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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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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/.

  2. 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

  3. Alternative splicing of a cryptic exon embedded in intron 6 of SMN1 and SMN2

    PubMed Central

    Yoshimoto, Satomi; Harahap, Nur Imma Fatimah; Hamamura, Yuko; Ar Rochmah, Mawaddah; Shima, Ai; Morisada, Naoya; Shinohara, Masakazu; Saito, Toshio; Saito, Kayoko; Lai, Poh San; Matsuo, Masafumi; Awano, Hiroyuki; Morioka, Ichiro; Iijima, Kazumoto; Nishio, Hisahide

    2016-01-01

    Both survival of motor neuron (SMN) genes are associated with spinal muscular atrophy; mutations in SMN1 cause the disease, and SMN2 modulates its severity. It is established that different alternative splicing of exon 7 occurs for SMN1 and SMN2, and a cryptic exon was recently found in intron 6 of both genes. Here, we characterize this cryptic exon and clarify its alternative splicing pattern in control and spinal muscular atrophy cells. PMID:27917293

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2017-03-31

    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 .

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Genome Editing via Mobile Group-II Introns and Cre/lox

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enyeart, P. E.; Perutka, J.; Dao, M.; Ellington, A. E.

    2010-04-01

    Mobile group-II introns and the Cre/lox systems are combined to allow large segments of DNA to be removed or transferred within/between bacterial genomes. Planned applications include metabolic optimization and development of novel dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Aberrant Splicing and Transcription Termination Caused by P Element Insertion into the Intron of a Drosophila Gene

    PubMed Central

    Horowitz, H.; Berg, C. A.

    1995-01-01

    Insertional mutagenesis screens using the P[lacZ, rosy(+)] (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' 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 a mRNA composed of 5' sequences from the mutated gene (in this case, pipsqueak) and 3' sequences from within the P[lacZ, rosy(+)] element. These truncated RNAs could yield proteins with dominant mutant effects. PMID:7705633

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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

  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. Alternative splicing interference by xenobiotics.

    PubMed

    Zaharieva, Emanuela; Chipman, J Kevin; Soller, Matthias

    2012-06-14

    The protein coding sequence of most eukaryotic genes (exons) is interrupted by non-coding parts (introns), which are excised in a process termed splicing. To generate a mature messenger RNA (mRNA) hundreds of combinatorial protein-protein and RNA-protein interactions are required to splice out often very large introns with high fidelity and accuracy. Inherent to splicing is the use of alternative splice sites generating immense proteomic diversity from a limited number of genes. In humans, alternative splicing is a major mode of regulating gene expression, occurs in over 90% of genes and is particularly abundant in the brain. Only recently, it has been recognized that the complexity of the splicing process makes it susceptible to interference by various xenobiotics. These compounds include antineoplastic substances, commonly used drugs and food supplements and cause a spectrum of effects ranging from deleterious inhibition of general splicing to highly specific modifications of alternative splicing affecting only certain genes. Alterations in splicing have been implicated in numerous diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration. Splicing regulation plays an important role in the execution of programmed cell death. The switch between anti- and pro-apoptotic isoforms by alternative splice site selection and misregulation of a number of splicing factors impacts on cell survival and disease. Here, our current knowledge is summarized on compounds interfering with general and alternative splicing and of the current methodology to study changes in these processes relevant to the field of toxicology and future risk assessments.

  4. An RNA-splicing mutation (G{sup +51VS20}) in the Type II collagen gene (COL2A1) in a family with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita

    SciTech Connect

    Tiller, G.E.; Polumbo, P.A.; Weis, M.A.; Eyre, D.R.; Gruber, H.E.; Rimoin, D.L.; Cohn, D.H. |

    1995-02-01

    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. Sequence analysis of genomic DNA from the fetus revealed a G{yields}T transversion at position +5 of intron 20; the affected father was also heterozygous for the mutation. Allele-specific PCR and heteroduplex analysis of a VNTR in COL2A1 independently confirmed the unaffected status of a fetus in a subsequent pregnancy. Thermodynamic calculations suggest that the mutation prevents normal splicing of exon 20 by interfering with binding of U{sub 1} small-nuclear RNA to pre-mRNA, thus leading to skipping of exon 20 in transcripts from the mutant allele. Electron micrographs of diseased cartilage showed intracellular inclusion bodies, which were stained by an antibody to {alpha}1(II) procollagen. Our findings support the hypothesis that {alpha}-chain length alterations that preserve the Gly-X-Y repeat motif of the triple helix result in partial intracellular retention of {alpha}1(II) procollagen and produce mild to moderate chondrodysplasia phenotypes. 50 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  5. Connecting the dots: chromatin and alternative splicing in EMT

    PubMed Central

    Warns, Jessica A.; Davie, James R.; Dhasarathy, Archana

    2015-01-01

    Nature has devised sophisticated cellular machinery to process mRNA transcripts produced by RNA Polymerase II, removing intronic regions and connecting exons together, to produce mature RNAs. This process, known as splicing, is very closely linked to transcription. Alternative splicing, or the ability to produce different combinations of exons that are spliced together from the same genomic template, is a fundamental means of regulating protein complexity. Similar to transcription, both constitutive and alternative splicing can be regulated by chromatin and its associated factors in response to various signal transduction pathways activated by external stimuli. This regulation can vary between different cell types, and interference with these pathways can lead to changes in splicing, often resulting in aberrant cellular states and disease. The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), which leads to cancer metastasis, is influenced by alternative splicing events of chromatin remodelers and epigenetic factors such as DNA methylation and non-coding RNAs. In this review, we will discuss the role of epigenetic factors including chromatin, chromatin remodelers, DNA methyltransferases and microRNAs in the context of alternative splicing, and discuss their potential involvement in alternative splicing during the EMT process. PMID:26291837

  6. Connecting the dots: chromatin and alternative splicing in EMT.

    PubMed

    Warns, Jessica A; Davie, James R; Dhasarathy, Archana

    2016-02-01

    Nature has devised sophisticated cellular machinery to process mRNA transcripts produced by RNA Polymerase II, removing intronic regions and connecting exons together, to produce mature RNAs. This process, known as splicing, is very closely linked to transcription. Alternative splicing, or the ability to produce different combinations of exons that are spliced together from the same genomic template, is a fundamental means of regulating protein complexity. Similar to transcription, both constitutive and alternative splicing can be regulated by chromatin and its associated factors in response to various signal transduction pathways activated by external stimuli. This regulation can vary between different cell types, and interference with these pathways can lead to changes in splicing, often resulting in aberrant cellular states and disease. The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), which leads to cancer metastasis, is influenced by alternative splicing events of chromatin remodelers and epigenetic factors such as DNA methylation and non-coding RNAs. In this review, we will discuss the role of epigenetic factors including chromatin, chromatin remodelers, DNA methyltransferases, and microRNAs in the context of alternative splicing, and discuss their potential involvement in alternative splicing during the EMT process.

  7. A novel donor splice site in intron 11 of the CFTR gene, created by mutation 1811+1.6kbA-->G, produces a new exon: high frequency in Spanish cystic fibrosis chromosomes and association with severe phenotype.

    PubMed Central

    Chillón, M; Dörk, T; Casals, T; Giménez, J; Fonknechten, N; Will, K; Ramos, D; Nunes, V; Estivill, X

    1995-01-01

    mRNA analysis of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene in tissues of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients has allowed us to detect a cryptic exon. The new exon involves 49 base pairs between exons 11 and 12 and is due to a point mutation (1811+1.6kbA-->G) that creates a new donor splice site in intron 11. Semiquantitative mRNA analysis showed that 1811+1.6kbA-->G-mRNA was 5-10-fold less abundant than delta F508 mRNA. Mutation 1811+1.6kbA-->G was found in 21 Spanish and 1 German CF chromosomes, making it the fourth-most-frequent mutation (2%) in the Spanish population. Individuals with genotype delta F508/1811+1.6kbA-->G have only 1%-3% of normal CFTR mRNA. This loss of 97% of normal CFTR mRNA must be responsible for the pancreatic insufficiency and for the severe CF phenotype in these patients. Images Figure 3 PMID:7534040

  8. A novel donor splice site in intron 11 of the CFTR gene, created by mutation 1811 + 1.6kbA {yields} G, produces a new exon: High frequency in spanish cystic fibrosis chromosomes and association with severe phenotype

    SciTech Connect

    Chillon, M.; Casals, T.; Gimenez, J.; Ramos, D.; Nunes, V.; Estivill, X.; Doerk, T.; Will, K.; Fonknechten, N.

    1995-03-01

    mRNA analysis of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene in tissues of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients has allowed us to detect a cryptic exon. The new exon involves 49 base pairs between exons 11 and 12 and is due to a point mutation (1811+1.6bA{yields}G) that creates a new donor splice site in intron 11. Semiquantitative mRNA analysis showed that 1811+1.6kbA{r_arrow}G-mRNA was 5-10-fold less abundant than {triangle}F508 mRNA. Mutations 1811+1.6kbA{yields}G was found in 21 Spanish and 1 German CF chromosome(s), making it the fourth-most-frequent mutation (2%) in the Spanish population. Individuals with genotype {triangle}F508/1811+1.6kbA{yields}G have only 1%-3% of normal CFTR mRNA. This loss of 97% of normal CFTR mRNA must be responsible for the pancreatic insufficiency and for the severe CF phenotype in these patients. 30 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  9. Cotranscriptional splicing efficiency differs dramatically between Drosophila and mouse.

    PubMed

    Khodor, Yevgenia L; Menet, Jerome S; Tolan, Michael; Rosbash, Michael

    2012-12-01

    Spliceosome assembly and/or splicing of a nascent transcript may be crucial for proper isoform expression and gene regulation in higher eukaryotes. We recently showed that cotranscriptional splicing occurs efficiently in Drosophila, but there are not comparable genome-wide nascent splicing data from mammals. To provide this comparison, we analyze a recently generated, high-throughput sequencing data set of mouse liver nascent RNA, originally studied for circadian transcriptional regulation. Cotranscriptional splicing is approximately twofold less efficient in mouse liver than in Drosophila, i.e., nascent intron levels relative to exon levels are ∼0.55 in mouse versus 0.25 in the fly. An additional difference between species is that only mouse cotranscriptional splicing is optimal when 5'-exon length is between 50 and 500 bp, and intron length does not correlate with splicing efficiency, consistent with exon definition. A similar analysis of intron and exon length dependence in the fly is more consistent with intron definition. Contrasted with these differences are many similarities between the two systems: Alternatively annotated introns are less efficiently spliced cotranscriptionally than constitutive introns, and introns of single-intron genes are less efficiently spliced than introns from multi-intron genes. The most striking common feature is intron position: Cotranscriptional splicing is much more efficient when introns are far from the 3' ends of their genes. Additionally, absolute gene length correlates positively with cotranscriptional splicing efficiency independently of intron location and position, in flies as well as in mice. The gene length and distance effects indicate that more "nascent time" gives rise to greater cotranscriptional splicing efficiency in both systems.

  10. The exon-intron organization of the human erythroid [beta]-spectrin gene

    SciTech Connect

    Amin, K.M.; Forget, B.G. ); Scarpa, A.L.; Curtis, P.J. ); Winkelmann, J.C. )

    1993-10-01

    The human erythrocyte [beta]-spectrin gene DNA has been cloned from overlapping human genomic phage and cosmid recombinants. The entire erythroid [beta]-spectrin mRNA is encoded by 32 exons that range in size from 49 to 871 bases. The exon/intron junctions have been identified and the exons mapped. There is no correlation between intron positions and the repeat units of 106 amino acids within domain II of the [beta]-spectrin gene. The scatter of the introns over the 17 repeats argues against the 106-amino-acid unit representing a minigene that underwent repeated duplication resulting in the present [beta]-spectrin gene. In fact, the two largest exons, exon 14 (871 bp) and 16 (757 bp), extend over 4 and 3 repeat units of 106 amino acids, respectively, while repeat [beta]10 is encoded by 4 exons. No single position of an intron in the [beta]-spectrin gene is conserved between any of the 17 [beta]-spectrin and 22 [alpha]-spectrin repeat units. The nucleotide sequences of the exon/intron boundaries conform to the consensus splice site sequences except for exon 20, whose 5[prime] donor splice-site sequence begins with GC. The [beta]-spectrin isoform present in the human brain, the skeletal muscle, and the cardiac muscle is an alternatively spliced product of the erythroid [beta]-spectrin gene. This splice site is located within the coding sequences of exon 32 and its utilization in nonerythroid tissues leads to the use of 4 additional downstream exons with a size range of 44 to 530 bp. 55 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  11. Bacterial group I introns: mobile RNA catalysts

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Group I introns are intervening sequences that have invaded tRNA, rRNA and protein coding genes in bacteria and their phages. The ability of group I introns to self-splice from their host transcripts, by acting as ribozymes, potentially renders their insertion into genes phenotypically neutral. Some group I introns are mobile genetic elements due to encoded homing endonuclease genes that function in DNA-based mobility pathways to promote spread to intronless alleles. Group I introns have a limited distribution among bacteria and the current assumption is that they are benign selfish elements, although some introns and homing endonucleases are a source of genetic novelty as they have been co-opted by host genomes to provide regulatory functions. Questions regarding the origin and maintenance of group I introns among the bacteria and phages are also addressed. PMID:24612670

  12. A segmental genomic duplication generates a functional intron

    PubMed Central

    Hellsten, Uffe; Aspden, Julie L.; Rio, Donald C.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21878908

  13. Conservation of the sizes of 53 introns and over 100 intronic sequences for the binding of common transcription factors in the human and mouse genes for type II procollagen (COL2A1).

    PubMed Central

    Ala-Kokko, L; Kvist, A P; Metsäranta, M; Kivirikko, K I; de Crombrugghe, B; Prockop, D J; Vuorio, E

    1995-01-01

    Over 11,000 bp of previously undefined sequences of the human COL2A1 gene were defined. The results made it possible to compare the intron structures of a highly complex gene from man and mouse. Surprisingly, the sizes of the 53 introns of the two genes were highly conserved with a mean difference of 13%. After alignment of the sequences, 69% of the intron sequences were identical. The introns contained consensus sequences for the binding of over 100 different transcription factors that were conserved in the introns of the two genes. The first intron of the gene contained 80 conserved consensus sequences and the remaining 52 introns of the gene contained 106 conserved sequences for the binding of transcription factors. The 5'-end of intron 2 in both genes had a potential for forming a stem loop in RNA transcripts. Images Figure 4 PMID:8948452

  14. Intragenic epigenetic changes modulate NCAM alternative splicing in neuronal differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Schor, Ignacio E; Fiszbein, Ana; Petrillo, Ezequiel; Kornblihtt, Alberto R

    2013-01-01

    Alternative splicing contributes to cell type-specific transcriptomes. Here, we show that changes in intragenic chromatin marks affect NCAM (neural cell adhesion molecule) exon 18 (E18) alternative splicing during neuronal differentiation. An increase in the repressive marks H3K9me2 and H3K27me3 along the gene body correlated with inhibition of polymerase II elongation in the E18 region, but without significantly affecting total mRNA levels. Treatment with the general DNA methylation inhibitor 5-azacytidine and BIX 01294, a specific inhibitor of H3K9 dimethylation, inhibited the differentiation-induced E18 inclusion, pointing to a role for repressive marks in sustaining NCAM splicing patterns typical of mature neurons. We demonstrate that intragenic deployment of repressive chromatin marks, induced by intronic small interfering RNAs targeting NCAM intron 18, promotes E18 inclusion in undifferentiated N2a cells, confirming the chromatin changes observed upon differentiation to be sufficient to induce alternative splicing. Combined with previous evidence that neuronal depolarization causes H3K9 acetylation and subsequent E18 skipping, our results show how two alternative epigenetic marks regulate NCAM alternative splicing and E18 levels in different cellular contexts. PMID:23892457

  15. Intragenic epigenetic changes modulate NCAM alternative splicing in neuronal differentiation.

    PubMed

    Schor, Ignacio E; Fiszbein, Ana; Petrillo, Ezequiel; Kornblihtt, Alberto R

    2013-08-14

    Alternative splicing contributes to cell type-specific transcriptomes. Here, we show that changes in intragenic chromatin marks affect NCAM (neural cell adhesion molecule) exon 18 (E18) alternative splicing during neuronal differentiation. An increase in the repressive marks H3K9me2 and H3K27me3 along the gene body correlated with inhibition of polymerase II elongation in the E18 region, but without significantly affecting total mRNA levels. Treatment with the general DNA methylation inhibitor 5-azacytidine and BIX 01294, a specific inhibitor of H3K9 dimethylation, inhibited the differentiation-induced E18 inclusion, pointing to a role for repressive marks in sustaining NCAM splicing patterns typical of mature neurons. We demonstrate that intragenic deployment of repressive chromatin marks, induced by intronic small interfering RNAs targeting NCAM intron 18, promotes E18 inclusion in undifferentiated N2a cells, confirming the chromatin changes observed upon differentiation to be sufficient to induce alternative splicing. Combined with previous evidence that neuronal depolarization causes H3K9 acetylation and subsequent E18 skipping, our results show how two alternative epigenetic marks regulate NCAM alternative splicing and E18 levels in different cellular contexts.

  16. Double-target Antisense U1snRNAs Correct Mis-splicing Due to c.639+861C>T and c.639+919G>A GLA Deep Intronic Mutations

    PubMed Central

    Ferri, Lorenzo; Covello, Giuseppina; Caciotti, Anna; Guerrini, Renzo; Denti, Michela Alessandra; Morrone, Amelia

    2016-01-01

    Fabry disease is a rare X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of the α-galactosidase A (α-Gal A) enzyme, which is encoded by the GLA gene. GLA transcription in humans produces a major mRNA encoding α-Gal A and a minor mRNA of unknown function, which retains a 57-nucleotide-long cryptic exon between exons 4 and 5, bearing a premature termination codon. NM_000169.2:c.639+861C>T and NM_000169.2:c.639+919G>A GLA deep intronic mutations have been described to cause Fabry disease by inducing overexpression of the alternatively spliced mRNA, along with a dramatic decrease in the major one. Here, we built a wild-type GLA minigene and two minigenes that carry mutations c.639+861C>T and c.639+919G>A. Once transfected into cells, the minigenes recapitulate the molecular patterns observed in patients, at the mRNA, protein, and enzymatic level. We constructed a set of specific double-target U1asRNAs to correct c.639+861C>T and c.639+919G>A GLA mutations. Efficacy of U1asRNAs in inducing the skipping of the cryptic exon was evaluated upon their transient co-transfection with the minigenes in COS-1 cells, by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), western blot analysis, and α-Gal A enzyme assay. We identified a set of U1asRNAs that efficiently restored α-Gal A enzyme activity and the correct splicing pathways in reporter minigenes. We also identified a unique U1asRNA correcting both mutations as efficently as the mutation-specific U1asRNAs. Our study proves that an exon skipping-based approach recovering α-Gal A activity in the c.639+861C>T and c.639+919G>A GLA mutations is active. PMID:27779620

  17. Double-target Antisense U1snRNAs Correct Mis-splicing Due to c.639+861C>T and c.639+919G>A GLA Deep Intronic Mutations.

    PubMed

    Ferri, Lorenzo; Covello, Giuseppina; Caciotti, Anna; Guerrini, Renzo; Denti, Michela Alessandra; Morrone, Amelia

    2016-01-01

    Fabry disease is a rare X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of the α-galactosidase A (α-Gal A) enzyme, which is encoded by the GLA gene. GLA transcription in humans produces a major mRNA encoding α-Gal A and a minor mRNA of unknown function, which retains a 57-nucleotide-long cryptic exon between exons 4 and 5, bearing a premature termination codon. NM_000169.2:c.639+861C>T and NM_000169.2:c.639+919G>A GLA deep intronic mutations have been described to cause Fabry disease by inducing overexpression of the alternatively spliced mRNA, along with a dramatic decrease in the major one. Here, we built a wild-type GLA minigene and two minigenes that carry mutations c.639+861C>T and c.639+919G>A. Once transfected into cells, the minigenes recapitulate the molecular patterns observed in patients, at the mRNA, protein, and enzymatic level. We constructed a set of specific double-target U1asRNAs to correct c.639+861C>T and c.639+919G>A GLA mutations. Efficacy of U1asRNAs in inducing the skipping of the cryptic exon was evaluated upon their transient co-transfection with the minigenes in COS-1 cells, by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), western blot analysis, and α-Gal A enzyme assay. We identified a set of U1asRNAs that efficiently restored α-Gal A enzyme activity and the correct splicing pathways in reporter minigenes. We also identified a unique U1asRNA correcting both mutations as efficently as the mutation-specific U1asRNAs. Our study proves that an exon skipping-based approach recovering α-Gal A activity in the c.639+861C>T and c.639+919G>A GLA mutations is active.

  18. Double-target Antisense U1snRNAs Correct Mis-splicing Due to c.639+861C>T and c.639+919G>A GLA Deep Intronic Mutations.

    PubMed

    Ferri, Lorenzo; Covello, Giuseppina; Caciotti, Anna; Guerrini, Renzo; Denti, Michela Alessandra; Morrone, Amelia

    2016-10-25

    Fabry disease is a rare X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of the α-galactosidase A (α-Gal A) enzyme, which is encoded by the GLA gene. GLA transcription in humans produces a major mRNA encoding α-Gal A and a minor mRNA of unknown function, which retains a 57-nucleotide-long cryptic exon between exons 4 and 5, bearing a premature termination codon. NM_000169.2:c.639+861C>T and NM_000169.2:c.639+919G>A GLA deep intronic mutations have been described to cause Fabry disease by inducing overexpression of the alternatively spliced mRNA, along with a dramatic decrease in the major one. Here, we built a wild-type GLA minigene and two minigenes that carry mutations c.639+861C>T and c.639+919G>A. Once transfected into cells, the minigenes recapitulate the molecular patterns observed in patients, at the mRNA, protein, and enzymatic level. We constructed a set of specific double-target U1asRNAs to correct c.639+861C>T and c.639+919G>A GLA mutations. Efficacy of U1asRNAs in inducing the skipping of the cryptic exon was evaluated upon their transient co-transfection with the minigenes in COS-1 cells, by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), western blot analysis, and α-Gal A enzyme assay. We identified a set of U1asRNAs that efficiently restored α-Gal A enzyme activity and the correct splicing pathways in reporter minigenes. We also identified a unique U1asRNA correcting both mutations as efficently as the mutation-specific U1asRNAs. Our study proves that an exon skipping-based approach recovering α-Gal A activity in the c.639+861C>T and c.639+919G>A GLA mutations is active.

  19. Evolution of the Exon-Intron Structure in Ciliate Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Gelfand, Mikhail S.

    2016-01-01

    A typical eukaryotic gene is comprised of alternating stretches of regions, exons and introns, retained in and spliced out a mature mRNA, respectively. Although the length of introns may vary substantially among organisms, a large fraction of genes contains short introns in many species. Notably, some Ciliates (Paramecium and Nyctotherus) possess only ultra-short introns, around 25 bp long. In Paramecium, ultra-short introns with length divisible by three (3n) are under strong evolutionary pressure and have a high frequency of in-frame stop codons, which, in the case of intron retention, cause premature termination of mRNA translation and consequent degradation of the mis-spliced mRNA by the nonsense-mediated decay mechanism. Here, we analyzed introns in five genera of Ciliates, Paramecium, Tetrahymena, Ichthyophthirius, Oxytricha, and Stylonychia. Introns can be classified into two length classes in Tetrahymena and Ichthyophthirius (with means 48 bp, 69 bp, and 55 bp, 64 bp, respectively), but, surprisingly, comprise three distinct length classes in Oxytricha and Stylonychia (with means 33–35 bp, 47–51 bp, and 78–80 bp). In most ranges of the intron lengths, 3n introns are underrepresented and have a high frequency of in-frame stop codons in all studied species. Introns of Paramecium, Tetrahymena, and Ichthyophthirius are preferentially located at the 5' and 3' ends of genes, whereas introns of Oxytricha and Stylonychia are strongly skewed towards the 5' end. Analysis of evolutionary conservation shows that, in each studied genome, a significant fraction of intron positions is conserved between the orthologs, but intron lengths are not correlated between the species. In summary, our study provides a detailed characterization of introns in several genera of Ciliates and highlights some of their distinctive properties, which, together, indicate that splicing spellchecking is a universal and evolutionarily conserved process in the biogenesis of short introns in

  20. Mammalian Introns: When the Junk Generates Molecular Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Hubé, Florent; Francastel, Claire

    2015-01-01

    Introns represent almost half of the human genome, yet their vast majority is eliminated from eukaryotic transcripts through RNA splicing. Nevertheless, they feature key elements and functions that deserve further interest. At the level of DNA, introns are genomic segments that can shelter independent transcription units for coding and non-coding RNAs which transcription may interfere with that of the host gene, and regulatory elements that can influence gene expression and splicing itself. From the RNA perspective, some introns can be subjected to alternative splicing. Intron retention appear to provide some plasticity to the nature of the protein produced, its distribution in a given cell type and timing of its translation. Intron retention may also serve as a switch to produce coding or non-coding RNAs from the same transcription unit. Conversely, splicing of introns has been directly implicated in the production of small regulatory RNAs. Hence, splicing of introns also appears to provide plasticity to the type of RNA produced from a genetic locus (coding, non-coding, short or long). We addressed these aspects to add to our understanding of mechanisms that control the fate of introns and could be instrumental in regulating genomic output and hence cell fate. PMID:25710723

  1. Protein splicing: selfish genes invade cellular proteins.

    PubMed

    Neff, N F

    1993-12-01

    Protein splicing is a series of enzymatic events involving intramolecular protein breakage, rejoining and intron homing, in which introns are able to promote the recombinative transposition of their own coding sequences. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic spliced proteins have conserved similar gene structure, but little amino acid identity. The genes coding for these spliced proteins contain internal in-frame introns that encode polypeptides that apparently self-excise from the resulting host protein sequences. Excision of the 'protein intron' is coupled with joining of the two flanking protein regions encoded by exons of the host gene. Some introns of this type encode DNA endonucleases, related to Group I RNA intron gene products, that stimulate gene conversion and self-transmission.

  2. The Arabidopsis thaliana MHX gene includes an intronic element that boosts translation when localized in a 5' UTR intron.

    PubMed

    Akua, Tsofit; Shaul, Orit

    2013-11-01

    The mechanisms that underlie the ability of some introns to increase gene expression, a phenomenon called intron-mediated enhancement (IME), are not fully understood. It is also not known why introns localized in the 5'-untranslated region (5' UTR) are considerably longer than downstream eukaryotic introns. It was hypothesized that this extra length results from the presence of some functional intronic elements. However, deletion analyses studies carried out thus far were unable to identify specific intronic regions necessary for IME. Using deletion analysis and a gain-of-function approach, an internal element that considerably increases translational efficiency, without affecting splicing, was identified in the 5' UTR intron of the Arabidopsis thaliana MHX gene. Moreover, the ability of this element to enhance translation was diminished by a minor downstream shift in the position of introns containing it from the 5' UTR into the coding sequence. These data suggest that some of the extra length of 5' UTR introns results from the presence of elements that enhance translation, and, moreover, from the ability of 5' UTR introns to provide preferable platforms for such elements over downstream introns. The impact of the identified intronic element on translational efficiency was augmented upon removal of neighbouring intronic elements. Interference between different intronic elements had not been reported thus far. This interference may support the bioinformatics-based idea that some of the extra sequence of 5' UTR introns is also necessary for separating different functional intronic elements.

  3. Phylogenetically close group I introns with different positions among Paramecium bursaria photobionts imply a primitive stage of intron diversification.

    PubMed

    Hoshina, Ryo; Imamura, Nobutaka

    2009-06-01

    Group I introns are a distinct RNA group that catalyze their excision from precursor RNA transcripts and ligate the exons. Group I introns have a sporadic and highly biased distribution due to the two intron transfer mechanisms of homing and reverse splicing. These transfer pathways recognize assigned sequences even when introns are transferred beyond the species level. Consequently, introns at homologous gene sites between different host organisms are more related than those at heterologous sites within an organism. We describe the subgroup IE introns of two Chlorella species that are symbiotic green algae (photobionts) of a ciliate, Paramecium bursaria. One strain Chlorella sp. SW1-ZK (Csw.) had two IE introns at S651 and L2449, and the other strain Chlorella sp. OK1-ZK (Cok.) had four IE introns at S943, L1688, L1926, and L2184 (numbering reflects their homologous position in Escherichia coli rRNA gene: S = small subunit rRNA, L = large subunit rRNA). Despite locating on six heterologous sites, the introns formed a monophyletic clade independent of other groups. Phylogenetic and structural analyses of the introns indicated that Csw.L2449 has an archaic state, and the other introns are assumed to be originated from this intron. Some of the introns shared common internal guide sequences, which are necessary for misdirected transfer (i.e., transposition) via reverse splicing. Other introns, however, shared similar sequence fragments further upstream, after the insertions. We propose a hypothetical model to explain how these intron transpositions may have occurred in these photobionts; they transposed by a combination of homing-like event requiring relaxed sequence homology of recognition sequences and reverse splicing. This case study may represent a key to describe how group I intron explores new insertion sites.

