Daniel Schümperli

Daniel Schümperli
Universität Bern | UniBe · Institute of Cell Biology

Dr.med.vet., Prof.em.

About

132
Publications
12,410
Reads
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Introduction
Daniel Schümperli is an emeritus professor of the Institute of Cell Biology, Universität Bern. Daniel did research in Infectious Diseases, Biochemistry and Biotechnology; Molecular Biology, particularly RNA Biology and Gene Therapy. He still co-supervises a project on 'Therapeutic splicing modulation' in the Hall lab at ETH Zürich.
Additional affiliations
August 2016 - present
Universität Bern
Position
  • Professor Emeritus
August 2016 - present
ETH Zurich
Position
  • Academic guest
September 2000 - July 2016
Universität Bern
Position
  • Full Professor, co-director
Education
September 1977 - August 1978
University of Zurich
Field of study
June 1974 - February 1976
University of Zurich
Field of study
  • Vetrinary Medicine, Biochemistry
September 1970 - August 1975
University of Zurich
Field of study
  • Veterinary Medicine

Publications

Publications (132)
Article
Objectives Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by reduced levels of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, which results in motoneuron loss. Therapeutic strategies to increase SMN levels including drug compounds, antisense oligonucleotides, and scAAV9 gene therapy have proved effective in mice. We wished to determine whether reduction of SMN in p...
Article
Full-text available
The 3′ end processing of animal replication-dependent histone mRNAs is activated during G1/S-phase transition. The processing site is recognized by stem-loop binding protein and the U7 snRNP, but cleavage additionally requires a heat-labile factor (HLF), composed of cleavage/polyadenylation specificity factor, symplekin, and cleavage stimulation fa...
Article
Aims: As 4-day-old mice of the severe spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) model (dying at 5-8 days) display pronounced neuromuscular changes in the diaphragm but not the soleus muscle, we wanted to gain more insight into the relationship between muscle development and the emergence of pathological changes and additionally to analyse intercostal muscles...
Article
Full-text available
Many inherited diseases are associated with changed splicing patterns, and alternative splicing influences several biological processes as well as the replication of certain viral pathogens. For this reason, there is a broad interest in modulating individual splicing events for therapeutic purposes. Based on the small nuclear RNA (snRNA) U7, we hav...
Article
Full-text available
Cleavage/polyadenylation of mRNAs and 3' processing of replication-dependent histone transcripts are both mediated by large complexes that share several protein components. Functional studies of these shared proteins are complicated by the cooperative binding of the individual subunits. For CstF-64, an additional difficulty is that symplekin and Cs...
Article
Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) is a rare disease in which patients experience severe light sensitivity. It is caused by a deficiency of ferrochelatase (FECH), the last enzyme in heme biosynthesis (HBS). The lack of FECH causes accumulation of its photoreactive substrate protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) in patients' erythrocytes. Here, we explored an a...
Article
Full-text available
Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) is a rare genetic disease in which patients experience acute photo-toxic reactions after sunlight exposure. It is caused by a deficiency in ferrochelatase (FECH) in the heme biosynthesis pathway. Most patients exhibit a loss-of-function mutation in trans to an allele bearing a SNP that favors aberrant splicing of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) is a rare genetic disease in which patients experience acute phototoxic reactions after sunlight exposure. It is caused by a deficiency in ferrochelatase (FECH) in the heme biosynthesis pathway. Most patients exhibit a loss-of-function mutation in trans to an allele bearing a SNP that favours aberrant splicing of...
Article
Full-text available
Deficiency in ferrochelatase (FECH), the last enzyme in the heme biosynthetic pathway, leads to an accumulation of protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) that causes a severely painful phototoxic reaction of the skin in patients with erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP). Besides phototoxicity of the skin, EPP patients often present with symptoms of iron deficienc...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Core canonical histones are required in the S phase of the cell cycle to pack newly synthetized DNA, therefore the expression of their genes is highly activated during DNA replication. In mammalian cells, this increment is achieved by both enhanced transcription and 3' end processing. In this paper, we described positive cofactor 4 (PC...
