Linker 2 of the eukaryotic pre-ribosomal processing factor Mrd1p is an essential interdomain functionally coupled to upstream RNA Binding Domain 2 (RBD2).

Lackmann F, Belikov S, Wieslander L.

PLoS One. 2017 Apr 7;12(4):e0175506. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175506. eCollection 2017


Ribosome synthesis is an essential process in all cells. In Sacharomyces cerevisiae, the precursor rRNA, 35S pre-rRNA, is folded and assembled into a 90S pre-ribosomal complex. The 40S ribosomal subunit is processed from the pre-ribosomal complex. This requires concerted action of small nucleolar RNAs, such as U3 snoRNA, and a large number of trans-acting factors. Mrd1p, one of the essential small ribosomal subunit synthesis factors is required for cleavage of the 35S pre-rRNA to generate 18S rRNA of the small ribosomal subunit. Mrd1p is evolutionary conserved in all eukaryotes and in yeast it contains five RNA Binding Domains (RBDs) separated by linker regions. One of these linkers, Linker 2 between RBD2 and RBD3, is conserved in length, predicted to be structured and contains conserved clusters of amino acid residues. In this report, we have analysed Linker 2 mutations and demonstrate that it is essential for Mrd1p function during pre-ribosomal processing. Extensive changes of amino acid residues as well as specific changes of conserved clusters of amino acid residues were found to be incompatible with synthesis of pre-40S ribosomes and cell growth. In addition, gross changes in primary sequence of Linker 2 resulted in Mrd1p instability, leading to degradation of the N-terminal part of the protein. Our data indicates that Linker 2 is functionally coupled to RBD2 and argues for that these domains constitute a functional module in Mrd1p. We conclude that Linker 2 has an essential role for Mrd1p beyond just providing a defined length between RBD2 and RBD3.


Integration of mRNP formation and export

Björk P, Wieslander L.

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2017 Mar 17. doi: 10.1007/s00018-017-2503-3. [Epub ahead of print] Review.


Expression of protein-coding genes in eukaryotes relies on the coordinated action of many sophisticated molecular machineries. Transcription produces precursor mRNAs (pre-mRNAs) and the active gene provides an environment in which the pre-mRNAs are processed, folded, and assembled into RNA-protein (RNP) complexes. The dynamic pre-mRNPs incorporate the growing transcript, proteins, and the processing machineries, as well as the specific protein marks left after processing that are essential for export and the cytoplasmic fate of the mRNPs. After release from the gene, the mRNPs move by diffusion within the interchromatin compartment, making up pools of mRNPs. Here, splicing and polyadenylation can be completed and the mRNPs recruit the major export receptor NXF1. Export competent mRNPs interact with the nuclear pore complex, leading to export, concomitant with compositional and conformational changes of the mRNPs. We summarize the integrated nuclear processes involved in the formation and export of mRNPs.