RNA metabolism articles within Nature

  • Article |

    The cryo-electron microscopy structure of the yeast spliceosome in a pre-catalytic state provides insights into the molecular events leading to formation of the spliceosome active site.

    • Clemens Plaschka
    • , Pei-Chun Lin
    •  & Kiyoshi Nagai
  • Article |

    The application of genome-wide CRISPR–Cas9 screening coupled with a fluorescent reporter to interrogate the microRNA pathway reveals that continual transient phosphorylation of Argonaute 2 is required to maintain the global efficiency of microRNA-mediated repression.

    • Ryan J. Golden
    • , Beibei Chen
    •  & Joshua T. Mendell
  • Letter |

    The cryo-electron microscopy structure of a yeast spliceosome stalled before mature RNA formation provides insight into the mechanism of exon ligation.

    • Sebastian M. Fica
    • , Chris Oubridge
    •  & Kiyoshi Nagai
  • Article |

    Fat mass and obesity-associated protein (FTO) preferentially demethylates m6Am, a modified adenosine that, when present at the 5′ end of certain mRNAs, positively influences mRNA stability by preventing DCP2-mediated decapping.

    • Jan Mauer
    • , Xiaobing Luo
    •  & Samie R. Jaffrey
  • Article |

    One of the most abundant modifications found in messenger RNAs is N6-methyladenosine (m6A); here, this modification is shown to alter gene expression during sex determination and affect neuronal functions and behaviour in Drosophila via the m6A reader protein YT521-B.

    • Tina Lence
    • , Junaid Akhtar
    •  & Jean-Yves Roignant
  • Letter |

    The observations that introns are acquired in bursts and that exons are often nucleosome-sized can be explained by the generation of introns from DNA transposons, which insert between nucleosomes.

    • Jason T. Huff
    • , Daniel Zilberman
    •  & Scott W. Roy
  • Letter |

    RNA caps other than the 7-methylguanylate modification are generated by a distinct mechanism in which caps are added during, not after, transcription initiation through the use of non-canonical initiating nucleotides by RNA polymerases, a finding which has functional consequences.

    • Jeremy G. Bird
    • , Yu Zhang
    •  & Bryce E. Nickels
  • Article |

    Defects in the ribosome quality control (RQC) complex, which clears proteins that stalled during translation, can cause neurodegeneration; here it is shown that in RQC-defective cells a peptide tail added by the RQC subunit 2 to stalled polypeptides promotes their aggregation and the sequestration of chaperones in these aggregates, affecting normal protein quality control processes.

    • Young-Jun Choe
    • , Sae-Hun Park
    •  & F. Ulrich Hartl
  • Article |

    Here the m1A modification is discovered in messenger RNA and mapped at the transcriptome-wide level; the modification is conserved, dynamic, accumulates in structured regions around translation initiation sites upstream of the first splice site, and correlates with higher protein expression.

    • Dan Dominissini
    • , Sigrid Nachtergaele
    •  & Chuan He
  • Article |

    A 3.7 Å resolution structure for the yeast U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP, a complex involved in splicing, allows a better appreciation of the architecture of the tri-snRNP, and offers new functional insights into the activation of the spliceosome and the assembly of the catalytic core.

    • Thi Hoang Duong Nguyen
    • , Wojciech P. Galej
    •  & Kiyoshi Nagai
  • Article |

    Transcription-blocking DNA lesions result in chromatin displacement of core spliceosomes containing U2 and U5 snRNPs; consequently, R-loops containing the nascent transcript are formed, which activate ATM in a feed-forward fashion to influence spliceosome dynamics and alternative splicing.

    • Maria Tresini
    • , Daniël O. Warmerdam
    •  & Jurgen A. Marteijn
  • Article |

    This study determines the structure of the spliceosomal tri-snRNP complex (containing three small nuclear RNAs and more than 30 proteins) by single-particle cryo-electron microscopy; the resolution is sufficient to discern the organization of RNA and protein components involved in spliceosome activation, exon alignment and catalysis.

