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Sample records for alu-derived intronic splicing

  1. Origin of Spliceosomal Introns and Alternative Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Irimia, Manuel; Roy, Scott William

    2014-01-01

    In this work we review the current knowledge on the prehistory, origins, and evolution of spliceosomal introns. First, we briefly outline the major features of the different types of introns, with particular emphasis on the nonspliceosomal self-splicing group II introns, which are widely thought to be the ancestors of spliceosomal introns. Next, we discuss the main scenarios proposed for the origin and proliferation of spliceosomal introns, an event intimately linked to eukaryogenesis. We then summarize the evidence that suggests that the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) had remarkably high intron densities and many associated characteristics resembling modern intron-rich genomes. From this intron-rich LECA, the different eukaryotic lineages have taken very distinct evolutionary paths leading to profoundly diverged modern genome structures. Finally, we discuss the origins of alternative splicing and the qualitative differences in alternative splicing forms and functions across lineages. PMID:24890509

  2. Translational control of intron splicing in eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Jaillon, Olivier; Bouhouche, Khaled; Gout, Jean-François; Aury, Jean-Marc; Noel, Benjamin; Saudemont, Baptiste; Nowacki, Mariusz; Serrano, Vincent; Porcel, Betina M; Ségurens, Béatrice; Le Mouël, Anne; Lepère, Gersende; Schächter, Vincent; Bétermier, Mireille; Cohen, Jean; Wincker, Patrick; Sperling, Linda; Duret, Laurent; Meyer, Eric

    2008-01-17

    Most eukaryotic genes are interrupted by non-coding introns that must be accurately removed from pre-messenger RNAs to produce translatable mRNAs. Splicing is guided locally by short conserved sequences, but genes typically contain many potential splice sites, and the mechanisms specifying the correct sites remain poorly understood. In most organisms, short introns recognized by the intron definition mechanism cannot be efficiently predicted solely on the basis of sequence motifs. In multicellular eukaryotes, long introns are recognized through exon definition and most genes produce multiple mRNA variants through alternative splicing. The nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) pathway may further shape the observed sets of variants by selectively degrading those containing premature termination codons, which are frequently produced in mammals. Here we show that the tiny introns of the ciliate Paramecium tetraurelia are under strong selective pressure to cause premature termination of mRNA translation in the event of intron retention, and that the same bias is observed among the short introns of plants, fungi and animals. By knocking down the two P. tetraurelia genes encoding UPF1, a protein that is crucial in NMD, we show that the intrinsic efficiency of splicing varies widely among introns and that NMD activity can significantly reduce the fraction of unspliced mRNAs. The results suggest that, independently of alternative splicing, species with large intron numbers universally rely on NMD to compensate for suboptimal splicing efficiency and accuracy.

  3. Splicing of intron 3 of human BACE requires the flanking introns 2 and 4.

    PubMed

    Annies, Maik; Stefani, Muriel; Hueber, Andreas; Fischer, Frauke; Paganetti, Paolo

    2009-10-16

    Regulation of proteolytic cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein by the aspartic protease BACE may occur by alternative splicing and the generation of enzymatically inactive forms. In fact, the presence of exonic donor and acceptor sites for intron 3 generates the two deficient variants BACE457 and BACE476. In HEK293 cells, when introns are inserted separately in the BACE cDNA, we found that whilst introns 2 and 4 are efficiently spliced out, intron 3 is not removed. On the other hand, splicing to wild-type BACE is restored when intron 3 is flanked by the two other introns. The presence of all three introns also leads to alternative splicing of intron 3 and the generation of BACE476. In contrast, BACE457 expression takes place only after mutating the donor splice site of intron 3, indicating that additional regulatory elements are necessary for the use of the splicing site within exon 4. Overall, our data demonstrate that a complex splicing of intron 3 regulates the maturation of the BACE mRNA. This appears orchestrated by domains present in the exons and introns flanking intron 3. Excessive BACE activity is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, therefore this complex regulation might guarantee low neuronal BACE activity and disease prevention.

  4. Self-splicing group I introns in eukaryotic viruses.

    PubMed

    Yamada, T; Tamura, K; Aimi, T; Songsri, P

    1994-07-11

    We report the occurrence of self-splicing group I introns in viruses that infect the eukaryotic green alga Chlorella. The introns contained all the conserved features of primary sequence and secondary structure previously described for the group IB introns. The Chlorella viral introns (approximately 400 nt) self-spliced in vitro, yielding the typical group I intron splicing intermediates and products. Contrasting to eukaryotic nuclear group I introns, all of which are located in the rRNA genes, these introns were inserted in genes encoding proteins. In one case, the exons encoded a protein showing significant homology to the eukaryotic transcription factor SII (TFIIS), which may be important for viral gene expression. In another case, the gene for the open reading frame (ORF) of a 14.2 kDa polypeptide with unknown functions contained the intron. Scattered distribution of these introns among the viral species and their structural similarity to the group I introns of algae and protists indicated horizontal intron transmission. These eukaryotic viral introns offer an opportunity to understand how group I introns reach organisms of different phylogenetic kingdoms.

