Genes & Development
ISSN / EISSN: 08909369 / 15495477
Published by: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Total articles ≅ 8,664
Latest articles in this journal
Published: 26 May 2023
Genes & Development; https://doi.org/10.1101/gad.350275.122
DROSHA serves as a gatekeeper of the microRNA (miRNA) pathway by processing primary transcripts (pri-miRNAs). While the functions of structured domains of DROSHA have been well documented, the contribution of N-terminal proline-rich disordered domain (PRD) remains elusive. Here we show that the PRD promotes the processing of miRNA hairpins located within introns. We identified a DROSHA isoform (p140) lacking the PRD, which is produced by proteolytic cleavage. Small RNA sequencing revealed that p140 is significantly impaired in the maturation of intronic miRNAs. Consistently, our minigene constructs demonstrated that PRD enhances the processing of intronic hairpins, but not those in exons. Splice site mutations did not affect the PRD's enhancing effect on intronic constructs, suggesting that the PRD acts independently of splicing reaction by interacting with sequences residing within introns. The N-terminal regions from zebrafish andXenopusDROSHA can replace the human counterpart, indicating functional conservation despite poor sequence alignment. Moreover, we found that rapidly evolving intronic miRNAs are generally more dependent on PRD than conserved ones, suggesting a role of PRD in miRNA evolution. Our study reveals a new layer of miRNA regulation mediated by a low-complexity disordered domain that senses the genomic contexts of miRNA loci.
Published: 10 May 2023
Genes & Development; https://doi.org/10.1101/gad.350434.123
A wide range of sequencing methods has been developed to assess nascent RNA transcription and resolve the single-nucleotide position of RNA polymerase genome-wide. These techniques are often burdened with high input material requirements and lengthy protocols. We leveraged the template-switching properties of thermostable group II intron reverse transcriptase (TGIRT) and developed Butt-seq (bulk analysis of nascent transcript termini sequencing), which can produce libraries from purified nascent RNA in 6 h and from as few as 10,000 cells—an improvement of at least 10-fold over existing techniques. Butt-seq shows that inhibition of the superelongation complex (SEC) causes promoter-proximal pausing to move upstream in a fashion correlated with subnucleosomal fragments. To address transcriptional regulation in a tissue, Butt-seq was used to measure the circadian regulation of transcription from fly heads. All the results indicate that Butt-seq is a simple and powerful technique to analyze transcription at a high level of resolution.
Published: 3 May 2023
Genes & Development; https://doi.org/10.1101/gad.350518.123
RNA granules are mesoscale assemblies that form in the absence of limiting membranes. RNA granules contain factors for RNA biogenesis and turnover and are often assumed to represent specialized compartments for RNA biochemistry. Recent evidence suggests that RNA granules assemble by phase separation of subsoluble ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes that partially demix from the cytoplasm or nucleoplasm. We explore the possibility that some RNA granules are nonessential condensation by-products that arise when RNP complexes exceed their solubility limit as a consequence of cellular activity, stress, or aging. We describe the use of evolutionary and mutational analyses and single-molecule techniques to distinguish functional RNA granules from “incidental condensates.”
Published: 25 April 2023
Genes & Development; https://doi.org/10.1101/gad.350572.123
The RNA polymerase II core promoter is the site of convergence of the signals that lead to the initiation of transcription. Here, we performed a comparative analysis of the downstream core promoter region (DPR) inDrosophilaand humans by using machine learning. These studies revealed a distinct human-specific version of the DPR and led to the use of machine learning models for the identification of synthetic extreme DPR motifs with specificity for human transcription factors relative toDrosophilafactors and vice versa. More generally, machine learning models could similarly be used to design synthetic DNA elements with customized functional properties.
Published: 18 April 2023
Genes & Development, Volume 37, pp 336-350; https://doi.org/10.1101/gad.350353.122
The majority of our genome is composed of repeated DNA sequences that assemble into heterochromatin, a highly compacted structure that constrains their mutational potential. How heterochromatin forms during development and how its structure is maintained are not fully understood. Here, we show that mouse heterochromatin phase-separates after fertilization, during the earliest stages of mammalian embryogenesis. Using high-resolution quantitative imaging and molecular biology approaches, we show that pericentromeric heterochromatin displays properties consistent with a liquid-like state at the two-cell stage, which change at the four-cell stage, when chromocenters mature and heterochromatin becomes silent. Disrupting the condensates results in altered transcript levels of pericentromeric heterochromatin, suggesting a functional role for phase separation in heterochromatin function. Thus, our work shows that mouse heterochromatin forms membrane-less compartments with biophysical properties that change during development and provides new insights into the self-organization of chromatin domains during mammalian embryogenesis.
Published: 12 April 2023
Genes & Development, Volume 37, pp 259-260; https://doi.org/10.1101/gad.350627.123
Cohesin is an ATPase that drives chromosome organization through the generation of intramolecular loops and sister chromatid cohesion. Cohesin's ATPase is stimulated by Scc2 binding but attenuated by acetylation of its Smc3 subunit. In this issue ofGenes & Development, Boardman and colleagues (pp. XXX–XXX) take a genetic approach to generate a mechanistic model for the opposing regulation of cohesin's ATPase by Scc2 and Smc3 acetylation. Their findings provide in vivo insight into how this important genome organizer functions in vivo.
