Background: Methyltransferase-like protein 3 (METTL3) and methytransferase-like protein 14 (METTL14) are the two catalytic subunits of an N6-methyltransferase complex that methylates adenosine residues in RNA (1). Methylation of adenosine residues regulates mRNA splicing, processing, translation efficiency, editing and stability, in addition to regulating primary miRNA processing, and is critical for proper regulation of the circadian clock, embryonic stem cell self-renewal, immune tolerance, response to various stimuli, meiosis and mouse fertility (2,3). In this complex, METTL3 functions as the catalytic methyltransferase subunit and METTL14 functions as the target recognition subunit by binding to RNA (4). In addition, the Wilms tumor 1-associated protein (WTAP) functions as a regulatory subunit and is required for accumulation of the complex to nuclear speckles, which are sites of RNA processing (5). Several studies suggest a role for this complex in cancer. METTL3 expression is elevated in lung adenocarcinoma where it promotes growth, survival and invasion of human lung cancer cells (6). In addition, WTAP is over-expressed in a number of different cancers and positively regulates cell migration and invasion in glioblastoma and cholangiocarcinoma (7,8).
Background: RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) is a large multi-protein complex that functions as a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase, catalyzing the transcription of DNA into RNA using the four ribonucleoside triphosphates as substrates (1). The largest subunit, RNAPII subunit B1 (Rpb1), also known as RNAPII subunit A (POLR2A), contains a unique heptapeptide sequence (Tyr1,Ser2,Pro3,Thr4,Ser5,Pro6,Ser7), which is repeated up to 52 times in the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of the protein (1). This CTD heptapeptide repeat is subject to multiple post-translational modifications, which dictate the functional state of the polymerase complex. Phosphorylation of the CTD during the active transcription cycle integrates transcription with chromatin remodeling and nascent RNA processing by regulating the recruitment of chromatin modifying enzymes and RNA processing proteins to the transcribed gene (1). During transcription initiation, RNAPII contains a hypophosphorylated CTD and is recruited to gene promoters through interactions with DNA-bound transcription factors and the Mediator complex (1). The escape of RNAPII from gene promoters requires phosphorylation at Ser5 by CDK7, the catalytic subunit of transcription factor IIH (TFIIH) (2). Phosphorylation at Ser5 mediates the recruitment of RNA capping enzymes, in addition to histone H3 Lys4 methyltransferases, which function to regulate transcription initiation and chromatin structure (3,4). After promoter escape, RNAPII proceeds down the gene to an intrinsic pause site, where it is halted by the negative elongation factors NELF and DSIF (5). At this point, RNAPII is unstable and frequently aborts transcription and dissociates from the gene. Productive transcription elongation requires phosphorylation at Ser2 by CDK9, the catalytic subunit of the positive transcription elongation factor P-TEFb (6). Phosphorylation at Ser2 creates a stable transcription elongation complex and facilitates recruitment of RNA splicing and polyadenylation factors, in addition to histone H3 Lys36 methyltransferases, which function to promote elongation-compatible chromatin (7,8). Ser2/Ser5-phosphorylated RNAPII then transcribes the entire length of the gene to the 3' end, where transcription is terminated. RNAPII dissociates from the DNA and is recycled to the hypophosphorylated form by various CTD phosphatases (1).In addition to Ser2/Ser5 phosphorylation, Ser7 of the CTD heptapeptide repeat is also phosphorylated during the active transcription cycle. Phosphorylation at Ser7 is required for efficient transcription of small nuclear (sn) RNA genes (9,10). snRNA genes, which are neither spliced nor poly-adenylated, are structurally different from protein-coding genes. Instead of a poly(A) signal found in protein-coding RNAs, snRNAs contain a conserved 3'-box RNA processing element, which is recognized by the Integrator snRNA 3' end processing complex (11,12). Phosphorylation at Ser7 by CDK7 during the early stages of transcription facilitates recruitment of RPAP2, which dephosphorylates Ser5, creating a dual Ser2/Ser7 phosphorylation mark that facilitates recruitment of the Integrator complex and efficient processing of nascent snRNA transcripts (13-15).
Background: Protein phosphatase type 2A (PP2A) is an essential protein serine/threonine phosphatase that is conserved in all eukaryotes. PP2A is a key enzyme within various signal transduction pathways as it regulates fundamental cellular activities such as DNA replication, transcription, translation, metabolism, cell cycle progression, cell division, apoptosis and development (1-3). The core enzyme consists of catalytic C and regulatory A (or PR65) subunits, with each subunit represented by α and β isoforms (1). Additional regulatory subunits belong to four different families of unrelated proteins. Both the B (or PR55) and B' regulatory protein families contain α, β, γ and δ isoforms, with the B' family also including an ε protein. B'' family proteins include PR72, PR130, PR59 and PR48 isoforms, while striatin (PR110) and SG2NA (PR93) are both members of the B''' regulatory protein family. These B subunits competitively bind to a shared binding site on the core A subunit (1). This variable array of holoenzyme components, particularly regulatory B subunits, allows PP2A to act in a diverse set of functions. PP2A function is regulated by expression, localization, holoenzyme composition and post-translational modification. Phosphorylation of PP2A at Tyr307 by Src occurs in response to EGF or insulin and results in a substantial reduction of PP2A activity (4). Reversible methylation on the carboxyl group of Leu309 of PP2A has been observed (5,6). Methylation alters the conformation of PP2A, as well as its localization and association with B regulatory subunits (6-8).