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[en] The abundant heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein M (hnRNP M) is able to associate with early spliceosomes and to influence splicing patterns of specific pre-mRNAs. Here, by a combination of immunoprecipitation and pull-down assays, we have identified PSF (polypyrimidine tract-binding protein-associated splicing factor) and p54nrb, two highly related proteins involved in transcription and RNA processing, as new binding partners of hnRNP M. HnRNP M was found to co-localize with PSF within a subset of nuclear paraspeckles and to largely co-fractionate with PSF and p54nrb in biochemical nuclear matrix preparations. In cells transfected with an alternatively spliced preprotachykinin (PPT) minigene expression of hnRNP M promoted exon skipping while expression of PSF favours exon inclusion. The latter effect was reverted specifically by co-expressing the full length hnRNP M or a deletion mutant capable of interaction with PSF and p54nrb. Together our data provide new insights and some functional implications on the hnRNP M network of interactions.
[en] Highlights: ► Functional characteristics of intronless genes (IGs). ► Diseases associated with IGs. ► Origin and evolution of IGs. ► mRNA processing without splicing. -- Abstract: Intronless genes (IGs) constitute approximately 3% of the human genome. Human IGs are essentially different in evolution and functionality from the IGs of unicellular eukaryotes, which represent the majority in their genomes. Functional analysis of IGs has revealed a massive over-representation of signal transduction genes and genes encoding regulatory proteins important for growth, proliferation, and development. IGs also often display tissue-specific expression, usually in the nervous system and testis. These characteristics translate into IG-associated diseases, mainly neuropathies, developmental disorders, and cancer. IGs represent recent additions to the genome, created mostly by retroposition of processed mRNAs with retained functionality. Processing, nuclear export, and translation of these mRNAs should be hampered dramatically by the lack of splice factors, which normally tightly cover mature transcripts and govern their fate. However, natural IGs manage to maintain satisfactory expression levels. Different mechanisms by which IGs solve the problem of mRNA processing and nuclear export are discussed here, along with their possible impact on reporter studies.
[en] The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (RB) is inactivated in a majority of cancers. RB restricts cell proliferation by inhibiting the E2F family of transcription factors. The current model for RB/E2F function describes its role in regulating transcription at gene promoters. Whether the RB or E2F proteins might play a role in gene expression beyond transcription initiation is not well known. This review describes evidence that points to a novel role for the RB/E2F network in the regulation of RNA processing, and we propose a model as a framework for future research. The elucidation of a novel role of RB in RNA processing will have a profound impact on our understanding of the role of this tumor suppressor family in cell and developmental biology.
[en] We previously reported that the CA-repeat sequence in the 3'-untranslated region (3'UTR) of bcl-2 mRNA is involved in the decay of bcl-2 mRNA. However, the trans-acting factor for the CA element in bcl-2 mRNA remains unidentified. The heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein L (hnRNP L), an intron splicing factor, has been reported to bind to CA repeats and CA clusters in the 3'UTR of several genes. We reported herein that the CA repeats of bcl-2 mRNA have the potential to form a distinct ribonuclear protein complex in cytoplasmic extracts of MCF-7 cells, as evidenced by RNA electrophoretic mobility shift assays (REMSA). A super-shift assay using the hnRNP L antibody completely shifted the complex. Immunoprecipitation with the hnRNP L antibody and MCF-7 cells followed by RT-PCR revealed that hnRNP L interacts with endogenous bcl-2 mRNA in vivo. Furthermore, the suppression of hnRNP L in MCF-7 cells by the transfection of siRNA for hnRNP L resulted in a delay in the degradation of RNA transcripts including CA repeats of bcl-2 mRNA in vitro, suggesting that the interaction between hnRNPL and CA repeats of bcl-2 mRNA participates in destabilizing bcl-2 mRNA.
