REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0479.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Posttranscriptional Modification; Alternative Splicing; Congenital Heart Defects; Transcriptome; Splicing Variants
Online: 27 December 2022 (10:54:22 CET)
Advancements in genomics, bioinformatics and genome editing have uncovered new dimensions in gene regulation. Post-transcriptional modifications by the alternative splicing of mRNA transcripts are critical regulatory mechanisms of mammalian gene expression. In the heart, there is an expanding interest in elucidating the role of alternative splicing in transcriptome regulation. Substantial efforts have been directed towards investigating this process in heart development and failure. However, few studies have shed light on alternative splicing products and their dysregulation in congenital heart defects (CHDs). While elegant reports have shown the crucial roles of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) in orchestrating splicing transitions during heart development and failure, the impact of RBPs dysregulation or genetic variation on CHDs has not been fully addressed. Herein, we review the current understanding of alternative splicing and RBPs’ roles in heart development and CHDs and discuss the impacts of perinatal splicing transition and its dysregulation in CHDs. We further summarize discoveries made of causal splicing variants in key transcription factors that have been implicated in CHDs. Improved understanding of the roles of alternative splicing in heart development and CHDs may potentially inform novel preventive and therapeutic advancements for newborn infants with CHDs.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0259.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: alternative splicing; microRNA; gene expression; Arabidopsis
Online: 16 April 2020 (07:37:32 CEST)
MicroRNA (miRNA) is a typical class of small RNAs that could modulate gene expression in trans at the post-transcriptional level. miRNAs bind to the miRNA binding sites (MBSs) in target mRNAs by sequence complementarity. Alternative splicing (AS) is another commonly occurred process in pre-mRNAs that changes the isoforms of a gene. It is hypothesized that there should be an interaction for gene regulation that involves both AS and miRNA targeting. Studies have verified this hypothesis in the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana. High-throughput sequencing data suggested that in Arabidopsis a considerably large fraction of MBSs are affected by AS events. The overlapping between MBS and AS exceeds the randomly simulated number. Functional experiments have indicated that the AS events are required for the gene expression changes of miRNA targets. Therefore, AS and MBS are mutually favored. The observed expression changes caused by miRNAs could also be contributed by AS events. In the present perspective article, we propose that the AS analysis should be incorporated in the differential-expression analysis of miRNA studies. When defining a differentially-expressed gene, it should be clarified whether the change in gene expression is caused by AS events or solely by miRNA targeting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.3390/sci1020033
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Cell And Developmental Biology Keywords: nucleolin; spliceosome assembly; splicing factors; immunofluorescence; proteomic
Online: 1 July 2019 (00:00:00 CEST)
Nucleolin is an RNA binding protein that is involved in many post-transcriptional regulation steps of messenger RNAs in addition to its nucleolar role in ribosomal RNA transcription and assembly in pre-ribosomes. Acetylated nucleolin was found to be associated with nuclear speckles and to co-localize with the splicing factor SC35. Previous nuclear pull down of nucleolin identified several splicing components and factors involved in RNA polymerase II transcription associated with nucleolin. In this report, we show that these splicing components are specifics of the pre-catalytic A and B spliceosomes, while proteins recruited in the Bact, C and P complexes are absent from the nucleolin interacting proteins. Furthermore, we show that acetylated nucleolin co-localized with P-SF3B1, a marker of co-transcriptional active spliceosomes. P-SF3B1 complexes can be pulled down with nucleolin specific antibodies. Interestingly, the alternative splicing of Fibronectin at the IIICS and EDB sites was affected by nucleolin depletion. These data are consistent with a model where nucleolin could be a factor bridging RNA polymerase II transcription and assembly of pre-catalytic spliceosome similarly to its function in the co-transcriptional maturation of pre-rRNA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0102.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: colorectal cancer; alternative splicing; mucins; biomarkers; precision medicine
Online: 3 June 2021 (11:30:37 CEST)
Colorectal cancer prognosis get worse with advancement of disease into metastatic stage. There is a pertinent need to develop prognostic biomarkers that can be used for personalized and precision medicine. Alternative splicing provides an insight into understanding of changes at isoform expression level which may not be evident at gene level. In this direction, we utilized our prior knowledge about significant alternatively spliced genes and chose ADAM12 and MUC4 for further characterization in a metastatic cell line model. These genes were found to be good prognostic indicators in The Cancer Genome Atlas database. We studied the gene organization and designed primers to specifically amplify a group of isoforms. Differential expression of these group of isoforms was observed in normal, primary and metastatic colorectal cancer cell lines. We further validated the results using sanger sequencing. Isoform expression was found to respond to the 5-fluorouracil treatment. RNAseq analysis of the cell lines further validated the differential expression of gene isoforms. Successful detection of ADAM12 and MUC4 in cell lysates varied according to the antibody used which may reflect differential expression of isoforms. This comprehensive study underscores the importance of studying alternatively spliced isoforms and their probable used as prognostic or predictive biomarkers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0161.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: protein splicing; intein; crystal structure; hyperthermophile; protein engineering
