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RNA Biol. 2019 Sep 12:1-9. doi: 10.1080/15476286.2019.1664885. [Epub ahead of print]

Exploration of CCA-added RNAs revealed the expression of mitochondrial non-coding RNAs regulated by CCA-adding enzyme.

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Computational Medicine Center, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University , Philadelphia , PA , USA.


Post-transcriptional non-template additions of nucleotides to 3'-ends of RNAs play important roles in the stability and function of RNA molecules. Although tRNA nucleotidyltransferase (CCA-adding enzyme) is known to add CCA trinucleotides to 3'-ends of tRNAs, whether other RNA species can be endogenous substrates of CCA-adding enzyme has not been widely explored yet. Herein, we used YAMAT-seq to identify non-tRNA substrates of CCA-adding enzyme. YAMAT-seq captures RNA species that form secondary structures with 4-nt protruding 3'-ends of the sequence 5'-NCCA-3', which is the hallmark structure of RNAs that are generated by CCA-adding enzyme. By executing YAMAT-seq for human breast cancer cells and mining the sequence data, we identified novel candidate substrates of CCA-adding enzyme. These included fourteen 'CCA-RNAs' that only contain CCA as non-genomic sequences, and eleven 'NCCA-RNAs' that contain CCA and other nucleotides as non-genomic sequences. All newly-identified (N)CCA-RNAs were derived from the mitochondrial genome and were localized in mitochondria. Knockdown of CCA-adding enzyme severely reduced the expression levels of (N)CCA-RNAs, suggesting that the CCA-adding enzyme-catalyzed CCA additions stabilize the expression of (N)CCA-RNAs. Furthermore, expression levels of (N)CCA-RNAs were severely reduced by various cellular treatments, including UV irradiation, amino acid starvation, inhibition of mitochondrial respiratory complexes, and inhibition of the cell cycle. These results revealed a novel CCA-mediated regulatory pathway for the expression of mitochondrial non-coding RNAs.


CCA-adding enzyme; Mitochondria; TRNT1; YAMAT-seq; tRNA

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