G-quadruplex structures trigger RNA phase separation

Zhang, Yueying, Yang, Minglei, Duncan, Susan, Yang, Xiaofei, Abdelhamid, Mahmoud, Huang, Lin, Zhang, Huakun, Benfey, Philip N, Waller, Zoe and Ding, Yiliang (2019) G-quadruplex structures trigger RNA phase separation. Nucleic Acids Research, 47 (22). 11746–11754. ISSN 0305-1048

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Abstract

Liquid–liquid phase separation plays an important role in a variety of cellular processes, including the formation of membrane-less organelles, the cytoskeleton, signalling complexes, and many other biological supramolecular assemblies. Studies on the molecular basis of phase separation in cells have focused on protein-driven phase separation. In contrast, there is limited understanding on how RNA specifically contributes to phase separation. Here, we described a phase-separation-like phenomenon that SHORT ROOT (SHR) RNA undergoes in cells. We found that an RNA G-quadruplex (GQ) forms in SHR mRNA and is capable of triggering RNA phase separation under physiological conditions, suggesting that GQs might be responsible for the formation of the SHR phase-separation-like phenomenon in vivo. We also found the extent of GQ-triggered-phase-separation increases on exposure to conditions which promote GQ. Furthermore, GQs with more G-quartets and longer loops are more likely to form phase separation. Our studies provide the first evidence that RNA can adopt structural motifs to trigger and/or maintain the specificity of RNA-driven phase separation.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2019 02:01
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2020 00:04
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/73122
DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkz978

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