1.Functional analysis of Hsh155/SF3b1 interactions with the U2 snRNA/branch site duplex.
Carrocci TJ;Paulson JC;Hoskins AA RNA. 2018 Aug;24(8):1028-1040. doi: 10.1261/rna.065664.118. Epub 2018 May 11.
SF3b1 is an essential component of the U2 snRNP implicated in branch site (BS) recognition and found to be frequently mutated in several human cancers. While recent structures of yeast and human SF3b1 have revealed its molecular architecture, the importance of specific RNA:protein contacts and conformational changes remains largely uncharacterized. Here, we performed mutational analysis of yeast SF3b1, guided by recent structures of the spliceosome. We find that conserved amino acids contacting the U2 snRNA backbone of the U2/BS duplex are nonessential, and that yeast can tolerate truncation of the HEAT repeats containing these amino acids. The pocket housing the branchpoint adenosine (BP-A) is also amenable to mutation despite strong conservation. However, mutations that support viability can still lead to defects in splicing pre-mRNAs with nonconsensus BS substitutions found at -3, -2, -1, and +1 positions relative to the BP-A or at the branchpoint position. Through the generation of yeast and human chimeric proteins, we further defined the functionally conserved regions of Hsh155 as well as identify changes in BS usage resulting from inclusion of human SF3b1 HEAT repeats. Moreover, these chimeric proteins confer a sensitivity to small molecule inhibition by pladienolide B to yeast splicing.
2.Pre-mRNA splicing repression triggers abiotic stress signaling in plants.
Ling Y;Alshareef S;Butt H;Lozano-Juste J;Li L;Galal AA;Moustafa A;Momin AA;Tashkandi M;Richardson DN;Fujii H;Arold S;Rodriguez PL;Duque P;Mahfouz MM Plant J. 2017 Jan;89(2):291-309. doi: 10.1111/tpj.13383. Epub 2017 Jan 17.
Alternative splicing (AS) of precursor RNAs enhances transcriptome plasticity and proteome diversity in response to diverse growth and stress cues. Recent work has shown that AS is pervasive across plant species, with more than 60% of intron-containing genes producing different isoforms. Mammalian cell-based assays have discovered various inhibitors of AS. Here, we show that the macrolide pladienolide B (PB) inhibits constitutive splicing and AS in plants. Also, our RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) data revealed that PB mimics abiotic stress signals including salt, drought and abscisic acid (ABA). PB activates the abiotic stress- and ABA-responsive reporters RD29A::LUC and MAPKKK18::uidA in Arabidopsis thaliana and mimics the effects of ABA on stomatal aperture. Genome-wide analysis of AS by RNA-seq revealed that PB perturbs the splicing machinery and leads to a striking increase in intron retention and a reduction in other forms of AS. Interestingly, PB treatment activates the ABA signaling pathway by inhibiting the splicing of clade A PP2C phosphatases while still maintaining to some extent the splicing of ABA-activated SnRK2 kinases. Taken together, our data establish PB as an inhibitor and modulator of splicing and a mimic of abiotic stress signals in plants.
3.Predicting effective pro-apoptotic anti-leukaemic drug combinations using co-operative dynamic BH3 profiling.
Grundy M;Seedhouse C;Jones T;Elmi L;Hall M;Graham A;Russell N;Pallis M PLoS One. 2018 Jan 3;13(1):e0190682. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0190682. eCollection 2018.
The BH3-only apoptosis agonists BAD and NOXA target BCL-2 and MCL-1 respectively and co-operate to induce apoptosis. On this basis, therapeutic drugs targeting BCL-2 and MCL-1 might have enhanced activity if used in combination. We identified anti-leukaemic drugs sensitising to BCL-2 antagonism and drugs sensitising to MCL-1 antagonism using the technique of dynamic BH3 profiling, whereby cells were primed with drugs to discover whether this would elicit mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilisation in response to BCL-2-targeting BAD-BH3 peptide or MCL-1-targeting MS1-BH3 peptide. We found that a broad range of anti-leukaemic agents-notably MCL-1 inhibitors, DNA damaging agents and FLT3 inhibitors-sensitise leukaemia cells to BAD-BH3. We further analysed the BCL-2 inhibitors ABT-199 and JQ1, the MCL-1 inhibitors pladienolide B and torin1, the FLT3 inhibitor AC220 and the DNA double-strand break inducer etoposide to correlate priming responses with co-operative induction of apoptosis. ABT-199 in combination with pladienolide B, torin1, etoposide or AC220 strongly induced apoptosis within 4 hours, but the MCL-1 inhibitors did not co-operate with etoposide or AC220. In keeping with the long half-life of BCL-2, the BET domain inhibitor JQ1 was found to downregulate BCL-2 and to prime cells to respond to MS1-BH3 at 48, but not at 4 hours: prolonged priming with JQ1 was then shown to induce rapid cytochrome C release when pladienolide B, torin1, etoposide or AC220 were added.