioh.edu/cgi-bin/PASA_r20140417/cgi-bin/status_report.cgi?db=Chre_AS .

  8. The effect of intron location on the splicing of BmKK2 in 293T cells.

    PubMed

    Zhijian, Cao; Chao, Dai; Dahe, Jiang; Wenxin, Li

    2006-01-01

    Previously reported results showed that the BmKK2's intron could be recognized and spliced in cultured HEK 293T cells. At the same time, a cryptic splicing site of BmKK2 gene was found in the second exon. Moreover, replacing BmKK2's intron with BmP03's intron (an artificial BmKK2-BmP03 mosaic gene) did not affect the intron's recognition and splicing, but increased the expression level of the toxin-GFP fusion protein (Cao et al., J Biochem Mol Toxicol 2006;20:1-6). In this investigation, the BmKK2's intron with 79 nucleotides length was artificially shifted from the 49th nt (the 17th Gly codon between the first base and the second base) to the 100th nt (the 34th Gly codon between the first base and the second base). Based on the constructed intron-splicing system, the results of RT-PCR and the western blotting analysis showed that the BmKK2's shifted-intron (named BmKK2-s) was not recognized and spliced correctly, but the cryptic splicing site of BmKK2 gene was still spliced in the second exon, which possibly indicated that locations of introns were very important to the recognition and splicing of introns, and splicing of introns was very much associated with the corresponding upstream and downstream exons. This result possibly provides evidence for splice-site recognition across the exons. (c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. A peripheral element assembles the compact core structure essential for group I intron self-splicing

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Mu; Li, Tingting; Yuan, Xiaoyan; Shang, Yuan; Wang, Fu; Chen, Shoudeng; Zhang, Yi

    2005-01-01

    The presence of non-conserved peripheral elements in all naturally occurring group I introns underline their importance in ensuring the natural intron function. Recently, we reported that some peripheral elements are conserved in group I introns of IE subgroup. Using self-splicing activity as a readout, our initial screening revealed that one such conserved peripheral elements, P2.1, is mainly required to fold the catalytically active structure of the Candida ribozyme, an IE intron. Unexpectedly, the essential function of P2.1 resides in a sequence-conserved short stem of P2.1 but not in a long-range interaction associated with the loop of P2.1 that stabilizes the ribozyme structure. The P2.1 stem is indispensable in folding the compact ribozyme core, most probably by forming a triple helical interaction with two core helices, P3 and P6. Surprisingly, although the ribozyme lacking the P2.1 stem renders a loosely folded core and the loss of self-splicing activity requires two consecutive transesterifications, the mutant ribozyme efficiently catalyzes the first transesterification reaction. These results suggest that the intron self-splicing demands much more ordered structure than does one independent transesterification, highlighting that the universally present peripheral elements achieve their functional importance by enabling the highly ordered structure through diverse tertiary interactions. PMID:16100381

  10. A Complex Network of Factors with Overlapping Affinities Repress Splicing through Intronic Elements

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yang; Xiao, Xinshu; Zhang, Jianming; Choudhury, Rajarshi; Robertson, Alex; Li, Kai; Ma, Meng; Burge, Christopher B.; Wang, Zefeng

    2012-01-01

    To better understand splicing regulation, we used a cell-based screen to identify ten diverse motifs that inhibit splicing from intron. Each motif was validated in another human cell type and gene context, and their presence correlated with in vivo splicing changes. All motifs exhibited exonic splicing enhancer or silencer activity, and grouping these motifs based on their distributions yielded clusters with distinct patterns of context-dependent activity. Candidate regulatory factors associated with each motif were identified, recovering 24 known and novel splicing regulators. Specific domains in selected factors were sufficient to confer ISS activity. Many factors bound multiple distinct motifs with similar affinity, and all motifs were recognized by multiple factors, revealing a complex, overlapping network of protein:RNA interactions. This arrangement enables individual cis-element to function differently in distinct cellular contexts depending on the spectrum of regulatory factors present. PMID:23241926

  11. Recent horizontal transfer, functional adaptation and dissemination of a bacterial group II intron.

    PubMed

    LaRoche-Johnston, Félix; Monat, Caroline; Cousineau, Benoit

    2016-10-20

    Group II introns are catalytically active RNA and mobile retroelements present in certain eukaryotic organelles, bacteria and archaea. These ribozymes self-splice from the pre-mRNA of interrupted genes and reinsert within target DNA sequences by retrohoming and retrotransposition. Evolutionary hypotheses place these retromobile elements at the origin of over half the human genome. Nevertheless, the evolution and dissemination of group II introns was found to be quite difficult to infer. We characterized the functional and evolutionary relationship between the model group II intron from Lactococcus lactis, Ll.LtrB, and Ef.PcfG, a newly discovered intron from a clinical strain of Enterococcus faecalis. Ef.PcfG was found to be homologous to Ll.LtrB and to splice and mobilize in its native environment as well as in L. lactis. Interestingly, Ef.PcfG was shown to splice at the same level as Ll.LtrB but to be significantly less efficient to invade the Ll.LtrB recognition site. We also demonstrated that specific point mutations between the IEPs of both introns correspond to functional adaptations which developed in L. lactis as a response to selective pressure on mobility efficiency independently of splicing. The sequence of all the homologous full-length variants of Ll.LtrB were compared and shown to share a conserved pattern of mutation acquisition. This work shows that Ll.LtrB and Ef.PcfG are homologous and have a common origin resulting from a recent lateral transfer event followed by further adaptation to the new target site and/or host environment. We hypothesize that Ef.PcfG is the ancestor of Ll.LtrB and was initially acquired by L. lactis, most probably by conjugation, via a single event of horizontal transfer. Strong selective pressure on homing site invasion efficiency then led to the emergence of beneficial point mutations in the IEP, enabling the successful establishment and survival of the group II intron in its novel lactococcal environment. The current

  12. RNA-RNA interactions and pre-mRNA mislocalization as drivers of group II intron loss from nuclear genomes.

    PubMed

    Qu, Guosheng; Dong, Xiaolong; Piazza, Carol Lyn; Chalamcharla, Venkata R; Lutz, Sheila; Curcio, M Joan; Belfort, Marlene

    2014-05-06

    Group II introns are commonly believed to be the progenitors of spliceosomal introns, but they are notably absent from nuclear genomes. Barriers to group II intron function in nuclear genomes therefore beg examination. A previous study showed that nuclear expression of a group II intron in yeast results in nonsense-mediated decay and translational repression of mRNA, and that these roadblocks to expression are group II intron-specific. To determine the molecular basis for repression of gene expression, we investigated cellular dynamics of processed group II intron RNAs, from transcription to cellular localization. Our data show pre-mRNA mislocalization to the cytoplasm, where the RNAs are targeted to foci. Furthermore, tenacious mRNA-pre-mRNA interactions, based on intron-exon binding sequences, result in reduced abundance of spliced mRNAs. Nuclear retention of pre-mRNA prevents this interaction and relieves these expression blocks. In addition to providing a mechanistic rationale for group II intron-specific repression, our data support the hypothesis that RNA silencing of the host gene contributed to expulsion of group II introns from nuclear genomes and drove the evolution of spliceosomal introns.

  13. Pentamidine Inhibition of Group I Intron Splicing in Candida albicans Correlates with Growth Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Miletti, Karl E.; Leibowitz, Michael J.

    2000-01-01

    We previously demonstrated that pentamidine, which has been clinically used against Pneumocystis carinii, inhibits in vitro a group I intron ribozyme from that organism. Another fungal pathogen, Candida albicans, also harbors a group I intron ribozyme (Ca.LSU) in the essential rRNA genes in almost half of the clinical isolates analyzed. To determine whether pentamidine inhibits Ca.LSU in vitro and in cells, phylogenetically closely related intron-containing (4-1) and intronless (62-1) strains were studied. Splicing in vitro of the Ca.LSU group I intron ribozyme was completely inhibited by pentamidine at 200 μM. On rich glucose medium, the intron-containing strain was more sensitive to growth inhibition by pentamidine than was the intronless strain, as measured by disk or broth microdilution assays. On rich glycerol medium, they were equally susceptible to pentamidine. At pentamidine levels selectively inhibiting the intron-containing strain (1 μM) in glucose liquid cultures, inhibition of splicing and rRNA maturation was detected by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR within 1 min with a 10- to 15-fold accumulation of precursor rRNA. No comparable effect was seen in the intronless strain. These results correlate the cellular splicing inhibition of Ca.LSU with the growth inhibition of strain 4-1 harboring Ca.LSU. Broth microdilution assays of 13 Candida strains showed that intron-containing strains were generally more susceptible to pentamidine than the intronless strains. Our data suggest that ribozymes found in pathogenic microorganisms but absent in mammals may be targets for antimicrobial therapy. PMID:10722497

  14. Structural and Mutational Analysis of tRNA Intron-Splicing Endonuclease from Thermoplasma acidophilum DSM 1728: Catalytic Mechanism of tRNA Intron-Splicing Endonucleases▿

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Young Kwan; Mizutani, Kenji; Rhee, Kyung-Hee; Nam, Ki-Hyun; Lee, Won Ho; Lee, Eun Hye; Kim, Eunice Eunkyeong; Park, Sam-Yong; Hwang, Kwang Yeon

    2007-01-01

    In archaea, RNA endonucleases that act specifically on RNA with bulge-helix-bulge motifs play the main role in the recognition and excision of introns, while the eukaryal enzymes use a measuring mechanism to determine the positions of the universally positioned splice sites relative to the conserved domain of pre-tRNA. Two crystallographic structures of tRNA intron-splicing endonuclease from Thermoplasma acidophilum DSM 1728 (EndATa) have been solved to 2.5-Å and 2.7-Å resolution by molecular replacement, using the 2.7-Å resolution data as the initial model and the single-wavelength anomalous-dispersion phasing method using selenomethionine as anomalous signals, respectively. The models show that EndATa is a homodimer and that it has overall folding similar to that of other archaeal tRNA endonucleases. From structural and mutational analyses of H236A, Y229F, and K265I in vitro, we have demonstrated that they play critical roles in recognizing the splice site and in cleaving the pre-tRNA substrate. PMID:17827289

  15. Evidence for a group II intron-like catalytic triplex in the spliceosome

    PubMed Central

    Piccirilli, Joseph A.; Staley, Jonathan P.

    2014-01-01

    To catalyze pre-mRNA splicing, U6 snRNA positions two metals that interact directly with the scissile phosphates. The U6 metal ligands correspond stereospecifically to metal ligands within the catalytic domain V of a group II self-splicing intron. In domain V, the ligands are organized by base-triple interactions, which also juxtapose the 3′ splice site with the catalytic metals. However, in the spliceosome, the mechanism for organizing catalytic metals and recruiting the substrate has remained unclear. Here we show by genetics, crosslinking, and biochemistry in yeast that analogous triples form in U6 and promote catalytic metal binding and both chemical steps of splicing. Because the triples include an element that defines the 5′ splice site, the triples also provide a mechanism for juxtaposing the pre-mRNA substrate with the catalytic metals. Our data indicate that U6 adopts a group II intron-like tertiary conformation to catalyze splicing. PMID:24747940

  16. A self-splicing group I intron in the nuclear pre-rRNA of the green alga, Ankistrodesmus stipitatus.

    PubMed Central

    Dávila-Aponte, J A; Huss, V A; Sogin, M L; Cech, T R

    1991-01-01

    The nuclear small subunit ribosomal RNA gene of the unicellular green alga Ankistrodesmus stipitatus contains a group I intron, the first of its kind to be found in the nucleus of a member of the plant kingdom. The intron RNA closely resembles the group I intron found in the large subunit rRNA precursor of Tetrahymena thermophila, differing by only eight nucleotides of 48 in the catalytic core and having the same peripheral secondary structure elements. The Ankistrodesmus RNA self-splices in vitro, yielding the typical group I intron splicing intermediates and products. Unlike the Tetrahymena intron, however, splicing is accelerated by high concentrations of monovalent cations and is rate-limited by the exon ligation step. This system provides an opportunity to understand how limited changes in intron sequence and structure alter the properties of an RNA catalytic center. Images PMID:1886767

  17. A self-splicing group I intron in the nuclear pre-rRNA of the green alga, Ankistrodesmus stipitatus.

    PubMed

    Dávila-Aponte, J A; Huss, V A; Sogin, M L; Cech, T R

    1991-08-25

    The nuclear small subunit ribosomal RNA gene of the unicellular green alga Ankistrodesmus stipitatus contains a group I intron, the first of its kind to be found in the nucleus of a member of the plant kingdom. The intron RNA closely resembles the group I intron found in the large subunit rRNA precursor of Tetrahymena thermophila, differing by only eight nucleotides of 48 in the catalytic core and having the same peripheral secondary structure elements. The Ankistrodesmus RNA self-splices in vitro, yielding the typical group I intron splicing intermediates and products. Unlike the Tetrahymena intron, however, splicing is accelerated by high concentrations of monovalent cations and is rate-limited by the exon ligation step. This system provides an opportunity to understand how limited changes in intron sequence and structure alter the properties of an RNA catalytic center.

  18. Modulation of splicing of the preceding intron by antisense oligonucleotide complementary to intra-exon sequence deleted in dystrophin Kobe

    SciTech Connect

    Takeshima, Y.; Matuso, M.; Sakamoto, H.; Nishio, H.

    1994-09-01

    Molecular analysis of dystrophin Kobe showed that exon 19 of the dystrophin gene bearing a 52 bp deletion was skipped during splicing, although the known consensus sequences at the 5{prime} and 3{prime} splice site of exon 19 were maintained. These data suggest that the deleted sequence of exon 19 may function as a cis-acting factor for exact splicing for the upstream intron. To investigate this potential role, an in vitro splicing system using dystrophin precursors was established. A two-exon precursor containing exon 18, truncated intron 18, and exon 19 was accurately spliced. However, splicing of intron 18 was dramatically inhibited when wild exon 19 was replaced with mutated exon 19. Even though the length of exon 19 was restored to normal by replacing the deleted sequence with other sequence, splicing of intron 18 was not fully reactivated. Characteristically, splicing of intron 18 was inactivated more markedly when the replaced sequence contained less polypurine stretches. These data suggested that modification of the exon sequence would result in a splicing abnormality. Antisense 31 mer 2`-O-methyl ribonucleotide was targeted against 5{prime} end of deleted region of exon 19 to modulate splicing of the mRNA precursor. Splicing of intron 18 was inhibited in a dose- and time-dependent manner. This is the first in vitro evidence to show splicing of dystrophin pre-mRNA can be managed by antisense oligonucleotides. These experiments represent an approach in which antisense oligonucleotides are used to restore the function of a defective dystrophin gene in Duchenne muscular dystrophy by inducing skipping of certain exons during splicing.

  19. Mosaic structure of the cox2 gene in the petite negative yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe: a group II intron is inserted at the same location as the otherwise unrelated group II introns in the mitochondria of higher plants.

    PubMed

    Schäfer, B; Kaulich, K; Wolf, K

    1998-07-03

    In contrast to homologous genes in other fungal mitochondrial genomes, the gene encoding subunit 2 of cytochrome oxidase (cox2) in several Schizosaccharomyces pombe strains contains a large group II intron. Its 2436 nucleotides can be folded into a typical group II intron secondary structure, possessing all the expected sequence motifs for subgroup IIA1 (Michel et al., 1989). This intron is remarkable for the following reasons: (i) Five nucleotide changes were observed compared with the continuous form of the cox2 gene in the reference strain 50 at the 3'-exon sequence, but not in the 5'-exon. (ii) One of these changes occurred at the splice point leading to a serine instead of a threonine residue in the deduced cox2 polypeptide. In all cases, the alterations resulted in the replacement of more frequently used codons by rare ones. (iii) Although the intron is able to undergo splicing, the sequence motifs thought to be necessary for interaction between the 5'-exon and the intron during the splicing process (the EBS1/IBS1 as well as the EBS2/IBS2 pairings) are unusual. (iv) The intron is inserted at the same location in the cox2 gene as the otherwise unrelated intron from higher plants.

  20. Transcriptomic analysis of diplomonad parasites reveals a trans-spliced intron in a helicase gene in Giardia

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Background The mechanisms by which DNA sequences are expressed is the central preoccupation of molecular genetics. Recently, ourselves and others reported that in the diplomonad protist Giardia lamblia, the coding regions of several mRNAs are produced by ligation of independent RNA species expressed from distinct genomic loci. Such trans-splicing of introns was found to affect nearly as many genes in this organism as does classical cis-splicing of introns. These findings raised questions about the incidence of intron trans-splicing both across the G. lambliatranscriptome and across diplomonad diversity in general, however a dearth of transcriptomic data at the time prohibited systematic study of these questions. Methods I leverage newly available transcriptomic data from G. lamblia and the related diplomonad Spironucleus salmonicidato search for trans-spliced introns. My computational pipeline recovers all four previously reported trans-spliced introns in G. lamblia, suggesting good sensitivity. Results Scrutiny of thousands of potential cases revealed only a single additional trans-spliced intron in G. lamblia, in the p68 helicase gene, and no cases in S. salmonicida. The p68 intron differs from the previously reported trans-spliced introns in its high degree of streamlining: the core features of G. lamblia trans-spliced introns are closely packed together, revealing striking economy in the implementation of a seemingly inherently uneconomical molecular mechanism. Discussion These results serve to circumscribe the role of trans-splicing in diplomonads both in terms of the number of genes effected and taxonomically. Future work should focus on the molecular mechanisms, evolutionary origins and phenotypic implications of this intriguing phenomenon. PMID:28090405

  1. Intronic motif pairs cooperate across exons to promote pre-mRNA splicing

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background A very early step in splice site recognition is exon definition, a process that is as yet poorly understood. Communication between the two ends of an exon is thought to be required for this step. We report genome-wide evidence for exons being defined through the combinatorial activity of motifs located in flanking intronic regions. Results Strongly co-occurring motifs were found to specifically reside in four intronic regions surrounding a large number of human exons. These paired motifs occur around constitutive and alternative exons but not pseudo exons. Most co-occurring motifs are limited to intronic regions within 100 nucleotides of the exon. They are preferentially associated with weaker exons. Their pairing is conserved in evolution and they exhibit a lower frequency of single nucleotide polymorphism when paired. Paired motifs display specificity with respect to distance from the exon borders and in constitutive versus alternative splicing. Many resemble binding sites for heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins. Specific pairs are associated with tissue-specific genes, the higher expression of which coincides with that of the pertinent RNA binding proteins. Tested pairs acted synergistically to enhance exon inclusion, and this enhancement was found to be exon-specific. Conclusions The exon-flanking sequence pairs identified here by genomic analysis promote exon inclusion and may play a role in the exon definition step in pre-mRNA splicing. We propose a model in which multiple concerted interactions are required between exonic sequences and flanking intronic sequences to effect exon definition. PMID:20704715

  2. Genetic identification of potential RNA-binding regions in a group II intron-encoded reverse transcriptase

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Shan-Qing; Cui, Xiaoxia; Mou, Sijiong; Mohr, Sabine; Yao, Jun; Lambowitz, Alan M.

    2010-01-01

    Mobile group II introns encode a reverse transcriptase that binds the intron RNA to promote RNA splicing and intron mobility, the latter via reverse splicing of the excised intron into DNA sites, followed by reverse transcription. Previous work showed that the Lactococcus lactis Ll.LtrB intron reverse transcriptase, denoted LtrA protein, binds with high affinity to DIVa, a stem–loop structure at the beginning of the LtrA open reading frame and makes additional contacts with intron core regions that stabilize the active RNA structure for forward and reverse splicing. LtrA's binding to DIVa down-regulates its translation and is critical for initiation of reverse transcription. Here, by using high-throughput unigenic evolution analysis with a genetic assay in which LtrA binding to DIVa down-regulates translation of GFP, we identified regions at LtrA's N terminus that are required for DIVa binding. Then, by similar analysis with a reciprocal genetic assay, we confirmed that residual splicing of a mutant intron lacking DIVa does not require these N-terminal regions, but does require other reverse transcriptase (RT) and X/thumb domain regions that bind the intron core. We also show that N-terminal fragments of LtrA by themselves bind specifically to DIVa in vivo and in vitro. Our results suggest a model in which the N terminus of nascent LtrA binds DIVa of the intron RNA that encoded it and nucleates further interactions with core regions that promote RNP assembly for RNA splicing and intron mobility. Features of this model may be relevant to evolutionarily related non-long-terminal-repeat (non-LTR)-retrotransposon RTs. PMID:20179150

  3. The coenzyme thiamine pyrophosphate inhibits the self-splicing of the group I intron.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Sung Joon; Park, In Kook

    2003-02-01

    Effects of the coenzyme thiamine pyrophosphate and its analogs on the inhibition of self-splicing of primary transcripts of the phage T4 thymidylate synthase gene (td) were investigated. Of all compounds tested, the coenzyme thiamine pyrophosphate was the most potent inhibitor and the order of inhibitory efficiency for compounds tested was as follows: thiamine pyrophosphate>thiamine monophosphate>thiamine>thiochrome. Increasing guanosine concentration overcame the suppression of self-splicing by thiamine pyrophosphate close to the level of normal splicing. Kinetic analysis demonstrated that thiamine pyrophosphate acts as a competitive inhibitor for the td intron RNA with a Ki of 2.2mM. The splicing specificity inhibition by thiamine pyrophosphate is predominantly due to changes in Km.

  4. In vivo selection of better self-splicing introns in Escherichia coli: the role of the P1 extension helix of the Tetrahymena intron.

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Feng; Cech, Thomas R

    2002-01-01

    In vivo selection was used to improve the activity of the Tetrahymena pre-rRNA self-splicing intron in the context of heterologous exons. The intron was engineered into a kanamycin nucleotidyltransferase gene, with the pairing between intron bases and the 5' and 3' splice sites maintained. The initial construct failed to confer kanamycin resistance on Escherichia coli, although the pre-mRNA was active in splicing in vitro. Random mutation libraries were constructed to identify active intron variants in E. coli. All the active mutants sequenced contained mutations disrupting a base-paired region above the paired region P1 (referred to as the P1 extension region or P1ex) that involves the very 5' end of the intron. Subsequent site-directed mutagenesis confirmed that these P1ex mutations are responsible and sufficient to activate the intron splicing in E. coli. Thus, it appears that too strong of a secondary structure in the P1ex element can be inhibitory to splicing in vivo. In vitro splicing assays demonstrated that two P1ex mutant constructs splice six to eight times faster than the designed construct at 40 microM GTP concentration. The relative reaction rates of the mutant constructs compared to the original design are further increased at a lower GTP concentration. Possible mechanisms by which the disrupted P1ex structure could influence splicing rates are discussed. This study emphasizes the value of using libraries of random mutations to improve the activity of ribozymes in heterologous contexts in vivo. PMID:12022231

  5. Crystal structures of a group II intron maturase reveal a missing link in spliceosome evolution

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Chen; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2016-01-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing ribozymes that are essential in many organisms, and they are hypothesized to share a common evolutionary ancestor with the spliceosome. While structural similarity of RNA components supports this connection, it is of interest to determine whether associated protein factors also share an evolutionary heritage. Here we present the crystal structures of reverse transcriptase (RT) domains from two group II intron encoded proteins (maturases) from Roseburia intestinalis and Eubacterium rectale, obtained at 1.2 Å and 2.1 Å respectively. Their architecture is more similar to the spliceosomal Prp8 RT-like domain than to any other RTs, and they share substantial similarity with flaviviral RNA polymerases. The RT domain itself is sufficient for binding intron RNA with high affinity and specificity, and it is contained within an active RT enzyme. These studies provide a foundation for understanding structure-function relationships within group II intron–maturase complexes. PMID:27136328

  6. Evolution of gene structural complexity: an alternative-splicing-based model accounts for intron-containing retrogenes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chengjun; Gschwend, Andrea R; Ouyang, Yidan; Long, Manyuan

    2014-05-01

    The structure of eukaryotic genes evolves extensively by intron loss or gain. Previous studies have revealed two models for gene structure evolution through the loss of introns: RNA-based gene conversion, dubbed the Fink model and retroposition model. However, retrogenes that experienced both intron loss and intron-retaining events have been ignored; evolutionary processes responsible for the variation in complex exon-intron structure were unknown. We detected hundreds of retroduplication-derived genes in human (Homo sapiens), fly (Drosophila melanogaster), rice (Oryza sativa), and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and categorized them either as duplicated genes that have all introns lost or as duplicated genes that have at least lost one and retained one intron compared with the parental copy (intron-retaining [IR] type). Our new model attributes intron retention alternative splicing to the generation of these IR-type gene pairs. We presented 25 parental genes that have an intron retention isoform and have retained introns in the same locations in the IR-type duplicate genes, which directly support our hypothesis. Our alternative-splicing-based model in conjunction with the retroposition and Fink models can explain the IR-type gene observed. We discovered a greater percentage of IR-type genes in plants than in animals, which may be due to the abundance of intron retention cases in plants. Given the prevalence of intron retention in plants, this new model gives a support that plant genomes have very complex gene structures.

  7. Evolution of Gene Structural Complexity: An Alternative-Splicing-Based Model Accounts for Intron-Containing Retrogenes1[W

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Chengjun; Gschwend, Andrea R.; Ouyang, Yidan; Long, Manyuan

    2014-01-01

    The structure of eukaryotic genes evolves extensively by intron loss or gain. Previous studies have revealed two models for gene structure evolution through the loss of introns: RNA-based gene conversion, dubbed the Fink model and retroposition model. However, retrogenes that experienced both intron loss and intron-retaining events have been ignored; evolutionary processes responsible for the variation in complex exon-intron structure were unknown. We detected hundreds of retroduplication-derived genes in human (Homo sapiens), fly (Drosophila melanogaster), rice (Oryza sativa), and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and categorized them either as duplicated genes that have all introns lost or as duplicated genes that have at least lost one and retained one intron compared with the parental copy (intron-retaining [IR] type). Our new model attributes intron retention alternative splicing to the generation of these IR-type gene pairs. We presented 25 parental genes that have an intron retention isoform and have retained introns in the same locations in the IR-type duplicate genes, which directly support our hypothesis. Our alternative-splicing-based model in conjunction with the retroposition and Fink models can explain the IR-type gene observed. We discovered a greater percentage of IR-type genes in plants than in animals, which may be due to the abundance of intron retention cases in plants. Given the prevalence of intron retention in plants, this new model gives a support that plant genomes have very complex gene structures. PMID:24520158

  8. A Novel Intronic Splice Site Tafazzin Gene Mutation Detected Prenatally in a Family with Barth Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Bakšienė, M; Benušienė, E; Morkūnienė, A; Ambrozaitytė, L; Utkus, A; Kučinskas, V

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Barth syndrome (BTHS) is a rare X-linked disease characterized by dilated cardiomyopathy, proximal skeletal myopathy and cyclic neutropenia. It is caused by various mutations in the tafazzin (TAZ) gene located on Xq28 that results in remodeling of cardiolipin and abnormalities in mitochondria stability and energy production. Here we report on a novel c.285-1G>C splice site mutation in intron 3 of the TAZ gene that was detected prenatally. PMID:28289596

  9. Group II intron-ribosome association protects intron RNA from degradation.

    PubMed

    Contreras, Lydia M; Huang, Tao; Piazza, Carol Lyn; Smith, Dorie; Qu, Guosheng; Gelderman, Grant; Potratz, Jeffrey P; Russell, Rick; Belfort, Marlene

    2013-11-01

    The influence of the cellular environment on the structures and properties of catalytic RNAs is not well understood, despite great interest in ribozyme function. Here we report on ribosome association of group II introns, which are ribozymes that are important because of their putative ancestry to spliceosomal introns and retrotransposons, their retromobility via an RNA intermediate, and their application as gene delivery agents. We show that group II intron RNA, in complex with the intron-encoded protein from the native Lactoccocus lactis host, associates strongly with ribosomes in vivo. Ribosomes have little effect on intron ribozyme activities; rather, the association with host ribosomes protects the intron RNA against degradation by RNase E, an enzyme previously shown to be a silencer of retromobility in Escherichia coli. The ribosome interacts strongly with the intron, exerting protective effects in vivo and in vitro, as demonstrated by genetic and biochemical experiments. These results are consistent with the ribosome influencing the integrity of catalytic RNAs in bacteria in the face of degradative nucleases that regulate intron mobility.

  10. Characterization of cryptic splicing in germline PTEN intronic variants in Cowden syndrome.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hannah Jinlian; Romigh, Todd; Sesock, Kaitlin; Eng, Charis

    2017-10-01

    Germline mutations in the tumor-suppressor gene PTEN predispose to subsets of Cowden syndrome (CS), Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, and autism. Evidence-based classification of PTEN variants as either deleterious or benign is urgently needed for accurate molecular diagnosis and gene-informed genetic counseling. We studied 34 different germline PTEN intronic variants from 61 CS patients, characterized their PTEN mRNA processing, and analyzed PTEN expression and downstream readouts of P-AKT and P-ERK1/2. While we found that many mutations near splice junctions result in exon skipping, we also identified the presence of cryptic splicing that resulted in premature termination or a shift in isoform usage. PTEN protein expression is significantly lower in the group with splicing changes while P-AKT, but not P-ERK1/2, is significantly increased. Our observations of these PTEN intronic variants should contribute to the determination of pathogenicity of PTEN intronic variants and aid in genetic counseling. © 2017 The Authors. Human Mutation published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Active 5΄ splice sites regulate the biogenesis efficiency of Arabidopsis microRNAs derived from intron-containing genes

    PubMed Central

    Knop, Katarzyna; Stepien, Agata; Barciszewska-Pacak, Maria; Taube, Michal; Bielewicz, Dawid; Michalak, Michal; Borst, Jan W.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Arabidopsis, miR402 that is encoded within the first intron of a protein-coding gene At1g77230, is induced by heat stress. Its upregulation correlates with splicing inhibition and intronic proximal polyA site selection. It suggests that miR402 is not processed from an intron, but rather from a shorter transcript after selection of the proximal polyA site within this intron. Recently, introns and active 5΄ splice sites (5΄ss’) have been shown to stimulate the accumulation of miRNAs encoded within the first exons of intron-containing MIR genes. In contrast, we have observed the opposite effect of splicing inhibition on intronic miR402 production. Transient expression experiments performed in tobacco leaves revealed a significant accumulation of the intronic mature miR402 when the 5΄ss of the miR402-hosting intron was inactivated. In contrast, when the miR402 stem-loop structure was moved into the first exon, mutation of the first-intron 5΄ss resulted in a decrease in the miRNA level. Thus, the 5΄ss controls the efficiency of miRNA biogenesis. We also show that the SERRATE protein (a key component of the plant microprocessor) colocalizes and interacts with several U1 snRNP auxiliary proteins. We postulate that SERRATE-spliceosome connections have a direct effect on miRNA maturation. PMID:27907902

  12. Intronic variants of SLC26A4 gene enhance splicing efficiency in hybrid minigene assay.

    PubMed

    Kallel-Bouattour, Rihab; Belguith-Maalej, Salima; Zouari-Bradai, Emna; Mnif, Mouna; Abid, Mohamed; Hadj Kacem, Hassen

    2017-07-15

    The SLC26A4 genomic sequence screening in autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD) revealed different variants types with possible pathogenic effects. Although intronic variants may have more detrimental effects than those coding, they are poorly explored. Thus, in a first assessment, our bioinformatics analysis of intronic variants predicted a pathogenic effect of c.1002-9A>C, c.1545-5T>G and c.1544+9C>T variants. Validating these variants pathogenicity may provide new clues on the AITD physiopathology. Variants were explored in a general population by PCR-RFLP. These variants effects on the mRNA processing was assessed using functional splicing assay based in DNA hybrid minigene in HeLa cell lines. The constructs splicing efficiency was investigated by real time PCR. Our results revealed that c.1002-9A>C is a rare allele (minor frequency allele (MFA)=0.007) whereas c.1545-5T>G and c.1544+9C>T are low frequency variants. The RT-PCR analysis showed that these variants did not affect the mRNA processing. However, quantifying the transcripts generated from minigene constructs proved an mRNA splicing enhancement. Our study suggests a pathogenic effect of three intronic variants on the mRNA splicing efficiency using a DNA Hybrid minigene. By quantifying these transcripts, we unveil the limit of standard RT-PCR in analyzing a splicing minigene assay. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. PCR differentiation of commercial yeast strains using intron splice site primers.

    PubMed Central

    de Barros Lopes, M; Soden, A; Henschke, P A; Langridge, P

    1996-01-01

    The increased use of pure starter cultures in the wine industry has made it necessary to develop a rapid and simple identification system for yeast strains. A method based upon the PCR using oligonucleotide primers that are complementary to intron splice sites has been developed. Since most introns are not essential for gene function, introns have evolved with minimal constraint. By targeting these highly variable sequences, the PCR has proved to be very effective in uncovering polymorphisms in commercial yeast strains. The speed of the method and the ability to analyze many samples in a single day permit the monitoring of specific yeast strains during fermentations. Furthermore, the simplicity of the technique, which does not require the isolation of DNA, makes it accessible to industrial laboratories that have limited molecular expertise and resources. PMID:8953723

  14. Metal ion interaction with cosubstrate in self-splicing of group I introns.

    PubMed Central

    Sjögren, A S; Pettersson, E; Sjöberg, B M; Strömberg, R

    1997-01-01

    The catalytic mechanism for self-splicing of the group I intron in the pre-mRNA from the nrdB gene in bacteriophage T4 has been investigated using 2'-amino- 2'-deoxyguanosine or guanosine as cosubstrates in the presence of Mg2+, Mn2+and Zn2+. The results show that a divalent metal ion interacts with the cosubstrate and thereby influences the efficiency of catalysis in the first step of splicing. This suggests the existence of a metal ion that catalyses the nucleophilic attack of the cosubstrate. Of particular significance is that the transesterification reactions of the first step of splicing with 2'-amino-2'-deoxyguanosine as cosubstrate are more efficient in mixtures containing either Mn2+or Zn2+together with Mg2+than with only magnesium ions present. The experiments in metal ion mixtures show that two (or more) metal ions are crucial for the self-splicing of group I introns and suggest the possibility that more than one of these have a direct catalytic role. A working model for a two-metal-ion mechanism in the transesterification steps is suggested. PMID:9016608

  15. Effects of maturase binding and Mg2+ concentration on group II intron RNA folding investigated by UV cross-linking.

    PubMed

    Noah, James W; Lambowitz, Alan M

    2003-11-04

    The Lactococcus lactis Ll.LtrB group II intron encodes a reverse transcriptase/maturase (LtrA protein) that promotes RNA splicing by stabilizing the catalytically active RNA structure. Here, we mapped 17 UV cross-links induced in both wild-type Ll.LtrB RNA and Ll.LtrB-Delta2486 RNA, which has a branch-point deletion that prevents splicing, and we used these cross-links to follow tertiary structure formation under different conditions in the presence or absence of the LtrA protein. Twelve of the cross-links are long-range, with six near known tertiary interaction sites in the active RNA structure. In a reaction medium containing 0.5 M NH(4)Cl, eight of the 17 cross-links were detected in the absence of Mg(2+) or the presence of EDTA, and all were detected at 5 mM Mg(2+), where efficient splicing requires the LtrA protein. The frequencies of all but four cross-links increased with increasing Mg(2+) concentrations, becoming maximal between 4 and 50 mM Mg(2+), where the intron is self-splicing. These findings suggest that a high Mg(2+) concentration induces self-splicing by globally stabilizing tertiary structure, including key tertiary interactions that are required for catalytic activity. Significantly, the binding of the maturase under protein-dependent splicing conditions (0.5 M NH(4)Cl and 5 mM Mg(2+)) increased the frequency of only nine cross-links, seven of which are long-range, suggesting that, in contrast to a high Mg(2+) concentration, LtrA promotes splicing by stabilizing critical tertiary structure interactions, while leaving other regions of the intron relatively flexible. This difference may contribute to the high rate of protein-dependent splicing, relative to the rate of self-splicing. The propensity of the intron RNA to form tertiary structure even at relatively low Mg(2+) concentrations raises the possibility that the maturase functions at least in part by tertiary structure capture. Finally, an abundant central wheel cross-link, present in >50% of

  16. Insertion of a self-splicing intron into the mtDNA of atriploblastic animal

    SciTech Connect

    Valles, Y.; Halanych, K.; Boore, J.L.

    2006-04-14

    Nephtys longosetosa is a carnivorous polychaete worm that lives in the intertidal and subtidal zones with worldwide distribution (pleijel&rouse2001). Its mitochondrial genome has the characteristics typical of most metazoans: 37 genes; circular molecule; almost no intergenic sequence; and no significant gene rearrangements when compared to other annelid mtDNAs (booremoritz19981995). Ubiquitous features as small intergenic regions and lack of introns suggested that metazoan mtDNAs are under strong selective pressures to reduce their genome size allowing for faster replication requirements (booremoritz19981995Lynch2005). Yet, in 1996 two type I introns were found in the mtDNA of the basal metazoan Metridium senile (FigureX). Breaking a long-standing rule (absence of introns in metazoan mtDNA), this finding was later supported by the further presence of group I introns in other cnidarians. Interestingly, only the class Anthozoa within cnidarians seems to harbor such introns. Although several hundreds of triploblastic metazoan mtDNAs have been sequenced, this study is the first evidence of mitochondrial introns in triploblastic metazoans. The cox1 gene of N. longosetosa has an intron of almost 2 kbs in length. This finding represents as well the first instance of a group II intron (anthozoans harbor group I introns) in all metazoan lineages. Opposite trends are observed within plants, fungi and protist mtDNAs, where introns (both group I and II) and other non-coding sequences are widespread. Plant, fungal and protist mtDNA structure and organization differ enormously from that of metazoan mtDNA. Both, plant and fungal mtDNA are dynamic molecules that undergo high rates of recombination, contain long intergenic spacer regions and harbor both group I and group II introns. However, as metazoans they have a conserved gene content. Protists, on the other hand have a striking variation of gene content and introns that account for the genome size variation. In contrast to

  17. Single-nucleotide resolution mapping of the Gossypium raimondii transcriptome reveals a new mechanism for alternative splicing of introns.

    PubMed

    Li, Qin; Xiao, Guanghui; Zhu, Yu-Xian

    2014-05-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) is a vital genetic mechanism that enhances the diversity of eukaryotic transcriptomes. Here, we generated 8.3 Gb high-quality RNA-sequencing data from cotton (Gossypium raimondii) and performed a systematic, comparative analysis of AS events. We mapped 85% of the RNA-sequencing data onto the reference genome and identified 154368 splice junctions with 16437 as events in 10197 genes. Intron retention constituted the majority (40%) of all AS events in G. raimondii. Comparison across 11 eukaryote species showed that intron retention is the most common AS type in higher plants. Although transposable elements (TEs) were found in only 2.9% of all G. raimondii introns, they are present in 43% of the retained introns, suggesting that TE-insertion may be an important mechanism for intron retention during AS. The majority of the TE insertions are concentrated 0-40 nt upstream of the 3'-splice site, substantially altering the distribution of branch points from preferred positions and reducing the efficiency of intron splicing by decreasing RNA secondary structure flexibility. Our data suggest that TE-insertion-induced changes in branch point-site distribution are important for intron retention-type AS. Our findings may help explain the vast differences in intron-retention frequencies between vertebrates and higher plants.

  18. RecA-independent ectopic transposition in vivo of a bacterial group II intron

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Abarca, Francisco; Toro, Nicolás

    2000-01-01

    RmInt1 is a group II intron of Sinorhizobium meliloti which was initially found within the insertion sequence ISRm2011-2. Although the RmInt1 intron-encoded protein lacks a recognizable endonuclease domain, it is able to mediate insertion of RmInt1 at an intron-specific location in intronless ISRm2011-2 recipient DNA, a phenomenon termed homing. Here we have characterized three additional insertion sites of RmInt1 in the genome of S.meliloti. Two of these sites are within IS elements closely related to ISRm2011-2, which appear to form a characteristic group within the IS630-Tc1 family. The third site is in the oxi1 gene, which encodes a putative oxide reductase. The newly identified integration sites contain conserved intron-binding site (IBS1 and IBS2) and δ′ sequences (14 bp). The RNA of the intron-containing oxi1 gene is able to splice and the oxi1 site is a DNA target for RmInt1 transposition in vivo. Ectopic transposition of RmInt1 into the oxi1 gene occurs at 20-fold lower efficiency than into the homing site (ISRm2011-2) and is independent of the major RecA recombination pathway. The possibility that transposition of RmInt1 to the oxi1 site occurs by reverse splicing into DNA is discussed. PMID:11058141

  19. Domain structure and three-dimensional model of a group II intron-encoded reverse transcriptase

    PubMed Central

    BLOCKER, FORREST J.H.; MOHR, GEORG; CONLAN, LORI H.; QI, LI; BELFORT, MARLENE; LAMBOWITZ, ALAN M.

    2005-01-01

    Group II intron-encoded proteins (IEPs) have both reverse transcriptase (RT) activity, which functions in intron mobility, and maturase activity, which promotes RNA splicing by stabilizing the catalytically active RNA structure. The LtrA protein encoded by the Lactococcus lactis Ll.LtrB group II intron contains an N-terminal RT domain, with conserved sequence motifs RT1 to 7 found in the fingers and palm of retroviral RTs; domain X, associated with maturase activity; and C-terminal DNA-binding and DNA endonuclease domains. Here, partial proteolysis of LtrA with trypsin and Arg-C shows major cleavage sites in RT1, and between the RT and X domains. Group II intron and related non-LTR retroelement RTs contain an N-terminal extension and several insertions relative to retroviral RTs, some with conserved features implying functional importance. Sequence alignments, secondary-structure predictions, and hydrophobicity profiles suggest that domain X is related structurally to the thumb of retroviral RTs. Three-dimensional models of LtrA constructed by “threading” the aligned sequence on X-ray crystal structures of HIV-1 RT (1) account for the proteolytic cleavage sites; (2) suggest a template–primer binding track analogous to that of HIV-1 RT; and (3) show that conserved regions in splicing-competent LtrA variants include regions of the RT and X (thumb) domains in and around the template–primer binding track, distal regions of the fingers, and patches on the protein’s back surface. These regions potentially comprise an extended RNA-binding surface that interacts with different regions of the intron for RNA splicing and reverse transcription. PMID:15574519

  20. Structure of a tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase splicing factor bound to a group I intron RNA.

    PubMed

    Paukstelis, Paul J; Chen, Jui-Hui; Chase, Elaine; Lambowitz, Alan M; Golden, Barbara L

    2008-01-03

    The 'RNA world' hypothesis holds that during evolution the structural and enzymatic functions initially served by RNA were assumed by proteins, leading to the latter's domination of biological catalysis. This progression can still be seen in modern biology, where ribozymes, such as the ribosome and RNase P, have evolved into protein-dependent RNA catalysts ('RNPzymes'). Similarly, group I introns use RNA-catalysed splicing reactions, but many function as RNPzymes bound to proteins that stabilize their catalytically active RNA structure. One such protein, the Neurospora crassa mitochondrial tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase (TyrRS; CYT-18), is bifunctional and both aminoacylates mitochondrial tRNA(Tyr) and promotes the splicing of mitochondrial group I introns. Here we determine a 4.5-A co-crystal structure of the Twort orf142-I2 group I intron ribozyme bound to splicing-active, carboxy-terminally truncated CYT-18. The structure shows that the group I intron binds across the two subunits of the homodimeric protein with a newly evolved RNA-binding surface distinct from that which binds tRNA(Tyr). This RNA binding surface provides an extended scaffold for the phosphodiester backbone of the conserved catalytic core of the intron RNA, allowing the protein to promote the splicing of a wide variety of group I introns. The group I intron-binding surface includes three small insertions and additional structural adaptations relative to non-splicing bacterial TyrRSs, indicating a multistep adaptation for splicing function. The co-crystal structure provides insight into how CYT-18 promotes group I intron splicing, how it evolved to have this function, and how proteins could have incrementally replaced RNA structures during the transition from an RNA world to an RNP world.

