Publications by authors named "Mathias Munschauer"

23 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Atlas der SARS-CoV-2-RNA-Protein-Interaktionen in infizierten Zellen.

Biospektrum (Heidelb) 2021 26;27(4):376-379. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

Helmholtz-Institut für RNA-basierte Infektionsforschung (HIRI), Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung (HZI), Josef-Schneider-Straße 2/D15, D-97080 Würzburg, Deutschland.

Using RNA antisense purification and mass spectrometry, we identified more than 100 human proteins that directly and specifically bind SARS-CoV-2 RNA in infected cells. To gain insights into the functions of selected RNA interactors, we applied genetic perturbation and pharmacological inhibition experiments, and mapped the contact sites on the viral RNA. This led to the identification of host dependency factors and defense strategies, which can guide the design of novel therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12268-021-1587-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8233606PMC
June 2021

The Zinc Finger Antiviral Protein ZAP Restricts Human Cytomegalovirus and Selectively Binds and Destabilizes Viral / Transcripts.

mBio 2021 05 4;12(3). Epub 2021 May 4.

Viral Immune Modulation Research Group, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany

Interferon-stimulated gene products (ISGs) play a crucial role in early infection control. The ISG zinc finger CCCH-type antiviral protein 1 (ZAP/ZC3HAV1) antagonizes several RNA viruses by binding to CG-rich RNA sequences, whereas its effect on DNA viruses is less well understood. Here, we decipher the role of ZAP in the context of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection, a β-herpesvirus that is associated with high morbidity in immunosuppressed individuals and newborns. We show that expression of the two major isoforms of ZAP, ZAP-S and ZAP-L, is induced during HCMV infection and that both negatively affect HCMV replication. Transcriptome and proteome analyses demonstrated that the expression of ZAP results in reduced viral mRNA and protein levels and decelerates the progression of HCMV infection. Metabolic RNA labeling combined with high-throughput sequencing (SLAM-seq) revealed that most of the gene expression changes late in infection result from the general attenuation of HCMV. Furthermore, at early stages of infection, ZAP restricts HCMV by destabilizing a distinct subset of viral mRNAs, particularly those from the previously uncharacterized HCMV gene locus. Through enhanced cross-linking immunoprecipitation and sequencing analysis (eCLIP-seq), we identified the transcripts expressed from this HCMV locus as the direct targets of ZAP. Moreover, our data show that ZAP preferentially recognizes not only CG, but also other cytosine-rich sequences, thereby expanding its target specificity. In summary, this report is the first to reveal direct targets of ZAP during HCMV infection, which strongly indicates that transcripts from the locus may play an important role for HCMV replication. Viral infections have a large impact on society, leading to major human and economic losses and even global instability. So far, many viral infections, including human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection, are treated with a small repertoire of drugs, often accompanied by the occurrence of resistant mutants. There is no licensed HCMV vaccine in sight to protect those most at risk, particularly immunocompromised individuals or pregnant women who might otherwise transmit the virus to the fetus. Thus, the identification of novel intervention strategies is urgently required. In this study, we show that ZAP decelerates the viral gene expression cascade, presumably by selectively handpicking a distinct set of viral transcripts for degradation. Our study illustrates the potent role of ZAP as an HCMV restriction factor and sheds light on a possible role for UL4 and/or UL5 early during infection, paving a new avenue for the exploration of potential targets for novel therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.02683-20DOI Listing
May 2021

The SARS-CoV-2 RNA-protein interactome in infected human cells.

Nat Microbiol 2021 03 21;6(3):339-353. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research, Helmholtz-Center for Infection Research, Würzburg, Germany.

Characterizing the interactions that SARS-CoV-2 viral RNAs make with host cell proteins during infection can improve our understanding of viral RNA functions and the host innate immune response. Using RNA antisense purification and mass spectrometry, we identified up to 104 human proteins that directly and specifically bind to SARS-CoV-2 RNAs in infected human cells. We integrated the SARS-CoV-2 RNA interactome with changes in proteome abundance induced by viral infection and linked interactome proteins to cellular pathways relevant to SARS-CoV-2 infections. We demonstrated by genetic perturbation that cellular nucleic acid-binding protein (CNBP) and La-related protein 1 (LARP1), two of the most strongly enriched viral RNA binders, restrict SARS-CoV-2 replication in infected cells and provide a global map of their direct RNA contact sites. Pharmacological inhibition of three other RNA interactome members, PPIA, ATP1A1, and the ARP2/3 complex, reduced viral replication in two human cell lines. The identification of host dependency factors and defence strategies as presented in this work will improve the design of targeted therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41564-020-00846-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7906908PMC
March 2021

The lncRNA lincNMR regulates nucleotide metabolism via a YBX1 - RRM2 axis in cancer.

