- Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (3)
Structural basis for the dual RNA-recognition modes of human Tra2-beta RRM
- Human Transformer2-beta (hTra2-beta) is an important member of the serine/arginine-rich protein family, and contains one RNA recognition motif (RRM). It controls the alternative splicing of several pre-mRNAs, including those of the calcitonin/calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) protein and the tau protein. Accordingly, the RRM of hTra2-beta specifically binds to two types of RNA sequences [the CAA and (GAA)2 sequences]. We determined the solution structure of the hTra2-beta RRM (spanning residues Asn110–Thr201), which not only has a canonical RRM fold, but also an unusual alignment of the aromatic amino acids on the beta-sheet surface. We then solved the complex structure of the hTra2-beta RRM with the (GAA)2 sequence, and found that the AGAA tetra-nucleotide was specifically recognized through hydrogen-bond formation with several amino acids on the N- and C-terminal extensions, as well as stacking interactions mediated by the unusually aligned aromatic rings on the beta-sheet surface. Further NMR experiments revealed that the hTra2-beta RRM recognizes the CAA sequence when it is integrated in the stem-loop structure. This study indicates that the hTra2-beta RRM recognizes two types of RNA sequences in different RNA binding modes.
Objective identification of residue ranges for the superposition of protein structures
Donata K. Kirchner
- Background: The automation of objectively selecting amino acid residue ranges for structure superpositions is important for meaningful and consistent protein structure analyses. So far there is no widely-used standard for choosing these residue ranges for experimentally determined protein structures, where the manual selection of residue ranges or the use of suboptimal criteria remain commonplace. Results: We present an automated and objective method for finding amino acid residue ranges for the superposition and analysis of protein structures, in particular for structure bundles resulting from NMR structure calculations. The method is implemented in an algorithm, CYRANGE, that yields, without protein-specific parameter adjustment, appropriate residue ranges in most commonly occurring situations, including low-precision structure bundles, multi-domain proteins, symmetric multimers, and protein complexes. Residue ranges are chosen to comprise as many residues of a protein domain that increasing their number would lead to a steep rise in the RMSD value. Residue ranges are determined by first clustering residues into domains based on the distance variance matrix, and then refining for each domain the initial choice of residues by excluding residues one by one until the relative decrease of the RMSD value becomes insignificant. A penalty for the opening of gaps favours contiguous residue ranges in order to obtain a result that is as simple as possible, but not simpler. Results are given for a set of 37 proteins and compared with those of commonly used protein structure validation packages. We also provide residue ranges for 6351 NMR structures in the Protein Data Bank. Conclusions: The CYRANGE method is capable of automatically determining residue ranges for the superposition of protein structure bundles for a large variety of protein structures. The method correctly identifies ordered regions. Global structure superpositions based on the CYRANGE residue ranges allow a clear presentation of the structure, and unnecessary small gaps within the selected ranges are absent. In the majority of cases, the residue ranges from CYRANGE contain fewer gaps and cover considerably larger parts of the sequence than those from other methods without significantly increasing the RMSD values. CYRANGE thus provides an objective and automatic method for standardizing the choice of residue ranges for the superposition of protein structures. Additional files Additional file 1: Dependence of Q on the order parameter rank. The quantity Qi is plotted against the order parameter rank i for 9 different protein structure bundles. Additional file 2: Dependence of P on the clustering stage. The quantity Pi is plotted against the clustering stage i for 9 different protein structure bundles. Additional file 3: Dependence of CYRANGE results on the minimal cluster size parameter my. The sequence coverage (red) and RMSD (blue) of the residue ranges determined by CYRANGE were plotted as a function of my for 9 different protein structure bundles. The dotted vertical line indicates the default value, my = 8. Where CYRANGE found two domains, the RMSD values of the individual domains are shown in light and dark blue. Additional file 4: Dependence of CYRANGE results on the domain boundary extension parameter m. See Additional File 3 for details. Additional file 5: Dependence of CYRANGE results on the minimal gap width g. See Additional File 3 for details. Additional file 6: Dependence of CYRANGE results on the relative RMSD decrease parameter delta. See Additional File 3 for details. Additional file 7: Dependence of CYRANGE results on the absolute RMSD decrease parameter delta abs. See Additional File 3 for details. Additional file 8: Dependence of CYRANGE results on the gap penalty parameter gamma. See Additional File 3 for details. Additional file 9: Correlation between the sequence coverage from CYRANGE, FindCore and PSVS, and the GDT total score, GDT_TS. Each data point represents a protein shown in Figures 3 and 4. The coverage is the percentage of amino acid residues included in the residue ranges found by the different methods. The GDT_TS value is defined by GDT_TS = (P1 + P2 + P4 + P8)/4, where Pd is the fraction of residues that can be superimposed under a distance cutoff of d Å. Additional file 10: Correlation between the RMSD value for the residue ranges from CYRANGE, FindCore and PSVS, and the GDT total score, GDT_TS. Each data point represents one protein domain. See Additional File 9 for details.