  1. Biased exon/intron distribution of cryptic and de novo 3′ splice sites

    PubMed Central

    Královičová, Jana; Christensen, Mikkel B.; Vořechovský, Igor

    2005-01-01

    We compiled sequences of previously published aberrant 3′ splice sites (3′ss) that were generated by mutations in human disease genes. Cryptic 3′ss, defined here as those resulting from a mutation of the 3′YAG consensus, were more frequent in exons than in introns. They clustered in ∼20 nt region adjacent to authentic 3′ss, suggesting that their under-representation in introns is due to a depletion of AG dinucleotides in the polypyrimidine tract (PPT). In contrast, most aberrant 3′ss that were induced by mutations outside the 3′YAG consensus (designated ‘de novo’) were in introns. The activation of intronic de novo 3′ss was largely due to AG-creating mutations in the PPT. In contrast, exonic de novo 3′ss were more often induced by mutations improving the PPT, branchpoint sequence (BPS) or distant auxiliary signals, rather than by direct AG creation. The Shapiro–Senapathy matrix scores had a good prognostic value for cryptic, but not de novo 3′ss. Finally, AG-creating mutations in the PPT that produced aberrant 3′ss upstream of the predicted BPS in vivo shared a similar ‘BPS-new AG’ distance. Reduction of this distance and/or the strength of the new AG PPT in splicing reporter pre-mRNAs improved utilization of authentic 3′ss, suggesting that AG-creating mutations that are located closer to the BPS and are preceded by weaker PPT may result in less severe splicing defects. PMID:16141195

  2. Intronic variants in BRCA1 and BRCA2 that affect RNA splicing can be reliably selected by splice-site prediction programs.

    PubMed

    Vreeswijk, Maaike P G; Kraan, Jaennelle N; van der Klift, Heleen M; Vink, Geraldine R; Cornelisse, Cees J; Wijnen, Juul T; Bakker, Egbert; van Asperen, Christi J; Devilee, Peter

    2009-01-01

    A large number of sequence variants identified in BRCA1 and BRCA2 cannot be distinguished as either disease-causing mutations or neutral variants. These so-called unclassified variants (UVs) include variants that are located in the intronic sequences of BRCA1 and BRCA2. The purpose of this study was to assess the use of splice-site prediction programs (SSPPs) to select intronic variants in BRCA1 and BRCA2 that are likely to affect RNA splicing. We performed in vitro molecular characterization of RNA of six intronic variants in BRCA1 and BRCA2. In four cases (BRCA1, c.81-6T>A and c.4986+5G>T; BRCA2, c.7617+2T>G and c.8754+5G>A) a deleterious effect on RNA splicing was seen, whereas the c.135-15_-12del variant in BRCA1 showed no effect on RNA splicing. In the case of the BRCA2 c.68-7T>A variant, RNA analysis was not sufficient to establish the clinical significance. Six SSPPs were used to predict whether an effect on RNA splicing was expected for these six variants as well as for 23 intronic variants in BRCA1 for which the effect on RNA splicing has been published. Out of a total of 174 predictions, 161 (93%) were informative (i.e., the wild-type splice-site was recognized). No false-negative predictions were observed; an effect on RNA splicing was always predicted by these programs. In four cases (2.5%) a false-positive prediction was observed. For DNA diagnostic laboratories, these programs are therefore very useful to select intronic variants that are likely to affect RNA splicing for further analysis.

  3. Sequential splicing of a group II twintron in the marine cyanobacterium Trichodesmium

    PubMed Central

    Pfreundt, Ulrike; Hess, Wolfgang R.

    2015-01-01

    The marine cyanobacterium Trichodesmium is unusual in its genomic architecture as 40% of the genome is occupied by non-coding DNA. Although the majority of it is transcribed into RNA, it is not well understood why such a large non-coding genome fraction is maintained. Mobile genetic elements can contribute to genome expansion. Many bacteria harbor introns whereas twintrons, introns-in-introns, are rare and not known to interrupt protein-coding genes in bacteria. Here we show the sequential in vivo splicing of a 5400 nt long group II twintron interrupting a highly conserved gene that is associated with RNase HI in some cyanobacteria, but free-standing in others, including Trichodesmium erythraeum. We show that twintron splicing results in a putatively functional mRNA. The full genetic arrangement was found conserved in two geospatially distinct metagenomic datasets supporting its functional relevance. We further show that splicing of the inner intron yields the free intron as a true circle. This reaction requires the spliced exon reopening (SER) reaction to provide a free 5′ exon. The fact that Trichodesmium harbors a functional twintron fits in well with the high intron load of these genomes, and suggests peculiarities in its genetic machinery permitting such arrangements. PMID:26577185

  4. RNA-Seq Analysis of Differential Splice Junction Usage and Intron Retentions by DEXSeq

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yafang; Rao, Xiayu; Mattox, William W.; Amos, Christopher I.; Liu, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Alternative splicing is an important biological process in the generation of multiple functional transcripts from the same genomic sequences. Differential analysis of splice junctions (SJs) and intron retentions (IRs) is helpful in the detection of alternative splicing events. In this study, we conducted differential analysis of SJs and IRs by use of DEXSeq, a Bioconductor package originally designed for differential exon usage analysis in RNA-seq data analysis. We set up an analysis pipeline including mapping of RNA-seq reads, the preparation of count tables of SJs and IRs as the input files, and the differential analysis in DEXSeq. We analyzed the public RNA-seq datasets generated from RNAi experiments on Drosophila melanogaster S2-DRSC cells to deplete RNA-binding proteins (GSE18508). The analysis confirmed previous findings on the alternative splicing of the trol and Ant2 (sesB) genes in the CG8144 (ps)-depletion experiment and identified some new alternative splicing events in other RNAi experiments. We also identified IRs that were confirmed in our SJ analysis. The proposed method used in our study can output the genomic coordinates of differentially used SJs and thus enable sequence motif search. Sequence motif search and gene function annotation analysis helped us infer the underlying mechanism in alternative splicing events. To further evaluate this method, we also applied the method to public RNA-seq data from human breast cancer (GSE45419) and the plant Arabidopsis (SRP008262). In conclusion, our study showed that DEXSeq can be adapted to differential analysis of SJs and IRs, which will facilitate the identification of alternative splicing events and provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of transcription processes and disease development. PMID:26327458

  5. Mobile self-splicing group I introns from the psbA gene of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: highly efficient homing of an exogenous intron containing its own promoter.

    PubMed

    Odom, O W; Holloway, S P; Deshpande, N N; Lee, J; Herrin, D L

    2001-05-01

    Introns 2 and 4 of the psbA gene of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplasts (Cr.psbA2 and Cr.psbA4, respectively) contain large free-standing open reading frames (ORFs). We used transformation of an intronless-psbA strain (IL) to test whether these introns undergo homing. Each intron, plus short exon sequences, was cloned into a chloroplast expression vector in both orientations and then cotransformed into IL along with a spectinomycin resistance marker (16S rrn). For Cr.psbA2, the sense construct gave nearly 100% cointegration of the intron whereas the antisense construct gave 0%, consistent with homing. For Cr.psbA4, however, both orientations produced highly efficient cointegration of the intron. Efficient cointegration of Cr.psbA4 also occurred when the intron was introduced as a restriction fragment lacking any known promoter. Deletion of most of the ORF, however, abolished cointegration of the intron, consistent with homing. The Cr.psbA4 constructs also contained a 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea resistance marker in exon 5, which was always present when the intron integrated, thus demonstrating exon coconversion. Remarkably, primary selection for this marker gave >100-fold more transformants (>10,000/microgram of DNA) than did the spectinomycin resistance marker. A trans homing assay was developed for Cr.psbA4; the ORF-minus intron integrated when the ORF was cotransformed on a separate plasmid. This assay was used to identify an intronic region between bp -88 and -194 (relative to the ORF) that stimulated homing and contained a possible bacterial (-10, -35)-type promoter. Primer extension analysis detected a transcript that could originate from this promoter. Thus, this mobile, self-splicing intron also contains its own promoter for ORF expression. The implications of these results for horizontal intron transfer and organelle transformation are discussed.

  6. Activation and repression functions of an SR splicing regulator depend on exonic versus intronic-binding position.

    PubMed

    Shen, Manli; Mattox, William

    2012-01-01

    SR proteins and related factors play widespread roles in alternative pre-mRNA splicing and are known to promote splice site recognition through their Arg-Ser-rich effector domains. However, binding of SR regulators to some targets results in repression of splice sites through a distinct mechanism. Here, we investigate how activated and repressed targets of the Drosophila SR regulator Transformer2 elicit its differing effects on splicing. We find that, like activation, repression affects early steps in the recognition of splice sites and spliceosome assembly. Repositioning of regulatory elements reveals that Tra2 complexes that normally repress splicing from intronic positions activate splicing when located in an exon. Protein tethering experiments demonstrate that this position dependence is an intrinsic property of Tra2 and further show that repression and activation are mediated by separate effector domains of this protein. When other Drosophila SR factors (SF2 and Rbp1) that activate splicing from exonic positions were tethered intronically they failed to either activate or repress splicing. Interestingly, both activities of Tra2 favor the exonic identity of the RNA sequences that encompass its binding sites. This suggests a model in which these two opposite functions act in concert to define both the position and extent of alternatively spliced exons.

  7. Intronic Non-CG DNA hydroxymethylation and alternative mRNA splicing in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Previous whole-genome shotgun bisulfite sequencing experiments showed that DNA cytosine methylation in the honey bee (Apis mellifera) is almost exclusively at CG dinucleotides in exons. However, the most commonly used method, bisulfite sequencing, cannot distinguish 5-methylcytosine from 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, an oxidized form of 5-methylcytosine that is catalyzed by the TET family of dioxygenases. Furthermore, some analysis software programs under-represent non-CG DNA methylation and hydryoxymethylation for a variety of reasons. Therefore, we used an unbiased analysis of bisulfite sequencing data combined with molecular and bioinformatics approaches to distinguish 5-methylcytosine from 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. By doing this, we have performed the first whole genome analyses of DNA modifications at non-CG sites in honey bees and correlated the effects of these DNA modifications on gene expression and alternative mRNA splicing. Results We confirmed, using unbiased analyses of whole-genome shotgun bisulfite sequencing (BS-seq) data, with both new data and published data, the previous finding that CG DNA methylation is enriched in exons in honey bees. However, we also found evidence that cytosine methylation and hydroxymethylation at non-CG sites is enriched in introns. Using antibodies against 5-hydroxmethylcytosine, we confirmed that DNA hydroxymethylation at non-CG sites is enriched in introns. Additionally, using a new technique, Pvu-seq (which employs the enzyme PvuRts1l to digest DNA at 5-hydroxymethylcytosine sites followed by next-generation DNA sequencing), we further confirmed that hydroxymethylation is enriched in introns at non-CG sites. Conclusions Cytosine hydroxymethylation at non-CG sites might have more functional significance than previously appreciated, and in honey bees these modifications might be related to the regulation of alternative mRNA splicing by defining the locations of the introns. PMID:24079845

  8. Intronic non-CG DNA hydroxymethylation and alternative mRNA splicing in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Cingolani, Pablo; Cao, Xiaoyi; Khetani, Radhika S; Chen, Chieh-Chun; Coon, Melissa; Sammak, Alya'a; Bollig-Fischer, Aliccia; Land, Susan; Huang, Yun; Hudson, Matthew E; Garfinkel, Mark D; Zhong, Sheng; Robinson, Gene E; Ruden, Douglas M

    2013-09-30

    Previous whole-genome shotgun bisulfite sequencing experiments showed that DNA cytosine methylation in the honey bee (Apis mellifera) is almost exclusively at CG dinucleotides in exons. However, the most commonly used method, bisulfite sequencing, cannot distinguish 5-methylcytosine from 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, an oxidized form of 5-methylcytosine that is catalyzed by the TET family of dioxygenases. Furthermore, some analysis software programs under-represent non-CG DNA methylation and hydryoxymethylation for a variety of reasons. Therefore, we used an unbiased analysis of bisulfite sequencing data combined with molecular and bioinformatics approaches to distinguish 5-methylcytosine from 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. By doing this, we have performed the first whole genome analyses of DNA modifications at non-CG sites in honey bees and correlated the effects of these DNA modifications on gene expression and alternative mRNA splicing. We confirmed, using unbiased analyses of whole-genome shotgun bisulfite sequencing (BS-seq) data, with both new data and published data, the previous finding that CG DNA methylation is enriched in exons in honey bees. However, we also found evidence that cytosine methylation and hydroxymethylation at non-CG sites is enriched in introns. Using antibodies against 5-hydroxmethylcytosine, we confirmed that DNA hydroxymethylation at non-CG sites is enriched in introns. Additionally, using a new technique, Pvu-seq (which employs the enzyme PvuRts1l to digest DNA at 5-hydroxymethylcytosine sites followed by next-generation DNA sequencing), we further confirmed that hydroxymethylation is enriched in introns at non-CG sites. Cytosine hydroxymethylation at non-CG sites might have more functional significance than previously appreciated, and in honey bees these modifications might be related to the regulation of alternative mRNA splicing by defining the locations of the introns.

  9. Use of a Fluorescent Aptamer RNA as an Exonic Sequence to Analyze Self-Splicing Ability of a Group I Intron from Structured RNAs

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Group I self-splicing intron constitutes an important class of functional RNA molecules that can promote chemical transformation. Although the fundamental mechanism of the auto-excision from its precursor RNA has been established, convenient assay systems for its splicing activity are still useful for a further understanding of its detailed mechanism and of its application. Because some host RNA sequences, to which group I introns inserted form stable three-dimensional (3D) structures, the effects of the 3D structures of exonic elements on the splicing efficiency of group I introns are important but not a fully investigated issue. We developed an assay system for group I intron self-splicing by employing a fluorescent aptamer RNA (spinach RNA) as a model exonic sequence inserted by the Tetrahymena group I intron. We investigated self-splicing of the intron from spinach RNA, serving as a model exonic sequence with a 3D structure. PMID:27869660

  10. Use of a Fluorescent Aptamer RNA as an Exonic Sequence to Analyze Self-Splicing Ability of aGroup I Intron from Structured RNAs.

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-17

    Group I self-splicing intron constitutes an important class of functional RNA molecules that can promote chemical transformation. Although the fundamental mechanism of the auto-excision from its precursor RNA has been established, convenient assay systems for its splicing activity are still useful for a further understanding of its detailed mechanism and of its application. Because some host RNA sequences, to which group I introns inserted form stable three-dimensional (3D) structures, the effects of the 3D structures of exonic elements on the splicing efficiency of group I introns are important but not a fully investigated issue. We developed an assay system for group I intron self-splicing by employing a fluorescent aptamer RNA (spinach RNA) as a model exonic sequence inserted by the Tetrahymena group I intron. We investigated self-splicing of the intron from spinach RNA, serving as a model exonic sequence with a 3D structure.

  11. The In Vivo Kinetics of RNA Polymerase II Elongation during Co-Transcriptional Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Brody, Yehuda; Neufeld, Noa; Bieberstein, Nicole; Causse, Sebastien Z.; Böhnlein, Eva-Maria; Neugebauer, Karla M.; Darzacq, Xavier; Shav-Tal, Yaron

    2011-01-01

    RNA processing events that take place on the transcribed pre-mRNA include capping, splicing, editing, 3′ processing, and polyadenylation. Most of these processes occur co-transcriptionally while the RNA polymerase II (Pol II) enzyme is engaged in transcriptional elongation. How Pol II elongation rates are influenced by splicing is not well understood. We generated a family of inducible gene constructs containing increasing numbers of introns and exons, which were stably integrated in human cells to serve as actively transcribing gene loci. By monitoring the association of the transcription and splicing machineries on these genes in vivo, we showed that only U1 snRNP localized to the intronless gene, consistent with a splicing-independent role for U1 snRNP in transcription. In contrast, all snRNPs accumulated on intron-containing genes, and increasing the number of introns increased the amount of spliceosome components recruited. This indicates that nascent RNA can assemble multiple spliceosomes simultaneously. Kinetic measurements of Pol II elongation in vivo, Pol II ChIP, as well as use of Spliceostatin and Meayamycin splicing inhibitors showed that polymerase elongation rates were uncoupled from ongoing splicing. This study shows that transcription elongation kinetics proceed independently of splicing at the model genes studied here. Surprisingly, retention of polyadenylated mRNA was detected at the transcription site after transcription termination. This suggests that the polymerase is released from chromatin prior to the completion of splicing, and the pre-mRNA is post-transcriptionally processed while still tethered to chromatin near the gene end. PMID:21264352

  12. New intronic splicing mutation in the LMNA gene causing progressive cardiac conduction defects and variable myopathy.

    PubMed

    Rogozhina, Y; Mironovich, S; Shestak, A; Adyan, T; Polyakov, A; Podolyak, D; Bakulina, A; Dzemeshkevich, S; Zaklyazminskaya, E

    2016-12-31

    Most of mutations in the LMNA gene are unique and have been found in only a few unrelated families. The clinical interpretation of new genetic variants, especially beyond the coding area and canonical splice sites, is proving to be difficult and requires advanced investigation. This study included patients with progressive cardiac conduction defects with neuromuscular involvement. The clinical evaluation included medical history and 24-h Holter monitoring. The genetic evaluation included mutation screening in the LMNA gene by the Sanger sequence. Sanger sequencing was followed by RT-PCR of the target fragment of cDNA. In silico modeling was performed with CCBulder and Modeller software. The diagnosis of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 1B (LGMD1B) was established. The new intronic variant c.513+45T>G was found in the LMNA gene in the proband and affected daughter. The insertion of 45bp was confirmed in the proband's cDNA. The structural and possible functional effects of the aberrant protein were predicted. Variant c.513+45T>G in the LMNA gene likely translates into the longer lamin A/C proteins with additional 15 amino acids. This variant is thought to be pathogenic. Intronic variants in the LMNA gene located beside canonic splice sites may be responsible for some genotype-negative cases with clinical phenotype of laminopathies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Interaction of hnRNPA1/A2 and DAZAP1 with an Alu-Derived Intronic Splicing Enhancer Regulates ATM Aberrant Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Pastor, Tibor; Pagani, Franco

    2011-01-01

    We have previously identified an Alu-derived Intronic Splicing enhancer (ISE) in the Ataxia Teleangectasia Mutated gene (ATM) that facilitates intron pre-mRNA processing and leads to the inclusion of a cryptic exon in the final mRNA transcript. By using an RNA pull-down assay, we show here that hnRNPA1/A2, HuR and DAZAP1 splicing factors and DHX36 RNA helicase bind to the ISE. By functional studies (overexpression and siRNA experiments), we demonstrate that hnRNPA1 and DAZAP1 are indeed involved in ISE-dependent ATM cryptic exon activation, with hnRNPA1 acting negatively and DAZAP1 positively on splicing selection. On the contrary, HuR and DHX36 have no effect on ATM splicing pattern. These data suggest that splicing factors with both negative and positive effect can assemble on the intronic Alu repeats and regulate pre-mRNA splicing. PMID:21858080

  14. Rescue of splicing-mediated intron loss maximizes expression in lentiviral vectors containing the human ubiquitin C promoter.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Aaron R; Lill, Georgia R; Gschweng, Eric H; Kohn, Donald B

    2015-01-01

    Lentiviral vectors almost universally use heterologous internal promoters to express transgenes. One of the most commonly used promoter fragments is a 1.2-kb sequence from the human ubiquitin C (UBC) gene, encompassing the promoter, some enhancers, first exon, first intron and a small part of the second exon of UBC. Because splicing can occur after transcription of the vector genome during vector production, we investigated whether the intron within the UBC promoter fragment is faithfully transmitted to target cells. Genetic analysis revealed that more than 80% of proviral forms lack the intron of the UBC promoter. The human elongation factor 1 alpha (EEF1A1) promoter fragment intron was not lost during lentiviral packaging, and this difference between the UBC and EEF1A1 promoter introns was conferred by promoter exonic sequences. UBC promoter intron loss caused a 4-fold reduction in transgene expression. Movement of the expression cassette to the opposite strand prevented intron loss and restored full expression. This increase in expression was mostly due to non-classical enhancer activity within the intron, and movement of putative intronic enhancer sequences to multiple promoter-proximal sites actually repressed expression. Reversal of the UBC promoter also prevented intron loss and restored full expression in bidirectional lentiviral vectors.

  15. The Retrohoming of Linear Group II Intron RNAs in Drosophila melanogaster Occurs by Both DNA Ligase 4–Dependent and –Independent Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    White, Travis B.; Lambowitz, Alan M.

    2012-01-01

    Mobile group II introns are bacterial retrotransposons that are thought to have invaded early eukaryotes and evolved into introns and retroelements in higher organisms. In bacteria, group II introns typically retrohome via full reverse splicing of an excised intron lariat RNA into a DNA site, where it is reverse transcribed by the intron-encoded protein. Recently, we showed that linear group II intron RNAs, which can result from hydrolytic splicing or debranching of lariat RNAs, can retrohome in eukaryotes by performing only the first step of reverse splicing, ligating their 3′ end to the downstream DNA exon. Reverse transcription then yields an intron cDNA, whose free end is linked to the upstream DNA exon by an error-prone process that yields junctions similar to those formed by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). Here, by using Drosophila melanogaster NHEJ mutants, we show that linear intron RNA retrohoming occurs by major Lig4-dependent and minor Lig4-independent mechanisms, which appear to be related to classical and alternate NHEJ, respectively. The DNA repair polymerase θ plays a crucial role in both pathways. Surprisingly, however, mutations in Ku70, which functions in capping chromosome ends during NHEJ, have only moderate, possibly indirect effects, suggesting that both Lig4 and the alternate end-joining ligase act in some retrohoming events independently of Ku. Another potential Lig4-independent mechanism, reverse transcriptase template switching from the intron RNA to the upstream exon DNA, occurs in vitro, but gives junctions differing from the majority in vivo. Our results show that group II introns can utilize cellular NHEJ enzymes for retromobility in higher organisms, possibly exploiting mechanisms that contribute to retrotransposition and mitigate DNA damage by resident retrotransposons. Additionally, our results reveal novel activities of group II intron reverse transcriptases, with implications for retrohoming mechanisms and potential

  16. A splice-junction mutation responsible for familial apolipoprotein A-II deficiency.

    PubMed Central

    Deeb, S S; Takata, K; Peng, R L; Kajiyama, G; Albers, J J

    1990-01-01

    The first case of familial apolipoprotein A-II (apo A-II) deficiency was recently reported from Hiroshima, Japan, and designated apo A-IIHiroshima. The proband had no immunologically detectable apo A-II in her plasma. DNA sequence analysis showed that the proband was homozygous for a G----A transition at position 1 of intron 3 of the apo A-II gene. A sister of the proband, who had an intermediate level of plasma apo AII, was shown to be heterozygous for this base substitution. This splice-junction alteration is most likely responsible for apo A-II deficiency, since it would be expected to completely block splicing of intron 3 from the primary transcript and therefore prevent formation of functional mRNA. This deficiency seems to have little influence either on lipid and lipoprotein profiles or on the occurrence of coronary artery disease. Images Figure 2 PMID:2107739

  17. Insights into the history of a bacterial group II intron remnant from the genomes of the nitrogen-fixing symbionts Sinorhizobium meliloti and Sinorhizobium medicae.

    PubMed

    Toro, N; Martínez-Rodríguez, L; Martínez-Abarca, F

    2014-10-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing catalytic RNAs that act as mobile retroelements. In bacteria, they are thought to be tolerated to some extent because they self-splice and home preferentially to sites outside of functional genes, generally within intergenic regions or in other mobile genetic elements, by mechanisms including the divergence of DNA target specificity to prevent target site saturation. RmInt1 is a mobile group II intron that is widespread in natural populations of Sinorhizobium meliloti and was first described in the GR4 strain. Like other bacterial group II introns, RmInt1 tends to evolve toward an inactive form by fragmentation, with loss of the 3' terminus. We identified genomic evidence of a fragmented intron closely related to RmInt1 buried in the genome of the extant S. meliloti/S. medicae species. By studying this intron, we obtained evidence for the occurrence of intron insertion before the divergence of ancient rhizobial species. This fragmented group II intron has thus existed for a long time and has provided sequence variation, on which selection can act, contributing to diverse genetic rearrangements, and to generate pan-genome divergence after strain differentiation. The data presented here suggest that fragmented group II introns within intergenic regions closed to functionally important neighboring genes may have been microevolutionary forces driving adaptive evolution of these rhizobial species.

  18. Vemurafenib-resistant BRAF selects alternative branch points different from its wild-type BRAF in intron 8 for RNA splicing.

    PubMed

    Ajiro, Masahiko; Zheng, Zhi-Ming

    2015-01-01

    One mechanism of resistance of the melanoma-associated BRAF kinase to its small molecule inhibitor vemurafenib is by point mutations in its intron 8 resulting in exons 4-8 skipping. In this report, we carried out in vitro BRAF RNA splicing assays and lariat RT-PCR to map the intron 8 branch points in wild-type and BRAF mutants. We identify multiple branch points (BP) in intron 8 of both wild-type (wt) and vemurafenib-resistant BRAF RNA. In wt BRAF, BPs are located at -29A, -28A and -26A, whereas in a vemurafenib-resistant BRAF splicing mutant, BPs map to -22A, -18A and -15A, proximal to the intron 8 3' splice site. This finding of a distal-to-proximal shift of the branch point sequence in BRAF splicing in response to point-mutations in intron 8 provides insight into the regulation of BRAF alternative splicing upon vemurafenib resistance.

  19. PMD patient mutations reveal a long-distance intronic interaction that regulates PLP1/DM20 alternative splicing

    PubMed Central

    Taube, Jennifer R.; Sperle, Karen; Banser, Linda; Seeman, Pavel; Cavan, Barbra Charina V.; Garbern, James Y.; Hobson, Grace M.

    2014-01-01

    Alternative splicing of the proteolipid protein 1 gene (PLP1) produces two forms, PLP1 and DM20, due to alternative use of 5′ splice sites with the same acceptor site in intron 3. The PLP1 form predominates in central nervous system RNA. Mutations that reduce the ratio of PLP1 to DM20, whether mutant or normal protein is formed, result in the X-linked leukodystrophy Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD). We investigated the ability of sequences throughout PLP1 intron 3 to regulate alternative splicing using a splicing minigene construct transfected into the oligodendrocyte cell line, Oli-neu. Our data reveal that the alternative splice of PLP1 is regulated by a long-distance interaction between two highly conserved elements that are separated by 581 bases within the 1071-base intron 3. Further, our data suggest that a base-pairing secondary structure forms between these two elements, and we demonstrate that mutations of either element designed to destabilize the secondary structure decreased the PLP1/DM20 ratio, while swap mutations designed to restore the structure brought the PLP1/DM20 ratio to near normal levels. Sequence analysis of intron 3 in families with clinical symptoms of PMD who did not have coding-region mutations revealed mutations that segregated with disease in three families. We showed that these patient mutations, which potentially destabilize the secondary structure, also reduced the PLP1/DM20 ratio. This is the first report of patient mutations causing disease by disruption of a long-distance intronic interaction controlling alternative splicing. This finding has important implications for molecular diagnostics of PMD. PMID:24890387

  20. Ribozyme Stability, Exon Skipping, and a Potential Role for RNA Helicase in Group I Intron Splicing by Coxiella burnetii▿

    PubMed Central

    Hicks, Linda D.; Warrier, Indu; Raghavan, Rahul; Minnick, Michael F.

    2011-01-01

    The 23S rRNA gene of Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever in humans, contains an unusually high number of conserved, selfish genetic elements, including two group I introns, termed Cbu.L1917 (L1917) and Cbu.L1951 (L1951). To better understand the role that introns play in Coxiella's biology, we determined the intrinsic stability time periods (in vitro half-lives) of the encoded ribozymes to be ∼15 days for L1917 and ∼5 days for L1951, possibly due to differences in their sizes (551 and 1,559 bases, respectively), relative degrees of compactness of the respective RNA structures, and amounts of single-stranded RNA. In vivo half-lives for both introns were also determined to be ∼11 min by the use of RNase protection assays and an Escherichia coli model. Intron RNAs were quantified in synchronous cultures of C. burnetii and found to closely parallel those of 16S rRNA; i.e., ribozyme levels significantly increased between days 0 and 3 and then remained stable until 8 days postinfection. Both 16S rRNA and ribozyme levels fell during the stationary and death phases (days 8 to 14). The marked stability of the Coxiella intron RNAs is presumably conferred by their association with ribosomes, a stoichiometric relationship that was determined to be one ribozyme, of either type, per 500 ribosomes. Inaccuracies in splicing (exon 2 skipping) were found to increase during the first 5 days in culture, with a rate of approximately one improperly spliced 23S rRNA per 1.3 million copies. The in vitro efficiency of L1917 intron splicing was significantly enhanced in the presence of a recombinant Coxiella RNA DEAD-box helicase (CBU_0670) relative to that of controls, suggesting that this enzyme may serve as an intron RNA splice facilitator in vivo. PMID:21803999

  1. An in vitro peptide complementation assay for CYT-18-dependent group I intron splicing reveals a new role for the N-terminus.

    PubMed

    Geng, Chun; Paukstelis, Paul J

    2014-03-04

    The mitochondrial tyrosyl tRNA synthetase from Neurospora crassa (CYT-18 protein) is a bifunctional group I intron splicing cofactor. CYT-18 is capable of splicing multiple group I introns from a wide variety of sources by stabilizing the catalytically active intron structures. CYT-18 and mt TyrRSs from related fungal species have evolved to assist in group I intron splicing in part by the accumulation of three N-terminal domain insertions. Biochemical and structural analysis indicate that the N-terminal insertions serve primarily to create a structure-stabilizing scaffold for critical tertiary interactions between the two major RNA domains of group I introns. Previous studies concluded that the primarily α-helical N-terminal insertion, H0, contributes to protein stability and is necessary for splicing the N. crassa ND1 intron but is dispensable for splicing the N. crassa mitochondrial LSU intron. Here, we show that CYT-18 with a complete H0 deletion retains residual ND1 intron splicing activity and that addition of the missing N-terminus in trans is capable of restoring a significant portion of its splicing activity. The development of this peptide complementation assay has allowed us to explore important characteristics of the CYT-18/group I intron interaction including the stoichiometry of H0 in intron splicing and the importance of specific H0 residues. Evaluation of truncated H0 peptides in this assay and a re-examination of the CYT-18 crystal structure suggest a previously unknown structural role of the first five N-terminal residues of CYT-18. These residues interact directly with another splicing insertion, making H0 a central structural element responsible for connecting all three N-terminal splicing insertions.

  2. Intron retention resulting from a silent mutation in the VWF gene that structurally influences the 5′ splice site

    PubMed Central

    Yadegari, Hamideh; Biswas, Arijit; Akhter, Mohammad Suhail; Driesen, Julia; Ivaskevicius, Vytautas; Marquardt, Natascha

    2016-01-01

    Disease-associated silent mutations are considered to affect the accurate pre–messenger RNA (mRNA) splicing either by influencing regulatory elements, leading to exon skipping, or by creating a new cryptic splice site. This study describes a new molecular pathological mechanism by which a silent mutation inhibits splicing and leads to intron retention. We identified a heterozygous silent mutation, c.7464C>T, in exon 44 of the von Willebrand factor (VWF) gene in a family with type 1 von Willebrand disease. In vivo and ex vivo transcript analysis revealed an aberrantly spliced transcript, with intron 44 retained in the mRNA, implying disruption of the first catalytic step of splicing at the 5′ splice site (5′ss). The abnormal transcript with the retained intronic region coded a truncated protein that lacked the carboxy-terminal end of the VWF protein. Confocal immunofluorescence characterizations of blood outgrowth endothelial cells derived from the patient confirmed the presence of the truncated protein by demonstrating accumulation of VWF in the endoplasmic reticulum. In silico pre-mRNA secondary and tertiary structure analysis revealed that this substitution, despite its distal position from the 5′ss (85 bp downstream), induces cis alterations in pre-mRNA structure that result in the formation of a stable hairpin at the 5′ss. This hairpin sequesters the 5′ss residues involved in U1 small nuclear RNA interactions, thereby inhibiting excision of the pre-mRNA intronic region. This study is the first to show the allosteric-like/far-reaching effect of an exonic variation on pre-mRNA splicing that is mediated by structural changes in the pre-mRNA. PMID:27543438

  3. Invariant U2 snRNA nucleotides form a stem loop to recognize the intron early in splicing

    PubMed Central

    Perriman, Rhonda; Ares, Manuel

    2010-01-01

    U2 snRNA-intron branchpoint pairing is a critical step in pre-mRNA recognition by the splicing apparatus, but the mechanism by which these two RNAs engage each other is unknown. Here we identify a new U2 snRNA structure, the branchpoint interaction stem-loop (BSL), that presents the U2 nucleotides that will contact the intron. We provide evidence that the BSL forms prior to interaction with the intron, and is disrupted by the DExD/H protein Prp5p during engagement of the snRNA with the intron. In vitro splicing complex assembly in a BSL-destabilized mutant extract suggests that the BSL is required at a previously unrecognized step between commitment complex and prespliceosome formation. The extreme evolutionary conservation of the BSL suggests it represents an ancient structural solution to the problem of intron branchpoint recognition by dynamic RNA elements that must serve multiple functions at other times during splicing. PMID:20471947

  4. Invariant U2 snRNA nucleotides form a stem loop to recognize the intron early in splicing.

    PubMed

    Perriman, Rhonda; Ares, Manuel

    2010-05-14

    U2 snRNA-intron branchpoint pairing is a critical step in pre-mRNA recognition by the splicing apparatus, but the mechanism by which these two RNAs engage each other is unknown. Here, we identify a U2 snRNA structure, the branchpoint-interacting stem loop (BSL), which presents the U2 nucleotides that will contact the intron. We provide evidence that the BSL forms prior to interaction with the intron and is disrupted by the DExD/H protein Prp5p during engagement of the snRNA with the intron. In vitro splicing complex assembly in a BSL-destabilized mutant extract suggests that the BSL is required at a previously unrecognized step between commitment complex and prespliceosome formation. The extreme evolutionary conservation of the BSL suggests that it represents an ancient structural solution to the problem of intron branchpoint recognition by dynamic RNA elements that must serve multiple functions at other times during splicing. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. A Novel Pathway for Sensory-Mediated Arousal Involves Splicing of an Intron in the period Clock Gene

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Weihuan; Edery, Isaac

    2015-01-01

    Study Objectives: D. melanogaster is an excellent animal model to study how the circadian (≅ 24-h) timing system and sleep regulate daily wake-sleep cycles. Splicing of a temperature-sensitive 3'-terminal intron (termed dmpi8) from the circadian clock gene period (per) regulates the distribution of daily activity in Drosophila. The role of dmpi8 splicing on daily behavior was further evaluated by analyzing sleep. Design: Transgenic flies of the same genetic background but expressing either a wild-type recombinant per gene or one where the efficiency of dmpi8 splicing was increased were exposed to different temperatures in daily light-dark cycles and sleep parameters measured. In addition, transgenic flies were briefly exposed to a variety of sensory-mediated stimuli to measure arousal responses. Results: Surprisingly, we show that the effect of dmpi8 splicing on daytime activity levels does not involve a circadian role for per but is linked to adjustments in sensory-dependent arousal and sleep behavior. Genetically altered flies with high dmpi8 splicing efficiency remain aroused longer following short treatments with light and non-photic cues such as mechanical stimulation. Conclusions: We propose that the thermal regulation of dmpi8 splicing acts as a temperature-calibrated rheostat in a novel arousal mechanism, so that on warm days the inefficient splicing of the dmpi8 intron triggers an increase in quiescence by decreasing sensory-mediated arousal, thus ensuring flies minimize being active during the hot midday sun despite the presence of light in the environment, which is usually a strong arousal cue for diurnal animals. Citation: Cao W, Edery I. A novel pathway for sensory-mediated arousal involves splicing of an intron in the period clock gene. SLEEP 2015;38(1):41–51. PMID:25325457

  6. A subset of Mer1p-dependent introns requires Bud13p for splicing activation and nuclear retention

    PubMed Central

    Scherrer, Frederick W.; Spingola, Marc

    2006-01-01

    In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Mer1p is expressed only during meiosis, and its expression is linked to the splicing of at least three mRNAs: MER2, MER3, and AMA1. Previous evidence suggests that Mer1p activates splicing by directly recruiting snRNPs or stabilizing intermediate splicing complexes formed on pre-mRNA that contains an intronic Mer1p enhancer element. However, some splicing factors, especially accessory/non-snRNP factors, have critical roles in retaining unspliced pre-mRNAs in the nucleus. We tested if Mer1p may indirectly regulate splicing by preventing the export of pre-mRNAs to the cytoplasm and also demonstrated that a second subunit of the Retention and Splicing (RES) complex, Bud13p, has transcript-specific effects on Mer1p-activated splicing. The results indicated that Mer1p can retain unspliced pre-mRNA in the nucleus; however, nuclear retention could not be uncoupled from splicing activation. In the absence of Mer1p, the AMA1 pre-mRNA is exported to the cytoplasm, translated, but not subjected to nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) despite a premature stop codon in the intron. These data imply that Mer1p can retain pre-mRNAs in the nucleus only by facilitating their interaction with the spliceosome and that two subunits of the RES complex modulate Mer1p function on two of the three Mer1p-dependent introns. The results also support models for cytoplasmic degradation of unspliced pre-mRNAs that fail to assemble into spliceosomes in yeast. PMID:16738408

  7. A Novel Pathogenic BRCA1 Splicing Variant Produces Partial Intron Retention in the Mature Messenger RNA

    PubMed Central

    Esposito, Maria Valeria; Nunziato, Marcella; Starnone, Flavio; Telese, Antonella; Calabrese, Alessandra; D’Aiuto, Giuseppe; Pucci, Pietro; D’Aiuto, Massimiliano; Baralle, Francisco; D’Argenio, Valeria; Salvatore, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    About 10% of all breast cancers arise from hereditary mutations that increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers; and about 25% of these are associated with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. The identification of BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations can enable physicians to better tailor the clinical management of patients; and to initiate preventive measures in healthy carriers. The pathophysiological significance of newly identified variants poses challenges for genetic counseling. We characterized a new BRCA1 variant discovered in a breast cancer patient during BRCA1/2 screening by next-generation sequencing. Bioinformatic predictions; indicating that the variant is probably pathogenetic; were verified using retro-transcription of the patient’s RNA followed by PCR amplifications performed on the resulting cDNA. The variant causes the loss of a canonic donor splice site at position +2 in BRCA1 intron 21; and consequently the partial retention of 156 bp of intron 21 in the patient’s transcript; which demonstrates that this novel BRCA1 mutation plays a pathogenetic role in breast cancer. These findings enabled us to initiate appropriate counseling and to tailor the clinical management of this family. Lastly; these data reinforce the importance of studying the effects of sequence variants at the RNA level to verify their potential role in disease onset. PMID:28009814

  8. Duchenne muscular dystrophy caused by a frame-shift mutation in the acceptor splice site of intron 26.

    PubMed

    Meregalli, Mirella; Maciotta, Simona; Angeloni, Valentina; Torrente, Yvan

    2016-08-11

    The dystrophin gene is the one of the largest described in human beings and mutations associated to this gene are responsible for Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophies. Here we describe a nucleotide substitution in the acceptor splice site of intron 26 (c.3604-1G > C) carried by a 6-year-old boy who presented with a history of progressive proximal muscle weakness and elevated serum creatine kinase levels. RNA analysis showed that the first two nucleotides of the mutated intron 26 (AC) were not recognized by the splicing machinery and a new splicing site was created within exon 27, generating a premature stop codon and avoiding protein translation. The evaluation of the pathogenic effect of the mutation by mRNA analysis will be useful in the optics of an antisense oligonucleotides (AON)-based therapy.

  9. CYP3A4 intronic SNP rs35599367 (CYP3A4*22) alters RNA splicing.

    PubMed

    Wang, Danxin; Sadee, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) metabolizes 30-50% of clinically used drugs. Large interperson variability in CYP3A4 activity affects response to CYP3A4 substrate drugs. We had demonstrated that an intronic single nucleotide polymorphism rs35599367 (CYP3A4*22, located in intron 6) reduces mRNA/protein expression; however, the underlying mechanism remained unknown. Here we show that CYP3A4*22 is associated with a two-fold or greater increase in formation of a nonfunctional CYP3A4 alternative splice variant with partial intron 6 retention in human liver (P=0.006), but not in small intestines. Consistent with this observation, in-vitro transfection experiments with a CYP3A4 minigene (spanning from intron 5 to intron 7) demonstrated that plasmids carrying the rs35599367 minor T allele caused significantly greater intron 6 retention than the C allele in liver derived HepG2 cells, but not in intestine-derived LS-174T cells. These results indicate that tissue-specific increased formation of nonfunctional alternative splice variant causes reduced CYP3A4 mRNA/protein expression in CYP3A4*22 carriers.

  10. Becker muscular dystrophy due to an intronic splicing mutation inducing a dual dystrophin transcript.

    PubMed

    Todeschini, Alice; Gualandi, Francesca; Trabanelli, Cecilia; Armaroli, Annarita; Ravani, Anna; Fanin, Marina; Rota, Silvia; Bello, Luca; Ferlini, Alessandra; Pegoraro, Elena; Padovani, Alessandro; Filosto, Massimiliano

    2016-10-01

    We describe a 29-year-old patient who complained of left thigh muscle weakness since he was 23 and of moderate proximal weakness of both lower limbs with difficulty in climbing stairs and running since he was 27. Mild weakness of iliopsoas and quadriceps muscles and muscle atrophy of both the distal forearm and thigh were observed upon clinical examination. He harboured a novel c.1150-3C>G substitution in the DMD gene, affecting the intron 10 acceptor splice site and causing exon 11 skipping and an out-of-frame transcript. However, protein of normal molecular weight but in reduced amounts was observed on Western Blot analysis. Reverse transcription analysis on muscle RNA showed production, via alternative splicing, of a transcript missing exon 11 as well as a low abundant full-length transcript which is enough to avoid the severe Duchenne phenotype. Our study showed that a reduced amount of full length dystrophin leads to a mild form of Becker muscular dystrophy. These results confirm earlier findings that low amounts of dystrophin can be associated with a milder phenotype, which is promising for therapies aiming at dystrophin restoration. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Control of Human PLP1 Expression Through Transcriptional Regulatory Elements and Alternatively Spliced Exons in Intron 1

    PubMed Central

    Hamdan, Hamdan; Kockara, Neriman T.; Jolly, Lee Ann; Haun, Shirley

    2015-01-01

    *These authors contributed equally to this work.Although the myelin proteolipid protein gene (PLP1) encodes the most abundant protein in central nervous system (CNS) myelin, not much is known about the mechanisms that govern expression of the human gene (hPLP1). Much more is known about the processes that regulate Plp1 gene expression in rodents. From studies with Plp1-lacZ transgenic mice, it was determined that the first intron of mouse Plp1 (mPlp1) is required to attain high levels of expression in brain, concurrent with the active myelination period. Other studies have suggested that within mPlp1 intron 1 (>8 kb) lie several regions with enhancer-like activity. To test whether these sequences (and possibly others) in hPLP1 intron 1 are functional, deletion-transfection analysis was performed with hPLP1-lacZ constructs that contain various portions of the intron, or lack it altogether. Results presented here demonstrate the importance of hPLP1 intron 1 in achieving maximal levels of expression in the immortalized oligodendroglial cell line, Oli-neu. Deletion analysis indicates that the intron contains multiple positive regulatory elements which are active in Oli-neu cells. Some of these elements appear to be functionally conserved between human and mouse, while others are not. Furthermore, our studies demonstrate that multiple splice variants can be formed due to inclusion of extra (supplementary) exons from what is classically thought of as hPLP1 intron 1. Thus, splicing of these novel exons (which are not recognized as such in mPlp1 due to lack of conserved splice sites) must utilize factors common to both human and mouse since Oli-neu cells are of mouse origin. PMID:25694552

  12. Why Selection Might Be Stronger When Populations Are Small: Intron Size and Density Predict within and between-Species Usage of Exonic Splice Associated cis-Motifs.

