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Coordinate regulation of alternative pre-mRNA splicing events by the human RNA chaperone proteins hnRNPA1 and DDX5


Alternative premessenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing is a post-transcriptional mechanism for controlling gene expression. Splicing patterns are determined by both RNA-binding proteins and nuclear pre-mRNA structure. Here, we analyzed pre-mRNA splicing patterns, RNA-binding sites, and RNA structures near these binding sites coordinately controlled by two splicing factors: the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein hnRNPA1 and the RNA helicase DDX5. We identified thousands of alternative pre-mRNA splicing events controlled by these factors by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) following RNAi. Enhanced cross-linking and immunoprecipitation (eCLIP) on nuclear extracts was used to identify protein-RNA-binding sites for both proteins in the nuclear transcriptome. We found a significant overlap between hnRNPA1 and DDX5 splicing targets and that they share many closely linked binding sites as determined by eCLIP analysis. In vivo SHAPE (selective 2'-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension) chemical RNA structure probing data were used to model RNA structures near several exons controlled and bound by both proteins. Both sequence motifs and in vivo UV cross-linking sites for hnRNPA1 and DDX5 were used to map binding sites in their RNA targets, and often these sites flanked regions of higher chemical reactivity, suggesting an organized nature of nuclear pre-mRNPs. This work provides a first glimpse into the possible RNA structures surrounding pre-mRNA splicing factor-binding sites.

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