Structure and conserved RNA binding of the PAZ domainYan, K.S., Yan, S., Farooq, A., Han, A., Zeng, L., Zhou, M.-M.
(2003) Nature 426: 468-474
- PubMed: 14615802
- DOI: 10.1038/nature02129
- PubMed Abstract:
The discovery of RNA-mediated gene-silencing pathways, including RNA interference, highlights a fundamental role of short RNAs in eukaryotic gene regulation and antiviral defence. Members of the Dicer and Argonaute protein families are essential comp ...
The discovery of RNA-mediated gene-silencing pathways, including RNA interference, highlights a fundamental role of short RNAs in eukaryotic gene regulation and antiviral defence. Members of the Dicer and Argonaute protein families are essential components of these RNA-silencing pathways. Notably, these two families possess an evolutionarily conserved PAZ (Piwi/Argonaute/Zwille) domain whose biochemical function is unknown. Here we report the nuclear magnetic resonance solution structure of the PAZ domain from Drosophila melanogaster Argonaute 1 (Ago1). The structure consists of a left-handed, six-stranded beta-barrel capped at one end by two alpha-helices and wrapped on one side by a distinctive appendage, which comprises a long beta-hairpin and a short alpha-helix. Using structural and biochemical analyses, we demonstrate that the PAZ domain binds a 5-nucleotide RNA with 1:1 stoichiometry. We map the RNA-binding surface to the open face of the beta-barrel, which contains amino acids conserved within the PAZ domain family, and we define the 5'-to-3' orientation of single-stranded RNA bound within that site. Furthermore, we show that PAZ domains from different human Argonaute proteins also bind RNA, establishing a conserved function for this domain.
Structural Biology Program, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York University, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, New York 10029-6574, USA.