    PubMed

    Wu, XianMing; Hurst, Laurence D

    2015-07-01

    The nearly neutral theory predicts that small effective population size provides the conditions for weakened selection. This is postulated to explain why our genome is more "bloated" than that of, for example, yeast, ours having large introns and large intergene spacer. If a bloated genome is also an error prone genome might it, however, be the case that selection for error-mitigating properties is stronger in our genome? We examine this notion using splicing as an exemplar, not least because large introns can predispose to noisy splicing. We thus ask whether, owing to genomic decay, selection for splice error-control mechanisms is stronger, not weaker, in species with large introns and small populations. In humans much information defining splice sites is in cis-exonic motifs, most notably exonic splice enhancers (ESEs). These act as splice-error control elements. Here then we ask whether within and between-species intron size is a predictor of the commonality of exonic cis-splicing motifs. We show that, as predicted, the proportion of synonymous sites that are ESE-associated and under selection in humans is weakly positively correlated with the size of the flanking intron. In a phylogenetically controlled framework, we observe, also as expected, that mean intron size is both predicted by Ne.μ and is a good predictor of cis-motif usage across species, this usage coevolving with splice site definition. Unexpectedly, however, across taxa intron density is a better predictor of cis-motif usage than intron size. We propose that selection for splice-related motifs is driven by a need to avoid decoy splice sites that will be more common in genes with many and large introns. That intron number and density predict ESE usage within human genes is consistent with this, as is the finding of intragenic heterogeneity in ESE density. As intronic content and splice site usage across species is also well predicted by Ne.μ, the result also suggests an unusual circumstance in

  13. The natural history of group I introns.

    PubMed

    Haugen, Peik; Simon, Dawn M; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2005-02-01

    There are four major classes of introns: self-splicing group I and group II introns, tRNA and/or archaeal introns and spliceosomal introns in nuclear pre-mRNA. Group I introns are widely distributed in protists, bacteria and bacteriophages. Group II introns are found in fungal and land plant mitochondria, algal plastids, bacteria and Archaea. Group II and spliceosomal introns share a common splicing pathway and might be related to each other. The tRNA and/or archaeal introns are found in the nuclear tRNA of eukaryotes and in archaeal tRNA, rRNA and mRNA. The mechanisms underlying the self-splicing and mobility of a few model group I introns are well understood. By contrast, the role of these highly distinct processes in the evolution of the 1500 group I introns found thus far in nature (e.g. in algae and fungi) has only recently been clarified. The explosion of new sequence data has facilitated the use of comparative methods to understand group I intron evolution in a broader context and to generate hypotheses about intron insertion, splicing and spread that can be tested experimentally.

  14. Characterization of a disease-associated mutation affecting a putative splicing regulatory element in intron 6b of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene.

    PubMed

    Faà, Valeria; Incani, Federica; Meloni, Alessandra; Corda, Denise; Masala, Maddalena; Baffico, A Maria; Seia, Manuela; Cao, Antonio; Rosatelli, M Cristina

    2009-10-30

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a common recessive disorder caused by >1600 mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. About 13% of CFTR mutations are classified as "splicing mutations," but for almost 40% of these, their role in affecting the pre-mRNA splicing of the gene is not yet defined. In this work, we describe a new splicing mutation detected in three unrelated Italian CF patients. By DNA analyses and mRNA studies, we identified the c.1002-1110_1113delTAAG mutation localized in intron 6b of the CFTR gene. At the mRNA level, this mutation creates an aberrant inclusion of a sequence of 101 nucleotides between exons 6b and 7. This sequence corresponds to a portion of intron 6b and resembles a cryptic exon because it is characterized by an upstream ag and a downstream gt sequence, which are most probably recognized as 5'- and 3'-splice sites by the spliceosome. Through functional analysis of this splicing defect, we show that this mutation abolishes the interaction of the splicing regulatory protein heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2/B1 with an intronic splicing regulatory element and creates a new recognition motif for the SRp75 splicing factor, causing activation of the cryptic exon. Our results show that the c.1002-1110_1113delTAAG mutation creates a new intronic splicing regulatory element in intron 6b of the CFTR gene exclusively recognized by SRp75.

  15. Complete 5' and 3' end maturation of group II intron-containing tRNA precursors.

    PubMed Central

    Vogel, J; Hess, W R

    2001-01-01

    Higher plant chloroplasts provide the only experimentally validated example of functional tRNA genes that are disrupted by group II introns. Here, precursor transcripts for tRNA(Gly)(UCC), tRNA(Val)(UAC), and tRNA(Ala)(UGC) were investigated for processing of 5' leader and 3' trailer sequences in vivo. Use of intron-specific primer pairs and inclusion of a barley chloroplast splicing mutant specifically allowed us to evaluate the potential effect of intervening sequences that disrupt tRNA secondary and tertiary structures. The data suggest that (1) neither integrity of the dihydrouridine nor the anticodon domain is required for the nucleotidyltransferase-mediated addition of 3'-terminal CCA; (2) interruption of these two structural elements by group II introns does not interfere with nucleotide-specific 5' maturation by RNase P; (3) processing intermediates of chloroplast tRNAs can be 3' polyadenylated; and (4) plastid DNA-encoded proteins are not required for 3' and 5' maturation of plastid tRNAs. PMID:11233985

  16. Using Group II Introns for Attenuating the In Vitro and In Vivo Expression of a Homing Endonuclease

    PubMed Central

    Guha, Tuhin Kumar; Hausner, Georg

    2016-01-01

    In Chaetomium thermophilum (DSM 1495) within the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) small ribosomal subunit (rns) gene a group IIA1 intron interrupts an open reading frame (ORF) encoded within a group I intron (mS1247). This arrangement offers the opportunity to examine if the nested group II intron could be utilized as a regulatory element for the expression of the homing endonuclease (HEase). Constructs were generated where the codon-optimized ORF was interrupted with either the native group IIA1 intron or a group IIB type intron. This study showed that the expression of the HEase (in vivo) in Escherichia coli can be regulated by manipulating the splicing efficiency of the HEase ORF-embedded group II introns. Exogenous magnesium chloride (MgCl2) stimulated the expression of a functional HEase but the addition of cobalt chloride (CoCl2) to growth media antagonized the expression of HEase activity. Ultimately the ability to attenuate HEase activity might be useful in precision genome engineering, minimizing off target activities, or where pathways have to be altered during a specific growth phase. PMID:26909494

  17. The molecular evolution and structural organization of self-splicing group I introns at position 516 in nuclear SSU rDNA of myxomycetes.

    PubMed

    Haugen, Peik; Coucheron, Dag H; Rønning, Sissel B; Haugli, Kari; Johansen, Steinar

    2003-01-01

    Group I introns are relatively common within nuclear ribosomal DNA of eukaryotic microorganisms, especially in myxomycetes. Introns at position S516 in the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene are particularly common, but have a sporadic occurrence in myxomycetes. Fuligo septica, Badhamia gracilis, and Physarum flavicomum, all members of the family Physaraceae, contain related group IC1 introns at this site. The F. septica intron was studied at the molecular level and found to self-splice as naked RNA and to generate full-length intron RNA circles during incubation. Group I introns at position S516 appear to have a particularly widespread distribution among protists and fungi. Secondary structural analysis of more than 140 S516 group I introns available in the database revealed five different types of organization, including IC1 introns with and without His-Cys homing endonuclease genes, complex twin-ribozyme introns, IE introns, and degenerate group I-like introns. Both intron structural and phylogenetic analyses indicate a multiple origin of the S516 introns during evolution. The myxomycete introns are related to S516 introns in the more distantly related brown algae and Acanthamoeba species. Possible mechanisms of intron transfer both at the RNA- and DNA-levels are discussed in order to explain the observed widespread, but scattered, phylogenetic distribution.

  18. Expression of intron-containing C. elegans heat shock genes in mouse cells demonstrates divergence of 3' splice site recognition sequences between nematodes and vertebrates, and an inhibitory effect of heat shock on the mammalian splicing apparatus.

    PubMed Central

    Kay, R J; Russnak, R H; Jones, D; Mathias, C; Candido, E P

    1987-01-01

    Splicing of a pair of intron-containing heat shock genes from Caenorhabditis elegans has been studied in transfected mouse cells. The hsp16-1 and hsp16-48 genes of C. elegans encode 16,000 Da heat shock polypeptides. Each gene contains a short intron of 52 (hsp16-1) or 55 (hsp16-48) base pairs. When these genes were introduced into mouse cells, they were efficiently induced following heat shock, but splicing of the introns was abnormal. In mouse cells, cleavage of the hsp16 transcripts occurred at the correct 5' splice sites, but the 3' splice sites were located at AG dinucleotides downstream of the correct sites. This aberrant splicing was not solely due to the small size of the C. elegans introns, since a hsp16-1 gene containing an intron enlarged by tandem duplication showed exactly the same splicing pattern. The mouse cells thus seem to be unable to recognize the natural 3' splice sites of the C. elegans transcripts. The efficiency of splicing was greatly reduced under heat shock conditions, and unspliced transcripts accumulated in the nucleus. During a subsequent recovery period at 37 degrees C, these transcripts were spliced and transported to the cytoplasm. Images PMID:3588308

  19. Evolutionary relationships among group II intron-encoded proteins and identification of a conserved domain that may be related to maturase function.

    PubMed Central

    Mohr, G; Perlman, P S; Lambowitz, A M

    1993-01-01

    Many group II introns encode reverse transcriptase-like proteins that potentially function in intron mobility and RNA splicing. We compared 34 intron-encoded open reading frames and four related open reading frames that are not encoded in introns. Many of these open reading frames have a reverse transcriptase-like domain, followed by an additional conserved domain X, and a Zn(2+)-finger-like region. Some open reading frames have lost conserved sequence blocks or key amino acids characteristic of functional reverse transcriptases, and some lack the Zn(2+)-finger-like region. The open reading frames encoded by the chloroplast tRNA(Lys) genes and the related Epifagus virginiana matK open reading frame lack a Zn(2+)-finger-like region and have only remnants of a reverse transcriptase-like domain, but retain a readily identifiable domain X. Several findings lead us to speculate that domain X may function in binding of the intron RNA during reverse transcription and RNA splicing. Overall, our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that all of the known group II intron open reading frames evolved from an ancestral open reading frame, which contained reverse transcriptase, X, and Zn(2+)-finger-like domains, and that the reverse transcriptase and Zn(2+)-finger-like domains were lost in some cases. The retention of domain X in most proteins may reflect an essential function in RNA splicing, which is independent of the reverse transcriptase activity of these proteins. PMID:8255751

  20. Evolutionary relationships among group II intron-encoded proteins and identification of a conserved domain that may be related to maturase function.

    PubMed

    Mohr, G; Perlman, P S; Lambowitz, A M

    1993-11-11

    Many group II introns encode reverse transcriptase-like proteins that potentially function in intron mobility and RNA splicing. We compared 34 intron-encoded open reading frames and four related open reading frames that are not encoded in introns. Many of these open reading frames have a reverse transcriptase-like domain, followed by an additional conserved domain X, and a Zn(2+)-finger-like region. Some open reading frames have lost conserved sequence blocks or key amino acids characteristic of functional reverse transcriptases, and some lack the Zn(2+)-finger-like region. The open reading frames encoded by the chloroplast tRNA(Lys) genes and the related Epifagus virginiana matK open reading frame lack a Zn(2+)-finger-like region and have only remnants of a reverse transcriptase-like domain, but retain a readily identifiable domain X. Several findings lead us to speculate that domain X may function in binding of the intron RNA during reverse transcription and RNA splicing. Overall, our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that all of the known group II intron open reading frames evolved from an ancestral open reading frame, which contained reverse transcriptase, X, and Zn(2+)-finger-like domains, and that the reverse transcriptase and Zn(2+)-finger-like domains were lost in some cases. The retention of domain X in most proteins may reflect an essential function in RNA splicing, which is independent of the reverse transcriptase activity of these proteins.

  1. Targeted gene disruption in Francisella tularensis by group II introns.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Stephen A; Davis, Greg; Klose, Karl E

    2009-11-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious Gram-negative bacterium that is the causative agent of tularemia. Very little is known about the molecular mechanisms responsible for F. tularensis virulence, in part due to the paucity of genetic tools available for the study of F. tularensis. We have developed a gene knockout system for F. tularensis that utilizes retargeted mobile group II introns, or "targetrons". These targetrons disrupt both single and duplicated target genes at high efficiency in three different F. tularensis subspecies. Here we describe in detail the targetron-based method for insertional mutagenesis of F. tularensis genes, which should facilitate a better understanding of F. tularensis pathogenesis. Group II introns can be adapted to inactivate genes in bacteria for which few genetic tools exist, thus providing a powerful tool to study the genetic basis of bacterial pathogenesis.

  2. Cation-induced kinetic heterogeneity of the intron-exon recognition in single group II introns.

    PubMed

    Kowerko, Danny; König, Sebastian L B; Skilandat, Miriam; Kruschel, Daniela; Hadzic, Mélodie C A S; Cardo, Lucia; Sigel, Roland K O

    2015-03-17

    RNA is commonly believed to undergo a number of sequential folding steps before reaching its functional fold, i.e., the global minimum in the free energy landscape. However, there is accumulating evidence that several functional conformations are often in coexistence, corresponding to multiple (local) minima in the folding landscape. Here we use the 5'-exon-intron recognition duplex of a self-splicing ribozyme as a model system to study the influence of Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) on RNA tertiary structure formation. Bulk and single-molecule spectroscopy reveal that near-physiological M(2+) concentrations strongly promote interstrand association. Moreover, the presence of M(2+) leads to pronounced kinetic heterogeneity, suggesting the coexistence of multiple docked and undocked RNA conformations. Heterogeneity is found to decrease at saturating M(2+) concentrations. Using NMR, we locate specific Mg(2+) binding pockets and quantify their affinity toward Mg(2+). Mg(2+) pulse experiments show that M(2+) exchange occurs on the timescale of seconds. This unprecedented combination of NMR and single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer demonstrates for the first time to our knowledge that a rugged free energy landscape coincides with incomplete occupation of specific M(2+) binding sites at near-physiological M(2+) concentrations. Unconventional kinetics in nucleic acid folding frequently encountered in single-molecule experiments are therefore likely to originate from a spectrum of conformations that differ in the occupation of M(2+) binding sites.

  3. Survey of group I and group II introns in 29 sequenced genomes of the Bacillus cereus group: insights into their spread and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Tourasse, Nicolas J.; Kolstø, Anne-Brit

    2008-01-01

    Group I and group II introns are different catalytic self-splicing and mobile RNA elements that contribute to genome dynamics. In this study, we have analyzed their distribution and evolution in 29 sequenced genomes from the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria. Introns were of different structural classes and evolutionary origins, and a large number of nearly identical elements are shared between multiple strains of different sources, suggesting recent lateral transfers and/or that introns are under a strong selection pressure. Altogether, 73 group I introns were identified, inserted in essential genes from the chromosome or newly described prophages, including the first elements found within phages in bacterial plasmids. Notably, bacteriophages are an important source for spreading group I introns between strains. Furthermore, 77 group II introns were found within a diverse set of chromosomal and plasmidic genes. Unusual findings include elements located within conserved DNA metabolism and repair genes and one intron inserted within a novel retroelement. Group II introns are mainly disseminated via plasmids and can subsequently invade the host genome, in particular by coupling mobility with host cell replication. This study reveals a very high diversity and variability of mobile introns in B. cereus group strains. PMID:18587153

  4. Novel viral vectors utilizing intron splice-switching to activate genome rescue, expression and replication in targeted cells

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The outcome of virus infection depends from the precise coordination of viral gene expression and genome replication. The ability to control and regulate these processes is therefore important for analysis of infection process. Viruses are also useful tools in bio- and gene technology; they can efficiently kill cancer cells and trigger immune responses to tumors. However, the methods for constructing tissue- or cell-type specific viruses typically suffer from low target-cell specificity and a high risk of reversion. Therefore novel and universal methods of regulation of viral infection are also important for therapeutic application of virus-based systems. Methods Aberrantly spliced introns were introduced into crucial gene-expression units of adenovirus vector and alphavirus DNA/RNA layered vectors and their effects on the viral gene expression, replication and/or the release of infectious genomes were studied in cell culture. Transfection of the cells with splice-switching oligonucleotides was used to correct the introduced functional defect(s). Results It was demonstrated that viral gene expression, replication and/or the release of infectious genomes can be blocked by the introduction of aberrantly spliced introns. The insertion of such an intron into an adenovirus vector reduced the expression of the targeted gene more than fifty-fold. A similar insertion into an alphavirus DNA/RNA layered vector had a less dramatic effect; here, only the release of the infectious transcript was suppressed but not the subsequent replication and spread of the virus. However the insertion of two aberrantly spliced introns resulted in an over one hundred-fold reduction in the infectivity of the DNA/RNA layered vector. Furthermore, in both systems the observed effects could be reverted by the delivery of splice-switching oligonucleotide(s), which corrected the splicing defects. Conclusions Splice-switch technology, originally developed for genetic disease therapy, can

  5. A Contracted DNA Repeat in LHX3 Intron 5 Is Associated with Aberrant Splicing and Pituitary Dwarfism in German Shepherd Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Voorbij, Annemarie M. W. Y.; van Steenbeek, Frank G.; Vos-Loohuis, Manon; Martens, Ellen E. C. P.; Hanson-Nilsson, Jeanette M.; van Oost, Bernard A.; Kooistra, Hans S.; Leegwater, Peter A.

    2011-01-01

    Dwarfism in German shepherd dogs is due to combined pituitary hormone deficiency of unknown genetic cause. We localized the recessively inherited defect by a genome wide approach to a region on chromosome 9 with a lod score of 9.8. The region contains LHX3, which codes for a transcription factor essential for pituitary development. Dwarfs have a deletion of one of six 7 bp repeats in intron 5 of LHX3, reducing the intron size to 68 bp. One dwarf was compound heterozygous for the deletion and an insertion of an asparagine residue in the DNA-binding homeodomain of LHX3, suggesting involvement of the gene in the disorder. An exon trapping assay indicated that the shortened intron is not spliced efficiently, probably because it is too small. We applied bisulfite conversion of cytosine to uracil in RNA followed by RT-PCR to analyze the splicing products. The aberrantly spliced RNA molecules resulted from either skipping of exon 5 or retention of intron 5. The same splicing defects were observed in cDNA derived from the pituitary of dwarfs. A survey of similarly mutated introns suggests that there is a minimal distance requirement between the splice donor and branch site of 50 nucleotides. In conclusion, a contraction of a DNA repeat in intron 5 of canine LHX3 leads to deficient splicing and is associated with pituitary dwarfism. PMID:22132174

  6. Muscleblind-like 1 activates insulin receptor exon 11 inclusion by enhancing U2AF65 binding and splicing of the upstream intron.

    PubMed

    Echeverria, Gloria V; Cooper, Thomas A

    2014-02-01

    Alternative splicing regulates developmentally and tissue-specific gene expression programs, disruption of which have been implicated in numerous diseases. Muscleblind-like 1 (MBNL1) regulates splicing transitions, which are disrupted on loss of MBNL1 function in myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1). One such event is MBNL1-mediated activation of insulin receptor exon 11 inclusion, which requires an intronic enhancer element downstream of exon 11. The mechanism of MBNL1-mediated activation of exon inclusion is unknown. We developed an in vitro splicing assay, which robustly recapitulates MBNL1-mediated splicing activation of insulin receptor exon 11 and found that MBNL1 activates removal of the intron upstream of exon 11 upon binding its functional response element in the downstream intron. MBNL1 enhances early spliceosome assembly as evidenced by enhanced complex A formation and binding of U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein auxiliary factor 65 kDa subunit (U2AF65) on the upstream intron. We demonstrated that neither the 5' splice site nor exon 11 sequences are required for MBNL1-activated U2AF65 binding. Interestingly, the 5' splice site is required for MBNL1-mediated activation of upstream intron removal, although MBNL1 has no effect on U1 snRNA recruitment. These results suggest that MBNL1 directly activates binding of U2AF65 to enhance upstream intron removal to ultimately activate alternative exon inclusion.

  7. hnRNP L inhibits CD44 V10 exon splicing through interacting with its upstream intron.

    PubMed

    Loh, Tiing Jen; Cho, Sunghee; Moon, Heegyum; Jang, Ha Na; Williams, Darren Reece; Jung, Da-Woon; Kim, Il-Chul; Ghigna, Claudia; Biamonti, Giuseppe; Zheng, Xuexiu; Shen, Haihong

    2015-06-01

    CD44 is a complex cell adhesion molecule that mediates communication and adhesion between adjacent cells as well as between cells and the extracellular matrix. CD44 pre-mRNA produces various mRNA isoforms through alternative splicing of 20 exons, among which exons 1-5 (C1-C5) and 16-20 (C6-C10) are constant exons, whereas exons 6-15 (V1-V10) are variant exons. CD44 V10 exon has important roles in breast tumor progression and Hodgkin lymphoma. Here we show that increased expression of hnRNP L inhibits V10 exon splicing of CD44 pre-mRNA, whereas reduced expression of hnRNP L promotes V10 exon splicing. In addition, hnRNP L also promotes V10 splicing of endogenous CD44 pre-mRNA. Through mutation analysis, we demonstrate that the effects of hnRNP L on V10 splicing are abolished when the CA-rich sequence on the upstream intron of V10 exon is disrupted. However, hnRNP L effects are stronger if more CA-repeats are provided. Furthermore, we show that hnRNP L directly contacts the CA-rich sequence. Importantly, we provide evidences that hnRNP L inhibits U2AF65 binding on the upstream Py tract of V10 exon. Our results reveal that hnRNP L is a new regulator for CD44 V10 exon splicing.

  8. Two self-splicing group I introns interrupt two late transcribed genes of prolate-headed Lactobacillus delbrueckii phage JCL1032.

    PubMed

    Riipinen, K A; Alatossava, T

    2004-10-01

    Two group I introns were detected from the late gene region of the prolate-headed phage JCL1032 of Lactobacillus delbrueckii. Introns JCL-I1 and JCL-I2 interrupt orf602 and orf1868 encoding a phage terminase large subunit (TerL, 69.7 kDa) and a putative tape measure protein (TMP, 202 kDa), respectively. The introns JCL-I1 (226 bp) and JCL-I2 (322 bp) were efficiently self-spliced in vivo. Both introns were classified to the subgroup IA1 having all the conserved structures necessary for splicing, but lacking the ability to encode endonucleases or other gene products. The introns JCL-I1 and JCL-I2 shared restricted nucleotide sequence similarity with each other and with the group I terL intron of Lb. delbrueckii phage LL-H. No match was found for JCL-I1 in the homology searches. Instead, the primary sequence from the joining region of P8 and P7 to P9 of the intron JCL-I2 was homologous to the group I intron of Bacillus mojavensis; the orf142 introns I1, I2 and I3 of Staphylococcus aureus phage Twort; the group I intron of phage Bastille (Bacillus thuringiensis); and to the group IA3 intron of Monomastix species.

  9. The Fission Yeast Pre-mRNA-processing Factor 18 (prp18+) Has Intron-specific Splicing Functions with Links to G1-S Cell Cycle Progression.

    PubMed

    Vijaykrishna, Nagampalli; Melangath, Geetha; Kumar, Rakesh; Khandelia, Piyush; Bawa, Pushpinder; Varadarajan, Raghavan; Vijayraghavan, Usha

    2016-12-30

    The fission yeast genome, which contains numerous short introns, is an apt model for studies on fungal splicing mechanisms and splicing by intron definition. Here we perform a domain analysis of the evolutionarily conserved Schizosaccharomyces pombe pre-mRNA-processing factor, SpPrp18. Our mutational and biophysical analyses of the C-terminal α-helical bundle reveal critical roles for the conserved region as well as helix five. We generate a novel conditional missense mutant, spprp18-5 To assess the role of SpPrp18, we performed global splicing analyses on cells depleted of prp18(+) and the conditional spprp18-5 mutant, which show widespread but intron-specific defects. In the absence of functional SpPrp18, primer extension analyses on a tfIId(+) intron 1-containing minitranscript show accumulated pre-mRNA, whereas the lariat intron-exon 2 splicing intermediate was undetectable. These phenotypes also occurred in cells lacking both SpPrp18 and SpDbr1 (lariat debranching enzyme), a genetic background suitable for detection of lariat RNAs. These data indicate a major precatalytic splicing arrest that is corroborated by the genetic interaction between spprp18-5 and spprp2-1, a mutant in the early acting U2AF59 protein. Interestingly, SpPrp18 depletion caused cell cycle arrest before S phase. The compromised splicing of transcripts coding for G1-S regulators, such as Res2, a transcription factor, and Skp1, a regulated proteolysis factor, are shown. The cumulative effects of SpPrp18-dependent intron splicing partly explain the G1 arrest upon the loss of SpPrp18. Our study using conditional depletion of spprp18(+) and the spprp18-5 mutant uncovers an intron-specific splicing function and early spliceosomal interactions and suggests links with cell cycle progression. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  10. The RmInt1 group II intron has two different retrohoming pathways for mobility using predominantly the nascent lagging strand at DNA replication forks for priming

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Abarca, Francisco; Barrientos-Durán, Antonio; Fernández-López, Manuel; Toro, Nicolás

    2004-01-01

    Sinorhizobium meliloti RmInt1 is an efficient mobile group II intron that uses an unknown reverse transcriptase priming mechanism as the intron ribonucleoprotein complex can reverse splice into DNA target substrates but cannot carry out site-specific second strand cleavage due to the lack of a C- terminal DNA endonuclease domain. We show here that, like other mobile group II introns, RmInt1 moves around by an efficient RNA-based retrohoming mechanism. We found evidence of two distinct RmInt1 retrohoming pathways for mobility depending on the orientation of the target site relative to the direction of DNA replication. The preferred retrohoming pathway is consistent with reverse splicing of the intron RNA into single-stranded DNA at a replication fork, using a nascent lagging DNA strand as the primer for reverse transcription. This strand bias is the opposite of that reported for mobility of the lactococcal Ll.ltrB intron in the absence of second strand cleavage. The mobility mechanism found here for RmInt1 may be used for dissemination by many bacterial group II introns encoding proteins lacking the DNA endonuclease domain. PMID:15155857

  11. Recurrent insertion of 5′-terminal nucleotides and loss of the branchpoint motif in lineages of group II introns inserted in mitochondrial preribosomal RNAs

    PubMed Central

    Li, Cheng-Fang; Costa, Maria; Bassi, Gurminder; Lai, Yiu-Kay; Michel, François

    2011-01-01

    A survey of sequence databases revealed 10 instances of subgroup IIB1 mitochondrial ribosomal introns with 1 to 33 additional nucleotides inserted between the 5′ exon and the consensus sequence at the intron 5′ end. These 10 introns depart further from the IIB1 consensus in their predicted domain VI structure: In contrast to its basal helix and distal GNRA terminal loop, the middle part of domain VI is highly variable and lacks the bulging A that serves as the branchpoint in lariat formation. In vitro experiments using two closely related IIB1 members inserted at the same ribosomal RNA site in the basidiomycete fungi Grifola frondosa and Pycnoporellus fulgens revealed that both ribozymes are capable of efficient self-splicing. However, whereas the Grifola intron was excised predominantly as a lariat, the Pycnoporellus intron, which possesses six additional nucleotides at the 5′ end, yielded only linear products, consistent with its predicted domain VI structure. Strikingly, all of the introns with 5′ terminal insertions lack the EBS2 exon-binding site. Moreover, several of them are part of the small subset of group II introns that encode potentially functional homing endonucleases of the LAGLIDADG family rather than reverse transcriptases. Such coincidences suggest causal relationships between the shift to DNA-based mobility, the loss of one of the two ribozyme sites for binding the 5′ exon, and the exclusive use of hydrolysis to initiate splicing. PMID:21613530

  12. Insertion of part of an intron into the 5[prime] untranslated region of a Caenorhabditis elegans gene converts it into a trans-spliced gene

    SciTech Connect

    Conrad, R.; Thomas, J.; Spieth, J.; Blumenthal, T. )

    1991-04-01

    In nematodes, the RNA products of some genes are trans-spliced to a 22-nucleotide spliced leader (SL), while the RNA products of other genes are not. In Caenorhabditis elegans, there are two SLs, Sl1 and SL2, donated by two distinct small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles in a process functionally quite similar to nuclear intron removal. The authors demonstrate here that it is possible to convert a non-trans-spliced gene into a trans-spliced gene by placement of an intron missing only the 5[prime] splice site into the 5[prime] untranslated region. Stable transgenic strains were isolated expressing a gene in which 69 nucleotides of a vit-5 intron, including the 3[prime] splice site, were inserted into the 5[prime] untranslated region of a vit-2/vit-6 fusion gene. The RNA product of this gene was examined by primer extension and PCR amplification. Although the vit-2/vit-6 transgene product is not normally trans-spliced, the majority of transcripts from this altered gene were trans-spliced to SL1. They termed the region of a trans-spliced mRNA precursor between the 5[prime] end and the first 3[prime] splice site an 'outrun'. The results suggest that if a transcript begins with intronlike sequence followed by a 3[prime] splice site, this alone may constitute an outrun and be sufficient to demarcate a transcript as a trans-splice acceptor. These findings leave open the possibility that specific sequences are required to increase the efficiency of trans-splicing.

  13. Splicing of the large intron present in the nonstructural gene of minute virus of mice is governed by TIA-1/TIAR binding downstream of the nonconsensus donor.

    PubMed

    Choi, Eun-Young; Pintel, David

    2009-06-01

    The essential proteins NS1 and NS2 of minute virus of mice are encoded by mRNAs R1 and R2, respectively. R2 is derived from R1 by excision of a large intron and thus splicing governs the relative ratios of NS1 and NS2. Excision of the large intron utilizes a nonconsensus 5' donor site. We identified a U-rich and A-rich intronic sequence immediately downstream of the nonconsensus 5' donor site that functions as an intronic splicing enhancer (ISE) required for efficient large-intron excision. The ISE binds the cellular RNA-processing proteins TIA-1 and TIAR, which enhance usage of the nonconsensus donor.

  14. Detection and analysis of alternative splicing in Yarrowia lipolytica reveal structural constraints facilitating nonsense-mediated decay of intron-retaining transcripts

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Hemiascomycetous yeasts have intron-poor genomes with very few cases of alternative splicing. Most of the reported examples result from intron retention in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and some have been shown to be functionally significant. Here we used transcriptome-wide approaches to evaluate the mechanisms underlying the generation of alternative transcripts in Yarrowia lipolytica, a yeast highly divergent from S. cerevisiae. Results Experimental investigation of Y. lipolytica gene models identified several cases of alternative splicing, mostly generated by intron retention, principally affecting the first intron of the gene. The retention of introns almost invariably creates a premature termination codon, as a direct consequence of the structure of intron boundaries. An analysis of Y. lipolytica introns revealed that introns of multiples of three nucleotides in length, particularly those without stop codons, were underrepresented. In other organisms, premature termination codon-containing transcripts are targeted for degradation by the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) machinery. In Y. lipolytica, homologs of S. cerevisiae UPF1 and UPF2 genes were identified, but not UPF3. The inactivation of Y. lipolytica UPF1 and UPF2 resulted in the accumulation of unspliced transcripts of a test set of genes. Conclusions Y. lipolytica is the hemiascomycete with the most intron-rich genome sequenced to date, and it has several unusual genes with large introns or alternative transcription start sites, or introns in the 5' UTR. Our results suggest Y. lipolytica intron structure is subject to significant constraints, leading to the under-representation of stop-free introns. Consequently, intron-containing transcripts are degraded by a functional NMD pathway. PMID:20573210

  15. Convergent Evolution of Fern-Specific Mitochondrial Group II Intron atp1i361g2 and Its Ancient Source Paralogue rps3i249g2 and Independent Losses of Intron and RNA Editing among Pteridaceae.

    PubMed

    Zumkeller, Simon Maria; Knoop, Volker; Knie, Nils

    2016-08-29

    Mitochondrial intron patterns are highly divergent between the major land plant clades. An intron in the atp1 gene, atp1i361g2, is an example for a group II intron specific to monilophytes (ferns). Here, we report that atp1i361g2 is lost independently at least 4 times in the fern family Pteridaceae. Such plant organelle intron losses have previously been found to be accompanied by loss of RNA editing sites in the flanking exon regions as a consequence of genomic recombination of mature cDNA. Instead, we now observe that RNA editing events in both directions of pyrimidine exchange (C-to-U and U-to-C) are retained in atp1 exons after loss of the intron in Pteris argyraea/biaurita and in Actiniopteris and Onychium We find that atp1i361g2 has significant similarity with intron rps3i249g2 present in lycophytes and gymnosperms, which we now also find highly conserved in ferns. We conclude that atp1i361g2 may have originated from the more ancestral rps3i249g2 paralogue by a reverse splicing copy event early in the evolution of monilophytes. Secondary structure elements of the two introns, most characteristically their domains III, show strikingly convergent evolution in the monilophytes. Moreover, the intron paralogue rps3i249g2 reveals relaxed evolution in taxa where the atp1i361g2 paralogue is lost. Our findings may reflect convergent evolution of the two related mitochondrial introns exerted by co-evolution with an intron-binding protein simultaneously acting on the two paralogues. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  16. Convergent Evolution of Fern-Specific Mitochondrial Group II Intron atp1i361g2 and Its Ancient Source Paralogue rps3i249g2 and Independent Losses of Intron and RNA Editing among Pteridaceae

    PubMed Central

    Zumkeller, Simon Maria; Knoop, Volker; Knie, Nils

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial intron patterns are highly divergent between the major land plant clades. An intron in the atp1 gene, atp1i361g2, is an example for a group II intron specific to monilophytes (ferns). Here, we report that atp1i361g2 is lost independently at least 4 times in the fern family Pteridaceae. Such plant organelle intron losses have previously been found to be accompanied by loss of RNA editing sites in the flanking exon regions as a consequence of genomic recombination of mature cDNA. Instead, we now observe that RNA editing events in both directions of pyrimidine exchange (C-to-U and U-to-C) are retained in atp1 exons after loss of the intron in Pteris argyraea/biaurita and in Actiniopteris and Onychium. We find that atp1i361g2 has significant similarity with intron rps3i249g2 present in lycophytes and gymnosperms, which we now also find highly conserved in ferns. We conclude that atp1i361g2 may have originated from the more ancestral rps3i249g2 paralogue by a reverse splicing copy event early in the evolution of monilophytes. Secondary structure elements of the two introns, most characteristically their domains III, show strikingly convergent evolution in the monilophytes. Moreover, the intron paralogue rps3i249g2 reveals relaxed evolution in taxa where the atp1i361g2 paralogue is lost. Our findings may reflect convergent evolution of the two related mitochondrial introns exerted by co-evolution with an intron-binding protein simultaneously acting on the two paralogues. PMID:27492234

  17. Deep intronic mis-splicing mutation in JAK3 gene underlies T-B+NK- severe combined immunodeficiency phenotype.

    PubMed

    Stepensky, Polina; Keller, Baerbel; Shamriz, Oded; NaserEddin, Adeeb; Rumman, Nisreen; Weintraub, Michael; Warnatz, Klaus; Elpeleg, Orly; Barak, Yaacov

    2016-02-01

    Severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) is a group of genetically heterogeneous diseases caused by an early block in T cell differentiation and present with life threatening infections, often within the first year of life. Janus kinase (JAK)3 gene mutations have been found to cause autosomal recessive T-B+ SCID phenotype. In this study we describe three patients with a novel deep intronic mis-splicing mutation in JAK3 as a cause of T-B+NK- SCID highlighting the need for careful evaluation of intronic regulatory elements of known genes associated with clearly defined clinical phenotypes. We present the cases and discuss the current literature. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Skipping of Exons by Premature Termination of Transcription and Alternative Splicing within Intron-5 of the Sheep SCF Gene: A Novel Splice Variant

    PubMed Central

    Saravanaperumal, Siva Arumugam; Pediconi, Dario; Renieri, Carlo; La Terza, Antonietta

    2012-01-01

    Stem cell factor (SCF) is a growth factor, essential for haemopoiesis, mast cell development and melanogenesis. In the hematopoietic microenvironment (HM), SCF is produced either as a membrane-bound (−) or soluble (+) forms. Skin expression of SCF stimulates melanocyte migration, proliferation, differentiation, and survival. We report for the first time, a novel mRNA splice variant of SCF from the skin of white merino sheep via cloning and sequencing. Reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR and molecular prediction revealed two different cDNA products of SCF. Full-length cDNA libraries were enriched by the method of rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE-PCR). Nucleotide sequencing and molecular prediction revealed that the primary 1519 base pair (bp) cDNA encodes a precursor protein of 274 amino acids (aa), commonly known as ‘soluble’ isoform. In contrast, the shorter (835 and/or 725 bp) cDNA was found to be a ‘novel’ mRNA splice variant. It contains an open reading frame (ORF) corresponding to a truncated protein of 181 aa (vs 245 aa) with an unique C-terminus lacking the primary proteolytic segment (28 aa) right after the D175G site which is necessary to produce ‘soluble’ form of SCF. This alternative splice (AS) variant was explained by the complete nucleotide sequencing of splice junction covering exon 5-intron (5)-exon 6 (948 bp) with a premature termination codon (PTC) whereby exons 6 to 9/10 are skipped (Cassette Exon, CE 6–9/10). We also demonstrated that the Northern blot analysis at transcript level is mediated via an intron-5 splicing event. Our data refine the structure of SCF gene; clarify the presence (+) and/or absence (−) of primary proteolytic-cleavage site specific SCF splice variants. This work provides a basis for understanding the functional role and regulation of SCF in hair follicle melanogenesis in sheep beyond what was known in mice, humans and other mammals. PMID:22719917

  19. Chloroplast group III twintron excision utilizing multiple 5'- and 3'-splice sites.

    PubMed Central

    Copertino, D W; Shigeoka, S; Hallick, R B

    1992-01-01

    The chloroplast genes of Euglena gracilis contain more than 60 group II and 47 group III introns. Some Euglena chloroplast genes also contain twintrons, introns-within-introns. Two types of twintrons have previously been described, a group II twintron and a mixed group II/group III twintron. We report that four introns, three within the RNA polymerase subunit gene rpoC1 and one within ribosomal protein gene rpl16, with mean lengths twice typical group III introns, are a new type of twintron. The group III twintrons are composed of group III introns within other group III introns. The splicing of the twintrons was analyzed by PCR amplification, cloning and sequencing of cDNAs, and Northern hybridization. Excision of each group III twintron occurs by a two-step, sequential splicing pathway. Removal of the internal introns precedes excision of the external introns. Splicing of internal introns in three of the four group III twintrons involves multiple 5'- and/or 3'-splice sites. With two of the twintrons the proximal 5'-splice site can be spliced to an internal 3'-splice site, yielding alternative 'pseudo' fully spliced mRNAs. Excised group III introns of the rpl16 twintron are not linear RNA molecules but either lariat or circular RNAs, probably a lariat. The origins of alternative splicing and a possible evolutionary relationship between group II, group III and nuclear pre-mRNA introns are discussed. Images PMID:1464326

  20. Mobile group II intron targeting: applications in prokaryotes and perspectives in eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Cui, Xiaoxia; Davis, Greg

    2007-09-01

    Mobile group II introns are ribozymes and use a novel mechanism--target DNA-primed reverse transcription--to proliferate in DNA. Group II introns are a unique mobile element for their high sequence-specific, yet readily flexible target site recognition. Both the intron RNA and the intron-encoded protein (IEP) are involved in target site recognition, and the specificity is determined primarily by base pairing between the intron RNA and DNA target. Therefore, the intron RNA can be modified according to the desired target sequence for specific gene disruption. Group II intron knockout technology is mature in bacteria and is currently being developed in eukaryotes. This technology has great potential to revolutionize fields such as functional genomics, gene therapy, and cell line engineering.

  1. The Arabidopsis homolog of human minor spliceosomal protein U11-48K plays a crucial role in U12 intron splicing and plant development

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Tao; Kim, Bo Mi; Kwak, Kyung Jin; Jung, Hyun Ju; Kang, Hunseung

    2016-01-01

    The minor U12 introns are removed from precursor mRNAs by the U12 intron-specific minor spliceosome. Among the seven ribonucleoproteins unique to the minor spliceosome, denoted as U11/U12-20K, U11/U12-25K, U11/U12-31K, U11/U12-65K, U11-35K, U11-48K, and U11-59K, the roles of only U11/U12-31K and U11/U12-65K have been demonstrated in U12 intron splicing and plant development. Here, the functional role of the Arabidopsis homolog of human U11-48K in U12 intron splicing and the development of Arabidopsis thaliana was examined using transgenic knockdown plants. The u11-48k mutants exhibited several defects in growth and development, such as severely arrested primary inflorescence stems, formation of serrated leaves, production of many rosette leaves after bolting, and delayed senescence. The splicing of most U12 introns analyzed was impaired in the u11-48k mutants. Comparative analysis of the splicing defects and phenotypes among the u11/u12-31k, u11-48k, and u11/12-65k mutants showed that the severity of abnormal development was closely correlated with the degree of impairment in U12 intron splicing. Taken together, these results provide compelling evidence that the Arabidopsis homolog of human U11-48K protein, as well as U11/U12-31K and U11/U12-65K proteins, is necessary for correct splicing of U12 introns and normal plant growth and development. PMID:27091878

  2. Characterisation of three novel splice site mutations in introns 11, 18 and 30 of the NF-1 gene

    SciTech Connect

    Purandare, S.M.; Lanyon, W.G.; Arngrimsson, R.

    1994-09-01

    Identification and characterization of germline mutations within the NF-1 gene was carried out in 25 unrelated NF-1 patients, in whom we have detected three splice site mutations which cause exon skipping. Our detection strategy incorporated both RNA and DNA as templates for PCR, chemical mismatch cleavage and direct sequencing. The first mutation was detected in the splice donor sequence of intron 11 (1721+3A{r_arrow}G), which results in the skipping of exon 11 and causes a shift in the translational reading frame and the creation of a premature stop codon at position 560. This is predicted to result in the synthesis of a shorter protein product of 559 amino acids instead of 2818, with loss of the NF-1 GAP related domain. The patient is a familial case of NF-1 with neurological complications and no evidence of malignancy. She has an affected son who has inherited the same mutation and has skeletal complications. The second mutation was detected at the splice donor site in intron 18 (3113+1G{r_arrow}A) and caused the skipping of exon 18. This did not cause a shift in the reading frame but resulted in the exclusion of 41 amino acids from the predicted protein product and was seen in a familial case of NF-1 with neurological complications. The third mutation, at the splice donor site in intron 30 (5749+2T{r_arrow}G), caused the skipping of exon 30, shifting the translational reading frame and creating a premature stop codon at position 1851. The predicted protein product is reduced from the normal 2818 to 1850 amino acids. This patient is a sporadic case of NF-1, has neurological and skeletal complications and no evidence of malignancy. Thus in our analysis of 25 patients, the strategy of using RT-PCR to amplify the NF-1 cDNA greatly facilitated the detection of these errors of splicing, each of which is predicted to cause a major distruption of the protein product neurofibromin.

  3. Abiotic stresses affect differently the intron splicing and expression of chloroplast genes in coffee plants (Coffea arabica) and rice (Oryza sativa).

    PubMed

    Nguyen Dinh, Sy; Sai, Than Zaw Tun; Nawaz, Ghazala; Lee, Kwanuk; Kang, Hunseung

    2016-08-20

    Despite the increasing understanding of the regulation of chloroplast gene expression in plants, the importance of intron splicing and processing of chloroplast RNA transcripts under stress conditions is largely unknown. Here, to understand how abiotic stresses affect the intron splicing and expression patterns of chloroplast genes in dicots and monocots, we carried out a comprehensive analysis of the intron splicing and expression patterns of chloroplast genes in the coffee plant (Coffea arabica) as a dicot and rice (Oryza sativa) as a monocot under abiotic stresses, including drought, cold, or combined drought and heat stresses. The photosynthetic activity of both coffee plants and rice seedlings was significantly reduced under all stress conditions tested. Analysis of the transcript levels of chloroplast genes revealed that the splicing of tRNAs and mRNAs in coffee plants and rice seedlings were significantly affected by abiotic stresses. Notably, abiotic stresses affected differently the splicing of chloroplast tRNAs and mRNAs in coffee plants and rice seedlings. The transcript levels of most chloroplast genes were markedly downregulated in both coffee plants and rice seedlings upon stress treatment. Taken together, these results suggest that coffee and rice plants respond to abiotic stresses via regulating the intron splicing and expression of different sets of chloroplast genes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. Cas9/gRNA targeted excision of cystic fibrosis-causing deep-intronic splicing mutations restores normal splicing of CFTR mRNA.

