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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An integrative model for alternative polyadenylation, IntMAP, delineates mTOR-modulated endoplasmic reticulum stress response.

  • Author(s): Chang, Jae-Woong
  • Zhang, Wei
  • Yeh, Hsin-Sung
  • Park, Meeyeon
  • Yao, Chengguo
  • Shi, Yongsheng
  • Kuang, Rui
  • Yong, Jeongsik
  • et al.

3'-untranslated regions (UTRs) can vary through the use of alternative polyadenylation sites during pre-mRNA processing. Multiple publically available pipelines combining high profiling technologies and bioinformatics tools have been developed to catalog changes in 3'-UTR lengths. In our recent RNA-seq experiments using cells with hyper-activated mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), we found that cellular mTOR activation leads to transcriptome-wide alternative polyadenylation (APA), resulting in the activation of multiple cellular pathways. Here, we developed a novel bioinformatics algorithm, IntMAP, which integrates RNA-Seq and PolyA Site (PAS)-Seq data for a comprehensive characterization of APA events. By applying IntMAP to the datasets from cells with hyper-activated mTOR, we identified novel APA events that could otherwise not be identified by either profiling method alone. Several transcription factors including Cebpg (CCAAT/enhancer binding protein gamma) were among the newly discovered APA transcripts, indicating that diverse transcriptional networks may be regulated by mTOR-coordinated APA. The prevention of APA in Cebpg using the CRISPR/cas9-mediated genome editing tool showed that mTOR-driven 3'-UTR shortening in Cebpg is critical in protecting cells from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Taken together, we present IntMAP as a new bioinformatics algorithm for APA analysis by which we expand our understanding of the physiological role of mTOR-coordinated APA events to ER stress response. IntMAP toolbox is available at

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