Published on Nov. 15, 2011 in Genes Dev volume 25.
PubMed ID: 22085966
SHQ1 is an essential assembly factor for H/ACA ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) required for ribosome biogenesis, pre-mRNA splicing, and telomere maintenance. SHQ1 binds dyskerin/NAP57, the catalytic subunit of human H/ACA RNPs, and this interaction is modulated by mutations causing X-linked dyskeratosis congenita. We report the crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of yeast SHQ1, Shq1p, and its complex with yeast dyskerin/NAP57, Cbf5p, lacking its catalytic domain. The C-terminal domain of Shq1p interacts with the RNA-binding domain of Cbf5p and, through structural mimicry, uses the RNA-protein-binding sites to achieve a specific protein-protein interface. We propose that Shq1p operates as a Cbf5p chaperone during RNP assembly by acting as an RNA placeholder, thereby preventing Cbf5p from nonspecific RNA binding before association with an H/ACA RNA and the other core RNP proteins.