    PubMed

    Sanz, David J; Hollywood, Jennifer A; Scallan, Martina F; Harrison, Patrick T

    2017-01-01

    Cystic Fibrosis is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the CFTR gene. CRISPR mediated, template-dependent homology-directed gene editing has been used to correct the most common mutation, c.1521_1523delCTT / p.Phe508del (F508del) which affects ~70% of individuals, but the efficiency was relatively low. Here, we describe a high efficiency strategy for editing of three different rare CFTR mutations which together account for about 3% of individuals with Cystic Fibrosis. The mutations cause aberrant splicing of CFTR mRNA due to the creation of cryptic splice signals that result in the formation of pseudoexons containing premature stop codons c.1679+1634A>G (1811+1.6kbA>G) and c.3718-2477C>T (3849+10kbC>T), or an out-of-frame 5' extension to an existing exon c.3140-26A>G (3272-26A>G). We designed pairs of Cas9 guide RNAs to create targeted double-stranded breaks in CFTR either side of each mutation which resulted in high efficiency excision of the target genomic regions via non-homologous end-joining repair. When evaluated in a mini-gene splicing assay, we showed that targeted excision restored normal splicing for all three mutations. This approach could be used to correct aberrant splicing signals or remove disruptive transcription regulatory motifs caused by deep-intronic mutations in a range of other genetic disorders.

  5. Compound heterozygous mutations in the noncoding RNU4ATAC cause Roifman Syndrome by disrupting minor intron splicing

    PubMed Central

    Merico, Daniele; Roifman, Maian; Braunschweig, Ulrich; Yuen, Ryan K. C.; Alexandrova, Roumiana; Bates, Andrea; Reid, Brenda; Nalpathamkalam, Thomas; Wang, Zhuozhi; Thiruvahindrapuram, Bhooma; Gray, Paul; Kakakios, Alyson; Peake, Jane; Hogarth, Stephanie; Manson, David; Buncic, Raymond; Pereira, Sergio L.; Herbrick, Jo-Anne; Blencowe, Benjamin J.; Roifman, Chaim M.; Scherer, Stephen W.

    2015-01-01

    Roifman Syndrome is a rare congenital disorder characterized by growth retardation, cognitive delay, spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia and antibody deficiency. Here we utilize whole-genome sequencing of Roifman Syndrome patients to reveal compound heterozygous rare variants that disrupt highly conserved positions of the RNU4ATAC small nuclear RNA gene, a minor spliceosome component that is essential for minor intron splicing. Targeted sequencing confirms allele segregation in six cases from four unrelated families. RNU4ATAC rare variants have been recently reported to cause microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism, type I (MOPD1), whose phenotype is distinct from Roifman Syndrome. Strikingly, all six of the Roifman Syndrome cases have one variant that overlaps MOPD1-implicated structural elements, while the other variant overlaps a highly conserved structural element not previously implicated in disease. RNA-seq analysis confirms extensive and specific defects of minor intron splicing. Available allele frequency data suggest that recessive genetic disorders caused by RNU4ATAC rare variants may be more prevalent than previously reported. PMID:26522830

  6. Influence of specific mutations on the thermal stability of the td group I intron in vitro and on its splicing efficiency in vivo: a comparative study.

    PubMed

    Brion, P; Schroeder, R; Michel, F; Westhof, E

    1999-07-01

    Group I introns constitute excellent systems for analyzing the relationship between RNA tertiary folding and catalysis. Within a hierarchical framework interpretation of RNA folding, secondary structure motifs subtend RNA three-dimensional (3D) architecture. Thus, mutations in two-dimensional motifs are expected to have effects different from those disrupting 3D contacts. Using UV spectroscopy, we have studied the influence of nucleotide substitutions, in both secondary and tertiary structure elements, on the thermal stability of the tertiary folding of the bacteriophage T4 td group I intron. Further, we present a quantitative analysis of the relationship between the splicing efficiency in vivo and the stability of the intron structure as monitored by UV melting curves. We conclude that the stability of the tertiary structure of a group I intron as measured by UV melting is generally a good indication of its ability to splice in vivo.

  7. The position of yeast snoRNA-coding regions within host introns is essential for their biosynthesis and for efficient splicing of the host pre-mRNA

    PubMed Central

    Vincenti, Sara; Chiara, Valentina De; Bozzoni, Irene; Presutti, Carlo

    2007-01-01

    Genomic location of sequences encoding small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) is peculiar in all eukaryotes from yeast to mammals: most of them are encoded within the introns of host genes. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, seven snoRNAs show this location. In this work we demonstrate that the position of snoRNA-coding regions with respect to splicing consensus sequences is critical: yeast strains expressing mutant constructs containing shorter or longer spacers (the regions between snoRNA ends and intron splice sites) show a drop in accumulation of U24 and U18 snoRNAs. Further mutational analysis demonstrates that altering the distance between the 3′ end of the snoRNA and the branch point is the most important constraint for snoRNA biosynthesis, and that stable external stems, which are sometimes present in introns containing snoRNAs, can overcome the positional effect. Surprisingly enough, splicing of the host introns is clearly affected in most of these constructs indicating that, at least in S. cerevisiae, an incorrect location of snoRNA-coding sequences within the host intron is detrimental to the splicing process. This is different with respect to what was demonstrated in mammals, where the activity of the splicing machinery seems to be dominant with respect to the assembly of snoRNPs, and it is not affected by the location of snoRNA sequences. We also show that intronic box C/D snoRNA recognition and assembly of snoRNPs occur during transcription when splicing sequences are recognized. PMID:17135484

  8. Intraspecific variations of Dekkera/Brettanomyces bruxellensis genome studied by capillary electrophoresis separation of the intron splice site profiles.

    PubMed

    Vigentini, Ileana; De Lorenzis, Gabriella; Picozzi, Claudia; Imazio, Serena; Merico, Annamaria; Galafassi, Silvia; Piškur, Jure; Foschino, Roberto

    2012-06-15

    In enology, "Brett" character refers to the wine spoilage caused by the yeast Dekkera/Brettanomyces bruxellensis and its production of volatile phenolic off-flavours. However, the spoilage potential of this yeast is strain-dependent. Therefore, a rapid and reliable recognition at the strain level is a key point to avoid serious economic losses. The present work provides an operative tool to assess the genetic intraspecific variation in this species through the use of introns as molecular targets. Firstly, the available partial D./B. bruxellensis genome sequence was investigated in order to build primers annealing to introns 5' splice site sequence (ISS). This analysis allowed the detection of a non-random vocabulary flanking the site and, exploiting this feature, the creation of specific probes for strain discrimination. Secondly, the separation of the intron splice site PCR fragments was obtained throughout the set up of a capillary electrophoresis protocol, giving a 94% repeatability threshold in our experimental conditions. The comparison of results obtained with ISS-PCR/CE versus the ones performed by mtDNA RFLP revealed that the former protocol is more discriminating and allowed a reliable identification at strain level. Actually sixty D./B. bruxellensis isolates were recognised as unique strains, showing a level of similarity below 79% and confirming the high genetic polymorphism existing within the species. Two main clusters were grouped at similarity levels of about 46% and 47%, respectively, showing a poor correlation with the geographic area of isolation. Moreover, from the evolutionary point of view, the proposed technique could determine the frequency of the genome rearrangements that can occur in D./B. bruxellesis populations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Multiple transcripts of the CYP21 gene are generated by the mutation of the splicing donor site in intron 2 from GT to AT in 21-hydroxylase deficiency.

    PubMed

    Lee, H H; Chang, S F

    2001-12-01

    Maturation of primary RNA transcripts of eukaryotic genes often involves the removal of introns and joining of exons. The fidelity of RNA splicing is dependent on the identity of the nucleotide (nt) sequences at exon/intron boundaries. Most importantly, the highly conserved intronic 5'GT and 3'AG sequences are essential for correct splicing. Substitution of GT by any other nt leads to incomplete mRNA and a disruption of protein structure. We describe here the results of our transfection experiments in COS-1 cells with a CYP21 genomic construct that contained an IVS 2+1G-->A mutation. Analysis of the transcripts by RT-PCR revealed that two different transcripts were generated by this mutant genome. In all the splicing products, we found that the entire exon 2 was deleted. Surprisingly, 30% of the transcripts from this mutant CYP21 genome were accompanied by an inclusion of 3' intron 2 sequences due to the use of a different splice acceptor site. This is the first report of the molecular characterization of a splice donor site mutation in CYP21 via transcription in COS-1 cells.

  10. Intron Definition and a Branch Site Adenosine at nt 385 Control RNA Splicing of HPV16 E6*I and E7 Expression

    PubMed Central

    Ajiro, Masahiko; Jia, Rong; Zhang, Lifang; Liu, Xuefeng; Zheng, Zhi-Ming

    2012-01-01

    HPV16 E6 and E7, two viral oncogenes, are expressed from a single bicistronic pre-mRNA. In this report, we provide the evidence that the bicistronic pre-mRNA intron 1 contains three 5′ splice sites (5′ ss) and three 3′ splice sites (3′ ss) normally used in HPV16+ cervical cancer and its derived cell lines. The choice of two novel alternative 5′ ss (nt 221 5′ ss and nt 191 5′ ss) produces two novel isoforms of E6E7 mRNAs (E6*V and E6*VI). The nt 226 5′ ss and nt 409 3′ ss is preferentially selected over the other splice sites crossing over the intron to excise a minimal length of the intron in RNA splicing. We identified AACAAAC as the preferred branch point sequence (BPS) and an adenosine at nt 385 (underlined) in the BPS as a branch site to dictate the selection of the nt 409 3′ ss for E6*I splicing and E7 expression. Introduction of point mutations into the mapped BPS led to reduced U2 binding to the BPS and thereby inhibition of the second step of E6E7 splicing at the nt 409 3′ ss. Importantly, the E6E7 bicistronic RNA with a mutant BPS and inefficient splicing makes little or no E7 and the resulted E6 with mutations of 91QYNK94 to 91PSFW94 displays attenuate activity on p53 degradation. Together, our data provide structural basis of the E6E7 intron 1 for better understanding of how viral E6 and E7 expression is regulated by alternative RNA splicing. This study elucidates for the first time a mapped branch point in HPV16 genome involved in viral oncogene expression. PMID:23056301

  11. Intron definition and a branch site adenosine at nt 385 control RNA splicing of HPV16 E6*I and E7 expression.

    PubMed

    Ajiro, Masahiko; Jia, Rong; Zhang, Lifang; Liu, Xuefeng; Zheng, Zhi-Ming

    2012-01-01

    HPV16 E6 and E7, two viral oncogenes, are expressed from a single bicistronic pre-mRNA. In this report, we provide the evidence that the bicistronic pre-mRNA intron 1 contains three 5' splice sites (5' ss) and three 3' splice sites (3' ss) normally used in HPV16(+) cervical cancer and its derived cell lines. The choice of two novel alternative 5' ss (nt 221 5' ss and nt 191 5' ss) produces two novel isoforms of E6E7 mRNAs (E6*V and E6*VI). The nt 226 5' ss and nt 409 3' ss is preferentially selected over the other splice sites crossing over the intron to excise a minimal length of the intron in RNA splicing. We identified AACAAAC as the preferred branch point sequence (BPS) and an adenosine at nt 385 (underlined) in the BPS as a branch site to dictate the selection of the nt 409 3' ss for E6*I splicing and E7 expression. Introduction of point mutations into the mapped BPS led to reduced U2 binding to the BPS and thereby inhibition of the second step of E6E7 splicing at the nt 409 3' ss. Importantly, the E6E7 bicistronic RNA with a mutant BPS and inefficient splicing makes little or no E7 and the resulted E6 with mutations of (91)QYNK(94) to (91)PSFW(94) displays attenuate activity on p53 degradation. Together, our data provide structural basis of the E6E7 intron 1 for better understanding of how viral E6 and E7 expression is regulated by alternative RNA splicing. This study elucidates for the first time a mapped branch point in HPV16 genome involved in viral oncogene expression.

  12. A trans-splicing group I intron and tRNA-hyperediting in the mitochondrial genome of the lycophyte Isoetes engelmannii

    PubMed Central

    Grewe, Felix; Viehoever, Prisca; Weisshaar, Bernd; Knoop, Volker

    2009-01-01

    Plant mitochondrial genomes show much more evolutionary plasticity than those of animals. We analysed the first mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of a lycophyte, the quillwort Isoetes engelmannii, which is separated from seed plants by more than 350 million years of evolution. The Isoetes mtDNA is particularly rich in recombination events, and chloroplast as well as nuclear DNA inserts document the incorporation of foreign sequences already in this most ancestral vascular plant lineage. On the other hand, particularly small group II introns and short intergenic regions reveal a tendency of evolution towards a compact mitochondrial genome. RNA editing reaches extreme levels exceeding 100 pyrimidine exchanges in individual mRNAs and, hitherto unobserved in such frequency, also in tRNAs with 18 C-to-U conversions in the tRNA for proline. In total, some 1500 sites of RNA editing can be expected for the Isoetes mitochondrial transcriptome. As a unique molecular novelty, the Isoetes cox1 gene requires trans-splicing via a discontinuous group I intron demonstrating disrupted, but functional, RNAs for yet another class of natural ribozymes. PMID:19553190

  13. A mutation within intron 3 of the Pax-3 gene produces aberrantly spliced mRNA transcripts in the splotch (Sp) mouse mutant.

    PubMed Central

    Epstein, D J; Vogan, K J; Trasler, D G; Gros, P

    1993-01-01

    The splotch (Sp) mouse mutant displays defects in neural tube closure in the form of exencephaly and spina bifida. Recently, mutations in the Pax-3 gene have been described in the radiation-induced Spr and Sp2H alleles. This led us to examine the integrity of the Pax-3 gene and its cellular mRNA transcript in the original, spontaneously arising Sp allele. A complex mutation in the Pax-3 gene including an A-->T transversion at the invariant 3' AG splice acceptor of intron 3 was identified in the Sp/Sp mutant. This genomic mutation abrogates the normal splicing of intron 3, resulting in the generation of four aberrantly spliced mRNA transcripts. Two of these Pax-3 transcripts make use of cryptic 3' splice sites within the downstream exon, generating small deletions which disrupt the reading frame of the transcripts. A third aberrant splicing event results in the deletion of exon 4, while a fourth retains intron 3. These aberrantly spliced mRNA transcripts are not expected to result in functional Pax-3 proteins and are thus responsible for the phenotype observed in the Sp mouse mutant. Images PMID:8421686

  14. SRSF1 (SRp30a) regulates the alternative splicing of caspase 9 via a novel intronic splicing enhancer affecting the chemotherapeutic sensitivity of non-small cell lung cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Shultz, Jacqueline C.; Goehe, Rachel W.; Murudkar, Charuta S.; Wijesinghe, Dayanjan S.; Mayton, Eric K.; Massiello, Autumn; Hawkins, Amy J.; Mukerjee, Prabhat; Pinkerman, Ryan L.; Park, Margaret A.; Chalfant, Charles E.

    2011-01-01

    Increasing evidence points to the functional importance of alternative splice variations in cancer pathophysiology with the alternative pre-mRNA processing of caspase 9 as one example. In this study, we delve into the underlying molecular mechanisms that regulate the alternative splicing of caspase 9. Specifically, the pre-mRNA sequence of caspase 9 was analyzed for RNA cis-elements known to interact with SRSF1, a required enhancer for caspase 9 RNA splicing. This analysis revealed thirteen possible RNA cis-elements for interaction with SRSF1 with mutagenesis of these RNA cis-elements identifying a strong intronic splicing enhancer located in intron 6 (C9-I6/ISE). SRSF1 specifically interacted with this sequence, which was required for SRSF1 to act as a splicing enhancer of the inclusion of the four exon cassette. To further determine the biological importance of this mechanism, we employed RNA oligonucleotides to redirect caspase 9 pre-mRNA splicing in favor of caspase 9b expression, which resulted in an increase in the IC50 of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells to daunorubicin, cisplatinum, and paclitaxel. In contrast, downregulation of caspase 9b induced a decrease in the the IC50 of these chemotherapeutic drugs. Lastly, these studies demonstrated that caspase 9 RNA splicing was a major mechanism for the synergistic effects of combination therapy with daunorubicin and erlotinib. Overall, we have identified a novel intronic splicing enhancer that regulates caspase 9 RNA splicing and specifically interacts with SRSF1. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the alternative splicing of caspase 9 is an important molecular mechanism with therapeutic relevance to NSCLCs. PMID:21622622

  15. Origin and evolution of spliceosomal introns.

    PubMed

    Rogozin, Igor B; Carmel, Liran; Csuros, Miklos; Koonin, Eugene V

    2012-04-16

    Evolution of exon-intron structure of eukaryotic genes has been a matter of long-standing, intensive debate. The introns-early concept, later rebranded 'introns first' held that protein-coding genes were interrupted by numerous introns even at the earliest stages of life's evolution and that introns played a major role in the origin of proteins by facilitating recombination of sequences coding for small protein/peptide modules. The introns-late concept held that introns emerged only in eukaryotes and new introns have been accumulating continuously throughout eukaryotic evolution. Analysis of orthologous genes from completely sequenced eukaryotic genomes revealed numerous shared intron positions in orthologous genes from animals and plants and even between animals, plants and protists, suggesting that many ancestral introns have persisted since the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). Reconstructions of intron gain and loss using the growing collection of genomes of diverse eukaryotes and increasingly advanced probabilistic models convincingly show that the LECA and the ancestors of each eukaryotic supergroup had intron-rich genes, with intron densities comparable to those in the most intron-rich modern genomes such as those of vertebrates. The subsequent evolution in most lineages of eukaryotes involved primarily loss of introns, with only a few episodes of substantial intron gain that might have accompanied major evolutionary innovations such as the origin of metazoa. The original invasion of self-splicing Group II introns, presumably originating from the mitochondrial endosymbiont, into the genome of the emerging eukaryote might have been a key factor of eukaryogenesis that in particular triggered the origin of endomembranes and the nucleus. Conversely, splicing errors gave rise to alternative splicing, a major contribution to the biological complexity of multicellular eukaryotes. There is no indication that any prokaryote has ever possessed a spliceosome or

  16. Origin and evolution of spliceosomal introns

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Evolution of exon-intron structure of eukaryotic genes has been a matter of long-standing, intensive debate. The introns-early concept, later rebranded ‘introns first’ held that protein-coding genes were interrupted by numerous introns even at the earliest stages of life's evolution and that introns played a major role in the origin of proteins by facilitating recombination of sequences coding for small protein/peptide modules. The introns-late concept held that introns emerged only in eukaryotes and new introns have been accumulating continuously throughout eukaryotic evolution. Analysis of orthologous genes from completely sequenced eukaryotic genomes revealed numerous shared intron positions in orthologous genes from animals and plants and even between animals, plants and protists, suggesting that many ancestral introns have persisted since the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). Reconstructions of intron gain and loss using the growing collection of genomes of diverse eukaryotes and increasingly advanced probabilistic models convincingly show that the LECA and the ancestors of each eukaryotic supergroup had intron-rich genes, with intron densities comparable to those in the most intron-rich modern genomes such as those of vertebrates. The subsequent evolution in most lineages of eukaryotes involved primarily loss of introns, with only a few episodes of substantial intron gain that might have accompanied major evolutionary innovations such as the origin of metazoa. The original invasion of self-splicing Group II introns, presumably originating from the mitochondrial endosymbiont, into the genome of the emerging eukaryote might have been a key factor of eukaryogenesis that in particular triggered the origin of endomembranes and the nucleus. Conversely, splicing errors gave rise to alternative splicing, a major contribution to the biological complexity of multicellular eukaryotes. There is no indication that any prokaryote has ever possessed a spliceosome

  17. An intron element modulating 5' splice site selection in the hnRNP A1 pre-mRNA interacts with hnRNP A1.

    PubMed Central

    Chabot, B; Blanchette, M; Lapierre, I; La Branche, H

    1997-01-01

    The hnRNP A1 pre-mRNA is alternatively spliced to yield the A1 and A1b mRNAs, which encode proteins differing in their ability to modulate 5' splice site selection. Sequencing a genomic portion of the murine A1 gene revealed that the intron separating exon 7 and the alternative exon 7B is highly conserved between mouse and human. In vitro splicing assays indicate that a conserved element (CE1) from the central portion of the intron shifts selection toward the distal donor site when positioned in between the 5' splice sites of exon 7 and 7B. In vivo, the CE1 element promotes exon 7B skipping. A 17-nucleotide sequence within CE1 (CE1a) is sufficient to activate the distal 5' splice site. RNase T1 protection/immunoprecipitation assays indicate that hnRNP A1 binds to CE1a, which contains the sequence UAGAGU, a close match to the reported optimal A1 binding site, UAGGGU. Replacing CE1a by different oligonucleotides carrying the sequence UAGAGU or UAGGGU maintains the preference for the distal 5' splice site. In contrast, mutations in the AUGAGU sequence activate the proximal 5' splice site. In support of a direct role of the A1-CE1 interaction in 5'-splice-site selection, we observed that the amplitude of the shift correlates with the efficiency of A1 binding. Whereas addition of SR proteins abrogates the effect of CE1, the presence of CE1 does not modify U1 snRNP binding to competing 5' splice sites, as judged by oligonucleotide-targeted RNase H protection assays. Our results suggest that hnRNP A1 modulates splice site selection on its own pre-mRNA without changing the binding of U1 snRNP to competing 5' splice sites. PMID:9121425

  18. Spliceosome twin introns in fungal nuclear transcripts.

    PubMed

    Flipphi, Michel; Fekete, Erzsébet; Ag, Norbert; Scazzocchio, Claudio; Karaffa, Levente

    2013-08-01

    The spliceosome is an RNA/protein complex, responsible for intron excision from eukaryotic nuclear transcripts. In bacteria, mitochondria and plastids, intron excision does not involve the spliceosome, but occurs through mechanisms dependent on intron RNA secondary and tertiary structure. For group II/III chloroplast introns, "twintrons" (introns within introns) have been described. The excision of the external intron, and thus proper RNA maturation, necessitates prior removal of the internal intron, which interrupts crucial sequences of the former. We have here predicted analogous instances of spliceosomal twintrons ("stwintrons") in filamentous fungi. In two specific cases, where the internal intron interrupts the donor of the external intron after the first or after the second nucleotide, respectively, we show that intermediates with the sequence predicted by the "stwintron" hypothesis, are produced in the splicing process. This implies that two successive rounds of RNA scanning by the spliceosome are necessary to produce the mature mRNA. The phylogenetic distributions of the stwintrons we have identified suggest that they derive from "late" events, subsequent to the appearance of the host intron. They may well not be limited to fungal nuclear transcripts, and their generation and eventual disappearance in the evolutionary process are relevant to hypotheses of intron origin and alternative splicing.

  19. HLA-A*68020103 shows an eight nucleotides deletion within intron 2 but has normal mRNA splicing and serological recognition.

    PubMed

    Balas, A; Sánchez-García, F; Bustamante, L; García-Sánchez, F; Vicario, J L

    2007-09-01

    A novel A*68020103 allele was completely characterized by sequencing in a Spanish bone marrow donor. A*68020103 has an eight nucleotides deletion at the 5'-end of intron 2, when compared with other A*6802 alleles. This alteration does not affect either its mRNA splicing process or serological detection.

  20. Targeted inactivation of francisella tularensis genes by group II introns.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Stephen A; Yu, Jieh-Juen; Davis, Greg; Arulanandam, Bernard P; Klose, Karl E

    2008-05-01

    Studies of the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, have been hampered by a lack of genetic techniques for rapid targeted gene disruption in the most virulent subspecies. Here we describe efficient targeted gene disruption in F. tularensis utilizing mobile group II introns (targetrons) specifically optimized for F. tularensis. Utilizing a targetron targeted to blaB, which encodes ampicillin resistance, we showed that the system works at high efficiency in three different subspecies: F. tularensis subsp. tularensis, F. tularensis subsp. holarctica, and "F. tularensis subsp. novicida." A targetron was also utilized to inactivate F. tularensis subsp. holarctica iglC, a gene required for virulence. The iglC gene is located within the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI), which has been duplicated in the most virulent subspecies. Importantly, the iglC targetron targeted both copies simultaneously, resulting in a strain mutated in both iglC genes in a single step. This system will help illuminate the contributions of specific genes, and especially those within the FPI, to the pathogenesis of this poorly studied organism.

  1. The fission yeast RNA binding protein Mmi1 regulates meiotic genes by controlling intron specific splicing and polyadenylation coupled RNA turnover.

    PubMed

    Chen, Huei-Mei; Futcher, Bruce; Leatherwood, Janet

    2011-01-01

    The polyA tails of mRNAs are monitored by the exosome as a quality control mechanism. We find that fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, adopts this RNA quality control mechanism to regulate a group of 30 or more meiotic genes at the level of both splicing and RNA turnover. In vegetative cells the RNA binding protein Mmi1 binds to the primary transcripts of these genes. We find the novel motif U(U/C/G)AAAC highly over-represented in targets of Mmi1. Mmi1 can specifically regulate the splicing of particular introns in a transcript: it inhibits the splicing of introns that are in the vicinity of putative Mmi1 binding sites, while allowing the splicing of other introns that are far from such sites. In addition, binding of Mmi1, particularly near the 3' end, alters 3' processing to promote extremely long polyA tails of up to a kilobase. The hyperadenylated transcripts are then targeted for degradation by the nuclear exonuclease Rrp6. The nuclear polyA binding protein Pab2 assists this hyperadenylation-mediated RNA decay. Rrp6 also targets other hyperadenylated transcripts, which become hyperadenylated in an unknown, but Mmi1-independent way. Thus, hyperadenylation may be a general signal for RNA degradation. In addition, binding of Mmi1 can affect the efficiency of 3' cleavage. Inactivation of Mmi1 in meiosis allows meiotic expression, through splicing and RNA stabilization, of at least 29 target genes, which are apparently constitutively transcribed.

  2. Structural Divergence of the Group I Intron Binding Surface in Fungal Mitochondrial Tyrosyl-tRNA Synthetases That Function in RNA Splicing.

    PubMed

    Lamech, Lilian T; Saoji, Maithili; Paukstelis, Paul J; Lambowitz, Alan M

    2016-05-27

    The mitochondrial tyrosyl-tRNA synthetases (mtTyrRSs) of Pezizomycotina fungi, a subphylum that includes many pathogenic species, are bifunctional proteins that both charge mitochondrial tRNA(Tyr) and act as splicing cofactors for autocatalytic group I introns. Previous studies showed that one of these proteins, Neurospora crassa CYT-18, binds group I introns by using both its N-terminal catalytic and C-terminal anticodon binding domains and that the catalytic domain uses a newly evolved group I intron binding surface that includes an N-terminal extension and two small insertions (insertions 1 and 2) with distinctive features not found in non-splicing mtTyrRSs. To explore how this RNA binding surface diverged to accommodate different group I introns in other Pezizomycotina fungi, we determined x-ray crystal structures of C-terminally truncated Aspergillus nidulans and Coccidioides posadasii mtTyrRSs. Comparisons with previous N. crassa CYT-18 structures and a structural model of the Aspergillus fumigatus mtTyrRS showed that the overall topology of the group I intron binding surface is conserved but with variations in key intron binding regions, particularly the Pezizomycotina-specific insertions. These insertions, which arose by expansion of flexible termini or internal loops, show greater variation in structure and amino acids potentially involved in group I intron binding than do neighboring protein core regions, which also function in intron binding but may be more constrained to preserve mtTyrRS activity. Our results suggest a structural basis for the intron specificity of different Pezizomycotina mtTyrRSs, highlight flexible terminal and loop regions as major sites for enzyme diversification, and identify targets for therapeutic intervention by disrupting an essential RNA-protein interaction in pathogenic fungi. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  3. Isolation and characterization of group II introns from Pseudomonas alcaligenes and Pseudomonas putida.

    PubMed

    Yeo, C C; Yiin, S; Tan, B H; Poh, C L

    2001-05-01

    Group II introns isolated from Pseudomonas alcaligenes NCIB 9867, Pseudomonas putida NCIB 9869, and P. putida KT2440 were closely related with nucleotide sequence identities of between 87 and 96%. The genome of P. alcaligenes also harbored a truncated group II intron of 682 bp that lacks the gene for the intron-encoded protein (IEP). Unlike most bacterial group II introns, the Pseudomonas introns were found to lack the Zn domains in their IEPs, did not appear to interrupt any genes, and were located downstream of open reading frames which were adjacent to hairpin loop structures that resemble rho-independent terminators. These structures also contain the intron binding sites 1 and 2 (IBS1 and IBS2 sequences) that were required for intron target site recognition in transposition. One of the group II introns found in P. alcaligenes, Xln3, was shown to have transposed from the chromosome to the endogenous pRA2 plasmid at a site adjacent to IBS1- and IBS2-like sequences.

  4. RNomics in Archaea reveals a further link between splicing of archaeal introns and rRNA processing

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Thean Hock; Rozhdestvensky, Timofey S.; d’Orval, Béatrice Clouet; Bortolin, Marie-Line; Huber, Harald; Charpentier, Bruno; Branlant, Christiane; Bachellerie, Jean-Pierre; Brosius, Jürgen; Hüttenhofer, Alexander

    2002-01-01

    The bulge–helix–bulge (BHB) motif recognised by the archaeal splicing endonuclease is also found in the long processing stems of archaeal rRNA precursors in which it is cleaved to generate pre-16S and pre-23S rRNAs. We show that in two species, Archaeoglobus fulgidus and Sulfolobus solfataricus, representatives from the two major archaeal kingdoms Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota, respectively, the pre-rRNA spacers cleaved at the BHB motifs surrounding pre-16S and pre-23S rRNAs subsequently become ligated. In addition, we present evidence that this is accompanied by circularisation of ribosomal pre-16S and pre-23S rRNAs in both species. These data reveal a further link between intron splicing and pre-rRNA processing in Archaea, which might reflect a common evolutionary origin of the two processes. One spliced RNA species designated 16S-D RNA, resulting from religation at the BHB motif of 16S pre-rRNA, is a highly abundant and stable RNA which folds into a three-stem structure interrupted by two single-stranded regions as assessed by chemical probing. It spans a region of the pre-rRNA 5′ external transcribed spacer exhibiting a highly conserved folding pattern in Archaea. Surprisingly, 16S-D RNA contains structural motifs found in archaeal C/D box small RNAs and binds to the L7Ae protein, a core component of archaeal C/D box RNPs. This supports the notion that it might have an important but still unknown role in pre-rRNA biogenesis or might even target RNA molecules other than rRNA. PMID:11842103

  5. Fox-2 Splicing Factor Binds to a Conserved Intron Motif to PromoteInclusion of Protein 4.1R Alternative Exon 16

    SciTech Connect

    Ponthier, Julie L.; Schluepen, Christina; Chen, Weiguo; Lersch,Robert A.; Gee, Sherry L.; Hou, Victor C.; Lo, Annie J.; Short, Sarah A.; Chasis, Joel A.; Winkelmann, John C.; Conboy, John G.

    2006-03-01

    Activation of protein 4.1R exon 16 (E16) inclusion during erythropoiesis represents a physiologically important splicing switch that increases 4.1R affinity for spectrin and actin. Previous studies showed that negative regulation of E16 splicing is mediated by the binding of hnRNP A/B proteins to silencer elements in the exon and that downregulation of hnRNP A/B proteins in erythroblasts leads to activation of E16 inclusion. This paper demonstrates that positive regulation of E16 splicing can be mediated by Fox-2 or Fox-1, two closely related splicing factors that possess identical RNA recognition motifs. SELEX experiments with human Fox-1 revealed highly selective binding to the hexamer UGCAUG. Both Fox-1 and Fox-2 were able to bind the conserved UGCAUG elements in the proximal intron downstream of E16, and both could activate E16 splicing in HeLa cell co-transfection assays in a UGCAUG-dependent manner. Conversely, knockdown of Fox-2 expression, achieved with two different siRNA sequences resulted in decreased E16 splicing. Moreover, immunoblot experiments demonstrate mouse erythroblasts express Fox-2, but not Fox-1. These findings suggest that Fox-2 is a physiological activator of E16 splicing in differentiating erythroid cells in vivo. Recent experiments show that UGCAUG is present in the proximal intron sequence of many tissue-specific alternative exons, and we propose that the Fox family of splicing enhancers plays an important role in alternative splicing switches during differentiation in metazoan organisms.

  6. An Intronic MBTPS2 Variant Results in a Splicing Defect in Horses with Brindle Coat Texture

    PubMed Central

    Murgiano, Leonardo; Waluk, Dominik P.; Towers, Rachel; Wiedemar, Natalie; Dietrich, Joëlle; Jagannathan, Vidhya; Drögemüller, Michaela; Balmer, Pierre; Druet, Tom; Galichet, Arnaud; Penedo, M. Cecilia; Müller, Eliane J.; Roosje, Petra; Welle, Monika M.; Leeb, Tosso

    2016-01-01

    We investigated a family of horses exhibiting irregular vertical stripes in their hair coat texture along the neck, back, hindquarters, and upper legs. This phenotype is termed “brindle” by horse breeders. We propose the term “brindle 1 (BR1)” for this specific form of brindle. In some BR1 horses, the stripes were also differentially pigmented. Pedigree analyses were suggestive of a monogenic X-chromosomal semidominant mode of inheritance. Haplotype analyses identified a 5 Mb candidate region on chromosome X. Whole genome sequencing of four BR1 and 60 nonbrindle horses identified 61 private variants in the critical interval, none of them located in an exon of an annotated gene. However, one of the private variants was close to an exon/intron boundary in intron 10 of the MBTPS2 gene encoding the membrane bound transcription factor peptidase, site 2 (c.1437+4T>C). Different coding variants in this gene lead to three related genodermatoses in human patients. We therefore analyzed MBTPS2 transcripts in skin, and identified an aberrant transcript in a BR1 horse, which lacked the entire exon 10 and parts of exon 11. The MBTPS2:c1437+4T>C variant showed perfect cosegregation with the brindle phenotype in the investigated family, and was absent from 457 control horses of diverse breeds. Altogether, our genetic data, and previous knowledge on MBTPS2 function in the skin, suggest that the identified MBTPS2 intronic variant leads to partial exon skipping, and causes the BR1 phenotype in horses. PMID:27449517

  7. Mitochondrial group II introns in the raphidophycean flagellate Chattonella spp. suggest a diatom-to-Chattonella lateral group II intron transfer.

    PubMed

    Kamikawa, Ryoma; Masuda, Isao; Demura, Mikihide; Oyama, Kenichi; Yoshimatsu, Sadaaki; Kawachi, Masanobu; Sako, Yoshihiko

    2009-08-01

    In the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1) gene of four raphidophycean flagellates Chattonella antiqua, C. marina, C. ovata, and C. minima we found two group II introns described here as Chattonella cox1-i1 and Chattonella cox1-i2 encoding an open reading frame (ORF) comprised of three domains: reverse transcriptase (RT), RNA maturase (Ma) and zinc finger (H-N-H) endonuclease domains. The secondary structures show both Chattonella cox1-i1 and Chattonella cox1-i2 belong to group IIA1, albeit the former possesses a group IIB-like secondary structural character in the epsilon' region of arm I. Our phylogenetic analysis inferred from RT domain sequences of the intronic ORF, comparison of the insertion sites, and the secondary structures of the introns suggests that Chattonella cox1-i1 likely shares an evolutionary origin with the group II introns inserted in cox1 genes of five phylogenetically diverged eukaryotes. In contrast, Chattonella cox1-i2 was suggested to bear a close evolutionary affinity to the group II introns found in diatom cox1 genes. The RT domain-based phylogeny shows a tree topology in which Chattonella cox1-i2 is nested in the diatom sequences suggesting that a diatom-to-Chattonella intron transfer has taken place. Finally, we found no intron in cox1 genes from deeper-branching raphidophyceans. Based on parsimonious discussion, Chattonella cox1-i1 and Chattonella cox1-i2 have invaded into the cox1 gene of an ancestral Chattonella cell after diverging from C. subsalsa.

  8. Identification of human short introns.

    PubMed

    Abebrese, Emmanuel L; Ali, Syed H; Arnold, Zachary R; Andrews, Victoria M; Armstrong, Katharine; Burns, Lindsay; Crowder, Hannah R; Day, R Thomas; Hsu, Daniel G; Jarrell, Katherine; Lee, Grace; Luo, Yi; Mugayo, Daphine; Raza, Zain; Friend, Kyle

    2017-01-01

    Canonical pre-mRNA splicing requires snRNPs and associated splicing factors to excise conserved intronic sequences, with a minimum intron length required for efficient splicing. Non-canonical splicing-intron excision without the spliceosome-has been documented; most notably, some tRNAs and the XBP1 mRNA contain short introns that are not removed by the spliceosome. There have been some efforts to identify additional short introns, but little is known about how many short introns are processed from mRNAs. Here, we report an approach to identify RNA short introns from RNA-Seq data, discriminating against small genomic deletions. We identify hundreds of short introns conserved among multiple human cell lines. These short introns are often alternatively spliced and are found in a variety of RNAs-both mRNAs and lncRNAs. Short intron splicing efficiency is increased by secondary structure, and we detect both canonical and non-canonical short introns. In many cases, splicing of these short introns from mRNAs is predicted to alter the reading frame and change protein output. Our findings imply that standard gene prediction models which often assume a lower limit for intron size fail to predict short introns effectively. We conclude that short introns are abundant in the human transcriptome, and short intron splicing represents an added layer to mRNA regulation.

  9. Divalent metal ion binding to a conserved wobble pair defining the upstream site of cleavage of group I self-splicing introns.

    PubMed Central

    Allain, F H; Varani, G

    1995-01-01

    The upstream site of cleavage of all group I self-splicing introns is identified by an absolutely conserved U.G base pair. Although a wobble C.A pair can substitute the U.G pair, all other combinations of nucleotides at this position abolish splicing, suggesting that it is an unusual RNA structure, rather than sequence, that is recognized by the catalytic intron core. RNA enzymes are metalloenzymes, and divalent metal ion binding may be an important requirement for splice site recognition and catalysis. The paramagnetic broadening of NMR resonances upon manganese binding at specific sites was used to probe the interaction between divalent metal ions and an oligonucleotide model of a group I intron ribozyme substrate. Unlike previous studies in which only imino proton resonances were monitored, we have used isotopically labelled RNA and a set of complete spectral assignments to identify the location of the divalent metal binding site with much greater detail than previously possible. Two independent metal binding sites were identified for this oligonucleotide. A first metal binding site is located in the major groove of the three consecutive G.C base pairs at the end of double helical stem. A second site is found in the major groove of the RNA double helix in the vicinity of the U.G base pair. These results suggest that metal ion coordination (or a metal bridge) and tertiary interactions identified biochemically, may be used by group I intron ribozymes for substrate recognition. Images PMID:7885828

  10. The Intronic GABRG2 Mutation, IVS6+2T→G, Associated with CAE Altered Subunit mRNA Intron Splicing, Activated Nonsense-Mediated Decay and Produced a Stable Truncated γ2 Subunit

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Mengnan; Macdonald, Robert L.

    2012-01-01

    The intronic GABRG2 mutation, IVS6+2T→G, was identified in an Australian family with childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) and febrile seizures (Kananura et al., 2002). The GABRG2 intron 6 splice donor site was found to be mutated from GT to GG. We generated wildtype and mutant γ2S subunit bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) driven by a CMV promoter and expressed them in HEK293T cells and expressed wildtype and mutant γ2S subunit BACs containing the endogenous hGABRG2 promoter in transgenic mice. Wildtype and mutant GABRG2 mRNA splicing patterns were determined in both BAC transfected HEK293T cells and transgenic mouse brain, and in both, the mutation abolished intron 6 splicing at the donor site, activated a cryptic splice site, generated partial intron 6 retention and produced a frame shift in exon 7 that created a premature translation-termination codon (PTC). The resultant mutant mRNA was either degraded partially by nonsense mediated mRNA decay (NMD) or translated to a stable, truncated subunit (the γ2-PTC subunit) containing the first 6 GABRG2 exons and a novel frame-shifted 29 aa C terminal tail. The γ2-PTC subunit was homologous to the mollusk acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) but was not secreted from cells. It was retained in the ER and not expressed on the surface membrane, but it did oligomerize with α1 and β2 subunits. These results suggested that the GABRG2 mutation, IVS6+2T→G, reduced surface αβγ2 receptor levels, thus reducing GABAergic inhibition, by reducing GABRG2 transcript level and producing a stable, nonfunctional truncated subunit that had a dominant negative effect on αβγ2 receptor assembly. PMID:22539854

  11. Splicing defects in ABCD1 gene leading to both exon skipping and partial intron retention in X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy Tunisian patient.

    PubMed

    Kallabi, Fakhri; Hadj Salem, Ikhlass; Ben Chehida, Amel; Ben Salah, Ghada; Ben Turkia, Hadhami; Tebib, Neji; Keskes, Leila; Kamoun, Hassen

    2015-08-01

    X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) affects the nervous system white matter and adrenal cortex secondary to mutations in the ABCD1 gene that encodes a peroxisomal membrane protein: the adrenoleukodystrophy protein. The disease is characterized by high concentrations of very long-chain fatty acids in plasma, adrenal, testicular and nervous tissues. Various types of mutations have been identified in the ABCD1 gene: point mutations, insertions, and deletions. To date, more than 40 point mutations have been reported at the splice junctions of the ABCD1 gene; only few functional studies have been performed to explore these types of mutations. In this study, we have identified de novo splice site mutation c.1780+2T>G in ABCD1 gene in an X-ALD Tunisian patient. Sequencing analysis of cDNA showed a minor transcript lacking exon 7 and a major transcript with a partial intron 7 retention due to activation of a new intronic cryptic splice site. Both outcomes lead to frameshifts with premature stop codon generation in exon 8 and intron 7 respectively. To the best of our knowledge, the current study demonstrates that a single splicing mutation affects the ABCD1 transcripts and the ALDP protein function. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  12. Group II intron–ribosome association protects intron RNA from degradation

    PubMed Central

    Contreras, Lydia M.; Huang, Tao; Piazza, Carol Lyn; Smith, Dorie; Qu, Guosheng; Gelderman, Grant; Potratz, Jeffrey P.; Russell, Rick; Belfort, Marlene

    2013-01-01

    The influence of the cellular environment on the structures and properties of catalytic RNAs is not well understood, despite great interest in ribozyme function. Here we report on ribosome association of group II introns, which are ribozymes that are important because of their putative ancestry to spliceosomal introns and retrotransposons, their retromobility via an RNA intermediate, and their application as gene delivery agents. We show that group II intron RNA, in complex with the intron-encoded protein from the native Lactoccocus lactis host, associates strongly with ribosomes in vivo. Ribosomes have little effect on intron ribozyme activities; rather, the association with host ribosomes protects the intron RNA against degradation by RNase E, an enzyme previously shown to be a silencer of retromobility in Escherichia coli. The ribosome interacts strongly with the intron, exerting protective effects in vivo and in vitro, as demonstrated by genetic and biochemical experiments. These results are consistent with the ribosome influencing the integrity of catalytic RNAs in bacteria in the face of degradative nucleases that regulate intron mobility. PMID:24046482

  13. An antisense microwalk reveals critical role of an intronic position linked to a unique long-distance interaction in pre-mRNA splicing

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Natalia N.; Hollinger, Katrin; Bhattacharya, Dhruva; Singh, Ravindra N.

    2010-01-01

    Here we report a novel finding of an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) microwalk in which we examined the position-specific role of intronic residues downstream from the 5′ splice site (5′ ss) of SMN2 exon 7, skipping of which is associated with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant mortality. Our results revealed the inhibitory role of a cytosine residue at the 10th intronic position (10C), which is neither conserved nor associated with any known splicing motif. Significance of 10C emerged from the splicing pattern of SMN2 exon 7 in presence of a 14-mer ASO (L14) that sequestered two adjacent hnRNP A1 motifs downstream from 10C and yet promoted SMN2 exon 7 skipping. Another 14-mer ASO (F14) that sequestered both, 10C and adjacent hnRNP A1 motifs, led to a strong stimulation of SMN2 exon 7 inclusion. The inhibitory role of 10C was found to be tightly linked to its unpaired status and specific positioning immediately upstream of a RNA:RNA helix formed between the targeting ASO and its intronic target. Employing a heterologous context as well as changed contexts of SMN2 intron 7, we show that the inhibitory effect of unpaired 10C is dependent upon a long-distance interaction involving downstream intronic sequences. Our report furnishes one of the rare examples in which an ASO-based approach could be applied to unravel the critical role of an intronic position that may not belong to a linear motif and yet play significant role through long-distance interactions. PMID:20413618

  14. Compound heterozygote for lipoprotein lipase deficiency: Ser----Thr244 and transition in 3' splice site of intron 2 (AG----AA) in the lipoprotein lipase gene.