Article
Full-text available
Erythropoietic Protoporphyria (EPP) is caused by deficiency of ferrochelatase (FECH) which incorporates iron into protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) to form heme. Excitation of accumulated PPIX by light generates oxygen radicals which evoke excessive pain and, after longer light exposure, ulcerations in exposed skin areas of EPP patients. Moreover, ∼5% of th...
Article
Stereochemically-pure 2'-O-(2-methoxyethyl)-phosphorothioate (PS-MOE) oligonucleotides were synthesized from new chiral oxazaphospholidine-containing nucleosides. Thermal stability studies showed that the incorporation of Rp-PS linkages increased RNA-binding affinity. In cells, a full Rp-PS-MOE splice-switching oligonucleotide targeting part of the...
Article
Full-text available
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is due to the loss of SMN1 gene function. The duplicate gene SMN2 produces some, but not enough, SMN protein because most transcripts lack exon 7. Thus, promoting the inclusion of this exon is a therapeutic option. We show that a somatic gene therapy using the gene for a modified U7 RNA which stimulates this splicing h...
Article
Full-text available
The histones which pack new DNA during the S phase of animal cells are made from mRNAs that are cleaved at their 3′ end but not polyadenylated. Some of the factors used in this reaction are unique to it while others are shared with the polyadenylation process that generates all other mRNAs. Recent work has begun to shed light on how the cell manage...
Article
Full-text available
Replication-dependent histone genes are up-regulated during the G1/S phase transition to meet the requirement for histones to package the newly synthesized DNA. In mammalian cells, this increment is achieved by enhanced transcription and 3' end processing. The non-polyadenylated histone mRNA 3' ends are generated by a unique mechanism involving the...
Article
Full-text available
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is characterized by motoneuron loss and muscle weakness. However, the structural and functional deficits that lead to the impairment of the neuromuscular system remain poorly defined. By electron microscopy, we previously found that neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and muscle fibres of the diaphragm are among the earlies...
Article
Full-text available
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is caused by deletions or mutations in the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. The second gene copy, SMN2, produces some, but not enough, functional SMN protein. SMN is essential to assemble small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) that form the spliceosome. However, it is not clear whether SMA is caused by defects i...
Article
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the leading genetic cause of death in infants and results in the loss of motoneurons (MNs). Gene transfer based on systemic delivery of scAAV9 viral vector expressing human SMN (hSMN) has successfully rescued severe SMA mice and lead to the development of clinical trials. We have previously demonstrated that intrath...
Article
SMN is expressed in all tissues but its deficiency in SMA selectively affects neurons. Using mice that model severe SMA we have tested whether SMN needs to be replaced in all tissues. Furthermore we have used antisense morpholinos (ASO) directed against ISS-N1 delivered to the nervous system to correct SMA mice. Using mice lines that can either rem...
Chapter
Full-text available
In vivo-expressed short splicing-modulating RNAs represent an interesting option for the gene therapy of various diseases. Moreover, they can be used to study the nature of splicing mutations, or for basic studies on alternative splicing (AS). Modified derivatives of the U7 small nuclear RNA (snRNA) involved in histone RNA 3′ end processing are par...
Article
The formation of defined 3′ ends is an important step in the biogenesis of mRNAs. In eukaryotic cells, all mRNA 3′ ends are generated by endonucleolytic cleavage of primary transcripts in reactions that are essentially posttranscriptional. Nevertheless, 3′ end formation is tightly connected to transcription in vivo, and a link with mRNA export to t...
Article
Full-text available
Metazoan replication-dependent histone pre-mRNAs undergo a unique 3′-cleavage reaction which does not result in mRNA polyadenylation. Although the cleavage site is defined by histone-specific factors (hairpin binding protein, a 100-kDa zinc-finger protein and the U7 snRNP), a large complex consisting of cleavage/polyadenylation specificity factor,...