Online: 10 May 2021 (10:29:29 CEST)
Inteins are prevalent among extremophiles. Mini-inteins with robust splicing properties are of particular interest for biotechnological applications due to their small size. However, biochemical and structural characterization has still been limited to a small number of inteins, and only a few inteins serve as widely used tools in protein engineering approaches. We determined the crystal structure of a naturally-occurring Pol-II mini-intein from Pyrococcus horikoshii and compared it with two other natural mini-inteins from Pyrococcus horikoshii. Despite the similar sizes, the comparison revealed distinct differences in insertions and deletions, implying specific evolutionary pathways from distinct ancestral origins. Our studies suggest that sporadically distributed mini-inteins might be more promising for further protein engineering applications than the highly conserved mini-inteins. Structural investigations of more inteins could guide the shortest path to finding novel robust mini-inteins suitable for protein engineering purposes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0023.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Familial Adenomatous Polyposis; APC; Splicing; Exon Skipping; FAP Pathogenesis
Online: 4 January 2021 (11:59:26 CET)
Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is caused by germline mutations in the tumor suppressor gene APC. To date, nearly 2000 APC mutations have been described in FAP, most of which are predicted to result in truncated protein products. Mutations leading to aberrant APC splicing have rarely been reported. Here, we characterized a novel germline heterozygous splice donor site mutation in APC exon 12 (NM_000038.5: c.1621_1626+7del) leading to exon 12 skipping in an Italian family with the attenuated FAP (AFAP) phenotype. Moreover, we performed a literature me-ta-analysis of APC splicing mutations. We found that 123 unique APC splice site mutations, in-cluding the one described here, have been reported in FAP patients, 69 of which have been char-acterized at the mRNA level. Among these, only a small proportion (9/69) results in an in-frame protein, with 4 mutations causing skipping of exon 12 and/or 13 with loss of armadillo repeat 2 (ARM2) and 3 (ARM3), and 5 mutations leading to skipping of exon 5, 7, 8, and (partially) 9 with loss of regions not encompassing known functional domains. The APC splicing mutations considered in this study cluster with the AFAP phenotype and delineate a novel molecular mechanism of pathogenesis in FAP disease.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: lncRNA; breast cancer; alternative splicing; estrogen receptor; RNA-Seq
Online: 19 April 2020 (04:29:31 CEST)
Background: DSCAM-AS1 is a cancer-related long noncoding RNA with higher expression levels in Luminal A, B and HER2-positive Breast Cancer (BC), where its expression is strongly dependent on Estrogen Receptor Alpha (ERα). Methods: To decipher its function, DSCAM-AS1 expression was measured by qRT-PCR in tissue samples from 93 BC patients in addition to a meta-analysis of 30 gene expression datasets, together with the evaluation of its association with clinical data. By computational analyses of our RNA-Seq in MCF-7 cells, we investigated the DSCAM-AS1 knock-down effects at both gene and isoform levels. Results: We confirmed DSCAM-AS1 overexpression in high grade Luminal A, B and HER2+ BCs and found a significant correlation with disease relapse. 908 genes were regulated by DSCAM-AS1-silencing, primarily involved in cell cycle and inflammatory response. Noteworthy, the analysis of alternative splicing and isoform regulation revealed 2,085 splicing events regulated by DSCAM-AS1, enriched in differential polyadenylation sites and 3’UTR shortening events. Finally, the DSCAM-AS1-interacting splicing factor hnRNPL was predicted as the most enriched RBP for exon skipping and 3’UTR events. Conclusion: The relevance of DSCAM-AS1 overexpression in BC is confirmed by clinical data and further enhanced by its possible involvement in the regulation of RNA processing, which is emerging as one of the most important dysfunctions in cancer.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0218.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: B cells, RNA splicing, ER stress, unfolded protein response, RIDD
Online: 8 November 2018 (14:19:16 CET)
Endo-reticular stress induces the unfolded protein response including a highly conserved set of genes crucial for cell survival against a variety of onslaughts. Among the activated stress response genes is Ire1, which undergoes auto-phosphorylation and acquires a regulated Ire1-dependent mRNA decay activity. Ire1P non-canonically splices the mRNA for Xbp1 in the cytoplasm. This spliced Xbp1 serves as mRNA encoding a transcription factor for unfolded protein response genes. Meanwhile the mRNA decay function of Ire1P degrades other cellular mRNAs and can cause changes to the translation machinery by altering regulators in a cell specific manner. Naïve splenic B cells differentiate into Antibody Secreting Cells and activate Ire1 phosphorylation early on after LPS stimulation, within 18 hrs. When Ire1 is activated in B cells, in addition to Xbp1 splicing, there are large-scale changes in mRNA; inhibition of the mRNA degradation function of Ire1 both reduces the number and changes the type of genes involved in altered splicing patterns, including factors for snRNA transcription. Some of the splicing changes seen at 18 hrs after LPS persist into the late stages of antibody secretion, up to 72 hrs, while others are supplanted by new splicing changes introduced by the induction of ELL2, a transcription elongation factor. ELL2 changes mRNA processing patterns and is necessary for Immunoglobulin secretion. RNA splicing patterns in antibody secreting cells are thus shaped by endo-reticular stress, ELL2 induction, and are associated with changes in the levels of snRNAs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0275.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; bioinformatics; viral infection; mRNA splicing; GSEA; autoimmune disease; CMap
Online: 15 December 2022 (07:44:33 CET)