  5. Alternatively spliced, spliceosomal twin introns in Helminthosporium solani.

    PubMed

    Ág, Norbert; Flipphi, Michel; Karaffa, Levente; Scazzocchio, Claudio; Fekete, Erzsébet

    2015-12-01

    Spliceosomal twin introns, "stwintrons", have been defined as complex intervening sequences that carry a second intron ("internal intron") interrupting one of the conserved sequence domains necessary for their correct splicing via consecutive excision events. Previously, we have described and experimentally verified stwintrons in species of Sordariomycetes, where an "internal intron" interrupted the donor sequence of an "external intron". Here we describe and experimentally verify two novel stwintrons of the potato pathogen Helminthosporium solani. One instance involves alternative splicing of an internal intron interrupting the donor domain of an external intron and a second one interrupting the acceptor domain of an overlapping external intron, both events leading to identical mature mRNAs. In the second case, an internal intron interrupts the donor domain of the external intron, while an alternatively spliced intron leads to an mRNA carrying a premature chain termination codon. We thus extend the stwintron concept to the acceptor domain and establish a link of the occurrence of stwintrons with that of alternative splicing.

  6. Alternatively spliced, spliceosomal twin introns in Helminthosporium solani.

    PubMed

    Ág, Norbert; Flipphi, Michel; Karaffa, Levente; Scazzocchio, Claudio; Fekete, Erzsébet

    2015-12-01

    Spliceosomal twin introns, "stwintrons", have been defined as complex intervening sequences that carry a second intron ("internal intron") interrupting one of the conserved sequence domains necessary for their correct splicing via consecutive excision events. Previously, we have described and experimentally verified stwintrons in species of Sordariomycetes, where an "internal intron" interrupted the donor sequence of an "external intron". Here we describe and experimentally verify two novel stwintrons of the potato pathogen Helminthosporium solani. One instance involves alternative splicing of an internal intron interrupting the donor domain of an external intron and a second one interrupting the acceptor domain of an overlapping external intron, both events leading to identical mature mRNAs. In the second case, an internal intron interrupts the donor domain of the external intron, while an alternatively spliced intron leads to an mRNA carrying a premature chain termination codon. We thus extend the stwintron concept to the acceptor domain and establish a link of the occurrence of stwintrons with that of alternative splicing. PMID:26514742

  7. An intron-encoded protein assists RNA splicing of multiple similar introns of different bacterial genes.

    PubMed

    Meng, Qing; Wang, Yanfei; Liu, Xiang-Qin

    2005-10-21

    Four group II introns were found in an unusually intron-rich dnaN gene (encoding the beta subunit of DNA polymerase III) of the cyanobacterium Trichodesmium erythraeum, and they have strong similarities to two introns of the RIR gene (encoding ribonucleotide reductase) of the same organism. Of these six introns, only the RIR-3 intron encodes a maturase protein and showed efficient RNA splicing when expressed in Escherichia coli cells. The other five introns do not encode a maturase protein and did not show RNA splicing in E. coli. But these maturase-less introns showed efficient RNA splicing when the RIR-3 intron-encoded maturase protein was co-expressed from a freestanding gene in the same cell. These findings demonstrated that an intron-encoded protein could function as a general maturase for multiple introns of different genes. Major implications may include an intron-mediated co-regulation of the different genes and a resemblance of the evolutionary origin of spliceosomal introns.

  8. Multiple splicing pathways of group II trans-splicing introns in wheat mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Massel, Karen; Silke, Jordan R; Bonen, Linda

    2016-05-01

    Trans-splicing of discontinuous introns in plant mitochondria requires the assembly of independently-transcribed precursor RNAs into splicing-competent structures, and they are expected to be excised as Y-branched molecules ("broken lariats") because these introns belong to the group II ribozyme family. We now demonstrate that this is just one of several trans-splicing pathways for wheat mitochondrial nad1 intron 4 and nad5 intron 2; they also use a hydrolytic pathway and the liberated 5'-half-intron linear molecules are unexpectedly abundant in the RNA population. We also observe a third productive splicing pathway for nad5 intron 2 that yields full-length excised introns in which the termini are joined in vivo and possess non-encoded nucleotides. In the case of trans-splicing nad1 intron 1, which has a weakly-structured and poorly-conserved core sequence, excision appears to be solely through a hydrolytic pathway. When wheat embryos are germinated in the cold rather than at room temperature, an increased complexity in trans-splicing products is seen for nad1 intron 4, suggesting that there can be environmental effects on the RNA folding of bipartite introns. Our observations provide insights into intron evolution and the complexity of RNA processing events in plant mitochondria.