  4. Splicing in action: assessing disease causing sequence changes

    PubMed Central

    Baralle, D; Baralle, M

    2005-01-01

    Variations in new splicing regulatory elements are difficult to identify exclusively by sequence inspection and may result in deleterious effects on precursor (pre) mRNA splicing. These mutations can result in either complete skipping of the exon, retention of the intron, or the introduction of a new splice site within an exon or intron. Sometimes mutations that do not disrupt or create a splice site activate pre-existing pseudo splice sites, consistent with the proposal that introns contain splicing inhibitory sequences. These variants can also affect the fine balance of isoforms produced by alternatively spliced exons and in consequence cause disease. Available genomic pathology data reveal that we are still partly ignorant of the basic mechanisms that underlie the pre-mRNA splicing process. The fact that human pathology can provide pointers to new modulatory elements of splicing should be exploited. PMID:16199547

  5. The intron in centromeric noncoding RNA facilitates RNAi-mediated formation of heterochromatin

    PubMed Central

    Mutazono, Masatoshi; Morita, Misato; Tsukahara, Chihiro; Chinen, Madoka; Nishioka, Shiori; Yumikake, Tatsuhiro; Dohke, Kohei; Sakamoto, Misuzu; Ideue, Takashi; Nakayama, Jun-ichi; Ishii, Kojiro

    2017-01-01

    In fission yeast, the formation of centromeric heterochromatin is induced through the RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated pathway. Some pre-mRNA splicing mutants (prp) exhibit defective formation of centromeric heterochromatin, suggesting that splicing factors play roles in the formation of heterochromatin, or alternatively that the defect is caused by impaired splicing of pre-mRNAs encoding RNAi factors. Herein, we demonstrate that the splicing factor spPrp16p is enriched at the centromere, and associates with Cid12p (a factor in the RNAi pathway) and the intron-containing dg ncRNA. Interestingly, removal of the dg intron, mutations of its splice sites, or replacement of the dg intron with an euchromatic intron significantly decreased H3K9 dimethylation. We also revealed that splicing of dg ncRNA is repressed in cells and its repression depends on the distance from the transcription start site to the intron. Inefficient splicing was also observed in other intron-containing centromeric ncRNAs, dh and antisense dg, and splicing of antisense dg ncRNA was repressed in the presence of the RNAi factors. Our results suggest that the introns retained in centromeric ncRNAs work as facilitators, co-operating with splicing factors assembled on the intron and serving as a platform for the recruitment of RNAi factors, in the formation of centromeric heterochromatin. PMID:28231281

  6. The intron in centromeric noncoding RNA facilitates RNAi-mediated formation of heterochromatin.

    PubMed

    Mutazono, Masatoshi; Morita, Misato; Tsukahara, Chihiro; Chinen, Madoka; Nishioka, Shiori; Yumikake, Tatsuhiro; Dohke, Kohei; Sakamoto, Misuzu; Ideue, Takashi; Nakayama, Jun-Ichi; Ishii, Kojiro; Tani, Tokio

    2017-02-01

    In fission yeast, the formation of centromeric heterochromatin is induced through the RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated pathway. Some pre-mRNA splicing mutants (prp) exhibit defective formation of centromeric heterochromatin, suggesting that splicing factors play roles in the formation of heterochromatin, or alternatively that the defect is caused by impaired splicing of pre-mRNAs encoding RNAi factors. Herein, we demonstrate that the splicing factor spPrp16p is enriched at the centromere, and associates with Cid12p (a factor in the RNAi pathway) and the intron-containing dg ncRNA. Interestingly, removal of the dg intron, mutations of its splice sites, or replacement of the dg intron with an euchromatic intron significantly decreased H3K9 dimethylation. We also revealed that splicing of dg ncRNA is repressed in cells and its repression depends on the distance from the transcription start site to the intron. Inefficient splicing was also observed in other intron-containing centromeric ncRNAs, dh and antisense dg, and splicing of antisense dg ncRNA was repressed in the presence of the RNAi factors. Our results suggest that the introns retained in centromeric ncRNAs work as facilitators, co-operating with splicing factors assembled on the intron and serving as a platform for the recruitment of RNAi factors, in the formation of centromeric heterochromatin.

  7. FGLamide Allatostatin genes in Arthropoda: introns early or late?

    PubMed

    Martínez-Pérez, Francisco; Bendena, William G; Chang, Belinda S W; Tobe, Stephen S

    2009-07-01

    FGLamide allatostatins are invertebrate neuropeptides which inhibit juvenile hormone biosynthesis in Dictyoptera and related orders and also show myomodulatory activity. The FGLamide allatostatin (AST) gene structure in Dictyoptera is intronless within the ORF, whereas in 9 species of Diptera, the FGLamide AST ORF has one intron. To investigate the evolutionary history of AST intron structure, (intron early versus intron late hypothesis), all available Arthropoda FGLamide AST gene sequences were examined from genome databases with reference to intron presence and position/phase. Three types of FGLamide AST ORF organization were found: intronless in I. scapularis and P. humanus corporis; one intron in D. pulex, A. pisum, A. mellifera and five Drosophila sp.; two introns in N. vitripennis, B. mori strains, A. aegypti, A. gambiae and C. quinquefasciatus. The literature suggests that for the majority of genes examined, most introns exist between codons (phase 0) which may reflect an ancient function of introns to separate protein modules. 60% of the FGLamide AST ORFs introns were between the first and second base within a codon (phase 1), 28% were between the second and third nucleotides within a codon (phase two) and 12% were phase 0. As would be required for correct intron splicing consensus sequence, 84% of introns were in codons starting with guanine. The positioning of introns was a maximum of 9 codons from a dibasic cleavage site. Our results suggest that the introns in the analyzed species support the intron late model.

  8. Isolation and characterization of two alternatively spliced complementary DNAs encoding a Xenopus laevis angiotensin II receptor.

    PubMed

    Nishimatsu, S; Koyasu, N; Sugaya, T; Ohnishi, J; Yamagishi, T; Murakami, K; Miyazaki, H

    1994-08-02

    We have isolated two cDNAs of 1.7 and 3.0 kb, produced by alternative splicing, that encode a angiotensin II (AII) receptor from a Xenopus laevis heart cDNA library. The two clones had identical coding regions with each other and were found to belong to the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily like the mammalian type 1 AII receptors (AT1); their amino acid sequence was 68.7% homologous with the human AT1 receptor sequence. However, there was a 1.3 kb insertion at the 3'-untranslated region of the longer clone. The insertion contained 9 repeats of an ATTTA motif, suggesting that the two mRNAs undergo distinct post-transcriptional regulation by virtue of a difference in their stability. Although the Xenopus receptor exhibited distinct specificities for AII receptor antagonists compared with mammalian AII receptors, several common characteristics, including the effect of dithiothreitol and guanosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate), demonstrated that the cloned receptor is a counterpart of the mammalian AT1 receptor. Moreover, the cloned receptor was expressed most abundantly in the Xenopus heart, which is inconsistent with the tissue distribution of mammalian AII receptors. This indicated that the Xenopus heart, unlike that of mammals, plays a major role in the AII-dependent regulation of blood pressure and extracellular fluid volume.

  9. Conserved RNA cis-elements regulate alternative splicing of Lepidopteran doublesex.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiu-Ye; Zheng, Zeng-Zhang; Song, Hong-Sheng; Xu, Yong-Zhen

    2014-01-01

    Doublesex (dsx) is a downstream key regulator in insect sex determination pathway. In Drosophila, alternative splicing of Dm-dsx gene is sex-specifically regulated by transformer (tra), in which the functional TRA promotes female-specific Dm-dsx. However, the sex determination pathway in Lepidoptera is not well understood; here we focused on alternative splicing of doublesex (dsx) in two agricultural pests, Asian corn borer (Ostrinia furnacalis) and cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera), as well as the silkworm (Bombyx mori). More than a dozen new alternative splicing isoforms of dsx were found in the Lepidopteran females, which exist in all tested developmental stages and differentiated tissues. Alignment of mRNA and protein sequences of doublesex revealed high conservation of this gene in Lepidoptera. Strength analysis of splice sites revealed a weak 5' splice site at intron 3 in Lepidopteran dsx, which was experimentally confirmed. Furthermore, we identified highly conserved RNA sequences in the Lepidopteran dsx, including RNA elements I (14 nt), II (11 nt), III (26 nt), IV (17 nt), 3E-1 (8 nt) and 3E-2 (8 nt). The RNA elements III and IV were previously found in exon 4 of B. mori dsx and bound with Bm-PSI, which suppressed the inclusion of exons 3 & 4 into the male-specific Bm-dsx. Then we identified and analyzed the homologous genes of Bm-psi in the two Lepidopteran pests, which expressed at similar levels and exhibited a unique isoform in the males and females from each Lepidoptera. Importantly, mutagenesis of Bm-dsx mini-genes and their expression in BmN cell line demonstrated that three RNA elements are involved in the female-specific alternative splicing of Bm-dsx. Mutations in the RNA cis-elements 3E-1 and 3E-2 resulted in decreased inclusion of exon 3 into the female-specific dsx mRNA, suggesting that these two elements would be exonic splicing enhancers that facilitate the recognition of the weak 5' splice site at intron 3 of Lepidopteran dsx. We

  10. Variation in sequence and organization of splicing regulatory elements in vertebrate genes

    PubMed Central

    Yeo, Gene; Hoon, Shawn; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Burge, Christopher B.

    2004-01-01

    Although core mechanisms and machinery of premRNA splicing are conserved from yeast to human, the details of intron recognition often differ, even between closely related organisms. For example, genes from the pufferfish Fugu rubripes generally contain one or more introns that are not properly spliced in mouse cells. Exploiting available genome sequence data, a battery of sequence analysis techniques was used to reach several conclusions about the organization and evolution of splicing regulatory elements in vertebrate genes. The classical splice site and putative branch site signals are completely conserved across the vertebrates studied (human, mouse, pufferfish, and zebrafish), and exonic splicing enhancers also appear broadly conserved in vertebrates. However, another class of splicing regulatory elements, the intronic splicing enhancers, appears to differ substantially between mammals and fish, with G triples (GGG) very abundant in mammalian introns but comparatively rare in fish. Conversely, short repeats of AC and GT are predicted to function as intronic splicing enhancers in fish but are not enriched in mammalian introns. Consistent with this pattern, exonic splicing enhancer-binding SR proteins are highly conserved across all vertebrates, whereas heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins, which bind many intronic sequences, vary in domain structure and even presence/absence between mammals and fish. Exploiting differences in intronic sequence composition, a statistical model was developed to predict the splicing phenotype of Fugu introns in mammalian systems and was used to engineer the spliceability of a Fugu intron in human cells by insertion of specific sequences, thereby rescuing splicing in human cells. PMID:15505203

  11. Euglena gracilis chloroplast ribosomal protein operon: a new chloroplast gene for ribosomal protein L5 and description of a novel organelle intron category designated group III.

    PubMed Central

    Christopher, D A; Hallick, R B

    1989-01-01

    We describe the structure (3840 bp) of a novel Euglena gracilis chloroplast ribosomal protein operon that encodes the five genes rpl16-rpl14-rpl5-rps8-rpl36. The gene organization resembles the spc and the 3'-end of the S10 ribosomal protein operons of E. coli. The rpl5 is a new chloroplast gene not previously reported for any chloroplast genome to date and also not described as a nuclear-encoded, chloroplast protein gene. The operon contains at least 7 introns. We present evidence from primer extension analysis of chloroplast RNA for the correct in vivo splicing of five of the introns. Two of the introns within the rps8 gene flank an 8 bp exon, the smallest exon yet characterized in a chloroplast gene. Three introns resemble the classical group II introns of organelle genomes. The remaining 4 introns appear to be unique to the Euglena chloroplast DNA. They are uniform in size (95-109 nt), share common features with each other and are distinct from both group I and group II introns. We designate this new intron category as 'group III'. Images PMID:2477800

  12. Splicing in Caenorhabditis elegans does not require an AG at the 3' splice acceptor site.

    PubMed Central

    Aroian, R V; Levy, A D; Koga, M; Ohshima, Y; Kramer, J M; Sternberg, P W

    1993-01-01

    The dinucleotide AG, found at the 3' end of virtually all eukaryotic pre-mRNA introns, is thought to be essential for splicing. Reduction-of-function mutations in two Caenorhabditis elegans genes, the receptor tyrosine kinase gene let-23 and the collagen gene dpy-10, both alter the AG at the end of a short (ca. 50-nucleotide) intron to AA. The in vivo effects of these mutations were studied by sequencing polymerase chain reaction-amplified reverse-transcribed RNA isolated from the two mutants. As expected, we find transcripts that splice to a cryptic AG, skip an exon, and retain an unspliced intron. However, we also find significant levels of splicing at the mutated 3' splice site (AA) and at nearby non-AG dinucleotides. Our results indicate that for short C. elegans introns an AG is not required for splicing at either the correct 3' splice site or incorrect sites. Analysis of a splice site mutant involving a longer, 316-nucleotide C. elegans intron indicates that an AG is also not required there for splicing. We hypothesize that elements besides the invariant AG, e.g., an A-U-rich region, a UUUC motif, and/or a potential branch point sequence, are directing the selection of the 3' splice site and that in wild-type genes these elements cooperate so that proper splicing occurs. Images PMID:8417357

  13. Intron retention as a component of regulated gene expression programs.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Aishwarya G; Smith, Christopher W J

    2017-04-08

    Intron retention has long been an exemplar of regulated splicing with case studies of individual events serving as models that provided key mechanistic insights into the process of splicing control. In organisms such as plants and budding yeast, intron retention is well understood as a major mechanism of gene expression regulation. In contrast, in mammalian systems, the extent and functional significance of intron retention have, until recently, remained greatly underappreciated. Technical challenges to the global detection and quantitation of transcripts with retained introns have often led to intron retention being overlooked or dismissed as "noise". Now, however, with the wealth of information available from high-throughput deep sequencing, combined with focused computational and statistical analyses, we are able to distinguish clear intron retention patterns in various physiological and pathological contexts. Several recent studies have demonstrated intron retention as a central component of gene expression programs during normal development as well as in response to stress and disease. Furthermore, these studies revealed various ways in which intron retention regulates protein isoform production, RNA stability and translation efficiency, and rapid induction of expression via post-transcriptional splicing of retained introns. In this review, we highlight critical findings from these transcriptomic studies and discuss commonalties in the patterns prevalent in intron retention networks at the functional and regulatory levels.

  14. Mobile Introns Shape the Genetic Diversity of Their Host Genes

    PubMed Central

    Repar, Jelena; Warnecke, Tobias

    2017-01-01

    Self-splicing introns populate several highly conserved protein-coding genes in fungal and plant mitochondria. In fungi, many of these introns have retained their ability to spread to intron-free target sites, often assisted by intron-encoded endonucleases that initiate the homing process. Here, leveraging population genomic data from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and Lachancea kluyveri, we expose nonrandom patterns of genetic diversity in exons that border self-splicing introns. In particular, we show that, in all three species, the density of single nucleotide polymorphisms increases as one approaches a mobile intron. Through multiple lines of evidence, we rule out relaxed purifying selection as the cause of uneven nucleotide diversity. Instead, our findings implicate intron mobility as a direct driver of host gene diversity. We discuss two mechanistic scenarios that are consistent with the data: either endonuclease activity and subsequent error-prone repair have left a mutational footprint on the insertion environment of mobile introns or nonrandom patterns of genetic diversity are caused by exonic coconversion, which occurs when introns spread to empty target sites via homologous recombination. Importantly, however, we show that exonic coconversion can only explain diversity gradients near intron–exon boundaries if the conversion template comes from outside the population. In other words, there must be pervasive and ongoing horizontal gene transfer of self-splicing introns into extant fungal populations. PMID:28193728

  15. Identification and characterization of NF1 splicing mutations in Korean patients with neurofibromatosis type 1.

    PubMed

    Jang, Mi-Ae; Kim, Young-Eun; Kim, Sun Kyung; Lee, Myoung-Keun; Kim, Jong-Won; Ki, Chang-Seok

    2016-08-01

    Neurofibromatosis type I (NF1) is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder caused by NF1 mutations. Although mutations affecting mRNA splicing are the most common molecular defects in NF1, few studies have analyzed genomic DNA (gDNA)-mRNA correlations in Korean NF1 patients. In this study, we investigated 28 unrelated NF1 patients who showed splicing alterations in reverse transcription-PCR of NF1 mRNA and identified 24 different NF1 splicing mutations, 9 of which were novel. These mutations can be categorized into five groups: exon skipping resulting from mutations at authentic 5' and 3' splice sites (type I, 46%), cryptic exon inclusion caused by deep intronic mutations (type II, 8%), creation of new splice sites causing loss of exonic sequences (type III, 8%), activation of cryptic splice sites due to disruption of authentic splice sites (type IV, 25%) and exonic sequence alterations causing exon skipping (type V, 13%). In total, 42% of all splicing mutations did not involve the conserved AG/GT dinucleotides of the splice sites, making it difficult to identify the correct mutation sites at the gDNA level. These results add to the mutational spectrum of NF1 and further elucidate the gDNA-mRNA correlations of NF1 mutations.

  16. Relationship between nucleosome positioning and progesterone-induced alternative splicing in breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Iannone, Camilla; Pohl, Andy; Papasaikas, Panagiotis; Soronellas, Daniel; Vicent, Guillermo P; Beato, Miguel; ValcáRcel, Juan

    2015-03-01

    Splicing of mRNA precursors can occur cotranscriptionally and it has been proposed that chromatin structure influences splice site recognition and regulation. Here we have systematically explored potential links between nucleosome positioning and alternative splicing regulation upon progesterone stimulation of breast cancer cells. We confirm preferential nucleosome positioning in exons and report four distinct profiles of nucleosome density around alternatively spliced exons, with RNA polymerase II accumulation closely following nucleosome positioning. Hormone stimulation induces switches between profile classes, correlating with a subset of alternative splicing changes. Hormone-induced exon inclusion often correlates with higher nucleosome occupancy at the exon or the preceding intronic region and with higher RNA polymerase II accumulation. In contrast, exons skipped upon hormone stimulation display low nucleosome densities even before hormone treatment, suggesting that chromatin structure primes alternative splicing regulation. Skipped exons frequently harbor binding sites for hnRNP AB, a hormone-induced splicing regulator whose knock down prevents some hormone-induced skipping events. Collectively, our results argue that a variety of chromatin architecture mechanisms can influence alternative splicing decisions.

  17. RNA helicases in splicing.

    PubMed

    Cordin, Olivier; Beggs, Jean D

    2013-01-01

    In eukaryotic cells, introns are spliced from pre-mRNAs by the spliceosome. Both the composition and the structure of the spliceosome are highly dynamic, and eight DExD/H RNA helicases play essential roles in controlling conformational rearrangements. There is evidence that the various helicases are functionally and physically connected with each other and with many other factors in the spliceosome. Understanding the dynamics of those interactions is essential to comprehend the mechanism and regulation of normal as well as of pathological splicing. This review focuses on recent advances in the characterization of the splicing helicases and their interactions, and highlights the deep integration of splicing helicases in global mRNP biogenesis pathways.

  18. Construction of an alpha toxin gene knockout mutant of Clostridium perfringens type A by use of a mobile group II intron.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yue; McClane, Bruce A; Fisher, Derek J; Rood, Julian I; Gupta, Phalguni

    2005-11-01

    In developing Clostridium perfringens as a safe vaccine vector, the alpha toxin gene (plc) in the bacterial chromosome must be permanently inactivated. Disrupting genes in C. perfringens by traditional mutagenesis methods is very difficult. Therefore, we developed a new strategy using group II intron-based Target-Tron technology to inactivate the plc gene in C. perfringens ATCC 3624. Western blot analysis showed no production of alpha toxin protein in the culture supernatant of the plc mutant. Advantages of this technology, such as site specificity, relatively high frequency of insertion, and introduction of no antibiotic resistance genes into the chromosome, could facilitate construction of other C. perfringens mutants.

  19. Mutual interdependence of splicing and transcription elongation.

    PubMed

    Brzyżek, Grzegorz; Świeżewski, Szymon

    2015-01-01

    Transcription and splicing are intrinsically linked, as splicing needs a pre-mRNA substrate to commence. The more nuanced view is that the rate of transcription contributes to splicing regulation. On the other hand there is accumulating evidence that splicing has an active role in controlling transcription elongation by DNA-dependent RNA polymerase II (RNAP II). We briefly review those mechanisms and propose a unifying model where splicing controls transcription elongation to provide an optimal timing for successive rounds of splicing.

  20. Functional analysis of splicing mutations in the IDS gene and the use of antisense oligonucleotides to exploit an alternative therapy for MPS II.

    PubMed

    Matos, Liliana; Gonçalves, Vânia; Pinto, Eugénia; Laranjeira, Francisco; Prata, Maria João; Jordan, Peter; Desviat, Lourdes R; Pérez, Belén; Alves, Sandra

    2015-12-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis II is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the IDS gene, including exonic alterations associated with aberrant splicing. In the present work, cell-based splicing assays were performed to study the effects of two splicing mutations in exon 3 of IDS, i.e., c.241C>T and c.257C>T, whose presence activates a cryptic splice site in exon 3 and one in exon 8, i.e., c.1122C>T that despite being a synonymous mutation is responsible for the creation of a new splice site in exon 8 leading to a transcript shorter than usual. Mutant minigene analysis and overexpression assays revealed that SRSF2 and hnRNP E1 might be involved in the use and repression of the constitutive 3' splice site of exon 3 respectively. For the c.1122C>T the use of antisense therapy to correct the splicing defect was explored, but transfection of patient fibroblasts with antisense morpholino oligonucleotides (n=3) and a locked nucleic acid failed to abolish the abnormal transcript; indeed, it resulted in the appearance of yet another aberrant splicing product. Interestingly, the oligonucleotides transfection in control fibroblasts led to the appearance of the aberrant transcript observed in patients' cells after treatment, which shows that the oligonucleotides are masking an important cis-acting element for 5' splice site regulation of exon 8. These results highlight the importance of functional studies for understanding the pathogenic consequences of mis-splicing and highlight the difficulty in developing antisense therapies involving gene regions under complex splicing regulation.

  1. Intron evolution in Saccharomycetaceae.

    PubMed

    Hooks, Katarzyna B; Delneri, Daniela; Griffiths-Jones, Sam

    2014-09-01

    Introns in protein-coding genes are very rare in hemiascomycetous yeast genomes. It has been suggested that these species have experienced extensive intron loss during their evolution from the postulated intron-rich fungal ancestor. However, no intron-devoidy east species have been identified and some of the introns remaining within the genomes of intron-poor species, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, appear to be beneficial during growth under stress conditions. In order to reveal the pattern of intron retention within intron-poor yeast species and better understand the mechanisms of intron evolution, we generated a comprehensive set of 250 orthologous introns in the 20 species that comprise the Saccharomycetaceae, by analyzing RNA deep-sequencing data and alignments of intron-containing genes. Analysis of these intron sets shows that intron loss is at least two orders of magnitude more frequent than intron gain. Fine mapping of intron positions shows that intron sliding is rare, and that introns are almost always removed without changing the primary sequence of the encoded protein. The latter finding is consistent with the prevailing view that homologous recombination between reverse-transcribed mature mRNAs and the corresponding genomic locus is the primary mechanism of intron loss. However, we also find evidence that loss of a small number of introns is mediated by micro-homology, and that the number of intron losses is diminished in yeast species that have lost the microhomology end joining and nonhomologous end joining machinery.

  2. Association pattern mining of intron retention events in human based on hybrid learning machine.

    PubMed

    Hu, Hae-Jin; Goh, Sung-Ho; Lee, Yeon-Su

    2010-01-01

    Alternative splicing is a main component of protein diversity, and aberrant splicing is known to be one of the main causes of genetic disorders such as cancer. Many statistical and computational approaches have identified several major factors that determine the splicing event, such as exon/intron length, splice site strength, and density of splicing enhancers or silencers. These factors may be correlated with one another and thus result in a specific type of splicing, but there has not been a systematic approach to extracting comprehensible association patterns. Here, we attempted to understand the decision making process of the learning machine on intron retention event. We adopted a hybrid learning machine approach using a random forest and association rule mining algorithm to determine the governing factors of intron retention events and their combined effect on decision-making processes. By quantifying all candidate features into five category values, we enhanced the understandability of generated rules. The interesting features found by the random forest algorithm are that only the adenine- and thymine-based triplets such as ATA, TTA, and ATT, but not the known intronic splicing enhancer GGG triplet is shown the significant features. The rules generated by the association rule mining algorithm also show that constitutive introns are generally characterized by high adenine- and thymine-based triplet frequency (level 3 and above), 3' and 5' splice site scores, exonic splicing silencer scores, and intron length, whereas retained introns are characterized by low-level counterpart scores.

  3. Bioinformatics analysis of plant orthologous introns: identification of an intronic tRNA-like sequence.

    PubMed

    Akkuratov, Evgeny E; Walters, Lorraine; Saha-Mandal, Arnab; Khandekar, Sushant; Crawford, Erin; Zirbel, Craig L; Leisner, Scott; Prakash, Ashwin; Fedorova, Larisa; Fedorov, Alexei

    2014-09-10

    Orthologous introns have identical positions relative to the coding sequence in orthologous genes of different species. By analyzing the complete genomes of five plants we generated a database of 40,512 orthologous intron groups of dicotyledonous plants, 28,519 orthologous intron groups of angiosperms, and 15,726 of land plants (moss and angiosperms). Multiple sequence alignments of each orthologous intron group were obtained using the Mafft algorithm. The number of conserved regions in plant introns appeared to be hundreds of times fewer than that in mammals or vertebrates. Approximately three quarters of conserved intronic regions among angiosperms and dicots, in particular, correspond to alternatively-spliced exonic sequences. We registered only a handful of conserved intronic ncRNAs of flowering plants. However, the most evolutionarily conserved intronic region, which is ubiquitous for all plants examined in this study, including moss, possessed multiple structural features of tRNAs, which caused us to classify it as a putative tRNA-like ncRNA. Intronic sequences encoding tRNA-like structures are not unique to plants. Bioinformatics examination of the presence of tRNA inside introns revealed an unusually long-term association of four glycine tRNAs inside the Vac14 gene of fish, amniotes, and mammals.

  4. Mechanism for DNA transposons to generate introns on genomic scales.

    PubMed

    Huff, Jason T; Zilberman, Daniel; Roy, Scott W

    2016-10-27

    The discovery of introns four decades ago was one of the most unexpected findings in molecular biology. Introns are sequences interrupting genes that must be removed as part of messenger RNA production. Genome sequencing projects have shown that most eukaryotic genes contain at least one intron, and frequently many. Comparison of these genomes reveals a history of long evolutionary periods during which few introns were gained, punctuated by episodes of rapid, extensive gain. However, although several detailed mechanisms for such episodic intron generation have been proposed, none has been empirically supported on a genomic scale. Here we show how short, non-autonomous DNA transposons independently generated hundreds to thousands of introns in the prasinophyte Micromonas pusilla and the pelagophyte Aureococcus anophagefferens. Each transposon carries one splice site. The other splice site is co-opted from the gene sequence that is duplicated upon transposon insertion, allowing perfect splicing out of the RNA. The distributions of sequences that can be co-opted are biased with respect to codons, and phasing of transposon-generated introns is similarly biased. These transposons insert between pre-existing nucleosomes, so that multiple nearby insertions generate nucleosome-sized intervening segments. Thus, transposon insertion and sequence co-option may explain the intron phase biases and prevalence of nucleosome-sized exons observed in eukaryotes. Overall, the two independent examples of proliferating elements illustrate a general DNA transposon mechanism that can plausibly account for episodes of rapid, extensive intron gain during eukaryotic evolution.

  5. Recursive splicing in long vertebrate genes.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-21

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

  6. Evolution of RNA-protein interactions: non-specific binding led to RNA splicing activity of fungal mitochondrial tyrosyl-tRNA synthetases.

    PubMed

    Lamech, Lilian T; Mallam, Anna L; Lambowitz, Alan M

    2014-12-01

    The Neurospora crassa mitochondrial tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase (mtTyrRS; CYT-18 protein) evolved a new function as a group I intron splicing factor by acquiring the ability to bind group I intron RNAs and stabilize their catalytically active RNA structure. Previous studies showed: (i) CYT-18 binds group I introns by using both its N-terminal catalytic domain and flexibly attached C-terminal anticodon-binding domain (CTD); and (ii) the catalytic domain binds group I introns specifically via multiple structural adaptations that occurred during or after the divergence of Peziomycotina and Saccharomycotina. However, the function of the CTD and how it contributed to the evolution of splicing activity have been unclear. Here, small angle X-ray scattering analysis of CYT-18 shows that both CTDs of the homodimeric protein extend outward from the catalytic domain, but move inward to bind opposite ends of a group I intron RNA. Biochemical assays show that the isolated CTD of CYT-18 binds RNAs non-specifically, possibly contributing to its interaction with the structurally different ends of the intron RNA. Finally, we find that the yeast mtTyrRS, which diverged from Pezizomycotina fungal mtTyrRSs prior to the evolution of splicing activity, binds group I intron and other RNAs non-specifically via its CTD, but lacks further adaptations needed for group I intron splicing. Our results suggest a scenario of constructive neutral (i.e., pre-adaptive) evolution in which an initial non-specific interaction between the CTD of an ancestral fungal mtTyrRS and a self-splicing group I intron was "fixed" by an intron RNA mutation that resulted in protein-dependent splicing. Once fixed, this interaction could be elaborated by further adaptive mutations in both the catalytic domain and CTD that enabled specific binding of group I introns. Our results highlight a role for non-specific RNA binding in the evolution of RNA-binding proteins.

