In vivo structure of the Ty1 retrotransposon RNA genome.

Nucleic Acids Research
Angelika AndrzejewskaKatarzyna Pachulska-Wieczorek

Abstract

Long terminal repeat (LTR)-retrotransposons constitute a significant part of eukaryotic genomes and influence their function and evolution. Like other RNA viruses, LTR-retrotransposons efficiently utilize their RNA genome to interact with host cell machinery during replication. Here, we provide the first genome-wide RNA secondary structure model for a LTR-retrotransposon in living cells. Using SHAPE probing, we explore the secondary structure of the yeast Ty1 retrotransposon RNA genome in its native in vivo state and under defined in vitro conditions. Comparative analyses reveal the strong impact of the cellular environment on folding of Ty1 RNA. In vivo, Ty1 genome RNA is significantly less structured and more dynamic but retains specific well-structured regions harboring functional cis-acting sequences. Ribosomes participate in the unfolding and remodeling of Ty1 RNA, and inhibition of translation initiation stabilizes Ty1 RNA structure. Together, our findings support the dual role of Ty1 genomic RNA as a template for protein synthesis and reverse transcription. This study also contributes to understanding how a complex multifunctional RNA genome folds in vivo, and strengthens the need for studying RNA structure in its natura...Continue Reading

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