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) is a common autoimmune disease, with its prevalence rapidly increasing. Both genetic and environmental risk factors contribute to the development of HT. Recently, viral infection has been suggested to act as a trigger of HT by eliciting the host immune response and subsequent autoreactivity. We analyzed features of HT through bioinformatics analysis so as to identify markers of HT development. We accessed public microarray data of HT patients from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and obtained differentially expressed genes (DEGs) under HT. Gene Ontology (GO) and KEGG pathway enrichment analyses were performed for functional clustering of our protein-protein interaction (PPI) network. Utilizing ranked gene lists, we performed Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) using the clusterprofiler R package. By comparing the expression signatures of the huge perturbation database with the queried rank-ordered gene list, connectivity map (CMap) analysis was performed to screen potential therapeutic targets and agents. The gene expression profile of the HT group was in line with general characteristics of HT. Biological processes related to the immune response and viral infection pathways were obtained for the upregulated DEGs. GSEA results revealed activation of autoimmune disease-related pathways and several viral infection pathways. Autoimmune disease and viral infection pathways were highly interconnected by common genes, while the HLA genes which are shared by both were significantly upregulated. CMap analysis suggested that perturbagens, including SRRM1, NLK, and CCDC92, have the potential to reverse the HT expression profile. Several lines of evidence suggested that viral infection and the host immune response are activated during HT. Viral infection is suspected to act as a key trigger of HT by causing autoimmunity. SRRM1, an alternative splicing factor, which responds to viral activity, might serve as potential marker of HT.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0137.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: RNA binding proteins; SF1; Hrb87F; Bru1; Drosophila; flight muscle; RNAi; splicing
Online: 5 August 2021 (10:42:09 CEST)
The proper regulation of RNA processing is critical for muscle development and the fine-tuning of contractile ability between muscle fiber-types. RNA binding proteins (RBPs) regulate the diverse steps in RNA processing including alternative splicing, which generates fiber-type specific isoforms of structural proteins that confer contractile sarcomeres with distinct biomechanical properties. Alternative splicing is disrupted in muscle diseases such as myotonic dystrophy and dilated cardiomyopathy, and is altered after intense exercise as well as with aging. It is therefore important to understand splicing and RBP function, but currently only a small fraction of the hundreds of annotated RBPs expressed in muscle have been characterized. Here we demonstrate the utility of Drosophila as a genetic model system to investigate basic developmental mechanisms of RBP function in myogenesis. We find that RBPs exhibit dynamic temporal and fiber-type specific expression patterns in mRNA-Seq data and display muscle-specific phenotypes. We performed knockdown with 105 RNAi hairpins targeting 35 RBPs and report associated lethality, flight, myofiber and sarcomere defects, including flight muscle phenotypes for Doa, Rm62, mub, mbl, sbr, and clu. Interestingly, knockdown phenotypes of spliceosome components, as highlighted by phenotypes for A-complex components SF1 and Hrb87F (hnRNPA1), revealed level- and temporal-dependent myofibril defects. We further show that splicing mediated by SF1 and Hrb87F is necessary for Z-disc stability and proper myofibril development, and strong knockdown of either gene results in impaired localization of Kettin to the Z-disc. Our results expand the number of RBPs with a described phenotype in muscle and underscore the diversity in myofibril and transcriptomic phenotypes associated with splicing defects. Drosophila is thus a useful model to gain disease-relevant insight into cellular and molecular phenotypes observed when expression levels of splicing factors, spliceosome components and splicing dynamics are altered.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0114.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: HIV-1; HIV-1 splicing; HIV-1 oversplicing; HIV-1 latency
Online: 6 January 2021 (11:49:59 CET)
HIV-1 transcribes only one kind of transcript – the full length genomic RNA. To make the mRNA transcripts for the accessory proteins Tat and Rev, the genomic RNA must completely splice. The mRNA transcripts for Vif, Vpr, and Env must splice but not completely. Genomic RNA (which also functions as mRNA for the Gag and Gag/Pro/Pol precursor polyproteins) must not splice at all. HIV-1 can tolerate a surprising range in the relative abundance of individual transcript types, and a surprising amount of aberrant and even odd splicing; however, it must not over-splice, which results in the loss of full length genomic RNA and has a dramatic fitness cost. Cells typically do not tolerate unspliced/incompletely spliced transcripts, so HIV-1 has to circumvent this cell policing mechanism to allow some splicing while suppressing most. Splicing is controlled by RNA secondary structure, cis-acting regulatory sequences which bind splicing factors, and the viral protein Rev. There is still much work to be done to clarify the combinatorial effects of these splicing regulators. These control mechanisms represent attractive targets to induce over-splicing as an antiviral strategy. Finally, splicing has been implicated in latency, but to date there is little supporting evidence for such a mechanism. In this review we apply what is known of cellular splicing to understand splicing in HIV-1, and also present data from our newer and more sensitive deep sequencing assays quantifying the different HIV-1 transcript types.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0268.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: cardiovascular disease; inflammation; aging; senectome, telomerase; alternative splicing; relaxation response; microRNA
Online: 12 July 2020 (16:57:10 CEST)