  7. Intron Length Coevolution across Mammalian Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Keane, Peter A.; Seoighe, Cathal

    2016-01-01

    Although they do not contribute directly to the proteome, introns frequently contain regulatory elements and can extend the protein coding potential of the genome through alternative splicing. For some genes, the contribution of introns to the time required for transcription can also be functionally significant. We have previously shown that intron length in genes associated with developmental patterning is often highly conserved. In general, sets of genes that require precise coordination in the timing of their expression may be sensitive to changes in transcript length. A prediction of this hypothesis is that evolutionary changes in intron length, when they occur, may be correlated between sets of coordinately expressed genes. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed intron length coevolution in alignments from nine eutherian mammals. Overall, genes that belong to the same protein complex or that are coexpressed were significantly more likely to show evidence of intron length coevolution than matched, randomly sampled genes. Individually, protein complexes involved in the cell cycle showed the strongest evidence of coevolution of intron lengths and clusters of coexpressed genes enriched for cell cycle genes also showed significant evidence of intron length coevolution. Our results reveal a novel aspect of gene coevolution and provide a means to identify genes, protein complexes and biological processes that may be particularly sensitive to changes in transcriptional dynamics. PMID:27550903

  8. Coupling transcription and alternative splicing.

    PubMed

    Kornblihtt, Alberto R

    2007-01-01

    Alternative splicing regulation not only depends on the interaction of splicing factors with splicing enhancers and silencers in the pre-mRNA, but also on the coupling between transcription and splicing. This coupling is possible because splicing is often cotranscriptional and promoter identity and occupation may affect alternative splicing. We discuss here the different mechanisms by which transcription regulates alternative splicing. These include the recruitment of splicing factors to the transcribing polymerase and "kinetic coupling", which involves changes in the rate of transcriptional elongation that in turn affect the timing in which splice sites are presented to the splicing machinery. The recruitment mechanism may depend on the particular features of the carboxyl terminal domain of RNA polymerase II, whereas kinetic coupling seems to be linked to how changes in chromatin structure and other factors affect transcription elongation.

  9. Structural analysis of the regulatory elements of the type-II procollagen gene. Conservation of promoter and first intron sequences between human and mouse.

    PubMed Central

    Vikkula, M; Metsäranta, M; Syvänen, A C; Ala-Kokko, L; Vuorio, E; Peltonen, L

    1992-01-01

    Transcription of the type-II procollagen gene (COL2A1) is very specifically restricted to a limited number of tissues, particularly cartilages. In order to identify transcription-control motifs we have sequenced the promoter region and the first intron of the human and mouse COL2A1 genes. With the assumption that these motifs should be well conserved during evolution, we have searched for potential elements important for the tissue-specific transcription of the COL2A1 gene by aligning the two sequences with each other and with the available rat type-II procollagen sequence for the promoter. With this approach we could identify specific evolutionarily well-conserved motifs in the promoter area. On the other hand, several suggested regulatory elements in the promoter region did not show evolutionary conservation. In the middle of the first intron we found a cluster of well-conserved transcription-control elements and we conclude that these conserved motifs most probably possess a significant function in the control of the tissue-specific transcription of the COL2A1 gene. We also describe locations of additional, highly conserved nucleotide stretches, which are good candidate regions in the search for binding sites of yet-uncharacterized cartilage-specific transcription regulators of the COL2A1 gene. PMID:1637314

  10. Higher frequency of intron loss from the promoter proximally paused genes of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Li; Li, Xue-Nan; Niu, Deng-Ke

    2014-01-01

    Although intron losses have been widely reported, it is not clear whether they are neutral and therefore random or driven by positive selection. Intron transcription and splicing are time-consuming and can delay the expression of its host gene. For genes that must be activated quickly to respond to physiological or stress signals, intron delay may be deleterious. Promoter proximally paused (PPP) genes are a group of rapidly expressed genes. To respond quickly to activation signals, they generally initiate transcription competently but stall after synthesizing a short RNA. In this study, performed in Drosophila melanogaster, the PPP genes were found to have a significantly higher rate of intron loss than control genes. However, further analysis did not find more significant shrinkage of intron size in PPP genes. Referring to previous studies on the rates of transcription and splicing and to the time saved by deletion of the introns from mouse gene Hes7, it is here suggested that transcription delay is comparable to splicing delay only when the intron is 28.5 kb or larger, which is greater in size than 95% of vertebrate introns, 99.5% of Drosophila introns, and all the annotated introns of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis thaliana. Delays in intron splicing are probably a selective force, promoting intron loss from quickly expressed genes. In other genes, it may have been an exaptation during the emergency of developmental clocks.

  11. Exon definition complexes contain the tri-snRNP and can be directly converted into B-like precatalytic splicing complexes.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Marc; Will, Cindy L; Anokhina, Maria; Tazi, Jamal; Urlaub, Henning; Lührmann, Reinhard

    2010-04-23

    The first step in splicing of pre-mRNAs with long introns is exon definition, where U1 and U2 snRNPs bind at opposite ends of an exon. After exon definition, these snRNPs must form a complex across the upstream intron to allow splicing catalysis. Exon definition and conversion of cross-exon to cross-intron spliceosomal complexes are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that, in addition to U1 and U2 snRNPs, cross-exon complexes contain U4, U5, and U6 (which form the tri-snRNP). Tri-snRNP docking involves the formation of U2/U6 helix II. This interaction is stabilized by a 5' splice site (SS)-containing oligonucleotide, which can bind the tri-snRNP and convert the cross-exon complex into a cross-intron, B-like complex. Our data suggest that the switch from cross-exon to cross-intron complexes can occur directly when an exon-bound tri-snRNP interacts with an upstream 5'SS, without prior formation of a cross-intron A complex, revealing an alternative spliceosome assembly pathway.

  12. RNA Polymerase II Elongation at the Crossroads of Transcription and Alternative Splicing

    PubMed Central

    de la Mata, Manuel; Muñoz, Manuel J.; Alló, Mariano; Fededa, Juan Pablo; Schor, Ignacio E.; Kornblihtt, Alberto R.

    2011-01-01

    The elongation phase of transcription lies at the core of several simultaneous and coupled events leading to alternative splicing regulation. Although underestimated in the past, it is at this phase of the transcription cycle where complexes affecting the transcription machinery itself, chromatin structure, posttranscriptional gene regulation and pre-mRNA processing converge to regulate each other or simply to consolidate higher-order complexes and functions. This paper focuses on the multiple processes that take place during transcription elongation which ultimately regulate the outcome of alternative splicing decisions. PMID:22567350

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Reverse transcriptase and intron number evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kuo, Alan; Grigoriev, Igor V.

    2014-01-01

    Background Introns are universal in eukaryotic genomes and play important roles in transcriptional regulation, mRNA export to the cytoplasm, nonsense-mediated decay as both a regulatory and a splicing quality control mechanism, R-loop avoidance, alternative splicing, chromatin structure, and evolution by exon-shuffling. Methods Sixteen complete fungal genomes were used 13 of which were sequenced and annotated by JGI. Ustilago maydis, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Coprinus cinereus (also named Coprinopsis cinerea) were from the Broad Institute. Gene models from JGI-annotated genomes were taken from the GeneCatalog track that contained the best representative gene models. Varying fractions of the GeneCatalog were manually curated by external users. For clarity, we used the JGI unique database identifier. Results The last common ancestor of eukaryotes (LECA) has an estimated 6.4 coding exons per gene (EPG) and evolved into the diverse eukaryotic life forms, which is recapitulated by the development of a stem cell. We found a parallel between the simulated reverse transcriptase (RT)-mediated intron loss and the comparative analysis of 16 fungal genomes that spanned a wide range of intron density. Although footprints of RT (RTF) were dynamic, relative intron location (RIL) to the 5'-end of mRNA faithfully traced RT-mediated intron loss and revealed 7.7 EPG for LECA. The mode of exon length distribution was conserved in simulated intron loss, which was exemplified by the shared mode of 75 nt between fungal and Chlamydomonas genomes. The dominant ancient exon length was corroborated by the average exon length of the most intron-rich genes in fungal genomes and consistent with ancient protein modules being ~25 aa. Combined with the conservation of a protein length of 400 aa, the earliest ancestor of eukaryotes could have 16 EPG. During earlier evolution, Ascomycota’s ancestor had significantly more 3'-biased RT-mediated intron loss that was followed by dramatic RTF loss

  15. Tissue- and case-specific retention of intron 40 in mature dystrophin mRNA.

    PubMed

    Nishida, Atsushi; Minegishi, Maki; Takeuchi, Atsuko; Niba, Emma Tabe Eko; Awano, Hiroyuki; Lee, Tomoko; Iijima, Kazumoto; Takeshima, Yasuhiro; Matsuo, Masafumi

    2015-06-01

    The dystrophin gene, which is mutated in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), comprises 79 exons that show multiple alternative splicing events. Intron retention, a type of alternative splicing, may control gene expression. We examined intron retention in dystrophin introns by reverse-transcription PCR from skeletal muscle, focusing on the nine shortest (all <1000 bp), because these are more likely to be retained. Only one, intron 40, was retained in mRNA; sequencing revealed insertion of a complete intron 40 (851 nt) between exons 40 and 41. The intron 40 retention product accounted for 1.2% of the total product but had a premature stop codon at the fifth intronic codon. Intron 40 retention was most strongly observed in the kidney (36.6%) and was not obtained from the fetal liver, lung, spleen or placenta. This indicated that intron retention is a tissue-specific event whose level varies among tissues. In two DMD patients, intron 40 retention was observed in one patient but not in the other. Examination of splicing regulatory factors revealed that intron 40 had the highest guanine-cytosine content of all examined introns in a 30-nt segment at its 3' end. Further studies are needed to clarify the biological role of intron 40-retained dystrophin mRNA.

  16. RNA splicing. The human splicing code reveals new insights into the genetic determinants of disease.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Hui Y; Alipanahi, Babak; Lee, Leo J; Bretschneider, Hannes; Merico, Daniele; Yuen, Ryan K C; Hua, Yimin; Gueroussov, Serge; Najafabadi, Hamed S; Hughes, Timothy R; Morris, Quaid; Barash, Yoseph; Krainer, Adrian R; Jojic, Nebojsa; Scherer, Stephen W; Blencowe, Benjamin J; Frey, Brendan J

    2015-01-09

    To facilitate precision medicine and whole-genome annotation, we developed a machine-learning technique that scores how strongly genetic variants affect RNA splicing, whose alteration contributes to many diseases. Analysis of more than 650,000 intronic and exonic variants revealed widespread patterns of mutation-driven aberrant splicing. Intronic disease mutations that are more than 30 nucleotides from any splice site alter splicing nine times as often as common variants, and missense exonic disease mutations that have the least impact on protein function are five times as likely as others to alter splicing. We detected tens of thousands of disease-causing mutations, including those involved in cancers and spinal muscular atrophy. Examination of intronic and exonic variants found using whole-genome sequencing of individuals with autism revealed misspliced genes with neurodevelopmental phenotypes. Our approach provides evidence for causal variants and should enable new discoveries in precision medicine.

  17. Molecular characterization of MHC class II in the Australian invasive cane toad reveals multiple splice variants.

    PubMed

    Lillie, Mette; Cui, Jian; Shine, Richard; Belov, Katherine

    2016-07-01

    The cane toad has gained notoriety for its invasion across the Australian landscape, with significant impacts on the native Australian fauna. The invasion has accelerated over time, with invading cane toads adapted for highly dispersive traits. This, however, has come at the cost of the immune system, with lower investment in some immune functions. To investigate the cane toad's immunogenetics, we characterized four major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class IIA and three MHC class IIB loci. Preliminary observations suggest very low allelic diversity at all loci. We also observed various splice isoforms. One isoform seen at one class IIA and two class IIB loci was missing exon 2, which is essential to peptide binding and presentation. The other isoform, observed at a class IIA locus, is likely to be a soluble MHC product. These results may suggest a significant role of alternative splicing of MHC loci in the Australian cane toad.

  18. Conserved RNA secondary structures promote alternative splicing.

    PubMed

    Shepard, Peter J; Hertel, Klemens J

    2008-08-01

    Pre-mRNA splicing is carried out by the spliceosome, which identifies exons and removes intervening introns. Alternative splicing in higher eukaryotes results in the generation of multiple protein isoforms from gene transcripts. The extensive alternative splicing observed implies a flexibility of the spliceosome to identify exons within a given pre-mRNA. To reach this flexibility, splice-site selection in higher eukaryotes has evolved to depend on multiple parameters such as splice-site strength, splicing regulators, the exon/intron architecture, and the process of pre-mRNA synthesis itself. RNA secondary structures have also been proposed to influence alternative splicing as stable RNA secondary structures that mask splice sites are expected to interfere with splice-site recognition. Using structural and functional conservation, we identified RNA structure elements within the human genome that associate with alternative splice-site selection. Their frequent involvement with alternative splicing demonstrates that RNA structure formation is an important mechanism regulating gene expression and disease.

  19. RNA-splicing endonuclease structure and function.

    PubMed

    Calvin, K; Li, H

    2008-04-01

    The RNA-splicing endonuclease is an evolutionarily conserved enzyme responsible for the excision of introns from nuclear transfer RNA (tRNA) and all archaeal RNAs. Since its first identification from yeast in the late 1970s, significant progress has been made toward understanding the biochemical mechanisms of this enzyme. Four families of the splicing endonucleases possessing the same active sites and overall architecture but with different subunit compositions have been identified. Two related consensus structures of the precursor RNA splice sites and the critical elements required for intron excision have been established. More recently, a glimpse was obtained of the structural mechanism by which the endonuclease recognizes the consensus RNA structures and cleaves at the splice sites. This review summarizes these findings and discusses their implications in the evolution of intron removal processes.

  20. The complete nucleotide sequence of the cassava (Manihot esculenta) chloroplast genome and the evolution of atpF in Malpighiales: RNA editing and multiple losses of a group II intron

    PubMed Central

    Wurdack, Kenneth J.; Kanagaraj, Anderson; Lee, Seung-Bum; Saski, Christopher; Jansen, Robert K.

    2008-01-01

    The complete sequence of the chloroplast genome of cassava (Manihot esculenta, Euphorbiaceae) has been determined. The genome is 161,453 bp in length and includes a pair of inverted repeats (IR) of 26,954 bp. The genome includes 128 genes; 96 are single copy and 16 are duplicated in the IR. There are four rRNA genes and 30 distinct tRNAs, seven of which are duplicated in the IR. The infA gene is absent; expansion of IRb has duplicated 62 amino acids at the 3′ end of rps19 and a number of coding regions have large insertions or deletions, including insertions within the 23S rRNA gene. There are 17 intron-containing genes in cassava, 15 of which have a single intron while two (clpP, ycf3) have two introns. The usually conserved atpF group II intron is absent and this is the first report of its loss from land plant chloroplast genomes. The phylogenetic distribution of the atpF intron loss was determined by a PCR survey of 251 taxa representing 34 families of Malpighiales and 16 taxa from closely related rosids. The atpF intron is not only missing in cassava but also from closely related Euphorbiaceae and other Malpighiales, suggesting that there have been at least seven independent losses. In cassava and all other sequenced Malphigiales, atpF gene sequences showed a strong association between C-to-T substitutions at nucleotide position 92 and the loss of the intron, suggesting that recombination between an edited mRNA and the atpF gene may be a possible mechanism for the intron loss. PMID:18214421

  1. Quantification of co-transcriptional splicing from RNA-Seq data.

    PubMed

    Herzel, Lydia; Neugebauer, Karla M

    2015-09-01

    During gene expression, protein-coding transcripts are shaped by multiple processing events: 5' end capping, pre-mRNA splicing, RNA editing, and 3' end cleavage and polyadenylation. These events are required to produce mature mRNA, which can be subsequently translated. Nearly all of these RNA processing steps occur during transcription, while the nascent RNA is still attached to the DNA template by RNA polymerase II (i.e. co-transcriptionally). Polyadenylation occurs after 3' end cleavage or post-transcriptionally. Pre-mRNA splicing - the removal of introns and ligation of exons - can be initiated and concluded co-transcriptionally, although this is not strictly required. Recently, a number of studies using global methods have shown that the majority of splicing is co-transcriptional, yet not all published studies agree in their conclusions. Short read sequencing of RNA (RNA-Seq) is the prevailing approach to measuring splicing levels in nascent RNA, mRNA or total RNA. Here, we compare four different strategies for analyzing and quantifying co-transcriptional splicing. To do so, we reanalyze two nascent RNA-Seq datasets of the same species, but different cell type and RNA isolation procedure. Average co-transcriptional splicing values calculated on a per intron basis are similar, independent of the strategy used. We emphasize the technical requirements for identifying co-transcriptional splicing events with high confidence, e.g. how to calculate co-transcriptional splicing from nascent RNA- versus mRNA-Seq data, the number of biological replicates needed, depletion of polyA+RNA, and appropriate normalization. Finally, we present guidelines for planning a nascent RNA-Seq experiment.

  2. Homing endonucleases from mobile group I introns: discovery to genome engineering

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Homing endonucleases are highly specific DNA cleaving enzymes that are encoded within genomes of all forms of microbial life including phage and eukaryotic organelles. These proteins drive the mobility and persistence of their own reading frames. The genes that encode homing endonucleases are often embedded within self-splicing elements such as group I introns, group II introns and inteins. This combination of molecular functions is mutually advantageous: the endonuclease activity allows surrounding introns and inteins to act as invasive DNA elements, while the splicing activity allows the endonuclease gene to invade a coding sequence without disrupting its product. Crystallographic analyses of representatives from all known homing endonuclease families have illustrated both their mechanisms of action and their evolutionary relationships to a wide range of host proteins. Several homing endonucleases have been completely redesigned and used for a variety of genome engineering applications. Recent efforts to augment homing endonucleases with auxiliary DNA recognition elements and/or nucleic acid processing factors has further accelerated their use for applications that demand exceptionally high specificity and activity. PMID:24589358

  3. Handling tRNA introns, archaeal way and eukaryotic way

    PubMed Central

    Yoshihisa, Tohru

    2014-01-01

    Introns are found in various tRNA genes in all the three kingdoms of life. Especially, archaeal and eukaryotic genomes are good sources of tRNA introns that are removed by proteinaceous splicing machinery. Most intron-containing tRNA genes both in archaea and eukaryotes possess an intron at a so-called canonical position, one nucleotide 3′ to their anticodon, while recent bioinformatics have revealed unusual types of tRNA introns and their derivatives especially in archaeal genomes. Gain and loss of tRNA introns during various stages of evolution are obvious both in archaea and eukaryotes from analyses of comparative genomics. The splicing of tRNA molecules has been studied extensively from biochemical and cell biological points of view, and such analyses of eukaryotic systems provided interesting findings in the past years. Here, I summarize recent progresses in the analyses of tRNA introns and the splicing process, and try to clarify new and old questions to be solved in the next stages. PMID:25071838

  4. Distribution of conventional and nonconventional introns in tubulin (α and β) genes of euglenids.

    PubMed

    Milanowski, Rafał; Karnkowska, Anna; Ishikawa, Takao; Zakryś, Bozena

    2014-03-01

    The nuclear genomes of euglenids contain three types of introns: conventional spliceosomal introns, nonconventional introns for which a splicing mechanism is unknown (variable noncanonical borders, RNA secondary structure bringing together intron ends), and so-called intermediate introns, which combine features of conventional and nonconventional introns. Analysis of two genes, tubA and tubB, from 20 species of euglenids reveals contrasting distribution patterns of conventional and nonconventional introns--positions of conventional introns are conserved, whereas those of the nonconventional ones are unique to individual species or small groups of closely related taxa. Moreover, in the group of phototrophic euglenids, 11 events of conventional intron loss versus 15 events of nonconventional intron gain were identified. A comparison of all nonconventional intron sequences highlighted the most conserved elements in their sequence and secondary structure. Our results led us to put forward two hypotheses. 1) The first one posits that mutational changes in intron sequence could lead to a change in their excision mechanism--intermediate introns would then be a transitional form between the conventional and nonconventional introns. 2) The second hypothesis concerns the origin of nonconventional introns--because of the presence of inverted repeats near their ends, insertion of MITE-like transposon elements is proposed as a possible source of new introns.

  5. Selection for reduced translation costs at the intronic 5′ end in fungi

    PubMed Central

    Zafrir, Zohar; Zur, Hadas; Tuller, Tamir

    2016-01-01

    It is generally believed that introns are not translated; therefore, the potential intronic features that may be related to the translation step (occurring after splicing) have yet to be thoroughly studied. Here, focusing on four fungi, we performed for the first time a comprehensive study aimed at characterizing how translation efficiency is encoded in introns and affects their evolution. By analysing their intronome we provide evidence of selection for STOP codons close to the intronic 5′ end, and show that the beginning of introns are selected for significantly high translation, presumably to reduce translation and metabolic costs in cases of non-spliced introns. Ribosomal profiling data analysis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae supports the conjecture that in this organism intron retention frequently occurs, introns are partially translated, and their translation efficiency affects organismal fitness. We show that the reported results are more significant in highly translated and highly spliced genes, but are not associated only with genes with a specific function. We also discuss the potential relation of the reported signals to efficient nonsense-mediated decay due to splicing errors. These new discoveries are supported by population-genetics considerations. In addition, they are contributory steps towards a broader understanding of intron evolution and the effect of silent mutations on gene expression and organismal fitness. PMID:27260512

  6. Defective MHC class II expression in an MHC class II deficiency patient is caused by a novel deletion of a splice donor site in the MHC class II transactivator gene.

    PubMed

    Peijnenburg, A; Van den Berg, R; Van Eggermond, M J; Sanal, O; Vossen, J M; Lennon, A M; Alcaïde-Loridan, C; Van den Elsen, P J

    2000-01-01

    MHC class II deficiency patients are mutated for transcription factors that regulate the expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II genes. Four complementation groups (A-D) are defined and the gene defective in group A has been shown to encode the MHC class II transactivator (CIITA). Here, we report the molecular characterization of a new MHC class II deficiency patient, ATU. Cell fusion experiments indicated that ATU belongs to complementation group A. Subsequent mutation analysis revealed that the CIITA mRNA lacked 84 nucleotides. This deletion was the result of the absence of a splice donor site in the CIITA gene of ATU. As a result of this novel homozygous genomic deletion, ATU CIITA failed to transactivate MHC class II genes. Furthermore, this truncated CIITA of ATU did not display a dominant negative effect on CIITA-mediated transactivation of various isotypic MHC class II promoters.

  7. Expression of two nonallelic type II procollagen genes during Xenopus laevis embryogenesis is characterized by stage-specific production of alternatively spliced transcripts.

    PubMed

    Su, M W; Suzuki, H R; Bieker, J J; Solursh, M; Ramirez, F

    1991-10-01

    The pattern of type II collagen expression during Xenopus laevis embryogenesis has been established after isolating specific cDNA and genomic clones. Evidence is presented suggesting that in X. laevis there are two transcriptionally active copies of the type II procollagen gene. Both genes are activated at the beginning of neurula stage and steady-state mRNA levels progressively increase thereafter. Initially, the transcripts are localized to notochord, somites, and the dorsal region of the lateral plate mesoderm. At later stages of development and parallel to increased mRNA accumulation, collagen expression becomes progressively more confined to chondrogenic regions of the tadpole. During the early period of mRNA accumulation, there is also a transient pattern of expression in localized sites that will later not undergo chondrogenesis, such as the floor plate in the ventral neural tube. At later times and coincident with the appearance of chondrogenic tissues in the developing embryo, expression of the procollagen genes is characterized by the production of an additional, alternatively spliced transcript. The alternatively spliced sequences encode the cysteine-rich globular domain in the NH2-propeptide of the type II procollagen chain. Immunohistochemical analyses with a type II collagen monoclonal antibody documented the deposition of the protein in the extracellular matrix of the developing embryo. Type II collagen expression is therefore temporally regulated by tissue-specific transcription and splicing factors directing the synthesis of distinct molecular forms of the precursor protein in the developing Xenopus embryo.

  8. Autogenous Regulation of Splicing of the Transcript of a Yeast Ribosomal Protein Gene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dabeva, Mariana D.; Post-Beittenmiller, Martha A.; Warner, Jonathan R.

    1986-08-01

    The gene for a yeast ribosomal protein, RPL32, contains a single intron. The product of this gene appears to participate in feedback control of the splicing of the intron from the transcript. This autogenous regulation of splicing provides a striking analogy to the autogenous regulation of translation of ribosomal proteins in Escherichia coli.

  9. Horizontal transfer and gene conversion as an important driving force in shaping the landscape of mitochondrial introns.

    PubMed

    Wu, Baojun; Hao, Weilong

    2014-04-16

    Group I introns are highly dynamic and mobile, featuring extensive presence-absence variation and widespread horizontal transfer. Group I introns can invade intron-lacking alleles via intron homing powered by their own encoded homing endonuclease gene (HEG) after horizontal transfer or via reverse splicing through an RNA intermediate. After successful invasion, the intron and HEG are subject to degeneration and sequential loss. It remains unclear whether these mechanisms can fully address the high dynamics and mobility of group I introns. Here, we found that HEGs undergo a fast gain-and-loss turnover comparable with introns in the yeast mitochondrial 21S-rRNA gene, which is unexpected, as the intron and HEG are generally believed to move together as a unit. We further observed extensively mosaic sequences in both the introns and HEGs, and evidence of gene conversion between HEG-containing and HEG-lacking introns. Our findings suggest horizontal transfer and gene conversion can accelerate HEG/intron degeneration and loss, or rescue and propagate HEG/introns, and ultimately result in high HEG/intron turnover rate. Given that up to 25% of the yeast mitochondrial genome is composed of introns and most mitochondrial introns are group I introns, horizontal transfer and gene conversion could have served as an important mechanism in introducing mitochondrial intron diversity, promoting intron mobility and consequently shaping mitochondrial genome architecture.

  10. Quantification of pre-mRNA escape rate and synergy in splicing

    PubMed Central

    Bonde, Marie Mi; Voegeli, Sylvia; Baudrimont, Antoine; Séraphin, Bertrand; Becskei, Attila

    2014-01-01

    Splicing reactions generally combine high speed with accuracy. However, some of the pre-mRNAs escape the nucleus with a retained intron. Intron retention can control gene expression and increase proteome diversity. We calculated the escape rate for the yeast PTC7 intron and pre-mRNA. This prediction was facilitated by the observation that splicing is a linear process and by deriving simple algebraic expressions from a model of co- and post-transcriptional splicing and RNA surveillance that determines the rate of the nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) of the pre-mRNAs with the retained intron. The escape rate was consistent with the observed threshold of splicing rate below which the mature mRNA level declined. When an mRNA contains multiple introns, the outcome of splicing becomes more difficult to predict since not only the escape rate of the pre-mRNA has to be considered, but also the possibility that the splicing of each intron is influenced by the others. We showed that the two adjacent introns in the SUS1 mRNA are spliced cooperatively, but this does not counteract the escape of the partially spliced mRNA. These findings will help to infer promoter activity and to predict the behavior of and to control splicing regulatory networks. PMID:25352554

  11. Group II intron-mediated deletion of lactate dehydrogenase gene in an isolated 1,3-propanediol producer Hafnia alvei AD27.

    PubMed

    Celińska, Ewelina; Drożdżyńska, Agnieszka; Wita, Agnieszka; Juzwa, Wojciech; Białas, Wojciech; Czaczyk, Katarzyna; Grajek, Włodzimierz

    2016-03-03

    Our previous studies showed that glycerol fermentation by Hafnia alvei AD27 strain was accompanied by formation of high quantities of lactate. The ultimate aim of this work was the elimination of excessive lactate production in the 1,3-propanediol producer cultures. Group II intron-mediated deletion of ldh (lactate dehydrogenase) gene in an environmental isolate of H. alvei AD27 strain was conducted. The effect of the Δldh genotype in H. alvei AD27 strain varied depending on the culture medium applied. Under lower initial glycerol concentration (20 gL(-1)), lactate and 1,3-propanediol production was fully abolished, and the main carbon flux was directed to ethanol synthesis. On the other hand, at higher initial glycerol concentrations (40 gL(-1)), 1,3-propanediol and lactate production was recovered in the recombinant strain. The final titers of 1,3-propanediol and ethanol were similar for the recombinant and the WT strains, while the Δldh genotype displayed significantly decreased lactate titer. The by-products profile was altered upon ldh gene deletion, while glycerol utilization and biomass accumulation remained unaltered. As indicated by flow-cytometry analyses, the internal pH was not different for the WT and the recombinant Δldh strains over the culture duration, however, the WT strain was characterized by higher redox potential.

  12. Applying genetic programming to the prediction of alternative mRNA splice variants.

    PubMed

    Vukusic, Ivana; Grellscheid, Sushma Nagaraja; Wiehe, Thomas

    2007-04-01

    Genetic programming (GP) can be used to classify a given gene sequence as either constitutively or alternatively spliced. We describe the principles of GP and apply it to a well-defined data set of alternatively spliced genes. A feature matrix of sequence properties, such as nucleotide composition or exon length, was passed to the GP system "Discipulus." To test its performance we concentrated on cassette exons (SCE) and retained introns (SIR). We analyzed 27,519 constitutively spliced and 9641 cassette exons including their neighboring introns; in addition we analyzed 33,316 constitutively spliced introns compared to 2712 retained introns. We find that the classifier yields highly accurate predictions on the SIR data with a sensitivity of 92.1% and a specificity of 79.2%. Prediction accuracies on the SCE data are lower, 47.3% (sensitivity) and 70.9% (specificity), indicating that alternative splicing of introns can be better captured by sequence properties than that of exons.

  13. Invasion of protein coding genes by green algal ribosomal group I introns.

    PubMed

    McManus, Hilary A; Lewis, Louise A; Fučíková, Karolina; Haugen, Peik

    2012-01-01

    The spread of group I introns depends on their association with intron-encoded homing endonucleases. Introns that encode functional homing endonuclease genes (HEGs) are highly invasive, whereas introns that only encode the group I ribozyme responsible for self-splicing are generally stably inherited (i.e., vertical inheritance). A number of recent case studies have provided new knowledge on the evolution of group I introns, however, there are still large gaps in understanding of their distribution on the tree of life, and how they have spread into new hosts and genic sites. During a larger phylogenetic survey of chlorophyceaen green algae, we found that 23 isolates contain at least one group I intron in the rbcL chloroplast gene. Structural analyses show that the introns belong to one of two intron lineages, group IA2 intron-HEG (GIY-YIG family) elements inserted after position 462 in the rbcL gene, and group IA1 introns inserted after position 699. The latter intron type sometimes encodes HNH homing endonucleases. The distribution of introns was analyzed on an exon phylogeny and patterns were recovered that are consistent with vertical inheritance and possible horizontal transfer. The rbcL 462 introns are thus far reported only within the Volvocales, Hydrodictyaceae and Bracteacoccus, and closely related isolates of algae differ in the presence of rbcL introns. Phylogenetic analysis of the intron conserved regions indicates that the rbcL699 and rbcL462 introns have distinct evolutionary origins. The rbcL699 introns were likely derived from ribosomal RNA L2449 introns, whereas the rbcL462 introns form a close relationship with psbA introns.