    PubMed Central

    Hata, A; Emi, M; Luc, G; Basdevant, A; Gambert, P; Iverius, P H; Lalouel, J M

    1990-01-01

    Cloning and sequencing of translated exons and intron-exon boundaries of the lipoprotein lipase gene in a patient of French descent who has the chylomicronemia syndrome revealed that he was a compound heterozygote for two nucleotide substitutions. One (TCC----ACC) leads to an amino acid substitution (Ser----Thr244), while the other alters the 3' splice site of intron 2 (AG----AA). The functional significance of the Thr244 amino acid substitution was established by in vitro expression in cultured mammalian cells. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 PMID:2121025

  15. Functional characterization of two novel splicing mutations in the OCA2 gene associated with oculocutaneous albinism type II.

    PubMed

    Rimoldi, Valeria; Straniero, Letizia; Asselta, Rosanna; Mauri, Lucia; Manfredini, Emanuela; Penco, Silvana; Gesu, Giovanni P; Del Longo, Alessandra; Piozzi, Elena; Soldà, Giulia; Primignani, Paola

    2014-03-01

    Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) is characterized by hypopigmentation of the skin, hair and eye, and by ophthalmologic abnormalities caused by a deficiency in melanin biosynthesis. OCA type II (OCA2) is one of the four commonly-recognized forms of albinism, and is determined by mutation in the OCA2 gene. In the present study, we investigated the molecular basis of OCA2 in two siblings and one unrelated patient. The mutational screening of the OCA2 gene identified two hitherto-unknown putative splicing mutations. The first one (c.1503+5G>A), identified in an Italian proband and her affected sibling, lies in the consensus sequence of the donor splice site of OCA2 intron 14 (IVS14+5G>A), in compound heterozygosity with a frameshift mutation, c.1450_1451insCTGCCCTGACA, which is predicted to determine the premature termination of the polypeptide chain (p.I484Tfs*19). In-silico prediction of the effect of the IVS14+5G>A mutation on splicing showed a score reduction for the mutant splice site and indicated the possible activation of a newly-created deep-intronic acceptor splice site. The second mutation is a synonymous transition (c.2139G>A, p.K713K) involving the last nucleotide of exon 20. This mutation was found in a young African albino patient in compound heterozygosity with a previously-reported OCA2 missense mutation (p.T404M). In-silico analysis predicted that the mutant c.2139G>A allele would result in the abolition of the splice donor site. The effects on splicing of these two novel mutations were investigated using an in-vitro hybrid-minigene approach that led to the demonstration of the causal role of the two mutations and to the identification of aberrant transcript variants.

  16. Modeling study on the cleavage step of the self-splicing reaction in group I introns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Setlik, R. F.; Garduno-Juarez, R.; Manchester, J. I.; Shibata, M.; Ornstein, R. L.; Rein, R.

    1993-01-01

    A three-dimensional model of the Tetrahymena thermophila group I intron is used to further explore the catalytic mechanism of the transphosphorylation reaction of the cleavage step. Based on the coordinates of the catalytic core model proposed by Michel and Westhof (Michel, F., Westhof, E. J. Mol. Biol. 216, 585-610 (1990)), we first converted their ligation step model into a model of the cleavage step by the substitution of several bases and the removal of helix P9. Next, an attempt to place a trigonal bipyramidal transition state model in the active site revealed that this modified model for the cleavage step could not accommodate the transition state due to insufficient space. A lowering of P1 helix relative to surrounding helices provided the additional space required. Simultaneously, it provided a better starting geometry to model the molecular contacts proposed by Pyle et al. (Pyle, A. M., Murphy, F. L., Cech, T. R. Nature 358, 123-128. (1992)), based on mutational studies involving the J8/7 segment. Two hydrated Mg2+ complexes were placed in the active site of the ribozyme model, using the crystal structure of the functionally similar Klenow fragment (Beese, L.S., Steitz, T.A. EMBO J. 10, 25-33 (1991)) as a guide. The presence of two metal ions in the active site of the intron differs from previous models, which incorporate one metal ion in the catalytic site to fulfill the postulated roles of Mg2+ in catalysis. The reaction profile is simulated based on a trigonal bipyramidal transition state, and the role of the hydrated Mg2+ complexes in catalysis is further explored using molecular orbital calculations.

  17. Modeling study on the cleavage step of the self-splicing reaction in group I introns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Setlik, R. F.; Garduno-Juarez, R.; Manchester, J. I.; Shibata, M.; Ornstein, R. L.; Rein, R.

    1993-01-01

    A three-dimensional model of the Tetrahymena thermophila group I intron is used to further explore the catalytic mechanism of the transphosphorylation reaction of the cleavage step. Based on the coordinates of the catalytic core model proposed by Michel and Westhof (Michel, F., Westhof, E. J. Mol. Biol. 216, 585-610 (1990)), we first converted their ligation step model into a model of the cleavage step by the substitution of several bases and the removal of helix P9. Next, an attempt to place a trigonal bipyramidal transition state model in the active site revealed that this modified model for the cleavage step could not accommodate the transition state due to insufficient space. A lowering of P1 helix relative to surrounding helices provided the additional space required. Simultaneously, it provided a better starting geometry to model the molecular contacts proposed by Pyle et al. (Pyle, A. M., Murphy, F. L., Cech, T. R. Nature 358, 123-128. (1992)), based on mutational studies involving the J8/7 segment. Two hydrated Mg2+ complexes were placed in the active site of the ribozyme model, using the crystal structure of the functionally similar Klenow fragment (Beese, L.S., Steitz, T.A. EMBO J. 10, 25-33 (1991)) as a guide. The presence of two metal ions in the active site of the intron differs from previous models, which incorporate one metal ion in the catalytic site to fulfill the postulated roles of Mg2+ in catalysis. The reaction profile is simulated based on a trigonal bipyramidal transition state, and the role of the hydrated Mg2+ complexes in catalysis is further explored using molecular orbital calculations.

  18. Identification of human short introns

    PubMed Central

    Abebrese, Emmanuel L.; Arnold, Zachary R.; Armstrong, Katharine; Burns, Lindsay; Day, R. Thomas; Hsu, Daniel G.; Jarrell, Katherine; Luo, Yi; Mugayo, Daphine

    2017-01-01

    Canonical pre-mRNA splicing requires snRNPs and associated splicing factors to excise conserved intronic sequences, with a minimum intron length required for efficient splicing. Non-canonical splicing–intron excision without the spliceosome–has been documented; most notably, some tRNAs and the XBP1 mRNA contain short introns that are not removed by the spliceosome. There have been some efforts to identify additional short introns, but little is known about how many short introns are processed from mRNAs. Here, we report an approach to identify RNA short introns from RNA-Seq data, discriminating against small genomic deletions. We identify hundreds of short introns conserved among multiple human cell lines. These short introns are often alternatively spliced and are found in a variety of RNAs–both mRNAs and lncRNAs. Short intron splicing efficiency is increased by secondary structure, and we detect both canonical and non-canonical short introns. In many cases, splicing of these short introns from mRNAs is predicted to alter the reading frame and change protein output. Our findings imply that standard gene prediction models which often assume a lower limit for intron size fail to predict short introns effectively. We conclude that short introns are abundant in the human transcriptome, and short intron splicing represents an added layer to mRNA regulation. PMID:28520720

  19. A novel intronic cis element, ISE/ISS-3, regulates rat fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 splicing through activation of an upstream exon and repression of a downstream exon containing a noncanonical branch point sequence.

    PubMed

    Hovhannisyan, Ruben H; Carstens, Russ P

    2005-01-01

    Mutually exclusive splicing of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) exons IIIb and IIIc yields two receptor isoforms, FGFR2-IIIb and -IIIc, with distinctly different ligand binding properties. Several RNA cis elements in the intron (intron 8) separating these exons have been described that are required for splicing regulation. Using a heterologous splicing reporter, we have identified a new regulatory element in this intron that confers cell-type-specific inclusion of an unrelated exon that mirrors its ability to promote cell-type-specific inclusion of exon IIIb. This element promoted inclusion of exon IIIb while at the same time silencing exon IIIc inclusion in cells expressing FGFR2-IIIb; hence, we have termed this element ISE/ISS-3 (for "intronic splicing enhancer-intronic splicing silencer 3"). Silencing of exon IIIc splicing by ISE/ISS-3 was shown to require a branch point sequence (BPS) using G as the primary branch nucleotide. Replacing a consensus BPS with A as the primary branch nucleotide resulted in constitutive splicing of exon IIIc. Our results suggest that the branch point sequence constitutes an important component that can contribute to the efficiency of exon definition of alternatively spliced cassette exons. Noncanonical branch points may thus facilitate cell-type-specific silencing of regulated exons by flanking cis elements.

  20. Alternative Splicing of Type II Procollagen: IIB or not IIB?

    PubMed Central

    McAlinden, Audrey

    2015-01-01

    Over two decades ago, two isoforms of the type II procollagen gene (COL2A1) were discovered. These isoforms, named IIA and IIB, are generated in a developmentally-regulated manner by alternative splicing of exon 2. Chondroprogenitor cells synthesize predominantly IIA isoforms (containing exon 2) while differentiated chondrocytes produce mainly IIB transcripts (devoid of exon 2). Importantly, this IIA-to-IIB alternative splicing switch occurs only during chondrogenesis. More recently, two other isoforms have been reported (IIC and IID) that also involve splicing of exon 2; these findings highlight the complexities involving regulation of COL2A1 expression. The biological significance of why different isoforms of COL2A1 exist within the context of skeletal development and maintenance is still not completely understood. This review will provide current knowledge on COL2A1 isoform expression during chondrocyte differentiation and what is known about some of the mechanisms that control exon 2 alternative splicing. Utilization of mouse models to address the biological significance of Col2a1 alternative splicing in vivo will also be discussed. From the knowledge acquired to date, some new questions and concepts are now being proposed on the importance of Col2a1 alternative splicing in regulating extracellular matrix assembly and how this may subsequently affect cartilage and endochondral bone quality and function. PMID:24669942

  1. Defective histone supply causes changes in RNA polymerase II elongation rate and cotranscriptional pre-mRNA splicing.

    PubMed

    Jimeno-González, Silvia; Payán-Bravo, Laura; Muñoz-Cabello, Ana M; Guijo, Macarena; Gutierrez, Gabriel; Prado, Félix; Reyes, José C

    2015-12-01

    RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcription elongation is a highly regulated process that greatly influences mRNA levels as well as pre-mRNA splicing. Despite many studies in vitro, how chromatin modulates RNAPII elongation in vivo is still unclear. Here, we show that a decrease in the level of available canonical histones leads to more accessible chromatin with decreased levels of canonical histones and variants H2A.X and H2A.Z and increased levels of H3.3. With this altered chromatin structure, the RNAPII elongation rate increases, and the kinetics of pre-mRNA splicing is delayed with respect to RNAPII elongation. Consistent with the kinetic model of cotranscriptional splicing, the rapid RNAPII elongation induced by histone depletion promotes the skipping of variable exons in the CD44 gene. Indeed, a slowly elongating mutant of RNAPII was able to rescue this defect, indicating that the defective splicing induced by histone depletion is a direct consequence of the increased elongation rate. In addition, genome-wide analysis evidenced that histone reduction promotes widespread alterations in pre-mRNA processing, including intron retention and changes in alternative splicing. Our data demonstrate that pre-mRNA splicing may be regulated by chromatin structure through the modulation of the RNAPII elongation rate.

  2. Defective histone supply causes changes in RNA polymerase II elongation rate and cotranscriptional pre-mRNA splicing

    PubMed Central

    Jimeno-González, Silvia; Payán-Bravo, Laura; Muñoz-Cabello, Ana M.; Guijo, Macarena; Gutierrez, Gabriel; Prado, Félix; Reyes, José C.

    2015-01-01

    RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcription elongation is a highly regulated process that greatly influences mRNA levels as well as pre-mRNA splicing. Despite many studies in vitro, how chromatin modulates RNAPII elongation in vivo is still unclear. Here, we show that a decrease in the level of available canonical histones leads to more accessible chromatin with decreased levels of canonical histones and variants H2A.X and H2A.Z and increased levels of H3.3. With this altered chromatin structure, the RNAPII elongation rate increases, and the kinetics of pre-mRNA splicing is delayed with respect to RNAPII elongation. Consistent with the kinetic model of cotranscriptional splicing, the rapid RNAPII elongation induced by histone depletion promotes the skipping of variable exons in the CD44 gene. Indeed, a slowly elongating mutant of RNAPII was able to rescue this defect, indicating that the defective splicing induced by histone depletion is a direct consequence of the increased elongation rate. In addition, genome-wide analysis evidenced that histone reduction promotes widespread alterations in pre-mRNA processing, including intron retention and changes in alternative splicing. Our data demonstrate that pre-mRNA splicing may be regulated by chromatin structure through the modulation of the RNAPII elongation rate. PMID:26578803

  3. A human and a plant intron-containing tRNATyr gene are both transcribed in a HeLa cell extract but spliced along different pathways.

    PubMed Central

    van Tol, H; Stange, N; Gross, H J; Beier, H

    1987-01-01

    tRNA splicing enzymes had been identified in mammalian and plant cells long before homologous intron-containing tRNA genes were detected. The tRNATyr gene presented here is the first intron-containing, human tRNA gene for which transcription and pre-tRNA maturation has been studied in a homologous system. This gene is disrupted by a 20-bp long intron and encodes one of the two major human tRNAsTyr which have been purified and sequenced. A tRNATyr gene recently isolated from Nicotiana also contains an intron and codes for a functional, major cytoplasmic tRNATyr. Both tRNA genes are efficiently transcribed in a HeLa cell nuclear extract. Each of them produces two independent primary transcripts because of two initiation and termination sites, respectively. The maturation of the tRNATyr precursors proceeds along different pathways. The intervening sequence of the human pre-tRNATyr is excised first, followed by ligation of the tRNA halves and maturation of the flanks, as has been shown for all intron-containing tRNA genes transcribed in HeLa extract. The order of maturation steps is reversed for the plant pre-tRNATyr: processing of the flanking sequences precedes intron excision. This maturation pathway corresponds to that observed in vivo for tRNA biosynthesis in Xenopus oocytes and yeast. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. PMID:3502708

  4. Crystal structure of group II intron domain 1 reveals a template for RNA assembly

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Chen; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R.; Marcia, Marco; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2015-01-01

    Although the importance of large noncoding RNAs is increasingly appreciated, our understanding of their structures and architectural dynamics remains limited. In particular, we know little about RNA folding intermediates and how they facilitate the productive assembly of RNA tertiary structures. Here, we report the crystal structure of an obligate intermediate that is required during the earliest stages of group II intron folding. Comprised of intron domain 1 from the Oceanobacillus iheyensis group II intron (D1, 266 nts), this intermediate retains native-like features but adopts a compact conformation in which the active-site cleft is closed. Transition between this closed and open (native) conformation is achieved through discrete rotations of hinge motifs in two regions of the molecule. The open state is then stabilized by sequential docking of downstream intron domains, suggesting a “first comes, first folds” strategy that may represent a generalizable pathway for assembly of large RNA and ribonucleoprotein structures. PMID:26502156

  5. Intron 1 mediated regulation of bovine prion protein gene expression: Role of donor splicing sites, sequences with potential enhancer and suppressor activities.

    PubMed

    Elmonir, Walid; Inoshima, Yasuo; Elbassiouny, Ahmed; Ishiguro, Naotaka

    2010-07-09

    Prion protein plays a key role in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Because changes in expression of the prion protein gene (PRNP) alter the incubation time and severity of prion diseases. Our previous work revealed a strong association between the promoter (spanning base pairs (bp) -88 to -30) and intron 1 (spanning bp +114 to +892) that leads to optimum expression of the bovine PRNP. Here, we employed two mutation analysis strategies (deletion and insertion) and two reporter assay systems (luciferase and GFP expression) to define the regulatory domains within intron 1 and further elucidate its role in regulating the promoter activity of the bovine prion protein gene. We identified DNA sequences with potential suppressor and enhancer activities within the 5' end of intron 1. Moreover stability analyses for PRNP mRNAs demonstrated that splicing sites and mechanism are critical for bovine PRNP expression. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. RNA-sequencing of a mouse-model of spinal muscular atrophy reveals tissue-wide changes in splicing of U12-dependent introns.

    PubMed

    Doktor, Thomas Koed; Hua, Yimin; Andersen, Henriette Skovgaard; Brøner, Sabrina; Liu, Ying Hsiu; Wieckowska, Anna; Dembic, Maja; Bruun, Gitte Hoffmann; Krainer, Adrian R; Andresen, Brage Storstein

    2017-01-09

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder caused by insufficient levels of the Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein. SMN is expressed ubiquitously and functions in RNA processing pathways that include trafficking of mRNA and assembly of snRNP complexes. Importantly, SMA severity is correlated with decreased snRNP assembly activity. In particular, the minor spliceosomal snRNPs are affected, and some U12-dependent introns have been reported to be aberrantly spliced in patient cells and animal models. SMA is characterized by loss of motor neurons, but the underlying mechanism is largely unknown. It is likely that aberrant splicing of genes expressed in motor neurons is involved in SMA pathogenesis, but increasing evidence indicates that pathologies also exist in other tissues. We present here a comprehensive RNA-seq study that covers multiple tissues in an SMA mouse model. We show elevated U12-intron retention in all examined tissues from SMA mice, and that U12-dependent intron retention is induced upon siRNA knock-down of SMN in HeLa cells. Furthermore, we show that retention of U12-dependent introns is mitigated by ASO treatment of SMA mice and that many transcriptional changes are reversed. Finally, we report on missplicing of several Ca(2+) channel genes that may explain disrupted Ca(2+) homeostasis in SMA and activation of Cdk5. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  7. RNA-sequencing of a mouse-model of spinal muscular atrophy reveals tissue-wide changes in splicing of U12-dependent introns

    PubMed Central

    Doktor, Thomas Koed; Hua, Yimin; Andersen, Henriette Skovgaard; Brøner, Sabrina; Liu, Ying Hsiu; Wieckowska, Anna; Dembic, Maja; Bruun, Gitte Hoffmann; Krainer, Adrian R.; Andresen, Brage Storstein

    2017-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder caused by insufficient levels of the Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein. SMN is expressed ubiquitously and functions in RNA processing pathways that include trafficking of mRNA and assembly of snRNP complexes. Importantly, SMA severity is correlated with decreased snRNP assembly activity. In particular, the minor spliceosomal snRNPs are affected, and some U12-dependent introns have been reported to be aberrantly spliced in patient cells and animal models. SMA is characterized by loss of motor neurons, but the underlying mechanism is largely unknown. It is likely that aberrant splicing of genes expressed in motor neurons is involved in SMA pathogenesis, but increasing evidence indicates that pathologies also exist in other tissues. We present here a comprehensive RNA-seq study that covers multiple tissues in an SMA mouse model. We show elevated U12-intron retention in all examined tissues from SMA mice, and that U12-dependent intron retention is induced upon siRNA knock-down of SMN in HeLa cells. Furthermore, we show that retention of U12-dependent introns is mitigated by ASO treatment of SMA mice and that many transcriptional changes are reversed. Finally, we report on missplicing of several Ca2+ channel genes that may explain disrupted Ca2+ homeostasis in SMA and activation of Cdk5. PMID:27557711

  8. A pipeline of programs for collecting and analyzing group II intron retroelement sequences from GenBank.

    PubMed

    Abebe, Michael; Candales, Manuel A; Duong, Adrian; Hood, Keyar S; Li, Tony; Neufeld, Ryan A E; Shakenov, Abat; Sun, Runda; Wu, Li; Jarding, Ashley M; Semper, Cameron; Zimmerly, Steven

    2013-12-20

    Accurate and complete identification of mobile elements is a challenging task in the current era of sequencing, given their large numbers and frequent truncations. Group II intron retroelements, which consist of a ribozyme and an intron-encoded protein (IEP), are usually identified in bacterial genomes through their IEP; however, the RNA component that defines the intron boundaries is often difficult to identify because of a lack of strong sequence conservation corresponding to the RNA structure. Compounding the problem of boundary definition is the fact that a majority of group II intron copies in bacteria are truncated. Here we present a pipeline of 11 programs that collect and analyze group II intron sequences from GenBank. The pipeline begins with a BLAST search of GenBank using a set of representative group II IEPs as queries. Subsequent steps download the corresponding genomic sequences and flanks, filter out non-group II introns, assign introns to phylogenetic subclasses, filter out incomplete and/or non-functional introns, and assign IEP sequences and RNA boundaries to the full-length introns. In the final step, the redundancy in the data set is reduced by grouping introns into sets of ≥95% identity, with one example sequence chosen to be the representative. These programs should be useful for comprehensive identification of group II introns in sequence databases as data continue to rapidly accumulate.

  9. A pipeline of programs for collecting and analyzing group II intron retroelement sequences from GenBank

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Accurate and complete identification of mobile elements is a challenging task in the current era of sequencing, given their large numbers and frequent truncations. Group II intron retroelements, which consist of a ribozyme and an intron-encoded protein (IEP), are usually identified in bacterial genomes through their IEP; however, the RNA component that defines the intron boundaries is often difficult to identify because of a lack of strong sequence conservation corresponding to the RNA structure. Compounding the problem of boundary definition is the fact that a majority of group II intron copies in bacteria are truncated. Results Here we present a pipeline of 11 programs that collect and analyze group II intron sequences from GenBank. The pipeline begins with a BLAST search of GenBank using a set of representative group II IEPs as queries. Subsequent steps download the corresponding genomic sequences and flanks, filter out non-group II introns, assign introns to phylogenetic subclasses, filter out incomplete and/or non-functional introns, and assign IEP sequences and RNA boundaries to the full-length introns. In the final step, the redundancy in the data set is reduced by grouping introns into sets of ≥95% identity, with one example sequence chosen to be the representative. Conclusions These programs should be useful for comprehensive identification of group II introns in sequence databases as data continue to rapidly accumulate. PMID:24359548

  10. Group II Introns Break New Boundaries: Presence in a Bilaterian's Genome

    PubMed Central

    Vallès, Yvonne; Halanych, Kenneth M.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2008-01-01

    Group II introns are ribozymes, removing themselves from their primary transcripts, as well as mobile genetic elements, transposing via an RNA intermediate, and are thought to be the ancestors of spliceosomal introns. Although common in bacteria and most eukaryotic organelles, they have never been reported in any bilaterian animal genome, organellar or nuclear. Here we report the first group II intron found in the mitochondrial genome of a bilaterian worm. This location is especially surprising, since animal mitochondrial genomes are generally distinct from those of plants, fungi, and protists by being small and compact, and so are viewed as being highly streamlined, perhaps as a result of strong selective pressures for fast replication while establishing germ plasm during early development. This intron is found in the mtDNA of an annelid worm, (an undescribed species of Nephtys), where the complete sequence revealed a 1819 bp group II intron inside the cox1 gene. We infer that this intron is the result of a recent horizontal gene transfer event from a viral or bacterial vector into the mitochondrial genome of Nephtys sp. Our findings hold implications for understanding mechanisms, constraints, and selective pressures that account for patterns of animal mitochondrial genome evolution PMID:18213396

  11. Solution Structure of the HIV-1 Intron Splicing Silencer and Its Interactions with the UP1 Domain of Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A1.

    PubMed

    Jain, Niyati; Morgan, Christopher E; Rife, Brittany D; Salemi, Marco; Tolbert, Blanton S

    2016-01-29

    Splicing patterns in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are maintained through cis regulatory elements that recruit antagonistic host RNA-binding proteins. The activity of the 3' acceptor site A7 is tightly regulated through a complex network of an intronic splicing silencer (ISS), a bipartite exonic splicing silencer (ESS3a/b), and an exonic splicing enhancer (ESE3). Because HIV-1 splicing depends on protein-RNA interactions, it is important to know the tertiary structures surrounding the splice sites. Herein, we present the NMR solution structure of the phylogenetically conserved ISS stem loop. ISS adopts a stable structure consisting of conserved UG wobble pairs, a folded 2X2 (GU/UA) internal loop, a UU bulge, and a flexible AGUGA apical loop. Calorimetric and biochemical titrations indicate that the UP1 domain of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 binds the ISS apical loop site-specifically and with nanomolar affinity. Collectively, this work provides additional insights into how HIV-1 uses a conserved RNA structure to commandeer a host RNA-binding protein.

  12. Solution Structure of the HIV-1 Intron Splicing Silencer and Its Interactions with the UP1 Domain of Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A1*

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Niyati; Morgan, Christopher E.; Rife, Brittany D.; Salemi, Marco; Tolbert, Blanton S.

    2016-01-01

    Splicing patterns in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are maintained through cis regulatory elements that recruit antagonistic host RNA-binding proteins. The activity of the 3′ acceptor site A7 is tightly regulated through a complex network of an intronic splicing silencer (ISS), a bipartite exonic splicing silencer (ESS3a/b), and an exonic splicing enhancer (ESE3). Because HIV-1 splicing depends on protein-RNA interactions, it is important to know the tertiary structures surrounding the splice sites. Herein, we present the NMR solution structure of the phylogenetically conserved ISS stem loop. ISS adopts a stable structure consisting of conserved UG wobble pairs, a folded 2X2 (GU/UA) internal loop, a UU bulge, and a flexible AGUGA apical loop. Calorimetric and biochemical titrations indicate that the UP1 domain of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 binds the ISS apical loop site-specifically and with nanomolar affinity. Collectively, this work provides additional insights into how HIV-1 uses a conserved RNA structure to commandeer a host RNA-binding protein. PMID:26607354

  13. The origin of introns and their role in eukaryogenesis: a compromise solution to the introns-early versus introns-late debate?

    PubMed Central

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2006-01-01

    Background Ever since the discovery of 'genes in pieces' and mRNA splicing in eukaryotes, origin and evolution of spliceosomal introns have been considered within the conceptual framework of the 'introns early' versus 'introns late' debate. The 'introns early' hypothesis, which is closely linked to the so-called exon theory of gene evolution, posits that protein-coding genes were interrupted by numerous introns even at the earliest stages of life's evolution and that introns played a major role in the origin of proteins by facilitating recombination of sequences coding for small protein/peptide modules. Under this scenario, the absence of spliceosomal introns in prokaryotes is considered to be a result of "genome streamlining". The 'introns late' hypothesis counters that spliceosomal introns emerged only in eukaryotes, and moreover, have been inserted into protein-coding genes continuously throughout the evolution of eukaryotes. Beyond the formal dilemma, the more substantial side of this debate has to do with possible roles of introns in the evolution of eukaryotes. Results I argue that several lines of evidence now suggest a coherent solution to the introns-early versus introns-late debate, and the emerging picture of intron evolution integrates aspects of both views although, formally, there seems to be no support for the original version of introns-early. Firstly, there is growing evidence that spliceosomal introns evolved from group II self-splicing introns which are present, usually, in small numbers, in many bacteria, and probably, moved into the evolving eukaryotic genome from the α-proteobacterial progenitor of the mitochondria. Secondly, the concept of a primordial pool of 'virus-like' genetic elements implies that self-splicing introns are among the most ancient genetic entities. Thirdly, reconstructions of the ancestral state of eukaryotic genes suggest that the last common ancestor of extant eukaryotes had an intron-rich genome. Thus, it appears that

  14. RNA-seq of human reference RNA samples using a thermostable group II intron reverse transcriptase.

    PubMed

    Nottingham, Ryan M; Wu, Douglas C; Qin, Yidan; Yao, Jun; Hunicke-Smith, Scott; Lambowitz, Alan M

    2016-04-01

    Next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) has revolutionized our ability to analyze transcriptomes. Current RNA-seq methods are highly reproducible, but each has biases resulting from different modes of RNA sample preparation, reverse transcription, and adapter addition, leading to variability between methods. Moreover, the transcriptome cannot be profiled comprehensively because highly structured RNAs, such as tRNAs and snoRNAs, are refractory to conventional RNA-seq methods. Recently, we developed a new method for strand-specific RNA-seq using thermostable group II intron reverse transcriptases (TGIRTs). TGIRT enzymes have higher processivity and fidelity than conventional retroviral reverse transcriptases plus a novel template-switching activity that enables RNA-seq adapter addition during cDNA synthesis without using RNA ligase. Here, we obtained TGIRT-seq data sets for well-characterized human RNA reference samples and compared them to previous data sets obtained for these RNAs by the Illumina TruSeq v2 and v3 methods. We find that TGIRT-seq recapitulates the relative abundance of human transcripts and RNA spike-ins in ribo-depleted, fragmented RNA samples comparably to non-strand-specific TruSeq v2 and better than strand-specific TruSeq v3. Moreover, TGIRT-seq is more strand specific than TruSeq v3 and eliminates sampling biases from random hexamer priming, which are inherent to TruSeq. The TGIRT-seq data sets also show more uniform 5' to 3' gene coverage and identify more splice junctions, particularly near the 5' ends of mRNAs, than do the TruSeq data sets. Finally, TGIRT-seq enables the simultaneous profiling of mRNAs and lncRNAs in the same RNA-seq experiment as structured small ncRNAs, including tRNAs, which are essentially absent with TruSeq.

  15. Altered Pre-mRNA Splicing Caused by a Novel Intronic Mutation c.1443+5G>A in the Dihydropyrimidinase (DPYS) Gene.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Yoko; Meijer, Judith; Zhang, Chunhua; Wang, Xu; Kondo, Tomomi; Ito, Tetsuya; Dobritzsch, Doreen; Van Kuilenburg, André B P

    2016-01-12

    Dihydropyrimidinase (DHP) deficiency is an autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in the DPYS gene. Patients present with highly elevated levels of dihydrouracil and dihydrothymine in their urine, blood and cerebrospinal fluid. The analysis of the effect of mutations in DPYS on pre-mRNA splicing is hampered by the fact that DHP is primarily expressed in liver and kidney cells. The minigene approach can detect mRNA splicing aberrations using cells that do not express the endogenous mRNA. We have used a minigene-based approach to analyze the effects of a presumptive pre-mRNA splicing mutation in two newly identified Chinese pediatric patients with DHP deficiency. Mutation analysis of DPYS showed that both patients were compound heterozygous for a novel intronic mutation c.1443+5G>A in intron 8 and a previously described missense mutation c.1001A>G (p.Q334R) in exon 6. Wild-type and the mutated minigene constructs, containing exons 7, 8 and 9 of DPYS, yielded different splicing products after expression in HEK293 cells. The c.1443+5G>A mutation resulted in altered pre-mRNA splicing of the DPYS minigene construct with full skipping of exon 8. Analysis of the DHP crystal structure showed that the deletion of exon 8 severely affects folding, stability and homooligomerization of the enzyme as well as disruption of the catalytic site. Thus, the analysis suggests that the c.1443+5G>A mutation results in aberrant splicing of the pre-mRNA encoding DHP, underlying the DHP deficiency in two unrelated Chinese patients.

  16. Altered Pre-mRNA Splicing Caused by a Novel Intronic Mutation c.1443+5G>A in the Dihydropyrimidinase (DPYS) Gene

    PubMed Central

    Nakajima, Yoko; Meijer, Judith; Zhang, Chunhua; Wang, Xu; Kondo, Tomomi; Ito, Tetsuya; Dobritzsch, Doreen; Van Kuilenburg, André B. P.

    2016-01-01

    Dihydropyrimidinase (DHP) deficiency is an autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in the DPYS gene. Patients present with highly elevated levels of dihydrouracil and dihydrothymine in their urine, blood and cerebrospinal fluid. The analysis of the effect of mutations in DPYS on pre-mRNA splicing is hampered by the fact that DHP is primarily expressed in liver and kidney cells. The minigene approach can detect mRNA splicing aberrations using cells that do not express the endogenous mRNA. We have used a minigene-based approach to analyze the effects of a presumptive pre-mRNA splicing mutation in two newly identified Chinese pediatric patients with DHP deficiency. Mutation analysis of DPYS showed that both patients were compound heterozygous for a novel intronic mutation c.1443+5G>A in intron 8 and a previously described missense mutation c.1001A>G (p.Q334R) in exon 6. Wild-type and the mutated minigene constructs, containing exons 7, 8 and 9 of DPYS, yielded different splicing products after expression in HEK293 cells. The c.1443+5G>A mutation resulted in altered pre-mRNA splicing of the DPYS minigene construct with full skipping of exon 8. Analysis of the DHP crystal structure showed that the deletion of exon 8 severely affects folding, stability and homooligomerization of the enzyme as well as disruption of the catalytic site. Thus, the analysis suggests that the c.1443+5G>A mutation results in aberrant splicing of the pre-mRNA encoding DHP, underlying the DHP deficiency in two unrelated Chinese patients. PMID:26771602

  17. The Arabidopsis U11/U12-65K is an indispensible component of minor spliceosome and plays a crucial role in U12 intron splicing and plant development.

    PubMed

    Jung, Hyun Ju; Kang, Hunseung

    2014-06-01

    The U12-dependent introns have been identified in a wide range of eukaryotes and are removed from precursor-mRNAs by U12 intron-specific minor spliceosome. Although several proteins unique to minor spliceosome have been identified, the nature of their effect on U12 intron splicing as well as plant growth and development remain largely unknown. Here, we characterized the functional role of an U12-type spliceosomal protein, U11/U12-65K in Arabidopsis thaliana. The transgenic knockdown plants generated by artificial miRNA-mediated silencing strategy exhibited severe defect in growth and development, such as severely arrested primary inflorescence stems, serrated leaves, and the formation of many rosette leaves after bolting. RNA sequencing and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analyses revealed that splicing of 198 out of the 234 previously predicted U12 intron-containing genes and 32 previously unidentified U12 introns was impaired in u11/u12-65k mutant. Moreover, the U11/U12-65K mutation affected alternative splicing, as well as U12 intron splicing, of many introns. Microarray analysis revealed that the genes involved in cell wall biogenesis and function, plant development, and metabolic processes are differentially expressed in the mutant plants. U11/U12-65K protein bound specifically to U12 small nuclear RNA (snRNA), which is necessary for branch-point site recognition. Taken together, these results provide clear evidence that U11/U12-65K is an indispensible component of minor spliceosome and involved in U12 intron splicing and alternative splicing of many introns, which is crucial for plant development.

  18. On the identification of group II introns in nucleotide sequence data.

    PubMed

    Knoop, V; Kloska, S; Brennicke, A

    1994-09-30

    Four different consensus sequences (GTI, group II identifiers) have been derived from domains V of known group II introns and are used as query input sequences for sensitive database screenings with the FASTA and LFASTA programs. The set of four GTI sequences can identify all domains V of the 96 known group II introns in the completely sequenced chloroplast genomes of Marchantia polymorpha, Epifagus virginiana, Oryza sativa, Nicotiana tabacum and the completely sequenced mitochondrial genomes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Podospora anserina, Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Marchantia polymorpha. Seven moderately high-scoring hits can easily be rejected as false-positives since they do not fulfil secondary structure requirements. Large FASTA outputs obtained after screening the entire nucleotide sequence database are evaluated in a second step by a program (D5SCAN) that allows the assignment of variable selection criteria for potential domain V secondary structures. Database searches with these routines yield evidence for several group II intron sequences previously unrecognized. These include novel intron structures in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis and in the mitochondrial genomes of Marchantia, soybean, pea, broad bean, sugar beet and a heterobasidiomycete. Potential intron remnants are found contributing to the secondary structure of rRNAs in several trypanosome species. At a given sensitivity of 95% positively identified true domains V, the search routine produces one false positive hit per 10,000 kb.

  19. The En/Spm transposable element of Zea mays contains splice sites at the termini generating a novel intron from a dSpm element in the A2 gene.

    PubMed Central

    Menssen, A; Höhmann, S; Martin, W; Schnable, P S; Peterson, P A; Saedler, H; Gierl, A

    1990-01-01

    The A2 locus of Zea mays, identified as one of the genes affecting anthocyanin biosynthesis, was cloned using the transposable elements rcy and dSpm as gene tags. The A2 gene encodes a putative protein of 395 amino acids and is devoid of introns. Two a2-m1 alleles, containing dSpm insertions of different sizes, were characterized. The dSpm element from the original state allele has perfect termini and undergoes frequent transposition. The element from the class II state allele is no longer competent to transpose. It has retained the 13 bp terminal inverted repeat but has lost all subterminal sites at the 5' end, which are recognized by tnpA protein, the most abundant product of the En/Spm transposable element system. The relatively high A2 gene expression of one a2-m1 allele is due to removal of almost all dSpm sequences by splicing. The slightly altered A2 enzyme is still functional as shown by complementation of an a2 mutant with the corresponding cDNA. The 5' and 3' splice sites are constituted by the termini of the dSpm element; it therefore represents a novel intron of the A2 gene. Images Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 6. Fig. 8. PMID:2170105

  20. Loss of a Trans-Splicing nad1 Intron from Geraniaceae and Transfer of the Maturase Gene matR to the Nucleus in Pelargonium

    PubMed Central

    Grewe, Felix; Zhu, Andan; Mower, Jeffrey P.

    2016-01-01

    The mitochondrial nad1 gene of seed plants has a complex structure, including four introns in cis or trans configurations and a maturase gene (matR) hosted within the final intron. In the geranium family (Geraniaceae), however, sequencing of representative species revealed that three of the four introns, including one in a trans configuration and another that hosts matR, were lost from the nad1 gene in their common ancestor. Despite the loss of the host intron, matR has been retained as a freestanding gene in most genera of the family, indicating that this maturase has additional functions beyond the splicing of its host intron. In the common ancestor of Pelargonium, matR was transferred to the nuclear genome, where it was split into two unlinked genes that encode either its reverse transcriptase or maturase domain. Both nuclear genes are transcribed and contain predicted mitochondrial targeting signals, suggesting that they express functional proteins that are imported into mitochondria. The nuclear localization and split domain structure of matR in the Pelargonium nuclear genome offers a unique opportunity to assess the function of these two domains using transgenic approaches. PMID:27664178

  1. Group II intron RNA catalysis of progressive nucleotide insertion: a model for RNA editing.

    PubMed

    Mueller, M W; Hetzer, M; Schweyen, R J

    1993-08-20

    The self-splicing bl1 intron lariat from mitochondria of Saccharomyces cerevisiae catalyzed the insertion of nucleotidyl monomers derived from the 3' end of a donor RNA into an acceptor RNA in a 3' to 5' direction in vitro. In this catalyzed reaction, the site specificity provided by intermolecular base pair interactions, the formation of chimeric intermediates, the polarity of the nucleotidyl insertion, and its reversibility all resemble such properties in previously proposed models of RNA editing in kinetoplastid mitochondria. These results suggest that RNA editing occurs by way of a concerted, two-step transesterification mechanism and that RNA splicing and RNA editing might be prebiotically related mechanisms; possibly, both evolved from a primordial demand for self-replication.

  2. Tissue-Specific Splicing of the Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Latency-Associated Transcript (LAT) Intron in LAT Transgenic Mice

    PubMed Central

    Gussow, Anne M.; Giordani, Nicole V.; Tran, Robert K.; Imai, Yumi; Kwiatkowski, Dacia L.; Rall, Glenn F.; Margolis, Todd P.; Bloom, David C.

    2006-01-01

    To study the regulation of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) latency-associated transcript (LAT) expression and processing in the absence of other cis and trans viral functions, a transgenic mouse containing the region encompassing the LAT promoter (LAP1) and the LAT 5′ exon through the 2.0-kb intron was created. LAT expression was detectable by reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) in a number of tissues, including the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), trigeminal ganglia (TG), brain, skin, liver, and kidney. However, when the accumulation of the 2.0-kb LAT intron was analyzed at the cellular level by in situ hybridization, little or no detectable accumulation was observed in the brain, spinal cord, kidney, or foot, although the 2.0-kb LAT intron was detected at high levels (over 90% of neurons) in the DRG and TG. Northern blot analysis detected the stable 2.0-kb LAT intron only in the sensory ganglia. When relative amounts of the spliced and unspliced LAT within the brain, liver, kidney, spinal cord, TG, and DRG were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR, splicing of the 2.0-kb LAT intron was significantly more efficient in the sensory ganglia than in other tissues. Finally, infection of both transgenic mice and nontransgenic littermates with HSV-1 revealed no differences in lytic replication, establishment of latency, or reactivation, suggesting that expression of the LAT transgene in trans has no significant effect on those functions. Taken together, these data indicate that the regulation of expression and processing of LAT RNA within the mouse is highly cell-type specific and occurs in the absence of other viral cis- and trans-acting factors. PMID:16973547

  3. Intron-mediated alternative splicing of WOOD-ASSOCIATED NAC TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR1B regulates cell wall thickening during fiber development in Populus species.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yunjun; Sun, Jiayan; Xu, Peng; Zhang, Rui; Li, Laigeng

    2014-02-01

    Alternative splicing is an important mechanism involved in regulating the development of multicellular organisms. Although many genes in plants undergo alternative splicing, little is understood of its significance in regulating plant growth and development. In this study, alternative splicing of black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) wood-associated NAC domain transcription factor (PtrWNDs), PtrWND1B, is shown to occur exclusively in secondary xylem fiber cells. PtrWND1B is expressed with a normal short-transcript PtrWND1B-s as well as its alternative long-transcript PtrWND1B-l. The intron 2 structure of the PtrWND1B gene was identified as a critical sequence that causes PtrWND1B alternative splicing. Suppression of PtrWND1B expression specifically inhibited fiber cell wall thickening. The two PtrWND1B isoforms play antagonistic roles in regulating cell wall thickening during fiber cell differentiation in Populus spp. PtrWND1B-s overexpression enhanced fiber cell wall thickening, while overexpression of PtrWND1B-l repressed fiber cell wall thickening. Alternative splicing may enable more specific regulation of processes such as fiber cell wall thickening during wood formation.

  4. Recent mobility of plastid encoded group II introns and twintrons in five strains of the unicellular red alga Porphyridium.

    PubMed

    Perrineau, Marie-Mathilde; Price, Dana C; Mohr, Georg; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2015-01-01

    Group II introns are closely linked to eukaryote evolution because nuclear spliceosomal introns and the small RNAs associated with the spliceosome are thought to trace their ancient origins to these mobile elements. Therefore, elucidating how group II introns move, and how they lose mobility can potentially shed light on fundamental aspects of eukaryote biology. To this end, we studied five strains of the unicellular red alga Porphyridium purpureum that surprisingly contain 42 group II introns in their plastid genomes. We focused on a subset of these introns that encode mobility-conferring intron-encoded proteins (IEPs) and found them to be distributed among the strains in a lineage-specific manner. The reverse transcriptase and maturase domains were present in all lineages but the DNA endonuclease domain was deleted in vertically inherited introns, demonstrating a key step in the loss of mobility. P. purpureum plastid intron RNAs had a classic group IIB secondary structure despite variability in the DIII and DVI domains. We report for the first time the presence of twintrons (introns-within-introns, derived from the same mobile element) in Rhodophyta. The P. purpureum IEPs and their mobile introns provide a valuable model for the study of mobile retroelements in eukaryotes and offer promise for biotechnological applications.

  5. Recent mobility of plastid encoded group II introns and twintrons in five strains of the unicellular red alga Porphyridium

    PubMed Central

    Perrineau, Marie-Mathilde; Price, Dana C.; Mohr, Georg

    2015-01-01

    Group II introns are closely linked to eukaryote evolution because nuclear spliceosomal introns and the small RNAs associated with the spliceosome are thought to trace their ancient origins to these mobile elements. Therefore, elucidating how group II introns move, and how they lose mobility can potentially shed light on fundamental aspects of eukaryote biology. To this end, we studied five strains of the unicellular red alga Porphyridium purpureum that surprisingly contain 42 group II introns in their plastid genomes. We focused on a subset of these introns that encode mobility-conferring intron-encoded proteins (IEPs) and found them to be distributed among the strains in a lineage-specific manner. The reverse transcriptase and maturase domains were present in all lineages but the DNA endonuclease domain was deleted in vertically inherited introns, demonstrating a key step in the loss of mobility. P. purpureum plastid intron RNAs had a classic group IIB secondary structure despite variability in the DIII and DVI domains. We report for the first time the presence of twintrons (introns-within-introns, derived from the same mobile element) in Rhodophyta. The P. purpureum IEPs and their mobile introns provide a valuable model for the study of mobile retroelements in eukaryotes and offer promise for biotechnological applications. PMID:26157604

  6. Crystal structure of group II intron domain 1 reveals a template for RNA assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, Chen; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R.; Marcia, Marco; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2015-10-26

    Although the importance of large noncoding RNAs is increasingly appreciated, our understanding of their structures and architectural dynamics remains limited. In particular, we know little about RNA folding intermediates and how they facilitate the productive assembly of RNA tertiary structures. In this paper, we report the crystal structure of an obligate intermediate that is required during the earliest stages of group II intron folding. Composed of domain 1 from the Oceanobacillus iheyensis group II intron (266 nucleotides), this intermediate retains native-like features but adopts a compact conformation in which the active site cleft is closed. Transition between this closed and the open (native) conformation is achieved through discrete rotations of hinge motifs in two regions of the molecule. Finally, the open state is then stabilized by sequential docking of downstream intron domains, suggesting a 'first come, first folded' strategy that may represent a generalizable pathway for assembly of large RNA and ribonucleoprotein structures.