Mental stress represents a pivotal factor in cardiovascular diseases. The mechanism by which stress produces its deleterious effects is still under study but one of the most explored pathway is cell senescence. In this scenario, circulating microRNAs appear to be mobile regulatory elements of the telomerase activity and alternative splicing within the ”senectome” network. Anti-stress techniques seem to be able to slow-down aging process. As we have recently verified how the practice of Relaxation Response (RR), counteracting psychological stress, determines favorable changes of some inflammatory genes expression, of some neurotransmitters, hormones, cytokines and inflammatory circulating microRNAs, we aimed to verify a possible change even in serum levels of 4 senectome micro-RNAs (SE-miRNAs -20, -30, -410, -515), testing the activity of telomerase in peripheral blood mononuclear cells-PBMCs. We analyzed also alternative splicing microRNAs 134 and 183. According to our data, miRNA-20 and -30 levels and PBMCs-telomerase activity increase during the RR while -410 and -515 levels decrease. Moreover, during the RR sessions both miRNA-134 and -183 decrease. The mediators considered in this work seem to vary rapidly according to a (stress)-relaxation condition showing that psychic activity should be part of the study of aging factors.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0031.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: lncRNA; translation; transcription; splicing; brain; cerebral cortex; neurogenesis; synaptic plasticity; neurons
Online: 4 November 2019 (03:06:01 CET)
Mammalian genomes encode tens of thousands of long-noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which are capable of interactions with DNA, RNA and protein molecules, thereby enabling a variety of transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory activities. Strikingly, about 40% of lncRNAs are expressed specifically in the brain in precisely regulated temporal and spatial expression patterns. In stark contrast to the highly conserved repertoire of protein-coding genes, thousands of new lncRNAs have appeared during primate nervous system evolution with hundreds of human-specific lncRNAs. Their evolvable nature and the myriad of potential functions make lncRNAs ideal candidates for drivers of human brain evolution. The human brain displays the largest relative volume of any animal species and the most remarkable cognitive abilities. In addition to brain size, structural reorganization and adaptive changes represent crucial hallmarks of human brain evolution. LncRNAs are increasingly reported to be involved in neurodevelopmental processes including proliferation, neurite outgrowth and synaptogenesis, as well as in neuroplasticity, suggested to underlie human brain evolution. Hence, evolutionary human brain adaptations are proposed to be essentially driven by lncRNAs, which will be discussed in this review.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0632.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Horticulture Keywords: Grapevine; Abiotic stress; Non coding RNA; CircRNA; Pentatricopeptide repeat proteins; Back-splicing
Online: 20 April 2023 (08:33:56 CEST)
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) served as covalently closed single-stranded RNAs have been proposed to influence plant development and stress resistance. Grapevine is the most economically valuable fruit crops cultivated worldwide and threaten by various abiotic stresses. Herein, we reported that a circRNA (Vv-circPTCD1) processed from the second exon of a pentatricopeptide repeat family gene PTCD1 was preferentially expressed in leaves and responded to salt and drought but not heat stress in grapevine. Additionally, the second exon sequence of PTCD1 was highly conserved but the biogenesis of Vv-circPTCD1 is species-dependent in plants. It was further found that the overexpressed Vv-circPTCD1 can slightly decreased abundance of the cognate host gene and the neighboring genes were barely affected in grapevine callus. Furthermore, we also successfully overexpressed the Vv-circPTCD1, and found that the Vv-circPTCD1 deteriorated the growth during heat, salt, and drought stresses in Arabidopsis. However, the biological effects on grapevine callus were not always consistent with that of Arabidopsis. Interestingly, we found that the transgenic plants of linear counterpart sequence also conferred the same phenotypes as that of circRNA during the three stress conditions, no matter what species. Those results imply that although the sequences are conserved, the biogenesis and functions of Vv-circPTCD1 are species-dependent. Our results indicate that the plant circRNA function investigation should be conducted in homologous species, which support valuable reference for further plant circRNA studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0113.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: Group II; Intron; Splicing; PPR; Respiration; Complex I; Mitochondria; Embryogenesis; Arabidopsis; Angiosperms.
Online: 10 January 2022 (12:46:06 CET)
Mitochondria play key roles in cellular energy metabolism in eukaryotes. Mitochondria of most organisms contain their own genome and specific transcription and translation machineries. The expression of angiosperm mtDNA involves extensive RNA-processing steps, such as RNA trimming, editing, and the splicing of numerous group II-type introns. Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins are key players of plant organelle gene expression and RNA metabolism. In the present analysis, we reveal the function of the MITOCHONDRIAL SPLICING FACTOR 2 gene (MISF2, AT3G22670) and show that it encodes a mitochondria-localized PPR protein that is crucial for early embryo-development in Arabidopsis. Molecular characterization of embryo-rescued misf2 plantlets indicates that the splicing of nad2 intron 1 and thus respiratory complex I biogenesis are strongly compromised. Moreover, the molecular function seems conserved between MISF2 protein in Arabidopsis and its orthologous gene (EMP10) in maize, suggesting that the ancestor of MISF2/EMP10 was recruited to function in nad2 processing before the monocot-dicot divergence, ~200 million years ago. These data provide new insights into the function of nuclear-encoded factors in mitochondrial gene expression and respiratory chain biogenesis during plant embryo development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0473.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: Fanconi anemia; Chromosome instability; FANCG; splicing; founder pathogenic variant; Mixe indigenous group.
