American Chemical Society
jz3c03538_si_011.mpg (3.88 MB)

Tracing Allostery in the Spliceosome Ski2-like RNA Helicase Brr2

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posted on 2024-03-22, 14:41 authored by Francesco Guidarelli Mattioli, Andrea Saltalamacchia, Alessandra Magistrato
RNA ATPases/helicases remodel substrate RNA–protein complexes in distinct ways. The different RNA ATPases/helicases, taking part in the spliceosome complex, reshape the RNA/RNA-protein contacts to enable premature-mRNA splicing. Among them, the bad response to refrigeration 2 (Brr2) helicase promotes U4/U6 small nuclear (sn)RNA unwinding via ATP-driven translocation of the U4 snRNA strand, thus playing a pivotal role during the activation, catalytic, and disassembly phases of splicing. The plastic Brr2 architecture consists of an enzymatically active N-terminal cassette (N-cassette) and a structurally similar but inactive C-terminal cassette (C-cassette). The C-cassette, along with other allosteric effectors and regulators, tightly and timely controls Brr2’s function via an elusive mechanism. Here, microsecond-long molecular dynamics simulations, dynamical network theory, and community network analysis are combined to elucidate how allosteric effectors/regulators modulate the Brr2 function. We unexpectedly reveal that U4 snRNA itself acts as an allosteric regulator, amplifying the cross-talk of distal Brr2 domains and triggering a conformational reorganization of the protein. Our findings offer fundamental understanding into Brr2’s mechanism of action and broaden our knowledge on the sophisticated regulatory mechanisms by which spliceosome ATPases/helicases control gene expression. This includes their allosteric regulation exerted by client RNA strands, a mechanism that may be broadly applicable to other RNA-dependent ATPases/helicases.