  7. Crystal structure of group II intron domain 1 reveals a template for RNA assembly

    DOE PAGES

    Zhao, Chen; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R.; Marcia, Marco; ...

    2015-10-26

    Although the importance of large noncoding RNAs is increasingly appreciated, our understanding of their structures and architectural dynamics remains limited. In particular, we know little about RNA folding intermediates and how they facilitate the productive assembly of RNA tertiary structures. In this paper, we report the crystal structure of an obligate intermediate that is required during the earliest stages of group II intron folding. Composed of domain 1 from the Oceanobacillus iheyensis group II intron (266 nucleotides), this intermediate retains native-like features but adopts a compact conformation in which the active site cleft is closed. Transition between this closed andmore » the open (native) conformation is achieved through discrete rotations of hinge motifs in two regions of the molecule. Finally, the open state is then stabilized by sequential docking of downstream intron domains, suggesting a 'first come, first folded' strategy that may represent a generalizable pathway for assembly of large RNA and ribonucleoprotein structures.« less

  8. Structural basis for recognition of intron branchpoint RNA by yeast Msl5 and selective effects of interfacial mutations on splicing of yeast pre-mRNAs.

    PubMed

    Jacewicz, Agata; Chico, Lidia; Smith, Paul; Schwer, Beate; Shuman, Stewart

    2015-03-01

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae Msl5 orchestrates spliceosome assembly by binding the intron branchpoint sequence 5'-UACUAAC and, with its heterodimer partner protein Mud2, establishing cross intron-bridging interactions with the U1 snRNP at the 5' splice site. Here we define the central Msl5 KH-QUA2 domain as sufficient for branchpoint RNA recognition. The 1.8 Å crystal structure of Msl5-(KH-QUA2) bound to the branchpoint highlights an extensive network of direct and water-mediated protein-RNA and intra-RNA atomic contacts at the interface that illuminate how Msl5 recognizes each nucleobase of the UACUAAC element. The Msl5 structure rationalizes a large body of mutational data and inspires new functional studies herein, which reveal how perturbations of the Msl5·RNA interface impede the splicing of specific yeast pre-mRNAs. We also identify interfacial mutations in Msl5 that bypass the essentiality of Sub2, a DExD-box ATPase implicated in displacing Msl5 from the branchpoint in exchange for the U2 snRNP. These studies establish an atomic resolution framework for understanding splice site selection and early spliceosome dynamics.

  9. Structural basis for recognition of intron branchpoint RNA by yeast Msl5 and selective effects of interfacial mutations on splicing of yeast pre-mRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Jacewicz, Agata; Chico, Lidia; Smith, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae Msl5 orchestrates spliceosome assembly by binding the intron branchpoint sequence 5′-UACUAAC and, with its heterodimer partner protein Mud2, establishing cross intron-bridging interactions with the U1 snRNP at the 5′ splice site. Here we define the central Msl5 KH-QUA2 domain as sufficient for branchpoint RNA recognition. The 1.8 Å crystal structure of Msl5-(KH-QUA2) bound to the branchpoint highlights an extensive network of direct and water-mediated protein–RNA and intra-RNA atomic contacts at the interface that illuminate how Msl5 recognizes each nucleobase of the UACUAAC element. The Msl5 structure rationalizes a large body of mutational data and inspires new functional studies herein, which reveal how perturbations of the Msl5·RNA interface impede the splicing of specific yeast pre-mRNAs. We also identify interfacial mutations in Msl5 that bypass the essentiality of Sub2, a DExD-box ATPase implicated in displacing Msl5 from the branchpoint in exchange for the U2 snRNP. These studies establish an atomic resolution framework for understanding splice site selection and early spliceosome dynamics. PMID:25587180

  10. Analysis of the 5' end of the Drosophila muscle myosin heavy chain gene. Alternatively spliced transcripts initiate at a single site and intron locations are conserved compared to myosin genes of other organisms.

    PubMed

    Wassenberg, D R; Kronert, W A; O'Donnell, P T; Bernstein, S I

    1987-08-05

    We have localized the transcription start site of the Drosophila melanogaster muscle myosin heavy chain (MHC) gene and find that all forms of the alternatively spliced MHC mRNA initiate at the same location. Therefore the alternative inclusion/exclusion of the 3' penultimate exon in transcripts from this gene (Bernstein, S.I., Hansen, C.J., Becker, K.D., Wassenberg, D.R., II, Roche, E.S., Donady, J.J., and Emerson, C. P., Jr. (1986) Mol. Cell. Biol. 6, 2511-2519; Rozek, C.E., and Davidson, N. (1986) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 83, 2128-2134) does not result from the use of different 5' transcription initiation sites. This gene is the first invertebrate MHC gene shown to have TATA and CAAT box consensus sequences and a noncoding 5' exon, properties that are shared with some vertebrate and invertebrate contractile protein genes. The intron that splits the 5' noncoding region of the Drosophila MHC gene contains no major conserved elements relative to other Drosophila contractile protein genes. The introns within the coding region near the 5' end of the Drosophila MHC gene are located at the same sites as nematode and vertebrate MHC gene introns, indicating that these MHC genes are derived from a common ancestral sequence. The putative ATP binding domain encoded in the fourth exon of the Drosophila MHC gene is highly conserved relative to vertebrate, invertebrate, and non-muscle MHC genes suggesting that each of these myosins bind ATP by the same mechanism. Two divergent copies of the third exon are present within the 5' region of the Drosophila MHC gene, suggesting that alternative splicing produces MHC isoforms with different globular head regions.

  11. A complex twintron is excised as four individual introns.

    PubMed Central

    Drager, R G; Hallick, R B

    1993-01-01

    Twintrons are introns-within-introns excised by sequential splicing reactions. A new type of complex twintron comprised of four individual group III introns has been characterized. The external intron is interrupted by an internal intron containing two additional introns. This 434 nt complex twintron within a Euglena gracilis chloroplast ribosomal protein gene is excised by four sequential splicing reactions. Two of the splicing reactions utilize multiple 5'- and/or 3'-splice sites. These findings are evidence that introns with multiple active splice sites can be formed by the repeated insertion of introns into existing introns. Images PMID:7685079

  12. Leaky splicing mutation in the acid maltase gene is associated with delayed onset of glycogenosis type II

    SciTech Connect

    Boerkoel, C.F.; Exelbert, R.; Nicastri, C.; Nichols, R.C.; Plotz, P.H.; Raben, N.; Miller, F.W.

    1995-04-01

    An autosomal recessive deficiency of acid {alpha}-glucosidase (GAA), type II glycogenosis, is genetically and clinically heterogeneous. The discovery of an enzyme-inactivating genomic deletion of exon 18 in three unrelated genetic compound patients - two infants and and adult - provided a rare opportunity to analyze the effect of the second mutation in patients who displayed dramatically different phenotypes. A deletion of Lys-903 in one patient and a substitution of Arg for Leu-299 in another resulted in the fatal infantile form. In the adult, a T-to-G base change at position-13 of intron 1 resulted in alternatively spliced transcripts with deletion of exon 2, the location of the start codon. The low level of active enzyme (12% of normal) generated from the leakage of normally spliced mRNA sustained the patient to adult life. 61 refs., 9 figs., 3 tabs.

  13. Occurrence of matK in a trnK group II intron in charophyte green algae and phylogeny of the Characeae.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Erin R; Karol, Kenneth G; McCourt, Richard M

    2003-04-01

    A group II intron containing the matK gene, which encodes a splicing-associated maturase, was found in the trnK (lysine tRNA) exon in the chloroplast genome of the six extant genera of green algae in the family Characeae, which among green algae are the sister group to embryophytes (land plants). The characean trnK intron (∼2.5 kilobases [kb]) and matK ORF (∼1.5 kb) are comparable in size to the intron and ORF of land plants, in which they are similarly found inserted in the trnK exon. Domain X, a sequence of conserved amino acid residues within matK, occurs in the Characeae. Phylogenetic analysis using maximum likelihood (GTR + I + gamma likelihood model) and parsimony (branch and bound search) yielded one tree with high bootstrap support for all branches. The matK tree was congruent with the rbcL tree for the same taxa. The number and proportion of informative sites was higher in matK (501, 31% of matK sequence) compared to rbcL (122, 10%). Characeae branch lengths were on average more than five times longer for matK compared to rbcL and provided better resolution within the Characeae. These findings along with recent genomic analyses demonstrate that the intron and matK invaded the chloroplast genome of green algae prior to the evolution of land plants.

  14. Trans-splicing Group I Intron Targeting Hepatitis C Virus IRES Mediates Cell Death upon Viral Infection in Huh7.5 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Nawtaisong, Pruksa; Fraser, Mark E.; Carter, James R.; Fraser, Malcolm J.

    2015-01-01

    The HCV-IRES sequence is vital for both protein translation and genome replication and serves as a potential target for anti-HCV therapy. We constructed a series of anti-HCV Group I introns (αHCV-GrpIs) to attack conserved target sites within the HCV IRES. These αHCV-GrpIs were designed to mediate a trans-splicing reaction that replaces the viral RNA genome downstream of the 5’ splice site with a 3’ exon that encodes an apoptosis-inducing gene. Pro-active forms of the apoptosis inducing genes BID, Caspase 3, Caspase 8, or tBax were modified by incorporation of the HCV NS5A/5B cleavage sequence in place of their respective endogenous cleavage sites to ensure that only HCV infected cells would undergo apoptosis following splicing and expression. Huh7.5 cells transfected with each intron were challenged at MOI 0.1 with HCV-Jc1FLAG2 which expresses a Gaussia Luciferase (GLuc) marker. Virus-containing supernatants were then assayed for GLuc expression as a measure of viral replication inhibition. Cellular extracts were analyzed for the presence of correct splice products by RT-PCR and DNA sequencing. We also measured levels of Caspase 3 activity as a means of quantifying apoptotic cell death. Each of these αHCV-GrpI introns was able to correctly splice their 3’ apoptotic exons onto the virus RNA genome at the targeted Uracil, and resulted in greater than 80% suppression of the GLuc marker. A more pronounced suppression effect was observed with TCID50 virus titrations, which demonstrated that these αHCV-GrpIs were able to suppress viral replication by more than 2 logs, or greater than 99%. Robust activation of the apoptotic factor within the challenged cells was evidenced by a significant increase of Caspase 3 activity upon viral infection compared to non-challenged cells. This novel genetic intervention tool may prove beneficial in certain HCV subjects. PMID:25840398

  15. Antisense-based RNA therapy of factor V deficiency: in vitro and ex vivo rescue of a F5 deep-intronic splicing mutation.

    PubMed

    Nuzzo, Francesca; Radu, Claudia; Baralle, Marco; Spiezia, Luca; Hackeng, Tilman M; Simioni, Paolo; Castoldi, Elisabetta

    2013-11-28

    Antisense molecules are emerging as a powerful tool to correct splicing defects. Recently, we identified a homozygous deep-intronic mutation (F5 c.1296+268A>G) activating a cryptic donor splice site in a patient with severe coagulation factor V (FV) deficiency and life-threatening bleeding episodes. Here, we assessed the ability of 2 mutation-specific antisense molecules (a morpholino oligonucleotide [MO] and an engineered U7 small nuclear RNA [snRNA]) to correct this splicing defect. COS-1 and HepG2 cells transfected with a F5 minigene construct containing the patient's mutation expressed aberrant messenger RNA (mRNA) in excess of normal mRNA. Treatment with mutation-specific antisense MO (1-5 µM) or a construct expressing antisense U7snRNA (0.25-2 µg) dose-dependently increased the relative amount of correctly spliced mRNA by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude, whereas control MO and U7snRNA were ineffective. Patient-derived megakaryocytes obtained by differentiation of circulating progenitor cells did not express FV, but became positive for FV at immunofluorescence staining after administration of antisense MO or U7snRNA. However, treatment adversely affected cell viability, mainly because of the transfection reagents used to deliver the antisense molecules. Our data provide in vitro and ex vivo proof of principle for the efficacy of RNA therapy in severe FV deficiency, but additional cytotoxicity studies are warranted.

  16. Extremely fast and incredibly close: cotranscriptional splicing in budding yeast.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Edward W J; Beggs, Jean D

    2017-05-01

    RNA splicing, an essential part of eukaryotic pre-messenger RNA processing, can be simultaneous with transcription by RNA polymerase II. Here, we compare and review independent next-generation sequencing methods that jointly quantify transcription and splicing in budding yeast. For many yeast transcripts, splicing is fast, taking place within seconds of intron transcription, while polymerase is within a few dozens of nucleotides of the 3' splice site. Ribosomal protein transcripts are spliced particularly fast and cotranscriptionally. However, some transcripts are spliced inefficiently or mainly post-transcriptionally. Intron-mediated regulation of some genes is likely to be cotranscriptional. We suggest that intermediates of the splicing reaction, missing from current data sets, may hold key information about splicing kinetics. © 2017 Wallace and Beggs; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

  17. Synthesis of RNA containing inosine: analysis of the sequence requirements for the 5' splice site of the Tetrahymena group I intron.

    PubMed Central

    Green, R; Szostak, J W; Benner, S A; Rich, A; Usman, N

    1991-01-01

    Two protected derivatives of the ribonucleoside inosine have been prepared to serve as building blocks for phosphoramidite-based synthesis of RNA. Two different synthetic routes address the unusual solubility characteristics of inosine and its derivatives. The final products of the different synthetic pathways, 5'-O-(dimethoxytrityl)-2'-O-(t-butyldimethylsiyl) inosine 3'-O-(beta-cyanoethyldiisopropylamino) phosphoramidite 5a, and O6-p-nitrophenylethyl-5'-O-(dimethoxytrityl)-2'-O-(t-butyldimethylsilyl) inosine 3'-O-(methyldiisopropylamino) phosphoramidite 5b, were chemically incorporated into short oligoribonucleotides which also contained the four standard ribonucleoside bases. The oligomers were chosen to study base-specific interactions between an RNA substrate and an RNA enzyme derived from the Group I Tetrahymena self-splicing intron. The oligomers were shown to be biochemically competent using a trans cleavage assay with the modified Tetrahymena intron. The results confirm the dependence of the catalytic activity on a wobble base pair, rather than a Watson-Crick base pair, in the helix at the 5'-splice site. Furthermore, comparison of guanosine and inosine in a wobble base pair allows one to assess the importance of the guanine 2-amino group for biological activity. The preparation of the inosine phosphoramidites adds to the repertoire of base analogues available for the study of RNA catalysis and RNA-protein interactions. Images PMID:1714564

  18. An intronic insertion in KPL2 results in aberrant splicing and causes the immotile short-tail sperm defect in the pig

    PubMed Central

    Sironen, Anu; Thomsen, Bo; Andersson, Magnus; Ahola, Virpi; Vilkki, Johanna

    2006-01-01

    The immotile short-tail sperm defect is an autosomal recessive disease within the Finnish Yorkshire pig population. This disease specifically affects the axoneme structure of sperm flagella, whereas cilia in other tissues appear unaffected. Recently, the disease locus was mapped to a 3-cM region on porcine chromosome 16. To facilitate identification of candidate genes, we constructed a porcine-human comparative map, which anchored the disease locus to a region on human chromosome 5p13.2 containing eight annotated genes. Sequence analysis of a candidate gene KPL2 revealed the presence of an inserted retrotransposon within an intron. The insertion affects splicing of the KPL2 transcript in two ways; it either causes skipping of the upstream exon, or causes the inclusion of an intronic sequence as well as part of the insertion in the transcript. Both changes alter the reading frame leading to premature termination of translation. Further work revealed that the aberrantly spliced exon is expressed predominantly in testicular tissue, which explains the tissue-specificity of the immotile short-tail sperm defect. These findings show that the KPL2 gene is important for correct axoneme development and provide insight into abnormal sperm development and infertility disorders. PMID:16549801

  19. The Arabidopsis U12-Type Spliceosomal Protein U11/U12-31K Is Involved in U12 Intron Splicing via RNA Chaperone Activity and Affects Plant Development[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Won Yong; Jung, Hyun Ju; Kwak, Kyung Jin; Kim, Min Kyung; Oh, Seung Han; Han, Yeon Soo; Kang, Hunseung

    2010-01-01

    U12 introns are removed from precursor-mRNA by a U12 intron-specific spliceosome that contains U11 and U12 small nuclear ribonucleoproteins. Although several proteins unique to the U12-type spliceosome have been identified, the manner by which they affect U12-dependent intron splicing as well as plant growth and development remain largely unknown. Here, we assessed the role of U11/U12-31K, a U12-type spliceosomal protein in Arabidopsis thaliana. T-DNA–tagged homozygote lines for U11/U12-31K could not be obtained, and heterozygote mutants were defective for seed maturation, indicating that U11/U12-31K is essential for the normal development of Arabidopsis. Knockdown of U11/U12-31K by artificial microRNA caused a defect in proper U12 intron splicing, resulting in abnormal stem growth and development of Arabidopsis. This defect in proper splicing was not restricted to specific U12-type introns, but most U12 intron splicing was influenced by U11/U12-31K. The stunted inflorescence stem growth was recovered by exogenously applied gibberellic acid (GA), but not by cytokinin, auxin, or brassinosteroid. GA metabolism-related genes were highly downregulated in U11/U12-31K knockdown plants. Importantly, U11/U12-31K was determined to harbor RNA chaperone activity. We propose that U11/U12-31K is an RNA chapereone that is indispensible for proper U12 intron splicing and for normal growth and development of plants. PMID:21148817

  20. Probing the role of a secondary structure element at the 5'- and 3'-splice sites in group I intron self-splicing: the tetrahymena L-16 ScaI ribozyme reveals a new role of the G.U pair in self-splicing.

    PubMed

    Karbstein, Katrin; Lee, Jihee; Herschlag, Daniel

    2007-04-24

    Several ribozyme constructs have been used to dissect aspects of the group I self-splicing reaction. The Tetrahymena L-21 ScaI ribozyme, the best studied of these intron analogues, catalyzes a reaction analogous to the first step of self-splicing, in which a 5'-splice site analogue (S) and guanosine (G) are converted into a 5'-exon analogue (P) and GA. This ribozyme preserves the active site but lacks a short 5'-terminal segment (called the IGS extension herein) that forms dynamic helices, called the P1 extension and P10 helix. The P1 extension forms at the 5'-splice site in the first step of self-splicing, and P10 forms at the 3'-splice site in the second step of self-splicing. To dissect the contributions from the IGS extension and the helices it forms, we have investigated the effects of each of these elements at each reaction step. These experiments were performed with the L-16 ScaI ribozyme, which retains the IGS extension, and with 5'- and 3'-splice site analogues that differ in their ability to form the helices. The presence of the IGS extension strengthens binding of P by 40-fold, even when no new base pairs are formed. This large effect was especially surprising, as binding of S is essentially unaffected for S analogues that do not form additional base pairs with the IGS extension. Analysis of a U.U pair immediately 3' to the cleavage site suggests that a previously identified deleterious effect from a dangling U residue on the L-21 ScaI ribozyme arises from a fortuitous active site interaction and has implications for RNA tertiary structure specificity. Comparisons of the affinities of 5'-splice site analogues that form only a subset of base pairs reveal that inclusion of the conserved G.U base pair at the cleavage site of group I introns destabilizes the P1 extension >100-fold relative to the stability of a helix with all Watson-Crick base pairs. Previous structural data with model duplexes and the recent intron structures suggest that this effect can be

  1. An Aberrant Splice Acceptor Site Due to a Novel Intronic Nucleotide Substitution in MSX1 Gene Is the Cause of Congenital Tooth Agenesis in a Japanese Family

    PubMed Central

    Tatematsu, Tadashi; Kimura, Masashi; Nakashima, Mitsuko; Machida, Junichiro; Yamaguchi, Seishi; Shibata, Akio; Goto, Hiroki; Nakayama, Atsuo; Higashi, Yujiro; Miyachi, Hitoshi; Shimozato, Kazuo; Matsumoto, Naomichi; Tokita, Yoshihito

    2015-01-01

    Congenital tooth agenesis is caused by mutations in the MSX1, PAX9, WNT10A, or AXIN2 genes. Here, we report a Japanese family with nonsyndromic tooth agenesis caused by a novel nucleotide substitution in the intronic region between exons 1 and 2 of the MSX1 gene. Because the mutation is located 9 bp before exon 2 (c.452-9G>A), we speculated that the nucleotide substitution would generate an abnormal splice site. Using cDNA analysis of an immortalized patient blood cell, we confirmed that an additional 7-nucleotide sequence was inserted at the splice junction between exons 1 and 2 (c.451_452insCCCTCAG). The consequent frameshift generated a homeodomain-truncated MSX1 (p.R151fsX20). We then studied the subcellular localization of truncated MSX1 protein in COS cells, and observed that it had a whole cell distribution more than a nuclear localization, compared to that of wild-type protein. This result suggests a deletion of the nuclear localization signal, which is mapped to the MSX1 homeodomain. These results indicate that this novel intronic nucleotide substitution is the cause of tooth agenesis in this family. To date, most MSX1 variants isolated from patients with tooth agenesis involve single amino acid substitutions in the highly conserved homeodomain or deletion mutants caused by frameshift or nonsense mutations. We here report a rare case of an intronic mutation of the MSX1 gene responsible for human tooth agenesis. In addition, the missing tooth patterns were slightly but significantly different between an affected monozygotic twin pair of this family, showing that epigenetic or environmental factors also affect the phenotypic variations of missing teeth among patients with nonsyndromic tooth agenesis caused by an MSX1 haploinsufficiency. PMID:26030286

  2. Absence of an intron splicing silencer in porcine Smn1 intron 7 confers immunity to the exon skipping mutation in human SMN2.

    PubMed

    Doktor, Thomas Koed; Schrøder, Lisbeth Dahl; Andersen, Henriette Skovgaard; Brøner, Sabrina; Kitewska, Anna; Sørensen, Charlotte Brandt; Andresen, Brage Storstein

    2014-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy is caused by homozygous loss of SMN1. All patients retain at least one copy of SMN2 which produces an identical protein but at lower levels due to a silent mutation in exon 7 which results in predominant exclusion of the exon. Therapies targeting the splicing of SMN2 exon 7 have been in development for several years, and their efficacy has been measured using either in vitro cellular assays or in vivo small animal models such as mice. In this study we evaluated the potential for constructing a mini-pig animal model by introducing minimal changes in the endogenous porcine Smn1 gene to maintain the native genomic structure and regulation. We found that while a Smn2-like mutation can be introduced in the porcine Smn1 gene and can diminish the function of the ESE, it would not recapitulate the splicing pattern seen in human SMN2 due to absence of a functional ISS immediately downstream of exon 7. We investigated the ISS region and show here that the porcine ISS is inactive due to disruption of a proximal hnRNP A1 binding site, while a distal hnRNP A1 binding site remains functional but is unable to maintain the functionality of the ISS as a whole.

  3. Mobile group II intron based gene targeting in Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1.

    PubMed

    Sasikumar, Ponnusamy; Paul, Eldho; Gomathi, Sivasamy; Abhishek, Albert; Sasikumar, Sundaresan; Selvam, Govindan Sadasivam

    2016-10-01

    The usage of recombinant lactic acid bacteria for delivery of therapeutic proteins to the mucosa has been emerging. In the present study, an attempt was made to engineer a thyA mutant of Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) using lactococcal group II intron Ll.LtrB for the development of biologically contained recombinant L. plantarum for prevention of calcium oxalate stone disease. The 3 kb Ll.LtrB intron donor cassettes from the source vector pACD4C was PCR amplified, ligated into pSIP series of lactobacillus vector pLp_3050sAmyA, yielding a novel vector pLpACD4C (8.6 kb). The quantitative real-time PCR experiment shows 94-fold increased expression of Ll.LtrB intron and 14-fold increased expression of ltrA gene in recombinant L. plantarum containing pLpACD4C. In order to target the thyA gene, the potential intron RNA binding sites in the thyA gene of L. plantarum was predicted with help of computer algorithm. The insertion location 188|189s of thyA gene (lowest E-0.134) was chosen and the wild type intron Ll.LtrB was PCR modified, yielding a retargeted intron of pLpACDthyA. The retargeted intron was expressed by using induction peptide (sppIP), subsequently the integration of intron in thyA gene was identified by PCR screening and finally ThyA(-) mutant of L. plantarum (ThyA18) was detected. In vitro growth curve result showed that in the absence of thymidine, colony forming units of mutant ThyA18 was decreased, whereas high thymidine concentration (10 μM) supported the growth of the culture until saturation. In conclusion, ThyA(-) mutant of L. plantarum (ThyA18) constructed in this study will be used as a biologically contained recombinant probiotic to deliver oxalate decarboxylase into the lumen for treatment of hyperoxaluria and calcium oxalate stone deposition.

  4. Novel compound heterozygous mutations for lipoprotein lipase deficiency. A G-to-T transversion at the first position of exon 5 causing G154V missense mutation and a 5' splice site mutation of intron 8.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Y; Takagi, A; Nakata, Y; Sera, Y; Hyoudou, S; Hamamoto, K; Nishi, Y; Yamamoto, A

    2001-07-01

    We systematically investigated the molecular defects causing a primary LPL deficiency in a Japanese male infant (patient DI) with fasting hyperchylomicronemia (type I hyperlipoproteinemia) and in his parents. Patient DI had neither LPL activity nor immunoreactive LPL mass in the pre- and post-heparin plasma. The patient was a compound heterozygote for novel mutations consisting of a G-to-T transversion at the first nucleotide of exon 5 [+1 position of 3' acceptor splice site (3'-ass) of intron 4] and a T-to-C transition in the invariant GT at position +2 of the 5' donor splice site (5'-dss) of intron 8 (Int8/5'-dss/t(+2)c). The G-to-T transversion, although affecting the 11 nucleotide of the 3'-consensus acceptor splice site, resulted in a substitution of Gly(154) to Val (G154V; GG(716)C(-->)GTC). The mutant G154V LPL expressed in COS-1 cells was catalytically inactive and hardly released from the cells by heparin. The Int8/5'-dss/t(+2)c mutation inactivated the authentic 5' splice site of intron 8 and led to the utilization of a cryptic 5'-dss in exon 8 as an alternative splice site 133 basepairs upstream from the authentic splice site, thereby causing joining of a part of exon 8 to exon 9 with skipping of a 134-bp fragment of exon 8 and intron 8. These additional mutations in the consensus sequences of the 3' and 5' splice sites might be useful for better understanding the factors that are involved in splice site selection in vivo.

  5. Single-molecule analysis of Mss116-mediated group II intron folding

    PubMed Central

    Karunatilaka, Krishanthi S.; Solem, Amanda; Pyle, Anna Marie; Rueda, David

    2015-01-01

    DEAD-box helicases are conserved enzymes involved in nearly all aspects of RNA metabolism, but their mechanisms of action remain unclear. Here, we investigated the mechanism of the DEAD-box protein Mss116 on its natural substrate, the group II intron ai5γ. Group II introns are structurally complex catalytic RNAs considered evolutionarily related to the eukaryotic spliceosome, and an interesting paradigm for large RNA folding. We used single-molecule fluorescence to monitor the effect of Mss116 on folding dynamics of a minimal active construct, ai5γ–D135. The data show that Mss116 stimulates dynamic sampling between states along the folding pathway, an effect previously observed only with high Mg2+ concentrations. Furthermore, the data indicate that Mss116 promotes folding through discrete ATP-independent and ATP-dependent steps. We propose that Mss116 stimulates group II intron folding through a multi-step process that involves electrostatic stabilization of early intermediates and ATP hydrolysis during the final stages of native state assembly. PMID:20944626

  6. Beta zero thalassemia caused by a base substitution that creates an alternative splice acceptor site in an intron.

    PubMed Central

    Metherall, J E; Collins, F S; Pan, J; Weissman, S M; Forget, B G

    1986-01-01

    A thalassemic beta-globin gene cloned from a haplotype I chromosome contains a T to G transversion at position 116 of IVS1 which results in the generation of an abnormal alternative acceptor splice site. Transient expression studies revealed a 4-fold decrease in the amount of RNA produced with greater than 99% of it being abnormally spliced despite preservation of the normal acceptor splice site at position 130. These results suggest that the mutation at IVS1 position 116 results in beta zero thalassemia. A closely related mutation at position 110 of IVS1 also generates a novel acceptor site and results in a similar decrease in total mRNA produced, but approximately 20% of the mRNA produced is normally spliced and thus the phenotype is that of beta + thalassemia. These observations suggest that short range position effects may play a dramatic role in the choice of potential splice acceptor sites. We demonstrate the presence of abnormally spliced mRNA in reticulocytes of affected individuals and show the mutation at IVS1 position 116 segregating from the mutation at IVS1 position 110 in a three generation pedigree. The mutation results in the creation of a MaeI restriction site, as do a number of other thalassemic mutations, and we demonstrate some difficulties that may arise in the differential diagnosis of these mutations. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. PMID:3780671

  7. A Novel Regulatory Mechanism of Type II Collagen Expression via a SOX9-dependent Enhancer in Intron 6.

    PubMed

    Yasuda, Hideyo; Oh, Chun-do; Chen, Di; de Crombrugghe, Benoit; Kim, Jin-Hoi

    2017-01-13

    Type II collagen α1 is specific for cartilaginous tissues, and mutations in its gene are associated with skeletal diseases. Its expression has been shown to be dependent on SOX9, a master transcription factor required for chondrogenesis that binds to an enhancer region in intron 1. However, ChIP sequencing revealed that SOX9 does not strongly bind to intron 1, but rather it binds to intron 6 and a site 30 kb upstream of the transcription start site. Here, we aimed to determine the role of the novel SOX9-binding site in intron 6. We prepared reporter constructs that contain a Col2a1 promoter, intron 1 with or without intron 6, and the luciferase gene. Although the reporter constructs were not activated by SOX9 alone, the construct that contained both introns 1 and 6 was activated 5-10-fold by the SOX9/SOX5 or the SOX9/SOX6 combination in transient-transfection assays in 293T cells. This enhancement was also observed in rat chondrosarcoma cells that stably expressed the construct. CRISPR/Cas9-induced deletion of intron 6 in RCS cells revealed that a 10-bp region of intron 6 is necessary both for Col2a1 expression and SOX9 binding. Furthermore, SOX9, but not SOX5, binds to this region as demonstrated in an electrophoretic mobility shift assay, although both SOX9 and SOX5 bind to a larger 325-bp fragment of intron 6 containing this small sequence. These findings suggest a novel mechanism of action of SOX5/6; namely, the SOX9/5/6 combination enhances Col2a1 transcription through a novel enhancer in intron 6 together with the enhancer in intron 1.

  8. Proliferation of group II introns in the chloroplast genome of the green alga Oedocladium carolinianum (Chlorophyceae)

    PubMed Central

    Otis, Christian

    2016-01-01

    dispersed repeats are more abundant, but a smaller fraction of the Oedocladium genome is occupied by introns. Six additional group II introns are present, five of which lack ORFs and carry highly similar sequences to that of the ORF-less IIA intron shared with Oedogonium. Secondary structure analysis of the group IIA introns disclosed marked differences in the exon-binding sites; however, each intron showed perfect or nearly perfect base pairing interactions with its target site. Discussion Our results suggest that chloroplast genes rearrange more slowly in the Oedogoniales than in the Chaetophorales and raise questions as to what was the nature of the foreign coding sequences in the IR of the common ancestor of the Oedogoniales. They provide the first evidence for intragenomic proliferation of group IIA introns in the Viridiplantae, revealing that intron spread in the Oedocladium lineage likely occurred by retrohoming after sequence divergence of the exon-binding sites. PMID:27812423

  9. Factor IXMadrid 2: a deletion/insertion in factor IX gene which abolishes the sequence of the donor junction at the exon IV-intron d splice site.

    PubMed Central

    Solera, J; Magallón, M; Martin-Villar, J; Coloma, A

    1992-01-01

    DNA from a patient with severe hemophilia B was evaluated by RFLP analysis, producing results which suggested the existence of a partial deletion within the factor IX gene. The deletion was further localized and characterized by PCR amplification and sequencing. The altered allele has a 4,442-bp deletion which removes both the donor splice site located at the 5' end of intron d and the two last coding nucleotides located at the 3' end of exon IV in the normal factor IX gene; this fragment has been replaced by a 47-bp sequence from the normal factor IX gene, although this fragment has been inserted in inverted orientation. Two homologous sequences have been discovered at the ends of the deleted DNA fragment. Images Figure 1 PMID:1346483

  10. Factor IXMadrid 2: a deletion/insertion in factor IX gene which abolishes the sequence of the donor junction at the exon IV-intron d splice site.

    PubMed

    Solera, J; Magallón, M; Martin-Villar, J; Coloma, A

    1992-02-01

    DNA from a patient with severe hemophilia B was evaluated by RFLP analysis, producing results which suggested the existence of a partial deletion within the factor IX gene. The deletion was further localized and characterized by PCR amplification and sequencing. The altered allele has a 4,442-bp deletion which removes both the donor splice site located at the 5' end of intron d and the two last coding nucleotides located at the 3' end of exon IV in the normal factor IX gene; this fragment has been replaced by a 47-bp sequence from the normal factor IX gene, although this fragment has been inserted in inverted orientation. Two homologous sequences have been discovered at the ends of the deleted DNA fragment.

  11. Detection of a group II intron without an open reading frame in the alpha-toxin gene of Clostridium perfringens isolated from a broiler chicken.

    PubMed

    Ma, Menglin; Ohtani, Kaori; Shimizu, Tohru; Misawa, Naoaki

    2007-03-01

    A DNA insertion of 834 bp, designated CPF-G2Im, was identified within the alpha toxin gene (cpa) of Clostridium perfringens strain CPBC16ML, isolated from a broiler chicken. Sequence analysis of CPF-G2Im indicated that it was integrated 340 nucleotides downstream of the start codon of cpa. However, the insertion did not abolish the phospholipase C and hemolytic activities of CPBC16ML. To investigate the expression of its alpha toxin, the intact copy of cpa was cloned into an expression vector and transformed into Escherichia coli M15 cells. Immunoblotting analysis showed that the protein expressed from the transformant as well as in the culture supernatant of C. perfringens strain CPBC16ML had the expected molecular weight detected in reference strains of C. perfringens. Northern hybridization and reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) analysis revealed that the entire CPF-G2Im insertion was completely spliced from the cpa precursor mRNA transcripts. The sequence of the insertion fragment has 95% and 97% identity to two noncoding regions corresponding to sequences that flank a predicted group II RT gene present in the pCPF4969 plasmid of C. perfringens. However, an RT was not encoded by the CPF-G2Im fragment. Based on the secondary structure prediction analysis, CPF-G2Im revealed typical features of group II introns. The present study shows that CPF-G2Im is capable of splicing in both C. perfringens and E. coli. To our knowledge, this is the first report that a group II intron without an open reading frame (ORF) is located in the cpa ORF of C. perfringens.

  12. Nuclearly encoded splicing factors implicated in RNA splicing in higher plant organelles.

    PubMed

    de Longevialle, Andéol Falcon; Small, Ian D; Lurin, Claire

    2010-07-01

    Plant organelles arose from two independent endosymbiosis events. Throughout evolutionary history, tight control of chloroplasts and mitochondria has been gained by the nucleus, which regulates most steps of organelle genome expression and metabolism. In particular, RNA maturation, including RNA splicing, is highly dependent on nuclearly encoded splicing factors. Most introns in organelles are group II introns, whose catalytic mechanism closely resembles that of the nuclear spliceosome. Plant group II introns have lost the ability to self-splice in vivo and require nuclearly encoded proteins as cofactors. Since the first splicing factor was identified in chloroplasts more than 10 years ago, many other proteins have been shown to be involved in splicing of one or more introns in chloroplasts or mitochondria. These new proteins belong to a variety of different families of RNA binding proteins and provide new insights into ribonucleo-protein complexes and RNA splicing machineries in organelles. In this review, we describe how splicing factors, encoded by the nucleus and targeted to the organelles, take part in post-transcriptional steps in higher plant organelle gene expression. We go on to discuss the potential for these factors to regulate organelle gene expression.

  13. Novel point mutation in the splice donor site of exon-intron junction 6 of the androgen receptor gene in a patient with partial androgen insensitivity syndrome.

    PubMed

    Sammarco, I; Grimaldi, P; Rossi, P; Cappa, M; Moretti, C; Frajese, G; Geremia, R

    2000-09-01

    Androgen receptor (AR) gene mutations have been shown to cause androgen insensitivity syndrome with altered sexual differentiation in XY individuals, ranging from a partial insensitivity with male phenotype and azoospermia to a complete insensitivity with female phenotype and the absence of pubic and axillary sexual hair after puberty. In this study we present an 11-yr-old XY girl, with clinical manifestations peculiar for impaired androgen biological action, including female phenotype, blind-ending vagina, small degree of posterior labial fusion, and absence of uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. At the time of the diagnosis the patient had a FSH/LH ratio according to the puberal stage, undetectable 17beta-estradiol, and high levels of testosterone (80.1 ng/mL). After bilateral gonadectomy, performed at the age of 11 yr, histological examination showed small embryonic seminiferous tubules containing prevalently Sertoli cells and occasional spermatogonia together with abundant fibrous tissue. Molecular study of the patient showed a guanine to thymine transversion in position +5 of the donor splice site in the junction between exon 6 and intron 6 of the AR gene. The result of RT-PCR amplification of the AR messenger ribonucleic acid from cultured genital skin fibroblasts of the patient suggests that splicing is defective, and intron 6 is retained in most of the receptor messenger ribonucleic acid molecules. We show by immunoblotting that most of the expressed protein lacks part of the C-terminal hormone-binding domain, and a small amount of normal receptor is observed. This is probably responsible for the reduced binding capacity in genital skin fibroblasts of the patient. The molecular basis of the alteration in this case is a novel, uncommon mutation, leading to a phenotype indicative of a partial androgen insensitivity syndrome, Quigley's grade 5.

  14. Rescue of Isolated GH Deficiency Type II (IGHD II) via Pharmacologic Modulation of GH-1 Splicing.

    PubMed

    Miletta, Maria Consolata; Petkovic, Vibor; Eblé, Andrée; Flück, Christa E; Mullis, Primus-E

    2016-10-01

    Isolated GH deficiency (IGHD) type II, the autosomal dominant form of GHD, is mainly caused by mutations that affect splicing of GH-1. When misspliced RNA is translated, it produces a toxic 17.5-kDa GH isoform that reduces the accumulation and secretion of wild-type-human GH (wt-hGH). Usually, isolated GHD type II patients are treated with daily injections of recombinant human GH in order to maintain normal growth. However, this type of replacement therapy does not prevent toxic effects of the 17.5-kDa GH isoform on the pituitary gland, which can eventually lead to other hormonal deficiencies. Here, we tested the possibility to restore the constitutive splicing pattern of GH-1 by using butyrate, a drug that mainly acts as histone deacetylase inhibitor. To this aim, wt-hGH and/or different hGH-splice site mutants (GH-IVS3+2, GH-IVS3+6, and GH-ISE+28) were transfected in rat pituitary cells expressing human GHRH receptor (GHRHR) (GC-GHRHR). Upon butyrate treatment, GC-GHRHR cells coexpressing wt-hGH and each of the mutants displayed increased GH transcript level, intracellular GH content, and GH secretion when compared with the corresponding untreated condition. The effect of butyrate was most likely mediated by the alternative splicing factor/splicing factor 2. Overexpression of alternative ASF/SF2 in the same experimental setting, indeed, promoted the amount of full-length transcripts thus increasing synthesis and secretion of the 22-kDa GH isoform. In conclusion, our results support the hypothesis that modulation of GH-1 splicing pattern to increase the 22-kDa GH isoform levels can be clinically beneficial and hence a crucial challenge in GHD research.

  15. Abetalipoproteinemia caused by maternal isodisomy of chromosome 4q containing an intron 9 splice acceptor mutation in the microsomal triglyceride transfer protein gene.

    PubMed

    Yang, X P; Inazu, A; Yagi, K; Kajinami, K; Koizumi, J; Mabuchi, H

    1999-08-01

    Uniparental disomy (UPD), a rare inheritance of 2 copies of a single chromosome homolog or a region of a chromosome from one parent, can result in various autosomal recessive diseases. Abetalipoproteinemia (ABL) is a rare autosomal recessive deficiency of apoB-containing lipoproteins caused by a microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) deficiency. In this study, we describe a patient with ABL inherited as a homozygous intron 9 splice acceptor G(-1)-to-A mutation of the transfer protein gene. This mutation alters the splicing of the mRNA, resulting in a 36 amino acids, in-frame deletion of sequence encoded by exon 10. We analyzed chromosome 4, including MTP gene (4q22-24), using short tandem repeat markers. The proband has only his mother's genes in chromosome 4q spanning a 150-centimorgan region; ie, segmental maternal isodisomy 4q21-35, probably due to mitotic recombination. Nonpaternity between the proband and his father was excluded using 6 polymorphic markers from different chromosomes (paternity probability, 0.999). Maternal isodisomy (maternal UPD 4q) was the basis for homozygosity of the MTP gene mutation in this patient.

  16. A novel pathogenic splice acceptor site germline mutation in intron 14 of the APC gene in a Chinese family with familial adenomatous polyposis

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Guoru; Hu, Yuan; Liang, Shengran; Zhang, Xipeng

    2017-01-01

    Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an autosomal dominant precancerous condition, clinically characterized by the presence of multiple colorectal adenomas or polyps. Patients with FAP has a high risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) from these colorectal adenomatous polyps by the mean age of diagnosis at 40 years. Germline mutations of the APC gene cause familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Colectomy has recommended for the FAP patients with significant polyposis. Here, we present a clinical molecular study of a four generation Chinese family with FAP. Clinical diagnosis of FAP has been done according to the phenotype, family history and medical records. Patient's blood samples were collected and genomic DNA was extracted. In order to identify the pathogenic mutation underlying the disease phenotype targeted next-generation sequencing and confirmatory sanger sequencing has undertaken. Targeted next generation sequencing identified a novel heterozygous splice-acceptor site mutation [c.1744-1G>A] in intron 14 of APC gene, which is co-segregated with the FAP phenotypes in the proband and amongst all the affected family members. This mutation is not present in unaffected family members and in normal healthy controls of same ethnic origin. According to the LOVD database for Chinese colorectal cancer patients, in Chinese population, 60% of the previously reported APC gene mutations causes FAP, are missense mutations. This novel splice-acceptor site mutation causing FAP in this Chinese family expands the germline mutation spectrum of the APC gene in the Chinese population. PMID:28423518

  17. A novel pathogenic splice acceptor site germline mutation in intron 14 of the APC gene in a Chinese family with familial adenomatous polyposis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dan; Liang, Shengyun; Zhang, Zhao; Zhao, Guoru; Hu, Yuan; Liang, Shengran; Zhang, Xipeng; Banerjee, Santasree

    2017-03-28

    Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an autosomal dominant precancerous condition, clinically characterized by the presence of multiple colorectal adenomas or polyps. Patients with FAP has a high risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) from these colorectal adenomatous polyps by the mean age of diagnosis at 40 years. Germline mutations of the APC gene cause familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Colectomy has recommended for the FAP patients with significant polyposis. Here, we present a clinical molecular study of a four generation Chinese family with FAP. Clinical diagnosis of FAP has been done according to the phenotype, family history and medical records. Patient's blood samples were collected and genomic DNA was extracted. In order to identify the pathogenic mutation underlying the disease phenotype targeted next-generation sequencing and confirmatory sanger sequencing has undertaken. Targeted next generation sequencing identified a novel heterozygous splice-acceptor site mutation [c.1744-1G>A] in intron 14 of APC gene, which is co-segregated with the FAP phenotypes in the proband and amongst all the affected family members. This mutation is not present in unaffected family members and in normal healthy controls of same ethnic origin. According to the LOVD database for Chinese colorectal cancer patients, in Chinese population, 60% of the previously reported APC gene mutations causes FAP, are missense mutations. This novel splice-acceptor site mutation causing FAP in this Chinese family expands the germline mutation spectrum of the APC gene in the Chinese population.