Online: 29 December 2021 (19:28:49 CET)
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare genetic disorder caused by pathogenic variants (PV) in at least 22 genes, which cooperate in the FA/BRCA pathway to maintain genome stability. PV in FANCA, FANCC, and FANCG account for most cases (~90%). This study evaluated the chromosomal, molecular, and phenotypic findings of a novel founder FANCG PV, identified in three patients with FA from the Mixe community of Oaxaca, Mexico. All patients presented chromosomal instability and a homozygous PV, FANCG: c.511-3_511-2delCA, identified by next-generation sequencing analysis. Bioinformatics predictions suggest that this deletion disrupts a splice acceptor site promoting the exon 5 skipping. Analysis of Cytoscan 750K arrays for haplotyping and global ancestry supported the Mexican origin and founder effect of the variant, reaffirming the high frequency of founder PV in FANCG. The degree of bone marrow failure and physical findings (described through the acronyms VACTERL-H and PHENOS) were used to depict the phenotype of the patients. Despite having a similar frequency of chromosomal aberrations and genetic constitution, the phenotype showed a wide spectrum of severity. The identification of a founder PV could help for a systematic and accurate genetic screening of patients with FA suspicion in this population.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0349.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Gastroenterology And Hepatology Keywords: RNA-Seq; bioinformatics; web application; gene expression; alternative splicing; visualization; molecular epidemiology
Online: 20 September 2021 (16:56:32 CEST)
Gene expression data is key for the functional annotation of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Expression and splicing quantitative trait loci (e/sQTLs) in normal colon tissue, such as those from the University of Barcelona and University of Virginia RNA sequencing project (BarcUVa-Seq) and the Genotype-Tissue Expression project (GTEx), are required to gain biological insight of colon-related diseases risk loci. Moreover, transcriptome-wide association studies (TWAS) rely on reference gene expression imputation panels in the tissue of interest to nominate susceptibility genes. Also, it is of high interest to study the relationships between genes in a network framework. For facilitating these analyses, we have updated and expanded the scope of the Colon Transcriptome Explorer (CoTrEx) to the version 2.0. This web-based resource provides exhaustive visualization and analysis of transcriptome-wide gene expression profiles of normal colon tissue from BarcUVa-Seq and GTEx. In addition to the integration of new datasets, CoTrEx 2.0 provides additional e/sQTLs sets, as well as gene expression prediction models and regulatory and co-expression networks. It is freely available at https://barcuvaseq.org/cotrex/. Overall, it is of high interest for researchers aiming to investigate the genetic susceptibility to colon-related complex traits and diseases.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1527.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: spinal muscular atrophy; SMN1 gene; SMN2 gene; nuclear gems; antisense oligonucleotides; splicing correction.
Online: 22 September 2023 (09:19:28 CEST)
Spinal muscular atrophy is a neuromuscular disorder caused by mutationsin both copies of the survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1) which lead to reduction in the production of the SMN protein. Currently, there are several therapies that have been approved for SMA, with much more undergoing active research. While various biomarkers have been proposed for assessing the effectiveness of SMA treatment, a universally accepted one still hasnot been identified. This study aimed to investigate whether the number of gems in cell nuclei could serve as a potential biomarker for SMA. To gain insight into whether the number of gems in cell nuclei varies based on their SMN genotype and whether the increase in gems number is associated with therapeutic response, we utilized fibroblast cell cultures obtained from a patient with SMA type II and from healthy individual. We have discovered a remarkable difference in the number of gems found in the nuclei of these cells, specifically when counting gems per 100 nuclei. Then the SMA fibroblasts were treated with antisense oligonucleotides the beneficial effects in correcting the abnormal splicing of SMN2 exon 7 have been demonstrated. It was observed that there was a significant increase in the number of gems in the treated cells compared to the intact SMA cells. The results obtained significantly correlate with an increase of full-length SMN transcripts share. Based on our findings, it is evident that the quantity of gems can be regarded as a reliable biomarker for SMA drugs development.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0037.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: peptidyl-prolyl isomerases; nuclear cyclophilins; spliceophilins; alternative splicing; spliceosomes; NMR; X-ray crystallography
Online: 2 November 2018 (08:16:41 CET)
The peptidyl-prolyl isomerases of the cyclophilin type are distributed throughout human cells, including eight found solely in the nucleus. Nuclear cyclophilins are involved in complexes that regulate chromatin modification, transcription, and pre-mRNA splicing. This review collects what is known about the eight human nuclear cyclophilins: PPIH, PPIE, PPIL1, PPIL2, PPIL3, PPIG, CWC27, and PPWD1. Each “spliceophilin” is evaluated in relation to the spliceosomal complex in which it has been studied, and current work studying the biological roles of these cyclophilins in the nucleus are discussed. All eight of the human splicing complexes available in the PDB are analyzed from the viewpoint of the human spliceophilins. Future directions in structural and cellular biology, and the importance of developing spliceophilin-specific inhibitors, are considered.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0947.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: alternative mRNA splicing; amino acids; inflammation; dyslipidemia; macrophages; NAFLD; NASH; regulatory T cells; vascular endothelial cells
Online: 17 October 2023 (03:30:33 CEST)
Calpain is delineated as a superfamily of cysteine proteases containing a CysPC motif within their genes. Among the fifteen species of mammalian homologs, calpain-1 and -2, which are categorized as conventional isozymes, execute limited proteolysis in a calcium-dependent fashion. Accordingly, the calpain system participates in physiological and pathological phenomena, encompassing cell migration, apoptosis, skeletal muscle integrity, and synaptic plasticity. The dysregulation of the calpain system has been inextricably linked to a multitude of diseases, such as ischemic and degenerative diseases, rendering it a subject of profound interest in the fields of basic research and pharmaceutical development aimed at therapeutic interventions. Recent investigations have unveiled the contributions of both conventional and unconventional calpains to the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic disorders, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, and hepatic diseases. Consequently, the present review accentuates the pivotal role of calpains in the complications of cardiometabolic diseases and embarks upon a discourse regarding calpains as molecular targets.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0203.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: immunoglobulin (Ig); nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD); nonsense-associated altered splicing (NAS); B lymphocytes; plasma cells
