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Identification and Characterization of the Interaction Between the Methyl-7-Guanosine Cap Maturation Enzyme RNMT and the Cap-Binding Protein eIF4E.

Osborne MJ, Volpon L, Memarpoor-Yazdi M, Pillay S, Thambipillai A, Czarnota S, Culjkovic-Kraljacic B, Trahan C, Oeffinger M, Cowling VH, Borden KLB

Institute of Research in Immunology and Cancer, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Université de Montréal, Pavilion Marcelle-Coutu, Chemin Polytechnique, Montréal, QC H3T 1J4, Canada.

The control of RNA metabolism is an important aspect of molecular biology with wide-ranging impacts on cells. Central to processing of coding RNAs is the addition of the methyl-7 guanosine (m7G) "cap" on their 5' end. The eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF4E directly binds the m7G cap and through this interaction plays key roles in many steps of RNA metabolism including nuclear RNA export and translation. eIF4E also stimulates capping of many transcripts through its ability to drive the production of the enzyme RNMT which methylates the G-cap to form the mature m7G cap. Here, we found that eIF4E also physically associated with RNMT in human cells. Moreover, eIF4E directly interacted with RNMT in vitro. eIF4E is only the second protein reported to directly bind the methyltransferase domain of RNMT, the first being its co-factor RAM. We combined high-resolution NMR methods with biochemical studies to define the binding interfaces for the RNMT-eIF4E complex. Further, we found that eIF4E competes for RAM binding to RNMT and conversely, RNMT competes for binding of well-established eIF4E-binding partners such as the 4E-BPs. RNMT uses novel structural means to engage eIF4E. Finally, we observed that m7G cap-eIF4E-RNMT trimeric complexes form, and thus RNMT-eIF4E complexes may be employed so that eIF4E captures newly capped RNA. In all, we show for the first time that the cap-binding protein eIF4E directly binds to the cap-maturation enzyme RNMT.

J Mol Biol 2022;434(5):167451.

Pubmed ID: 35026230

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