  18. Familial retinoblastoma due to intronic LINE-1 insertion causes aberrant and noncanonical mRNA splicing of the RB1 gene.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Martín, Carlos; Cidre, Florencia; Fernández-Teijeiro, Ana; Gómez-Mariano, Gema; de la Vega, Leticia; Ramos, Patricia; Zaballos, Ángel; Monzón, Sara; Alonso, Javier

    2016-05-01

    Retinoblastoma (RB, MIM 180200) is the paradigm of hereditary cancer. Individuals harboring a constitutional mutation in one allele of the RB1 gene have a high predisposition to develop RB. Here, we present the first case of familial RB caused by a de novo insertion of a full-length long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1) into intron 14 of the RB1 gene that caused a highly heterogeneous splicing pattern of RB1 mRNA. LINE-1 insertion was inferred by mRNA studies and full-length sequenced by massive parallel sequencing. Some of the aberrant mRNAs were produced by noncanonical acceptor splice sites, a new finding that up to date has not been described to occur upon LINE-1 retrotransposition. Our results clearly show that RNA-based strategies have the potential to detect disease-causing transposon insertions. It also confirms that the incorporation of new genetic approaches, such as massive parallel sequencing, contributes to characterize at the sequence level these unique and exceptional genetic alterations.

  19. The enduring mystery of intron-mediated enhancement.

    PubMed

    Gallegos, Jenna E; Rose, Alan B

    2015-08-01

    Within two years of their discovery in 1977, introns were found to have a positive effect on gene expression. Numerous examples of stimulatory introns have been described since then in very diverse organisms, including plants. In some cases, the mechanism through which the intron affects expression is readily understood. However, many introns that affect expression increase mRNA accumulation through an unknown mechanism, referred to as intron-mediated enhancement (IME). Despite several decades of research into IME, and the clear benefits of using introns to increase transgene expression, little progress has been made in understanding the mechanism of IME. Several fundamental questions regarding the role of transcription and splicing, the sequences responsible for IME, the involvement of other factors, and the relationship between introns and promoters remain unanswered. The more we learn about the properties of stimulating introns, the clearer it becomes that the effects of introns are unfamiliar and difficult to reconcile with conventional views of how transcription is controlled. We hypothesize that introns increase transcript initiation upstream of themselves by creating a localized region of accessible chromatin. Introns might represent a novel kind of downstream regulatory element for genes transcribed by RNA polymerase II.

  20. Evolution of group I introns in Porifera: new evidence for intron mobility and implications for DNA barcoding.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Astrid; Lopez, Jose V; Becking, Leontine E; Kelly, Michelle; Pomponi, Shirley A; Wörheide, Gert; Erpenbeck, Dirk; Cárdenas, Paco

    2017-03-20

    Mitochondrial introns intermit coding regions of genes and feature characteristic secondary structures and splicing mechanisms. In metazoans, mitochondrial introns have only been detected in sponges, cnidarians, placozoans and one annelid species. Within demosponges, group I and group II introns are present in six families. Based on different insertion sites within the cox1 gene and secondary structures, four types of group I and two types of group II introns are known, which can harbor up to three encoding homing endonuclease genes (HEG) of the LAGLIDADG family (group I) and/or reverse transcriptase (group II). However, only little is known about sponge intron mobility, transmission, and origin due to the lack of a comprehensive dataset. We analyzed the largest dataset on sponge mitochondrial group I introns to date: 95 specimens, from 11 different sponge genera which provided novel insights into the evolution of group I introns. For the first time group I introns were detected in four genera of the sponge family Scleritodermidae (Scleritoderma, Microscleroderma, Aciculites, Setidium). We demonstrated that group I introns in sponges aggregate in the most conserved regions of cox1. We showed that co-occurrence of two introns in cox1 is unique among metazoans, but not uncommon in sponges. However, this combination always associates an active intron with a degenerating one. Earlier hypotheses of HGT were confirmed and for the first time VGT and secondary losses of introns conclusively demonstrated. This study validates the subclass Spirophorina (Tetractinellida) as an intron hotspot in sponges. Our analyses confirm that most sponge group I introns probably originated from fungi. DNA barcoding is discussed and the application of alternative primers suggested.

  1. Release of SF3 from the intron branchpoint activates the first step of pre-mRNA splicing

    PubMed Central

    Lardelli, Rea M.; Thompson, James X.; Yates, John R.; Stevens, Scott W.

    2010-01-01

    Eukaryotic pre-mRNA splicing is a complex process requiring the precise timing and action of >100 trans-acting factors. It has been known for some time that the two steps of splicing chemistry require three DEAH-box RNA helicase-like proteins; however, their mechanism of action at these steps has remained elusive. Spliceosomes arrested in vivo at the three helicase checkpoints were purified, and first step-arrested spliceosomes were functionally characterized. We show that the first step of splicing requires a novel ATP-independent conformational change. Prp2p then catalyzes an ATP-dependent rearrangement displacing the SF3a and SF3b complexes from the branchpoint within the spliceosome. We propose a model in which SF3 prevents premature nucleophilic attack of the chemically reactive hydroxyl of the branchpoint adenosine prior to the first transesterification. When the spliceosome attains the proper conformation and upon the function of Prp2p, SF3 is displaced from the branchpoint allowing first step chemistry to occur. PMID:20089683

  2. Conservation of selection on matK following an ancient loss of its flanking intron.

    PubMed

    Duffy, Aaron M; Kelchner, Scot A; Wolf, Paul G

    2009-06-01

    The chloroplast gene trnK and its associated group II intron appear to be absent in a large and ancient clade that includes nearly 90% of fern species. However, the maturase protein encoded within the intron (matK) is still present and located on the boundary of a large-scale inversion. We surveyed the chloroplast genome sequence of clade-member Adiantum capillus-veneris for evidence of a still present but fragmented trnK intron. Lack of signature structural domains and sequence motifs in the genome indicate loss of the trnK intron through degradation in an ancestor of the clade. In plants, matK preferentially catalyzes splicing of the trnK intron, but may also have a generalist function, splicing other group II introns in the chloroplast genome. We therefore tested whether a shift in selective constraint has occurred after loss of the trnK intron. Using previously unavailable sequences for several ferns, we compared matK sequences of the intron-less fern clade to sequences from seed plants and ferns with the intron and found no significant differences in selection among lineages using multiple methods. We conclude that matK in ferns has maintained its apparently ancient and generalized function in chloroplasts, even after the loss of its co-evolved group II intron. Finally, we also present primers that will allow amplification and nucleotide sequencing of the phylogenetically useful matK gene in additional fern taxa.

  3. The Unusual 23S rRNA Gene of Coxiella burnetii: Two Self-Splicing Group I Introns Flank a 34-Base-Pair Exon, and One Element Lacks the Canonical ΩG▿

    PubMed Central

    Raghavan, Rahul; Miller, Scott R.; Hicks, Linda D.; Minnick, Michael F.

    2007-01-01

    We describe the presence and characteristics of two self-splicing group I introns in the sole 23S rRNA gene of Coxiella burnetii. The two group I introns, Cbu.L1917 and Cbu.L1951, are inserted at sites 1917 and 1951 (Escherichia coli numbering), respectively, in the 23S rRNA gene of C. burnetii. Both introns were found to be self-splicing in vivo and in vitro even though the terminal nucleotide of Cbu.L1917 is adenine and not the canonical conserved guanine, termed ΩG, found in Cbu.L1951 and all other group I introns described to date. Predicted secondary structures for both introns were constructed and revealed that Cbu.L1917 and Cbu.L1951 were group IB2 and group IA3 introns, respectively. We analyzed strains belonging to eight genomic groups of C. burnetii to determine sequence variation and the presence or absence of the elements and found both introns to be highly conserved (≥99%) among them. Although phylogenetic analysis did not identify the specific identities of donors, it indicates that the introns were likely acquired independently; Cbu.L1917 was acquired from other bacteria like Thermotoga subterranea and Cbu.L1951 from lower eukaryotes like Acanthamoeba castellanii. We also confirmed the fragmented nature of mature 23S rRNA in C. burnetii due to the presence of an intervening sequence. The presence of three selfish elements in C. burnetii's 23S rRNA gene is very unusual for an obligate intracellular bacterium and suggests a recent shift to its current lifestyle from a previous niche with greater opportunities for lateral gene transfer. PMID:17644584

  4. Cation-induced kinetic heterogeneity of the intron–exon recognition in single group II introns

    PubMed Central

    Kowerko, Danny; König, Sebastian L. B.; Skilandat, Miriam; Kruschel, Daniela; Hadzic, Mélodie C. A. S.; Cardo, Lucia; Sigel, Roland K. O.

    2015-01-01

    RNA is commonly believed to undergo a number of sequential folding steps before reaching its functional fold, i.e., the global minimum in the free energy landscape. However, there is accumulating evidence that several functional conformations are often in coexistence, corresponding to multiple (local) minima in the folding landscape. Here we use the 5′-exon–intron recognition duplex of a self-splicing ribozyme as a model system to study the influence of Mg2+ and Ca2+ on RNA tertiary structure formation. Bulk and single-molecule spectroscopy reveal that near-physiological M2+ concentrations strongly promote interstrand association. Moreover, the presence of M2+ leads to pronounced kinetic heterogeneity, suggesting the coexistence of multiple docked and undocked RNA conformations. Heterogeneity is found to decrease at saturating M2+ concentrations. Using NMR, we locate specific Mg2+ binding pockets and quantify their affinity toward Mg2+. Mg2+ pulse experiments show that M2+ exchange occurs on the timescale of seconds. This unprecedented combination of NMR and single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer demonstrates for the first time to our knowledge that a rugged free energy landscape coincides with incomplete occupation of specific M2+ binding sites at near-physiological M2+ concentrations. Unconventional kinetics in nucleic acid folding frequently encountered in single-molecule experiments are therefore likely to originate from a spectrum of conformations that differ in the occupation of M2+ binding sites. PMID:25737541

  5. A chloroplast-localized DEAD-box RNA helicaseAtRH3 is essential for intron splicing and plays an important role in the growth and stress response in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Gu, Lili; Xu, Tao; Lee, Kwanuk; Lee, Kwang Ho; Kang, Hunseung

    2014-09-01

    Although many DEAD-box RNA helicases (RHs) are targeted to chloroplasts, the functional roles of the majority of RHs are still unknown. Recently, the chloroplast-localized Arabidopsis thaliana AtRH3 has been demonstrated to play important roles in intron splicing, ribosome biogenesis, and seedling growth. To further understand the functional role of AtRH3 in intron splicing and growth and the stress response in Arabidopsis, the newly-generated artificial microRNA-mediated knockdown plants as well as the previously characterized T-DNA tagged rh3-4 mutant were analyzed under normal and stress conditions. The rh3 mutants displayed retarded growth and pale-green phenotypes, and the growth of mutant plants was inhibited severely under salt or cold stress but marginally under dehydration stress conditions. Splicing of several intron-containing chloroplast genes was defective in the mutant plants. Importantly, splicing of ndhA and ndhB genes was severely inhibited in the mutant plants compared with the wild-type plants under salt or cold stress but not under dehydration stress conditions. Moreover, AtRH3 complemented the growth-defect phenotype of the RNA chaperone-deficient Escherichia coli mutant and had the ability to disrupt RNA and DNA base pairs, indicating that AtRH3 possesses RNA chaperone activity. Taken together, these results demonstrate that AtRH3 plays a prominent role in the growth and stress response of Arabidopsis, and suggest that proper splicing of introns governed by RNA chaperone activity of AtRH3 is crucial for chloroplast function and the growth and stress response of plants. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  6. Aberrant splicing and transcription termination caused by P element insertion into the intron of a Drosophila gene

    SciTech Connect

    Horowitz, H.; Berg, C.A.

    1995-01-01

    Insertional mutagenesis screens using the P[lacZ, rosy{sup +}] (PZ) transposable element have provided thousands of mutant lines for analyzing genes of varied function in the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster. As has been observed with other P elements, many of the PZ-induced mutations result from insertion of the P element into the promoter or 5{prime} untranslated regions of the affected gene. We document here a novel mechanism for mutagenesis by this element. We show that sequences present within the element direct aberrant splicing and termination events that produce an mRNA composed of 5{prime} sequences from the mutated gene (in this case, pipsqueak) and 3{prime} sequences from within the P[lacZ, rosy{sup +}] element. These truncated RNAs could yield proteins with dominant mutant effects. 43 refs., 4 figs.

  7. High-throughput sequencing of human plasma RNA by using thermostable group II intron reverse transcriptases

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Yidan; Yao, Jun; Wu, Douglas C.; Nottingham, Ryan M.; Mohr, Sabine; Hunicke-Smith, Scott; Lambowitz, Alan M.

    2016-01-01

    Next-generation RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) has revolutionized transcriptome profiling, gene expression analysis, and RNA-based diagnostics. Here, we developed a new RNA-seq method that exploits thermostable group II intron reverse transcriptases (TGIRTs) and used it to profile human plasma RNAs. TGIRTs have higher thermostability, processivity, and fidelity than conventional reverse transcriptases, plus a novel template-switching activity that can efficiently attach RNA-seq adapters to target RNA sequences without RNA ligation. The new TGIRT-seq method enabled construction of RNA-seq libraries from <1 ng of plasma RNA in <5 h. TGIRT-seq of RNA in 1-mL plasma samples from a healthy individual revealed RNA fragments mapping to a diverse population of protein-coding gene and long ncRNAs, which are enriched in intron and antisense sequences, as well as nearly all known classes of small ncRNAs, some of which have never before been seen in plasma. Surprisingly, many of the small ncRNA species were present as full-length transcripts, suggesting that they are protected from plasma RNases in ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes and/or exosomes. This TGIRT-seq method is readily adaptable for profiling of whole-cell, exosomal, and miRNAs, and for related procedures, such as HITS-CLIP and ribosome profiling. PMID:26554030

  8. High-throughput sequencing of human plasma RNA by using thermostable group II intron reverse transcriptases.

    PubMed

    Qin, Yidan; Yao, Jun; Wu, Douglas C; Nottingham, Ryan M; Mohr, Sabine; Hunicke-Smith, Scott; Lambowitz, Alan M

    2016-01-01

    Next-generation RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) has revolutionized transcriptome profiling, gene expression analysis, and RNA-based diagnostics. Here, we developed a new RNA-seq method that exploits thermostable group II intron reverse transcriptases (TGIRTs) and used it to profile human plasma RNAs. TGIRTs have higher thermostability, processivity, and fidelity than conventional reverse transcriptases, plus a novel template-switching activity that can efficiently attach RNA-seq adapters to target RNA sequences without RNA ligation. The new TGIRT-seq method enabled construction of RNA-seq libraries from <1 ng of plasma RNA in <5 h. TGIRT-seq of RNA in 1-mL plasma samples from a healthy individual revealed RNA fragments mapping to a diverse population of protein-coding gene and long ncRNAs, which are enriched in intron and antisense sequences, as well as nearly all known classes of small ncRNAs, some of which have never before been seen in plasma. Surprisingly, many of the small ncRNA species were present as full-length transcripts, suggesting that they are protected from plasma RNases in ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes and/or exosomes. This TGIRT-seq method is readily adaptable for profiling of whole-cell, exosomal, and miRNAs, and for related procedures, such as HITS-CLIP and ribosome profiling. © 2015 Qin et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

  9. Solving nucleic acid structures by molecular replacement: examples from group II intron studies

    SciTech Connect

    Marcia, Marco Humphris-Narayanan, Elisabeth; Keating, Kevin S.; Somarowthu, Srinivas; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2013-11-01

    Strategies for phasing nucleic acid structures by molecular replacement, using both experimental and de novo designed models, are discussed. Structured RNA molecules are key players in ensuring cellular viability. It is now emerging that, like proteins, the functions of many nucleic acids are dictated by their tertiary folds. At the same time, the number of known crystal structures of nucleic acids is also increasing rapidly. In this context, molecular replacement will become an increasingly useful technique for phasing nucleic acid crystallographic data in the near future. Here, strategies to select, create and refine molecular-replacement search models for nucleic acids are discussed. Using examples taken primarily from research on group II introns, it is shown that nucleic acids are amenable to different and potentially more flexible and sophisticated molecular-replacement searches than proteins. These observations specifically aim to encourage future crystallographic studies on the newly discovered repertoire of noncoding transcripts.

  10. Solving nucleic acid structures by molecular replacement: examples from group II intron studies

    PubMed Central

    Marcia, Marco; Humphris-Narayanan, Elisabeth; Keating, Kevin S.; Somarowthu, Srinivas; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2013-01-01

    Structured RNA molecules are key players in ensuring cellular viability. It is now emerging that, like proteins, the functions of many nucleic acids are dictated by their tertiary folds. At the same time, the number of known crystal structures of nucleic acids is also increasing rapidly. In this context, molecular replacement will become an increasingly useful technique for phasing nucleic acid crystallographic data in the near future. Here, strategies to select, create and refine molecular-replacement search models for nucleic acids are discussed. Using examples taken primarily from research on group II introns, it is shown that nucleic acids are amenable to different and potentially more flexible and sophisticated molecular-replacement searches than proteins. These observations specifically aim to encourage future crystallographic studies on the newly discovered repertoire of noncoding transcripts. PMID:24189228

  11. Analysis of the structure of Tetrahymena nuclear RNAs in vivo: telomerase RNA, the self-splicing rRNA intron, and U2 snRNA.

    PubMed Central

    Zaug, A J; Cech, T R

    1995-01-01

    Dimethyl sulfate modification of RNA in living Tetrahymena thermophila allowed assessment of RNA secondary structure and protein association. The self-splicing rRNA intron had the same methylation pattern in vivo as in vitro, indicating that the structures are equivalent and suggesting that this RNA is not stably associated with protein in the nucleolus. Methylation was consistent with the current secondary structure model. Much of telomerase RNA was protected from methylation in vivo, but the A's and C's in the template region were very reactive. Thus, most telomerase is not base paired to telomeres in vivo. Protein-free telomerase RNA adopts a structure different from that in vivo, especially in the template and pseudoknot regions. The U2 snRNA showed methylation protection at the Sm protein-binding sequence and the mRNA branch site recognition sequence. For both telomerase RNA and U2 snRNA, the in vivo methylation pattern corresponded much better to the structure determined by comparative sequence analysis than did the in vitro methylation pattern. Thus, as expected, comparative analysis gives the structure of the RNA in vivo. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 5 PMID:7493315

  12. Early-Onset X-Linked Retinitis Pigmentosa in a Heterozygous Female Harboring an Intronic Donor Splice Site Mutation in the Retinitis Pigmentosa GTPase Regulator Gene.

    PubMed

    Shifera, Amde Selassie; Kay, Christine Nichols

    2015-01-01

    To report a heterozygous female presenting with an early-onset and severe form of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP). This is a case series presenting the clinical findings in a heterozygous female with XLRP and two of her family members. Fundus photography, fundus autofluorescence, ocular coherence tomography, and visual perimetry are presented. The proband reported here is a heterozygous female who presented at the age of 8 years with an early onset and aggressive form of XLRP. The patient belongs to a four-generation family with a total of three affected females and four affected males. The patient was initially diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) at the age of 4 years. Genetic testing identified a heterozygous donor splice site mutation in intron 1 (IVS1 + 1G > A) of the retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator gene. The father of the proband was diagnosed with RP when he was a young child. The sister of the proband, evaluated at the age of 6 years, showed macular pigmentary changes. Although carriers of XLRP are usually asymptomatic or have a mild disease of late onset, the proband presented here exhibited an early-onset, aggressive form of the disease. It is not clear why some carrier females manifest a severe phenotype. A better understanding of the genetic processes involved in the penetrance and expressivity of XLRP in heterozygous females could assist in providing the appropriate counseling to affected families.

  13. cDNA structure, alternative splicing and exon-intron organization of the predisposing tuberous sclerosis (Tsc2) gene of the Eker rat model.

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, T; Nishizawa, M; Hirayama, Y; Kobayashi, E; Hino, O

    1995-01-01

    The Eker rat hereditary renal carcinoma (RC) is an excellent example of a Mendelian dominant predisposition to a specific cancer in an experimental animal. We recently reported that a germline insertion in the rat homologue of the human tuberous sclerosis gene (TSC2) gives rise to the dominantly inherited cancer in the Eker rat model. We now describe the entire cDNA (5375 bp without exons 25 and 31) and genomic structure of the rat Tsc2 gene. The deduced amino acid sequence (1743 amino acids) shows 92% identity to the human counterpart. Surprisingly, there are a great many (> or = 41) coding exons with small sized introns spanning only approximately 35 kb of genomic DNA. Two alternative splicing events [involving exons 25 (129 bp) and 31 (69 bp)] make for a complex diversity of the Tsc2 product. The present determination of the Tsc2 gene and establishment of strong conservation between the rat and man provide clues for assessing unknown gene functions apart from that already predicted from the GTPase activating proteins (GAP3) homologous domain and for future analysis of intragenic mutations in tumors using methods such as PCR-SSCP and for insights into diverse phenotypes between species. Images PMID:7651821

  14. Wilson's disease caused by alternative splicing and Alu exonization due to a homozygous 3039-bp deletion spanning from intron 1 to exon 2 of the ATP7B gene.

    PubMed

    Mameli, Eva; Lepori, Maria Barbara; Chiappe, Francesca; Ranucci, Giusy; Di Dato, Fabiola; Iorio, Raffaele; Loudianos, Georgios

    2015-09-15

    We describe a case of Wilson's disease (WD) diagnosed at 5 years after routine biochemical test showed increased aminotransferases. Mutation analysis of the ATP7B gene revealed a 3039-bp deletion in the homozygous state spanning from the terminal part of intron 1 to nt position 368 of exon 2. This deletion results in the activation of 3 cryptic splice sites: an AG acceptor splice site in nt positions 578-579 producing a different breakpoint and removing the first 577 nts of exon 2, an acceptor and a donor splice site in nt positions 20363-4 and 20456-7, respectively, in intron 1, resulting in the activation of a 94-bp cryptic Alu exon being incorporated into the mature transcript. The resulting alternative transcript contains a TAG stop codon in the first amino acid position of the cryptic exon, likely producing a truncated, non-functional protein. This study shows that intron exonization can also occur in humans through naturally occurring gross deletions. The results suggest that the combination of DNA and RNA analyses can be used for molecular characterization of gross ATP7B deletions, thus improving genetic counseling and diagnosis of WD. Moreover these studies help to better establish new molecular mechanisms producing Wilson's disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. ida4-1, ida4-2, and ida4-3 are intron splicing mutations affecting the locus encoding p28, a light chain of Chlamydomonas axonemal inner dynein arms.

    PubMed Central

    LeDizet, M; Piperno, G

    1995-01-01

    We recently determined the nucleotide sequence of the gene encoding p28, a light chain of inner dynein arms of Chlamydomonas axonemes. Here, we show that p28 is the protein encoded by the IDA4 locus. p28, and the dynein heavy chains normally associated with it, are completely absent from the flagella and cell bodies of three allelic strains of ida4, named ida4-1, ida4-2, and ida4-3. We determined the nucleotide sequence of the three alleles of the p28 gene and found in each case a single nucleotide change, affecting the splice sites of the first, second, and fourth introns, respectively. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction amplification of RNAs prepared from ida4 cells confirmed that these mutations prevent the correct splicing of the affected introns, thereby blocking the synthesis of full-length p28. These are the first intron splicing mutations described in Chlamydomonas and the first inner dynein arm mutations characterized at the molecular level. The absence in ida4 axonemes of the dynein heavy chains normally found in association with p28 suggests that p28 is necessary for stable assembly of a subset of inner dynein arms or for the binding of these arms to the microtubule doublets. Images PMID:7579690

  16. High-throughput sequencing of the entire genomic regions of CCM1/KRIT1, CCM2 and CCM3/PDCD10 to search for pathogenic deep-intronic splice mutations in cerebral cavernous malformations.

    PubMed

    Rath, Matthias; Jenssen, Sönke E; Schwefel, Konrad; Spiegler, Stefanie; Kleimeier, Dana; Sperling, Christian; Kaderali, Lars; Felbor, Ute

    2017-09-01

    Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) are vascular lesions of the central nervous system that can cause headaches, seizures and hemorrhagic stroke. Disease-associated mutations have been identified in three genes: CCM1/KRIT1, CCM2 and CCM3/PDCD10. The precise proportion of deep-intronic variants in these genes and their clinical relevance is yet unknown. Here, a long-range PCR (LR-PCR) approach for target enrichment of the entire genomic regions of the three genes was combined with next generation sequencing (NGS) to screen for coding and non-coding variants. NGS detected all six CCM1/KRIT1, two CCM2 and four CCM3/PDCD10 mutations that had previously been identified by Sanger sequencing. Two of the pathogenic variants presented here are novel. Additionally, 20 stringently selected CCM index cases that had remained mutation-negative after conventional sequencing and exclusion of copy number variations were screened for deep-intronic mutations. The combination of bioinformatics filtering and transcript analyses did not reveal any deep-intronic splice mutations in these cases. Our results demonstrate that target enrichment by LR-PCR combined with NGS can be used for a comprehensive analysis of the entire genomic regions of the CCM genes in a research context. However, its clinical utility is limited as deep-intronic splice mutations in CCM1/KRIT1, CCM2 and CCM3/PDCD10 seem to be rather rare. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. A novel point mutation (G[sup [minus]1] to T) in a 5[prime] splice donor site of intron 13 of the dystrophin gene results in exon skipping and is responsible for Becker Muscular Dystrophy

    SciTech Connect

    Hagiwara, Yoko; Nishio, Hisahide; Kitoh, Yoshihiko; Takeshima, Yasuhiro; Narita, Naoko; Wada, Hiroko; Yokoyama, Mitsuhiro; Nakamura, Hajime; Matsuo, Masafumi )

    1994-01-01

    The mutations in one-third of Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy patients remain unknown, as they do not involve gross rearrangements of the dystrophin gene. The authors now report a defect in the splicing of precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA), resulting from a maternally inherited mutation of the dystrophin gene in a patient with Becker muscular dystrophy. This defect results from a G-to-T transversion at the terminal nucleotide of exon 13, within the 5[prime] splice site of intron 13, and causes complete skipping of exon 13 during processing of dystrophin pre-mRNA. The predicted polypeptide encoded by the aberrant mRNA is a truncated dystrophin lacking 40 amino acids from the amino-proximal end of the rod domain. This is the first report of an intraexon point mutation that completely inactivates a 5[prime] splice donor site in dystrophin pre-mRNA. Analysis of the genomic context of the G[sup [minus]1]-to-T mutation at the 5[prime] splice site supports the exon-definition model of pre-mRNA splicing and contributes to the understanding of splice-site selection. 48 refs., 5 figs.

  18. A novel point mutation (G-1 to T) in a 5' splice donor site of intron 13 of the dystrophin gene results in exon skipping and is responsible for Becker muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed Central

    Hagiwara, Y.; Nishio, H.; Kitoh, Y.; Takeshima, Y.; Narita, N.; Wada, H.; Yokoyama, M.; Nakamura, H.; Matsuo, M.

    1994-01-01

    The mutations in one-third of Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy patients remain unknown, as they do not involve gross rearrangements of the dystrophin gene. We now report a defect in the splicing of precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA), resulting from a maternally inherited mutation of the dystrophin gene in a patient with Becker muscular dystrophy. This defect results from a G-to-T transversion at the terminal nucleotide of exon 13, within the 5' splice site of intron 13, and causes complete skipping of exon 13 during processing of dystrophin pre-mRNA. The predicted polypeptide encoded by the aberrant mRNA is a truncated dystrophin lacking 40 amino acids from the amino-proximal end of the rod domain. This is the first report of an intraexon point mutation that completely inactivates a 5' splice donor site in dystrophin pre-mRNA. Analysis of the genomic context of the G-1-to-T mutation at the 5' splice site supports the exon-definition model of pre-mRNA splicing and contributes to the understanding of splice-site selection. Images Figure 2 Figure 5 PMID:8279470

  19. Characterization of a Soluble B7-H3 (sB7-H3) Spliced from the Intron and Analysis of sB7-H3 in the Sera of Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Weiwei; Liu, Peixin; Wang, Yedong; Nie, Weimin; Li, Zhiwei; Xu, Wen; Li, Fengyi; Zhou, Zhiping; Zhao, Min; Liu, Henggui

    2013-01-01

    B7-H3 is a recently discovered member of the B7 superfamily molecules and has been found to play a negative role in T cell responses. In this study, we identified a new B7-H3 isoform that is produced by alternative splicing from the forth intron of B7-H3 and encodes the sB7-H3 protein. Protein sequence analysis showed that sB7-H3 contains an additional four amino acids, encoded by the intron sequence, at the C-terminus compared to the ectodomain of 2Ig-B7-H3. We further found that this spliced sB7-H3 plays a negative regulatory role in T cell responses and serum sB7-H3 is higher in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) than in healthy donors. Furthermore, we found that the expression of the spliced sb7-h3 gene is higher in carcinoma and peritumor tissues than in PBMCs of both healthy controls and patients, indicating that the high level of serum sB7-H3 in patients with HCC is caused by the increased expression of this newly discovered spliced sB7-H3 isoform in carcinoma and peritumor tissues. PMID:24194851

  20. Splicing inhibition decreases phosphorylation level of Ser2 in Pol II CTD

    PubMed Central

    Koga, Mitsunori; Hayashi, Megumi; Kaida, Daisuke

    2015-01-01

    Phosphorylation of the C-terminal domain of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (Pol II), especially Ser2 and Ser5 residues, plays important roles in transcription and mRNA processing, including 5′ end capping, splicing and 3′ end processing. These phosphorylation events stimulate mRNA processing, however, it is not clear whether splicing activity affects the phosphorylation status of Pol II. In this study, we found that splicing inhibition by potent splicing inhibitors spliceostatin A (SSA) and pladienolide B or by antisense oligos against snRNAs decreased phospho-Ser2 level, but had little or no effects on phospho-Ser5 level. In contrast, transcription and translation inhibitors did not decrease phospho-Ser2 level, therefore inhibition of not all the gene expression processes cause the decrease of phospho-Ser2. SSA treatment caused early dissociation of Pol II and decrease in phospho-Ser2 level of chromatin-bound Pol II, suggesting that splicing inhibition causes downregulation of phospho-Ser2 through at least these two mechanisms. PMID:26202968

  1. The complex intron landscape and massive intron invasion in a picoeukaryote provides insights into intron evolution.

    PubMed

    Verhelst, Bram; Van de Peer, Yves; Rouzé, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    Genes in pieces and spliceosomal introns are a landmark of eukaryotes, with intron invasion usually assumed to have happened early on in evolution. Here, we analyze the intron landscape of Micromonas, a unicellular green alga in the Mamiellophyceae lineage, demonstrating the coexistence of several classes of introns and the occurrence of recent massive intron invasion. This study focuses on two strains, CCMP1545 and RCC299, and their related individuals from ocean samplings, showing that they not only harbor different classes of introns depending on their location in the genome, as for other Mamiellophyceae, but also uniquely carry several classes of repeat introns. These introns, dubbed introner elements (IEs), are found at novel positions in genes and have conserved sequences, contrary to canonical introns. This IE invasion has a huge impact on the genome, doubling the number of introns in the CCMP1545 strain. We hypothesize that each IE class originated from a single ancestral IE that has been colonizing the genome after strain divergence by inserting copies of itself into genes by intron transposition, likely involving reverse splicing. Along with similar cases recently observed in other organisms, our observations in Micromonas strains shed a new light on the evolution of introns, suggesting that intron gain is more widespread than previously thought.

  2. The prevalent deep intronic c. 639+919 G>A GLA mutation causes pseudoexon activation and Fabry disease by abolishing the binding of hnRNPA1 and hnRNP A2/B1 to a splicing silencer.

    PubMed

    Palhais, Bruno; Dembic, Maja; Sabaratnam, Rugivan; Nielsen, Kira S; Doktor, Thomas Koed; Bruun, Gitte Hoffmann; Andresen, Brage Storstein

    2016-11-01

    Fabry disease is an X-linked recessive inborn disorder of the glycosphingolipid metabolism, caused by total or partial deficiency of the lysosomal α-galactosidase A enzyme due to mutations in the GLA gene. The prevalent c.639+919 G>A mutation in GLA leads to pathogenic insertion of a 57bp pseudoexon sequence from intron 4, which is responsible for the cardiac variant phenotype. In this study we investigate the splicing regulatory mechanism leading to GLA pseudoexon activation. Splicing analysis of GLA minigenes revealed that pseudoexon activation is influenced by cell-type. We demonstrate that the wild-type sequence harbors an hnRNP A1 and hnRNP A2/B1-binding exonic splicing silencer (ESS) overlapping the 5'splice site (5'ss) that prevents pseudoexon inclusion. The c.639+919 G>A mutation disrupts this ESS allowing U1 snRNP recognition of the 5'ss. We show that the wild-type GLA 5'ss motif with the ESS is also able to inhibit inclusion of an unrelated pseudoexon in the FGB gene, and that also in the FGB context inactivation of the ESS by the c.639+919 G>A mutation causes pseudoexon activation, underscoring the universal nature of the ESS. Finally, we demonstrate that splice switching oligonucleotide (SSO) mediated blocking of the pseudoexon 3'ss and 5'ss effectively restores normal GLA splicing. This indicates that SSO based splicing correction may be a therapeutic alternative in the treatment of Fabry disease.

  3. Cotranscriptional coupling of splicing factor recruitment and precursor messenger RNA splicing in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Listerman, Imke; Sapra, Aparna K; Neugebauer, Karla M

    2006-09-01

    Coupling between transcription and RNA processing is a key gene regulatory mechanism. Here we use chromatin immunoprecipitation to detect transcription-dependent accumulation of the precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA) splicing factors hnRNP A1, U2AF65 and U1 and U5 snRNPs on the intron-containing human FOS gene. These factors were poorly detected on intronless heat-shock and histone genes, a result that opposes direct recruitment by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) or the cap-binding complex in vivo. However, an observed RNA-dependent interaction between U2AF65 and active forms of Pol II may stabilize U2AF65 binding to intron-containing nascent RNA. We establish chromatin-RNA immunoprecipitation and show that FOS pre-mRNA is cotranscriptionally spliced. Notably, the topoisomerase I inhibitor camptothecin, which stalls elongating Pol II, increased cotranscriptional splicing factor accumulation and splicing in parallel. This provides direct evidence for a kinetic link between transcription, splicing factor recruitment and splicing catalysis.

  4. The antiquity of group I introns.

    PubMed

    Shub, D A

    1991-12-01

    The recent discovery of self-splicing introns in cyanobacteria has given renewed interest to the question of whether introns may have been present in the ancestor of all living things. The properties of introns in genes of bacteria and bacteriophages are discussed in the context of their possible origin and biological function.

  5. Enzyme engineering through evolution: thermostable recombinant group II intron reverse transcriptases provide new tools for RNA research and biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Collins, Kathleen; Nilsen, Timothy W

    2013-08-01

    Current investigation of RNA transcriptomes relies heavily on the use of retroviral reverse transcriptases. It is well known that these enzymes have many limitations because of their intrinsic properties. This commentary highlights the recent biochemical characterization of a new family of reverse transcriptases, those encoded by group II intron retrohoming elements. The novel properties of these enzymes endow them with the potential to revolutionize how we approach RNA analyses.

  6. Factor IX[sub Madrid 2]: A deletion/insertion in Facotr IX gene which abolishes the sequence of the donor junction at the exon IV-intron d splice site

    SciTech Connect

    Solera, J. ); Magallon, M.; Martin-Villar, J. ); Coloma, A. )

    1992-02-01

    DNA from a patient with severe hemophilia B was evaluated by RFLP analysis, producing results which suggested the existence of a partial deletion within the factor IX gene. The deletion was further localized and characterized by PCR amplification and sequencing. The altered allele has a 4,442-bp deletion which removes both the donor splice site located at the 5[prime] end of intron d and the two last coding nucleotides located at the 3[prime] end of exon IV in the normal factor IX gene; this fragment has been inserted in inverted orientation. Two homologous sequences have been discovered at the ends of the deleted DNA fragment.

  7. Coupling of RNA Polymerase II Transcription Elongation with Pre-mRNA Splicing.

    PubMed

    Saldi, Tassa; Cortazar, Michael A; Sheridan, Ryan M; Bentley, David L

    2016-06-19

    Pre-mRNA maturation frequently occurs at the same time and place as transcription by RNA polymerase II. The co-transcriptionality of mRNA processing has permitted the evolution of mechanisms that functionally couple transcription elongation with diverse events that occur on the nascent RNA. This review summarizes the current understanding of the relationship between transcriptional elongation through a chromatin template and co-transcriptional splicing including alternative splicing decisions that affect the expression of most human genes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Multiple abnormally spliced ABCA1 mRNAs caused by a novel splice site mutation of ABCA1 gene in a patient with Tangier disease.

    PubMed

    Bocchi, Letizia; Pisciotta, Livia; Fasano, Tommaso; Candini, Chiara; Puntoni, Maria Rita; Sampietro, Tiziana; Bertolini, Stefano; Calandra, Sebastiano

    2010-04-02

    Mutations in ABCA1 gene are the cause of Tangier disease (TD) and familial high density lipoprotein (HDL) deficiency. Splice site mutations of this gene were reported infrequently. ABCA1 gene was sequenced in a TD patient and in subjects with low HDL. The effect of intronic variants on ABCA1 pre-mRNA splicing was studied in COS-1 cells expressing a mutant minigene or in patients' cells. A novel mutation in intron 20 (c.2961 -2 A>C) was found in the TD patient. To assess its effect, a mutant ABCA1 minigene, containing intron 18-intron 23 region, was expressed in COS-1 cells. The mutant minigene generated three transcripts: i) in the first (459bp) 61 nucleotides of intron 20 were retained; ii) in the second (384bp) exon 20 joined to exon 21 devoid of the first 14 nucleotides; and iii) in the third (255bp) the entire exon 21 was skipped. The first two transcripts were also observed in patient's peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These mRNAs encode truncated proteins. A variant in intron 8 (c.814 -14 ins A), identified in subjects with low HDL, had no effect on ABCA1 pre-mRNA splicing. Functional analysis is required to establish the effect of intronic mutations on ABCA1 pre-mRNA splicing. 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Eukaryotic evolution: early origin of canonical introns.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Alastair G B; MacQuarrie, Erin K; Roger, Andrew J

    2002-09-19

    Spliceosomal introns, one of the hallmarks of eukaryotic genomes, were thought to have originated late in evolution and were assumed not to exist in eukaryotes that diverged early -- until the discovery of a single intron with an aberrant splice boundary in the primitive 'protozoan' Giardia. Here we describe introns from a close relative of Giardia, Carpediemonas membranifera, that have boundary sequences of the normal eukaryotic type, indicating that canonical introns are likely to have arisen very early in eukaryotic evolution.

  10. A heroin addiction severity-associated intronic single nucleotide polymorphism modulates alternative pre-mRNA splicing of the μ opioid receptor gene OPRM1 via hnRNPH interactions.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jin; Lu, Zhigang; Xu, Mingming; Pan, Ling; Deng, Yi; Xie, Xiaohu; Liu, Huifen; Ding, Shixiong; Hurd, Yasmin L; Pasternak, Gavril W; Klein, Robert J; Cartegni, Luca; Zhou, Wenhua; Pan, Ying-Xian

    2014-08-13

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the OPRM1 gene have been associated with vulnerability to opioid dependence. The current study identifies an association of an intronic SNP (rs9479757) with the severity of heroin addiction among Han-Chinese male heroin addicts. Individual SNP analysis and haplotype-based analysis with additional SNPs in the OPRM1 locus showed that mild heroin addiction was associated with the AG genotype, whereas severe heroin addiction was associated with the GG genotype. In vitro studies such as electrophoretic mobility shift assay, minigene, siRNA, and antisense morpholino oligonucleotide studies have identified heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein H (hnRNPH) as the major binding partner for the G-containing SNP site. The G-to-A transition weakens hnRNPH binding and facilitates exon 2 skipping, leading to altered expressions of OPRM1 splice-variant mRNAs and hMOR-1 proteins. Similar changes in splicing and hMOR-1 proteins were observed in human postmortem prefrontal cortex with the AG genotype of this SNP when compared with the GG genotype. Interestingly, the altered splicing led to an increase in hMOR-1 protein levels despite decreased hMOR-1 mRNA levels, which is likely contributed by a concurrent increase in single transmembrane domain variants that have a chaperone-like function on MOR-1 protein stability. Our studies delineate the role of this SNP as a modifier of OPRM1 alternative splicing via hnRNPH interactions, and suggest a functional link between an SNP-containing splicing modifier and the severity of heroin addiction. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3411048-19$15.00/0.

  11. Morphine regulates expression of μ-opioid receptor MOR-1A, an intron-retention carboxyl terminal splice variant of the μ-opioid receptor (OPRM1) gene via miR-103/miR-107.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhigang; Xu, Jin; Xu, Mingming; Pasternak, Gavril W; Pan, Ying-Xian

    2014-02-01

    The μ-opioid receptor (MOR-1) gene OPRM1 undergoes extensive alternative splicing, generating an array of splice variants. Of these variants, MOR-1A, an intron-retention carboxyl terminal splice variant identical to MOR-1 except for the terminal intracellular tail encoded by exon 3b, is quite abundant and conserved from rodent to humans. Increasing evidence indicates that miroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate MOR-1 expression and that μ agonists such as morphine modulate miRNA expression. However, little is known about miRNA regulation of the OPRM1 splice variants. Using 3'-rapid amplification cDNA end and Northern blot analyses, we identified the complete 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) for both mouse and human MOR-1A and their conserved polyadenylation site, and defined the role the 3'-UTR in mRNA stability using a luciferase reporter assay. Computer models predicted a conserved miR-103/107 targeting site in the 3'-UTR of both mouse and human MOR-1A. The functional relevance of miR-103/107 in regulating expression of MOR-1A protein through the consensus miR-103/107 binding sites in the 3'-UTR was established by using mutagenesis and a miR-107 inhibitor in transfected human embryonic kidney 293 cells and Be(2)C cells that endogenously express human MOR-1A. Chronic morphine treatment significantly upregulated miR-103 and miR-107 levels, leading to downregulation of polyribosome-associated MOR-1A in both Be(2)C cells and the striatum of a morphine-tolerant mouse, providing a new perspective on understanding the roles of miRNAs and OPRM1 splice variants in modulating the complex actions of morphine in animals and humans.

  12. A Heroin Addiction Severity-Associated Intronic Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Modulates Alternative Pre-mRNA Splicing of the μ Opioid Receptor Gene OPRM1 via hnRNPH Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jin; Lu, Zhigang; Xu, Mingming; Pan, Ling; Deng, Yi; Xie, Xiaohu; Liu, Huifen; Ding, Shixiong; Hurd, Yasmin L.; Pasternak, Gavril W.; Klein, Robert J.; Cartegni, Luca

    2014-01-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the OPRM1 gene have been associated with vulnerability to opioid dependence. The current study identifies an association of an intronic SNP (rs9479757) with the severity of heroin addiction among Han-Chinese male heroin addicts. Individual SNP analysis and haplotype-based analysis with additional SNPs in the OPRM1 locus showed that mild heroin addiction was associated with the AG genotype, whereas severe heroin addiction was associated with the GG genotype. In vitro studies such as electrophoretic mobility shift assay, minigene, siRNA, and antisense morpholino oligonucleotide studies have identified heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein H (hnRNPH) as the major binding partner for the G-containing SNP site. The G-to-A transition weakens hnRNPH binding and facilitates exon 2 skipping, leading to altered expressions of OPRM1 splice-variant mRNAs and hMOR-1 proteins. Similar changes in splicing and hMOR-1 proteins were observed in human postmortem prefrontal cortex with the AG genotype of this SNP when compared with the GG genotype. Interestingly, the altered splicing led to an increase in hMOR-1 protein levels despite decreased hMOR-1 mRNA levels, which is likely contributed by a concurrent increase in single transmembrane domain variants that have a chaperone-like function on MOR-1 protein stability. Our studies delineate the role of this SNP as a modifier of OPRM1 alternative splicing via hnRNPH interactions, and suggest a functional link between an SNP-containing splicing modifier and the severity of heroin addiction. PMID:25122903

  13. A Conserved Nuclear Cyclophilin Is Required for Both RNA Polymerase II Elongation and Co-transcriptional Splicing in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Jeong H.; Rechsteiner, Andreas; Strome, Susan; Kelly, William G.

