- ItemCurrent approaches for RNA-labelling to identify RNA-binding proteins(Canadian Science Publishing, 2020) Gemmill, Darren; D'souza, Simmone; Meier-Stephenson, Vanessa; Patel, Trushar R.RNA is involved in all domains of life, playing critical roles in a host of gene expression processes, host-defense mechanisms, cell proliferation, and diseases. A critical component in many of these events is the ability for RNA to interact with proteins. Over the past few decades, our understanding of such RNA–protein interactions and their importance has driven the search and development of new techniques for the identification of RNA-binding proteins. In determining which proteins bind to the RNA of interest, it is often useful to use the approach where the RNA molecule is the “bait” and allow it to capture proteins from a lysate or other relevant solution. Here, we review a collection of methods for modifying RNA to capture RNA-binding proteins. These include small-molecule modification, the addition of aptamers, DNA-anchoring, and nucleotide substitution. With each, we provide examples of their application, as well as highlight their advantages and potential challenges.
- ItemStructural and hydrodynamic characterization of dimeric human oligoadenylate synthetase 2(2020) Koul, Amit; Gemmill, Darren; Lubna, Nikhat; Meier, Markus; Krahn, Natalie; Booy, Evan P.; Stetefeld, Jörg; Patel, Trushar R.; McKenna, Sean A.Oligoadenylate synthetases (OASs) are a family of interferon-inducible enzymes that require double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) as a cofactor. Upon binding dsRNA, OAS undergoes a conformational change and is activated to polymerize ATP into 2′-5′-oligoadenylate chains. The OAS family consists of several isozymes, with unique domain organizations to potentially interact with dsRNA of variable length, providing diversity in viral RNA recognition. In addition, oligomerization of OAS isozymes, potentially OAS1 and OAS2, is hypothesized to be important for 2′-5′-oligoadenylate chain building. In this study, we present the solution conformation of dimeric human OAS2 using an integrated approach involving small-angle x-ray scattering, analytical ultracentrifugation, and dynamic light scattering techniques. We also demonstrate OAS2 dimerization using immunoprecipitation approaches in human cells. Whereas mutation of a key active-site aspartic acid residue prevents OAS2 activity, a C-terminal mutation previously hypothesized to disrupt OAS self-association had only a minor effect on OAS2 activity. Finally, we also present the solution structure of OAS1 monomer and dimer, comparing their hydrodynamic properties with OAS2. In summary, our work presents the first, to our knowledge, dimeric structural models of OAS2 that enhance our understanding of the oligomerization and catalytic function of OAS enzymes.
- ItemMolecular characterization of the RNA-protein complex directing -2/-1 programmed ribosomal frameshifting during arterivirus replilcase expression(American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2020) Patel, Ankoor; Treffers, Emmely E.; Meier, Markus; Patel, Trushar R.; Stetefeld, Jörg; Snijder, Eric J.; Mark, Brian L.Programmed ribosomal frameshifting (PRF) is a mechanism used by arteriviruses like porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) to generate multiple proteins from overlapping reading frames within its RNA genome. PRRSV employs −1 PRF directed by RNA secondary and tertiary structures within its viral genome (canonical PRF), as well as a noncanonical −1 and −2 PRF that are stimulated by the interactions of PRRSV nonstructural protein 1β (nsp1β) and host protein poly(C)-binding protein (PCBP) 1 or 2 with the viral genome. Together, nsp1β and one of the PCBPs act as transactivators that bind a C-rich motif near the shift site to stimulate −1 and −2 PRF, thereby enabling the ribosome to generate two frameshift products that are implicated in viral immune evasion. How nsp1β and PCBP associate with the viral RNA genome remains unclear. Here, we describe the purification of the nsp1β:PCBP2:viral RNA complex on a scale sufficient for structural analysis using small-angle X-ray scattering and stochiometric analysis by analytical ultracentrifugation. The proteins associate with the RNA C-rich motif as a 1:1:1 complex. The monomeric form of nsp1β within the complex differs from previously reported homodimer identified by X-ray crystallography. Functional analysis of the complex via mutational analysis combined with RNA-binding assays and cell-based frameshifting reporter assays reveal a number of key residues within nsp1β and PCBP2 that are involved in complex formation and function. Our results suggest that nsp1β and PCBP2 both interact directly with viral RNA during formation of the complex to coordinate this unusual PRF mechanism.
- ItemHost transcription factors in hepatitis B virus RNA synthesis(MDPI, 2020) Turton, Kristi L.; Meier-Stephenson, Vanessa; Badmalia, Maulik D.; Coffin, Carla S.; Patel, Trushar R.The hepatitis B virus (HBV) chronically infects over 250 million people worldwide and is one of the leading causes of liver cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. HBV persistence is due in part to the highly stable HBV minichromosome or HBV covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) that resides in the nucleus. As HBV replication requires the help of host transcription factors to replicate, focusing on host protein–HBV genome interactions may reveal insights into new drug targets against cccDNA. The structural details on such complexes, however, remain poorly defined. In this review, the current literature regarding host transcription factors’ interactions with HBV cccDNA is discussed.
- ItemBiodefense implications of new-world hantaviruses(Frontiers Media, 2020) D'Souza, Michael H.; Patel, Trushar R.Hantaviruses, part of the Bunyaviridae family, are a genus of negative-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses that cause two major diseases: New-World Hantavirus Cardiopulmonary Syndrome and Old-World Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome. Hantaviruses generally are found worldwide with each disease corresponding to their respective hemispheres. New-World Hantaviruses spread by specific rodent-host reservoirs and are categorized as emerging viruses that pose a threat to global health and security due to their high mortality rate and ease of transmission. Incidentally, reports of Hantavirus categorization as a bioweapon are often contradicted as both US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention refer to them as Category A and C bioagents respectively, each retaining qualitative levels of importance and severity. Concerns of Hantavirus being engineered into a novel bioagent has been thwarted by Hantaviruses being difficult to culture, isolate, and purify limiting its ability to be weaponized. However, the natural properties of Hantaviruses pose a threat that can be exploited by conventional and unconventional forces. This review seeks to clarify the categorization of Hantaviruses as a bioweapon, whilst defining the practicality of employing New-World Hantaviruses and their effect on armies, infrastructure, and civilian targets.