[en] The multifunctional β-galactoside-binding protein galectin-3 is found in many distinct subcellular compartments including the cell nucleus. Expression and distribution of galectin-3 between the cell nucleus and the cytosol changes during cell differentiation and cancer development. Nuclear functions of galectin-3 and how they contribute to tumorigenesis are not understood. In order to identify nuclear galectin-3 interaction partners, we used affinity chromatography and co-immunoprecipitation. Spatial proximity in the nucleus was assessed by immunofluorescence and proximity ligation assay. We also investigated the function of galectin-3 on mRNA-export by fluorescence in situ hybridization and on mRNA-processing by RNA-sequencing. The heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein particle component hnRNPA2B1 was identified as a novel galectin-3 binding protein that associates with the lectin in a lactose-dependent manner in the cell nucleus. Specific individual depletion of galectin-3 does not affect the mRNA distribution between cytoplasm and nucleus. A significant alteration of this distribution was observed after combined depletion of galectin-1 and −3. However, silencing of galectin-3 was sufficient to alter the splicing patterns of several genes. Galectin-3 and hnRNPA2B1 interact as members of the early splicing machinery. Galectin-3 and −1 have redundant functions in mRNA transport and at least in part in mRNA splicing. RNA-sequencing data points to a specific function of the hnRNPA2B1/galectin-3 interaction in the processing of transcripts coding for the nuclear oncoprotein SET. The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12885-016-2546-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users
[en] Highlights: • hnRNPK is a new target of SET. • SET regulates hnRNPK. • SET and hnRNPK accumulation promotes tumorigenesis. • SET accumulation is a potential model to study genes regulated by SET-hnRNPK. - Abstract: SET and hnRNPK are proteins involved in gene expression and regulation of cellular signaling. We previously demonstrated that SET accumulates in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC); hnRNPK is a prognostic marker in cancer. Here, we postulate that SET and hnRNPK proteins interact to promote tumorigenesis. We performed studies in HEK293 and HNSCC (HN6, HN12, and HN13) cell lines with SET/hnRNPK overexpression and knockdown, respectively. We found that SET and/or hnRNPK protein accumulation increased cellular proliferation. SET accumulation up-regulated hnRNPK mRNA and total/phosphorylated protein, promoted hnRNPK nuclear location, and reduced Bcl-x mRNA levels. SET protein directly interacted with hnRNPK, increasing both its binding to nucleic acids and Bcl-xS repression. We propose that hnRNPK should be a new target of SET and that SET–hnRNPK interaction, in turn, has potential implications in cell survival and malignant transformation
[en] Alternatively spliced β-neurexins (β-NRXs) and neuroligins (NLs) are thought to have distinct extracellular binding affinities, potentially providing a β-NRX/NL synaptic recognition code. We utilized surface plasmon resonance to measure binding affinities between all combinations of alternatively spliced β-NRX 1-3 and NL 1-3 ectodomains. Binding was observed for all β-NRX/NL pairs. The presence of the NL1 B splice insertion lowers β-NRX binding affinity by 2-fold, while β-NRX splice insertion 4 has small effects that do not synergize with NL splicing. New structures of glycosylated β-NRXs 1 and 2 containing splice insertion 4 reveal that the insertion forms a new β strand that replaces the β10 strand, leaving the NL binding site intact. This helps to explain the limited effect of splice insert 4 on NRX/NL binding affinities. These results provide new structural insights and quantitative binding information to help determine whether and how splice isoform choice plays a role in β-NRX/NL-mediated synaptic recognition.
[en] Translation of goose parvovirus (GPV) 72 kDa Rep 1 is initiated from unspliced P9-generated mRNAs in ORF1 from the first in-frame AUG (537 AUG); however, this AUG is bypassed in spliced P9-generated RNA: translation of the 52 kDa Rep 2 protein from spliced RNA is initiated in ORF2 at the next AUG downstream (650 AUG). Usage of the 537 AUG was restored in spliced RNA when the GPV intron was replaced with a chimeric SV40 intron, or following specific mutations of the GPV intron which did not appear in the final spliced mRNA. Additionally, 650 AUG usage was gained in unspliced RNA when the GPV intron splice sites were debilitated. Splicing-dependent regulation of translation initiation was mediated in cis by GPV RNA surrounding the target AUGs. Thus, nuclear RNA processing of GPV P9-generated pre-mRNAs has a complex, but significant, effect on alternative translation initiation of the GPV Rep proteins.
[en] Highlights: •Identification of U2AF65 as a novel TRF1-interacting protein. •U2AF65 stabilizes TRF1 protein by inhibiting its ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. •U2AF65 interferes with the interaction between TRF1 and Fbx4. •U2AF65 represents a new route for modulating TRF1 function at telomeres. -- Abstract: The human telomeric protein TRF1 is a component of the six-subunit protein complex shelterin, which provides telomere protection by organizing the telomere into a high-order structure. TRF1 functions as a negative regulator of telomere length by controlling the access of telomerase to telomeres. Thus, the cellular abundance of TRF1 at telomeres should be maintained and tightly regulated to ensure proper telomere function. Here, we identify U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) auxiliary factor 65 (U2AF65), an essential pre-mRNA splicing factor, as a novel TRF1-interacting protein. U2AF65 interacts with TRF1 in vitro and in vivo and is capable of stabilizing TRF1 protein by inhibiting its ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. We also found that U2AF65 interferes with the interaction between TRF1 and Fbx4, an E3 ubiquitin ligase for TRF1. Depletion of endogenous U2AF65 expression by short interfering RNA (siRNA) reduced the stability of endogenous TRF1 whereas overexpression of U2AF65 significantly extended the half-life of TRF1. These findings demonstrate that U2AF65 plays a critical role in regulating the level of TRF1 through physical interaction and ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. Hence, U2AF65 represents a new route for modulating TRF1 function at telomeres