U1 snRNA directly interacts with polypyrimidine tract-binding protein during splicing repression.
ABSTRACT Splicing of the c-src N1 exon is repressed by the polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB or PTBP1). During exon repression, the U1 snRNP binds properly to the N1 exon 5' splice site but is made inactive by the presence of PTB. Examining the patterns of nuclease protection at this 5' splice site, we find that the interaction of U1 is altered by the adjacent PTB. Interestingly, UV crosslinking identifies a direct contact between the pre-mRNA-bound PTB and the U1 snRNA. EMSA, ITC, and NMR studies show that PTB RRMs 1 and 2 bind the pyrimidine-rich internal loop of U1 snRNA stem loop 4. The PTB/U1 interaction prevents further assembly of the U1 snRNP with spliceosomal components downstream. This precise interaction between a splicing regulator and an snRNA component of the spliceosome points to a range of different mechanisms for splicing regulation.
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ABSTRACT: Alternative splicing (AS) provides a potent mechanism for increasing protein diversity and modulating gene expression levels. How alternate splice sites are selected by the splicing machinery and how AS is integrated into gene regulation networks remain important questions of eukaryotic biology. Here we report that polypyrimidine tract-binding protein 1 (Ptbp1/PTB/hnRNP-I) controls alternate 5' and 3' splice site (5'ss and 3'ss) usage in a large set of mammalian transcripts. A top scoring event identified by our analysis was the choice between competing upstream and downstream 5'ss (u5'ss and d5'ss) in the exon 18 of the Hps1 gene. Hps1 is essential for proper biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles and loss of its function leads to a disease called type 1 Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome (HPS). We show that Ptbp1 promotes preferential utilization of the u5'ss giving rise to stable mRNAs encoding a full-length Hps1 protein, whereas bias towards d5'ss triggered by Ptbp1 down-regulation generates transcripts susceptible to nonsense-mediated decay (NMD). We further demonstrate that Ptbp1 binds to pyrimidine-rich sequences between the u5'ss and d5'ss and activates the former site rather than repressing the latter. Consistent with this mechanism, u5'ss is intrinsically weaker than d5'ss, with a similar tendency observed for other genes with Ptbp1-induced u5'ss bias. Interestingly, the brain-enriched Ptbp1 paralog Ptbp2/nPTB/brPTB stimulated the u5'ss utilization but with a considerably lower efficiency than Ptbp1. This may account for the tight correlation between Hps1 with Ptbp1 expression levels observed across mammalian tissues. More generally, these data expand our understanding of AS regulation and uncover a post-transcriptional strategy ensuring co-expression of a subordinate gene with its master regulator through an AS-NMD tracking mechanism.PLoS Genetics 11/2014; 10(11):e1004771. DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004771 · 8.17 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing is a critical step in the posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression, providing significant expansion of the functional proteome of eukaryotic organisms with limited gene numbers. Split eukaryotic genes contain intervening sequences or introns disrupting protein-coding exons, and intron removal occurs by repeated assembly of a large and highly dynamic ribonucleoprotein complex termed the spliceosome, which is composed of five small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles, U1, U2, U4/U6, and U5. Biochemical studies over the past 10 years have allowed the isolation as well as compositional, functional, and structural analysis of splicing complexes at distinct stages along the spliceosome cycle. The average human gene contains eight exons and seven introns, producing an average of three or more alternatively spliced mRNA isoforms. Recent high-throughput sequencing studies indicate that 100% of human genes produce at least two alternative mRNA isoforms. Mechanisms of alternative splicing include RNA-protein interactions of splicing factors with regulatory sites termed silencers or enhancers, RNA-RNA base-pairing interactions, or chromatin-based effects that can change or determine splicing patterns. Disease-causing mutations can often occur in splice sites near intron borders or in exonic or intronic RNA regulatory silencer or enhancer elements, as well as in genes that encode splicing factors. Together, these studies provide mechanistic insights into how spliceosome assembly, dynamics, and catalysis occur; how alternative splicing is regulated and evolves; and how splicing can be disrupted by cis- and trans-acting mutations leading to disease states. These findings make the spliceosome an attractive new target for small-molecule, antisense, and genome-editing therapeutic interventions. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biochemistry Volume 84 is June 02, 2015. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.Annual review of biochemistry 03/2015; DOI:10.1146/annurev-biochem-060614-034316 · 26.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: With the functional importance of alternative splicing being validated in nearly every mammalian biological system and implicated in many human diseases, it is now crucial to identify the molecular programs that control the production of splice variants. In this article, I will survey how our knowledge of the basic principles of alternative splicing control evolved over the last 25 years. I will also describe how investigation of the splicing control of an apoptotic regulator led us to identify novel effectors and revealed the existence of converging pathways linking splicing decisions to DNA damage. Finally, I will review how our efforts at developing tools designed to monitor and redirect splicing helped assess the impact of misregulated splicing in cancer.