  9. Multiple splicing pathways of group II trans-splicing introns in wheat mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Massel, Karen; Silke, Jordan R; Bonen, Linda

    2016-05-01

    Trans-splicing of discontinuous introns in plant mitochondria requires the assembly of independently-transcribed precursor RNAs into splicing-competent structures, and they are expected to be excised as Y-branched molecules ("broken lariats") because these introns belong to the group II ribozyme family. We now demonstrate that this is just one of several trans-splicing pathways for wheat mitochondrial nad1 intron 4 and nad5 intron 2; they also use a hydrolytic pathway and the liberated 5'-half-intron linear molecules are unexpectedly abundant in the RNA population. We also observe a third productive splicing pathway for nad5 intron 2 that yields full-length excised introns in which the termini are joined in vivo and possess non-encoded nucleotides. In the case of trans-splicing nad1 intron 1, which has a weakly-structured and poorly-conserved core sequence, excision appears to be solely through a hydrolytic pathway. When wheat embryos are germinated in the cold rather than at room temperature, an increased complexity in trans-splicing products is seen for nad1 intron 4, suggesting that there can be environmental effects on the RNA folding of bipartite introns. Our observations provide insights into intron evolution and the complexity of RNA processing events in plant mitochondria. PMID:26970277

  10. Splicing-related features of introns serve to propel evolution.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yuping; Li, Chun; Gong, Xi; Wang, Yanlu; Zhang, Kunshan; Cui, Yaru; Sun, Yi Eve; Li, Siguang

    2013-01-01

    The role of spliceosomal intronic structures played in evolution has only begun to be elucidated. Comparative genomic analyses of fungal snoRNA sequences, which are often contained within introns and/or exons, revealed that about one-third of snoRNA-associated introns in three major snoRNA gene clusters manifested polymorphisms, likely resulting from intron loss and gain events during fungi evolution. Genomic deletions can clearly be observed as one mechanism underlying intron and exon loss, as well as generation of complex introns where several introns lie in juxtaposition without intercalating exons. Strikingly, by tracking conserved snoRNAs in introns, we found that some introns had moved from one position to another by excision from donor sites and insertion into target sties elsewhere in the genome without needing transposon structures. This study revealed the origin of many newly gained introns. Moreover, our analyses suggested that intron-containing sequences were more prone to sustainable structural changes than DNA sequences without introns due to intron's ability to jump within the genome via unknown mechanisms. We propose that splicing-related structural features of introns serve as an additional motor to propel evolution.

  11. SR protein kinases promote splicing of nonconsensus introns.

    PubMed

    Lipp, Jesse J; Marvin, Michael C; Shokat, Kevan M; Guthrie, Christine

    2015-08-01

    Phosphorylation of the spliceosome is essential for RNA splicing, yet how and to what extent kinase signaling affects splicing have not been defined on a genome-wide basis. Using a chemical genetic approach, we show in Schizosaccharomyces pombe that the SR protein kinase Dsk1 is required for efficient splicing of introns with suboptimal splice sites. Systematic substrate mapping in fission yeast and human cells revealed that SRPKs target evolutionarily conserved spliceosomal proteins, including the branchpoint-binding protein Bpb1 (SF1 in humans), by using an RXXSP consensus motif for substrate recognition. Phosphorylation of SF1 increases SF1 binding to introns with nonconsensus splice sites in vitro, and mutation of such sites to consensus relieves the requirement for Dsk1 and phosphorylated Bpb1 in vivo. Modulation of splicing efficiency through kinase signaling pathways may allow tuning of gene expression in response to environmental and developmental cues. PMID:26167880

  12. The low information content of Neurospora splicing signals: implications for RNA splicing and intron origin.

    PubMed

    Collins, Richard A; Stajich, Jason E; Field, Deborah J; Olive, Joan E; DeAbreu, Diane M

    2015-05-01

    When we expressed a small (0.9 kb) nonprotein-coding transcript derived from the mitochondrial VS plasmid in the nucleus of Neurospora we found that it was efficiently spliced at one or more of eight 5' splice sites and ten 3' splice sites, which are present apparently by chance in the sequence. Further experimental and bioinformatic analyses of other mitochondrial plasmids, random sequences, and natural nuclear genes in Neurospora and other fungi indicate that fungal spliceosomes recognize a wide range of 5' splice site and branchpoint sequences and predict introns to be present at high frequency in random sequence. In contrast, analysis of intronless fungal nuclear genes indicates that branchpoint, 5' splice site and 3' splice site consensus sequences are underrepresented compared with random sequences. This underrepresentation of splicing signals is sufficient to deplete the nuclear genome of splice sites at locations that do not comprise biologically relevant introns. Thus, the splicing machinery can recognize a wide range of splicing signal sequences, but splicing still occurs with great accuracy, not because the splicing machinery distinguishes correct from incorrect introns, but because incorrect introns are substantially depleted from the genome.

  13. Ancient nature of alternative splicing and functions of introns

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Kemin; Salamov, Asaf; Kuo, Alan; Aerts, Andrea; Grigoriev, Igor

    2011-03-21

    Using four genomes: Chamydomonas reinhardtii, Agaricus bisporus, Aspergillus carbonarius, and Sporotricum thermophile with EST coverage of 2.9x, 8.9x, 29.5x, and 46.3x respectively, we identified 11 alternative splicing (AS) types that were dominated by intron retention (RI; biased toward short introns) and found 15, 35, 52, and 63percent AS of multiexon genes respectively. Genes with AS were more ancient, and number of AS correlated with number of exons, expression level, and maximum intron length of the gene. Introns with tendency to be retained had either stop codons or length of 3n+1 or 3n+2 presumably triggering nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), but introns retained in major isoforms (0.2-6percent of all introns) were biased toward 3n length and stop codon free. Stopless introns were biased toward phase 0, but 3n introns favored phase 1 that introduced more flexible and hydrophilic amino acids on both ends of introns which would be less disruptive to protein structure. We proposed a model in which minor RI intron could evolve into major RI that could facilitate intron loss through exonization.