Online: 18 January 2020 (10:21:18 CET)
The presence of premature termination codons (PTCs) in transcripts is dangerous for the cell as they encode potentially deleterious truncated proteins that can act with dominant-negative or gain-of-function effects. To avoid synthesis of these shortened polypeptides, several RNA surveillance systems can be activated to decrease the level of PTC-containing mRNAs. Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) ensures an accelerated degradation of mRNAs harboring PTCs by using several key NMD factors such as up-frameshift (UPF) proteins. Another pathway called nonsense-associated altered splicing (NAS) upregulates transcripts that have skipped disturbing PTCs by alternative splicing. Therefore, these RNA quality control processes eliminate abnormal PTC-containing mRNAs from the cells by using positive and negative responses. In this review, we will describe the general mechanisms of NMD and NAS and their respective involvement in the decay of aberrant immunoglobulin and TCR transcripts in lymphoid cells.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0085.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: mendelian disease; diagnostics; variant interpretation; variant prioritization; rna splicing; bioinformatics; machine learning; genomic medicine; effect prediction
Online: 8 November 2019 (04:07:16 CET)
Defects in pre-mRNA splicing are frequently a cause of Mendelian disease. Despite the advent of next-generation sequencing, allowing a deeper insight into a patient’s variant landscape, the ability to characterize variants causing splicing defects has not progressed with the same speed. To address this, recent years have seen a sharp spike in the number of splice prediction tools leveraging machine learning approaches, leaving clinical geneticists with a plethora of choices for in silico analysis. In this Review, some basic principles of machine learning are introduced in the context of genomics and splicing analysis. A critical comparative approach is then used to describe seven recent machine learning-based splice prediction tools, revealing highly diverse approaches and common caveats. We find that, although great progress has been made in producing specific and sensitive tools, there is still much scope for personalized approaches to prediction of variant impact on splicing. Such approaches may increase diagnostic yields and underpin improvements to patient care.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0057.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: posttranscriptional regulation; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; nonsense mediated decay; NMD; splicing; 4-thiouracil; 4sU; rpb1-1; exponential decay
Online: 9 November 2017 (03:24:17 CET)
The turnover of the RNA molecules is determined by the rates of transcription and RNA degradation. Several methods have been developed to study mRNA turnover since the beginnings of molecular biology. Here we summarize the main methods to measure RNA half-life: transcription inhibition, gene control and metabolic labelling. These methods were used to detect the cellular activity of the mRNAs degradation machinery, including the exo-ribonuclease Xrn1 and the exosome. Less progress has been made in the study of the differential stability of mature RNAs because the different methods have often yielded inconsistent results so that an mRNA considered to be stable can be classified as unstable by another method. Recent advances in the systematic comparison of different method variants in yeast have permitted the identification of the least invasive methodologies that reflect half-lives the most faithfully, which is expected to open the way for a consistent quantitative analysis of the determinants of mRNA stability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0609.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: splicing, U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP, Usher syndrome, protein-protein interaction, FRET, AlphaFold2, in silico structure predictions,
Online: 9 November 2023 (07:25:05 CET)
Pre-mRNA splicing is an essential process orchestrated by the spliceosome, a dynamic complex assembled stepwise on pre-mRNA. We have previously identified that USH1G protein SANS regulates pre-mRNA splicing by mediating the intra-nuclear transfer of the spliceosomal U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP complex. During this process, SANS interacts with the U4/U6 and U5 snRNP-specific proteins PRPF31 and PRPF6 and regulates splicing, which is disturbed by variants of USH1G/SANS causative for human Usher syndrome (USH) the most common form of hereditary deaf-blindness.Here, we aimed to gain further insight into the molecular interaction of the splicing molecules PRPF31 and PRPF6 to the CENTn domain of SANS using fluorescence resonance energy transfer assays in cells and in silico deep learning-based protein structure predictions. This demonstrates that SANS directly binds via two distinct conserved regions of its CENTn to the two PRPFs. In addition, we provide evidence that these interactions occur sequentially and a conformational change of an intrinsically disordered region to a short α-helix of SANS CENTn2 is triggered by binding of PRPF6. Furthermore, we found that pathogenic variants of USH1G/SANS perturb the binding of SANS to both PRPFs implying a significance for the USH1G pathophysiology.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0291.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: phosphorelay; high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) pathway; alternative splicing; signaling; histidine kinases; Magnaporthe oryzae; YPD1; phosphotransfer; signal transduction
Online: 12 April 2021 (12:34:48 CEST)
Different external stimuli are perceived by multiple sensor histidine kinases and transmitted by phosphorylation via the phosphotransfer protein Ypd1p in the multistep phosphorelay system of the high osmolarity glycerol signaling pathway of filamentous fungi. How the signal propagation takes place is still not known in detail, since multiple sensor histidine kinase genes in most filamentous fungi are coded in the genome, whereas only one gene for Ypd1 exists. That raises the hypothesis that various Ypd1 isoforms are produced from a single gene sequence, perhaps by alternative splicing, facilitating a higher variability in signal transduction. We found that the mRNA of MoYPD1 in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is subjected to an increased structural variation and amplified putative isoforms on a cDNA level. We then generated mutant strains overexpressing these isoforms, purified the products and present here one previously unknown MoYpd1 isoform on a proteome level. Alternative splicing was found to be a valid molecular mechanism to increase the signal diversity in eukaryotic multistep phosphorelay systems.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0466.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Alternative Splicing; RNA-Seq; Machine Learning; Deep Learning; Recommender Systems; Multiple Instance Learning; mRNA Isoforms; Gene Ontology
