Simoes-Barbosa A, Hirt RP, Johnson PJ
A Metazoan/Plant-like Capping Enzyme and Cap Modified Nucleotides in the Unicellular Eukaryote Trichomonas vaginalis.
PLoS Pathog. 2010;6(7):e1000999
Authors: Simoes-Barbosa A, Hirt RP, Johnson PJ
THE CAP STRUCTURE OF EUKARYOTIC MESSENGER RNAS IS INITIALLY ELABORATED THROUGH THREE ENZYMATIC REACTIONS: hydrolysis of the 5'-triphosphate, transfer of guanosine through a 5'-5' triphosphate linkage and N7-methylation of the guanine cap. Three distinctive enzymes catalyze each reaction in various microbial eukaryotes, whereas the first two enzymes are fused into a single polypeptide in metazoans and plants. In addition to the guanosine cap, adjacent nucleotides are 2'-O-ribose methylated in metazoa and plants, but not in yeast. Analyses of various cap structures have suggested a linear phylogenetic trend of complexity. These findings have led to a model in which plants and metazoa evolved a two-component capping apparatus and modification of adjacent nucleotides while many microbial eukaryotes maintained the three-component system and did not develop modification of adjacent nucleotides. Here, we have characterized a bifunctional capping enzyme in the divergent microbial eukaryote Trichomonas vaginalis using biochemical and phylogenetic analyses. This unicellular parasite was found to harbor a metazoan/plant-like capping apparatus that is represented by a two-domain polypeptide containing a C-terminus guanylyltransferase and a cysteinyl phosphatase triphosphatase, distinct from its counterpart in other microbial eukaryotes. In addition, T. vaginalis mRNAs contain a cap 1 structure represented by m(7)GpppAmpUp or m(7)GpppCmpUp; a feature typical of metazoan and plant mRNAs but absent in yeast mRNAs. Phylogenetic and biochemical analyses of the origin of the T. vaginalis capping enzyme suggests a complex evolutionary model where differential gene loss and/or acquisition occurred in the development of the RNA capping apparatus and cap modified nucleotides during eukaryote diversification.
PMID: 20664792 [PubMed - in process]