  14. Crystal Structure of a Self-Spliced Group ll Intron

    SciTech Connect

    Toor,N.; Keating, K.; Taylor, S.; Pyle, A.

    2008-01-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing ribozymes that catalyze their own excision from precursor transcripts and insertion into new genetic locations. Here we report the crystal structure of an intact, self-spliced group II intron from Oceanobacillus iheyensis at 3.1 angstrom resolution. An extensive network of tertiary interactions facilitates the ordered packing of intron subdomains around a ribozyme core that includes catalytic domain V. The bulge of domain V adopts an unusual helical structure that is located adjacent to a major groove triple helix (catalytic triplex). The bulge and catalytic triplex jointly coordinate two divalent metal ions in a configuration that is consistent with a two-metal ion mechanism for catalysis. Structural and functional analogies support the hypothesis that group II introns and the spliceosome share a common ancestor.

  15. Crystal Structure of a Self-Spliced Group II Intron

    SciTech Connect

    Toor, Navtej; Keating, Kevin S.; Taylor, Sean D.; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2008-04-10

    Group II introns are self-splicing ribozymes that catalyze their own excision from precursor transcripts and insertion into new genetic locations. Here we report the crystal structure of an intact, self-spliced group II intron from Oceanobacillus iheyensis at 3.1 angstrom resolution. An extensive network of tertiary interactions facilitates the ordered packing of intron subdomains around a ribozyme core that includes catalytic domain V. The bulge of domain V adopts an unusual helical structure that is located adjacent to a major groove triple helix (catalytic triplex). The bulge and catalytic triplex jointly coordinate two divalent metal ions in a configuration that is consistent with a two-metal ion mechanism for catalysis. Structural and functional analogies support the hypothesis that group II introns and the spliceosome share a common ancestor.

  16. Nested introns in an intron: evidence of multi-step splicing in a large intron of the human dystrophin pre-mRNA.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Hitoshi; Kameyama, Toshiki; Ohe, Kenji; Tsukahara, Toshifumi; Mayeda, Akila

    2013-03-18

    The mechanisms by which huge human introns are spliced out precisely are poorly understood. We analyzed large intron 7 (110199 nucleotides) generated from the human dystrophin (DMD) pre-mRNA by RT-PCR. We identified branching between the authentic 5' splice site and the branch point; however, the sequences far from the branch site were not detectable. This RT-PCR product was resistant to exoribonuclease (RNase R) digestion, suggesting that the detected lariat intron has a closed loop structure but contains gaps in its sequence. Transient and concomitant generation of at least two branched fragments from nested introns within large intron 7 suggests internal nested splicing events before the ultimate splicing at the authentic 5' and 3' splice sites. Nested splicing events, which bring the authentic 5' and 3' splice sites into close proximity, could be one of the splicing mechanisms for the extremely large introns.

  17. Splicing enhancement in the yeast rp51b intron.

    PubMed Central

    Libri, D; Lescure, A; Rosbash, M

    2000-01-01

    Splicing enhancement in higher eukaryotes has been linked to SR proteins, to U1 snRNP, and to communication between splice sites across introns or exons mediated by protein-protein interactions. It has been previously shown that, in yeast, communication mediated by RNA-RNA interactions between the two ends of introns is a basis for splicing enhancement. We designed experiments of randomization-selection to isolate splicing enhancers that would work independently from RNA secondary structures. Surprisingly, one of the two families of sequences selected was essentially composed of 5' splice site variants. We show that this sequence enhances splicing independently of secondary structure, is exportable to heterologous contexts, and works in multiple copies with additive effects. The data argue in favor of an early role for splicing enhancement, possibly coincident with commitment complex formation. Genetic compensation experiments with U1 snRNA mutants suggest that U1 snRNP binding to noncanonical locations is required for splicing enhancement. PMID:10744020

  18. Splice Sites Seldom Slide: Intron Evolution in Oomycetes

    PubMed Central

    Sêton Bocco, Steven; Csűrös, Miklós

    2016-01-01

    We examine exon junctions near apparent amino acid insertions and deletions in alignments of orthologous protein-coding genes. In 1,917 ortholog families across nine oomycete genomes, 10–20% of introns are near an alignment gap, indicating at first sight that splice-site displacements are frequent. We designed a robust algorithmic procedure for the delineation of intron-containing homologous regions, and combined it with a parsimony-based reconstruction of intron loss, gain, and splice-site shift events on a phylogeny. The reconstruction implies that 12% of introns underwent an acceptor-site shift, and 10% underwent a donor-site shift. In order to offset gene annotation problems, we amended the procedure with the reannotation of intron boundaries using alignment evidence. The corresponding reconstruction involves much fewer intron gain and splice-site shift events. The frequency of acceptor- and donor-side shifts drops to 4% and 3%, respectively, which are not much different from what one would expect by random codon insertions and deletions. In other words, gaps near exon junctions are mostly artifacts of gene annotation rather than evidence of sliding intron boundaries. Our study underscores the importance of using well-supported gene structure annotations in comparative studies. When transcription evidence is not available, we propose a robust ancestral reconstruction procedure that corrects misannotated intron boundaries using sequence alignments. The results corroborate the view that boundary shifts and complete intron sliding are only accidental in eukaryotic genome evolution and have a negligible impact on protein diversity. PMID:27412607

