Regulation of RUVBL1-RUVBL2 AAA-ATPases by the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay factor DHX34, as evidenced by Cryo-EM

Andrés López-Perrote, Nele Hug, Ana González-Corpas, Carlos F. Rodríguez, Marina Serna, Carmen García-Martín, Jasminka Boskovic, Rafael Fernandez-Leiro, Javier F. Caceres and Oscar Llorca.

Abstract: Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a surveillance pathway that degrades aberrant mRNAs and also regulates the expression of a wide range of physiological transcripts. RUVBL1 and RUVBL2 AAA-ATPases form an hetero-hexameric ring that is part of several macromolecular complexes such as INO80, SWR1 and R2TP. Interestingly, RUVBL1-RUVBL2 ATPase activity is required for NMD activation by an unknown mechanism. Here, we show that DHX34, an RNA helicase regulating NMD initiation, directly interacts with RUVBL1-RUVBL2 in vitro and in cells. Cryo-EM reveals that DHX34 induces extensive changes in the N-termini of every RUVBL2 subunit in the complex, stabilizing a conformation that does not bind nucleotide and thereby down-regulates ATP hydrolysis of the complex. Using ATPase-deficient mutants, we find that DHX34 acts exclusively on the RUVBL2 subunits. We propose a model, where DHX34 acts to couple RUVBL1-RUVBL2 ATPase activity to the assembly of factors required to initiate the NMD response.

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