Modification of Adenosine196 by Mettl3 Methyltransferase in the 5’-External Transcribed Spacer of 47S Pre-rRNA Affects rRNA Maturation

Authors: O. Sergeeva, P. Sergeev, P. Melnikov, T. Prikazchikova, O. Dontsova and T. Zatsepin

Journal: Cells

DOI: 10.3390/cells9041061

Publication - Abstract

April 24, 2020


Ribosome biogenesis is among the founding processes in the cell. During the first stages of ribosome biogenesis, polycistronic precursor of ribosomal RNA passes complex multistage maturation after transcription. Quality control of preribosomal RNA (pre-rRNA) processing is precisely regulated by non-ribosomal proteins and structural features of pre-rRNA molecules, including modified nucleotides. However, many participants of rRNA maturation are still unknown or poorly characterized. We report that RNA m6A methyltransferase Mettl3 interacts with the 5′ external transcribed spacer (5′ETS) of the 47S rRNA precursor and modifies adenosine 196. We demonstrated that Mettl3 knockdown results in the increase of pre-rRNA processing rates, while intracellular amounts of rRNA processing machinery components (U3, U8, U13, U14, and U17 small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA)and fibrillarin, nucleolin, Xrn2, and rrp9 proteins), rRNA degradation rates, and total amount of mature rRNA in the cell stay unchanged. Increased efficacy of pre-rRNA cleavage at A’ and A0 positions led to the decrease of 47S and 45S pre-rRNAs in the cell and increase of mature rRNA amount in the cytoplasm. The newly identified conserved motif DRACH sequence modified by Mettl3 in the 5′-ETS region is found and conserved only in primates, which may suggest participation of m6A196 in quality control of pre-rRNA processing at initial stages demanded by increased complexity of ribosome biogenesis.

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