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The splicing regulator PTBP2 controls a program of embryonic splicing required for neuronal maturation.

  • Author(s): Li, Qin;
  • Zheng, Sika;
  • Han, Areum;
  • Lin, Chia-Ho;
  • Stoilov, Peter;
  • Fu, Xiang-Dong;
  • Black, Douglas L
  • et al.
Abstract

We show that the splicing regulator PTBP2 controls a genetic program essential for neuronal maturation. Depletion of PTBP2 in developing mouse cortex leads to degeneration of these tissues over the first three postnatal weeks, a time when the normal cortex expands and develops mature circuits. Cultured Ptbp2(-/-) neurons exhibit the same initial viability as wild type, with proper neurite outgrowth and marker expression. However, these mutant cells subsequently fail to mature and die after a week in culture. Transcriptome-wide analyses identify many exons that share a pattern of mis-regulation in the mutant brains, where isoforms normally found in adults are precociously expressed in the developing embryo. These transcripts encode proteins affecting neurite growth, pre- and post-synaptic assembly, and synaptic transmission. Our results define a new genetic regulatory program, where PTBP2 acts to temporarily repress expression of adult protein isoforms until the final maturation of the neuron. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01201.001.

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