  14. The Function of Introns

    PubMed Central

    Chorev, Michal; Carmel, Liran

    2012-01-01

    The intron–exon architecture of many eukaryotic genes raises the intriguing question of whether this unique organization serves any function, or is it simply a result of the spread of functionless introns in eukaryotic genomes. In this review, we show that introns in contemporary species fulfill a broad spectrum of functions, and are involved in virtually every step of mRNA processing. We propose that this great diversity of intronic functions supports the notion that introns were indeed selfish elements in early eukaryotes, but then independently gained numerous functions in different eukaryotic lineages. We suggest a novel criterion of evolutionary conservation, dubbed intron positional conservation, which can identify functional introns. PMID:22518112

  15. Genome-wide identification of zero nucleotide recursive splicing in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Duff, Michael O; Olson, Sara; Wei, Xintao; Garrett, Sandra C; Osman, Ahmad; Bolisetty, Mohan; Plocik, Alex; Celniker, Susan E; Graveley, Brenton R

    2015-05-21

    Recursive splicing is a process in which large introns are removed in multiple steps by re-splicing at ratchet points--5' splice sites recreated after splicing. Recursive splicing was first identified in the Drosophila Ultrabithorax (Ubx) gene and only three additional Drosophila genes have since been experimentally shown to undergo recursive splicing. Here we identify 197 zero nucleotide exon ratchet points in 130 introns of 115 Drosophila genes from total RNA sequencing data generated from developmental time points, dissected tissues and cultured cells. The sequential nature of recursive splicing was confirmed by identification of lariat introns generated by splicing to and from the ratchet points. We also show that recursive splicing is a constitutive process, that depletion of U2AF inhibits recursive splicing, and that the sequence and function of ratchet points are evolutionarily conserved in Drosophila. Finally, we identify four recursively spliced human genes, one of which is also recursively spliced in Drosophila. Together, these results indicate that recursive splicing is commonly used in Drosophila, occurs in humans, and provides insight into the mechanisms by which some large introns are removed.

  16. Functional comparison of three transformer gene introns regulating conditional female lethality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The trasformer gene plays a critical role in the sex determination pathways of many insects. We cloned two transformer gene introns from Anastrepha suspensa, the Caribbean fruit fly. These introns have sequences that putatively have a role in sex-specific splicing patterns that affect sex determinat...

  17. Systematic analysis of intron size and abundance parameters in diverse lineages.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jiayan; Xiao, Jingfa; Wang, Lingping; Zhong, Jun; Yin, Hongyan; Wu, Shuangxiu; Zhang, Zhang; Yu, Jun

    2013-10-01

    All eukaryotic genomes have genes with introns in variable sizes. As far as spliceosomal introns are concerned, there are at least three basic parameters to stratify introns across diverse eukaryotic taxa: size, number, and sequence context. The number parameter is highly variable in lower eukaryotes, especially among protozoan and fungal species, which ranges from less than 4% to 78% of the genes. Over greater evolutionary time scales, the number parameter undoubtedly increases as observed in higher plants and higher vertebrates, reaching greater than 12.5 exons per gene in average among mammalian genomes. The size parameter is more complex, where multiple modes appear at work. Aside from intronless genes, there are three other types of intron-containing genes: half-sized, minimal, and size-expandable introns. The half-sized introns have only been found in a limited number of genomes among protozoan and fungal lineages and the other two types are prevalent in all animal and plant genomes. Among the size-expandable introns, the sizes of plant introns are expansion-limited in that the large introns exceeding 1000 bp are fewer in numbers and transposon-free as compared to the large introns among animals, where the larger introns are filled with transposable elements and appear expansion-flexible, reaching several kilobasepairs (kbp) and even thousands of kbp in size. Most of the intron parameters can be studied as signatures of the specific splicing machineries of different eukaryotic lineages and are highly relevant to the regulation of gene expression and functionality. In particular, the transcription-splicing-export coupling of eukaryotic intron dispensing leads to a working hypothesis that all intron parameters are evolved to be efficient and function-related in processing and routing the spliced transcripts.

  18. Differential regulation of translation and endocytosis of alternatively spliced forms of the type II bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) receptor

    PubMed Central

    Amsalem, Ayelet R.; Marom, Barak; Shapira, Keren E.; Hirschhorn, Tal; Preisler, Livia; Paarmann, Pia; Knaus, Petra; Henis, Yoav I.; Ehrlich, Marcelo

    2016-01-01

    The expression and function of transforming growth factor-β superfamily receptors are regulated by multiple molecular mechanisms. The type II BMP receptor (BMPRII) is expressed as two alternatively spliced forms, a long and a short form (BMPRII-LF and –SF, respectively), which differ by an ∼500 amino acid C-terminal extension, unique among TGF-β superfamily receptors. Whereas this extension was proposed to modulate BMPRII signaling output, its contribution to the regulation of receptor expression was not addressed. To map regulatory determinants of BMPRII expression, we compared synthesis, degradation, distribution, and endocytic trafficking of BMPRII isoforms and mutants. We identified translational regulation of BMPRII expression and the contribution of a 3’ terminal coding sequence to this process. BMPRII-LF and -SF differed also in their steady-state levels, kinetics of degradation, intracellular distribution, and internalization rates. A single dileucine signal in the C-terminal extension of BMPRII-LF accounted for its faster clathrin-mediated endocytosis relative to BMPRII-SF, accompanied by mildly faster degradation. Higher expression of BMPRII-SF at the plasma membrane resulted in enhanced activation of Smad signaling, stressing the potential importance of the multilayered regulation of BMPRII expression at the plasma membrane. PMID:26739752

  19. Intron retention-dependent gene regulation in Cryptococcus neoformans

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Hilarion, Sara; Paulet, Damien; Lee, Kyung-Tae; Hon, Chung-Chau; Lechat, Pierre; Mogensen, Estelle; Moyrand, Frédérique; Proux, Caroline; Barboux, Rony; Bussotti, Giovanni; Hwang, Jungwook; Coppée, Jean-Yves; Bahn, Yong-Sun; Janbon, Guilhem

    2016-01-01

    The biological impact of alternative splicing is poorly understood in fungi, although recent studies have shown that these microorganisms are usually intron-rich. In this study, we re-annotated the genome of C. neoformans var. neoformans using RNA-Seq data. Comparison with C. neoformans var. grubii revealed that more than 99% of ORF-introns are in the same exact position in the two varieties whereas UTR-introns are much less evolutionary conserved. We also confirmed that alternative splicing is very common in C. neoformans, affecting nearly all expressed genes. We also observed specific regulation of alternative splicing by environmental cues in this yeast. However, alternative splicing does not appear to be an efficient method to diversify the C. neoformans proteome. Instead, our data suggest the existence of an intron retention-dependent mechanism of gene expression regulation that is not dependent on NMD. This regulatory process represents an additional layer of gene expression regulation in fungi and provides a mechanism to tune gene expression levels in response to any environmental modification. PMID:27577684

  20. Testing the IMEter on rice introns and other aspects of intron-mediated enhancement of gene expression.

    PubMed

    Morello, Laura; Gianì, Silvia; Troina, Filippo; Breviario, Diego

    2011-01-01

    In many eukaryotes, spliceosomal introns are able to influence the level and site of gene expression. The mechanism of this Intron Mediated Enhancement (IME) has not yet been elucidated, but regulation of gene expression is likely to occur at several steps during and after transcription. Different introns have different intrinsic enhancing properties, but the determinants of these differences remain unknown. Recently, an algorithm called IMEter, which is able to predict the IME potential of introns without direct testing, has been proposed. A computer program was developed for Arabidopsis thaliana and rice (Oryza sativa L.), but was only tested experimentally in Arabidopsis by measuring the enhancement effect on GUS expression of different introns inserted within otherwise identical plasmids. To test the IMEter potential in rice, a vector bearing the upstream regulatory sequence of a rice β-tubulin gene (OsTub6) fused to the GUS reporter gene was used. The enhancing intron interrupting the OsTub6 5'-UTR was precisely replaced by seven other introns carrying different features. GUS expression level in transiently transformed rice calli does not significantly correlate with the calculated IMEter score. It was also found that enhanced GUS expression was mainly due to a strong increase in the mRNA steady-state level and that mutations at the splice recognition sites almost completely abolished the enhancing effect. Splicing also appeared to be required for IME in Arabidopsis cell cultures, where failure of the OsTub6 5' region to drive high level gene expression could be rescued by replacing the poorly spliced rice intron with one from Arabidopsis.

  1. Evolution of Pleopsidium (lichenized Ascomycota) S943 group I introns and the phylogeography of an intron-encoded putative homing endonuclease.

    PubMed

    Reeb, Valérie; Haugen, Peik; Bhattacharya, Debashish; Lutzoni, François

    2007-03-01

    The sporadic distribution of nuclear group I introns among different fungal lineages can be explained by vertical inheritance of the introns followed by successive losses, or horizontal transfers from one lineage to another through intron homing or reverse splicing. Homing is mediated by an intron-encoded homing endonuclease (HE) and recent studies suggest that the introns and their associated HE gene (HEG) follow a recurrent cyclical model of invasion, degeneration, loss, and reinvasion. The purpose of this study was to compare this model to the evolution of HEGs found in the group I intron at position S943 of the nuclear ribosomal DNA of the lichen-forming fungus Pleopsidium. Forty-eight S943 introns were found in the 64 Pleopsidium samples from a worldwide screen, 22 of which contained a full-length HEG that encodes a putative 256-amino acid HE, and 2 contained HE pseudogenes. The HEGs are divided into two closely related types (as are the introns that encode them) that differ by 22.6% in their nucleotide sequences. The evolution of the Pleopsidium intron-HEG element shows strong evidence for a cyclical model of evolution. The intron was likely acquired twice in the genus and then transmitted via two or three interspecific horizontal transfers. Close geographical proximity plays an important role in intron-HEG horizontal transfer because most of these mobile elements were found in Europe. Once acquired in a lineage, the intron-HEG element was also vertically transmitted, and occasionally degenerated or was lost.

  2. Unmasking alternative splicing inside protein-coding exons defines exitrons and their role in proteome plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Marquez, Yamile; Höpfler, Markus; Ayatollahi, Zahra; Barta, Andrea; Kalyna, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) diversifies transcriptomes and proteomes and is widely recognized as a key mechanism for regulating gene expression. Previously, in an analysis of intron retention events in Arabidopsis, we found unusual AS events inside annotated protein-coding exons. Here, we also identify such AS events in human and use these two sets to analyse their features, regulation, functional impact, and evolutionary origin. As these events involve introns with features of both introns and protein-coding exons, we name them exitrons (exonic introns). Though exitrons were detected as a subset of retained introns, they are clearly distinguishable, and their splicing results in transcripts with different fates. About half of the 1002 Arabidopsis and 923 human exitrons have sizes of multiples of 3 nucleotides (nt). Splicing of these exitrons results in internally deleted proteins and affects protein domains, disordered regions, and various post-translational modification sites, thus broadly impacting protein function. Exitron splicing is regulated across tissues, in response to stress and in carcinogenesis. Intriguingly, annotated intronless genes can be also alternatively spliced via exitron usage. We demonstrate that at least some exitrons originate from ancestral coding exons. Based on our findings, we propose a “splicing memory” hypothesis whereby upon intron loss imprints of former exon borders defined by vestigial splicing regulatory elements could drive the evolution of exitron splicing. Altogether, our studies show that exitron splicing is a conserved strategy for increasing proteome plasticity in plants and animals, complementing the repertoire of AS events. PMID:25934563

  3. Inhibition of Splicing but not Cleavage at the 5' Splice Site by Truncating Human β -globin Pre-mRNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furdon, Paul J.; Kole, Ryszard

    1986-02-01

    Human β -globin mRNAs truncated in the second exon or in the first intron have been processed in vitro in a HeLa cell nuclear extract. Transcripts containing a fragment of the second exon as short as 53 nucleotides are efficiently spliced, whereas transcripts truncated 24 or 14 nucleotides downstream from the 3' splice site are spliced inefficiently, if at all. All of these transcripts, however, are efficiently and accurately cleaved at the 5' splice site. In contrast, RNA truncated in the first intron, 54 nucleotides upstream from the 3' splice site, is not processed at all. These findings suggest that cleavage at the 5' splice site and subsequent splicing steps--i.e., cleavage at the 3' splice site and exon ligation--need not be coupled. Anti-Sm serum inhibits the complete splicing reaction and cleavage at the 5' splice site, suggesting involvement of certain ribonucleoprotein particles in the cleavage reaction. ATP and Mg2+ are required for cleavage at the 5' splice site at concentrations similar to those for the complete splicing reaction.

  4. Systematic identification and analysis of exonic splicing silencers.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zefeng; Rolish, Michael E; Yeo, Gene; Tung, Vivian; Mawson, Matthew; Burge, Christopher B

    2004-12-17

    Exonic splicing silencers (ESSs) are cis-regulatory elements that inhibit the use of adjacent splice sites, often contributing to alternative splicing (AS). To systematically identify ESSs, an in vivo splicing reporter system was developed to screen a library of random decanucleotides. The screen yielded 141 ESS decamers, 133 of which were unique. The silencer activity of over a dozen of these sequences was also confirmed in a heterologous exon/intron context and in a second cell type. Of the unique ESS decamers, most could be clustered into groups to yield seven putative ESS motifs, some resembling known motifs bound by hnRNPs H and A1. Potential roles of ESSs in constitutive splicing were explored using an algorithm, ExonScan, which simulates splicing based on known or putative splicing-related motifs. ExonScan and related bioinformatic analyses suggest that these ESS motifs play important roles in suppression of pseudoexons, in splice site definition, and in AS.

  5. Mechanisms and Regulation of Alternative Pre-mRNA Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yeon

    2015-01-01

    Precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing is a critical step in the posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression, providing significant expansion of the functional proteome of eukaryotic organisms with limited gene numbers. Split eukaryotic genes contain intervening sequences or introns disrupting protein-coding exons, and intron removal occurs by repeated assembly of a large and highly dynamic ribonucleoprotein complex termed the spliceosome, which is composed of five small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles, U1, U2, U4/U6, and U5. Biochemical studies over the past 10 years have allowed the isolation as well as compositional, functional, and structural analysis of splicing complexes at distinct stages along the spliceosome cycle. The average human gene contains eight exons and seven introns, producing an average of three or more alternatively spliced mRNA isoforms. Recent high-throughput sequencing studies indicate that 100% of human genes produce at least two alternative mRNA isoforms. Mechanisms of alternative splicing include RNA–protein interactions of splicing factors with regulatory sites termed silencers or enhancers, RNA–RNA base-pairing interactions, or chromatin-based effects that can change or determine splicing patterns. Disease-causing mutations can often occur in splice sites near intron borders or in exonic or intronic RNA regulatory silencer or enhancer elements, as well as in genes that encode splicing factors. Together, these studies provide mechanistic insights into how spliceosome assembly, dynamics, and catalysis occur; how alternative splicing is regulated and evolves; and how splicing can be disrupted by cis- and trans-acting mutations leading to disease states. These findings make the spliceosome an attractive new target for small-molecule, antisense, and genome-editing therapeutic interventions. PMID:25784052

  6. Alternative RNA splicing of KSHV ORF57 produces two different RNA isoforms.

    PubMed

    Majerciak, Vladimir; Zheng, Zhi-Ming

    2016-01-15

    In lytically infected B cells Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) ORF57 gene encodes two RNA isoforms by alternative splicing of its pre-mRNA, which contains a small, constitutive intron in its 5' half and a large, suboptimal intron in its 3's half. The RNA1 isoform encodes full-length ORF57 and is a major isoform derived from splicing of the constitutive small intron, but retaining the suboptimal large intron as the coding region. A small fraction (<5%) of ORF57 RNA undergoes double splicing to produce a smaller non-coding RNA2 due to lack of a translational termination codon. Both RNAs are cleaved and polyadenylated at the same cleavage site CS83636. The insertion of ORF57 RNA1 into a restriction cutting site in certain mammalian expression vectors activates splicing of the subopitmal intron and produces a truncated ORF57 protein.

  7. mCSF1, a nucleus-encoded CRM protein required for the processing of many mitochondrial introns, is involved in the biogenesis of respiratory complexes I and IV in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zmudjak, Michal; Colas des Francs-Small, Catherine; Keren, Ido; Shaya, Felix; Belausov, Eduard; Small, Ian; Ostersetzer-Biran, Oren

    2013-07-01

    The coding regions of many mitochondrial genes in plants are interrupted by intervening sequences that are classified as group II introns. Their splicing is essential for the expression of the genes they interrupt and hence for respiratory function, and is facilitated by various protein cofactors. Despite the importance of these cofactors, only a few of them have been characterized. CRS1-YhbY domain (CRM) is a recently recognized RNA-binding domain that is present in several characterized splicing factors in plant chloroplasts. The Arabidopsis genome encodes 16 CRM proteins, but these are largely uncharacterized. Here, we analyzed the intracellular location of one of these hypothetical proteins in Arabidopsis, mitochondrial CAF-like splicing factor 1 (mCSF1; At4 g31010), and analyzed the growth phenotypes and organellar activities associated with mcsf1 mutants in plants. Our data indicated that mCSF1 resides within mitochondria and its functions are essential during embryogenesis. Mutant plants with reduced mCSF1 displayed inhibited germination and retarded growth phenotypes that were tightly associated with reduced complex I and IV activities. Analogously to the functions of plastid-localized CRM proteins, analysis of the RNA profiles in wildtype and mcsf1 plants showed that mCSF1 acts in the splicing of many of the group II intron RNAs in Arabidopsis mitochondria.

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Evidence for a class of very small introns in the gene for hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase in Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed Central

    Craig, S P; Muralidhar, M G; McKerrow, J H; Wang, C C

    1989-01-01

    The single copy gene for the hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRTase) of the parasitic trematode, Schistosoma mansoni, contains seven introns, the first four of which are only 31, 33, 42, and 32 bases in length. These are the smallest introns ever discovered in a non-viral nuclear gene coding for protein. These very small introns possess the canonical GT...AG splice site sequences but lack the branching sequence, the secondary structure, and the minimum size of approximately 50 bases believed to be required for the splicing of eucaryotic mRNA precursors. Evidently, a somewhat different splicing mechanism for the transcripts of these very small introns is necessary. Their discovery within the genes of helminths raises theoretical considerations for the evolution of introns in eucaryotes. Images PMID:2701934

  10. Half pint/Puf68 is required for negative regulation of splicing by the SR splicing factor Transformer2.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shanzhi; Wagner, Eric J; Mattox, William

    2013-08-01

    The SR family of proteins plays important regulatory roles in the control of alternative splicing in a wide range of organisms. These factors affect splicing through both positive and negative controls of splice site recognition by pre-spliceosomal factors. Recent studies indicate that the Drosophila SR factor Transformer 2 (Tra2) activates and represses splicing through distinct and separable effector regions of the protein. While the interactions of its Arg-Ser-rich activator region have been well studied, cofactors involved in splicing repression have yet to be found. Here we use a luciferase-based splicing reporter assay to screen for novel proteins necessary for Tra2-dependent repression of splicing. This approach identified Half pint, also known as Puf68, as a co-repressor required for Tra2-mediated autoregulation of the M1 intron. In vivo, Half pint is required for Tra2-dependent repression of M1 splicing but is not necessary for Tra2-dependent activation of doublesex splicing. Further experiments indicate that the effect of Hfp is sequence-specific and that it associates with these target transcripts in cells. Importantly, known M1 splicing regulatory elements are sufficient to sensitize a heterologous intron to Hfp regulation. Two alternative proteins deriving from Hfp transcripts, Hfp68, and Hfp58, were found to be expressed in vivo but differed dramatically in their effect on M1 splicing. Comparison of the cellular localization of these forms in S2 cells revealed that Hfp68 is predominantly localized to the nucleus while Hfp58 is distributed across both the nucleus and cytoplasm. This accords with their observed effects on splicing and suggests that differential compartmentalization may contribute to the specificity of these isoforms. Together, these studies reveal a function for Half pint in splicing repression and demonstrate it to be specifically required for Tra2-dependent intron inclusion.

  11. Genetic suppression of intronic +1G mutations by compensatory U1 snRNA changes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Zahler, Alan M; Tuttle, John D; Chisholm, Andrew D

    2004-01-01

    Mutations to the canonical +1G of introns, which are commonly found in many human inherited disease alleles, invariably result in aberrant splicing. Here we report genetic findings in C. elegans that aberrant splicing due to +1G mutations can be suppressed by U1 snRNA mutations. An intronic +1G-to-U mutation, e936, in the C. elegans unc-73 gene causes aberrant splicing and loss of gene function. We previously showed that mutation of the sup-39 gene promotes splicing at the mutant splice donor in e936 mutants. We demonstrate here that sup-39 is a U1 snRNA gene; suppressor mutations in sup-39 are compensatory substitutions in the 5' end, which enhance recognition of the mutant splice donor. sup-6(st19) is an allele-specific suppressor of unc-13(e309), which contains an intronic +1G-to-A transition. The e309 mutation activates a cryptic splice site, and sup-6(st19) restores splicing to the mutant splice donor. sup-6 also encodes a U1 snRNA and the mutant contains a compensatory substitution at its 5' end. This is the first demonstration that U1 snRNAs can act to suppress the effects of mutations to the invariant +1G of introns. These findings are suggestive of a potential treatment of certain alleles of inherited human genetic diseases. PMID:15342508

  12. [Alternative splicing regulation: implications in cancer diagnosis and treatment].

    PubMed

    Martínez-Montiel, Nancy; Rosas-Murrieta, Nora; Martínez-Contreras, Rebeca

    2015-04-08

    The accurate expression of the genetic information is regulated by processes like mRNA splicing, proposed after the discoveries of Phil Sharp and Richard Roberts, who demonstrated the existence of intronic sequences, present in almost every structural eukaryotic gene, which should be precisely removed. This intron removal is called "splicing", which generates different proteins from a single mRNA, with different or even antagonistic functions. We currently know that alternative splicing is the most important source of protein diversity, given that 70% of the human genes undergo splicing and that mutations causing defects in this process could originate up to 50% of genetic diseases, including cancer. When these defects occur in genes involved in cell adhesion, proliferation and cell cycle regulation, there is an impact on cancer progression, rising the opportunity to diagnose and treat some types of cancer according to a particular splicing profile.

  13. Alternative Splicing of STAT3 Is Affected by RNA Editing.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, Lior; Abutbul-Amitai, Mor; Paret, Gideon; Nevo-Caspi, Yael

    2017-03-09

    A-to-I RNA editing, carried out by adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) enzymes, is an epigenetic phenomenon of posttranscriptional modifications on pre-mRNA. RNA editing in intronic sequences may influence alternative splicing of flanking exons. We have previously shown that conditions that induce editing result in elevated expression of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), preferentially the alternatively-spliced STAT3β isoform. Mechanisms regulating alternative splicing of STAT3 have not been elucidated. STAT3 undergoes A-to-I RNA editing in an intron residing in proximity to the alternatively spliced exon. We hypothesized that RNA editing plays a role in regulating alternative splicing toward STAT3β. In this study we extend our observation connecting RNA editing to the preferential induction of STAT3β expression. We study the involvement of ADAR1 in STAT3 editing and reveal the connection between editing and alternative splicing of STAT3. Deferoaxamine treatment caused the induction in STAT3 RNA editing and STAT3β expression. Silencing ADAR1 caused a decrease in STAT3 editing and expression with a preferential decrease in STAT3β. Cells transfected with a mutated minigene showed preferential splicing toward the STAT3β transcript. Editing in the STAT3 intron is performed by ADAR1 and affects STAT3 alternative splicing. These results suggest that RNA editing is one of the molecular mechanisms regulating the expression of STAT3β.

  14. An interspecific plant hybrid shows novel changes in parental splice forms of genes for splicing factors.

    PubMed

    Scascitelli, Moira; Cognet, Marie; Adams, Keith L

    2010-04-01

    Interspecific hybridization plays an important role in plant adaptive evolution and speciation, and the process often results in phenotypic novelty. Hybrids can show changes in genome structure and gene expression compared with their parents including chromosomal rearrangments, changes in cytosine methylation, up- and downregulation of gene expression, and gene silencing. Alternative splicing (AS) is a fundamental aspect of the expression of many genes. However alternative splicing patterns have not been examined in multiple genes in an interspecific plant hybrid compared with its parents. Here we studied alternative splicing patterns in an interspecific Populus hybrid and its parents by assaying 40 genes using reverse transcription PCR. Most of the genes showed identical alternative splicing patterns between the parents and the hybrid. We found new alternative splicing variants present in the hybrid in two SR genes involved in the regulation of splicing and alternative splicing. The novel alternative splicing patterns included changes in donor and acceptor sites to create a new exon in one allele of PtRSZ22 in the hybrid and retention of an intron in both alleles of PtSR34a.1 in the hybrid, with effects on the function of the corresponding truncated proteins, if present. Our results suggest that novel alternative splicing patterns are present in a small percentage of genes in hybrids, but they could make a considerable impact on the expression of some genes. Changes in alternative splicing are likely to be an important component of the genetic changes that occur upon interspecific hybridization.

  15. Aberrant Splicing in Cancer: Mediators of Malignant Progression through an Imperfect Splice Program Shift.

    PubMed

    Luz, Felipe Andrés Cordero; Brígido, Paula Cristina; Moraes, Alberto Silva; Silva, Marcelo José Barbosa

    2017-01-01

    Although the efforts to understand the genetic basis of cancer allowed advances in diagnosis and therapy, little is known about other molecular bases. Splicing is a key event in gene expression, controlling the excision of introns decoded inside genes and being responsible for 80% of the proteome amplification through events of alternative splicing. Growing data from the last decade point to deregulation of splicing events as crucial in carcinogenesis and tumor progression. Several alterations in splicing events were observed in cancer, caused by either missexpression of or detrimental mutations in some splicing factors, and appear to be critical in carcinogenesis and key events during tumor progression. Notwithstanding, it is difficult to determine whether it is a cause or consequence of cancer and/or tumorigenesis. Most reviews focus on the generated isoforms of deregulated splicing pattern, while others mainly summarize deregulated splicing factors observed in cancer. In this review, events associated with carcinogenesis and tumor progression mainly, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, which is also implicated in alternative splicing regulation, will be progressively discussed in the light of a new perspective, suggesting that splicing deregulation mediates cell reprogramming in tumor progression by an imperfect shift of the splice program.

  16. SplicePie: a novel analytical approach for the detection of alternative, non-sequential and recursive splicing.

    PubMed

    Pulyakhina, Irina; Gazzoli, Isabella; 't Hoen, Peter A C; Verwey, Nisha; den Dunnen, Johan T; den Dunnen, Johan; Aartsma-Rus, Annemieke; Laros, Jeroen F J

    2015-07-13

    Alternative splicing is a powerful mechanism present in eukaryotic cells to obtain a wide range of transcripts and protein isoforms from a relatively small number of genes. The mechanisms regulating (alternative) splicing and the paradigm of consecutive splicing have recently been challenged, especially for genes with a large number of introns. RNA-Seq, a powerful technology using deep sequencing in order to determine transcript structure and expression levels, is usually performed on mature mRNA, therefore not allowing detailed analysis of splicing progression. Sequencing pre-mRNA at different stages of splicing potentially provides insight into mRNA maturation. Although the number of tools that analyze total and cytoplasmic RNA in order to elucidate the transcriptome composition is rapidly growing, there are no tools specifically designed for the analysis of nuclear RNA (which contains mixtures of pre- and mature mRNA). We developed dedicated algorithms to investigate the splicing process. In this paper, we present a new classification of RNA-Seq reads based on three major stages of splicing: pre-, intermediate- and post-splicing. Applying this novel classification we demonstrate the possibility to analyze the order of splicing. Furthermore, we uncover the potential to investigate the multi-step nature of splicing, assessing various types of recursive splicing events. We provide the data that gives biological insight into the order of splicing, show that non-sequential splicing of certain introns is reproducible and coinciding in multiple cell lines. We validated our observations with independent experimental technologies and showed the reliability of our method. The pipeline, named SplicePie, is freely available at: https://github.com/pulyakhina/splicing_analysis_pipeline. The example data can be found at: https://barmsijs.lumc.nl/HG/irina/example_data.tar.gz.

