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You are here: Home / Teams / Regulation of Genome Architecture and Dynamics of Splicing (ReGArDS) - D. Auboeuf and C. Bourgeois / Publications / Molecular design of a splicing switch responsive to the RNA binding protein Tra2beta.

Molecular design of a splicing switch responsive to the RNA binding protein Tra2beta.

Sushma N Grellscheid, Caroline Dalgliesh, Agata Rozanska, David Grellscheid, Cyril F Bourgeois, James Stevenin, and David J Elliott (2011)

Nucleic Acids Res, 39(18):8092-104.

Tra2beta regulates a number of splicing switches including activation of the human testis-specific exon HIPK3-T in the Homeodomain Interacting Protein Kinase3 gene. By testing HIPK3-T exons of different intrinsic strengths, we found Tra2beta most efficiently activated splicing inclusion of intrinsically weak exons, although these were spliced at a lower overall level. Both the RRM and N-terminal RS-rich region of Tra2beta were required for splicing activation. Bioinformatic searches for splicing enhancers and repressors mapped four physically distinct exonic splicing enhancers (ESEs) within HIPK3-T, each containing the known Tra2beta AGAA-rich binding site. Surprisingly disruption ofeach single ESE prevented Tra2beta-mediated activation, although single mutated exons could still bind Tra2beta protein by gel shifts and functional splicing analyses. Titration experiments indicate an additive model of HIPK3-T splicing activation, requiring availability of an array of four distinct ESEs to enable splicing activation. To enable this efficient Tra2beta-mediated splicing switch to operate, a closely adjacent downstream and potentially competitive stronger 5'-splice site is actively repressed. Our data indicate that a novel arrangementof multiple mono-specific AGAA-rich ESEs coupled to a weak 5'-splice site functions as a responsive gauge. This gauge monitors changes in the specific nuclear concentration of the RNA binding protein Tra2beta, and co-ordinately regulates HIPK3-T exon splicing inclusion.

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