*: co-first, #: co-correspondence
- Epitope-preserving Magnified Analysis of Proteome (eMAP)S. Khan*, J. Park*, D. H. Yun*, T. Ku, K. L. Villa, J. E. Lee, Q. Zhang, G. Feng, E. Nedivi#, and K. Chung#Sci. Adv. (in revision)
- PKR Senses Nuclear and Mitochondrial Signals by Interacting with Endogenous Double-Stranded RNAs.Y. Kim*#, J. Park*, S. Kim*, M. Kim, M.-G. Kang, C. Kwak, M. Kang, B. Kim, H.-W. Rhee, and V. N. Kim#Mol. Cell, 71(6):1051-1063.e6- Selected as ’Research Highlights’ in Nat. Chem. Biol., 14(11):989 (link)
Protein kinase RNA-activated (PKR) induces immune response by sensing viral double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs). However, growing evidence suggests that PKR can also be activated by endogenously expressed dsRNAs. Here, we capture these dsRNAs by formaldehyde-mediated crosslinking and immunoprecipitation sequencing and find that various noncoding RNAs interact with PKR. Surprisingly, the majority of the PKR-interacting RNA repertoire is occupied by mitochondrial RNAs (mtRNAs). MtRNAs can form intermolecular dsRNAs owing to bidirectional transcription of the mitochondrial genome and regulate PKR and eIF2α phosphorylation to control cell signaling and translation. Moreover, PKR activation by mtRNAs is counteracted by PKR phosphatases, disruption of which causes apoptosis from PKR overactivation even in uninfected cells. Our work unveils dynamic regulation of PKR even without infection and establishes PKR as a sensor for nuclear and mitochondrial signaling cues in regulating cellular metabolism.
- PABP Cooperates with the CCR4-NOT Complex to Promote mRNA Deadenylation and Block Precocious Decay.H. Yi*, J. Park*, M. Ha, J. Lim, H. Chang, and V. N. KimMol. Cell, 70(6):1081-1088.e5- Previewed in Mol. Cell, 70(6):987–988 (link)
Multiple deadenylases are known in vertebrates, the PAN2-PAN3 (PAN2/3) and CCR4-NOT (CNOT) complexes, and PARN, yet their differential functions remain ambiguous. Moreover, the role of poly(A) binding protein (PABP) is obscure, limiting our understanding of the deadenylation mechanism. Here, we show that CNOT serves as a predominant nonspecific deadenylase for cytoplasmic poly(A)+ RNAs, and PABP promotes deadenylation while preventing premature uridylation and decay. PAN2/3 selectively trims long tails (>∼150 nt) with minimal effect on transcriptome, whereas PARN does not affect mRNA deadenylation. CAF1 and CCR4, catalytic subunits of CNOT, display distinct activities: CAF1 trims naked poly(A) segments and is blocked by PABPC, whereas CCR4 is activated by PABPC to shorten PABPC-protected sequences. Concerted actions of CAF1 and CCR4 delineate the ∼27 nt periodic PABPC footprints along shortening tail. Our study unveils distinct functions of deadenylases and PABPC, re-drawing the view on mRNA deadenylation and regulation.
- Microprocessor depends on hemin to recognize the apical loop of primary microRNA.T. A. Nguyen*#, J. Park*, T. L. Dang, Y.-G. Choi, and V. N. Kim#Nucleic Acids Res., 46(11):5726-5736
Microprocessor, which consists of a ribonuclease III DROSHA and its cofactor DGCR8, initiates microRNA (miRNA) maturation by cleaving primary miRNA transcripts (pri-miRNAs). We recently demonstrated that the DGCR8 dimer recognizes the apical elements of pri-miRNAs, including the UGU motif, to accurately locate and orient Microprocessor on pri-miRNAs. However, the mechanism underlying the selective RNA binding remains unknown. In this study, we find that hemin, a ferric ion-containing porphyrin, enhances the specific interaction between the apical UGU motif and the DGCR8 dimer, allowing Microprocessor to achieve high efficiency and fidelity of pri-miRNA processing in vitro. Furthermore, by generating a DGCR8 mutant cell line and carrying out rescue experiments, we discover that hemin preferentially stimulates the expression of miRNAs possessing the UGU motif, thereby conferring differential regulation of miRNA maturation. Our findings reveal the molecular action mechanism of hemin in pri-miRNA processing and establish a novel function of hemin in inducing specific RNA-protein interaction.
- Role of the small subunit processome in the maintenance of pluripotent stem cells.K. T. You, J. Park, and V. N. KimGenes Dev., 29(19):2004-9
RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) play integral roles in gene regulation, yet only a small fraction of RBPs has been studied in the context of stem cells. Here we applied an RNAi screen for RBPs in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and identified 16 RBPs involved in pluripotency maintenance. Interestingly, six identified RBPs, including Krr1 and Ddx47, are part of a complex called small subunit processome (SSUP) that mediates 18S rRNA biogenesis. The SSUP components are preferentially expressed in stem cells and enhance the global translational rate, which is critical to sustain the protein levels of labile pluripotency factors such as Nanog and Esrrb. Furthermore, the SSUP proteins are required for efficient reprogramming of induced pluripotent stem cells. Our study uncovers the role of the SSUP and the importance of translational control in stem cell fate decision.
- Functional Anatomy of the Human Microprocessor.T. A. Nguyen*, M. H. Jo*, Y.-G. Choi, J. Park, S. C. Kwon, S. Hohng, V. N. Kim#, and J.-S. Woo#Cell, 161(6):1374-87
MicroRNA (miRNA) maturation is initiated by Microprocessor composed of RNase III DROSHA and its cofactor DGCR8, whose fidelity is critical for generation of functional miRNAs. To understand how Microprocessor recognizes pri-miRNAs, we here reconstitute human Microprocessor with purified recombinant proteins. We find that Microprocessor is an ∼364 kDa heterotrimeric complex of one DROSHA and two DGCR8 molecules. Together with a 23-amino acid peptide from DGCR8, DROSHA constitutes a minimal functional core. DROSHA serves as a "ruler" by measuring 11 bp from the basal ssRNA-dsRNA junction. DGCR8 interacts with the stem and apical elements through its dsRNA-binding domains and RNA-binding heme domain, respectively, allowing efficient and accurate processing. DROSHA and DGCR8, respectively, recognize the basal UG and apical UGU motifs, which ensure proper orientation of the complex. These findings clarify controversies over the action mechanism of DROSHA and allow us to build a general model for pri-miRNA processing.
- TALEN-based knockout library for human microRNAs.Y.-K. Kim*, G. Wee*, J. Park, J. Kim, D. Baek, J.-S. Kim#, and V. N. Kim#Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol., 20(12):1458-64
Various technical tools have been developed to probe the functions of microRNAs (miRNAs), yet their application has been limited by low efficacy and specificity. To overcome the limitations, we used transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) to knock out human miRNA genes. We designed and produced a library of 540 pairs of TALENs for 274 miRNA loci, focusing on potentially important miRNAs. The knockout procedure takes only 2-4 weeks and can be applied to any cell type. As a case study, we generated knockout cells for two related miRNAs, miR-141 and miR-200c, which belong to the highly conserved miR-200 family. Interestingly, miR-141 and miR-200c, despite their overall similarity, suppress largely nonoverlapping groups of targets, thus suggesting that functional miRNA-target interaction requires strict seed-pairing. Our study illustrates the potency of TALEN technology and provides useful resources for miRNA research.