  19. Splice Sites Seldom Slide: Intron Evolution in Oomycetes.

    PubMed

    Sêton Bocco, Steven; Csűrös, Miklós

    2016-01-01

    We examine exon junctions near apparent amino acid insertions and deletions in alignments of orthologous protein-coding genes. In 1,917 ortholog families across nine oomycete genomes, 10-20% of introns are near an alignment gap, indicating at first sight that splice-site displacements are frequent. We designed a robust algorithmic procedure for the delineation of intron-containing homologous regions, and combined it with a parsimony-based reconstruction of intron loss, gain, and splice-site shift events on a phylogeny. The reconstruction implies that 12% of introns underwent an acceptor-site shift, and 10% underwent a donor-site shift. In order to offset gene annotation problems, we amended the procedure with the reannotation of intron boundaries using alignment evidence. The corresponding reconstruction involves much fewer intron gain and splice-site shift events. The frequency of acceptor- and donor-side shifts drops to 4% and 3%, respectively, which are not much different from what one would expect by random codon insertions and deletions. In other words, gaps near exon junctions are mostly artifacts of gene annotation rather than evidence of sliding intron boundaries. Our study underscores the importance of using well-supported gene structure annotations in comparative studies. When transcription evidence is not available, we propose a robust ancestral reconstruction procedure that corrects misannotated intron boundaries using sequence alignments. The results corroborate the view that boundary shifts and complete intron sliding are only accidental in eukaryotic genome evolution and have a negligible impact on protein diversity. PMID:27412607

  20. Functional characterisation of an intron retaining K(+) transporter of barley reveals intron-mediated alternate splicing.

    PubMed

    Shahzad, K; Rauf, M; Ahmed, M; Malik, Z A; Habib, I; Ahmed, Z; Mahmood, K; Ali, R; Masmoudi, K; Lemtiri-Chlieh, F; Gehring, C; Berkowitz, G A; Saeed, N A

    2015-07-01

    Intron retention in transcripts and the presence of 5' and 3' splice sites within these introns mediate alternate splicing, which is widely observed in animals and plants. Here, functional characterisation of the K(+) transporter, HvHKT2;1, with stably retained introns from barley (Hordeum vulgare) in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), and transcript profiling in yeast and transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is presented. Expression of intron-retaining HvHKT2;1 cDNA (HvHKT2;1-i) in trk1, trk2 yeast strain defective in K(+) uptake restored growth in medium containing hygromycin in the presence of different concentrations of K(+) and mediated hypersensitivity to Na(+) . HvHKT2;1-i produces multiple transcripts via alternate splicing of two regular introns and three exons in different compositions. HKT isoforms with retained introns and exon skipping variants were detected in relative expression analysis of (i) HvHKT2;1-i in barley under native conditions, (ii) in transgenic tobacco plants constitutively expressing HvHKT2;1-i, and (iii) in trk1, trk2 yeast expressing HvHKT2;1-i under control of an inducible promoter. Mixed proportions of three HKT transcripts: HvHKT2;1-e (first exon region), HvHKT2;1-i1 (first intron) and HvHKT2;1-i2 (second intron) were observed. The variation in transcript accumulation in response to changing K(+) and Na(+) concentrations was observed in both heterologous and plant systems. These findings suggest a link between intron-retaining transcripts and different splice variants to ion homeostasis, and their possible role in salt stress.

  1. Mutation of putative branchpoint consensus sequences in plant introns reduces splicing efficiency.

    PubMed

    Simpson, C G; Clark, G; Davidson, D; Smith, P; Brown, J W

    1996-03-01

    Intron lariat formation between the 5' end of an intron and a branchpoint adenosine is a fundamental aspect of the first step in animal and yeast nuclear pre-mRNA splicing. Despite similarities in intron sequence requirements and the components of splicing, differences exist between the splicing of plant and vertebrate introns. The identification of AU-rich sequences as major functional elements in plant introns and the demonstration that a branchpoint consensus sequence was not required for splicing have led to the suggestion that the transition from AU-rich intron to GC-rich exon is a major potential signal by which plant pre-mRNA splice sites are recognized. The role of putative branchpoint sequences as an internal signal in plant intron recognition/definition has been re-examined. Single nucleotide mutations in putative branchpoint adenosines contained within CUNAN sequences in four different plant introns all significantly reduced splicing efficiency. These results provide the most direct evidence to date for preferred branchpoint sequences being required for the efficient splicing of at least some plant introns in addition to the important role played by AU sequences in dicot intron recognition. The observed patterns of 3' splice site selection in the introns studied are consistent with the scanning model described for animal intron 3' splice site selection. It is suggested that, despite the clear importance of AU sequences for plant intron splicing, the fundamental processes of splice site selection and splicing in plants are similar to those in animals.

