The interaction of a Trypanosoma brucei KH-domain protein with a ribonuclease is implicated in ribosome processing

Smriti Kala, Vaibhav Mehta, Chun Wai Yip, Houtan Moshiri, Hamed Shateri Najafabadi, Ruoyu Ma, Najmeh Nikpour, Sara L. Zimmer, Reza Salavati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Ribosomal RNA maturation is best understood in yeast. While substantial efforts have been made to explore parts of these essential pathways in animals, the similarities and uniquenesses of rRNA maturation factors in non-Opisthokonts remain largely unexplored. Eukaryotic ribosome synthesis requires the coordinated activities of hundreds of Assembly Factors (AFs) that transiently associate with pre-ribosomes, many of which are essential. Pno1 and Nob1 are two of six AFs that are required for the cytoplasmic maturation of the 20S pre-rRNA to 18S rRNA in yeast where it has been almost exclusively analyzed. Specifically, Nob1 ribonucleolytic activity generates the mature 3′-end of 18S rRNA. We identified putative Pno1 and Nob1 homologues in the protist Trypanosoma brucei, named TbPNO1 and TbNOB1, and set out to explore their rRNA maturation role further as they are both essential for normal growth. TbPNO1 is a nuclear protein with limited cytosolic localization relative to its yeast homologue. Like in yeast, it interacts directly with TbNOB1, with indications of associations with a larger AF-containing complex. Interestingly, in the absence of TbPNO1, TbNOB1 exhibits non-specific degradation activity on RNA substrates, and its cleavage activity becomes specific only in the presence of TbPNO1, suggesting that TbPNO1-TbNOB1 interaction is essential for regulation and site-specificity of TbNOB1 activity. These results highlight a conserved role of the TbPNO1-TbNOB1 complex in 18S rRNA maturation across eukaryotes; yet reveal a novel role of their interaction in regulation of TbNOB1 enzymatic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-103
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Mass spectrometric analysis was performed by the OHSU Proteomics Shared Resource with partial support from NIH grants P30EY010572, P30CA069533, &. R01DC002368-15S1. Access to a confocal laser scanning microscope and assistance was provided by Dr. Petra Rohrbach at the Institute of Parasitology, McGill University. This work was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) grant 328186 to R.S.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • 18S rRNA
  • Nuclease
  • Ribosomal RNA
  • RNA-binding
  • Trypanosome

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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