Nat Commun 2020 06 25;11(1):3214. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Division of RNA Biology & Cancer, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Long intergenic non-coding RNA-Nucleotide Metabolism Regulator (lincNMR) is a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) which is induced in hepatocellular carcinoma. Its depletion invokes a proliferation defect, triggers senescence and inhibits colony formation in liver, but also breast and lung cancer cells. Triple-label SILAC proteomics profiles reveal a deregulation of key cell cycle regulators in lincNMR-depleted cells like the key dNTP synthesizing enzymes RRM2, TYMS and TK1, implicating lincNMR in regulating nucleotide metabolism. LincNMR silencing decreases dNTP levels, while exogenous dNTPs rescues the proliferation defect induced by lincNMR depletion. In vivo RNA Antisense Purification (RAP-MS) identifies YBX1 as a direct interaction partner of lincNMR which regulates RRM2, TYMS and TK1 expression and binds to their promoter regions. In a Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) in vivo model, lincNMR-depleted tumors are significantly smaller. In summary, we discover a lincRNA, lincNMR, which regulates tumor cell proliferation through a YBX1-RRM2-TYMS-TK1 axis governing nucleotide metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17007-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7316977PMC
June 2020

Control of human hemoglobin switching by LIN28B-mediated regulation of BCL11A translation.

Nat Genet 2020 02 20;52(2):138-145. Epub 2020 Jan 20.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Increased production of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) can ameliorate the severity of sickle cell disease and β-thalassemia. BCL11A represses the genes encoding HbF and regulates human hemoglobin switching through variation in its expression during development. However, the mechanisms underlying the developmental expression of BCL11A remain mysterious. Here we show that BCL11A is regulated at the level of messenger RNA (mRNA) translation during human hematopoietic development. Despite decreased BCL11A protein synthesis earlier in development, BCL11A mRNA continues to be associated with ribosomes. Through unbiased genomic and proteomic analyses, we demonstrate that the RNA-binding protein LIN28B, which is developmentally expressed in a pattern reciprocal to that of BCL11A, directly interacts with ribosomes and BCL11A mRNA. Furthermore, we show that BCL11A mRNA translation is suppressed by LIN28B through direct interactions, independently of its role in regulating let-7 microRNAs, and that BCL11A is the major target of LIN28B-mediated HbF induction. Our results reveal a previously unappreciated mechanism underlying human hemoglobin switching that illuminates new therapeutic opportunities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0568-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7031047PMC
February 2020

Context-specific regulation of cell survival by a miRNA-controlled BIM rheostat.

Genes Dev 2019 12 7;33(23-24):1673-1687. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Berlin-Buch 13125, Germany.

Knockout of the ubiquitously expressed miRNA-17∼92 cluster in mice produces a lethal developmental lung defect, skeletal abnormalities, and blocked B lymphopoiesis. A shared target of miR-17∼92 miRNAs is the pro-apoptotic protein BIM, central to life-death decisions in mammalian cells. To clarify the contribution of miR-17∼92:Bim interactions to the complex miR-17∼92 knockout phenotype, we used a system of conditional mutagenesis of the nine 3' UTR miR-17∼92 seed matches. Blocking miR-17∼92:Bim interactions early in development phenocopied the lethal lung phenotype of miR-17∼92 ablation and generated a skeletal kinky tail. In the hematopoietic system, instead of causing the predicted B cell developmental block, it produced a selective inability of B cells to resist cellular stress; and prevented B and T cell hyperplasia caused by haploinsufficiency. Thus, the interaction of miR-17∼92 with a single target is essential for life, and BIM regulation by miRNAs serves as a rheostat controlling cell survival in specific physiological contexts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gad.330134.119DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6942046PMC
December 2019

New insights into the cellular temporal response to proteostatic stress.

Elife 2018 10 12;7. Epub 2018 Oct 12.

Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, Department of Biology, New York University, New York, United States.

Maintaining a healthy proteome involves all layers of gene expression regulation. By quantifying temporal changes of the transcriptome, translatome, proteome, and RNA-protein interactome in cervical cancer cells, we systematically characterize the molecular landscape in response to proteostatic challenges. We identify shared and specific responses to misfolded proteins and to oxidative stress, two conditions that are tightly linked. We reveal new aspects of the unfolded protein response, including many genes that escape global translation shutdown. A subset of these genes supports rerouting of energy production in the mitochondria. We also find that many genes change at multiple levels, in either the same or opposing directions, and at different time points. We highlight a variety of putative regulatory pathways, including the stress-dependent alternative splicing of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, and protein-RNA binding within the 3' untranslated region of molecular chaperones. These results illustrate the potential of this information-rich resource.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.39054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6185107PMC
October 2018

The NORAD lncRNA assembles a topoisomerase complex critical for genome stability.

Nature 2018 09 27;561(7721):132-136. Epub 2018 Aug 27.

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA.

The human genome contains thousands of long non-coding RNAs, but specific biological functions and biochemical mechanisms have been discovered for only about a dozen. A specific long non-coding RNA-non-coding RNA activated by DNA damage (NORAD)-has recently been shown to be required for maintaining genomic stability, but its molecular mechanism is unknown. Here we combine RNA antisense purification and quantitative mass spectrometry to identify proteins that directly interact with NORAD in living cells. We show that NORAD interacts with proteins involved in DNA replication and repair in steady-state cells and localizes to the nucleus upon stimulation with replication stress or DNA damage. In particular, NORAD interacts with RBMX, a component of the DNA-damage response, and contains the strongest RBMX-binding site in the transcriptome. We demonstrate that NORAD controls the ability of RBMX to assemble a ribonucleoprotein complex-which we term NORAD-activated ribonucleoprotein complex 1 (NARC1)-that contains the known suppressors of genomic instability topoisomerase I (TOP1), ALYREF and the PRPF19-CDC5L complex. Cells depleted for NORAD or RBMX display an increased frequency of chromosome segregation defects, reduced replication-fork velocity and altered cell-cycle progression-which represent phenotypes that are mechanistically linked to TOP1 and PRPF19-CDC5L function. Expression of NORAD in trans can rescue defects caused by NORAD depletion, but rescue is significantly impaired when the RBMX-binding site in NORAD is deleted. Our results demonstrate that the interaction between NORAD and RBMX is important for NORAD function, and that NORAD is required for the assembly of the previously unknown topoisomerase complex NARC1, which contributes to maintaining genomic stability. In addition, we uncover a previously unknown function for long non-coding RNAs in modulating the ability of an RNA-binding protein to assemble a higher-order ribonucleoprotein complex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0453-zDOI Listing
September 2018

Nuclear lncRNA stabilization in the host response to bacterial infection.

EMBO J 2018 07 22;37(13). Epub 2018 Jun 22.

Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI), Würzburg, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/embj.201899875DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6028025PMC
July 2018

Ribosome Levels Selectively Regulate Translation and Lineage Commitment in Human Hematopoiesis.

Cell 2018 03 15;173(1):90-103.e19. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children's Hospital and Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA. Electronic address:

Blood cell formation is classically thought to occur through a hierarchical differentiation process, although recent studies have shown that lineage commitment may occur earlier in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). The relevance to human blood diseases and the underlying regulation of these refined models remain poorly understood. By studying a genetic blood disorder, Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA), where the majority of mutations affect ribosomal proteins and the erythroid lineage is selectively perturbed, we are able to gain mechanistic insight into how lineage commitment is programmed normally and disrupted in disease. We show that in DBA, the pool of available ribosomes is limited, while ribosome composition remains constant. Surprisingly, this global reduction in ribosome levels more profoundly alters translation of a select subset of transcripts. We show how the reduced translation of select transcripts in HSPCs can impair erythroid lineage commitment, illuminating a regulatory role for ribosome levels in cellular differentiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2018.02.036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5866246PMC
March 2018

Developmentally-faithful and effective human erythropoiesis in immunodeficient and Kit mutant mice.