  2. Distal regulation of alternative splicing by splicing enhancer in equine beta-casein intron 1.

    PubMed

    Lenasi, Tina; Peterlin, B Matija; Dovc, Peter

    2006-03-01

    The complexity of cotranscriptional splicing is reflected in the coordinated interplay between various cis-elements and transacting factors. In this report, we demonstrated that a cis-element in intron 1 of the equine beta-casein gene (intronic splicing enhancer 1, ISE1) increases the inclusion of all weak exons in its pre-mRNA. The ISE1 also functioned on a hybrid transcript, which was transcribed from the alpha-globin promoter, where it increased the inclusion of the human fibronectin EDA exon and the beta-casein exon 5. The region of ISE1 necessary for its function included the same sequence as is found in some exonic splicing enhancers. Since the ISE1 influenced the splicing of the entire transcript from intron 1, we propose a model for the cotranscriptional splicing of beta-casein mRNA, where the 5' end of the growing transcript remains associated with the C-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II. Thus, the ISE1 remains in close proximity to the mRNA exit groove throughout transcription and influences all weak exons as soon as they are copied.

  3. Cotranscriptional splicing of a group I intron is facilitated by the Cbp2 protein

    SciTech Connect

    Lewin, A.S.; Thomas, J. Jr.; Tirupati, H.K.

    1995-12-01

    This report investigates the coupling between transcription and splicing of a mitochondrial group I intron in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the effect of the Cbp2 protein on splicing. 65 refs., 7 figs.

  4. IntSplice: prediction of the splicing consequences of intronic single-nucleotide variations in the human genome.

    PubMed

    Shibata, Akihide; Okuno, Tatsuya; Rahman, Mohammad Alinoor; Azuma, Yoshiteru; Takeda, Jun-Ichi; Masuda, Akio; Selcen, Duygu; Engel, Andrew G; Ohno, Kinji

    2016-07-01

    Precise spatiotemporal regulation of splicing is mediated by splicing cis-elements on pre-mRNA. Single-nucleotide variations (SNVs) affecting intronic cis-elements possibly compromise splicing, but no efficient tool has been available to identify them. Following an effect-size analysis of each intronic nucleotide on annotated alternative splicing, we extracted 105 parameters that could affect the strength of the splicing signals. However, we could not generate reliable support vector regression models to predict the percent-splice-in (PSI) scores for normal human tissues. Next, we generated support vector machine (SVM) models using 110 parameters to directly differentiate pathogenic SNVs in the Human Gene Mutation Database and normal SNVs in the dbSNP database, and we obtained models with a sensitivity of 0.800±0.041 (mean and s.d.) and a specificity of 0.849±0.021. Our IntSplice models were more discriminating than SVM models that we generated with Shapiro-Senapathy score and MaxEntScan::score3ss. We applied IntSplice to a naturally occurring and nine artificial intronic mutations in RAPSN causing congenital myasthenic syndrome. IntSplice correctly predicted the splicing consequences for nine of the ten mutants. We created a web service program, IntSplice (http://www.med.nagoya-u.ac.jp/neurogenetics/IntSplice) to predict splicing-affecting SNVs at intronic positions from -50 to -3. PMID:27009626

  5. Comparative analyses between retained introns and constitutively spliced introns in Arabidopsis thaliana using random forest and support vector machine.

    PubMed

    Mao, Rui; Raj Kumar, Praveen Kumar; Guo, Cheng; Zhang, Yang; Liang, Chun

    2014-01-01

    One of the important modes of pre-mRNA post-transcriptional modification is alternative splicing. Alternative splicing allows creation of many distinct mature mRNA transcripts from a single gene by utilizing different splice sites. In plants like Arabidopsis thaliana, the most common type of alternative splicing is intron retention. Many studies in the past focus on positional distribution of retained introns (RIs) among different genic regions and their expression regulations, while little systematic classification of RIs from constitutively spliced introns (CSIs) has been conducted using machine learning approaches. We used random forest and support vector machine (SVM) with radial basis kernel function (RBF) to differentiate these two types of introns in Arabidopsis. By comparing coordinates of introns of all annotated mRNAs from TAIR10, we obtained our high-quality experimental data. To distinguish RIs from CSIs, We investigated the unique characteristics of RIs in comparison with CSIs and finally extracted 37 quantitative features: local and global nucleotide sequence features of introns, frequent motifs, the signal strength of splice sites, and the similarity between sequences of introns and their flanking regions. We demonstrated that our proposed feature extraction approach was more accurate in effectively classifying RIs from CSIs in comparison with other four approaches. The optimal penalty parameter C and the RBF kernel parameter [Formula: see text] in SVM were set based on particle swarm optimization algorithm (PSOSVM). Our classification performance showed F-Measure of 80.8% (random forest) and 77.4% (PSOSVM). Not only the basic sequence features and positional distribution characteristics of RIs were obtained, but also putative regulatory motifs in intron splicing were predicted based on our feature extraction approach. Clearly, our study will facilitate a better understanding of underlying mechanisms involved in intron retention.

