廣瀬 哲郎 (HIROSE, Tetsuro)

廣瀬 哲郎 (HIROSE, Tetsuro)

北海道大学 遺伝子病制御研究所 教授
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NEAT1_2 long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) is the molecular scaffold of paraspeckle nuclear bodies. Here, we report an improved RNA extraction method: extensive needle shearing or heating of cell lysate in RNA extraction reagent improved NEAT1_2 extraction by 20‐fold (a property we term “semi‐extractability”), whereas using a conventional method NEAT1_2 was trapped in the protein phase. The improved extraction method enabled us to estimate that approximately 50 NEAT1_2 molecules are present in a single paraspeckle. Another architectural lncRNA, IGS16, also exhibited similar semi‐extractability. A comparison of RNA‐seq data from needle‐sheared and control samples revealed the existence of multiple semi‐extractable RNAs, many of which were localized in subnuclear granule‐like structures. The semi‐extractability of NEAT1_2 correlated with its association with paraspeckle proteins and required the prion‐like domain of the RNA‐binding protein FUS. This observation suggests that tenacious RNA–protein and protein–protein interactions, which drive nuclear body formation, are responsible for semi‐extractability. Our findings provide a foundation for the discovery of the architectural RNAs that constitute nuclear bodies.

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Paraspeckles are nuclear bodies built on the long noncoding RNA Neat1, which regulates a variety of physiological processes including cancer progression and corpus luteum formation. To obtain further insight into the molecular basis of the function of paraspeckles, we performed fine structural analyses of these nuclear bodies using structural illumination microscopy. Notably, paraspeckle proteins are found within different layers along the radially arranged bundles of Neat1 transcripts, forming a characteristic core-shell spheroidal structure. In cells lacking the RNA binding protein Fus, paraspeckle spheroids are disassembled into smaller particles containing Neat1, which are diffusely distributed in the nucleoplasm. Sequencing analysis of RNAs purified from paraspeckles revealed that AG-rich transcripts associate with Neat1, which are distributed along the shell of the paraspeckle spheroids. We propose that paraspeckles sequester core components inside the spheroids, whereas the outer surface associates with other components in the nucleoplasm to fulfill their function.

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The mammalian cell nucleus contains membraneless suborganelles referred to as nuclear bodies (NBs). Some NBs are formed with an architectural RNA (arcRNA) as the structural core. Here, we searched for new NBs that are built on unidentified arcRNAs by screening for ribonuclease (RNase)-sensitive NBs using 32,651 fluorescently tagged human cDNA clones. We identified 32 tagged proteins that required RNA for their localization in distinct nuclear foci. Among them, seven RNA-binding proteins commonly localized in the Sam68 nuclear body (SNB), which was disrupted by RNase treatment. Knockdown of each SNB protein revealed that SNBs are composed of two distinct RNase-sensitive substructures. One substructure is present as a distinct NB, termed the DBC1 body, in certain conditions, and the more dynamic substructure including Sam68 joins to form the intact SNB. HNRNPL acts as the adaptor to combine the two substructures and form the intact SNB through the interaction of two sets of RNA recognition motifs with the putative arcRNAs in the respective substructures.

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This special issue aims to assemble available knowledge on long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) and provide future research directions for discovering the molecular functions of this emerging family of molecules. The genomes of eukaryotes, particularly mammalian species including human and mouse, possess large chunks of nonprotein-coding regions. Only 2% of the human genome is dedicated to coding for proteins; the remainder is constituted of noncoding regions, which are for the most part functionally unannotated. At the beginning of the postgenomic era, transcriptome genome-wide analyses in various organisms unexpectedly revealed that large portions of the mammalian genome produce numerous transcripts that lack protein-coding potential. Among these RNAs, noncoding transcripts longer than 200 nt are arbitrary referred to as “lncRNAs”. Many lncRNAs are expressed at low levels, exhibit tissue- or cell type specific expression patterns, and are not as well conserved between species as protein-coding mRNAs. LncRNAs share common features with protein-coding mRNAs; for instance, with few exceptions, they are transcribed by RNA polymerase II, possess the canonical cap structure at their 5′ termini, and their 3′ termini are polyadenylated. Nevertheless, many lncRNAs are not subject to nuclear export and function within the nucleus, which is in sharp contrast to mRNAs that are transported to the cytoplasm and translated into proteins. Notably, a group of lncRNAs, once classified as lncRNAs, have now been found to encode small polypeptides, making it necessary to establish new methods to distinguish lncRNAs from polypeptide-coding RNAs...

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A number of non-membranous cellular bodies have been identified in higher eukaryotes, and these bodies contain a specific set of proteins and RNAs that are used to fulfill their functions. The size of these RNA-containing cellular bodies is usually on a submicron scale, making it difficult to observe fine structures using optical microscopy due to the diffraction limitation of visible light. Recently, microscope companies have released super-resolution microscopes that were developed using different principles, enabling the observation of sub-micron structures not resolvable in conventional fluorescent microscopy. Here, we describe multi-color fluorescent in situ hybridization techniques optimized for the simultaneous detection of RNA and proteins using super-resolution microscopy, namely structured illumination microscopy (SIM).