Am J Hematol 2017 Sep 19;92(9):E513-E519. Epub 2017 Jul 19.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, The Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research, Boston Children's Hospital and Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Immunodeficient mouse models have been valuable for studies of human hematopoiesis, but high-fidelity recapitulation of erythropoiesis in most xenograft recipients remains elusive. Recently developed immunodeficient and Kit mutant mice, however, have provided a suitable background to achieve higher-level human erythropoiesis after long-term hematopoietic engraftment. While there has been some characterization of human erythropoiesis in these models, a comprehensive analysis from various human developmental stages has not yet been reported. Here, we have utilized cell surface phenotypes, morphologic analyses, and molecular studies to fully characterize human erythropoiesis from multiple developmental stages in immunodeficient and Kit mutant mouse models following long-term hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell engraftment. We show that human erythropoiesis in such models demonstrates complete maturation and enucleation, as well as developmentally appropriate globin gene expression. These results provide a framework for future studies to utilize this model system for interrogating disorders affecting human erythropoiesis and for developing improved therapeutic approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.24805DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5546987PMC
September 2017

Systematic mapping of functional enhancer-promoter connections with CRISPR interference.

Science 2016 11 29;354(6313):769-773. Epub 2016 Sep 29.

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.

Gene expression in mammals is regulated by noncoding elements that can affect physiology and disease, yet the functions and target genes of most noncoding elements remain unknown. We present a high-throughput approach that uses clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) interference (CRISPRi) to discover regulatory elements and identify their target genes. We assess >1 megabase of sequence in the vicinity of two essential transcription factors, MYC and GATA1, and identify nine distal enhancers that control gene expression and cellular proliferation. Quantitative features of chromatin state and chromosome conformation distinguish the seven enhancers that regulate MYC from other elements that do not, suggesting a strategy for predicting enhancer-promoter connectivity. This CRISPRi-based approach can be applied to dissect transcriptional networks and interpret the contributions of noncoding genetic variation to human disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aag2445DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5438575PMC
November 2016

Comprehensive Protein Interactome Analysis of a Key RNA Helicase: Detection of Novel Stress Granule Proteins.

Biomolecules 2015 Jul 15;5(3):1441-66. Epub 2015 Jul 15.

Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, Department of Biology, New York University, 12 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10003, USA.

DDX6 (p54/RCK) is a human RNA helicase with central roles in mRNA decay and translation repression. To help our understanding of how DDX6 performs these multiple functions, we conducted the first unbiased, large-scale study to map the DDX6-centric protein-protein interactome using immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry. Using DDX6 as bait, we identify a high-confidence and high-quality set of protein interaction partners which are enriched for functions in RNA metabolism and ribosomal proteins. The screen is highly specific, maximizing the number of true positives, as demonstrated by the validation of 81% (47/58) of the RNA-independent interactors through known functions and interactions. Importantly, we minimize the number of indirect interaction partners through use of a nuclease-based digestion to eliminate RNA. We describe eleven new interactors, including proteins involved in splicing which is an as-yet unknown role for DDX6. We validated and characterized in more detail the interaction of DDX6 with Nuclear fragile X mental retardation-interacting protein 2 (NUFIP2) and with two previously uncharacterized proteins, FAM195A and FAM195B (here referred to as granulin-1 and granulin-2, or GRAN1 and GRAN2). We show that NUFIP2, GRAN1, and GRAN2 are not P-body components, but re-localize to stress granules upon exposure to stress, suggesting a function in translation repression in the cellular stress response. Using a complementary analysis that resolved DDX6's multiple complex memberships, we further validated these interaction partners and the presence of splicing factors. As DDX6 also interacts with the E3 SUMO ligase TIF1β, we tested for and observed a significant enrichment of sumoylation amongst DDX6's interaction partners. Our results represent the most comprehensive screen for direct interaction partners of a key regulator of RNA life cycle and localization, highlighting new stress granule components and possible DDX6 functions-many of which are likely conserved across eukaryotes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom5031441DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4598758PMC
July 2015

MOV10 Is a 5' to 3' RNA helicase contributing to UPF1 mRNA target degradation by translocation along 3' UTRs.

Mol Cell 2014 May 10;54(4):573-85. Epub 2014 Apr 10.

Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology, 13125 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:

RNA helicases are important regulators of gene expression that act by remodeling RNA secondary structures and RNA-protein interactions. Here, we demonstrate that MOV10 has an ATP-dependent 5' to 3' in vitro RNA unwinding activity and determine the RNA-binding sites of MOV10 and its helicase mutants using PAR-CLIP. We find that MOV10 predominantly binds to 3' UTRs upstream of regions predicted to form local secondary structures and provide evidence that MOV10 helicase mutants are impaired in their ability to translocate 5' to 3' on their mRNA targets. MOV10 interacts with UPF1, the key component of the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway. PAR-CLIP of UPF1 reveals that MOV10 and UPF1 bind to RNA in close proximity. Knockdown of MOV10 resulted in increased mRNA half-lives of MOV10-bound as well as UPF1-regulated transcripts, suggesting that MOV10 functions in UPF1-mediated mRNA degradation as an RNA clearance factor to resolve structures and displace proteins from 3' UTRs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2014.03.017DOI Listing
May 2014

Differential protein occupancy profiling of the mRNA transcriptome.

Genome Biol 2014 Jan 13;15(1):R15. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

Background: RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) mediate mRNA biogenesis, translation and decay. We recently developed an approach to profile transcriptome-wide RBP contacts on polyadenylated transcripts by next-generation sequencing. A comparison of such profiles from different biological conditions has the power to unravel dynamic changes in protein-contacted cis-regulatory mRNA regions without a priori knowledge of the regulatory protein component.

Results: We compared protein occupancy profiles of polyadenylated transcripts in MCF7 and HEK293 cells. Briefly, we developed a bioinformatics workflow to identify differential crosslinking sites in cDNA reads of 4-thiouridine crosslinked polyadenylated RNA samples. We identified 30,000 differential crosslinking sites between MCF7 and HEK293 cells at an estimated false discovery rate of 10%. 73% of all reported differential protein-RNA contact sites cannot be explained by local changes in exon usage as indicated by complementary RNA-seq data. The majority of differentially crosslinked positions are located in 3' UTRs, show distinct secondary-structure characteristics and overlap with binding sites of known RBPs, such as ELAVL1. Importantly, mRNA transcripts with the most significant occupancy changes show elongated mRNA half-lives in MCF7 cells.

Conclusions: We present a global comparison of protein occupancy profiles from different cell types, and provide evidence for altered mRNA metabolism as a result of differential protein-RNA contacts. Additionally, we introduce POPPI, a bioinformatics workflow for the analysis of protein occupancy profiling experiments. Our work demonstrates the value of protein occupancy profiling for assessing cis-regulatory RNA sequence space and its dynamics in growth, development and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2014-15-1-r15DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4056462PMC
January 2014

High-resolution profiling of protein occupancy on polyadenylated RNA transcripts.

Methods 2014 Feb 1;65(3):302-9. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology, Robert-Rössle Str. 10, 13125 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:

A key prerequisite to understand how gene regulatory processes are controlled by the interplay of RNA-binding proteins and ribonucleoprotein complexes with RNAs is the generation of comprehensive high-resolution maps of protein-RNA interactions. Recent advances in next-generation sequencing technology accelerated the development of various crosslinking and immunoprecipitation (CLIP) approaches to broadly identify RNA regions contacted by RNA-binding proteins. However these methods only consider single RNA-binding proteins and their contact sites, irrespective of the overall cis-regulatory sequence space contacted by other RNA interacting factors. Here we describe the application of protein occupancy profiling, a novel approach that globally displays the RNA contact sites of the poly(A)+ RNA-bound proteome. Protein occupancy profiling enables the generation of transcriptome-wide maps of protein-RNA interactions on polyadenylated transcripts and narrows the sequence search space for transcript regions involved in cis-regulation of gene expression in response to internal or external stimuli, altered cellular programs or disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymeth.2013.09.017DOI Listing
February 2014

Identification of LIN28B-bound mRNAs reveals features of target recognition and regulation.

RNA Biol 2013 Jul 29;10(7):1146-59. Epub 2013 May 29.

Systems Biology of Gene Regulatory Elements; Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine; Berlin, Germany.