  17. Intron-less RNA injected into the nucleus of Xenopus oocytes accesses a regulated translation control pathway.

    PubMed Central

    Braddock, M; Muckenthaler, M; White, M R; Thorburn, A M; Sommerville, J; Kingsman, A J; Kingsman, S M

    1994-01-01

    The translation of a capped, polyadenylated RNA after injection into the nucleus of Xenopus oocytes occurs only if the RNA contains an intron. A single point mutation in the splice donor site prevents translation. Intron-less RNA is exported efficiently to the cytoplasm and is held, undegraded, in a translationally inert state for several days. Translation can be activated by treating the oocytes with progesterone or by injecting antibodies that bind the FRGY2 class of messenger RNA binding proteins, p56 and p60, but these antibodies are only effective if delivered to the nucleus. Inhibitors of casein kinase II also activate translation whereas phosphatase inhibitors block progesterone-mediated activation of translation. These data suggest the presence of an RNA handling pathway in the nucleus of Xenopus oocytes which is regulated by casein kinase type II phosphorylation and which directs transcripts to be sequestered by p56/p60 or by closely related proteins. This pathway can be bypassed if the RNA contains an intron and it can be reversed by progesterone treatment. These data may have implications for understanding translational control during early development. Images PMID:7816614

  18. Characterization of rbcL group IA introns from two colonial volvocalean species (Chlorophyceae).

    PubMed

    Nozaki, H; Ohta, N; Yamada, T; Takano, H

    1998-05-01

    Group I introns were reported for the first time in the large subunit of Rubisco (rbcL) genes, using two colonial green algae, Pleodorina californica and Gonium multicoccum (Volvocales). The rbcL gene of P. californica contained an intron (PIC intron) of 1320 bp harboring an open reading frame (ORF). The G. multicoccum rbcL gene had two ORF-lacking introns of 549 (GM1 intron) and 295 (GM2 intron) base pairs. Based on the conserved nucleotide sequences of the secondary structure, the PIC and GM1 introns were assigned to group IA2 whereas the GM2 intron belonged to group IA1. Southern hybridization analyses of nuclear and chloroplast DNAs indicated that such intron-containing rbcL genes are located in the chloroplast genome. Sequencing RNAs from the two algae revealed that these introns are spliced out during mRNA maturation. In addition, the PIC and GM1 introns were inserted in the same position of the rbcL exons, and phylogenetic analysis of group IA introns indicated a close phylogenetic relationship between the PIC and GM1 introns within the lineage of bacteriophage group IA2 introns. However, P. californica and G. multicoccum occupy distinct clades in the phylogenetic trees of the colonial Volvocales, and the majority of other colonial volvocalean species do not have such introns in the rbcL genes. Therefore, these introns might have been recently inserted in the rbcL genes independently by horizontal transmission by viruses or bacteriophage.

  19. Vertical evolution and intragenic spread of lichen-fungal group I introns.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Debashish; Friedl, Thomas; Helms, Gert

    2002-07-01

    One family within the Euascomycetes (Ascomycota), the lichen-forming Physciaceae, is particularly rich in nuclear ribosomal [r]DNA group I introns. We used phylogenetic analyses of group I introns and lichen-fungal host cells to address four questions about group I intron evolution in lichens, and generally in all eukaryotes: 1) Is intron spread in the lichens associated with the intimate association of the fungal and photosynthetic cells that make up the lichen thallus? 2) Are the multiple group I introns in the lichen-fungi of independent origins, or have existing introns spread into novel sites in the rDNA? 3) If introns have moved to novel sites, then does the exon context of these sites provide insights into the mechanism of intron spread? and 4) What is the pattern of intron loss in the small subunit rDNA gene of lichen-fungi? Our analyses show that group I introns in the lichen-fungi and in the lichen-algae (and lichenized cyanobacteria) do not share a close evolutionary relationship, suggesting that these introns do not move between the symbionts. Many group I introns appear to have originated in the common ancestor of the Lecanorales, whereas others have spread within this lineage (particularly in the Physciaceae) putatively through reverse-splicing into novel rRNA sites. We suggest that the evolutionary history of most lichen-fungal group I introns is characterized by rare gains followed by extensive losses in descendants, resulting in a sporadic intron distribution. Detailed phylogenetic analyses of the introns and host cells are required, therefore, to distinguish this scenario from the alternative hypothesis of widespread and independent intron gains in the different lichen-fungal lineages.

  20. Identification of common genetic variation that modulates alternative splicing.

    PubMed

    Hull, Jeremy; Campino, Susana; Rowlands, Kate; Chan, Man-Suen; Copley, Richard R; Taylor, Martin S; Rockett, Kirk; Elvidge, Gareth; Keating, Brendan; Knight, Julian; Kwiatkowski, Dominic

    2007-06-01

    Alternative splicing of genes is an efficient means of generating variation in protein function. Several disease states have been associated with rare genetic variants that affect splicing patterns. Conversely, splicing efficiency of some genes is known to vary between individuals without apparent ill effects. What is not clear is whether commonly observed phenotypic variation in splicing patterns, and hence potential variation in protein function, is to a significant extent determined by naturally occurring DNA sequence variation and in particular by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). In this study, we surveyed the splicing patterns of 250 exons in 22 individuals who had been previously genotyped by the International HapMap Project. We identified 70 simple cassette exon alternative splicing events in our experimental system; for six of these, we detected consistent differences in splicing pattern between individuals, with a highly significant association between splice phenotype and neighbouring SNPs. Remarkably, for five out of six of these events, the strongest correlation was found with the SNP closest to the intron-exon boundary, although the distance between these SNPs and the intron-exon boundary ranged from 2 bp to greater than 1,000 bp. Two of these SNPs were further investigated using a minigene splicing system, and in each case the SNPs were found to exert cis-acting effects on exon splicing efficiency in vitro. The functional consequences of these SNPs could not be predicted using bioinformatic algorithms. Our findings suggest that phenotypic variation in splicing patterns is determined by the presence of SNPs within flanking introns or exons. Effects on splicing may represent an important mechanism by which SNPs influence gene function.

  1. Intron loss and gain during evolution of the catalase gene family in angiosperms.

    PubMed Central

    Frugoli, J A; McPeek, M A; Thomas, T L; McClung, C R

    1998-01-01

    Angiosperms (flowering plants), including both monocots and dicots, contain small catalase gene families. In the dicot, Arabidopsis thaliana, two catalase (CAT) genes, CAT1 and CAT3, are tightly linked on chromosome 1 and a third, CAT2, which is more similar to CAT1 than to CAT3, is unlinked on chromosome 4. Comparison of positions and numbers of introns among 13 angiosperm catalase genomic sequences indicates that intron positions are conserved, and suggests that an ancestral catalase gene common to monocots and dicots contained seven introns. Arabidopsis CAT2 has seven introns; both CAT1 and CAT3 have six introns in positions conserved with CAT2, but each has lost a different intron. We suggest the following sequence of events during the evolution of the Arabidopsis catalase gene family. An initial duplication of an ancestral catalase gene gave rise to CAT3 and CAT1. CAT1 then served as the template for a second duplication, yielding CAT2. Intron losses from CAT1 and CAT3 followed these duplications. One subclade of monocot catalases has lost all but the 5'-most and 3'-most introns, which is consistent with a mechanism of intron loss by replacement of an ancestral intron-containing gene with a reverse-transcribed DNA copy of a fully spliced mRNA. Following this event of concerted intron loss, the Oryza sativa (rice, a monocot) CAT1 lineage acquired an intron in a novel position, consistent with a mechanism of intron gain at proto-splice sites. PMID:9584109

  2. BRR2a Affects Flowering Time via FLC Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Mahrez, Walid; Shin, Juhyun; Exner, Vivien; Siretskiy, Alexey; Köhler, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    Several pathways control time to flowering in Arabidopsis thaliana through transcriptional and posttranscriptional gene regulation. In recent years, mRNA processing has gained interest as a critical regulator of flowering time control in plants. However, the molecular mechanisms linking RNA splicing to flowering time are not well understood. In a screen for Arabidopsis early flowering mutants we identified an allele of BRR2a. BRR2 proteins are components of the spliceosome and highly conserved in eukaryotes. Arabidopsis BRR2a is ubiquitously expressed in all analyzed tissues and involved in the processing of flowering time gene transcripts, most notably FLC. A missense mutation of threonine 895 in BRR2a caused defects in FLC splicing and greatly reduced FLC transcript levels. Reduced FLC expression increased transcription of FT and SOC1 leading to early flowering in both short and long days. Genome-wide experiments established that only a small set of introns was not correctly spliced in the brr2a mutant. Compared to control introns, retained introns were often shorter and GC-poor, had low H3K4me1 and CG methylation levels, and were often derived from genes with a high-H3K27me3-low-H3K36me3 signature. We propose that BRR2a is specifically needed for efficient splicing of a subset of introns characterized by a combination of factors including intron size, sequence and chromatin, and that FLC is most sensitive to splicing defects. PMID:27100965

  3. Loss of two introns from the Magnolia tripetala mitochondrial cox2 gene implicates horizontal gene transfer and gene conversion as a novel mechanism of intron loss.

    PubMed

    Hepburn, Nancy J; Schmidt, Derek W; Mower, Jeffrey P

    2012-10-01

    Intron loss is often thought to occur through retroprocessing, which is the reverse transcription and genomic integration of a spliced transcript. In plant mitochondria, several unambiguous examples of retroprocessing are supported by the parallel loss of an intron and numerous adjacent RNA edit sites, but in most cases, the evidence for intron loss via retroprocessing is weak or lacking entirely. To evaluate mechanisms of intron loss, we designed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay to detect recent intron losses from the mitochondrial cox2 gene within genus Magnolia, which was previously suggested to have variability in cox2 intron content. Our assay showed that all 22 examined species have a cox2 gene with two introns. However, one species, Magnolia tripetala, contains an additional cox2 gene that lacks both introns. Quantitative PCR showed that both M. tripetala cox2 genes are present in the mitochondrial genome. Although the intronless gene has lost several ancestral RNA edit sites, their distribution is inconsistent with retroprocessing models. Instead, phylogenetic and gene conversion analyses indicate that the intronless gene was horizontally acquired from a eudicot and then underwent gene conversion with the native intron-containing gene. The models are presented to summarize the roles of horizontal gene transfer and gene conversion as a novel mechanism of intron loss.

  4. Phylogenetic Distribution of Intron Positions in Alpha-Amylase Genes of Bilateria Suggests Numerous Gains and Losses

    PubMed Central

    Da Lage, Jean-Luc; Maczkowiak, Frédérique; Cariou, Marie-Louise

    2011-01-01

    Most eukaryotes have at least some genes interrupted by introns. While it is well accepted that introns were already present at moderate density in the last eukaryote common ancestor, the conspicuous diversity of intron density among genomes suggests a complex evolutionary history, with marked differences between phyla. The question of the rates of intron gains and loss in the course of evolution and factors influencing them remains controversial. We have investigated a single gene family, alpha-amylase, in 55 species covering a variety of animal phyla. Comparison of intron positions across phyla suggests a complex history, with a likely ancestral intronless gene undergoing frequent intron loss and gain, leading to extant intron/exon structures that are highly variable, even among species from the same phylum. Because introns are known to play no regulatory role in this gene and there is no alternative splicing, the structural differences may be interpreted more easily: intron positions, sizes, losses or gains may be more likely related to factors linked to splicing mechanisms and requirements, and to recognition of introns and exons, or to more extrinsic factors, such as life cycle and population size. We have shown that intron losses outnumbered gains in recent periods, but that “resets” of intron positions occurred at the origin of several phyla, including vertebrates. Rates of gain and loss appear to be positively correlated. No phase preference was found. We also found evidence for parallel gains and for intron sliding. Presence of introns at given positions was correlated to a strong protosplice consensus sequence AG/G, which was much weaker in the absence of intron. In contrast, recent intron insertions were not associated with a specific sequence. In animal Amy genes, population size and generation time seem to have played only minor roles in shaping gene structures. PMID:21611157

  5. The exon junction complex controls transposable element activity by ensuring faithful splicing of the piwi transcript

    PubMed Central

    Malone, Colin D.; Mestdagh, Claire; Akhtar, Junaid; Kreim, Nastasja; Deinhard, Pia; Sachidanandam, Ravi; Treisman, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    The exon junction complex (EJC) is a highly conserved ribonucleoprotein complex that binds RNAs during splicing and remains associated with them following export to the cytoplasm. While the role of this complex in mRNA localization, translation, and degradation has been well characterized, its mechanism of action in splicing a subset of Drosophila and human transcripts remains to be elucidated. Here, we describe a novel function for the EJC and its splicing subunit, RnpS1, in preventing transposon accumulation in both Drosophila germline and surrounding somatic follicle cells. This function is mediated specifically through the control of piwi transcript splicing, where, in the absence of RnpS1, the fourth intron of piwi is retained. This intron contains a weak polypyrimidine tract that is sufficient to confer dependence on RnpS1. Finally, we demonstrate that RnpS1-dependent removal of this intron requires splicing of the flanking introns, suggesting a model in which the EJC facilitates the splicing of weak introns following its initial deposition at adjacent exon junctions. These data demonstrate a novel role for the EJC in regulating piwi intron excision and provide a mechanism for its function during splicing. PMID:25104425

  6. Pentamer vocabularies characterizing introns and intron-like intergenic tracts from Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Bultrini, Emanuele; Pizzi, Elisabetta; Del Giudice, Paolo; Frontali, Clara

    2003-01-30

    Overall compositional properties at the level of bases, dinucleotides and longer oligos characterize genomes of different species. In Caenorhabditis elegans, using recurrence analysis, we recognized the existence of a long-range correlation in the oligonucleotide usage of introns and intergenic regions. Through correlation analysis, this is confirmed here to be a genome-wide property of C. elegans non-coding portions. We then investigate the possibility of extracting a typical vocabulary through statistical analysis of experimentally confirmed introns of sufficient length (>1 kb), deprived of known splice signals, the focus being on distributed lexical features rather than on localized motifs. Lexical preferences typical of introns could be exposed using principal component analysis of pentanucleotide frequency distributions, both in C. elegans and in Drosophila melanogaster. In either species, the introns' pentamer preferences are largely shared by intergenic tracts. The pentamer vocabularies extracted for the two species exhibit interesting symmetry properties and overlap in part. A more extensive investigation of the interspecies relationship at the level of oligonucleotide preferences in non-coding regions, not related by sequence similarity, might form the basis of new approaches for the study of the evolutionary behaviour of these regions.

  7. Localized Retroprocessing as a Model of Intron Loss in the Plant Mitochondrial Genome

    PubMed Central

    Cuenca, Argelia; Ross, T. Gregory; Graham, Sean W.; Barrett, Craig F.; Davis, Jerrold I.; Seberg, Ole; Petersen, Gitte

    2016-01-01

    Loss of introns in plant mitochondrial genes is commonly explained by retroprocessing. Under this model, an mRNA is reverse transcribed and integrated back into the genome, simultaneously affecting the contents of introns and edited sites. To evaluate the extent to which retroprocessing explains intron loss, we analyzed patterns of intron content and predicted RNA editing for whole mitochondrial genomes of 30 species in the monocot order Alismatales. In this group, we found an unusually high degree of variation in the intron content, even expanding the hitherto known variation among angiosperms. Some species have lost some two-third of the cis-spliced introns. We found a strong correlation between intron content and editing frequency, and detected 27 events in which intron loss is consistent with the presence of nucleotides in an edited state, supporting retroprocessing. However, we also detected seven cases of intron loss not readily being explained by retroprocession. Our analyses are also not consistent with the entire length of a fully processed cDNA copy being integrated into the genome, but instead indicate that retroprocessing usually occurs for only part of the gene. In some cases, several rounds of retroprocessing may explain intron loss in genes completely devoid of introns. A number of taxa retroprocessing seem to be very common and a possibly ongoing process. It affects the entire mitochondrial genome. PMID:27435795

  8. Chromatin, DNA structure and alternative splicing.

    PubMed

    Nieto Moreno, Nicolás; Giono, Luciana E; Cambindo Botto, Adrián E; Muñoz, Manuel J; Kornblihtt, Alberto R

    2015-11-14

    Coupling of transcription and alternative splicing via regulation of the transcriptional elongation rate is a well-studied phenomenon. Template features that act as roadblocks for the progression of RNA polymerase II comprise histone modifications and variants, DNA-interacting proteins and chromatin compaction. These may affect alternative splicing decisions by inducing pauses or decreasing elongation rate that change the time-window for splicing regulatory sequences to be recognized. Herein we discuss the evidence supporting the influence of template structural modifications on transcription and splicing, and provide insights about possible roles of non-B DNA conformations on the regulation of alternative splicing.

  9. An intron within the 16S ribosomal RNA gene of the archaeon Pyrobaculum aerophilum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burggraf, S.; Larsen, N.; Woese, C. R.; Stetter, K. O.

    1993-01-01

    The 16S rRNA genes of Pyrobaculum aerophilum and Pyrobaculum islandicum were amplified by the polymerase chain reaction, and the resulting products were sequenced directly. The two organisms are closely related by this measure (over 98% similar). However, they differ in that the (lone) 16S rRNA gene of Pyrobaculum aerophilum contains a 713-bp intron not seen in the corresponding gene of Pyrobaculum islandicum. To our knowledge, this is the only intron so far reported in the small subunit rRNA gene of a prokaryote. Upon excision the intron is circularized. A secondary structure model of the intron-containing rRNA suggests a splicing mechanism of the same type as that invoked for the tRNA introns of the Archaea and Eucarya and 23S rRNAs of the Archaea. The intron contains an open reading frame whose protein translation shows no certain homology with any known protein sequence.

  10. Cyanobacterial ribosomal RNA genes with multiple, endonuclease-encoding group I introns

    PubMed Central

    Haugen, Peik; Bhattacharya, Debashish; Palmer, Jeffrey D; Turner, Seán; Lewis, Louise A; Pryer, Kathleen M

    2007-01-01

    Background Group I introns are one of the four major classes of introns as defined by their distinct splicing mechanisms. Because they catalyze their own removal from precursor transcripts, group I introns are referred to as autocatalytic introns. Group I introns are common in fungal and protist nuclear ribosomal RNA genes and in organellar genomes. In contrast, they are rare in all other organisms and genomes, including bacteria. Results Here we report five group I introns, each containing a LAGLIDADG homing endonuclease gene (HEG), in large subunit (LSU) rRNA genes of cyanobacteria. Three of the introns are located in the LSU gene of Synechococcus sp. C9, and the other two are in the LSU gene of Synechococcus lividus strain C1. Phylogenetic analyses show that these introns and their HEGs are closely related to introns and HEGs located at homologous insertion sites in organellar and bacterial rDNA genes. We also present a compilation of group I introns with homing endonuclease genes in bacteria. Conclusion We have discovered multiple HEG-containing group I introns in a single bacterial gene. To our knowledge, these are the first cases of multiple group I introns in the same bacterial gene (multiple group I introns have been reported in at least one phage gene and one prophage gene). The HEGs each contain one copy of the LAGLIDADG motif and presumably function as homodimers. Phylogenetic analysis, in conjunction with their patchy taxonomic distribution, suggests that these intron-HEG elements have been transferred horizontally among organelles and bacteria. However, the mode of transfer and the nature of the biological connections among the intron-containing organisms are unknown. PMID:17825109

  11. Schizophyllum commune has an extensive and functional alternative splicing repertoire

    PubMed Central

    Gehrmann, Thies; Pelkmans, Jordi F.; Lugones, Luis G.; Wösten, Han A. B.; Abeel, Thomas; Reinders, Marcel J. T.

    2016-01-01

    Recent genome-wide studies have demonstrated that fungi possess the machinery to alternatively splice pre-mRNA. However, there has not been a systematic categorization of the functional impact of alternative splicing in a fungus. We investigate alternative splicing and its functional consequences in the model mushroom forming fungus Schizophyllum commune. Alternative splicing was demonstrated for 2,285 out of 12,988 expressed genes, resulting in 20% additional transcripts. Intron retentions were the most common alternative splicing events, accounting for 33% of all splicing events, and 43% of the events in coding regions. On the other hand, exon skipping events were rare in coding regions (1%) but enriched in UTRs where they accounted for 57% of the events. Specific functional groups, including transcription factors, contained alternatively spliced genes. Alternatively spliced transcripts were regulated differently throughout development in 19% of the 2,285 alternatively spliced genes. Notably, 69% of alternatively spliced genes have predicted alternative functionality by loss or gain of functional domains, or by acquiring alternative subcellular locations. S. commune exhibits more alternative splicing than any other studied fungus. Taken together, alternative splicing increases the complexity of the S. commune proteome considerably and provides it with a rich repertoire of alternative functionality that is exploited dynamically. PMID:27659065

  12. In vitro Splicing of Influenza Viral NS1 mRNA and NS1-β -globin Chimeras: Possible Mechanisms for the Control of Viral mRNA Splicing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plotch, Stephen J.; Krug, Robert M.

    1986-08-01

    In influenza virus-infected cells, the splicing of the viral NS1 mRNA catalyzed by host nuclear enzymes is controlled so that the steady-state amount of the spliced NS2 mRNA is only 5-10% of that of the unspliced NS1 mRNA. Here we examine the splicing of NS1 mRNA in vitro, using nuclear extracts from HeLa cells. We show that in addition to its consensus 5' and 3' splice sites, NS1 mRNA has an intron branch-point adenosine residue that was functional in lariat formation. Nonetheless, this RNA was not detectably spliced in vitro under conditions in which a human β -globin precursor was efficiently spliced. Using chimeric RNA precursors containing both NS1 and β -globin sequences, we show that the NS1 5' splice site was effectively utilized by the β -globin branch-point sequence and 3' splice site to form a spliced RNA, whereas the NS1 3' splice site did not function in detectable splicing in vitro, even in the presence of the β -globin branch-point sequence or in the presence of both the branch-point sequence and 5' exon and splice site from β -globin With the chimeric precursors that were not detectably spliced, as with NS1 mRNA itself, a low level of a lariat structure containing only intron and not 3' exon sequences was formed. The inability of the consensus 3' splice site of NS1 mRNA to function effectively in in vitro splicing suggests that this site is structurally inaccessible to components of the splicing machinery. Based on these results, we propose two mechanisms whereby NS1 mRNA splicing in infected cells is controlled via the accessibility of its 3' splice site.

  13. Explosive invasion of plant mitochondria by a group I intron

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Yangrae; Qiu, Yin-Long; Kuhlman, Peter; Palmer, Jeffrey D.

    1998-01-01

    Group I introns are mobile, self-splicing genetic elements found principally in organellar genomes and nuclear rRNA genes. The only group I intron known from mitochondrial genomes of vascular plants is located in the cox1 gene of Peperomia, where it is thought to have been recently acquired by lateral transfer from a fungal donor. Southern-blot surveys of 335 diverse genera of land plants now show that this intron is in fact widespread among angiosperm cox1 genes, but with an exceptionally patchy phylogenetic distribution. Four lines of evidence—the intron’s highly disjunct distribution, many incongruencies between intron and organismal phylogenies, and two sources of evidence from exonic coconversion tracts—lead us to conclude that the 48 angiosperm genera found to contain this cox1 intron acquired it by 32 separate horizontal transfer events. Extrapolating to the over 13,500 genera of angiosperms, we estimate that this intron has invaded cox1 genes by cross-species horizontal transfer over 1,000 times during angiosperm evolution. This massive wave of lateral transfers is of entirely recent occurrence, perhaps triggered by some key shift in the intron’s invasiveness within angiosperms. PMID:9826685

  14. Intron retention in mRNA: No longer nonsense: Known and putative roles of intron retention in normal and disease biology.

    PubMed

    Wong, Justin J-L; Au, Amy Y M; Ritchie, William; Rasko, John E J

    2016-01-01

    Until recently, retention of introns in mature mRNAs has been regarded as a consequence of mis-splicing. Intron-retaining transcripts are thought to be non-functional because they are readily degraded by nonsense-mediated decay. However, recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies have enabled the detection of numerous transcripts that retain introns. As we review herein, intron-retaining mRNAs play an essential conserved role in normal physiology and an emergent role in diverse diseases. Intron retention should no longer be overlooked as a key mechanism that independently reduces gene expression in normal biology. Exploring its contribution to the development and/or maintenance of diseases is of increasing importance.

  15. Splicing and transcription-associated proteins PSF and p54nrb/nonO bind to the RNA polymerase II CTD.

    PubMed

    Emili, Andrew; Shales, Michael; McCracken, Susan; Xie, Weijun; Tucker, Philip W; Kobayashi, Ryuji; Blencowe, Benjamin J; Ingles, C James

    2002-09-01

    The carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest subunit of eukaryotic RNA polymerase II (pol II) plays an important role in promoting steps of pre-mRNA processing. To identify proteins in human cells that bind to the CTD and that could mediate its functions in pre-mRNA processing, we used the mouse CTD expressed in bacterial cells in affinity chromatography experiments. Two proteins present in HeLa cell extract, the splicing and transcription-associated factors, PSF and p54nrb/NonO, bound specifically and could be purified to virtual homogeneity by chromatography on immobilized CTD matrices. Both hypo- and hyperphosphorylated CTD matrices bound these proteins with similar selectivity. PSF and p54nrb/NonO also copurified with a holoenzyme form of pol II containing hypophosphorylated CTD and could be coimmunoprecipitated with antibodies specific for this and the hyperphosphorylated form of pol II. That PSF and p54nrb/NonO promoted the binding of RNA to immobilized CTD matrices suggested these proteins can interact with the CTD and RNA simultaneously. PSF and p54nrb/NonO may therefore provide a direct physical link between the pol II CTD and pre-mRNA processing components, at both the initiation and elongation phases of transcription.

  16. Identification of cis-acting elements and splicing factors involved in the regulation of BIM Pre-mRNA splicing.

    PubMed

    Juan, Wen Chun; Roca, Xavier; Ong, S Tiong

    2014-01-01

    Aberrant changes in the expression of the pro-apoptotic protein, BCL-2-like 11 (BIM), can result in either impaired or excessive apoptosis, which can contribute to tumorigenesis and degenerative disorders, respectively. Altering BIM pre-mRNA splicing is an attractive approach to modulate apoptosis because BIM activity is partly determined by the alternative splicing of exons 3 or 4, whereby exon 3-containing transcripts are not apoptotic. Here we identified several cis-acting elements and splicing factors involved in BIM alternative splicing, as a step to better understand the regulation of BIM expression. We analyzed a recently discovered 2,903-bp deletion polymorphism within BIM intron 2 that biased splicing towards exon 3, and which also impaired BIM-dependent apoptosis. We found that this region harbors multiple redundant cis-acting elements that repress exon 3 inclusion. Furthermore, we have isolated a 23-nt intronic splicing silencer at the 3' end of the deletion that is important for excluding exon 3. We also show that PTBP1 and hnRNP C repress exon 3 inclusion, and that downregulation of PTBP1 inhibited BIM-mediated apoptosis. Collectively, these findings start building our understanding of the cis-acting elements and splicing factors that regulate BIM alternative splicing, and also suggest potential approaches to alter BIM splicing for therapeutic purposes.

  17. Introns of plant pri-miRNAs enhance miRNA biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Bielewicz, Dawid; Kalak, Malgorzata; Kalyna, Maria; Windels, David; Barta, Andrea; Vazquez, Franck; Szweykowska-Kulinska, Zofia; Jarmolowski, Artur

    2013-01-01

    Plant MIR genes are independent transcription units that encode long primary miRNA precursors, which usually contain introns. For two miRNA genes, MIR163 and MIR161, we show that introns are crucial for the accumulation of proper levels of mature miRNA. Removal of the intron in both cases led to a drop-off in the level of mature miRNAs. We demonstrate that the stimulating effects of the intron mostly reside in the 5′ss rather than on a genuine splicing event. Our findings are biologically significant as the presence of functional splice sites in the MIR163 gene appears mandatory for pathogen-triggered accumulation of miR163 and proper regulation of at least one of its targets. PMID:23681439

  18. An exonic splicing silencer in the testes-specific DNA ligase III β exon

    PubMed Central

    Chew, Shern L.; Baginsky, Lysa; Eperon, Ian C.

    2000-01-01

    Alternative pre-mRNA splicing of two terminal exons (α and β) regulates the expression of the human DNA ligase III gene. In most tissues, the α exon is expressed. In testes and during spermatogenesis, the β exon is used instead. The α exon encodes the interaction domain with a scaffold DNA repair protein, XRCC1, while the β exon-encoded C-terminal does not. Sequence elements regulating the alternative splicing pattern were mapped by in vitro splicing assays in HeLa nuclear extracts. Deletion of a region beginning in the β exon and extending into the downstream intron derepressed splicing to the β exon. Two silencing elements were found within this 101 nt region: a 16 nt exonic splicing silencer immediately upstream of the β exon polyadenylation signal and a 45 nt intronic splicing silencer. The exonic splicing silencer inhibited splicing, even when the polyadenylation signal was deleted or replaced by a 5′ splice site. This element also enhanced polyadenylation under conditions unfavourable to splicing. The splicing silencer partially inhibited assembly of spliceosomal complexes and functioned in an adenoviral pre-mRNA context. Silencing of splicing by the element was associated with cross-linking of a 37 kDa protein to the RNA substrate. The element exerts opposite functions in splicing and polyadenylation. PMID:10606636

  19. Splicing of arabidopsis tRNA(Met) precursors in tobacco cell and wheat germ extracts.

    PubMed

    Akama, K; Junker, V; Yukawa, Y; Sugiura, M; Beier, H

    2000-09-01

    Intron-containing tRNA genes are exceptional within nuclear plant genomes. It appears that merely two tRNA gene families coding for tRNA(GpsiA(Tyr)) and elongator tRNA(CmAU(Met)) contain intervening sequences. We have previously investigated the features required by wheat germ splicing endonuclease for efficient and accurate intron excision from Arabidopsis pre-tRNA(Tyr). Here we have studied the expression of an Arabidopsis elongator tRNA(Met) gene in two plant extracts of different origin. This gene was first transcribed either in HeLa or in tobacco cell nuclear extract and splicing of intron-containing tRNA(Met) precursors was then examined in wheat germ S23 extract and in the tobacco system. The results show that conversion of pre-tRNA(Met) to mature tRNA proceeds very efficiently in both plant extracts. In order to elucidate the potential role of specific nucleotides at the 3' and 5' splice sites and of a structured intron for pre-tRNA(Met) splicing in either extract, we have performed a systematic survey by mutational analyses. The results show that cytidine residues at intron-exon boundaries impair pre-tRNA(Met) splicing and that a highly structured intron is indispensable for pre-tRNA(Met) splicing. tRNA precursors with an extended anticodon stem of three to four base pairs are readily accepted as substrates by wheat and tobacco splicing endonuclease, whereas pre-tRNA molecules that can form an extended anticodon stem of only two putative base pairs are not spliced at all. An amber suppressor, generated from the intron-containing elongator tRNA(Met) gene, is efficiently processed and spliced in both plant extracts.