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Prion-like domains (PLDs) are low complexity sequences found in RNA binding proteins associated with the neurodegenerative disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Recently, PLDs have been implicated in mediating gene regulation via liquid-phase transitions that drive ribonucleoprotein granule assembly. In this paper, we report many PLDs in proteins associated with paraspeckles, subnuclear bodies that form around long noncoding RNA. We mapped the interactome network of paraspeckle proteins, finding enrichment of PLDs. We show that one protein, RBM14, connects key paraspeckle subcomplexes via interactions mediated by its PLD. We further show that the RBM14 PLD, as well as the PLD of another essential paraspeckle protein, FUS, is required to rescue paraspeckle formation in cells in which their endogenous counterpart has been knocked down. Similar to FUS, the RBM14 PLD also forms hydrogels with amyloid-like properties. These results suggest a role for PLD-mediated liquid-phase transitions in paraspeckle formation, highlighting this nuclear body as an excellent model system for understanding the perturbation of such processes in neurodegeneration.

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  • Authors +Hennig S, +Kong G, Mannen T, Sadowska A, Kobelke S, Blythe A, Knott GJ, Iyer KS, Ho D, Newcombe EA, Hosoki K, Goshima N, Kawaguchi T, Hatters D, Trinkle-Mulcahy L, *Hirose T, *Bond CS, *Fox AH.

This volume focuses on cytological, biochemical, and molecular biological methods to identify and examine the function of each nuclear body, with an emphasis on the analysis of long non-coding RNAs. Chapters focus on exploring recent studies that reveal how certain long non protein-coding RNAs accumulate in specific nuclear bodies and regulate the function of the bodies by serving as architectural components or controlling the dynamics of associating protein components. Written in the highly successful Methods of Molecular Biology series format, chapters include introductions to their respective topics, lists of the necessary materials and reagents, step-by-step, readily reproducible laboratory protocols, and key tips on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls.

Authoritative and practical, Nuclear Bodies and Noncoding RNAs: Methods and Protocols serves as a guideline for further study into the sophisticated regulation of gene expression.

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Paraspeckles are subnuclear structures that form around nuclear paraspeckle assembly transcript 1 (NEAT1) long noncoding RNA (lncRNA). Recently, paraspeckles were shown to be functional nuclear bodies involved in stress responses and the development of specific organs. Paraspeckle formation is initiated by transcription of the NEAT1 chromosomal locus and proceeds in conjunction with NEAT1 lncRNA biogenesis and a subsequent assembly step involving >40 paraspeckle proteins (PSPs). In this study, subunits of SWItch/Sucrose NonFermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin-remodeling complexes were identified as paraspeckle components that interact with PSPs and NEAT1 lncRNA. EM observations revealed that SWI/SNF complexes were enriched in paraspeckle subdomains depleted of chromatin. Knockdown of SWI/SNF components resulted in paraspeckle disintegration, but mutation of the ATPase domain of the catalytic subunit BRG1 did not affect paraspeckle integrity, indicating that the essential role of SWI/SNF complexes in paraspeckle formation does not require their canonical activity. Knock- down of SWI/SNF complexes barely affected the levels of known essential paraspeckle components, but markedly diminished the interactions between essential PSPs, suggesting that SWI/SNF complexes facilitate organization of the PSP interaction network required for intact paraspeckle assembly. The interactions between SWI/SNF components and essential PSPs were maintained in NEAT1-depleted cells, suggesting that SWI/SNF complexes not only facilitate interactions between PSPs, but also recruit PSPs during paraspeckle assembly. SWI/SNF complexes were also required for Satellite III lncRNA-dependent formation of nuclear stress bodies under heat-shock conditions. Our data suggest the existence of a common mechanism underlying the formation of lncRNA-dependent nuclear body architectures in mammalian cells. 

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Neat1 is a non-protein-coding RNA that serves as an architectural component of the nuclear bodies known as paraspeckles. Although cell-based studies indicate that Neat1 is a crucial regulator of gene expression, its physiological relevance remains unclear. Here, we find that Neat1 knockout (KO) mice stochastically fail to become pregnant despite normal ovulation. Unilateral transplantation of wild-type ovaries or the administration of progesterone partially rescued the phenotype, suggesting that corpus luteum dysfunction and concomitant low progesterone were the primary causes of the decreased fertility. In contrast to the faint expression observed in most of the adult tissues, Neat1 was highly expressed in the corpus luteum, and the formation of luteal tissue was severely impaired in nearly half of the Neat1 KO mice. These observations suggest that Neat1 is essential for the formation of the corpus luteum and for the subsequent establishment of pregnancy under a suboptimal condition that has not yet been identified.

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Although recent transcriptome analyses have uncovered numerous non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), their functions remain largely unknown. ncRNAs assemble with proteins and operate as ribonucleoprotein (RNP) machineries, formation of which is thought to be determined by specific fundamental elements embedded in the primary RNA transcripts. Knowledge about the relationships between RNA elements, RNP machinery, and molecular and physiological functions is critical for understanding the diverse roles of ncRNAs and may eventually allow their systematic classification or "taxonomy." In this review, we catalog and discuss representative small and long non-coding RNA classes, focusing on their currently known (and unknown) RNA elements and RNP machineries.

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