The conserved human LIN28 RNA-binding proteins function in development, maintenance of pluripotency and oncogenesis. We used PAR-CLIP and a newly developed variant of this method, iDo-PAR-CLIP, to identify LIN28B targets as well as sites bound by the individual RNA-binding domains of LIN28B in the human transcriptome at nucleotide resolution. The position of target binding sites reflected the known structural relative orientation of individual LIN28B-binding domains, validating iDo-PAR-CLIP. Our data suggest that LIN28B directly interacts with most expressed mRNAs and members of the let-7 microRNA family. The Lin28-binding motif detected in pre-let-7 was enriched in mRNA sequences bound by LIN28B. Upon LIN28B knockdown, cell proliferation and the cell cycle were strongly impaired. Quantitative shotgun proteomics of LIN28B depleted cells revealed significant reduction of protein synthesis from its RNA targets. Computational analyses provided evidence that the strength of protein synthesis reduction correlated with the location of LIN28B binding sites within target transcripts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/rna.25194DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3849162PMC
July 2013

Circular RNAs are a large class of animal RNAs with regulatory potency.

Nature 2013 Mar 27;495(7441):333-8. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

Systems Biology of Gene Regulatory Elements, Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, Robert-Rössle-Strasse 10, 13125 Berlin, Germany.

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) in animals are an enigmatic class of RNA with unknown function. To explore circRNAs systematically, we sequenced and computationally analysed human, mouse and nematode RNA. We detected thousands of well-expressed, stable circRNAs, often showing tissue/developmental-stage-specific expression. Sequence analysis indicated important regulatory functions for circRNAs. We found that a human circRNA, antisense to the cerebellar degeneration-related protein 1 transcript (CDR1as), is densely bound by microRNA (miRNA) effector complexes and harbours 63 conserved binding sites for the ancient miRNA miR-7. Further analyses indicated that CDR1as functions to bind miR-7 in neuronal tissues. Human CDR1as expression in zebrafish impaired midbrain development, similar to knocking down miR-7, suggesting that CDR1as is a miRNA antagonist with a miRNA-binding capacity ten times higher than any other known transcript. Together, our data provide evidence that circRNAs form a large class of post-transcriptional regulators. Numerous circRNAs form by head-to-tail splicing of exons, suggesting previously unrecognized regulatory potential of coding sequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11928DOI Listing
March 2013

FMRP targets distinct mRNA sequence elements to regulate protein expression.

Nature 2012 Dec 12;492(7429):382-6. Epub 2012 Dec 12.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Laboratory of RNA Molecular Biology, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10065, USA.

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a multi-organ disease that leads to mental retardation, macro-orchidism in males and premature ovarian insufficiency in female carriers. FXS is also a prominent monogenic disease associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). FXS is typically caused by the loss of fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) expression, which codes for the RNA-binding protein FMRP. Here we report the discovery of distinct RNA-recognition elements that correspond to the two independent RNA-binding domains of FMRP, in addition to the binding sites within the messenger RNA targets for wild-type and I304N mutant FMRP isoforms and the FMRP paralogues FXR1P and FXR2P (also known as FXR1 and FXR2). RNA-recognition-element frequency, ratio and distribution determine target mRNA association with FMRP. Among highly enriched targets, we identify many genes involved in ASD and show that FMRP affects their protein levels in human cell culture, mouse ovaries and human brain. Notably, we discovered that these targets are also dysregulated in Fmr1(-/-) mouse ovaries showing signs of premature follicular overdevelopment. These results indicate that FMRP targets share signalling pathways across different cellular contexts. As the importance of signalling pathways in both FXS and ASD is becoming increasingly apparent, our results provide a ranked list of genes as basis for the pursuit of new therapeutic targets for these neurological disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11737DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3528815PMC
December 2012

The mRNA-bound proteome and its global occupancy profile on protein-coding transcripts.

Mol Cell 2012 Jun;46(5):674-90

Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology, 13125 Berlin, Germany.

Protein-RNA interactions are fundamental to core biological processes, such as mRNA splicing, localization, degradation, and translation. We developed a photoreactive nucleotide-enhanced UV crosslinking and oligo(dT) purification approach to identify the mRNA-bound proteome using quantitative proteomics and to display the protein occupancy on mRNA transcripts by next-generation sequencing. Application to a human embryonic kidney cell line identified close to 800 proteins. To our knowledge, nearly one-third were not previously annotated as RNA binding, and about 15% were not predictable by computational methods to interact with RNA. Protein occupancy profiling provides a transcriptome-wide catalog of potential cis-regulatory regions on mammalian mRNAs and showed that large stretches in 3' UTRs can be contacted by the mRNA-bound proteome, with numerous putative binding sites in regions harboring disease-associated nucleotide polymorphisms. Our observations indicate the presence of a large number of mRNA binders with diverse molecular functions participating in combinatorial posttranscriptional gene-expression networks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2012.05.021DOI Listing
June 2012

PAR-CliP--a method to identify transcriptome-wide the binding sites of RNA binding proteins.