  20. An SF1 affinity model to identify branch point sequences in human introns

    PubMed Central

    Pastuszak, Alexander W.; Joachimiak, Marcin P.; Blanchette, Marco; Rio, Donald C.; Brenner, Steven E.; Frankel, Alan D.

    2011-01-01

    Splicing factor 1 (SF1) binds to the branch point sequence (BPS) of mammalian introns and is believed to be important for the splicing of some, but not all, introns. To help identify BPSs, particularly those that depend on SF1, we generated a BPS profile model in which SF1 binding affinity data, validated by branch point mapping, were iteratively incorporated into computational models. We searched a data set of 117 499 human introns for best matches to the SF1 Affinity Model above a threshold, and counted the number of matches at each intronic position. After subtracting a background value, we found that 87.9% of remaining high-scoring matches identified were located in a region upstream of 3′-splice sites where BPSs are typically found. Since U2AF65 recognizes the polypyrimidine tract (PPT) and forms a cooperative RNA complex with SF1, we combined the SF1 model with a PPT model computed from high affinity binding sequences for U2AF65. The combined model, together with binding site location constraints, accurately identified introns bound by SF1 that are candidates for SF1-dependent splicing. PMID:21071404

  1. COL5A1: Fine genetic mapping, intron/exon organization, and exclusion as candidate gene in families with tuberous sclerosis complex 1, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type II

    SciTech Connect

    Greenspan, D.S.; Papenberg, K.A.; Marchuk, D.A.

    1994-09-01

    Type V collagen is the only fibrillar collagen which has yet to be implicated in the pathogenesis of genetic diseases in humans or mice. To begin examining the possible role of type V collagen in genetic disease, we have previously mapped COL5A1, the gene for the {alpha}1 chain of type V collagen, to 9q23.2{r_arrow}q34.3 and described two restriction site polymorphisms which allowed us to exclude COL5A1 as candidate gene for nail-patella syndrome. We have now used these polymorphisms to exclude COL5A1 as candidate gene for tuberous sclerosis complex 1 and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type II. In addition, we describe a CA repeat, with observed heterozygosity of about 0.5, in a COL5A1 intron, which has allowed us to exclude COL5A1 as a candidate gene in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia and to place COL5A1 on the CEPH family genetic map between markers D9S66 and D9S67. We have also determined the entire intron/exon organization of COL5A1, which will facilitate characterization of mutations in genetic diseases with which COL5A1 may be linked in future studies.

  2. RNA splicing in a new rhabdovirus from Culex mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Kuwata, Ryusei; Isawa, Haruhiko; Hoshino, Keita; Tsuda, Yoshio; Yanase, Tohru; Sasaki, Toshinori; Kobayashi, Mutsuo; Sawabe, Kyoko

    2011-07-01

    Among members of the order Mononegavirales, RNA splicing events have been found only in the family Bornaviridae. Here, we report that a new rhabdovirus isolated from the mosquito Culex tritaeniorhynchus replicates in the nuclei of infected cells and requires RNA splicing for viral mRNA maturation. The virus, designated Culex tritaeniorhynchus rhabdovirus (CTRV), shares a similar genome organization with other rhabdoviruses, except for the presence of a putative intron in the coding region for the L protein. Molecular phylogenetic studies indicated that CTRV belongs to the family Rhabdoviridae, but it is yet to be assigned a genus. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that the CTRV virion is extremely elongated, unlike virions of rhabdoviruses, which are generally bullet shaped. Northern hybridization confirmed that a large transcript (approximately 6,500 nucleotides [nt]) from the CTRV L gene was present in the infected cells. Strand-specific reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) analyses identified the intron-exon boundaries and the 76-nt intron sequence, which contains the typical motif for eukaryotic spliceosomal intron-splice donor/acceptor sites (GU-AG), a predicted branch point, and a polypyrimidine tract. In situ hybridization exhibited that viral RNAs are primarily localized in the nucleus of infected cells, indicating that CTRV replicates in the nucleus and is allowed to utilize the host's nuclear splicing machinery. This is the first report of RNA splicing among the members of the family Rhabdoviridae.

  3. Alternative splicing of the maize Ac transposase transcript in transgenic sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.).

    PubMed

    Lisson, Ralph; Hellert, Jan; Ringleb, Malte; Machens, Fabian; Kraus, Josef; Hehl, Reinhard

    2010-09-01

    The maize Activator/Dissociation (Ac/Ds) transposable element system was introduced into sugar beet. The autonomous Ac and non-autonomous Ds element excise from the T-DNA vector and integrate at novel positions in the sugar beet genome. Ac and Ds excisions generate footprints in the donor T-DNA that support the hairpin model for transposon excision. Two complete integration events into genomic sugar beet DNA were obtained by IPCR. Integration of Ac leads to an eight bp duplication, while integration of Ds in a homologue of a sugar beet flowering locus gene did not induce a duplication. The molecular structure of the target site indicates Ds integration into a double strand break. Analyses of transposase transcription using RT-PCR revealed low amounts of alternatively spliced mRNAs. The fourth intron of the transposase was found to be partially misspliced. Four different splice products were identified. In addition, the second and third exon were found to harbour two and three novel introns, respectively. These utilize each the same splice donor but several alternative splice acceptor sites. Using the SplicePredictor online tool, one of the two introns within exon two is predicted to be efficiently spliced in maize. Most interestingly, splicing of this intron together with the four major introns of Ac would generate a transposase that lacks the DNA binding domain and two of its three nuclear localization signals, but still harbours the dimerization domain.

  4. Splicing Functions and Global Dependency on Fission Yeast Slu7 Reveal Diversity in Spliceosome Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Shataparna; Khandelia, Piyush; Melangath, Geetha; Bashir, Samirul; Nagampalli, Vijaykrishna

    2013-01-01

    The multiple short introns in Schizosaccharomyces pombe genes with degenerate cis sequences and atypically positioned polypyrimidine tracts make an interesting model to investigate canonical and alternative roles for conserved splicing factors. Here we report functions and interactions of the S. pombe slu7+ (spslu7+) gene product, known from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and human in vitro reactions to assemble into spliceosomes after the first catalytic reaction and to dictate 3′ splice site choice during the second reaction. By using a missense mutant of this essential S. pombe factor, we detected a range of global splicing derangements that were validated in assays for the splicing status of diverse candidate introns. We ascribe widespread, intron-specific SpSlu7 functions and have deduced several features, including the branch nucleotide-to-3′ splice site distance, intron length, and the impact of its A/U content at the 5′ end on the intron's dependence on SpSlu7. The data imply dynamic substrate-splicing factor relationships in multiintron transcripts. Interestingly, the unexpected early splicing arrest in spslu7-2 revealed a role before catalysis. We detected a salt-stable association with U5 snRNP and observed genetic interactions with spprp1+, a homolog of human U5-102k factor. These observations together point to an altered recruitment and dependence on SpSlu7, suggesting its role in facilitating transitions that promote catalysis, and highlight the diversity in spliceosome assembly. PMID:23754748

  5. Aberrant splicing in maize rough endosperm3 reveals a conserved role for U12 splicing in eukaryotic multicellular development

    PubMed Central

    Barbazuk, W. Brad

    2017-01-01

    RNA splicing of U12-type introns functions in human cell differentiation, but it is not known whether this class of introns has a similar role in plants. The maize ROUGH ENDOSPERM3 (RGH3) protein is orthologous to the human splicing factor, ZRSR2. ZRSR2 mutations are associated with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and cause U12 splicing defects. Maize rgh3 mutants have aberrant endosperm cell differentiation and proliferation. We found that most U12-type introns are retained or misspliced in rgh3. Genes affected in rgh3 and ZRSR2 mutants identify cell cycle and protein glycosylation as common pathways disrupted. Transcripts with retained U12-type introns can be found in polysomes, suggesting that splicing efficiency can alter protein isoforms. The rgh3 mutant protein disrupts colocalization with a known ZRSR2-interacting protein, U2AF2. These results indicate conserved function for RGH3/ZRSR2 in U12 splicing and a deeply conserved role for the minor spliceosome to promote cell differentiation from stem cells to terminal fates. PMID:28242684

  6. LEDGF/p75 interacts with mRNA splicing factors and targets HIV-1 integration to highly spliced genes.

    PubMed

    Singh, Parmit Kumar; Plumb, Matthew R; Ferris, Andrea L; Iben, James R; Wu, Xiaolin; Fadel, Hind J; Luke, Brian T; Esnault, Caroline; Poeschla, Eric M; Hughes, Stephen H; Kvaratskhelia, Mamuka; Levin, Henry L

    2015-11-01

    The host chromatin-binding factor LEDGF/p75 interacts with HIV-1 integrase and directs integration to active transcription units. To understand how LEDGF/p75 recognizes transcription units, we sequenced 1 million HIV-1 integration sites isolated from cultured HEK293T cells. Analysis of integration sites showed that cancer genes were preferentially targeted, raising concerns about using lentivirus vectors for gene therapy. Additional analysis led to the discovery that introns and alternative splicing contributed significantly to integration site selection. These correlations were independent of transcription levels, size of transcription units, and length of the introns. Multivariate analysis with five parameters previously found to predict integration sites showed that intron density is the strongest predictor of integration density in transcription units. Analysis of previously published HIV-1 integration site data showed that integration density in transcription units in mouse embryonic fibroblasts also correlated strongly with intron number, and this correlation was absent in cells lacking LEDGF. Affinity purification showed that LEDGF/p75 is associated with a number of splicing factors, and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis of HEK293T cells lacking LEDGF/p75 or the LEDGF/p75 integrase-binding domain (IBD) showed that LEDGF/p75 contributes to splicing patterns in half of the transcription units that have alternative isoforms. Thus, LEDGF/p75 interacts with splicing factors, contributes to exon choice, and directs HIV-1 integration to transcription units that are highly spliced.

  7. Arabidopsis PTB1 and PTB2 proteins negatively regulate splicing of a mini-exon splicing reporter and affect alternative splicing of endogenous genes differentially.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Craig G; Lewandowska, Dominika; Liney, Michele; Davidson, Diane; Chapman, Sean; Fuller, John; McNicol, Jim; Shaw, Paul; Brown, John W S

    2014-07-01

    This paper examines the function of Arabidopsis thaliana AtPTB1 and AtPTB2 as plant splicing factors. The effect on splicing of overexpression of AtPTB1 and AtPTB2 was analysed in an in vivo protoplast transient expression system with a novel mini-exon splicing reporter. A range of mutations in pyrimidine-rich sequences were compared with and without AtPTB and NpU2AF65 overexpression. Splicing analyses of constructs in protoplasts and RNA from overexpression lines used high-resolution reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). AtPTB1 and AtPTB2 reduced inclusion/splicing of the potato invertase mini-exon splicing reporter, indicating that these proteins can repress plant intron splicing. Mutation of the polypyrimidine tract and closely associated Cytosine and Uracil-rich (CU-rich) sequences, upstream of the mini-exon, altered repression by AtPTB1 and AtPTB2. Coexpression of a plant orthologue of U2AF65 alleviated the splicing repression of AtPTB1. Mutation of a second CU-rich upstream of the mini-exon 3' splice site led to a decline in mini-exon splicing, indicating the presence of a splicing enhancer sequence. Finally, RT-PCR of AtPTB overexpression lines with c. 90 known alternative splicing (AS) events showed that AtPTBs significantly altered AS of over half the events. AtPTB1 and AtPTB2 are splicing factors that influence alternative splicing. This occurs in the potato invertase mini-exon via the polypyrimidine tract and associated pyrimidine-rich sequence.

  8. Fas-activated serine/threonine kinase (FAST K) synergizes with TIA-1/TIAR proteins to regulate Fas alternative splicing.

    PubMed

    Izquierdo, José M; Valcárcel, Juan

    2007-01-19

    The factors and mechanisms that mediate the effects of intracellular signaling cascades on alternative pre-mRNA splicing are poorly understood. TIA-1 (T-cell intracellular antigen 1) and TIAR (TIA-1-related) proteins regulate alternative pre-mRNA splicing by promoting the use of suboptimal 5' splice sites followed by uridine-rich intronic enhancer sequences. These proteins promote, for example, inclusion of Fas receptor exon 6, which leads to an mRNA encoding a pro-apoptotic form of the receptor at the expense of the form that skips exon 6, which encodes an anti-apoptotic form. Fas-activated serine/threonine kinase (FAST K) is known to interact with and phosphorylate TIA-1. Here we have tested the possibility that FAST K influences alternative pre-mRNA splicing by affecting the activity of TIA-1/TIAR. Depletion of FAST K form Jurkat cells leads to skipping of exon 6 from endogenous Fas transcripts. Conversely, FAST K overexpression enhances exon 6 inclusion of Fas reporters transfected in HeLa cells. Consistent with the possibility that the effects of FAST K are mediated by changes in the function of TIA-1/TIAR, the effects of FAST K overexpression (i) are largely suppressed by depletion of TIA-1 and TIAR and (ii) are significantly compromised by mutation of a TIA-1/TIAR-responsive enhancer present downstream of exon 6 5' splice site. Furthermore, in vitro phosphorylation of TIA-1 by FAST K results in enhanced U1 snRNP recruitment. Interestingly, this enhancement is not due to increased binding of TIA-1 to the pre-mRNA. Taken together, the results connect Fas signaling with the activity of splicing factors that modulate Fas alternative splicing, suggesting the existence of an autoregulatory loop that could serve to amplify Fas responses.

  9. Nanoplasmonic probes of RNA folding and assembly during pre-mRNA splicing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Anh H.; Lee, Jong Uk; Sim, Sang Jun

    2016-02-01

    RNA splicing plays important roles in transcriptome and proteome diversity. Herein, we describe the use of a nanoplasmonic system that unveils RNA folding and assembly during pre-mRNA splicing wherein the quantification of mRNA splice variants is not taken into account. With a couple of SERS-probes and plasmonic probes binding at the boundary sites of exon-2/intron-2 and intron-2/exon-3 of the pre-mature RNA of the β-globin gene, the splicing process brings the probes into the plasmonic bands. For plasmonic probes, a plasmon shift increase of ~29 nm, corresponding to intron removal and exon-2 and exon-3 connection to form the mRNA molecule, is measured by plasmonic coupling. The increased scattering intensity and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) fingerprinting reveal the clear dynamics of pre-mRNA splicing. Moreover, a time-resolved experiment of individual RNA molecules exhibited a successful splicing and an inhibited splicing event by 33 μM biflavonoid isoginkgetin, a general inhibitor of RNA splicing. The results suggest that the RNA splicing is successfully monitored with the nanoplasmonic system. Thus, this platform can be useful for studying RNA nanotechnology, biomolecular folding, alternative splicing, and maturation of microRNA.

  10. Nanoplasmonic probes of RNA folding and assembly during pre-mRNA splicing.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Anh H; Lee, Jong Uk; Sim, Sang Jun

    2016-02-28

    RNA splicing plays important roles in transcriptome and proteome diversity. Herein, we describe the use of a nanoplasmonic system that unveils RNA folding and assembly during pre-mRNA splicing wherein the quantification of mRNA splice variants is not taken into account. With a couple of SERS-probes and plasmonic probes binding at the boundary sites of exon-2/intron-2 and intron-2/exon-3 of the pre-mature RNA of the β-globin gene, the splicing process brings the probes into the plasmonic bands. For plasmonic probes, a plasmon shift increase of ∼29 nm, corresponding to intron removal and exon-2 and exon-3 connection to form the mRNA molecule, is measured by plasmonic coupling. The increased scattering intensity and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) fingerprinting reveal the clear dynamics of pre-mRNA splicing. Moreover, a time-resolved experiment of individual RNA molecules exhibited a successful splicing and an inhibited splicing event by 33 μM biflavonoid isoginkgetin, a general inhibitor of RNA splicing. The results suggest that the RNA splicing is successfully monitored with the nanoplasmonic system. Thus, this platform can be useful for studying RNA nanotechnology, biomolecular folding, alternative splicing, and maturation of microRNA.

  11. An intronic RNA structure modulates expression of the mRNA biogenesis factor Sus1.

    PubMed

    AbuQattam, Ali; Gallego, José; Rodríguez-Navarro, Susana

    2016-01-01

    Sus1 is a conserved protein involved in chromatin remodeling and mRNA biogenesis. Unlike most yeast genes, the SUS1 pre-mRNA of Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains two introns and is alternatively spliced, retaining one or both introns in response to changes in environmental conditions. SUS1 splicing may allow the cell to control Sus1 expression, but the mechanisms that regulate this process remain unknown. Using in silico analyses together with NMR spectroscopy, gel electrophoresis, and UV thermal denaturation experiments, we show that the downstream intron (I2) of SUS1 forms a weakly stable, 37-nucleotide stem-loop structure containing the branch site near its apical loop and the 3' splice site after the stem terminus. A cellular assay revealed that two of four mutants containing altered I2 structures had significantly impaired SUS1 expression. Semiquantitative RT-PCR experiments indicated that all mutants accumulated unspliced SUS1 pre-mRNA and/or induced distorted levels of fully spliced mRNA relative to wild type. Concomitantly, Sus1 cellular functions in histone H2B deubiquitination and mRNA export were affected in I2 hairpin mutants that inhibited splicing. This work demonstrates that I2 structure is relevant for SUS1 expression, and that this effect is likely exerted through modulation of splicing.

  12. An intronic RNA structure modulates expression of the mRNA biogenesis factor Sus1

    PubMed Central

    AbuQattam, Ali; Gallego, José; Rodríguez-Navarro, Susana

    2016-01-01

    Sus1 is a conserved protein involved in chromatin remodeling and mRNA biogenesis. Unlike most yeast genes, the SUS1 pre-mRNA of Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains two introns and is alternatively spliced, retaining one or both introns in response to changes in environmental conditions. SUS1 splicing may allow the cell to control Sus1 expression, but the mechanisms that regulate this process remain unknown. Using in silico analyses together with NMR spectroscopy, gel electrophoresis, and UV thermal denaturation experiments, we show that the downstream intron (I2) of SUS1 forms a weakly stable, 37-nucleotide stem–loop structure containing the branch site near its apical loop and the 3′ splice site after the stem terminus. A cellular assay revealed that two of four mutants containing altered I2 structures had significantly impaired SUS1 expression. Semiquantitative RT-PCR experiments indicated that all mutants accumulated unspliced SUS1 pre-mRNA and/or induced distorted levels of fully spliced mRNA relative to wild type. Concomitantly, Sus1 cellular functions in histone H2B deubiquitination and mRNA export were affected in I2 hairpin mutants that inhibited splicing. This work demonstrates that I2 structure is relevant for SUS1 expression, and that this effect is likely exerted through modulation of splicing. PMID:26546116

  13. A Detailed History of Intron-rich Eukaryotic Ancestors Inferred from a Global Survey of 100 Complete Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Csuros, Miklos; Rogozin, Igor B.; Koonin, Eugene V.

    2011-01-01

    Protein-coding genes in eukaryotes are interrupted by introns, but intron densities widely differ between eukaryotic lineages. Vertebrates, some invertebrates and green plants have intron-rich genes, with 6–7 introns per kilobase of coding sequence, whereas most of the other eukaryotes have intron-poor genes. We reconstructed the history of intron gain and loss using a probabilistic Markov model (Markov Chain Monte Carlo, MCMC) on 245 orthologous genes from 99 genomes representing the three of the five supergroups of eukaryotes for which multiple genome sequences are available. Intron-rich ancestors are confidently reconstructed for each major group, with 53 to 74% of the human intron density inferred with 95% confidence for the Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor (LECA). The results of the MCMC reconstruction are compared with the reconstructions obtained using Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Dollo parsimony methods. An excellent agreement between the MCMC and ML inferences is demonstrated whereas Dollo parsimony introduces a noticeable bias in the estimations, typically yielding lower ancestral intron densities than MCMC and ML. Evolution of eukaryotic genes was dominated by intron loss, with substantial gain only at the bases of several major branches including plants and animals. The highest intron density, 120 to 130% of the human value, is inferred for the last common ancestor of animals. The reconstruction shows that the entire line of descent from LECA to mammals was intron-rich, a state conducive to the evolution of alternative splicing. PMID:21935348

  14. A detailed history of intron-rich eukaryotic ancestors inferred from a global survey of 100 complete genomes.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

    Protein-coding genes in eukaryotes are interrupted by introns, but intron densities widely differ between eukaryotic lineages. Vertebrates, some invertebrates and green plants have intron-rich genes, with 6-7 introns per kilobase of coding sequence, whereas most of the other eukaryotes have intron-poor genes. We reconstructed the history of intron gain and loss using a probabilistic Markov model (Markov Chain Monte Carlo, MCMC) on 245 orthologous genes from 99 genomes representing the three of the five supergroups of eukaryotes for which multiple genome sequences are available. Intron-rich ancestors are confidently reconstructed for each major group, with 53 to 74% of the human intron density inferred with 95% confidence for the Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor (LECA). The results of the MCMC reconstruction are compared with the reconstructions obtained using Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Dollo parsimony methods. An excellent agreement between the MCMC and ML inferences is demonstrated whereas Dollo parsimony introduces a noticeable bias in the estimations, typically yielding lower ancestral intron densities than MCMC and ML. Evolution of eukaryotic genes was dominated by intron loss, with substantial gain only at the bases of several major branches including plants and animals. The highest intron density, 120 to 130% of the human value, is inferred for the last common ancestor of animals. The reconstruction shows that the entire line of descent from LECA to mammals was intron-rich, a state conducive to the evolution of alternative splicing.

  15. [EDAS, databases of alternatively spliced human genes].

    PubMed

    Nurtdinov, R N; Neverov, A D; Mal'ko, D B; Kosmodem'ianskiĭ, I A; Ermakova, E O; Ramenskiĭ, V E; Mironov, A A; Gel'fand, M S

    2006-01-01

    EDAS, a database of alternatively spliced human genes, contains data on the alignment of proteins, mRNAs, and EST. It contains information on all exons and introns observed, as well as elementary alternatives formed from them. The database makes it possible to filter the output data by changing the cut-off threshold by the significance level. The database is accessible at http://www.gene-bee.msu.ru/edas/.

  16. Real-time imaging of cotranscriptional splicing reveals a kinetic model that reduces noise: implications for alternative splicing regulation

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Ute; Robert, Marie-Cécile; Yoshida, Minoru; Villemin, Jean-Philippe; Auboeuf, Didier; Aitken, Stuart

    2011-01-01

    Splicing is a key process that expands the coding capacity of genomes. Its kinetics remain poorly characterized, and the distribution of splicing time caused by the stochasticity of single splicing events is expected to affect regulation efficiency. We conducted a small-scale survey on 40 introns in human cells and observed that most were spliced cotranscriptionally. Consequently, we constructed a reporter system that splices cotranscriptionally and can be monitored in live cells and in real time through the use of MS2–GFP. All small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) are loaded on nascent pre-mRNAs, and spliceostatin A inhibits splicing but not snRNP recruitment. Intron removal occurs in minutes and is best described by a model where several successive steps are rate limiting. Each pre-mRNA molecule is predicted to require a similar time to splice, reducing kinetic noise and improving the regulation of alternative splicing. This model is relevant to other kinetically controlled processes acting on few molecules. PMID:21624952

  17. Whence genes in pieces: reconstruction of the exon-intron gene structures of the last eukaryotic common ancestor and other ancestral eukaryotes.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    In eukaryotes, protein-coding sequences are interrupted by non-coding sequences known as introns. During mRNA maturation, introns are excised by the spliceosome and the coding regions, exons, are spliced to form the mature coding region. The intron densities widely differ between eukaryotic lineages, from 6 to 7 introns per kb of coding sequence in vertebrates, some invertebrates and green plants, to only a few introns across the entire genome in many unicellular eukaryotes. Evolutionary reconstructions using maximum likelihood methods suggest intron-rich ancestors for each major group of eukaryotes. For the last common ancestor of animals, the highest intron density of all extant and extinct eukaryotes was inferred, at 120-130% of the human intron density. Furthermore, an intron density within 53-74% of the human values was inferred for the last eukaryotic common ancestor. Accordingly, evolution of eukaryotic genes in all lines of descent involved primarily intron loss, with substantial gain only at the bases of several branches including plants and animals. These conclusions have substantial biological implications indicating that the common ancestor of all modern eukaryotes was a complex organism with a gene architecture resembling those in multicellular organisms. Alternative splicing most likely initially appeared as an inevitable result of splicing errors and only later was employed to generate structural and functional diversification of proteins.

  18. Spliced alignment: A new approach to gene recognition

    SciTech Connect

    Gelfand, M.S.; Mironov, A.A.; Pevzner, P.A.

    1996-12-31

    Gene structure prediction is one of the most important problems in computational molecular biology. Previous attempts to solve this problem were based on statistics and artificial intelligence and, surprisingly enough, applications of theoretical computer science methods for gene recognition were almost unexplored. Recent advances in large-scale cDNA sequencing open a way towards a new combinatorial approach to gene recognition. This paper describes a spliced alignment algorithm and a software tool which explores all possible exon assemblies in polynomial time and finds the multi-exon structure with the best fit to a related protein. Unlike other existing methods, the algorithm successfully recognizes genes even in the case of short exons or exons with unusual codon usage; the authors also report correct assemblies for genes with more than 10 exons. On a test sample of human genes with known mammalian relatives the average correlation between the predicted and the actual genes was 99%, which is a very high accuracy as compared with other existing methods. The algorithm correctly reconstructed 87% of genes and the rare discrepancies between the predicted and real exon-intron structures were caused by either (i) extremely short (less than 5 amino acids) initial or terminal exons, or (ii) alternative splicing, or (iii) errors in database feature tables. 38 refs., 3 tabs.

  19. Splicing mutants and their second-site suppressors at the dihydrofolate reductase locus in Chinese hamster ovary cells.

    PubMed

    Carothers, A M; Urlaub, G; Grunberger, D; Chasin, L A

    1993-08-01

    Point mutants induced with a variety of mutagens at the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) locus in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells were screened for aberrantly spliced dhfr mRNA by RNase protection and/or reverse transcriptase coupled with cDNA amplification by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Of 115 mutants screened, 28 were found to be affected in splicing. All exhibited less than 1% correct splicing, probably because the selection procedure was stringent. All 26 unique mutations were located within the consensus splice sequences; changes were found at 9 of 10 possible sites in this 25-kb six-exon gene. Mutations at the sites flanking the first and last exons resulted in the efficient recruitment of a cryptic site within each exon. In contrast, mutations bordering internal exons caused predominantly exon skipping. In many cases, multiple exons were skipped, suggesting the clustering of adjacent exons prior to actual splicing. Six mutations fell outside the well-conserved GU and AG dinucleotides. All but one were donor site single-base substitutions that decreased the agreement with the consensus and resulted in little or no correct splicing. Starting with five of these donor site mutants, we isolated 31 DHFR+ revertants. Most revertants carried a single-base substitution at a site other than that of the original mutation, and most had only partially regained the ability to splice correctly. The second-site suppression occurred through a variety of mechanisms: (i) a second change within the consensus sequence that produced a better agreement with the consensus; (ii) a change close to but beyond the consensus boundaries, as far as 8 bases upstream in the exon or 28 bases downstream in the intron; (iii) mutations in an apparent pseudo 5' site in the intron, 84 and 88 bases downstream of a donor site; and (iv) mutations that improved the upstream acceptor site of the affected exon. Taken together, these second-site suppressor mutations extend the definition of a

  20. Pre-Mrna Introns as a Model for Cryptographic Algorithm:. Theory and Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regoli, Massimo

    2010-01-01

    The RNA-Crypto System (shortly RCS) is a symmetric key algorithm to cipher data. The idea for this new algorithm starts from the observation of nature. In particular from the observation of RNA behavior and some of its properties. In particular the RNA sequences have some sections called Introns. Introns, derived from the term "intragenic regions", are non-coding sections of precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA) or other RNAs, that are removed (spliced out of the RNA) before the mature RNA is formed. Once the introns have been spliced out of a pre-mRNA, the resulting mRNA sequence is ready to be translated into a protein. The corresponding parts of a gene are known as introns as well. The nature and the role of Introns in the pre-mRNA is not clear and it is under ponderous researches by Biologists but, in our case, we will use the presence of Introns in the RNA-Crypto System output as a strong method to add chaotic non coding information and an unnecessary behaviour in the access to the secret key to code the messages. In the RNA-Crypto System algorithm the introns are sections of the ciphered message with non-coding information as well as in the precursor mRNA.

  1. a Simple Symmetric Algorithm Using a Likeness with Introns Behavior in RNA Sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regoli, Massimo

    2009-02-01

    The RNA-Crypto System (shortly RCS) is a symmetric key algorithm to cipher data. The idea for this new algorithm starts from the observation of nature. In particular from the observation of RNA behavior and some of its properties. The RNA sequences has some sections called Introns. Introns, derived from the term "intragenic regions", are non-coding sections of precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA) or other RNAs, that are removed (spliced out of the RNA) before the mature RNA is formed. Once the introns have been spliced out of a pre-mRNA, the resulting mRNA sequence is ready to be translated into a protein. The corresponding parts of a gene are known as introns as well. The nature and the role of Introns in the pre-mRNA is not clear and it is under ponderous researches by Biologists but, in our case, we will use the presence of Introns in the RNA-Crypto System output as a strong method to add chaotic non coding information and an unnecessary behaviour in the access to the secret key to code the messages. In the RNA-Crypto System algoritnm the introns are sections of the ciphered message with non-coding information as well as in the precursor mRNA.

  2. Alternative splicing acting as a bridge in evolution

    PubMed Central

    Salamov, Asaf; Kuo, Alan; Aerts, Andrea L.; Kong, Xiangyang; Grigoriev, Igor V.

