Inhibition of splicing by serine-arginine rich protein 55 (SRp55) causes the appearance of partially spliced HIV-1 mRNAs in the cytoplasm
ABSTRACT We have previously shown that SRp55 inhibits splicing from HIV-1 exon 3, thereby generating partially spliced mRNAs encoding HIV-1 vpr. Here we show that SRp55 also inhibits splicing from HIV-1 exon 5 to generate HIV-1 vpu/env mRNA, albeit with lower efficiency. We also show that inhibition of HIV-1 splicing by SRp55 causes the appearance of partially spliced vpu, env and vpr mRNAs in the cytoplasm. SRp55 could also induce production of extracellular p24gag from a rev-defective HIV-1 provirus. These results indicate that SRp55 aids in the generation of partially spliced and unspliced HIV-1 mRNAs.
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ABSTRACT: Background: The viral regulatory protein Tat is essential for establishing a productive transcription from the 5′-LTR promoter during the early phase of viral gene expression. Formation of the Tat-encoding mRNAs requires splicing at the viral 3′ss A3, which has previously been shown to be both negatively and positively regulated by the downstream splicing regulatory elements (SREs) ESS2p and ESE2/ESS2. However, using the novel RESCUE-type computational HEXplorer algorithm, we were recently able to identify another splicing enhancer (ESE5807-5838, henceforth referred to as ESEtat) located between ESS2p and ESE2/ESS2. Here we show that ESEtat has a great impact on viral tat-mRNA splicing and that it is fundamental for regulated 3′ss A3 usage. Results: Mutational inactivation or locked nucleic acid (LNA)-directed masking of the ESEtat sequence in the context of a replication-competent virus was associated with a failure (i) to activate viral 3′ss A3 and (ii) to accumulate Tat-encoding mRNA species. Consequently, due to insufficient amounts of Tat protein efficient viral replication was drastically impaired. RNA in vitro binding assays revealed SRSF2 and SRSF6 as candidate splicing factors acting through ESEtat and ESE2 for 3′ss A3 activation. This notion was supported by coexpression experiments, in which wild-type, but not ESEtat-negative provirus responded to higher levels of SRSF2 and SRSF6 proteins with higher levels of tat-mRNA splicing. Remarkably, we could also find that SRSF6 overexpression established an antiviral state within provirus-transfected cells, efficiently blocking virus particle production. For the anti-HIV-1 activity the arginine-serine (RS)-rich domain of the splicing factor was dispensable. Conclusions: Based on our results, we propose that splicing at 3′ss A3 is dependent on binding of the enhancing SR proteins SRSF2 and SRSF6 to the ESEtat and ESE2 sequence. Mutational inactivation or interference specifically with ESEtat activity by LNA-directed masking seem to account for an early stage defect in viral gene expression, probably by cutting off the supply line of Tat that HIV needs to efficiently transcribe its genome.Retrovirology 03/2015; 12(29). DOI:10.1186/s12977-015-0154-8 · 4.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Alternative RNA splicing greatly expands the repertoire of proteins encoded by genomes. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is attractive for studying alternative splicing because of the efficiency and low cost per base, but short reads typical of NGS only report mRNA fragments containing one or few splice junctions. Here, we used single-molecule amplification and long-read sequencing to study the HIV-1 provirus, which is only 9700 bp in length, but encodes nine major proteins via alternative splicing. Our data showed that the clinical isolate HIV-1(89.6) produces at least 109 different spliced RNAs, including a previously unappreciated ∼1 kb class of messages, two of which encode new proteins. HIV-1 message populations differed between cell types, longitudinally during infection, and among T cells from different human donors. These findings open a new window on a little studied aspect of HIV-1 replication, suggest therapeutic opportunities and provide advanced tools for the study of alternative splicing.Nucleic Acids Research 08/2012; 40(20). DOI:10.1093/nar/gks753 · 8.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Huntington disease (HD) is a devastating, late-onset, inherited neurodegenerative disorder that manifests with personality changes, movement disorders, and cognitive decline. It is caused by a CAG repeat expansion in exon 1 of the HTT gene that translates to a polyglutamine tract in the huntingtin protein (HTT). The formation of HTT fragments has been implicated as an essential step in the molecular pathogenesis of HD and several proteases that cleave HTT have been identified. However, the importance of smaller N-terminal fragments has been highlighted by their presence in HD postmortem brains and by the fact that nuclear inclusions are only detected by antibodies to the N terminus of HTT. Despite an intense research effort, the precise length of these fragments and the mechanism by which they are generated remains unknown. Here we show that CAG repeat length-dependent aberrant splicing of exon 1 HTT results in a short polyadenylated mRNA that is translated into an exon 1 HTT protein. Given that mutant exon 1 HTT proteins have consistently been shown to be highly pathogenic in HD mouse models, the aberrant splicing of HTT mRNA provides a mechanistic basis for the molecular pathogenesis of HD. RNA-targeted therapeutic strategies designed to lower the levels of HTT are under development. Many of these approaches would not prevent the production of exon 1 HTT and should be reviewed in light of our findings.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2013; 110(6):2366–2370. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1221891110 · 9.81 Impact Factor