  6. Comparative Analyses between Retained Introns and Constitutively Spliced Introns in Arabidopsis thaliana Using Random Forest and Support Vector Machine

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Rui; Raj Kumar, Praveen Kumar; Guo, Cheng; Zhang, Yang; Liang, Chun

    2014-01-01

    One of the important modes of pre-mRNA post-transcriptional modification is alternative splicing. Alternative splicing allows creation of many distinct mature mRNA transcripts from a single gene by utilizing different splice sites. In plants like Arabidopsis thaliana, the most common type of alternative splicing is intron retention. Many studies in the past focus on positional distribution of retained introns (RIs) among different genic regions and their expression regulations, while little systematic classification of RIs from constitutively spliced introns (CSIs) has been conducted using machine learning approaches. We used random forest and support vector machine (SVM) with radial basis kernel function (RBF) to differentiate these two types of introns in Arabidopsis. By comparing coordinates of introns of all annotated mRNAs from TAIR10, we obtained our high-quality experimental data. To distinguish RIs from CSIs, We investigated the unique characteristics of RIs in comparison with CSIs and finally extracted 37 quantitative features: local and global nucleotide sequence features of introns, frequent motifs, the signal strength of splice sites, and the similarity between sequences of introns and their flanking regions. We demonstrated that our proposed feature extraction approach was more accurate in effectively classifying RIs from CSIs in comparison with other four approaches. The optimal penalty parameter C and the RBF kernel parameter in SVM were set based on particle swarm optimization algorithm (PSOSVM). Our classification performance showed F-Measure of 80.8% (random forest) and 77.4% (PSOSVM). Not only the basic sequence features and positional distribution characteristics of RIs were obtained, but also putative regulatory motifs in intron splicing were predicted based on our feature extraction approach. Clearly, our study will facilitate a better understanding of underlying mechanisms involved in intron retention. PMID:25110928

  7. Splicing-coupled 3' end formation requires a terminal splice acceptor site, but not intron excision.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Lee; West, Steven

    2013-08-01

    Splicing of human pre-mRNA is reciprocally coupled to 3' end formation by terminal exon definition, which occurs co-transcriptionally. It is required for the final maturation of most human pre-mRNAs and is therefore important to understand. We have used several strategies to block splicing at specific stages in vivo and studied their effect on 3' end formation. We demonstrate that a terminal splice acceptor site is essential to establish coupling with the poly(A) signal in a chromosomally integrated β-globin gene. This is in part to alleviate the suppression of 3' end formation by U1 small nuclear RNA, which is known to bind pre-mRNA at the earliest stage of spliceosome assembly. Interestingly, blocks to splicing that are subsequent to terminal splice acceptor site function, but before catalysis, have little observable effect on 3' end formation. These data suggest that early stages of spliceosome assembly are sufficient to functionally couple splicing and 3' end formation, but that on-going intron removal is less critical. PMID:23716637

  8. A spliced intron accumulates as a lariat in the nucleus of T cells.

    PubMed Central

    Qian, L; Vu, M N; Carter, M; Wilkinson, M F

    1992-01-01

    The vast majority of mammalian genes are interrupted by non-coding segments of DNA termed introns. Introns are spliced out of RNA transcripts as lariat structures, and then are typically debranched and rapidly degraded. Here, we described an unusual spliced intron from the constant region of the T cell receptor-beta (TCR-beta) locus that is relatively stable in mammalian cells. This intron, IVS1C beta 1, accumulates as a set of lariat RNA structures with different length tails in the nucleus of T cells. The accumulation of this spliced intron is developmentally regulated during murine thymocyte ontogeny. The property of stability appears to be evolutionarily conserved since the human version of this intron also accumulates in T cells. The stability is selective since other spliced TCR-beta introns do not detectably accumulate in T cells. The unusual stability of this intron does not depend on T cell specific factors since non-T cells transfected with TCR-beta gene constructs also accumulate spliced IVS1C beta 1. The discovery of a mammalian intron that accumulates as a lariat in vivo provides an opportunity to elucidate mechanisms that regulate intron debranching, stability, and nuclear localization. Images PMID:1437551

  9. Influence of intron length on interaction characters between post-spliced intron and its CDS in ribosomal protein genes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Xiaoqing; Li, Hong; Bao, Tonglaga; Ying, Zhiqiang

    2012-09-01

    Many experiment evidences showed that sequence structures of introns and intron loss/gain can influence gene expression, but current mechanisms did not refer to the functions of post-spliced introns directly. We propose that postspliced introns play their functions in gene expression by interacting with their mRNA sequences and the interaction is characterized by the matched segments between introns and their CDS. In this study, we investigated the interaction characters with length series by improved Smith-Waterman local alignment software for the ribosomal protein genes in C. elegans and D. melanogaster. Our results showed that RF values of five intron groups are significantly high in the central non-conserved region and very low in 5'-end and 3'-end splicing region. It is interesting that the number of the optimal matched regions gradually increases with intron length. Distributions of the optimal matched regions are different for five intron groups. Our study revealed that there are more interaction regions between longer introns and their CDS than shorter, and it provides a positive pattern for regulating the gene expression.

