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Title: Structure of the guide-strand-containing argonaute silencing complex

Abstract

The slicer activity of the RNA-induced silencing complex is associated with argonaute, the RNase H-like PIWI domain of which catalyses guide-strand-mediated sequence-specific cleavage of target messenger RNA. Here we report on the crystal structure of Thermus thermophilus argonaute bound to a 5'-phosphorylated 21-base DNA guide strand, thereby identifying the nucleic-acid-binding channel positioned between the PAZ- and PIWI-containing lobes, as well as the pivot-like conformational changes associated with complex formation. The bound guide strand is anchored at both of its ends, with the solvent-exposed Watson-Crick edges of stacked bases 2 to 6 positioned for nucleation with the mRNA target, whereas two critically positioned arginines lock bases 10 and 11 at the cleavage site into an unanticipated orthogonal alignment. Biochemical studies indicate that key amino acid residues at the active site and those lining the 5'-phosphate-binding pocket made up of the Mid domain are critical for cleavage activity, whereas alterations of residues lining the 2-nucleotide 3'-end-binding pocket made up of the PAZ domain show little effect.

Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1];  [2]
  1. (MSKCC)
  2. (
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1007015
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nature; Journal Volume: 456; Journal Issue: 11, 2008
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
ENGLISH
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; ALIGNMENT; AMINO ACIDS; CLEAVAGE; CONFORMATIONAL CHANGES; CRYSTAL STRUCTURE; DNA; MESSENGER-RNA; NUCLEATION; RESIDUES

Citation Formats

Wang, Yanli, Sheng, Gang, Juranek, Stefan, Tuschl, Thomas, Patel, Dinshaw J., and HHMI). Structure of the guide-strand-containing argonaute silencing complex. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.1038/nature07315.
Wang, Yanli, Sheng, Gang, Juranek, Stefan, Tuschl, Thomas, Patel, Dinshaw J., & HHMI). Structure of the guide-strand-containing argonaute silencing complex. United States. doi:10.1038/nature07315.
Wang, Yanli, Sheng, Gang, Juranek, Stefan, Tuschl, Thomas, Patel, Dinshaw J., and HHMI). 2009. "Structure of the guide-strand-containing argonaute silencing complex". United States. doi:10.1038/nature07315.
@article{osti_1007015,
title = {Structure of the guide-strand-containing argonaute silencing complex},
author = {Wang, Yanli and Sheng, Gang and Juranek, Stefan and Tuschl, Thomas and Patel, Dinshaw J. and HHMI)},
abstractNote = {The slicer activity of the RNA-induced silencing complex is associated with argonaute, the RNase H-like PIWI domain of which catalyses guide-strand-mediated sequence-specific cleavage of target messenger RNA. Here we report on the crystal structure of Thermus thermophilus argonaute bound to a 5'-phosphorylated 21-base DNA guide strand, thereby identifying the nucleic-acid-binding channel positioned between the PAZ- and PIWI-containing lobes, as well as the pivot-like conformational changes associated with complex formation. The bound guide strand is anchored at both of its ends, with the solvent-exposed Watson-Crick edges of stacked bases 2 to 6 positioned for nucleation with the mRNA target, whereas two critically positioned arginines lock bases 10 and 11 at the cleavage site into an unanticipated orthogonal alignment. Biochemical studies indicate that key amino acid residues at the active site and those lining the 5'-phosphate-binding pocket made up of the Mid domain are critical for cleavage activity, whereas alterations of residues lining the 2-nucleotide 3'-end-binding pocket made up of the PAZ domain show little effect.},
doi = {10.1038/nature07315},
journal = {Nature},
number = 11, 2008,
volume = 456,
place = {United States},
year = 2009,
month = 1
}
  • Here we report on a 3.0 {angstrom} crystal structure of a ternary complex of wild-type Thermus thermophilus argonaute bound to a 5'-phosphorylated 21-nucleotide guide DNA and a 20-nucleotide target RNA containing cleavage-preventing mismatches at the 10-11 step. The seed segment (positions 2 to 8) adopts an A-helical-like Watson-Crick paired duplex, with both ends of the guide strand anchored in the complex. An arginine, inserted between guide-strand bases 10 and 11 in the binary complex, locking it in an inactive conformation, is released on ternary complex formation. The nucleic-acid-binding channel between the PAZ- and PIWI-containing lobes of argonaute widens on formationmore » of a more open ternary complex. The relationship of structure to function was established by determining cleavage activity of ternary complexes containing position-dependent base mismatch, bulge and 2'-O-methyl modifications. Consistent with the geometry of the ternary complex, bulges residing in the seed segments of the target, but not the guide strand, were better accommodated and their complexes were catalytically active.« less
  • The RNA-induced silencing complex, comprising Argonaute and guide RNA, mediates RNA interference. Here we report the 3.2 {angstrom} crystal structure of Kluyveromyces polysporus Argonaute (KpAGO) fortuitously complexed with guide RNA originating from small-RNA duplexes autonomously loaded and processed by recombinant KpAGO. Despite their diverse sequences, guide-RNA nucleotides 1-8 are positioned similarly, with sequence-independent contacts to bases, phosphates and 2{prime}-hydroxyl groups pre-organizing the backbone of nucleotides 2-8 in a near-A-form conformation. Compared with prokaryotic Argonautes, KpAGO has numerous surface-exposed insertion segments, with a cluster of conserved insertions repositioning the N domain to enable full propagation of guide-target pairing. Compared with Argonautesmore » in inactive conformations, KpAGO has a hydrogen-bond network that stabilizes an expanded and repositioned loop, which inserts an invariant glutamate into the catalytic pocket. Mutation analyses and analogies to ribonuclease H indicate that insertion of this glutamate finger completes a universally conserved catalytic tetrad, thereby activating Argonaute for RNA cleavage.« less
  • Cmr2 is the largest and an essential subunit of a CRISPR RNA-Cas protein complex (the Cmr complex) that cleaves foreign RNA to protect prokaryotes from invading genetic elements. Cmr2 is thought to be the catalytic subunit of the effector complex because of its N-terminal HD nuclease domain. Here, however, we report that the HD domain of Cmr2 is not required for cleavage by the complex in vitro. The 2.3 {angstrom} crystal structure of Pyrococcus furiosus Cmr2 (lacking the HD domain) reveals two adenylyl cyclase-like and two {alpha}-helical domains. The adenylyl cyclase-like domains are arranged as in homodimeric adenylyl cyclases andmore » bind ADP and divalent metals. However, mutagenesis studies show that the metal- and ADP-coordinating residues of Cmr2 are also not critical for cleavage by the complex. Our findings suggest that another component provides the catalytic function and that the essential role by Cmr2 does not require the identified ADP- or metal-binding or HD domains in vitro.« less