Domain analysis of the Nematostella vectensis SNAIL ortholog reveals unique nucleolar localization that depends on the zinc-finger domains

Ada A. Dattoli, Mark A. Hink, Timothy Q. DuBuc, Bram J. Teunisse, Joachim Goedhart, Eric Röttinger, Marten Postma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

SNAIL transcriptional factors are key regulators during development and disease. They arose early during evolution, and in cnidarians such as Nematostella vectensis, NvSNAILA/B are detected in invaginating tissues during gastrulation. The function of SNAIL proteins is well established in bilaterians but their roles in cnidarians remain unknown. The structure of NvSNAILA and B is similar to the human SNAIL1 and 2, including SNAG and zinc-finger domains. Here, we performed a molecular analysis on localization and mobility of NvSNAILA/B using mammalian cells and Nematostella embryos. NvSNAILA/B display nuclear localization and mobility similar to HsSNAIL1/2. Strikingly, NvSNAILA is highly enriched in the nucleoli and shuttles between the nucleoli and the nucleoplasm. Truncation of the N-terminal SNAG domain, reported to contain Nuclear Localization Signals, markedly reduces nucleolar levels, without effecting nuclear localization or mobility. Truncation of the C-terminal zinc-fingers, involved in DNA binding in higher organisms, significantly affects subcellular localization and mobility. Specifically, the zinc-finger domains are required for nucleolar enrichment of NvSNAILA. Differently from SNAIL transcriptional factors described before, NvSNAILA is specifically enriched in the nucleoli co-localizing with nucleolar markers even after nucleolar disruption. Our findings implicate additional roles for SNAG and zinc-finger domains, suggesting a role for NvSNAILA in the nucleolus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12147
JournalScientific Reports
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

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