The intrinsically disordered TSSC4 protein acts as a helicase inhibitor, placeholder and multi-interaction coordinator during snRNP assembly and recycling
A. Bergfort, T. Hilal, B. Kuropka, I. A. Ilik, G. Weber, T. Aktas, C. Freund and M. C. Wahl – 2022
Biogenesis of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and their recycling after splicing require numerous assembly/recycling factors whose modes of action are often poorly understood. The intrinsically disordered TSSC4 protein has been identified as a nuclear-localized U5 snRNP and U4/U6-U5 tri-snRNP assembly/recycling factor, but how TSSC4's intrinsic disorder supports TSSC4 functions remains unknown. Using diverse interaction assays and cryogenic electron microscopy-based structural analysis, we show that TSSC4 employs four conserved, non-contiguous regions to bind the PRPF8 Jab1/MPN domain and the SNRNP200 helicase at functionally important sites. It thereby inhibits SNRNP200 helicase activity, spatially aligns the proteins, coordinates formation of a U5 sub-module and transiently blocks premature interaction of SNRNP200 with at least three other spliceosomal factors. Guided by the structure, we designed a TSSC4 variant that lacks stable binding to the PRPF8 Jab1/MPN domain or SNRNP200 in vitro. Comparative immunoprecipitation/mass spectrometry from HEK293 nuclear extract revealed distinct interaction profiles of wild type TSSC4 and the variant deficient in PRPF8/SNRNP200 binding with snRNP proteins, other spliceosomal proteins as well as snRNP assembly/recycling factors and chaperones. Our findings elucidate molecular strategies employed by an intrinsically disordered protein to promote snRNP assembly, and suggest multiple TSSC4-dependent stages during snRNP assembly/recycling.