Genome-wide Analysis of Novel Splice Variants Induced by Topoisomerase I Poisoning Shows Preferential Occurrence in Genes Encoding Splicing Factors

Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892-4255, USA.
Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 9.28). 10/2010; 70(20):8055-65. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-2491
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT RNA splicing is required to remove introns from pre-mRNA, and alternative splicing generates protein diversity. Topoisomerase I (Top1) has been shown to be coupled with splicing by regulating serine/arginine-rich splicing proteins. Prior studies on isolated genes also showed that Top1 poisoning by camptothecin (CPT), which traps Top1 cleavage complexes (Top1cc), can alter RNA splicing. Here, we tested the effect of Top1 inhibition on splicing at the genome-wide level in human colon carcinoma HCT116 and breast carcinoma MCF7 cells. The RNA of HCT116 cells treated with CPT for various times was analyzed with ExonHit Human Splice Array. Unlike other exon array platforms, the ExonHit arrays include junction probes that allow the detection of splice variants with high sensitivity and specificity. We report that CPT treatment preferentially affects the splicing of splicing-related factors, such as RBM8A, and generates transcripts coding for inactive proteins lacking key functional domains. The splicing alterations induced by CPT are not observed with cisplatin or vinblastine and are not simply due to reduced Top1 activity, as Top1 downregulation by short interfering RNA did not alter splicing like CPT treatment. Inhibition of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) hyperphosphorylation by 5,6-dichloro-1-β-d-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole (DRB) blocked the splicing alteration induced by CPT, which suggests that the rapid Pol II hyperphosphorylation induced by CPT interferes with normal splicing. The preferential effect of CPT on genes encoding splicing factors may explain the abnormal splicing of a large number of genes in response to Top1cc.

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