The Canonical Poly (A) Polymerase PAP1 Polyadenylates Non-Coding RNAs and Is Essential for snoRNA Biogenesis in Trypanosoma brucei

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The parasite Trypanosome brucei is the causative agent of African sleeping sickness and is known for its unique RNA processing mechanisms that are common to all the kinetoplastidea including Leishmania and Trypanosome cruzi. Trypanosomes possess two canonical RNA poly (A) polymerases (PAPs) termed PAP1 and PAP2. PAP1 is encoded by one of the only two genes harboring cis-spliced introns in this organism, and its function is currently unknown. In trypanosomes, all mRNAs, and non-coding RNAs such as small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (IncRNAs), undergo trans-splicing and polyadenylation. Here, we show that the function of PAP1, which is located in the nucleus, is to polyadenylate non-coding RNAs, which undergo trans-splicing and polyadenylation. Major substrates of PAP1 are the snoRNAs and IncRNAs. Under the silencing of either PAP1 or PAP2, the level of snoRNAs is reduced. The dual polyadenylation of snoRNA intermediates is carried out by both PAP2 and PAP1 and requires the factors essential for the polyadenylation of mRNAs. The dual polyadenylation of the precursor snoRNAs by PAPs may function to recruit the machinery essential for snoRNA processing. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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