    2015-01-01

    Background Alternative splicing (AS) regulates diverse cellular and developmental functions through alternative protein structures of different isoforms. Alternative exons dominate AS in vertebrates; however, very little is known about the extent and function of AS in lower eukaryotes. To understand the role of introns in gene evolution, we examined AS from a green algal and five fungal genomes using a novel EST-based gene-modeling algorithm (COMBEST). Methods AS from each genome was classified with COMBEST that maps EST sequences to genomes to build gene models. Various aspects of AS were analyzed through statistical methods. The interplay of intron 3n length, phase, coding property, and intron retention (RI) were examined with Chi-square testing. Results With 3 to 834 times EST coverage, we identified up to 73% of AS in intron-containing genes and found preponderance of RI among 11 types of AS. The number of exons, expression level, and maximum intron length correlated with number of AS per gene (NAG), and intron-rich genes suppressed AS. Genes with AS were more ancient, and AS was conserved among fungal genomes. Among stopless introns, non-retained introns (NRI) avoided, but major RI preferred 3n length. In contrast, stop-containing introns showed uniform distribution among 3n, 3n+1, and 3n+2 lengths. We found a clue to the intron phase enigma: it was the coding function of introns involved in AS that dictates the intron phase bias. Conclusions Majority of AS is non-functional, and the extent of AS is suppressed for intron-rich genes. RI through 3n length, stop codon, and phase bias bridges the transition from functionless to functional alternative isoforms. PMID:27358887

  3. A modified group I intron can function as both a ribozyme and a 5' exon in a trans-exon ligation reaction.

    PubMed

    Tasiouka, K I; Burke, J M

    1994-06-24

    Here, we show that a single RNA molecule derived from a group-I intron can provide the catalytic activity, the substrate recognition domain and the attacking nucleophile in a reaction that mimics the exon ligation step of splicing. To accomplish this reaction, we have linked a 5' exon sequence to the 3' end of an attenuated form of the self-splicing Tetrahymena rRNA intron. The ribozyme (I-E1) attacks an oligoribonucleotide analog of the 3' splice site (I'-E2) to generate a product containing ligated exons (I-E1-E2) and a small intron fragment (I'). Two modified introns were constructed and tested for activity. A construct designed to interact with the 3' splice site through intermolecular P9.0 and P10 helices was found to be inactive due to failure to form a stable ribozyme-substrate complex. A second modified intron and substrate combination was engineered, in which the complex was further stabilized by an intermolecular P9.2 helix. In this case, stable complexes and reaction products were identified. The reaction efficiency was low compared to splicing of the unmodified intron-containing precursor, and will be optimized in future experiments. Following optimization, we believe that this system may be exploited to examine the functional consequences of a wide variety of 3' splice-site modifications, and may provide the basis for development of highly selective trans-acting ribozymes.

  4. Heritability of alternative splicing in the human genome

    PubMed Central

    Kwan, Tony; Benovoy, David; Dias, Christel; Gurd, Scott; Serre, David; Zuzan, Harry; Clark, Tyson A.; Schweitzer, Anthony; Staples, Michelle K.; Wang, Hui; Blume, John E.; Hudson, Thomas J.; Sladek, Rob; Majewski, Jacek

    2007-01-01

    Alternative pre-mRNA splicing increases proteomic diversity and provides a potential mechanism underlying both phenotypic diversity and susceptibility to genetic disorders in human populations. To investigate the variation in splicing among humans on a genome-wide scale, we use a comprehensive exon-targeted microarray to examine alternative splicing in lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) derived from the CEPH HapMap population. We show the identification of transcripts containing sequence verified exon skipping, intron retention, and cryptic splice site usage that are specific between individuals. A number of novel alternative splicing events with no previous annotations in either the RefSeq and EST databases were identified, indicating that we are able to discover de novo splicing events. Using family-based linkage analysis, we demonstrate Mendelian inheritance and segregation of specific splice isoforms with regulatory haplotypes for three genes: OAS1, CAST, and CRTAP. Allelic association was further used to identify individual SNPs or regulatory haplotype blocks linked to the alternative splicing event, taking advantage of the high-resolution genotype information from the CEPH HapMap population. In one candidate, we identified a regulatory polymorphism that disrupts a 5′ splice site of an exon in the CAST gene, resulting in its exclusion in the mutant allele. This report illustrates that our approach can detect both annotated and novel alternatively spliced variants, and that such variation among individuals is heritable and genetically controlled. PMID:17671095

  5. Biomedical Impact of Splicing Mutations Revealed through Exome Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Taneri, Bahar; Asilmaz, Esra; Gaasterland, Terry

    2012-01-01

    Splicing is a cellular mechanism, which dictates eukaryotic gene expression by removing the noncoding introns and ligating the coding exons in the form of a messenger RNA molecule. Alternative splicing (AS) adds a major level of complexity to this mechanism and thus to the regulation of gene expression. This widespread cellular phenomenon generates multiple messenger RNA isoforms from a single gene, by utilizing alternative splice sites and promoting different exon–intron inclusions and exclusions. AS greatly increases the coding potential of eukaryotic genomes and hence contributes to the diversity of eukaryotic proteomes. Mutations that lead to disruptions of either constitutive splicing or AS cause several diseases, among which are myotonic dystrophy and cystic fibrosis. Aberrant splicing is also well established in cancer states. Identification of rare novel mutations associated with splice-site recognition, and splicing regulation in general, could provide further insight into genetic mechanisms of rare diseases. Here, disease relevance of aberrant splicing is reviewed, and the new methodological approach of starting from disease phenotype, employing exome sequencing and identifying rare mutations affecting splicing regulation is described. Exome sequencing has emerged as a reliable method for finding sequence variations associated with various disease states. To date, genetic studies using exome sequencing to find disease-causing mutations have focused on the discovery of nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms that alter amino acids or introduce early stop codons, or on the use of exome sequencing as a means to genotype known single nucleotide polymorphisms. The involvement of splicing mutations in inherited diseases has received little attention and thus likely occurs more frequently than currently estimated. Studies of exome sequencing followed by molecular and bioinformatic analyses have great potential to reveal the high impact of splicing

  6. Cadmium restores in vitro splicing activity inhibited by zinc-depletion.

    PubMed

    Lee, Myeong Jin; Ayaki, Hitoshi; Goji, Junko; Kitamura, Keiko; Nishio, Hisahide

    2006-10-01

    Zinc (Zn)-depletion inhibits the second step of RNA splicing, namely exon-ligation. To investigate the effects of cadmium (Cd) and other metal ions on RNA splicing inhibited by Zn-depletion, we measured in vitro splicing activities in the presence of these metals. Zn-depletion in the splicing reaction mixture was achieved by addition of a Zn-chelator, 1,10-phenanthroline. Cd(II) at 1, 5 and 10 microM restored the splicing activity to 2, 24 and 72% of that in the control reaction mixture, while higher concentrations of Cd(II) decreased the splicing activity, and more than 50 microM Cd(II) showed a complete absence of spliced products. Hg(II) also restored the splicing activity, albeit to a lesser extent, since 5 and 10 microM Hg(II) restored the splicing activity to 3 and 4% of the control value. The other metal ions examined in this study, Co(II), Cu(II), Mg(II) and Mn(II), did not show any restoration of the splicing activity. We concluded that Cd(II) could restore the in vitro splicing activity inhibited by Zn-depletion, although higher concentrations of Cd(II) prevented progress of the RNA splicing reaction. These results suggest that Cd(II) has a bifunctional property regarding RNA splicing, and is stimulatory at low concentrations and inhibitory at high concentrations.

  7. Alternatively spliced type II procollagen mRNAs define distinct populations of cells during vertebral development: differential expression of the amino-propeptide

    PubMed Central

    1991-01-01

    Type II collagen is a major component of cartilage providing structural integrity to the tissue. Type II procollagen can be expressed in two forms by differential splicing of the primary gene transcript. The two mRNAs either include (type IIA) or exclude (type IIB) an exon (exon 2) encoding the major portion of the amino (NH2)-propeptide (Ryan, M. C., and L. J. Sandell. 1990. J. Biol. Chem. 265:10334-10339). The expression of the two procollagens was examined in order to establish a potential functional significance for the two type II procollagen mRNAs. First, to establish whether the two mRNAs are functional, we showed that both mRNAs can be translated and the proteins secreted into the extracellular environment. Both proteins were identified as type II procollagens. Secondly, to test the hypothesis that differential expression of type II procollagens may be a marker for a distinct population of cells, specific procollagen mRNAs were localized in tissue by in situ hybridization to oligonucleotides spanning the exon junctions. Embryonic vertebral column was chosen as a source of tissue undergoing rapid chondrogenesis, allowing the examination of a variety of cell types related to cartilage. In this issue, each procollagen mRNA had a distinct tissue distribution during chondrogenesis with type IIB expressed in chondrocytes and type IIA expressed in cells surrounding cartilage in prechondrocytes. The morphology of the cells expressing the two collagen types was distinct: the cells expressing type IIA are narrow, elongated, and "fibroblastic" in appearance while the cells expressing type IIB are large and round. The expression of type IIB appears to be correlated with abundant synthesis and accumulation of cartilagenous extracellular matrix. The expression of type IIB is spatially correlated with the high level expression of the cartilage proteoglycan, aggrecan, establishing type IIB procollagen and aggrecan as markers for the chondrocyte phenotype. Transcripts of

  8. Four novel cystic fibrosis mutations in splice junction sequences affecting the CFTR nucleotide binding folds

    SciTech Connect

    Doerk, T.; Wulbrand, U.; Tuemmler, B. )

    1993-03-01

    Single cases of the four novel splice site mutations 1525[minus]1 G [r arrow] A (intron 9), 3601[minus]2 A [r arrow] G (intron 18), 3850[minus]3 T [r arrow] G (intron 19), and 4374+1 G [r arrow] T (intron 23) were detected in the CFTR gene of cystic fibrosis patients of Indo-Iranian, Turkish, Polish, and Germany descent. The nucleotide substitutions at the +1, [minus]1, and [minus]2 positions all destroy splice sites and lead to severe disease alleles associated with features typical of gastrointestinal and pulmonary cystic fibrosis disease. The 3850[minus]3 T-to-G change was discovered in a very mildly affected 33-year-old [Delta]F508 compound heterozygote, suggesting that the T-to-G transversion at the less conserved [minus]3 position of the acceptor splice site may retain some wildtype function. 13 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  9. FUNCTIONAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE DIVERSE EXON-INTRON STRUCTURES OF HUMAN GPCR GENES

    PubMed Central

    HAMMOND, DOROTHY A.; OLMAN, VICTOR

    2014-01-01

    The GPCR genes have a variety of exon-intron structures even though their proteins are all structurally homologous. We have examined all human GPCR genes with at least two functional protein isoforms, totaling 199, aiming to gain an understanding of what may have contributed to the large diversity of the exon-intron structures of the GPCR genes. The 199 genes have a total of 808 known protein splicing isoforms with experimentally verified functions. Our analysis reveals that 1,301 (80.6%) adjacent exon-exon pairs out of the total of 1,613 in the 199 genes have either exactly one exon skipped or the intron in-between retained in at least one of the 808 protein splicing isoforms. This observation has a statistical significance p-value of 2.051762* e−09, assuming that the observed splicing isoforms are independent of the exon-intron structures. Our interpretation of this observation is that the exon boundaries of the GPCR genes are not randomly determined; instead they may be selected to facilitate specific alternative splicing for functional purposes. PMID:24467758

  10. Origin and evolution of a new retained intron on the vulcan gene in Drosophila melanogaster subgroup species.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Leilei; Meng, Qiaohong; Chen, Ran; Yue, Yuan; Jin, Yongfeng

    2014-10-01

    Although numerous intron gains have been discovered, the mechanisms of intron creation have proven to be elusive. Previous study revealed that the vulcan gene of Drosophila melanogaster contained four exons in its coding region. In the current study, a newly created intron (Intron L) was identified on exon 2 of vulcan in D. melanogaster by comparing expression sequence tags. The RT-PCR experiment revealed that Intron L was associated with intron retention, in which two alternative transcripts of the gene differ by the inclusion or removal of an intron. It was found that Intron L was created by intronization of exonic sequence, and its donor and acceptor splice sites were created by synonymous mutation, leading to the origin of a new vulcan protein that is 22 amino acids shorter than the previously reported vulcan protein. Moreover, to track the origin of Intron L, 36 orthologous genes of species of Drosophila were cloned or annotated, and phylogenetic analysis was carried out. It indicated that the common ancestor of D. melangaster subgroup species created Intron L about 15 million years ago.

  11. Planes formed with four intron-positions in tertiary structures of retinol binding protein and calpain domain VI.

    PubMed

    Nosaka, Michiko; Hirata, Katsuki; Tsuji, Ryotarou; Sunaba, Syunya

    2014-01-07

    Eukaryotic genes have intervening sequences, introns, in their coding regions. Since introns are spliced out from m-RNA before translation, they are considered to have no effect on the protein structure. Here, we report a novel relationship between introns and the tertiary structures of retinol binding protein and calpain domain VI. We identified "intron-positions" as amino acid residues on which or just after which introns are found in their corresponding nucleotide sequences, and then found that four intron-positions form a plane. We also found that the four intron-positions of retinol-binding protein encloses its ligand retinol. The tertiary structure of calpain domain VI changes after Ca(2+) binding, and the four intron-positions form a plane that includes its ligand calpastatin. To evaluate the statistical significance of the planarity, we calculated the mean distance of each intron-position from the plane defined by the other three intron-positions, and showed that it is significantly smaller than the one calculated for randomly generated locations based on exon size distribution. On the basis of this finding, we discuss the evolution of retinol binding protein and the origin of introns.

  12. From Cryptic Toward Canonical Pre-mRNA Splicing in Pompe Disease: a Pipeline for the Development of Antisense Oligonucleotides

    PubMed Central

    Bergsma, Atze J; in ‘t Groen, Stijn LM; Verheijen, Frans W; van der Ploeg, Ans T; Pijnappel, WWM Pim

    2016-01-01

    While 9% of human pathogenic variants have an established effect on pre-mRNA splicing, it is suspected that an additional 20% of otherwise classified variants also affect splicing. Aberrant splicing includes disruption of splice sites or regulatory elements, or creation or strengthening of cryptic splice sites. For the majority of variants, it is poorly understood to what extent and how these may affect splicing. We have identified cryptic splicing in an unbiased manner. Three types of cryptic splicing were analyzed in the context of pathogenic variants in the acid α-glucosidase gene causing Pompe disease. These involved newly formed deep intronic or exonic cryptic splice sites, and a natural cryptic splice that was utilized due to weakening of a canonical splice site. Antisense oligonucleotides that targeted the identified cryptic splice sites repressed cryptic splicing at the expense of canonical splicing in all three cases, as shown by reverse-transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis and by enhancement of acid α-glucosidase enzymatic activity. This argues for a competition model for available splice sites, including intact or weakened canonical sites and natural or newly formed cryptic sites. The pipeline described here can detect cryptic splicing and correct canonical splicing using antisense oligonucleotides to restore the gene defect. PMID:27623443

  13. Alternative Splicing of Toll-Like Receptor 9 Transcript in Teleost Fish Grouper Is Regulated by NF-κB Signaling via Phosphorylation of the C-Terminal Domain of the RPB1 Subunit of RNA Polymerase II

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Frank Fang-Yao; Hui, Cho-Fat; Chang, Tien-Hsien; Chiou, Pinwen Peter

    2016-01-01

    Similar to its mammalian counterparts, teleost Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) recognizes unmethylated CpG DNA presented in the genome of bacteria or DNA viruses and initiates signaling pathway(s) for immune responses. We have previously shown that the TLR9 pathway in grouper, an economically important teleost, can be debilitated by an inhibitory gTLR9B isoform, whose production is mediated by RNA alternative splicing. However, how does grouper TLR9 (gTLR9) signaling impinge on the RNA splicing machinery to produce gTlr9B is unknown. Here we show that the gTlr9 alternative splicing is regulated through ligand-induced phosphorylation of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (Pol II). We first observed that ligand-activated NF- κB pathway biased the production of the gTlr9B isoform. Because NF- κB is known to recruit p-TEFb kinase, which phosphorylates the Pol II CTD at Ser2 residues, we examined p-TEFb’s role in alternative splicing. We found that promoting p-TEFb kinase activity significantly favored the production of the gTlr9B isoform, whereas inhibiting p-TEFb yielded an opposite result. We further showed that p-TEFb-mediated production of the gTlr9B isoform down-regulates its own immune responses, suggesting a self-limiting mechanism. Taken together, our data indicate a feedback mechanism of the gTLR9 signaling pathway to regulate the alternative splicing machinery, which in turn produces an inhibitor to the pathway. PMID:27658294

  14. Depletion of Arabidopsis SC35 and SC35-like serine/arginine-rich proteins affects the transcription and splicing of a subset of genes

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Xi; Sun, Zhenfei

    2017-01-01

    Serine/arginine-rich (SR) proteins are important splicing factors which play significant roles in spliceosome assembly and splicing regulation. However, little is known regarding their biological functions in plants. Here, we analyzed the phenotypes of mutants upon depleting different subfamilies of Arabidopsis SR proteins. We found that loss of the functions of SC35 and SC35-like (SCL) proteins cause pleiotropic changes in plant morphology and development, including serrated leaves, late flowering, shorter roots and abnormal silique phyllotaxy. Using RNA-seq, we found that SC35 and SCL proteins play roles in the pre-mRNA splicing. Motif analysis revealed that SC35 and SCL proteins preferentially bind to a specific RNA sequence containing the AGAAGA motif. In addition, the transcriptions of a subset of genes are affected by the deletion of SC35 and SCL proteins which interact with NRPB4, a specific subunit of RNA polymerase II. The splicing of FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) intron1 and transcription of FLC were significantly regulated by SC35 and SCL proteins to control Arabidopsis flowering. Therefore, our findings provide mechanistic insight into the functions of plant SC35 and SCL proteins in the regulation of splicing and transcription in a direct or indirect manner to maintain the proper expression of genes and development. PMID:28273088

  15. Multiple links between transcription and splicing.

    PubMed

    Kornblihtt, Alberto R; de la Mata, Manuel; Fededa, Juan Pablo; Munoz, Manuel J; Nogues, Guadalupe

    2004-10-01

    Transcription and pre-mRNA splicing are extremely complex multimolecular processes that involve protein-DNA, protein-RNA, and protein-protein interactions. Splicing occurs in the close vicinity of genes and is frequently cotranscriptional. This is consistent with evidence that both processes are coordinated and, in some cases, functionally coupled. This review focuses on the roles of cis- and trans-acting factors that regulate transcription, on constitutive and alternative splicing. We also discuss possible functions in splicing of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of the RNA polymerase II (pol II) largest subunit, whose participation in other key pre-mRNA processing reactions (capping and cleavage/polyadenylation) is well documented. Recent evidence indicates that transcriptional elongation and splicing can be influenced reciprocally: Elongation rates control alternative splicing and splicing factors can, in turn, modulate pol II elongation. The presence of transcription factors in the spliceosome and the existence of proteins, such as the coactivator PGC-1, with dual activities in splicing and transcription can explain the links between both processes and add a new level of complexity to the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes.

  16. Efficient internal exon recognition depends on near equal contributions from the 3' and 5' splice sites.

    PubMed

    Shepard, Peter J; Choi, Eun-A; Busch, Anke; Hertel, Klemens J

    2011-11-01

    Pre-mRNA splicing is carried out by the spliceosome, which identifies exons and removes intervening introns. In vertebrates, most splice sites are initially recognized by the spliceosome across the exon, because most exons are small and surrounded by large introns. This gene architecture predicts that efficient exon recognition depends largely on the strength of the flanking 3' and 5' splice sites. However, it is unknown if the 3' or the 5' splice site dominates the exon recognition process. Here, we test the 3' and 5' splice site contributions towards efficient exon recognition by systematically replacing the splice sites of an internal exon with sequences of different splice site strengths. We show that the presence of an optimal splice site does not guarantee exon inclusion and that the best predictor for exon recognition is the sum of both splice site scores. Using a genome-wide approach, we demonstrate that the combined 3' and 5' splice site strengths of internal exons provide a much more significant separator between constitutive and alternative exons than either the 3' or the 5' splice site strength alone.

  17. Sam68 marks the transcriptionally active stages of spermatogenesis and modulates alternative splicing in male germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Paronetto, Maria Paola; Messina, Valeria; Barchi, Marco; Geremia, Raffaele; Richard, Stéphane; Sette, Claudio

    2011-01-01

    Sam68 plays an essential role in mouse spermatogenesis and male fertility. Herein, we report an interaction between Sam68 and the phosphorylated forms of the RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) in meiotic spermatocytes. RNase treatment decreased but did not abolish the interaction, consistently with in vitro binding of RNAPII to the Sam68 carboxyl-terminal region. Sam68 retention in the spermatocyte nucleus was dependent on the integrity of cellular RNAs, suggesting that the protein is recruited to transcriptionally active chromatin. Mouse knockout models characterized by stage-specific arrest of spermatogenesis and staining with the phosphorylated form of RNAPII documented that Sam68 expression is confined to the transcriptionally active stages of spermatogenesis. Furthermore, Sam68 associates with splicing regulators in germ cells and we report that alternative splicing of Sgce exon 8 is regulated in a Sam68-dependent manner during spermatogenesis. RNA and chromatin crosslink immunoprecipitation experiments showed that Sam68 binds in vivo to sequences surrounding the intron 7/exon 8 boundary, thereby affecting the recruitment of the phosphorylated RNAPII and of the general splicing factor U2AF65. These results suggest that Sam68 regulates alternative splicing at transcriptionally active sites in differentiating germ cells and provide new insights into the regulation of Sam68 expression during spermatogenesis. PMID:21355037

  18. Compensatory signals associated with the activation of human GC 5' splice sites.

    PubMed

    Kralovicova, Jana; Hwang, Gyulin; Asplund, A Charlotta; Churbanov, Alexander; Smith, C I Edvard; Vorechovsky, Igor

    2011-09-01

    GC 5' splice sites (5'ss) are present in ∼1% of human introns, but factors promoting their efficient selection are poorly understood. Here, we describe a case of X-linked agammaglobulinemia resulting from a GC 5'ss activated by a mutation in BTK intron 3. This GC 5'ss was intrinsically weak, yet it was selected in >90% primary transcripts in the presence of a strong and intact natural GT counterpart. We show that efficient selection of this GC 5'ss required a high density of GAA/CAA-containing splicing enhancers in the exonized segment and was promoted by SR proteins 9G8, Tra2β and SC35. The GC 5'ss was efficiently inhibited by splice-switching oligonucleotides targeting either the GC 5'ss itself or the enhancer. Comprehensive analysis of natural GC-AG introns and previously reported pathogenic GC 5'ss showed that their efficient activation was facilitated by higher densities of splicing enhancers and lower densities of silencers than their GT 5'ss equivalents. Removal of the GC-AG introns was promoted to a minor extent by the splice-site strength of adjacent exons and inhibited by flanking Alu repeats, with the first downstream Alus located on average at a longer distance from the GC 5'ss than other transposable elements. These results provide new insights into the splicing code that governs selection of noncanonical splice sites.

  19. Reverse transcriptase activity of an intron encoded polypeptide.

    PubMed Central

    Fassbender, S; Brühl, K H; Ciriacy, M; Kück, U

    1994-01-01

    A number of group II introns from eukaryotic organelles and prokaryotes contain open reading frames for polypeptides with homology to retroviral reverse transcriptases (RTs). We have used the yeast transposon (Ty) system to express ORFs for RTs from eukaryotic organelles. This includes the mitochondrial coxI intron i1 from the fungus Podospora anserina, the plastid petD intron from the alga Scenedesmus obliquus and the mitochondrial RTL gene from the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The ORFs were fused with the TYA ORF from the yeast retrotransposon Ty to produce virus-like particles in the recipient strains with detectable amounts of the RT-like polypeptides. Analysis of the heterologous gene products revealed biochemical evidence that the P. anserina intron encodes an RNA-directed DNA polymerase with properties typically found for RTs of viral or retrotransposable origin. In vitro assays showed that the intron encoded RT is sensitive to RT inhibitors such as N-ethylmaleimide and dideoxythymidine triphosphate but is insensitive against the DNA polymerase inhibitor aphidicolin. The direct biochemical evidence provided here supports the idea that intron encoded RTs are involved in intron transposition events. Images PMID:7514530

  20. RNA structure replaces the need for U2AF2 in splicing

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Chien-Ling; Taggart, Allison J.; Lim, Kian Huat; Cygan, Kamil J.; Ferraris, Luciana; Creton, Robbert; Huang, Yen-Tsung; Fairbrother, William G.

    2016-01-01

    RNA secondary structure plays an integral role in catalytic, ribosomal, small nuclear, micro, and transfer RNAs. Discovering a prevalent role for secondary structure in pre-mRNAs has proven more elusive. By utilizing a variety of computational and biochemical approaches, we present evidence for a class of nuclear introns that relies upon secondary structure for correct splicing. These introns are defined by simple repeat expansions of complementary AC and GT dimers that co-occur at opposite boundaries of an intron to form a bridging structure that enforces correct splice site pairing. Remarkably, this class of introns does not require U2AF2, a core component of the spliceosome, for its processing. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that this mechanism was present in the ancestral vertebrate lineage prior to the divergence of tetrapods from teleosts. While largely lost from land dwelling vertebrates, this class of introns is found in 10% of all zebrafish genes. PMID:26566657

  1. RNA structure replaces the need for U2AF2 in splicing.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chien-Ling; Taggart, Allison J; Lim, Kian Huat; Cygan, Kamil J; Ferraris, Luciana; Creton, Robbert; Huang, Yen-Tsung; Fairbrother, William G

    2016-01-01

    RNA secondary structure plays an integral role in catalytic, ribosomal, small nuclear, micro, and transfer RNAs. Discovering a prevalent role for secondary structure in pre-mRNAs has proven more elusive. By utilizing a variety of computational and biochemical approaches, we present evidence for a class of nuclear introns that relies upon secondary structure for correct splicing. These introns are defined by simple repeat expansions of complementary AC and GT dimers that co-occur at opposite boundaries of an intron to form a bridging structure that enforces correct splice site pairing. Remarkably, this class of introns does not require U2AF2, a core component of the spliceosome, for its processing. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that this mechanism was present in the ancestral vertebrate lineage prior to the divergence of tetrapods from teleosts. While largely lost from land dwelling vertebrates, this class of introns is found in 10% of all zebrafish genes.

  2. Nucleolar introns from Physarum flavicomum contain insertion elements that may explain how mobile group I introns gained their open reading frames.

    PubMed Central

    Vader, A; Naess, J; Haugli, K; Haugli, F; Johansen, S

    1994-01-01

    Comparison of two group I intron sequences in the nucleolar genome of the myxomycete Physarum flavicomum to their homologs in the closely related Physarum polycephalum revealed insertion-like elements. One of the insertion-like elements consists of two repetitive sequence motifs of 11 and 101 bp in five and three copies, respectively. The smaller motif, which flanks the larger, resembles a target duplication and indicates a relationship to transposons or retroelements. The insertion-like elements are found in the peripheral loops of the RNA structure; the positions occupied by the ORFs of mobile nucleolar group I introns. The P. flavicomum introns are 1184 and 637 bp in size, located in the large subunit ribosomal RNA gene, and can be folded into group I intron structures at the RNA level. However, the intron 2s from both P. flavicomum and P. polycephalum contain an unusual core region that lacks the P8 segment. None of the introns are able to self-splice in vitro. Southern analysis of different isolates indicates that the introns are not optional in myxomycetes. Images PMID:7984404

  3. Post-transcriptional regulation mediated by specific neurofilament introns in vivo.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chen; Szaro, Ben G

    2016-04-01

    Neurons regulate genes post-transcriptionally to coordinate the supply of cytoskeletal proteins, such as the medium neurofilament (NEFM), with demand for structural materials in response to extracellular cues encountered by developing axons. By using a method for evaluating functionality of cis-regulatory gene elements in vivo through plasmid injection into Xenopus embryos, we discovered that splicing of a specific nefm intron was required for robust transgene expression, regardless of promoter or cell type. Transgenes utilizing the nefm 3'-UTR but substituting other nefm introns expressed little or no protein owing to defects in handling of the messenger (m)RNA as opposed to transcription or splicing. Post-transcriptional events at multiple steps, but mainly during nucleocytoplasmic export, contributed to these varied levels of protein expression. An intron of the β-globin gene was also able to promote expression in a manner identical to that of the nefm intron, implying a more general preference for certain introns in controlling nefm expression. These results expand our knowledge of intron-mediated gene expression to encompass neurofilaments, indicating an additional layer of complexity in the control of a cytoskeletal gene needed for developing and maintaining healthy axons.