    • Thi Hoang Duong Nguyen
    • , Wojciech P. Galej
    •  & Kiyoshi Nagai
  • Letter |

    Highly conserved recursive splice sites are identified in vertebrates, particularly within long genes encoding proteins that are involved in neuronal development; analysis of the splicing mechanism reveals that such recursive splicing sites can be used to dictate different mRNA isoforms.

    • Christopher R. Sibley
    • , Warren Emmett
    •  & Jernej Ule
  • Letter |

    In flies, some introns contain internal splice sites that cause ‘recursive splicing’, a multi-step removal of a single intron; this study demonstrates that the scope of this regulatory mechanism is much more extensive in flies than had been appreciated, and provides details about the recursive splicing process.

    • Michael O. Duff
    • , Sara Olson
    •  & Brenton R. Graveley
  • Letter |

    The addition of the N6-methyladenosine (m6A) mark to primary microRNAs by METTL3 in mammalian cells is found to promote the recognition of these microRNA precursors by DGCR8, a component of the microprocessor complex.

    • Claudio R. Alarcón
    • , Hyeseung Lee
    •  & Sohail F. Tavazoie
  • Letter |

    A method, termed hiCLIP, has been developed to determine the RNA duplexes bound by RNA-binding proteins, revealing an unforeseen prevalence of long-range duplexes in 3′ untranslated regions (UTRs), and a decreased incidence of SNPs in duplex-forming regions; the results also show that RNA structure is able to regulate gene expression.

    • Yoichiro Sugimoto
    • , Alessandra Vigilante
    •  & Jernej Ule
  • Letter |

    A newly developed method, NAD captureSeq, has been used to show that bacteria cap the 5′-ends of some RNAs to protect against degradation, much as happens with eukaryotic messenger RNAs, although with a different modification: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide.

    • Hana Cahová
    • , Marie-Luise Winz
    •  & Andres Jäschke
  • Letter |

    DEAD-box RNA helicase DDX21 is involved in both the transcription and RNA processing of ribosomal genes in human cells, sensing the transcriptional status of both RNA polymerase I and RNA polymerase II and associating with non-coding RNAs involved in ribonucleoprotein formation, possibly allowing for coordinated regulation of protein synthesis.

    • Eliezer Calo
    • , Ryan A. Flynn
    •  & Joanna Wysocka
  • Letter |

    R-loops, which have been considered to be rare and potentially harmful transcriptional by-products, are now shown to be needed for antisense transcription and to induce repressive chromatin marks that reinforce pausing of transcription and thereby enhance its termination.

    • Konstantina Skourti-Stathaki
    • , Kinga Kamieniarz-Gdula
    •  & Nicholas J. Proudfoot
  • Letter |

    In the presence of a short DNA oligonucleotide containing a protospacer adjacent motif, a guide-RNA-programmed Cas9 is able to specifically bind and/or cleave single-stranded RNA—this system can be used to isolate specific endogenous RNA transcripts from a cell lysate without any tag or modification.

    • Mitchell R. O’Connell
    • , Benjamin L. Oakes
    •  & Jennifer A. Doudna
  • Article |

    This study determines the structure of a branched lariat RNA, providing insights into rearrangement of the intron between the two steps of RNA splicing.

    • Aaron R. Robart
    • , Russell T. Chan
    •  & Navtej Toor
  • Letter |

    The modification of uridine to pseudouridine is widespread in transfer and ribosomal RNAs but not observed so far in a coding RNA; here a new technique is used to detect this modification on a genome-wide scale, leading to the identification of pseudouridylation in messenger RNAs as well as almost 100 new sites in non-coding RNAs.

    • Thomas M. Carlile
    • , Maria F. Rojas-Duran
    •  & Wendy V. Gilbert
  • Letter |

    Transcription and translation are generally thought of as disconnected processes in eukaryotes; however, under starvation conditions in yeast, the promoter sequence influences not only messenger RNA levels but also several processes downstream of transcription, including the localization of mRNA within the cytoplasm and the translation rate of mRNA.