Article
In Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the SMN1 gene is deleted or inactivated. Because of a splicing problem, the second copy gene, SMN2, generates insufficient amounts of functional SMN protein, leading to the death of spinal cord motoneurons. For a "severe" mouse SMA model (Smn -/-, hSMN2 +/+; with affected pups dying at 5-7 days), which most closely...
Article
Full-text available
Recent analyses of complete genomes have revealed that alternative splicing became more prevalent and important during eukaryotic evolution. Alternative splicing augments the protein repertoire--particularly that of the human genome--and plays an important role in the development and function of differentiated cell types. However, splicing is also...
Article
Full-text available
Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) can be exploited for the selective silencing of disease-related genes via the RNA interference (RNAi) machinery and therefore raise hope for future therapeutic applications. Especially chemically modified siRNAs are of interest as they are expected to convert lead siRNA sequences into effective drugs. To study the po...
Article
Full-text available
Invariant Natural Killer T cells (iNKT) are a versatile lymphocyte subset with important roles in both host defense and immunological tolerance. They express a highly conserved TCR which mediates recognition of the non-polymorphic, lipid-binding molecule CD1d. The structure of human iNKT TCRs is unique in that only one of the six complementarity de...
Article
Full-text available
Export of mRNA from the nucleus is linked to proper processing and packaging into ribonucleoprotein complexes. Although several observations indicate a coupling between mRNA 3' end formation and export, it is not known how these two processes are mechanistically connected. Here, we show that a subunit of the mammalian pre-mRNA 3' end processing com...
Article
Full-text available
In spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic cause of early childhood death, the survival motor neuron 1 gene (SMN1) is deleted or inactivated. The nearly identical SMN2 gene has a silent mutation that impairs the utilization of exon 7 and the production of functional protein. It has been hypothesized that therapies boosting SMN2 exon 7 in...
Article
RNA-based approaches are promising for long-term gene therapy against HIV-1. They can target virtually any step of the viral replication cycle. It is also possible to combine anti-HIV-1 transgenes targeting different facets of HIV replication to compensate for limitations of any individual construct, maximizing efficacy and decreasing chances of es...
Article
Full-text available
Many diseases affect pre-mRNA splicing, and alternative splicing is a major source of proteome diversity and an important mechanism for modulating gene expression. The ability to regulate a specific splicing event is therefore desirable; for example, to understand splicing-associated pathologies. We have developed methods based on modified U7 snRNA...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the biological activity of siRNAscarrying tc-DNA modifications at various positions in the sense strand. The siRNAs were directed to thecoding region of the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) mRNA. HeLa cells were transfected with the EGFP plasmid and variable concentrations of siRNA duplexes. The antisense effect was quantif...
Article
Full-text available
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a lethal hereditary disease caused by homozygous deletion/inactivation of the survival of motoneuron 1 (SMN1) gene. The nearby SMN2 gene, despite its identical coding capacity, is only an incomplete substitute, because a single nucleotide difference impairs the inclusion of its seventh exon in the messenger RNA (mRN...
Article
Full-text available
The HIV-1 regulatory proteins Tat and Rev are encoded by multiply spliced mRNAs that differ by the use of alternative 3' splice sites at the beginning of the internal exon. If these internal exons are skipped, the expression of these genes, and hence HIV-1 multiplication, should be inhibited. We have previously developed a strategy, based on antise...
Article
Full-text available
In spinal muscular atrophy, the SMN1 gene is deleted or destroyed by mutation, while the neigboring, nearly identical SMN2 gene acts as a partial functional substitute. However, due to a single nucleotide exchange, the seventh exon of SMN2 is mostly excluded from the mature mRNA, and the resulting shorter protein is non-functional. Here, we map the...
