Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.524, No.2, 490-496, 2020
Crystal structure of Arabidopsis terminal uridylyl transferase URT1
3' uridylation is an essential modification associated with coding and noncoding RNA degradation in eukaryotes. In Arabidopsis, HESO1 was first identified as the major nucleotidyl transferase that uridylates most unmethylated miRNAs, and URT1 was later reported to play a redundant but important role in miRNA uridylation when HESO1 is absent. Two enzymes work sequentially and collaboratively to tail different forms of the same miRNAs in vivo. For mRNA, however, URT1 becomes the main enzyme to uridylate the majority of mRNA and repairs their deadenylated ends to restore the binding site for Poly(A) Binding Protein (PABP). HESO1, on the other hand, targets mostly the mRNAs with very short oligo(A) tails and fails in fulfilling the same task. To understand the structural basis these two functional homologues possess for their different substrate preferences and catalytic behaviors, we first determined the crystal structures of URT1 in the absence and presence of UTP. Our structures, together with functional assay and sequence analysis, indicated that URT1 has a conserved UTP-recognition mechanism analogue to the terminal uridylyl transferases from other species whereas HESO1 may evolve separately to recognize UTP in a different way. Moreover, URT1 N552 may be an important residue in interacting with 30 nucleotide of RNA substrate. The URT1 structure we determined represents the first structure of uridylyl transferase from plants, shedding light on the mechanisms of URT1/HESO1-dependent RNA metabolism. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.