Reference: Gerczei T, et al. (2009) RNA chaperones stimulate formation and yield of the U3 snoRNA-Pre-rRNA duplexes needed for eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis. J Mol Biol 390(5):991-1006

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Abstract

To satisfy the high demand for ribosome synthesis in rapidly growing eukaryotic cells, short duplexes between the U3 small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) and the precursor ribosomal RNA (pre-rRNA) must form quickly and with high yield. These interactions, designated the U3-ETS and U3-18S duplexes, are essential to initiate the processing of small subunit rRNA. Previously, we showed in vitro that duplexes corresponding to those in Saccharomyces cerevisiae are only observed after addition of one of two proteins: Imp3p or Imp4p. Here, we use fluorescence-based and other in vitro assays to determine whether these proteins possess RNA chaperone activities and to assess whether these activities are sufficient to satisfy the duplex yield and rate requirements expected in vivo. Assembly of both proteins with the U3 snoRNA into a chaperone complex destabilizes a U3-stem structure, apparently to expose its 18S base-pairing site. As a result, the chaperone complex accelerates formation of the U3-18S duplex from an undetectable rate to one comparable to the intrinsic rate observed for hybridizing short duplexes. The chaperone complex also stabilizes the U3-ETS duplex by 2.7 kcal/mol. These chaperone activities provide high U3-ETS duplex yield and rapid U3-18S duplex formation over a broad concentration range to help ensure that the U3-pre-rRNA interactions limit neither ribosome biogenesis nor rapid cell growth. The thermodynamic and kinetic framework used is general and thus suitable to investigate the mechanism of action of other RNA chaperones.

Reference Type
Journal Article
Authors
Gerczei T, Shah BN, Manzo AJ, Walter NG, Correll CC
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