J Vis Exp 2010 Jul 2(41). Epub 2010 Jul 2.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Laboratory of RNA Molecular Biology, Rockefeller University, USA.

RNA transcripts are subjected to post-transcriptional gene regulation by interacting with hundreds of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and microRNA-containing ribonucleoprotein complexes (miRNPs) that are often expressed in a cell-type dependently. To understand how the interplay of these RNA-binding factors affects the regulation of individual transcripts, high resolution maps of in vivo protein-RNA interactions are necessary. A combination of genetic, biochemical and computational approaches are typically applied to identify RNA-RBP or RNA-RNP interactions. Microarray profiling of RNAs associated with immunopurified RBPs (RIP-Chip) defines targets at a transcriptome level, but its application is limited to the characterization of kinetically stable interactions and only in rare cases allows to identify the RBP recognition element (RRE) within the long target RNA. More direct RBP target site information is obtained by combining in vivo UV crosslinking with immunoprecipitation followed by the isolation of crosslinked RNA segments and cDNA sequencing (CLIP). CLIP was used to identify targets of a number of RBPs. However, CLIP is limited by the low efficiency of UV 254 nm RNA-protein crosslinking, and the location of the crosslink is not readily identifiable within the sequenced crosslinked fragments, making it difficult to separate UV-crosslinked target RNA segments from background non-crosslinked RNA fragments also present in the sample. We developed a powerful cell-based crosslinking approach to determine at high resolution and transcriptome-wide the binding sites of cellular RBPs and miRNPs that we term PAR-CliP (Photoactivatable-Ribonucleoside-Enhanced Crosslinking and Immunoprecipitation) (see Fig. 1A for an outline of the method). The method relies on the incorporation of photoreactive ribonucleoside analogs, such as 4-thiouridine (4-SU) and 6-thioguanosine (6-SG) into nascent RNA transcripts by living cells. Irradiation of the cells by UV light of 365 nm induces efficient crosslinking of photoreactive nucleoside-labeled cellular RNAs to interacting RBPs. Immunoprecipitation of the RBP of interest is followed by isolation of the crosslinked and coimmunoprecipitated RNA. The isolated RNA is converted into a cDNA library and deep sequenced using Solexa technology. One characteristic feature of cDNA libraries prepared by PAR-CliP is that the precise position of crosslinking can be identified by mutations residing in the sequenced cDNA. When using 4-SU, crosslinked sequences thymidine to cytidine transition, whereas using 6-SG results in guanosine to adenosine mutations. The presence of the mutations in crosslinked sequences makes it possible to separate them from the background of sequences derived from abundant cellular RNAs. Application of the method to a number of diverse RNA binding proteins was reported in Hafner et al.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/2034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156069PMC
July 2010

Transcriptome-wide identification of RNA-binding protein and microRNA target sites by PAR-CLIP.

Cell 2010 Apr;141(1):129-41

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Laboratory of RNA Molecular Biology, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, Box 186, New York, NY 10065, USA.

RNA transcripts are subject to posttranscriptional gene regulation involving hundreds of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and microRNA-containing ribonucleoprotein complexes (miRNPs) expressed in a cell-type dependent fashion. We developed a cell-based crosslinking approach to determine at high resolution and transcriptome-wide the binding sites of cellular RBPs and miRNPs. The crosslinked sites are revealed by thymidine to cytidine transitions in the cDNAs prepared from immunopurified RNPs of 4-thiouridine-treated cells. We determined the binding sites and regulatory consequences for several intensely studied RBPs and miRNPs, including PUM2, QKI, IGF2BP1-3, AGO/EIF2C1-4 and TNRC6A-C. Our study revealed that these factors bind thousands of sites containing defined sequence motifs and have distinct preferences for exonic versus intronic or coding versus untranslated transcript regions. The precise mapping of binding sites across the transcriptome will be critical to the interpretation of the rapidly emerging data on genetic variation between individuals and how these variations contribute to complex genetic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2010.03.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2861495PMC
April 2010