Published on March 1, 2017 in Genome Res volume 27, 3.
PubMed ID: 28073919
Following synthesis, RNA can be modified with over 100 chemically distinct modifications, which can potentially regulate RNA expression post-transcriptionally. Pseudouridine (Ψ) was recently established to be widespread and dynamically regulated on yeast mRNA, but less is known about Ψ presence, regulation, and biogenesis in mammalian mRNA. Here, we sought to characterize the Ψ landscape on mammalian mRNA, to identify the main Ψ-synthases (PUSs) catalyzing Ψ formation, and to understand the factors governing their specificity toward selected targets. We first developed a framework allowing analysis, evaluation, and integration of Ψ mappings, which we applied to >2.5 billion reads from 30 human samples. These maps, complemented with genetic perturbations, allowed us to uncover TRUB1 and PUS7 as the two key PUSs acting on mammalian mRNA and to computationally model the sequence and structural elements governing the specificity of TRUB1, achieving near-perfect prediction of its substrates (AUC = 0.974). We then validated and extended these maps and the inferred specificity of TRUB1 using massively parallel reporter assays in which we monitored Ψ levels at thousands of synthetically designed sequence variants comprising either the sequences surrounding pseudouridylation targets or systematically designed mutants perturbing RNA sequence and structure. Our findings provide an extensive and high-quality characterization of the transcriptome-wide distribution of pseudouridine in human and the factors governing it and provide an important resource for the community, paving the path toward functional and mechanistic dissection of this emerging layer of post-transcriptional regulation.