  4. The High Level of Aberrant Splicing of ISCU in Slow-Twitch Muscle May Involve the Splicing Factor SRSF3

    PubMed Central

    Österman, Lennart; Lindsten, Hans; Holmberg, Monica

    2016-01-01

    Hereditary myopathy with lactic acidosis (HML) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by an intronic one-base mutation in the iron-sulfur cluster assembly (ISCU) gene, resulting in aberrant splicing. The incorrectly spliced transcripts contain a 100 or 86 bp intron sequence encoding a non-functional ISCU protein, which leads to defects in several Fe-S containing proteins in the respiratory chain and the TCA cycle. The symptoms in HML are restricted to skeletal muscle, and it has been proposed that this effect is due to higher levels of incorrectly spliced ISCU in skeletal muscle compared with other energy-demanding tissues. In this study, we confirm that skeletal muscle contains the highest levels of incorrect ISCU splice variants compared with heart, brain, liver and kidney using a transgenic mouse model expressing human HML mutated ISCU. We also show that incorrect splicing occurs to a significantly higher extent in the slow-twitch soleus muscle compared with the gastrocnemius and quadriceps. The splicing factor serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 3 (SRSF3) was identified as a potential candidate for the slow fiber specific regulation of ISCU splicing since this factor was expressed at higher levels in the soleus compared to the gastrocnemius and quadriceps. We identified an interaction between SRSF3 and the ISCU transcript, and by overexpressing SRSF3 in human myoblasts we observed increased levels of incorrectly spliced ISCU, while knockdown of SRSF3 resulted in decreased levels. We therefore suggest that SRSF3 may participate in the regulation of the incorrect splicing of mutant ISCU and may, at least partially, explain the muscle-specific symptoms of HML. PMID:27783661

  5. Introns and their flanking sequences of Bombyx mori rDNA.

    PubMed Central

    Fujiwara, H; Ogura, T; Takada, N; Miyajima, N; Ishikawa, H; Maekawa, H

    1984-01-01

    We obtained two different clones (16 kb and 13 kb) of B. mori rDNA with intron sequence within the 28S-rRNA coding region. The sequence surrounding the intron was found to be highly conserved as indicated in several eukaryotes (Tetrahymena, Drosophila and Xenopus). The 28S rRNA-coding sequence of 16 kb and 13 kb clone was interrupted at precisely the same sites as those where the D. melanogaster rDNA interrupted by the type I and type II intron, respectively. The intron sequences of B. mori were different from those of D. melanogaster. In 16 kb clone, the intron was flanked by 14 bp duplication of the junction sequence, which was also present once within the 28S rRNA-coding region of rDNA without intron. This 14 bp sequence was identical with those surrounding the introns of Dipteran rDNAs. PMID:6091041

  6. Understanding splicing regulation through RNA splicing maps.

    PubMed

    Witten, Joshua T; Ule, Jernej

    2011-03-01

    Alternative splicing is a highly regulated process that greatly increases the proteome diversity and plays an important role in cellular differentiation and disease. Interactions between RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and pre-mRNA are the principle regulator of splicing decisions. Findings from recent genome-wide studies of protein-RNA interactions have been combined with assays of the global effects of RBPs on splicing to create RNA splicing maps. These maps integrate information from all pre-mRNAs regulated by single RBPs to identify the global positioning principles guiding splicing regulation. Recent studies using this approach have identified a set of positional principles that are shared between diverse RBPs. Here, we discuss how insights from RNA splicing maps of different RBPs inform the mechanistic models of splicing regulation.

  7. ASF/SF2-like maize pre-mRNA splicing factors affect splice site utilization and their transcripts are alternatively spliced.

    PubMed

    Gao, Huirong; Gordon-Kamm, William J; Lyznik, L Alexander

    2004-09-15

    Three ASF/SF2-like alternative splicing genes from maize were identified, cloned, and analyzed. Each of these genes (zmSRp30, zmSRp31, and zmSRp32) contains two RNA binding domains, a signature sequence SWQDLKD, and a characteristic serine/ariginine-rich domain. There is a strong structural similarity to the human ASF/SF2 splicing factor and to the Arabidopsis atSRp34/p30 proteins. Similar to ASF/SF2-like genes in other organisms, the maize pre-mRNA messages are alternatively spliced. They are differentially expressed in maize tissues with relatively uniform levels of zmSRp30 and zmSRp31 messages being observed throughout the plant, while zmSRp32 messages preferentially accumulated in the meristematic regions. Overexpression of zmSRp32 in maize cells leads to the enhanced selection of weak 5' intron splice sites during the processing of pre-mRNA molecules. Overexpression of the zmSRp31 or zmSRp32 gene affects regulation of wheat dwarf virus rep gene pre-mRNA splicing, presumably by interacting with the weak 5' splice site, CCGU. Our results suggest that the described genes are functional homologues of the human ASF/SF2 alternative splicing factor and they indicate a diversity of the ASF/SF2-like alternative splicing factors in monocot plant cells.

  8. The transcription elongation factor CA150 interacts with RNA polymerase II and the pre-mRNA splicing factor SF1.

    PubMed

    Goldstrohm, A C; Albrecht, T R; Suñé, C; Bedford, M T; Garcia-Blanco, M A

    2001-11-01

    CA150 represses RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcription by inhibiting the elongation of transcripts. The FF repeat domains of CA150 bind directly to the phosphorylated carboxyl-terminal domain of the largest subunit of RNAPII. We determined that this interaction is required for efficient CA150-mediated repression of transcription from the alpha(4)-integrin promoter. Additional functional determinants, namely, the WW1 and WW2 domains of CA150, were also required for efficient repression. A protein that interacted directly with CA150 WW1 and WW2 was identified as the splicing-transcription factor SF1. Previous studies have demonstrated a role for SF1 in transcription repression, and we found that binding of the CA150 WW1 and WW2 domains to SF1 correlated exactly with the functional contribution of these domains for repression. The binding specificity of the CA150 WW domains was found to be unique in comparison to known classes of WW domains. Furthermore, the CA150 binding site, within the carboxyl-terminal half of SF1, contains a novel type of proline-rich motif that may be recognized by the CA150 WW1 and WW2 domains. These results support a model for the recruitment of CA150 to repress transcription elongation. In this model, CA150 binds to the phosphorylated CTD of elongating RNAPII and SF1 targets the nascent transcript.

  9. DBASS3 and DBASS5: databases of aberrant 3'- and 5'-splice sites.

    PubMed

    Buratti, Emanuele; Chivers, Martin; Hwang, Gyulin; Vorechovsky, Igor

    2011-01-01

    DBASS3 and DBASS5 provide comprehensive repositories of new exon boundaries that were induced by pathogenic mutations in human disease genes. Aberrant 5'- and 3'-splice sites were activated either by mutations in the consensus sequences of natural exon-intron junctions (cryptic sites) or elsewhere ('de novo' sites). DBASS3 and DBASS5 currently contain approximately 900 records of cryptic and de novo 3'- and 5'-splice sites that were produced by over a thousand different mutations in approximately 360 genes. DBASS3 and DBASS5 data can be searched by disease phenotype, gene, mutation, location of aberrant splice sites in introns and exons and their distance from authentic counterparts, by bibliographic references and by the splice-site strength estimated with several prediction algorithms. The user can also retrieve reference sequences of both aberrant and authentic splice sites with the underlying mutation. These data will facilitate identification of introns or exons frequently involved in aberrant splicing, mutation analysis of human disease genes and study of germline or somatic mutations that impair RNA processing. Finally, this resource will be useful for fine-tuning splice-site prediction algorithms, better definition of auxiliary splicing signals and design of new reporter assays. DBASS3 and DBASS5 are freely available at http://www.dbass.org.uk/.

  10. Promoter usage and alternative splicing.

    PubMed

    Kornblihtt, Alberto R

    2005-06-01

    Recent findings justify a renewed interest in alternative splicing (AS): the process is more a rule than an exception as it affects the expression of 60% of human genes; it explains how a vast mammalian proteomic complexity is achieved with a limited number of genes; and mutations in AS regulatory sequences are a widespread source of human disease. AS regulation not only depends on the interaction of splicing factors with their target sequences in the pre-mRNA but is coupled to transcription. A clearer picture is emerging of the mechanisms by which transcription affects AS through promoter identity and occupation. These mechanisms involve the recruitment of factors with dual functions in transcription and splicing (i.e. that contain both functional domains and hence link the two processes) and the control of RNA polymerase II elongation.

  11. Gene and alternative splicing annotation with AIR

    PubMed Central

    Florea, Liliana; Di Francesco, Valentina; Miller, Jason; Turner, Russell; Yao, Alison; Harris, Michael; Walenz, Brian; Mobarry, Clark; Merkulov, Gennady V.; Charlab, Rosane; Dew, Ian; Deng, Zuoming; Istrail, Sorin; Li, Peter; Sutton, Granger

    2005-01-01

    Designing effective and accurate tools for identifying the functional and structural elements in a genome remains at the frontier of genome annotation owing to incompleteness and inaccuracy of the data, limitations in the computational models, and shifting paradigms in genomics, such as alternative splicing. We present a methodology for the automated annotation of genes and their alternatively spliced mRNA transcripts based on existing cDNA and protein sequence evidence from the same species or projected from a related species using syntenic mapping information. At the core of the method is the splice graph, a compact representation of a gene, its exons, introns, and alternatively spliced isoforms. The putative transcripts are enumerated from the graph and assigned confidence scores based on the strength of sequence evidence, and a subset of the high-scoring candidates are selected and promoted into the annotation. The method is highly selective, eliminating the unlikely candidates while retaining 98% of the high-quality mRNA evidence in well-formed transcripts, and produces annotation that is measurably more accurate than some evidence-based gene sets. The process is fast, accurate, and fully automated, and combines the traditionally distinct gene annotation and alternative splicing detection processes in a comprehensive and systematic way, thus considerably aiding in the ensuing manual curation efforts. PMID:15632090

  12. Higher intron loss rate in Arabidopsis thaliana than A. lyrata is consistent with stronger selection for a smaller genome.

    PubMed

    Fawcett, Jeffrey A; Rouzé, Pierre; Van de Peer, Yves

    2012-02-01

    The number of introns varies considerably among different organisms. This can be explained by the differences in the rates of intron gain and loss. Two factors that are likely to influence these rates are selection for or against introns and the mutation rate that generates the novel intron or the intronless copy. Although it has been speculated that stronger selection for a compact genome might result in a higher rate of intron loss and a lower rate of intron gain, clear evidence is lacking, and the role of selection in determining these rates has not been established. Here, we studied the gain and loss of introns in the two closely related species Arabidopsis thaliana and A. lyrata as it was recently shown that A. thaliana has been undergoing a faster genome reduction driven by selection. We found that A. thaliana has lost six times more introns than A. lyrata since the divergence of the two species but gained very few introns. We suggest that stronger selection for genome reduction probably resulted in the much higher intron loss rate in A. thaliana, although further analysis is required as we could not find evidence that the loss rate increased in A. thaliana as opposed to having decreased in A. lyrata compared with the rate in the common ancestor. We also examined the pattern of the intron gains and losses to better understand the mechanisms by which they occur. Microsimilarity was detected between the splice sites of several gained and lost introns, suggesting that nonhomologous end joining repair of double-strand breaks might be a common pathway not only for intron gain but also for intron loss.

  13. Biochemical and proteomic analysis of spliceosome factors interacting with intron-1 of human papillomavirus type-16.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Salazar, Martha; López-Urrutia, Eduardo; Arechaga-Ocampo, Elena; Bonilla-Moreno, Raul; Martínez-Castillo, Macario; Díaz-Hernández, Job; Del Moral-Hernández, Oscar; Cedillo-Barrón, Leticia; Martines-Juarez, Víctor; De Nova-Ocampo, Monica; Valdes, Jesús; Berumen, Jaime; Villegas-Sepúlveda, Nicolás

    2014-12-05

    The human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) E6/E7 spliced transcripts are heterogeneously expressed in cervical carcinoma. The heterogeneity of the E6/E7 splicing profile might be in part due to the intrinsic variation of splicing factors in tumor cells. However, the splicing factors that bind the E6/E7 intron 1 (In-1) have not been defined. Therefore, we aimed to identify these factors; we used HeLa nuclear extracts (NE) for in vitro spliceosome assembly. The proteins were allowed to bind to an RNA/DNA hybrid formed by the In-1 transcript and a 5'-biotinylated DNA oligonucleotide complementary to the upstream exon sequence, which prevented interference in protein binding to the intron. The hybrid probes bound with the nuclear proteins were coupled to streptavidin magnetic beads for chromatography affinity purification. Proteins were eluted and identified by mass spectrometry (MS). Approximately 170 proteins were identified by MS, 80% of which were RNA binding proteins, including canonical spliceosome core components, helicases and regulatory splicing factors. The canonical factors were identified as components of the spliceosomal B-complex. Although 35-40 of the identified factors were cognate splicing factors or helicases, they have not been previously detected in spliceosome complexes that were assembled using in vivo or in vitro models.

  14. Interaction of the yeast DExH-box RNA helicase prp22p with the 3' splice site during the second step of nuclear pre-mRNA splicing.

    PubMed

    McPheeters, D S; Schwer, B; Muhlenkamp, P

    2000-03-15

    Using site-specific incorporation of the photo-chemical cross-linking reagent 4-thiouridine, we demonstrate the previously unknown association of two proteins with yeast 3' splice sites. One of these is an unidentified approximately 122 kDa protein that cross-links to 3' splice sites during formation of the pre--spliceosome. The other factor is the DExH-box RNA helicase, Prp22p. With substrates functional in the second step of splicing, only very weak cross-linking of Prp22p to intron sequences at the 3' splice site is observed. In contrast, substrates blocked at the second step exhibit strong cross-linking of Prp22 to intron sequences at the 3' splice site, but not to adjacent exon sequences. In vitro reconstitution experiments also show that the association of Prp22p with intron sequences at the 3' splice site is dependent on Prp16p and does not persist when release of mature mRNA from the spliceosome is blocked. Taken together, these results suggest that the 3' splice site of yeast introns is contacted much earlier than previously envisioned by a protein of approximately 120 kDa, and that a transient association of Prp22p with the 3' splice site occurs between the first and second catalytic steps.

  15. Another heritage from the RNA world: self-excision of intron sequence from nuclear pre-tRNAs.

    PubMed Central

    Weber, U; Beier, H; Gross, H J

    1996-01-01

    The intervening sequences of nuclear tRNA precursors are known to be excised by tRNA splicing endonuclease. We show here that a T7 transcript corresponding to a pre-tRNA(Tyr) from Arabidopsis thaliana has a highly specific activity for autolytic intron excision. Self-cleavage occurs precisely at the authentic 3'-splice site and at the phosphodiester bond one nucleotide downstream of the authentic 5'-splice site. The reaction results in fragments with 2',3'-cyclic phosphate and 5'-OH termini. It is resistant to proteinase K and/or SDS treatment and is not inhibited by added tRNA. The self-cleavage depends on Mg2+ and is stimulated by spermine and Triton X-100. A set of sequence variants at the cleavage sites has been analysed for autolytic intron excision and, in parallel, for enzymatic in vitro splicing in wheat germ S23 extract. Single-stranded loops are a prerequisite for both reactions. Self-cleavage not only occurs at pyrimidine-A but also at U-U bonds. Since intron self-excision is only about five times slower than the enzymatic intron excision in a wheat germ S23 extract, we propose that the splicing endonuclease may function by improving the preciseness and efficiency of an inherent pre-tRNA self-cleavage activity. PMID:8710488

  16. A new type of mutation causes a splicing defect in ATM.

    PubMed

    Pagani, Franco; Buratti, Emanuele; Stuani, Cristiana; Bendix, Regina; Dörk, Thilo; Baralle, Francisco E

    2002-04-01

    Disease-causing splicing mutations described in the literature primarily produce changes in splice sites and, to a lesser extent, variations in exon-regulatory sequences such as the enhancer elements. The gene ATM is mutated in individuals with ataxia-telangiectasia; we have identified the aberrant inclusion of a cryptic exon of 65 bp in one affected individual with a deletion of four nucleotides (GTAA) in intron 20. The deletion is located 12 bp downstream and 53 bp upstream from the 5' and 3' ends of the cryptic exon, respectively. Through analysis of the splicing defect using a hybrid minigene system, we identified a new intron-splicing processing element (ISPE) complementary to U1 snRNA, the RNA component of the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP). This element mediates accurate intron processing and interacts specifically with U1 snRNP particles. The 4-nt deletion completely abolished this interaction, causing activation of the cryptic exon. On the basis of this analysis, we describe a new type of U1 snRNP binding site in an intron that is essential for accurate intron removal. Deletion of this sequence is directly involved in the splicing processing defect.

  17. Identification of a porcine DC-SIGN-related C-type lectin, porcine CLEC4G (LSECtin), and its order of intron removal during splicing: comparative genomic analyses of the cluster of genes CD23/CLEC4G/DC-SIGN among mammalian species.

    PubMed

    Huang, Y W; Meng, X J

    2009-06-01

    Human CLEC4G (previously named LSECtin), DC-SIGN, and L-SIGN are three important C-type lectins capable of mediating viral and bacterial pathogen recognitions. These three genes, together with CD23, form a lectin gene cluster at chromosome 19p13.3. In this study, we have experimentally identified the cDNA and the gene encoding porcine CLEC4G (pCLEC4G). Full-length pCLEC4G cDNA encodes a type II transmembrane protein of 290 amino acids. pCLEC4G gene has the same gene structure as the human and the predicted bovine, canis, mouse and rat CLEC4G genes with nine exons. A multi-species-conserved site at the extreme 3'-untranslated region of CLEC4G mRNAs was predicted to be targeted by microRNA miR-350 in domesticated animals and by miR-145 in primates, respectively. We detected pCLEC4G mRNA expression in liver, lymph node and spleen tissues. We also identified a series of sequential intermediate products of pCLEC4G pre-mRNA during splicing from pig liver. The previously unidentified porcine CD23 cDNA containing the complete coding region was subsequently cloned and found to express in spleen, thymus and lymph node. Furthermore, we compared the chromosomal regions syntenic to the human cluster of genes CD23/CLEC4G/DC-SIGN/L-SIGN in representative mammalian species including primates, domesticated animal, rodents and opossum. The L-SIGN homologues do not exist in non-primates mammals. The evolutionary processes of the gene cluster, from marsupials to primates, were proposed based upon their genomic structures and phylogenetic relationships.

  18. Exons, Introns, and DNA Thermodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlon, Enrico; Malki, Mehdi Lejard; Blossey, Ralf

    2005-05-01

    The genes of eukaryotes are characterized by protein coding fragments, the exons, interrupted by introns, i.e., stretches of DNA which do not carry useful information for protein synthesis. We have analyzed the melting behavior of randomly selected human cDNA sequences obtained from genomic DNA by removing all introns. A clear correspondence is observed between exons and melting domains. This finding may provide new insights into the physical mechanisms underlying the evolution of genes.

  19. Computational Analysis of an Evolutionarily Conserved VertebrateMuscle Alternative Splicing Program

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Debopriya; Clark, Tyson A.; Schweitzer, Anthony; Marr,Henry; Yamamoto, Miki L.; Parra, Marilyn K.; Arribere, Josh; Minovitsky,Simon; Dubchak, Inna; Blume, John E.; Conboy, John G.

    2006-06-15

    A novel exon microarray format that probes gene expression with single exon resolution was employed to elucidate critical features of a vertebrate muscle alternative splicing program. A dataset of 56 microarray-defined, muscle-enriched exons and their flanking introns were examined computationally in order to investigate coordination of the muscle splicing program. Candidate intron regulatory motifs were required to meet several stringent criteria: significant over-representation near muscle-enriched exons, correlation with muscle expression, and phylogenetic conservation among genomes of several vertebrate orders. Three classes of regulatory motifs were identified in the proximal downstream intron, within 200nt of the target exons: UGCAUG, a specific binding site for Fox-1 related splicing factors; ACUAAC, a novel branchpoint-like element; and UG-/UGC-rich elements characteristic of binding sites for CELF splicing factors. UGCAUG was remarkably enriched, being present in nearly one-half of all cases. These studies suggest that Fox and CELF splicing factors play a major role in enforcing the muscle-specific alternative splicing program, facilitating expression of a set of unique isoforms of cytoskeletal proteins that are critical to muscle cell differentiation. Supplementary materials: There are four supplementary tables and one supplementary figure. The tables provide additional detailed information concerning the muscle-enriched datasets, and about over-represented oligonucleotide sequences in the flanking introns. The supplementary figure shows RT-PCR data confirming the muscle-enriched expression of exons predicted from the microarray analysis.

  20. Endogenous Multiple Exon Skipping and Back-Splicing at the DMD Mutation Hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Hitoshi; Aoki, Yoshitsugu; Kameyama, Toshiki; Saito, Takashi; Masuda, Satoru; Tanihata, Jun; Nagata, Tetsuya; Mayeda, Akila; Takeda, Shin’ichi; Tsukahara, Toshifumi

    2016-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe muscular disorder. It was reported that multiple exon skipping (MES), targeting exon 45–55 of the DMD gene, might improve patients’ symptoms because patients who have a genomic deletion of all these exons showed very mild symptoms. Thus, exon 45–55 skipping treatments for DMD have been proposed as a potential clinical cure. Herein, we detected the expression of endogenous exons 44–56 connected mRNA transcript of the DMD using total RNAs derived from human normal skeletal muscle by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and identified a total of eight types of MES products around the hotspot. Surprisingly, the 5′ splice sites of recently reported post-transcriptional introns (remaining introns after co-transcriptional splicing) act as splicing donor sites for MESs. We also tested exon combinations to generate DMD circular RNAs (circRNAs) and determined the preferential splice sites of back-splicing, which are involved not only in circRNA generation, but also in MESs. Our results fit the current circRNA-generation model, suggesting that upstream post-transcriptional introns trigger MES and generate circRNA because its existence is critical for the intra-intronic interaction or for extremely distal splicing. PMID:27754374

  1. Alternative Splice in Alternative Lice.

    PubMed

    Tovar-Corona, Jaime M; Castillo-Morales, Atahualpa; Chen, Lu; Olds, Brett P; Clark, John M; Reynolds, Stuart E; Pittendrigh, Barry R; Feil, Edward J; Urrutia, Araxi O

    2015-10-01

    Genomic and transcriptomics analyses have revealed human head and body lice to be almost genetically identical; although con-specific, they nevertheless occupy distinct ecological niches and have differing feeding patterns. Most importantly, while head lice are not known to be vector competent, body lice can transmit three serious bacterial diseases; epidemictyphus, trench fever, and relapsing fever. In order to gain insights into the molecular bases for these differences, we analyzed alternative splicing (AS) using next-generation sequencing data for one strain of head lice and one strain of body lice. We identified a total of 3,598 AS events which were head or body lice specific. Exon skipping AS events were overrepresented among both head and body lice, whereas intron retention events were underrepresented in both. However, both the enrichment of exon skipping and the underrepresentation of intron retention are significantly stronger in body lice compared with head lice. Genes containing body louse-specific AS events were found to be significantly enriched for functions associated with development of the nervous system, salivary gland, trachea, and ovarian follicle cells, as well as regulation of transcription. In contrast, no functional categories were overrepresented among genes with head louse-specific AS events. Together, our results constitute the first evidence for transcript pool differences in head and body lice, providing insights into molecular adaptations that enabled human lice to adapt to clothing, and representing a powerful illustration of the pivotal role AS can play in functional adaptation.

  2. Alternative Splice in Alternative Lice

    PubMed Central

    Tovar-Corona, Jaime M.; Castillo-Morales, Atahualpa; Chen, Lu; Olds, Brett P.; Clark, John M.; Reynolds, Stuart E.; Pittendrigh, Barry R.; Feil, Edward J.; Urrutia, Araxi O.

    2015-01-01

    Genomic and transcriptomics analyses have revealed human head and body lice to be almost genetically identical; although con-specific, they nevertheless occupy distinct ecological niches and have differing feeding patterns. Most importantly, while head lice are not known to be vector competent, body lice can transmit three serious bacterial diseases; epidemictyphus, trench fever, and relapsing fever. In order to gain insights into the molecular bases for these differences, we analyzed alternative splicing (AS) using next-generation sequencing data for one strain of head lice and one strain of body lice. We identified a total of 3,598 AS events which were head or body lice specific. Exon skipping AS events were overrepresented among both head and body lice, whereas intron retention events were underrepresented in both. However, both the enrichment of exon skipping and the underrepresentation of intron retention are significantly stronger in body lice compared with head lice. Genes containing body louse-specific AS events were found to be significantly enriched for functions associated with development of the nervous system, salivary gland, trachea, and ovarian follicle cells, as well as regulation of transcription. In contrast, no functional categories were overrepresented among genes with head louse-specific AS events. Together, our results constitute the first evidence for transcript pool differences in head and body lice, providing insights into molecular adaptations that enabled human lice to adapt to clothing, and representing a powerful illustration of the pivotal role AS can play in functional adaptation. PMID:26169943

  3. Reiterated sequences within the intron of an immediate-early gene of herpes simplex virus type 1.

    PubMed Central

    Watson, R J; Umene, K; Enquist, L W

    1981-01-01

    We describe the nucleotide sequence of a herpes simplex virus type 1 DNA fragment containing the intron of the immediate-early mRNA-5 (IE mRNA-5) gene. The location of the intron within this fragment was determined by a Berk & Sharp nuclease S1 protection analysis, and by cloning and sequencing cDNA containing sequences overlapping t he IE mRNA-5 splice point. We found that the 149 base pair (bp) intron contained four copies of an identical 23 bp GC rich tandem repeat followed by a further reiteration consisting of the first 15 bp only. Images PMID:6272198

  4. Constraints on intron evolution in the gene encoding the myosin alkali light chain in Drosophila

    SciTech Connect

    Leicht, B.G.; Muse, S.V.; Hanczyc, M.

    1995-01-01

    Interspecific comparisons of intron sequences reveal conserved blocks of invariant nucleotides and several other departures from the strictly neutral model of molecular evolution. To distinguish the past action of evolutionary forces in introns known to have regulatory information, we examined nucleotide sequence variation at 991 sites in a random sample of 16 Drosophila melanogaster alleles of the gene encoding the myosin alkali light chain (Mlc1). The Mlc1 gene of D. melanogaster encodes two Mlc1 isoforms via developmentally regulated alternative pre-mRNA splicing. Analyses of these data reveal that introns 4 and 5, which flank the alternatively spliced exon 5, have reduced levels of both intraspecific polymorphism and interspecific divergence relative to intron 3. No polymorphism was observed in any of the exons examined in D. melanogaster. A genealogical analysis clearly demonstrates the occurrence of intragenic recombination in the ancestral history of Mlc1. Recombination events are estimated to be 13 times more likely than mutation events over the span of the sequenced region. Although there is little evidence for pairwise linkage disequilibrium in the Mlc1 region, higher order disequilibrium. does seem to be present in the 5{prime} half of the portion of the gene that was examined. Predictions of the folding free energy of the pre-mRNA reveal that sampled alleles have a significantly higher (less stable) free energy than do randomly permuted sequences. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that introns surrounding an alternatively spliced exon are subjected to additional constraints, perhaps due to specific aspects of secondary structure required for appropriate splicing of the pre-mRNA molecule. 48 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs.

  5. Primary and secondary structure analyses of the rDNA group-I introns of the Zygnematales (Charophyta).

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, D; Damberger, S; Surek, B; Melkonian, M

    1996-02-01

    The Zygnematales (Charophyta) contain a group-I intron (subgroupIC1) within their nuclear-encoded small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) coding region. This intron, which is inserted after position 1506 (relative to the SSU rDNA of Escherichia coli), is proposed to have been vertically inherited since the origin of the Zygnematales approximately 350-400 million years ago. Primary and secondary structure analyses were carried out to model group-I intron evolution in the Zygnematales. Secondary structure analyses support genetic data regarding sequence conservation within regions known to be functionally important for in vitro self-splicing of group-I introns. Comparisons of zygnematalean group-I intron secondary structures also provided some new insights into sequences that may have important roles in in vivo RNA splicing. Sequence analyses showed that sequence divergence rates and the nucleotide compositions of introns and coding regions within any one taxon varied widely, suggesting that the "1506" group-I introns and rDNA coding regions in the Zygnematales evolve independently.

  6. The MTL1 Pentatricopeptide Repeat Protein Is Required for Both Translation and Splicing of the Mitochondrial NADH DEHYDROGENASE SUBUNIT7 mRNA in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Haïli, Nawel; Planchard, Noelya; Arnal, Nadège; Quadrado, Martine; Vrielynck, Nathalie; Dahan, Jennifer; des Francs-Small, Catherine Colas; Mireau, Hakim

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial translation involves a complex interplay of ancient bacteria-like features and host-derived functionalities. Although the basic components of the mitochondrial translation apparatus have been recognized, very few protein factors aiding in recruiting ribosomes on mitochondria-encoded messenger RNA (mRNAs) have been identified in higher plants. In this study, we describe the identification of the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) MITOCHONDRIAL TRANSLATION FACTOR1 (MTL1) protein, a new member of the Pentatricopeptide Repeat family, and show that it is essential for the translation of the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit7 (nad7) mRNA. We demonstrate that mtl1 mutant plants fail to accumulate the Nad7 protein, even though the nad7 mature mRNA is produced and bears the same 5' and 3' extremities as in wild-type plants. We next observed that polysome association of nad7 mature mRNA is specifically disrupted in mtl1 mutants, indicating that the absence of Nad7 results from a lack of translation of nad7 mRNA. These findings illustrate that mitochondrial translation requires the intervention of gene-specific nucleus-encoded PPR trans-factors and that their action does not necessarily involve the 5' processing of their target mRNA, as observed previously. Interestingly, a partial decrease in nad7 intron 2 splicing was also detected in mtl1 mutants, suggesting that MTL1 is also involved in group II intron splicing. However, this second function appears to be less essential for nad7 expression than its role in translation. MTL1 will be instrumental to understand the multifunctionality of PPR proteins and the mechanisms governing mRNA translation and intron splicing in plant mitochondria.

  7. A dynamic intron retention program enriched in RNA processing genes regulates gene expression during terminal erythropoiesis

    SciTech Connect

    Pimentel, Harold; Parra, Marilyn; Gee, Sherry L.; Mohandas, Narla; Pachter, Lior; Conboy, John G.

    2015-11-03

    Differentiating erythroblasts execute a dynamic alternative splicing program shown here to include extensive and diverse intron retention (IR) events. Cluster analysis revealed hundreds of developmentallydynamic introns that exhibit increased IR in mature erythroblasts, and are enriched in functions related to RNA processing such as SF3B1 spliceosomal factor. Distinct, developmentally-stable IR clusters are enriched in metal-ion binding functions and include mitoferrin genes SLC25A37 and SLC25A28 that are critical for iron homeostasis. Some IR transcripts are abundant, e.g. comprising ~50% of highly-expressed SLC25A37 and SF3B1 transcripts in late erythroblasts, and thereby limiting functional mRNA levels. IR transcripts tested were predominantly nuclearlocalized. Splice