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Subcellular relocalization and nuclear redistribution of the RNA methyltransferases TRMT1 and TRMT1L upon neuronal activation


RNA modifications are dynamic chemical entities that expand the RNA lexicon and regulate RNA fate. The most abundant modification present in mRNAs, N6-methyladenosine (m(6)A), has been implicated in neurogenesis and memory formation. However, whether additional RNA modifications may be playing a role in neuronal functions and in response to environmental queues is largely unknown. Here we characterize the biochemical function and cellular dynamics of two human RNA methyltransferases previously associated with neurological dysfunction, TRMT1 and its homolog, TRMT1-like (TRMT1L). Using a combination of next-generation sequencing, LC-MS/MS, patient-derived cell lines and knockout mouse models, we confirm the previously reported dimethylguanosine (m(2,2)G) activity of TRMT1 in tRNAs, as well as reveal that TRMT1L, whose activity was unknown, is responsible for methylating a subset of cytosolic tRNA(Ala)(AGC) isodecoders at position 26. Using a cellular in vitro model that mimics neuronal activation and long term potentiation, we find that both TRMT1 and TRMT1L change their subcellular localization upon neuronal activation. Specifically, we observe a major subcellular relocalization from mitochondria and other cytoplasmic domains (TRMT1) and nucleoli (TRMT1L) to different small punctate compartments in the nucleus, which are as yet uncharacterized. This phenomenon does not occur upon heat shock, suggesting that the relocalization of TRMT1 and TRMT1L is not a general reaction to stress, but rather a specific response to neuronal activation. Our results suggest that subcellular relocalization of RNA modification enzymes may play a role in neuronal plasticity and transmission of information, presumably by addressing new targets.

Type Journal
ISBN 1555-8584 (Electronic) 1547-6286 (Linking)
Authors Jonkhout, N.; Cruciani, S.; Santos Vieira, H. G.; Tran, J.; Liu, H.; Liu, G.; Pickford, R.; Kaczorowski, D.; Franco, G. R.; Vauti, F.; Camacho, N.; Abedini, S. S.; Najmabadi, H.; Ribas de Pouplana, L.; Christ, D.; Schonrock, N.; Mattick, J. S.; Novoa, E. M.
Publisher Name RNA Biology
Published Date 2021-11-30
Published Pages 1-15
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1080/15476286.2021.1881291
URL link to publisher's version