Article

RNA-binding Protein Muscleblind-like 3 (MBNL3) Disrupts Myocyte Enhancer Factor 2 (Mef2) β-Exon Splicing

Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-2780, USA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.6). 10/2010; 285(44):33779-87. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.124255
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mammalian MBNL (muscleblind-like) proteins are regulators of alternative splicing and have been implicated in myotonic dystrophy, the most common form of adult onset muscular dystrophy. MBNL3 functions as an inhibitor of muscle differentiation and is expressed in proliferating muscle precursor cells but not in differentiated skeletal muscle. Here we demonstrate that MBNL3 regulates the splicing pattern of the muscle transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2 (Mef2) by promoting exclusion of the alternatively spliced β-exon. Expression of the transcriptionally more active (+)β isoform of Mef2D was sufficient to overcome the inhibitory effects of MBNL3 on muscle differentiation. These data suggest that MBNL3 antagonizes muscle differentiation by disrupting Mef2 β-exon splicing. MBNL3 regulates Mef2D splicing by directly binding to intron 7 downstream of the alternatively spliced exon in the pre-mRNA. The RNA binding activity of MBNL3 requires the CX(7)CX(4-6)CX(3)H zinc finger domains. Using a cell culture model of myotonic dystrophy and myotonic dystrophy patient tissue, we have evidence that expression of CUG expanded RNAs can lead to an increase in MBNL3 expression and a decrease in Mef2D β-exon splicing. These studies suggest that elevating MBNL3 activity in myogenic cells could lead to muscle degeneration disorders such as myotonic dystrophy.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Hanna Witwicka, Jun 21, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
166 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The phylogenetically conserved family of Muscleblind proteins are RNA-binding factors involved in a variety of gene expression processes including alternative splicing regulation, RNA stability and subcellular localization, and miRNA biogenesis, which typically contribute to cell-type specific differentiation. In humans, sequestration of Muscleblind-like proteins MBNL1 and MBNL2 has been implicated in degenerative disorders, particularly expansion diseases such as myotonic dystrophy type 1 and 2. Drosophila muscleblind was previously shown to be expressed in embryonic somatic and visceral muscle subtypes, and in the central nervous system, and to depend on Mef2 for transcriptional activation. Genomic approaches have pointed out candidate gene promoters and tissue-specific enhancers, but experimental confirmation of their regulatory roles was lacking. In our study, luciferase reporter assays in S2 cells confirmed that regions P1 (515 bp) and P2 (573 bp), involving the beginning of exon 1 and exon 2, respectively, were able to initiate RNA transcription. Similarly, transgenic Drosophila embryos carrying enhancer reporter constructs supported the existence of two regulatory regions which control embryonic expression of muscleblind in the central nerve cord (NE, neural enhancer; 830 bp) and somatic (skeletal) musculature (ME, muscle enhancer; 3.3 kb). Both NE and ME were able to boost expression from the Hsp70 heterologous promoter. In S2 cell assays most of the ME enhancer activation could be further narrowed down to a 1200 bp subregion (ME.3), which contains predicted binding sites for the Mef2 transcription factor. The present study constitutes the first characterization of muscleblind enhancers and will contribute to a deeper understanding of the transcriptional regulation of the gene.
    PLoS ONE 03/2014; 9(3):e93125. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0093125 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Muscleblind-like (MBNL) proteins are key regulators of precursor and mature mRNA metabolism in mammals. Based on published and novel data, we explore models of tissue-specific MBNL interaction with RNA. We portray MBNL domains critical for RNA binding and splicing regulation, and the structure of MBNL's normal and pathogenic RNA targets, particularly in the context of myotonic dystrophy (DM), in which expanded CUG or CCUG repeat transcripts sequester several nuclear proteins including MBNLs. We also review the properties of MBNL/RNA complex, including recent data obtained from UV cross-linking and immunoprecipitation (CLIP-Seq), and discuss how this interaction shapes normal MBNL-dependent alternative splicing regulation. Finally, we review how this acquired knowledge about the pathogenic RNA structure and nature of MBNL sequestration can be translated into the design of therapeutic strategies against DM.
    Nucleic Acids Research 09/2014; 42(17). DOI:10.1093/nar/gku767 · 8.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mutant RNA molecules can be toxic to the cell, causing human disease through trans-acting dominant mechanisms. RNA toxicity was first described in myotonic dystrophy type 1, a multisystemic disorder caused by the abnormal expansion of a non-coding trinucleotide repeat sequence. The development of multiple and complementary animal models of disease has greatly contributed to clarifying the complex disease pathways mediated by toxic RNA molecules. RNA toxicity is not limited to myotonic dystrophy and spreads to an increasing number of human conditions, which share some unifying pathogenic events mediated by toxic RNA accumulation and disruption of RNA-binding proteins. The remarkable progress in the dissection of disease pathobiology resulted in the rational design of molecular therapies, which have been successfully tested in animal models. Toxic RNA diseases, and in particular myotonic dystrophy, clearly illustrate the critical contribution of animal models of disease in translational research: from gene mutation to disease mechanisms, and ultimately to therapy development.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 03/2013; 1832(9). DOI:10.1016/j.bbadis.2013.03.002 · 4.66 Impact Factor