The enzyme that degrades mitochondrial RNAs in mammalian cells had eluded discovery for decades. It had long been assumed that the degradation happens in mitochondrial matrix where transcription and translation occur. Liu et al. provide compelling evidence that mammalian mitochondrial RNA degradation happens in mitochondrial intermembrane space (IMS) and RNASET2 is the ribonuclease for the process. RNASET2 activity also has an effect on mitochondrial transcription in the matr[Detail] ...
Dynamic changes of the post-translational O-GlcNAc modification (O-GlcNAcylation) are controlled by O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) transferase (OGT) and the glycoside hydrolase O-GlcNAcase (OGA) in cells. O-GlcNAcylation often occurs on serine (Ser) and threonine (Thr) residues of the specific substrate proteins via the addition of O-GlcNAc group by OGT. It has been known that O-GlcNAcylation is not only involved in many fundamental cellular processes, but also plays an important role in cancer development through various mechanisms. Recently, accumulating data reveal that O-GlcNAcylation at histones or non-histone proteins can lead to the start of the subsequent biological processes, suggesting that O-GlcNAcylation as ‘protein code’ or ‘histone code’ may provide recognition platforms or executive instructions for subsequent recruitment of proteins to carry out the specific functions. In this review, we summarize the interaction of O-GlcNAcylation and epigenetic changes, introduce recent research findings that link crosstalk between OGlcNAcylation and epigenetic changes, and speculate on the potential coordination role of O-GlcNAcylation with epigenetic changes in intracellular biological processes.
Myocardial infarction afflicts close to three quarters of a million Americans annually, resulting in reduced heart function, arrhythmia, and frequently death. Cardiomyocyte death reduces the heart’s pump capacity while the deposition of a non-conductive scar incurs the risk of arrhythmia. Direct cardiac reprogramming emerged as a novel technology to simultaneously reduce scar tissue and generate new cardiomyocytes to restore cardiac function. This technology converts endogenous cardiac fibroblasts directly into induced cardiomyocyte-like cells using a variety of cocktails including transcription factors, microRNAs, and small molecules. Although promising, direct cardiac reprogramming is still in its fledging phase, and numerous barriers have to be overcome prior to its clinical application. This review discusses current findings to optimize reprogramming efficiency, including reprogramming factor cocktails and stoichiometry, epigenetic barriers to cell fate reprogramming, incomplete conversion and residual fibroblast identity, requisite growth factors, and environmental cues. Finally, we address the current challenges and future directions for the field.
Mammalian mitochondrial genome encodes a small set of tRNAs, rRNAs, and mRNAs. The RNA synthesis process has been well characterized. How the RNAs are degraded, however, is poorly understood. It was long assumed that the degradation happens in the matrix where transcription and translation machineries reside. Here we show that contrary to the assumption, mammalian mitochondrial RNA degradation occurs in the mitochondrial intermembrane space (IMS) and the IMSlocalized RNASET2 is the enzyme that degrades the RNAs. This provides a new paradigm for understanding mitochondrial RNA metabolism and transport.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) recruit the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) to repress the translation of target mRNAs. While the 5′ 7-methylguanosine cap of target mRNAs has been well known to be important for miRNA repression, the underlying mechanism is not clear. Here we show that TNRC6A interacts with eIF4E2, a homologue of eIF4E that can bind to the cap but cannot interact with eIF4G to initiate translation, to inhibit the translation of target mRNAs. Downregulation of eIF4E2 relieved miRNA repression of reporter expression. Moreover, eIF4E2 downregulation increased the protein levels of endogenous IMP1, PTEN and PDCD4, whose expression are repressed by endogenous miRNAs. We further provide evidence showing that miRNA enhances eIF4E2 association with the target mRNA. We propose that miRNAs recruit eIF4E2 to compete with eIF4E to repress mRNA translation.