Online: 20 July 2020 (10:53:23 CEST)
Multiple mRNA isoforms of the same gene are produced via alternative splicing, a biological mechanism that regulates protein diversity while maintaining genome size. Alternatively spliced mRNA isoforms of the same gene may sometimes have very similar sequence, but they can have significantly diverse effects on cellular function and regulation. The products of alternative splicing have important and diverse functional roles, such as response to environmental stress, regulation of gene expression, human heritable and plant diseases. The mRNA isoforms of the same gene, such as the apoptosis associated CASP3 gene, can have dramatically different functions. The shorter mRNA isoform product CASP3-S inhibits apoptosis, while the longer CASP3-L mRNA isoform promotes apoptosis. Despite the functional importance of mRNA isoforms, very little has been done to annotate their functions. The recent years have however seen the development of several computational methods aimed at predicting mRNA isoform level biological functions. These methods use a wide array of proteo-genomic data to develop machine learning-based mRNA isoform function prediction tools. In this review, we discuss the computational methods developed for predicting the biological function at the individual mRNA isoform level.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0168.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: cAMP signaling; quorum sensing; alternative splicing; lipid signaling; MAPK cascade; multistep phosphorelay; pheromone signaling; glucose signaling; light signaling
Online: 11 March 2022 (10:15:46 CET)
Biochemical signaling is the key mechanism to coordinate a living organism in all aspects of its life. It is still enigmatic how exactly cells and organisms deal with environmental signals and irritations precisely because of the limited number of signaling proteins and a multitude of transitions inside and outside the cell. Many components of signaling pathways are functionally pleiotropic, which means they have several functions. A single stimulus often activates multiple effectors, a distinct effector can be activated by numerous stimuli and signals triggered by different stimuli are often transduced via shared network components. This very compact and concise review sheds light on the most important molecular mechanisms of cellular signaling in fungi.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0773.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Key words: transcriptome profiles; long non-coding RNAs; single-nucleotide polymorphisms; alternative splicing; sheep; preimplantation; Single-cell RNA sequencing
Online: 23 April 2023 (04:57:02 CEST)
Numerous dynamic and complicated processes characterize development from the oocyte to the embryo. However, given the importance of functional transcriptome profiles, long non-coding RNAs, single-nucleotide polymorphisms, and alternative splicing during embryonic development, the effect that these features have on the blastomeres of 2-, 4-, 8-, 16-cell, and morula stages of development have not been studied. Here, we conducted a scRNA-seq survey of cells from sheep from the oocyte to the blastocyst developmental stages. We then carried out experiments to identify and functionally analyze the transcriptome profiles, long non-coding RNAs, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and alternative splicing (AS). We founded that between the oocyte and zygote groups significantly down-regulated genes and the second-largest change in gene expression occurred between the 8- and 16-cell stages. We used various methods to construct a profile to characterize cellular and molecular features and systematically analyze the related GO and KEGG profile of cells of all stages from the oocyte to the blastocyst. This large-scale, single-cell atlas provides key cellular information and will likely assist clinical studies in improving preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0389.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: antisense oligonucleotides; exon skipping; machine learning; ensemble learning; personalized medicine; n-of-1 therapy, splice switching; genetic disease; splicing; RNA
Online: 22 March 2023 (03:24:48 CET)
Antisense oligonucleotide (ASO)-mediated exon skipping has become a valuable tool for investigating gene function and developing gene therapy. Machine learning-based computational methods such as eSkip-Finder have been developed to predict the efficacy of ASOs via exon skipping. However, these methods are computationally demanding, and the accuracy of predictions remains suboptimal. In this study, we propose a new approach to reduce computational burden and improve prediction performance by using feature selection within machine learning algorithms and ensemble learning techniques. We evaluated our approach using a dataset of experimentally validated exon skipping events, dividing it into training and testing sets. Our results demonstrate that using a 3-way voting approach with random forest, gradient boosting, and XGBoost can significantly reduce computation time to under ten seconds while improving prediction performance, as measured by R2 for both 2’-O-methyl nucleotides (2OMe) and phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PMOs). Additionally, the feature importance ranking derived from our approach is in good agreement with previously published results. Our findings suggest that our approach has the potential to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of predicting ASO efficacy via exon skipping. It could also facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies. This study could contribute to the ongoing efforts to improve ASO design and optimize gene therapy approaches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0167.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: antisense oligonucleotides; exon skipping; machine learning; ensemble learning; personalized medicine; n-of-1 therapy; splice switching; genetic disease; splicing; RNA
Online: 9 March 2023 (04:43:55 CET)
