TitleStructured and disordered regions of Ataxin-2 contribute differently to the specificity and efficiency of mRNP granule formation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsPetrauskas A., Fortunati DL, Kandi AR, Pothapragada SS, Agrawal K., Singh A., Huelsmeier J., Hillebrand J., Brown G., Chaturvedi D., Lee J., Lim C., Auburger G., Vijayraghavan K., Ramaswami M, Bakthavachalu B
JournalPLoS Genetics
Date Published05/2024

Ataxin-2 (ATXN2) is a gene implicated in spinocerebellar ataxia type II (SCA2), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinsonism. The encoded protein is a therapeutic target for ALS and related conditions. ATXN2 (or Atx2 in insects) can function in translational activation, translational repression, mRNA stability and in the assembly of mRNP-granules, a process mediated by intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). Previous work has shown that the LSm (Like-Sm) domain of Atx2, which can help stimulate mRNA translation, antagonizes mRNP-granule assembly. Here we advance these findings through a series of experiments on Drosophila and human Ataxin-2 proteins. Results of Targets of RNA Binding Proteins Identified by Editing (TRIBE), co-localization and immunoprecipitation experiments indicate that a polyA-binding protein (PABP) interacting, PAM2 motif of Ataxin-2 may be a major determinant of the mRNA and protein content of Ataxin-2 mRNP granules. Experiments with transgenic Drosophila indicate that while the Atx2-LSm domain may protect against neurodegeneration, structured PAM2- and unstructured IDR- interactions both support Atx2-induced cytotoxicity. Taken together, the data lead to a proposal for how Ataxin-2 interactions are remodelled during translational control and how structured and non-structured interactions contribute differently to the specificity and efficiency of RNP granule condensation as well as to neurodegeneration.