    2016-01-01

    The elongation phase of transcription by RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) involves numerous events that are tightly coordinated, including RNA processing, histone modification, and chromatin remodeling. RNA splicing factors are associated with elongating Pol II, and the interdependent coupling of splicing and elongation has been documented in several systems. Here we identify a conserved, multi-domain cyclophilin family member, SIG-7, as an essential factor for both normal transcription elongation and co-transcriptional splicing. In embryos depleted for SIG-7, RNA levels for over a thousand zygotically expressed genes are substantially reduced, Pol II becomes significantly reduced at the 3’ end of genes, marks of transcription elongation are reduced, and unspliced mRNAs accumulate. Our findings suggest that SIG-7 plays a central role in both Pol II elongation and co-transcriptional splicing and may provide an important link for their coordination and regulation. PMID:27541139

  14. RNA catalyzes nuclear pre-mRNA splicing

    PubMed Central

    Fica, Sebastian M.; Tuttle, Nicole; Novak, Thaddeus; Li, Nan-Sheng; Lu, Jun; Koodathingal, Prakash; Dai, Qing; Staley, Jonathan P.; Piccirilli, Joseph A.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY In nuclear pre-messenger RNA splicing, introns are excised by the spliceosome, a multi-megadalton machine composed of both proteins and small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs). Over thirty years ago, following the discovery of self-splicing group II intron RNAs, the snRNAs were hypothesized to catalyze splicing. However, no definitive evidence for a role of either RNA or protein in catalysis by the spliceosome has been reported to date. By using metal rescue strategies, here we show that the U6 snRNA catalyzes both splicing reactions by positioning divalent metals that stabilize the leaving groups during each reaction. Strikingly, all of the U6 catalytic metal ligands we identified correspond to the ligands observed to position catalytic, divalent metals in crystal structures of a group II intron RNA. These findings indicate that group II introns and the spliceosome share common catalytic mechanisms, and likely common evolutionary origins. Our results demonstrate that RNA mediates catalysis within the spliceosome. PMID:24196718

  15. Weak definition of IKBKAP exon 20 leads to aberrant splicing in familial dysautonomia.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, El Chérif; Hims, Matthew M; Shomron, Noam; Burge, Christopher B; Slaugenhaupt, Susan A; Reed, Robin

    2007-01-01

    Splicing mutations that lead to devastating genetic diseases are often located in nonconserved or weakly conserved sequences that normally do not affect splicing. Thus, the underlying reason for the splicing defect is not immediately obvious. An example of this phenomenon is observed in the neurodevelopmental disease familial dysautonomia (FD), which is caused by a single-base change in the 5' splice site (5'ss) of intron 20 in the IKBKAP gene (c.2204+6T>C). This mutation, which is in the sixth position of the intron and results in exon 20 skipping, has no phenotype in many other introns. To determine why the position 6 mutation causes aberrant splicing only in certain cases, we first used an in silico approach to identify potential sequences involved in exon 20 skipping. Computational analyses of the exon 20 5'ss itself predicted that this nine-nucleotide splicing signal, even when it contains the T>C mutation, is not sufficiently weak to explain the FD phenotype. However, the computational analysis predicted that both the upstream 3' splice site (3'ss) and exon 20 contain weak splicing signals, indicating that the FD 5'ss, together with the surrounding splicing signals, are not adequate for defining exon 20. These in silico predictions were corroborated using IKBKAP minigenes in a new rapid and simple in vitro coupled RNA polymerase (RNAP) II transcription/splicing assay. Finally, the weak splicing signals that flank the T>C mutation were validated as the underlying cause of familial dysautonomia in vivo using transient transfection assays. Together, our study demonstrates the general utility of combining in silico data with an in vitro RNAP II transcription/splicing system for rapidly identifying critical sequences that underlie the numerous splicing diseases caused by otherwise silent mutations. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. Site-specific, insertional inactivation of incA in Chlamydia trachomatis using a group II intron.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Cayla M; Fisher, Derek J

    2013-01-01

    Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate, intracellular bacterial pathogen that has until more recently remained recalcitrant to genetic manipulation. However, the field still remains hindered by the absence of tools to create selectable, targeted chromosomal mutations. Previous work with mobile group II introns demonstrated that they can be retargeted by altering DNA sequences within the intron's substrate recognition region to create site-specific gene insertions. This platform (marketed as TargeTron™, Sigma) has been successfully employed in a variety of bacteria. We subsequently modified TargeTron™ for use in C. trachomatis and as proof of principle used our system to insertionally inactivate incA, a chromosomal gene encoding a protein required for homotypic fusion of chlamydial inclusions. C. trachomatis incA::GII(bla) mutants were selected with ampicillin and plaque purified clones were then isolated for genotypic and phenotypic analysis. PCR, Southern blotting, and DNA sequencing verified proper GII(bla) insertion, while continuous passaging in the absence of selection demonstrated that the insertion was stable. As seen with naturally occurring IncA(-) mutants, light and immunofluorescence microscopy confirmed the presence of non-fusogenic inclusions in cells infected with the incA::GII(bla) mutants at a multiplicity of infection greater than one. Lack of IncA production by mutant clones was further confirmed by Western blotting. Ultimately, the ease of retargeting the intron, ability to select for mutants, and intron stability in the absence of selection makes this method a powerful addition to the growing chlamydial molecular toolbox.

  17. Incongruence between primary sequence data and the distribution of a mitochondrial atp1 group II intron among ferns and horsetails.

    PubMed

    Wikström, Niklas; Pryer, Kathleen M

    2005-09-01

    Using DNA sequence data from multiple genes (often from more than one genome compartment) to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships has become routine. Augmenting this approach with genomic structural characters (e.g., intron gain and loss, changes in gene order) as these data become available from comparative studies already has provided critical insight into some long-standing questions about the evolution of land plants. Here we report on the presence of a group II intron located in the mitochondrial atp1 gene of leptosporangiate and marattioid ferns. Primary sequence data for the atp1 gene are newly reported for 27 taxa, and results are presented from maximum likelihood-based phylogenetic analyses using Bayesian inference for 34 land plants in three data sets: (1) single-gene mitochondrial atp1 (exon+intron sequences); (2) five combined genes (mitochondrial atp1 [exon only]; plastid rbcL, atpB, rps4; nuclear SSU rDNA); and (3) same five combined genes plus morphology. All our phylogenetic analyses corroborate results from previous fern studies that used plastid and nuclear sequence data: the monophyly of euphyllophytes, as well as of monilophytes; whisk ferns (Psilotidae) sister to ophioglossoid ferns (Ophioglossidae); horsetails (Equisetopsida) sister to marattioid ferns (Marattiidae), which together are sister to the monophyletic leptosporangiate ferns. In contrast to the results from the primary sequence data, the genomic structural data (atp1 intron distribution pattern) would seem to suggest that leptosporangiate and marattioid ferns are monophyletic, and together they are the sister group to horsetails--a topology that is rarely reconstructed using primary sequence data.

  18. An artificial riboswitch for controlling pre-mRNA splicing.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dong-Suk; Gusti, Veronica; Pillai, Sailesh G; Gaur, Rajesh K

    2005-11-01

    Riboswitches, as previously reported, are natural RNA aptamers that regulate the expression of numerous bacterial metabolic genes in response to small molecule ligands. It has recently been shown that these RNA genetic elements are also present near the splice site junctions of plant and fungal introns, thus raising the possibility of their involvement in regulating mRNA splicing. Here it is shown for the first time that a riboswitch can be engineered to regulate pre-mRNA splicing in vitro. We show that insertion of a high-affinity theophylline binding aptamer into the 3' splice site (3' ss) region of a model pre-mRNA (AdML-Theo29AG) enables its splicing to be repressed by the addition theophylline. Our results indicate that the location of 3' ss AG within the aptamer plays a crucial role in conferring theophylline-dependent control of pre-mRNA splicing. We also show that theophylline-mediated control of pre-mRNA splicing is highly specific by first demonstrating that a small molecule ligand similar in shape and size to theophylline had no effect on the splicing of AdML-Theo29AG pre-mRNA. Second, theophylline failed to exert any influence on the splicing of a pre-mRNA that does not contain its binding site. Third, theophylline specifically blocks the step II of the splicing reaction. Finally, we provide evidence that theophylline-dependent control of pre-mRNA splicing is functionally relevant.

  19. Mitochondrion-to-Chloroplast DNA Transfers and Intragenomic Proliferation of Chloroplast Group II Introns in Gloeotilopsis Green Algae (Ulotrichales, Ulvophyceae).

    PubMed

    Turmel, Monique; Otis, Christian; Lemieux, Claude

    2016-09-19

    To probe organelle genome evolution in the Ulvales/Ulotrichales clade, the newly sequenced chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes of Gloeotilopsis planctonica and Gloeotilopsis sarcinoidea (Ulotrichales) were compared with those of Pseudendoclonium akinetum (Ulotrichales) and of the few other green algae previously sampled in the Ulvophyceae. At 105,236 bp, the G planctonica mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is the largest mitochondrial genome reported so far among chlorophytes, whereas the 221,431-bp G planctonica and 262,888-bp G sarcinoidea chloroplast DNAs (cpDNAs) are the largest chloroplast genomes analyzed among the Ulvophyceae. Gains of non-coding sequences largely account for the expansion of these genomes. Both Gloeotilopsis cpDNAs lack the inverted repeat (IR) typically found in green plants, indicating that two independent IR losses occurred in the Ulvales/Ulotrichales. Our comparison of the Pseudendoclonium and Gloeotilopsis cpDNAs offered clues regarding the mechanism of IR loss in the Ulotrichales, suggesting that internal sequences from the rDNA operon were differentially lost from the two original IR copies during this process. Our analyses also unveiled a number of genetic novelties. Short mtDNA fragments were discovered in two distinct regions of the G sarcinoidea cpDNA, providing the first evidence for intracellular inter-organelle gene migration in green algae. We identified for the first time in green algal organelles, group II introns with LAGLIDADG ORFs as well as group II introns inserted into untranslated gene regions. We discovered many group II introns occupying sites not previously documented for the chloroplast genome and demonstrated that a number of them arose by intragenomic proliferation, most likely through retrohoming. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  20. Reenacting the birth of an intron

    SciTech Connect

    Hellsten, Uffe; Aspden, Julie L.; Rio, Donald C.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.

    2011-07-01

    An intron is an extended genomic feature whose function requires multiple constrained positions - donor and acceptor splice sites, a branch point, a polypyrimidine tract and suitable splicing enhancers - that may be distributed over hundreds or thousands of nucleotides. New introns are therefore unlikely to emerge by incremental accumulation of functional sub-elements. Here we demonstrate that a functional intron can be created de novo in a single step by a segmental genomic duplication. This experiment recapitulates in vivo the birth of an intron that arose in the ancestral jawed vertebrate lineage nearly half a billion years ago.

  1. Regulation of alternative splicing by a transcriptional enhancer through RNA pol II elongation

    PubMed Central

    Kadener, Sebastián; Fededa, Juan Pablo; Rosbash, Michael; Kornblihtt, Alberto R.

    2002-01-01

    Promoters and enhancers are cis-acting elements that control gene transcription via complex networks of protein–DNA and protein–protein interactions. Whereas promoters deal with putting in place the RNA polymerase, both enhancers and promoters can control transcriptional initiation and elongation. We have previously shown that promoter structure modulates alternative splicing, strengthening the concept of a physical and functional coupling between transcription and splicing. Here we report that the promoter effect is due to the control of RNA pol II elongation. We found that the simian virus 40 (SV40) transcriptional enhancer, inserted in fibronectin (FN) minigene constructs transfected into mammalian cells, controls alternative splicing by inhibiting inclusion of the FN extra domain I (EDI) exon into mature mRNA. Deletion analysis of enhancer subdomains and competitions in vivo with excess of specific enhancer DNA subfragments demonstrate that the “minimal” enhancer, consisting of two 72-bp repeats, is responsible for the splicing effect. The 72-bp repeat region has been reported to promote RNA pol II elongation. When transcription is driven by the α-globin promoter linked to the SV40 enhancer, basal EDI inclusion and activation by the SR (Ser–Arg-rich) protein SF2/ASF are much lower than with other promoters. Deletion of only one of the two 72-bp repeats not only provokes higher EDI inclusion levels but allows responsiveness to SF2/ASF. These effects are the consequence of a decrease in RNA pol II elongation evidenced both by an increase in the proportions of shorter proximal over full length transcripts and by higher pol II densities upstream of the alternative exon detected by chromatin immunoprecipitation. PMID:12060763

  2. Coupling and Coordination in Gene Expression Processes with Pre-mRNA Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Kewu; Lee, Jimmy Tsz Hang; Huang, Zhe; Wong, Chi-Ming

    2015-01-01

    RNA processing is a tightly regulated and highly complex pathway which includes transcription, splicing, editing, transportation, translation and degradation. It has been well-documented that splicing of RNA polymerase II medicated nascent transcripts occurs co-transcriptionally and is functionally coupled to other RNA processing. Recently, increasing experimental evidence indicated that pre-mRNA splicing influences RNA degradation and vice versa. In this review, we summarized the recent findings demonstrating the coupling of these two processes. In addition, we highlighted the importance of splicing in the production of intronic miRNA and circular RNAs, and hence the discovery of the novel mechanisms in the regulation of gene expression. PMID:25768347

  3. An insulin-like growth factor-II intronic variant affects local DNA conformation and ovarian cancer survival.

    PubMed

    Lu, Lingeng; Risch, Evan; Deng, Qian; Biglia, Nicoletta; Picardo, Elisa; Katsaros, Dionyssios; Yu, Herbert

    2013-09-01

    Insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II) may be a prognostic marker in ovarian cancer, and its intronic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4320932 has been associated with risk of the disease. We determined whether rs4320932 is associated with IGF-II expression and patient survival in ovarian cancer, and explored whether the SNP variation affects DNA conformation both in the absence of and presence of carboplatin. IGF-II genotype (rs4320932) and phenotype were analyzed in 212 primary invasive epithelial ovarian cancer tissue samples with Taqman® SNP genotyping assays, quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. DNA conformation was evaluated by circular dichroism (CD) spectra. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to analyze the SNP associations with patient survival. The C allele of rs4320932, previously associated with decreased risk of ovarian cancer development, was here associated with significantly elevated risks of relapse (Ptrend = 0.0002) and death (Ptrend = 0.0006), remaining significant in multivariate analyses. The adjusted hazard ratios were 3.05 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.47-6.37) for relapse and 3.28 (95% CI: 1.64-6.57) for death, respectively. The variant was also significantly associated with chemotherapy response, but not with other clinicopathologic variables or with IGF-II expression. DNA with genotypes TT and CC had distinct CD spectra in both the absence of and presence of carboplatin. These findings suggest that the intronic SNP rs4320932 affects patient survival and chemotherapy response via alteration of DNA conformation, but not through regulation of IGF-II expression. This novel finding may have implications in individualized medicine for the design of specific molecules targeting DNA of specific conformations.

  4. Cryptic splice sites and split genes.

    PubMed

    Kapustin, Yuri; Chan, Elcie; Sarkar, Rupa; Wong, Frederick; Vorechovsky, Igor; Winston, Robert M; Tatusova, Tatiana; Dibb, Nick J

    2011-08-01

    We describe a new program called cryptic splice finder (CSF) that can reliably identify cryptic splice sites (css), so providing a useful tool to help investigate splicing mutations in genetic disease. We report that many css are not entirely dormant and are often already active at low levels in normal genes prior to their enhancement in genetic disease. We also report a fascinating correlation between the positions of css and introns, whereby css within the exons of one species frequently match the exact position of introns in equivalent genes from another species. These results strongly indicate that many introns were inserted into css during evolution and they also imply that the splicing information that lies outside some introns can be independently recognized by the splicing machinery and was in place prior to intron insertion. This indicates that non-intronic splicing information had a key role in shaping the split structure of eukaryote genes.

  5. Cryptic splice sites and split genes

    PubMed Central

    Kapustin, Yuri; Chan, Elcie; Sarkar, Rupa; Wong, Frederick; Vorechovsky, Igor; Winston, Robert M.; Tatusova, Tatiana; Dibb, Nick J.

    2011-01-01

    We describe a new program called cryptic splice finder (CSF) that can reliably identify cryptic splice sites (css), so providing a useful tool to help investigate splicing mutations in genetic disease. We report that many css are not entirely dormant and are often already active at low levels in normal genes prior to their enhancement in genetic disease. We also report a fascinating correlation between the positions of css and introns, whereby css within the exons of one species frequently match the exact position of introns in equivalent genes from another species. These results strongly indicate that many introns were inserted into css during evolution and they also imply that the splicing information that lies outside some introns can be independently recognized by the splicing machinery and was in place prior to intron insertion. This indicates that non-intronic splicing information had a key role in shaping the split structure of eukaryote genes. PMID:21470962

  6. Aberrant Splicing in Transgenes Containing Introns, Exons, and V5 Epitopes: Lessons from Developing an FSHD Mouse Model Expressing a D4Z4 Repeat with Flanking Genomic Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Ansseau, Eugénie; Domire, Jacqueline S.; Wallace, Lindsay M.; Eidahl, Jocelyn O.; Guckes, Susan M.; Giesige, Carlee R.; Pyne, Nettie K.; Belayew, Alexandra; Harper, Scott Q.

    2015-01-01

    The DUX4 gene, encoded within D4Z4 repeats on human chromosome 4q35, has recently emerged as a key factor in the pathogenic mechanisms underlying Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). This recognition prompted development of animal models expressing the DUX4 open reading frame (ORF) alone or embedded within D4Z4 repeats. In the first published model, we used adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) and strong viral control elements (CMV promoter, SV40 poly A) to demonstrate that the DUX4 cDNA caused dose-dependent toxicity in mouse muscles. As a follow-up, we designed a second generation of DUX4-expressing AAV vectors to more faithfully genocopy the FSHD-permissive D4Z4 repeat region located at 4q35. This new vector (called AAV.D4Z4.V5.pLAM) contained the D4Z4/DUX4 promoter region, a V5 epitope-tagged DUX4 ORF, and the natural 3’ untranslated region (pLAM) harboring two small introns, DUX4 exons 2 and 3, and the non-canonical poly A signal required for stabilizing DUX4 mRNA in FSHD. AAV.D4Z4.V5.pLAM failed to recapitulate the robust pathology of our first generation vectors following delivery to mouse muscle. We found that the DUX4.V5 junction sequence created an unexpected splice donor in the pre-mRNA that was preferentially utilized to remove the V5 coding sequence and DUX4 stop codon, yielding non-functional DUX4 protein with 55 additional residues on its carboxyl-terminus. Importantly, we further found that aberrant splicing could occur in any expression construct containing a functional splice acceptor and sequences resembling minimal splice donors. Our findings represent an interesting case study with respect to AAV.D4Z4.V5.pLAM, but more broadly serve as a note of caution for designing constructs containing V5 epitope tags and/or transgenes with downstream introns and exons. PMID:25742305

  7. Estimation of the minimum mRNA splicing error rate in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Skandalis, A

    2016-01-01

    The majority of protein coding genes in vertebrates contain several introns that are removed by the mRNA splicing machinery. Errors during splicing can generate aberrant transcripts and degrade the transmission of genetic information thus contributing to genomic instability and disease. However, estimating the error rate of constitutive splicing is complicated by the process of alternative splicing which can generate multiple alternative transcripts per locus and is particularly active in humans. In order to estimate the error frequency of constitutive mRNA splicing and avoid bias by alternative splicing we have characterized the frequency of splice variants at three loci, HPRT, POLB, and TRPV1 in multiple tissues of six vertebrate species. Our analysis revealed that the frequency of splice variants varied widely among loci, tissues, and species. However, the lowest observed frequency is quite constant among loci and approximately 0.1% aberrant transcripts per intron. Arguably this reflects the "irreducible" error rate of splicing, which consists primarily of the combination of replication errors by RNA polymerase II in splice consensus sequences and spliceosome errors in correctly pairing exons. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. The timing of pre-mRNA splicing visualized in real-time.

    PubMed

    Carmo-Fonseca, Maria; Kirchhausen, Tomas

    2014-01-01

    Since it became clear that intervening sequences or introns are spliced out from precursor pre-mRNA molecules in the nucleus before mature mRNAs are exported to the cytoplasm, questions were raised about the timing of splicing. Does splicing start while RNA polymerase II is still transcribing? Is splicing a slow or a fast process? Is timing important to control the splicing reaction? Although our understanding on the mechanism and function of splicing is largely based on data obtained using biochemical and large-scale "omic" approaches, microscopy has been instrumental to address questions related to timing. Experiments done with the electron microscope paved the way to the discovery of splicing and provided unequivocal evidence that splicing can occur co-transcriptionally. More recently, live-cell microscopy introduced a technical breakthrough that allows real-time visualization of splicing dynamics. We discuss here some of the microscopy advances that provided the basis for the current conceptual view of the splicing process and we outline a most recent development that permits direct measurement, in living cells, of the time it takes to synthesize and excise an intron from individual pre-mRNA molecules.

  9. Site-Specific, Insertional Inactivation of incA in Chlamydia trachomatis Using a Group II Intron

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Cayla M.; Fisher, Derek J.

    2013-01-01

    Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate, intracellular bacterial pathogen that has until more recently remained recalcitrant to genetic manipulation. However, the field still remains hindered by the absence of tools to create selectable, targeted chromosomal mutations. Previous work with mobile group II introns demonstrated that they can be retargeted by altering DNA sequences within the intron’s substrate recognition region to create site-specific gene insertions. This platform (marketed as TargeTron™, Sigma) has been successfully employed in a variety of bacteria. We subsequently modified TargeTron™ for use in C. trachomatis and as proof of principle used our system to insertionally inactivate incA, a chromosomal gene encoding a protein required for homotypic fusion of chlamydial inclusions. C. trachomatis incA::GII(bla) mutants were selected with ampicillin and plaque purified clones were then isolated for genotypic and phenotypic analysis. PCR, Southern blotting, and DNA sequencing verified proper GII(bla) insertion, while continuous passaging in the absence of selection demonstrated that the insertion was stable. As seen with naturally occurring IncA− mutants, light and immunofluorescence microscopy confirmed the presence of non-fusogenic inclusions in cells infected with the incA::GII(bla) mutants at a multiplicity of infection greater than one. Lack of IncA production by mutant clones was further confirmed by Western blotting. Ultimately, the ease of retargeting the intron, ability to select for mutants, and intron stability in the absence of selection makes this method a powerful addition to the growing chlamydial molecular toolbox. PMID:24391860

  10. Mutation in intron 6 of the hamster Mitf gene leads to skipping of the subsequent exon and creates a novel animal model for the human Waardenburg syndrome type II.

    PubMed Central

    Graw, Jochen; Pretsch, Walter; Löster, Jana

    2003-01-01

    In the course of analysis of ENU-induced mutations in Syrian hamsters, a novel dominant anophthalmic white mutant (Wh(V203)) with hearing loss was recovered. Because of this phenotype and a close linkage to the Tpi gene, the Mitf gene was considered as a candidate gene. In the Mitf cDNA, a deletion of 76 bp covering the entire exon 7 was detected. Further molecular analysis revealed a T --> A exchange 16 bp upstream of the end of intron 6, leading to skipping of exon 7. These 16 bp at the end of intron 6 are identical in hamster, rat, mouse, and humans, indicating high conservation during evolution and a functional importance in splicing. Since the loss of exon 7 changes the open reading frame of the MITF transcript, translation will be stopped after 10 new amino acids. The truncated protein is predicted to contain only a part of the basic region and will miss the two helical domains and the leucine zipper. The Wh(V203) mutation in the Syrian hamster affects the same functional domains of the Mitf transcription factor as the human R124X mutation, causing human Waardenburg syndrome type II. Therefore, the Wh(V203) hamster mutant provides a novel model for this particular syndrome. PMID:12871913

  11. A comparison of group II introns of plastid tRNALysUUU genes encoding maturase protein.

    PubMed

    Jankowiak, Kamila; Lesicka, Joanna; Pacak, Andrzej; Rybarczyk, Agnieszka; Szweykowska-Kulińska, Zofia

    2004-01-01

    All higher plant plastid genomes have six classes of tRNA genes containing introns. One of those is the tRNALysUUU gene, which encodes maturase protein. In the case of liverwort species from the genus Porella and mosses from the genus Plagiomnium, the maturase coding gene (matK) represents a truncated form of other plant matK genes: several subdomains of the reverse transcriptase-like domain and so-called domain X are not present in these ORFs. These ORFs probably represent pseudogenes of the matK gene. The analysis of codon usage within the matK gene revealed the presence of strong A/T pressure. The use of codons with the third letter being U or A varies from 71-93%. The comparison of maturase amino acid sequences at the family level shows a high identity between species. However, when liverwort and angiosperm maturase sequences are compared, the percentage of identity drops dramatically. The calculated values of the number of nucleotide substitutions vary considerably, even when liverwort species are compared pairwise. The phenetic tree of relationships between plant species on the basis of tRNALysUUU intron sequences concur with the generally accepted plant phylogeny.

  12. Exclusive conservation of mitochondrial group II intron nad4i548 among liverworts and its use for phylogenetic studies in this ancient plant clade.

    PubMed

    Volkmar, U; Groth-Malonek, M; Heinrichs, J; Muhle, H; Polsakiewicz, M; Knoop, V

    2012-03-01

    Liverworts occupy a pivotal position in land plant (embryophyte) phylogeny as the presumed earliest-branching major clade, sister to all other land plants, including the mosses, hornworts, lycophytes, monilophytes and seed plants. Molecular support for this earliest dichotomy in land plant phylogeny comes from strikingly different occurrences of introns in mitochondrial genes distinguishing liverworts from all other embryophytes. Exceptionally, however, the nad5 gene--the mitochondrial locus hitherto used most widely to elucidate early land plant phylogeny--carries a group I type intron that is shared between liverworts and mosses. We here explored whether a group II intron, the other major type of organellar intron, would similarly be conserved in position across the entire diversity of extant liverworts and could be of use for phylogenetic analyses in this supposedly most ancient embryophyte clade. To this end, we investigated the nad4 gene as a candidate locus possibly featuring different introns in liverworts as opposed to the non-liverwort embryophyte (NLE) lineage. We indeed found group II intron nad4i548 universally conserved in a wide phylogenetic sampling of 55 liverwort taxa, confirming clade specificity and surprising evolutionary stability of plant mitochondrial introns. As expected, intron nad4i548g2 carries phylogenetic information in its variable sequences, which confirms and extends previous cladistic insights on liverwort evolution. We integrate the new nad4 data with those of the previously established mitochondrial nad5 and the chloroplast rbcL and rps4 genes and present a phylogeny based on the fused datasets. Notably, the phylogenetic analyses suggest a reconsideration of previous phylogenetic and taxonomic assignments for the genera Calycularia and Mylia and resolve a sister group relationship of Ptilidiales and Porellales.

  13. The structural stabilization of the κ three-way junction by Mg(II) represents the first step in the folding of a group II intron

    PubMed Central

    Donghi, Daniela; Pechlaner, Maria; Finazzo, Cinzia; Knobloch, Bernd; Sigel, Roland K. O.

    2013-01-01

    Folding of group II introns is characterized by a first slow compaction of domain 1 (D1) followed by the rapid docking of other domains to this scaffold. D1 compaction initiates in a small subregion encompassing the κ and ζ elements. These two tertiary elements are also the major interaction sites with domain 5 to form the catalytic core. Here, we provide the first characterization of the structure adopted at an early folding step and show that the folding control element can be narrowed down to the three-way junction with the κ motif. In our nuclear magnetic resonance studies of this substructure derived from the yeast mitochondrial group II intron Sc.ai5γ, we show that a high affinity Mg(II) ion stabilizes the κ element and enables coaxial stacking between helices d′ and d′′, favoring a rigid duplex across the three-way junction. The κ-element folds into a stable GAAA-tetraloop motif and engages in A-minor interactions with helix d′. The addition of cobalt(III)hexammine reveals three distinct binding sites. The Mg(II)-promoted structural rearrangement and rigidification of the D1 core can be identified as the first micro-step of D1 folding. PMID:23275550

  14. A novel A-isoform-like inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate 3-kinase from chicken erythrocytes exhibits alternative splicing and conservation of intron positions between vertebrates and invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Bertsch, U; Haefs, M; Möller, M; Deschermeier, C; Fanick, W; Kitzerow, A; Ozaki, S; Meyer, H E; Mayr, G W

    1999-03-04

    Based on the partial peptide sequence of inositol 1,4, 5-trisphosphate 3-kinase purified with 135 000-fold enrichment from chicken erythrocytes, cDNA-fragments were cloned by RT-PCR using degenerate oligonucleotides. Subsequent hybridization screening of an embryonic chicken cDNA library and 5'-RACE yielded a cDNA-contig of 2418 bp, encoding a 452 amino acid protein. The amino acid sequence shows the highest degree of homology with A-isoforms of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate 3-kinase (65% identities), whereas homology towards B and C isoforms was lower (57% and 52% amino acid identities respectively). These findings reveal a new tissue-specific pattern of A-isoform expression, a form which so far has only been found in brain and testes. Two overlapping lambda-genomic clones for chicken inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate 3-kinase, isolated by hybridization screening, covered 18 499 bp of genomic sequence. This contig included four exons: three of them were present in all cDNA clones, whereas one was only represented in a single cDNA clone. In addition, the sequence of the latter differed from the other cDNAs by an in-frame deletion of 72 bp within the coding region for the catalytic domain of the enzyme. This divergent cDNA suggests the existence of alternative splice products, at least in embryonic tissue.A comparison of the position of introns, with the respective introns known from the corresponding gene from Caenorhabditis elegans, revealed a high degree of conservation of intron positions between vertebrates and invertebrates. Functional data for the enzyme suggests that the conserved exons represent defined functional protein modules.

  15. SR proteins: a foot on the exon before the transition from intron to exon definition.

    PubMed

    Ram, Oren; Ast, Gil

    2007-01-01

    Two recent publications illuminate the evolution of alternative splicing, showing that a SR (serine-arginine-rich) protein that regulates alternative splicing in multicellular organisms is also found in a unicellular organism without alternative splicing, in which it can assist in the splicing of weak introns. Moreover, insertion of SR proteins into an organism lacking such proteins can restore the splicing of weak introns. These results imply that SR proteins had already facilitated the splicing of weak introns before the evolution of alternative splicing.

  16. Biotechnological applications of mobile group II introns and their reverse transcriptases: gene targeting, RNA-seq, and non-coding RNA analysis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Mobile group II introns are bacterial retrotransposons that combine the activities of an autocatalytic intron RNA (a ribozyme) and an intron-encoded reverse transcriptase to insert site-specifically into DNA. They recognize DNA target sites largely by base pairing of sequences within the intron RNA and achieve high DNA target specificity by using the ribozyme active site to couple correct base pairing to RNA-catalyzed intron integration. Algorithms have been developed to program the DNA target site specificity of several mobile group II introns, allowing them to be made into ‘targetrons.’ Targetrons function for gene targeting in a wide variety of bacteria and typically integrate at efficiencies high enough to be screened easily by colony PCR, without the need for selectable markers. Targetrons have found wide application in microbiological research, enabling gene targeting and genetic engineering of bacteria that had been intractable to other methods. Recently, a thermostable targetron has been developed for use in bacterial thermophiles, and new methods have been developed for using targetrons to position recombinase recognition sites, enabling large-scale genome-editing operations, such as deletions, inversions, insertions, and ‘cut-and-pastes’ (that is, translocation of large DNA segments), in a wide range of bacteria at high efficiency. Using targetrons in eukaryotes presents challenges due to the difficulties of nuclear localization and sub-optimal magnesium concentrations, although supplementation with magnesium can increase integration efficiency, and directed evolution is being employed to overcome these barriers. Finally, spurred by new methods for expressing group II intron reverse transcriptases that yield large amounts of highly active protein, thermostable group II intron reverse transcriptases from bacterial thermophiles are being used as research tools for a variety of applications, including qRT-PCR and next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA

  17. The dynamic loss and gain of introns during the evolution of the Brassicaceae.

    PubMed

    Milia, Giampiera; Camiolo, Salvatore; Avesani, Linda; Porceddu, Andrea

    2015-06-01

    Sequence comparison allows the detailed analysis of evolution at the nucleotide and amino acid levels, but much less information is known about the structural evolution of genes, i.e. how the number, length and distribution of introns change over time. We constructed a parsimonious model for the evolutionary rate of intron loss (IL) and intron gain (IG) within the Brassicaceae and found that IL/IG has been highly dynamic, with substantial differences between and even within lineages. The divergence of the Brassicaceae lineages I and II marked a dramatic change in the IL rate, with the common ancestor of lineage I losing introns three times more rapidly than the common ancestor of lineage II. Our data also indicate a subsequent declining trend in the rate of IL, although in Arabidopsis thaliana introns continue to be lost at approximately the ancestral rate. Variations in the rate of IL/IG within lineage II have been even more remarkable. Brassica rapa appears to have lost introns approximately 15 times more rapidly than the common ancestor of B. rapa and Schenkiella parvula, and approximately 25 times more rapidly than its sister species Eutrema salsugineum. Microhomology was detected at the splice sites of several dynamic introns suggesting that the non-homologous end-joining and double-strand break repair is a common pathway underlying IL/IG in these species. We also detected molecular signatures typical of mRNA-mediated IL, but only in B. rapa.

  18. Widespread intron retention in mammals functionally tunes transcriptomes

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Qun; Nachman, Emil N.; Alipanahi, Babak; Gonatopoulos-Pournatzis, Thomas; Frey, Brendan

    2014-01-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) of precursor RNAs is responsible for greatly expanding the regulatory and functional capacity of eukaryotic genomes. Of the different classes of AS, intron retention (IR) is the least well understood. In plants and unicellular eukaryotes, IR is the most common form of AS, whereas in animals, it is thought to represent the least prevalent form. Using high-coverage poly(A)+ RNA-seq data, we observe that IR is surprisingly frequent in mammals, affecting transcripts from as many as three-quarters of multiexonic genes. A highly correlated set of cis features comprising an “IR code” reliably discriminates retained from constitutively spliced introns. We show that IR acts widely to reduce the levels of transcripts that are less or not required for the physiology of the cell or tissue type in which they are detected. This “transcriptome tuning” function of IR acts through both nonsense-mediated mRNA decay and nuclear sequestration and turnover of IR transcripts. We further show that IR is linked to a cross-talk mechanism involving localized stalling of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and reduced availability of spliceosomal components. Collectively, the results implicate a global checkpoint-type mechanism whereby reduced recruitment of splicing components coupled to Pol II pausing underlies widespread IR-mediated suppression of inappropriately expressed transcripts. PMID:25258385

  19. The Agaricus bisporus cox1 gene: the longest mitochondrial gene and the largest reservoir of mitochondrial group i introns.

    PubMed

    Férandon, Cyril; Moukha, Serge; Callac, Philippe; Benedetto, Jean-Pierre; Castroviejo, Michel; Barroso, Gérard

    2010-11-18

    In eukaryotes, introns are located in nuclear and organelle genes from several kingdoms. Large introns (up to 5 kbp) are frequent in mitochondrial genomes of plant and fungi but scarce in Metazoa, even if these organisms are grouped with fungi among the Opisthokonts. Mitochondrial introns are classified in two groups (I and II) according to their RNA secondary structure involved in the intron self-splicing mechanism. Most of these mitochondrial group I introns carry a "Homing Endonuclease Gene" (heg) encoding a DNA endonuclease acting in transfer and site-specific integration ("homing") and allowing intron spreading and gain after lateral transfer even between species from different kingdoms. Opposed to this gain mechanism, is another which implies that introns, which would have been abundant in the ancestral genes, would mainly evolve by loss. The importance of both mechanisms (loss and gain) is matter of debate. Here we report the sequence of the cox1 gene of the button mushroom Agaricus bisporus, the most widely cultivated mushroom in the world. This gene is both the longest mitochondrial gene (29,902 nt) and the largest group I intron reservoir reported to date with 18 group I and 1 group II. An exhaustive analysis of the group I introns available in cox1 genes shows that they are mobile genetic elements whose numerous events of loss and gain by lateral transfer combine to explain their wide and patchy distribution extending over several kingdoms. An overview of intron distribution, together with the high frequency of eroded heg, suggests that they are evolving towards loss. In this landscape of eroded and lost intron sequences, the A. bisporus cox1 gene exhibits a peculiar dynamics of intron keeping and catching, leading to the largest collection of mitochondrial group I introns reported to date in a Eukaryote.

  20. The Agaricus bisporus cox1 Gene: The Longest Mitochondrial Gene and the Largest Reservoir of Mitochondrial Group I Introns

    PubMed Central

    Férandon, Cyril; Moukha, Serge; Callac, Philippe; Benedetto, Jean-Pierre; Castroviejo, Michel; Barroso, Gérard

    2010-01-01

    In eukaryotes, introns are located in nuclear and organelle genes from several kingdoms. Large introns (up to 5 kbp) are frequent in mitochondrial genomes of plant and fungi but scarce in Metazoa, even if these organisms are grouped with fungi among the Opisthokonts. Mitochondrial introns are classified in two groups (I and II) according to their RNA secondary structure involved in the intron self-splicing mechanism. Most of these mitochondrial group I introns carry a “Homing Endonuclease Gene” (heg) encoding a DNA endonuclease acting in transfer and site-specific integration (“homing”) and allowing intron spreading and gain after lateral transfer even between species from different kingdoms. Opposed to this gain mechanism, is another which implies that introns, which would have been abundant in the ancestral genes, would mainly evolve by loss. The importance of both mechanisms (loss and gain) is matter of debate. Here we report the sequence of the cox1 gene of the button mushroom Agaricus bisporus, the most widely cultivated mushroom in the world. This gene is both the longest mitochondrial gene (29,902 nt) and the largest group I intron reservoir reported to date with 18 group I and 1 group II. An exhaustive analysis of the group I introns available in cox1 genes shows that they are mobile genetic elements whose numerous events of loss and gain by lateral transfer combine to explain their wide and patchy distribution extending over several kingdoms. An overview of intron distribution, together with the high frequency of eroded heg, suggests that they are evolving towards loss. In this landscape of eroded and lost intron sequences, the A. bisporus cox1 gene exhibits a peculiar dynamics of intron keeping and catching, leading to the largest collection of mitochondrial group I introns reported to date in a Eukaryote. PMID:21124976

  1. Identification and molecular characterization of three new K+-channel specific toxins from the Chinese scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch revealing intronic number polymorphism and alternative splicing in duplicated genes.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xian-Chun; Zhang, Lei; Nie, Yao; Luo, Xuesong

    2012-04-01

    K(+)-channel specific toxins from scorpions are powerful probes used in the structural and functional characterization of different subfamilies of K(+)-channels which are thought to be the most diverse ion channels. However, only a limited number of K(+)-channel toxins have been identified from scorpions so far; moreover, little is known about the mechanisms for the generation of a combinatorial peptide library in a venom gland of a scorpion. Here, we identified and characterized three new K(+)-channel toxin-like peptides from the scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch, which were referred to as BmKcug1, BmKcug2 and BmKcugx, respectively. BmKcug1 and BmKcug2 are two new members of α-KTx1 subfamily, and have been classified as α-KTx1.14 and α-KTx1.15, respectively. BmKcugx represents a new subfamily of K(+)-channel specific toxins which was classified into α-KTx22. BmKcugx was thus classified as α-KTx22.1. Genomic analysis demonstrated that BmKcugx gene has two exons interrupted by an intron inserted in the signal peptide encoding region, whereas BmKcug1a (a close homologue of BmKcug1)/BmKcug2 gene was interrupted by two introns, located within the 5'UTR of the gene and in the signal peptide encoding region, respectively. Transcriptomic analysis for the venom glands of M. martensii Karsch indicated that the abundances of the transcripts of BmKcug1a and BmKcug2 are much higher than that of BmKcugx; it suggests that the intron in 5'UTR could markedly increase the expression level of the K(+)-channel toxins. Alignment of the genomic sequences of BmKcug1a and BmKcug2 revealed that an alternative splicing event occurred at the intron 1-exon 2 junction in the 5'UTR of BmKcug2 transcript.

  2. Targeting GH-1 splicing as a novel pharmacological strategy for growth hormone deficiency type II.

    PubMed

    Miletta, Maria Consolata; Flück, Christa E; Mullis, Primus-E

    2017-01-15

    Isolated growth hormone deficiency type II (IGHD II) is a rare genetic splicing disorder characterized by reduced growth hormone (GH) secretion and short stature. It is mainly caused by autosomal dominant-negative mutations within the growth hormone gene (GH-1) which results in missplicing at the mRNA level and the subsequent loss of exon 3, producing the 17.5-kDa GH isoform: a mutant and inactive GH protein that reduces the stability and the secretion of the 22-kDa GH isoform, the main biologically active GH form. At present, patients suffering from IGHD II are treated with daily injections of recombinant human GH (rhGH) in order to reach normal height. However, this type of replacement therapy, although effective in terms of growth, does not prevent the toxic effects of the 17.5-kDa mutant on the pituitary gland, which may eventually lead to other hormonal deficiencies. As the severity of the disease inversely correlates with the 17.5-kDa/22-kDa ratio, increasing the inclusion of exon 3 is expected to ameliorate disease symptoms. This review focuses on the recent advances in experimental and therapeutic strategies applicable to treat IGHD II in clinical and preclinical contexts. Several avenues for alternative IGHD II therapy will be discussed including the use of small interfering RNA (siRNA) and short hairpin RNA (shRNA) constructs that specifically target the exon 3-deleted transcripts as well as the application of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) and antisense oligonucleotides (AONs) to enhance full-length GH-1 transcription, correct GH-1 exon 3 splicing and manipulate GH pathway.

  3. Monilophyte mitochondrial rps1 genes carry a unique group II intron that likely originated from an ancient paralog in rpl2.

    PubMed

    Knie, Nils; Grewe, Felix; Knoop, Volker

    2016-09-01

    Intron patterns in plant mitochondrial genomes differ significantly between the major land plant clades. We here report on a new, clade-specific group II intron in the rps1 gene of monilophytes (ferns). This intron, rps1i25g2, is strikingly similar to rpl2i846g2 previously identified in the mitochondrial rpl2 gene of seed plants, ferns, and the lycophyte Phlegmariurus squarrosus Although mitochondrial ribosomal protein genes are frequently subject to endosymbiotic gene transfer among plants, we could retrieve the mitochondrial rps1 gene in a taxonomically wide sampling of 44 monilophyte taxa including basal lineages such as the Ophioglossales, Psilotales, and Marattiales with the only exception being the Equisetales (horsetails). Introns rps1i25g2 and rpl2i846g2 were likewise consistently present with only two exceptions: Intron rps1i25g2 is lost in the genus Ophioglossum and intron rpl2i846g2 is lost in Equisetum bogotense Both intron sequences are moderately affected by RNA editing. The unprecedented primary and secondary structure similarity of rps1i25g2 and rpl2i846g2 suggests an ancient retrotransposition event copying rpl2i846g2 into rps1, for which we suggest a model. Our phylogenetic analysis adding the new rps1 locus to a previous data set is fully congruent with recent insights on monilophyte phylogeny and further supports a sister relationship of Gleicheniales and Hymenophyllales. © 2016 Knie et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

  4. An RNA-splicing mutation (G+5IVS20) in the type II collagen gene (COL2A1) in a family with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita.

    PubMed Central

    Tiller, G E; Weis, M A; Polumbo, P A; Gruber, H E; Rimoin, D L; Cohn, D H; Eyre, D R

    1995-01-01

    Defects in type II collagen have been demonstrated in a phenotypic continuum of chondrodysplasias that includes achondrogenesis II, hypochondrogenesis, spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SEDC), Kniest dysplasia, and Stickler syndrome. We have determined that cartilage from a terminated fetus with an inherited form of SEDC contained both normal alpha 1(II) collagen chains and chains that lacked amino acids 256-273 of the triple-helical domain. PCR amplification of this region of COL2A1, from genomic DNA, yielded products of normal size, while amplification of cDNA yielded a normal sized species and a shorter fragment missing exon 20.