Published: 6 April 2023
Genes & Development, Volume 37, pp 303-320; https://doi.org/10.1101/gad.350078.122
MYC's key role in oncogenesis and tumor progression has long been established for most human cancers. In melanoma, its deregulated activity by amplification of 8q24 chromosome or by upstream signaling coming from activating mutations in the RAS/RAF/MAPK pathway—the most predominantly mutated pathway in this disease—turns MYC into not only a driver but also a facilitator of melanoma progression, with documented effects leading to an aggressive clinical course and resistance to targeted therapy. Here, by making use of Omomyc, the most characterized MYC inhibitor to date that has just successfully completed a phase I clinical trial, we show for the first time that MYC inhibition in melanoma induces remarkable transcriptional modulation, resulting in severely compromised tumor growth and a clear abrogation of metastatic capacity independently of the driver mutation. By reducing MYC's transcriptional footprint in melanoma, Omomyc elicits gene expression profiles remarkably similar to those of patients with good prognosis, underlining the therapeutic potential that such an approach could eventually have in the clinic in this dismal disease.
Published: 1 April 2023
Genes & Development, Volume 37, pp 277-290; https://doi.org/10.1101/gad.350278.122
The evolutionarily conserved cohesin complex mediates sister chromatid cohesion and facilitates mitotic chromosome condensation, DNA repair, and transcription regulation. These biological functions require cohesin's two ATPases, formed by the Smc1p and Smc3p subunits. Cohesin's ATPase activity is stimulated by the Scc2p auxiliary factor. This stimulation is inhibited by Eco1p acetylation of Smc3p at an interface with Scc2p. It was unclear how cohesin's ATPase activity is stimulated by Scc2p or how acetylation inhibits Scc2p, given that the acetylation site is distal to cohesin's ATPase active sites. Here, we identify mutations in budding yeast that suppressed the in vivo defects caused by Smc3p acetyl-mimic and acetyl-defective mutations. We provide compelling evidence that Scc2p activation of cohesin ATPase depends on an interface between Scc2p and a region of Smc1p proximal to cohesin's Smc3p ATPase active site. Furthermore, substitutions at this interface increase or decrease ATPase activity to overcome ATPase modulation by acetyl-mimic and acetyl-null mutations. Using these observations and an existing cryo-EM structure, we propose a model for regulating cohesin ATPase activity. We suggest that Scc2p binding to Smc1p causes the adjacent Smc1p residues and ATP to shift, stimulating Smc3p's ATPase. This stimulatory shift is inhibited through acetylation of the distal Scc2p–Smc3p interface.
Published: 1 April 2023
Genes & Development, Volume 37, pp 321-335; https://doi.org/10.1101/gad.350298.122
Several rRNA-modifying enzymes install rRNA modifications while participating in ribosome assembly. Here, we show that 18SrRNA methyltransferase DIMT1 is essential for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) proliferation through a noncatalytic function. We reveal that targeting a positively charged cleft of DIMT1, remote from the catalytic site, weakens the binding of DIMT1 to rRNA and mislocalizes DIMT1 to the nucleoplasm, in contrast to the primarily nucleolar localization of wild-type DIMT1. Mechanistically, rRNA binding is required for DIMT1 to undergo liquid–liquid phase separation, which explains the distinct nucleoplasm localization of the rRNA binding-deficient DIMT1. Re-expression of wild-type or a catalytically inactive mutant E85A, but not the rRNA binding-deficient DIMT1, supports AML cell proliferation. This study provides a new strategy to target DIMT1-regulated AML proliferation via targeting this essential noncatalytic region.
Published: 29 March 2023
Genes & Development, Volume 37, pp 291-302; https://doi.org/10.1101/gad.350339.122
Individual elements within a superenhancer can act in a cooperative or temporal manner, but the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. We recently identified anIrf8superenhancer, within which different elements act at distinct stages of type 1 classical dendritic cell (cDC1) development. The +41-kbIrf8enhancer is required for pre-cDC1 specification, while the +32-kbIrf8enhancer acts to support subsequent cDC1 maturation. Here, we found that compound heterozygous Δ32/Δ41 mice, lacking the +32- and +41-kb enhancers on different chromosomes, show normal pre-cDC1 specification but, surprisingly, completely lack mature cDC1 development, suggestingcisdependence of the +32-kb enhancer on the +41-kb enhancer. Transcription of the +32-kbIrf8enhancer-associated long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) Gm39266 is also dependent on the +41-kb enhancer. However, cDC1 development in mice remained intact when Gm39266 transcripts were eliminated by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion of lncRNA promoters and when transcription across the +32-kb enhancer was blocked by premature polyadenylation. We showed that chromatin accessibility and BATF3 binding at the +32-kb enhancer were dependent on a functional +41-kb enhancer located incis. Thus, the +41-kbIrf8enhancer controls the subsequent activation of the +32-kbIrf8enhancer in a manner that is independent of associated lncRNA transcription.