Genome-wide multi-parametric analysis of H2AX or γH2AX distributions during ionizing radiation-induced DNA damage response
Maria Cristina Cardoso
- Background: After induction of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs), the DNA damage response (DDR) is activated. One of the earliest events in DDR is the phosphorylation of serine 139 on the histone variant H2AX (gH2AX) catalyzed by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases-related kinases. Despite being extensively studied, H2AX distribution across the genome and gH2AX spreading around DSBs sites in the context of different chromatin compaction states or transcription are yet to be fully elucidated.
Materials and methods: gH2AX was induced in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2) by exposure to 10 Gy X-rays (250 kV, 16 mA). Samples were incubated 0.5, 3 or 24 hours post irradiation to investigate early, intermediate and late stages of DDR, respectively. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was performed to select H2AX, H3 and gH2AX-enriched chromatin fractions. Chromatin-associated DNA was then sequenced by Illumina ChIP-Seq platform. HepG2 gene expression and histone modification (H3K36me3, H3K9me3) ChIP-Seq profiles were retrieved from Gene Expression Omnibus (accession numbers GSE30240 and GSE26386, respectively).
Results: First, we combined G/C usage, gene content, gene expression or histone modification profiles (H3K36me3, H3K9me3) to define genomic compartments characterized by different chromatin compaction states or transcriptional activity. Next, we investigated H3, H2AX and gH2AX distributions in such defined compartments before and after exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) to study DNA repair kinetics during DDR. Our sequencing results indicate that H2AX distribution followed H3 occupancy and, thus, the nucleosome pattern. The highest H2AX and H3 enrichment was observed in transcriptionally active compartments (euchromatin) while the lowest was found in low G/C and gene-poor compartments (heterochromatin). Under physiological conditions, the body of highly and moderately transcribed genes was devoid of gH2AX, despite presenting high H2AX levels. gH2AX accumulation was observed in 5’ or 3’ flanking regions, instead. The same genes showed a prompt gH2AX accumulation during the early stage of DDR which then decreased over time as DDR proceeded.
Finally, during the late stage of DDR the residual gH2AX signal was entirely retained in heterochromatic compartments. At this stage, euchromatic compartments were completely devoid of gH2AX despite presenting high levels of non-phosphorylated H2AX.
Conclusions: We show that gH2AX distribution ultimately depends on H2AX occupancy, the latter following H3 occupancy and, thus, nucleosome pattern. Both H2AX and H3 levels were higher in actively transcribed compartments. However, gH2AX levels were remarkably low over the body of actively transcribed genes suggesting that transcription levels antagonize gH2AX spreading. Moreover, repair processes did not take place uniformly across the genome; rather, DNA repair was affected by genomic location and transcriptional activity. We propose that higher H2AX density in euchromaticcompartments results in high relative gH2AXconcentration soon after the activation of DDR, thus favoring the recruitment of the DNA repair machinery to those compartments. When the damage is repaired and gH2AX is removed, its residual fraction is retained in the heterochromatic compartments which are then targeted and repaired at later times.