Structural basis for dual roles of Aar2p in U5 snRNP assembly
Weber G., Cristão VF., Santos KF., Jovin SM., Heroven AC., Holton N., Lührmann R., Beggs JD., Wahl MC.
Yeast U5 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle (snRNP) is assembled via a cytoplasmic precursor that contains the U5-specific Prp8 protein but lacks the U5-specific Brr2 helicase. Instead, pre-U5 snRNP includes the Aar2 protein not found in mature U5 snRNP or spliceosomes. Aar2p and Brr2p bind competitively to a C-terminal region of Prp8p that comprises consecutive RNase H-like and Jab1/MPN-like domains. To elucidate the molecular basis for this competition, we determined the crystal structure of Aar2p in complex with the Prp8p RNase H and Jab1/MPN domains. Aar2p binds on one side of the RNase H domain and extends its C terminus to the other side, where the Jab1/MPN domain is docked onto a composite Aar2p–RNase H platform. Known Brr2p interaction sites of the Jab1/MPN domain remain available, suggesting that Aar2p-mediated compaction of the Prp8p domains sterically interferes with Brr2p binding. Moreover, Aar2p occupies known RNA-binding sites of the RNase H domain, and Aar2p interferes with binding of U4/U6 di-snRNA to the Prp8p C-terminal region. Structural and functional analyses of phospho-mimetic mutations reveal how phosphorylation reduces affinity of Aar2p for Prp8p and allows Brr2p and U4/U6 binding. Our results show how Aar2p regulates both protein and RNA binding to Prp8p during U5 snRNP assembly.