Antisense oligonucleotide (ASO)-mediated exon skipping has emerged as a powerful tool for examining the function of genes and exons in basic research, as well as gene therapy. Computational methods, such as eSkip-Finder, have been developed to predict the efficacy of ASOs via exon skipping using machine learning. However, these methods can be computationally demanding and the prediction accuracy of the tool is not yet optimal. In this study, we propose an approach to reduce computational burden and improve prediction performance by utilizing feature selection within machine learning algorithms and employing ensemble learning techniques. The method was evaluated using a dataset of genes with experimentally validated exon skipping events. The dataset was divided into training and testing sets to assess the accuracy of the algorithm. Our results demonstrate that using a 3-way voting approach with random forest, gradient boosting, and XGBoost can significantly reduce computation time to under ten seconds while improving prediction performance, as measured by R2 for both 2’-O-methyl nucleotides (2OMe) and phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PMOs). Additionally, the feature importance ranking derived from our approach is in good agreement with previously published results. These findings suggest that this approach has the potential to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of predicting ASO efficacy via exon skipping, facilitating the development of novel therapeutic strategies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0482.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Alternative splicing; biological rhythms; domestication and polyploidization; gene mining; heterosis; nutrient homeostasis; plant phenology and architecture; symbiosis; transcriptome and proteome diversity
Online: 7 September 2023 (09:30:00 CEST)
Alternative splicing (AS) is a gene regulatory mechanism modulating gene expression in multiple ways. AS is prevalent in all eukaryotes including plants. AS generates two or more mRNAs from the precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA) to regulate transcriptome complexity and proteome diversity. Advances in next-generation sequencing, omics technology and bioinformatics tools, and computational methods provide new opportunities to quantify and visualize AS-based quantitative trait variation associated with plant growth, development, reproduction, and stress tolerance. Domestication, polyploidization and environmental perturbation may evolve novel splicing variants associated with agronomically beneficial traits. To date, pre-mRNAs from many genes are spliced into multiple transcripts that cause phenotypic variation for complex traits, both in model plant Arabidopsis and field crops. Cataloguing and exploiting such variation may provide new paths to enhance climate resilience, resource-use efficiency, productivity, and nutritional quality of staple food crops. This review provides insights into AS variation alongside gene expression analysis to select for novel phenotypic diversity for use in breeding programs. AS contributes to heterosis, enhances plant symbiosis (mycorrhiza and rhizobium), and provides a mechanistic link between the core clock genes and diverse environmental clues.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1818.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: Alternative Splicing; two-colour (GFP/RFP) Fluorescent Reporter; MAPT; Exon-Skipping; FTDP-17; High Content Screening; siRNA; Nucleic Acids Therapeutics; Drug discovery
Online: 26 June 2023 (13:55:26 CEST)
Nucleic acid therapeutics are witnessing an impressive acceleration in recent years. They work through multiple mechanisms of action, including downregulation of gene expression and modulation of RNA splicing. While several drugs based on the former mechanism have been approved, few target the latter, despite the promise of RNA splicing modulation. To improve our ability to discover novel RNA splicing-modulating therapies, we developed HCS-Splice, a robust cell-based High-Content Screening (HCS) assay. By implementing the use of a two-colour (GFP/RFP) fluorescent splicing reporter plasmid, we developed a versatile, effective, rapid, and robust high-throughput strategy for the identification of potent splicing-modulating molecules. The HCS-Splice strategy can also be used to functionally confirm splicing mutations in human genetic disorders or to screen drug candidates. As a proof-of-concept, we introduced a dementia-related splice-switching mutation in Microtubule-Associated Protein Tau (MAPT) exon 10 splicing reporter. We applied HCS-Splice to the wild-type and mutant reporters and measured the functional change in exon 10 inclusion. To demonstrate the applicability of the method to cell-based drug discovery, HCS-Splice was used to evaluate the efficacy of an exon 10-targeting siRNA, which was able to restore the correct alternative splicing balance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0259.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: long non-coding RNA; cell type specific; alternative splicing; functional enrichment; RNA-binding proteins; protein binding lncRNA sponges; secondary RNA structure; cancer
Online: 26 June 2019 (05:23:29 CEST)
Background: Recent developments in our understanding of the interactions between long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) and cellular components have improved treatment approaches for various human diseases including cancer, vascular diseases, and neurological diseases. Although investigation of specific lncRNAs revealed their role in the metabolism of cellular RNA, our understanding of their contribution to post-transcriptional regulation is relatively limited. In this study, we explore the role of lncRNAs in modulating alternative splicing and their impact on downstream protein-RNA interaction networks. Results: Analysis of alternative splicing events across 39 lncRNA wildtype and knockout RNA-sequencing datasets from three human cell lines: HeLa (Cervical Cancer), K562 (Myeloid Leukemia), and U87 (Glioblastoma), resulted in high confidence (fdr < 0.01) identification of 4432 skipped exon events and 2474 retained intron events, implicating 759 genes to be impacted at post-transcriptional level due to the loss of lncRNAs. We observed that a majority of the alternatively spliced genes in a lncRNA knockout were specific to the cell type, in agreement with the finding that genes affected by alternative splicing also displayed enriched functions in a cell type specific manner. To understand the mechanism behind this cell-type specific alternative splicing patterns, we analyzed RNA binding protein (RBP)-RNA interaction profiles across the spliced regions. Conclusions: Despite limited RBP binding data across cell lines, alternatively spliced events detected in lncRNA perturbation experiments were associated with RBPs binding in proximal intron-exon junctions, in a cell type specific manner. The cellular functions affected by alternative splicing were also affected in a cell type specific manner. Based on the RBP binding profiles in HeLa and K562 cells, we hypothesize that several lncRNAs are likely to exhibit a sponge effect in disease contexts, resulting in the functional disruption of RBPs due to altered titration of the RBPs from their target loci. We propose that such lncRNA sponges can extensively rewire the post-transcriptional gene regulatory networks by altering the protein-RNA interaction landscape in a cell-type specific manner.