    • Brian M. Zid
    •  & Erin K. O’Shea
  • Letter |

    The structure of mouse Dis3l2 bound to an oligoU substrate shows a funnel-like substrate-binding site with the RNA being fed into the active site along a path that is distinct from that seen in the related catalytic subunit of the exosome — 12 uracils of the oligoU-tailed RNA are recognized in a complex network of interactions, suggesting the basis for target specificity.

    • Christopher R. Faehnle
    • , Jack Walleshauser
    •  & Leemor Joshua-Tor
  • Letter |

    CFIm25 is identified as a factor that prevents messenger RNAs being shortened due to altered 3′ polyadenylation, which typically occurs when cells undergo high proliferation and correlates with increased tumorigenic activity in glioblastoma tumours.

    • Chioniso P. Masamha
    • , Zheng Xia
    •  & Eric J. Wagner
  • Article |

    Three-colour fluorescence resonance energy transfer and molecular dynamics simulations are used to study the events occurring early in assembly of the 30S ribosome; within a non-native intermediate S4 ribosomal protein–16S RNA structure, S4 is capable of altering the RNA helix dynamics to facilitate conformation changes that enable subsequent protein binding.

    • Hajin Kim
    • , Sanjaya C. Abeysirigunawarden
    •  & Sarah A. Woodson
  • Letter |

    An RNA secondary structure (RSS) map of coding and noncoding RNA from a human family (two parents and their child) is produced; this reveals that approximately 15% of all transcribed single nucleotide variants (SNVs) alter local RNA structure, and these SNVs are depleted in certain locations, suggesting that particular RNA structures are important at those sites.

    • Yue Wan
    • , Kun Qu
    •  & Howard Y. Chang
  • Letter |

    The mRNAs of higher eukaryotes are extensively modified internally with N6-methyladenosine, but the specific functional role of this modification has been unclear; here this modification on mRNA is shown to be recognized by several proteins, the modification and its recognition serve to regulate the RNA’s lifetime.

    • Xiao Wang
    • , Zhike Lu
    •  & Chuan He
  • Article |

    The spliceosome is shown to catalyse splicing through the RNA and not the protein components of the spliceosome; pre-messenger RNA splicing requires U6 snRNA acting by a mechanism similar to that used by group II self-splicing introns.

    • Sebastian M. Fica
    • , Nicole Tuttle
    •  & Joseph A. Piccirilli
  • Article |

    RNA polymerase (Pol) I transcribes ribosomal RNA that is critically required for ribosome assembly, and the enzyme is a major determinant of protein biosynthesis and cell growth; here the crystal structure of the complete 14-subunit Pol I from yeast is determined, providing insights into its unique architecture and the possible functional roles of its components.

    • Carlos Fernández-Tornero
    • , María Moreno-Morcillo
    •  & Christoph W. Müller
  • Article |

    RNAs undergo many types of post-transcriptional modification, including methylation of ribosomal RNAs; here the structure of the archaeal box C/D ribonucleoprotein complex bound to substrate RNA is determined, showing that the two methylation guide sequences exist in different contexts and revealing sequential regulation of methylation at the two sites.

    • Audrone Lapinaite
    • , Bernd Simon
    •  & Teresa Carlomagno
  • Letter |

    In the human pathogen Vibrio vulnificus, the riboswitch regulating gene expression of the adenosine deaminase is shown to exist in three distinct stable conformational states; this three-state mechanism allows control of gene expression over a broad temperature range, which is essential for Vibrio adaptation.

    • Anke Reining
    • , Senada Nozinovic
    •  & Harald Schwalbe
  • Article |

    This study reports a global analysis of binding sites for over 200 RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) from 24 species; conserved RNA-binding motifs are identified, and their analysis allows prediction of interaction sites based on the sequence of the RNA-binding domain alone.

    • Debashish Ray
    • , Hilal Kazan
    •  & Timothy R. Hughes
  • Letter |

    This study identifies MBNL proteins as negative regulators of alternative splicing events that are differentially regulated between ES cells and other cell types; several lines of evidence show that these proteins repress an ES cell alternative splicing program and the reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells.

    • Hong Han
    • , Manuel Irimia
    •  & Benjamin J. Blencowe