Article
Full-text available
The survival of motor neurons (SMN) complex mediates the assembly of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) involved in splicing and histone RNA processing. A crucial step in this process is the binding of Sm proteins onto the SMN protein. For Sm B/B′, D1, and D3, efficient binding to SMN depends on symmetrical dimethyl arginine (sDMA) modificat...
Article
Full-text available
Coilin is the signature protein of the Cajal body (CB), a nuclear suborganelle involved in the biogenesis of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs). Newly imported Sm-class snRNPs are thought to traffic through CBs before proceeding to their final nuclear destinations. Loss of coilin function in mice leads to significant viability and fertility...
Article
Full-text available
Metazoan replication-dependent histone mRNAs do not have a poly(A) tail but end instead in a conserved stem-loop structure. Efficient translation of these mRNAs is dependent on the stem-loop binding protein (SLBP). Here we explore the mechanism by which SLBP stimulates translation in vertebrate cells, using the tethered function assay and analyzing...
Article
Full-text available
The 3′ cleavage generating non-polyadenylated animal histone mRNAs depends on the base pairing between U7 snRNA and a conserved histone pre-mRNA downstream element. This interaction is enhanced by a 100 kDa zinc finger protein (ZFP100) that forms a bridge between an RNA hairpin element upstream of the processing site and the U7 small nuclear ribonu...
Article
The importance of alternative splicing for the diversity of the proteome and the large number of genetic diseases that are due to splicing defects call for methods to modulate alternative splicing decisions. Although splicing can be modulated by antisense oligonucleotides, this approach is confronted with problems of efficient delivery and the need...
Article
Full-text available
The polypeptide composition of the U7 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) involved in histone messenger RNA (mRNA) 3' end formation has recently been elucidated. In contrast to spliceosomal snRNPs, which contain a ring-shaped assembly of seven so-called Sm proteins, in the U7 snRNP the Sm proteins D1 and D2 are replaced by U7-specific Sm-like p...
Article
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Human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) multiplication depends on a cellular protein, cyclophilin A (CyPA), that gets integrated into viral particles. Because CyPA is not required for cell viability, we attempted to block its synthesis in order to inhibit HIV-1 replication. For this purpose, we used antisense U7 small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) that dist...
Article
Full-text available
The nuclear antisense properties of a series of tricyclo (tc)-DNA oligonucleotide 9-15mers, targeted against the 3' and 5' splice sites of exon 4 of cyclophilin A (CyPA) pre-mRNA, were evaluated in HeLa cells and compared with those of corresponding LNA-oligonucleotides. While the 9mers showed no significant antisense effect, the 11-15mers induced...
Article
Full-text available
The U7 snRNP involved in histone RNA 3' end processing is related to but biochemically distinct from spliceosomal snRNPs. In vertebrates, the Sm core structure assembling around the noncanonical Sm-binding sequence of U7 snRNA contains only five of the seven standard Sm proteins. The missing Sm D1 and D2 subunits are replaced by U7-specific Sm-like...
Article
Full-text available
A set of seven Sm proteins assemble on the Sm-binding site of spliceosomal U snRNAs to form the ring-shaped Sm core. The U7 snRNP involved in histone RNA 3' processing contains a structurally similar but biochemically unique Sm core in which two of these proteins, Sm D1 and D2, are replaced by Lsm10 and by another as yet unknown component. Here we...
Article
Full-text available
Most cases of Duchenne muscular dystrophy are caused by dystrophin gene mutations that disrupt the mRNA reading frame. Artificial exclusion (skipping) of a single exon would often restore the reading frame, giving rise to a shorter, but still functional dystrophin protein. Here, we analyzed the ability of antisense U7 small nuclear (sn)RNA derivati...
Article
Full-text available
Tricyclo (tc)-DNA belongs to the class of conformationally constrained DNA analogs that show enhanced binding properties to DNA and RNA. We prepared tc-oligonucleotides up to 17 nt in length, and evaluated their binding efficiency and selectivity towards complementary RNA, their biological stability in serum, their RNase H inducing potential and th...