  10. Trans-splicing versatility of the Ll.LtrB group II intron

    PubMed Central

    Belhocine, Kamila; Mak, Anthony B.; Cousineau, Benoit

    2008-01-01

    Group II introns are found in organelles, bacteria, and archaea. Some harbor an open reading frame (ORF) with reverse transcriptase, maturase, and occasionally endonuclease activities. Group II introns require the assistance of either intron-encoded or free-standing maturases to excise from primary RNA transcripts in vivo. Some ORF-containing group II introns were shown to be mobile retroelements that invade new DNA sites by retrohoming or retrotransposition. Group II introns are also hypothesized to be the ancestors of the spliceosome-dependent nuclear introns and the small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs—U1, U2, U4, U5, and U6) that are part of the spliceosome. The ability of some fragmented group II introns to undergo splicing in trans supports the theory that the snRNAs evolved from portions of group II introns. Here, we developed a Tn5-based genetic screen to explore the trans-splicing potential of the Ll.LtrB group II intron from the Gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis. Proficient trans-splicing variants of Ll.LtrB were selected using a highly sensitive trans-splicing/conjugation screen. We report that numerous fragmentation sites located throughout Ll.LtrB support splicing in trans, showing that this intron is remarkably more tolerant to fragmentation than expected from the fragmentation sites uncovered within natural trans-splicing group II introns. This work unveils the great versatility of group II intron fragments to assemble and accurately trans-splice their flanking exons in vivo. PMID:18648072

  11. The doublesex splicing enhancer components Tra2 and Rbp1 also repress splicing through an intronic silencer.

    PubMed

    Qi, Junlin; Su, Shihuang; Mattox, William

    2007-01-01

    The activation of sex-specific alternative splice sites in the Drosophila melanogaster doublesex and fruitless pre-mRNAs has been well studied and depends on the serine-arginine-rich (SR) splicing factors Tra, Tra2, and Rbp1. Little is known, however, about how SR factors negatively regulate splice sites in other RNAs. Here we examine how Tra2 blocks splicing of the M1 intron from its own transcript. We identify an intronic splicing silencer (ISS) adjacent to the M1 branch point that is sufficient to confer Tra2-dependent repression on another RNA. The ISS was found to function independently of its position within the intron, arguing against the idea that bound repressors function by simply interfering with branch point accessibility to general splicing factors. Conserved subelements of the silencer include five short repeated sequences that are required for Tra2 binding but differ from repeated binding sites found in Tra2-dependent splicing enhancers. The ISS also contains a consensus binding site for Rbp1, and this protein was found to facilitate repression of M1 splicing both in vitro and in Drosophila larvae. In contrast to the cooperative binding of SR proteins observed on the doublesex splicing enhancer, we found that Rbp1 and Tra2 bind to the ISS independently through distinct sequences. Our results suggest that functionally synergistic interactions of these SR factors can cause either splicing activation or repression.

  12. Splicing of Nascent RNA Coincides with Intron Exit from RNA Polymerase II.

    PubMed

    Carrillo Oesterreich, Fernando; Herzel, Lydia; Straube, Korinna; Hujer, Katja; Howard, Jonathon; Neugebauer, Karla M

    2016-04-01

    Protein-coding genes in eukaryotes are transcribed by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and introns are removed from pre-mRNA by the spliceosome. Understanding the time lag between Pol II progression and splicing could provide mechanistic insights into the regulation of gene expression. Here, we present two single-molecule nascent RNA sequencing methods that directly determine the progress of splicing catalysis as a function of Pol II position. Endogenous genes were analyzed on a global scale in budding yeast. We show that splicing is 50% complete when Pol II is only 45 nt downstream of introns, with the first spliced products observed as introns emerge from Pol II. Perturbations that slow the rate of spliceosome assembly or speed up the rate of transcription caused splicing delays, showing that regulation of both processes determines in vivo splicing profiles. We propose that matched rates streamline the gene expression pathway, while allowing regulation through kinetic competition.

  13. Changes in exon–intron structure during vertebrate evolution affect the splicing pattern of exons

    PubMed Central

    Gelfman, Sahar; Burstein, David; Penn, Osnat; Savchenko, Anna; Amit, Maayan; Schwartz, Schraga; Pupko, Tal; Ast, Gil

    2012-01-01

    Exon–intron architecture is one of the major features directing the splicing machinery to the short exons that are located within long flanking introns. However, the evolutionary dynamics of exon–intron architecture and its impact on splicing is largely unknown. Using a comparative genomic approach, we analyzed 17 vertebrate genomes and reconstructed the ancestral motifs of both 3′ and 5′ splice sites, as also the ancestral length of exons and introns. Our analyses suggest that vertebrate introns increased in length from the shortest ancestral introns to the longest primate introns. An evolutionary analysis of splice sites revealed that weak splice sites act as a restrictive force keeping introns short. In contrast, strong splice sites allow recognition of exons flanked by long introns. Reconstruction of the ancestral state suggests these phenomena were not prevalent in the vertebrate ancestor, but appeared during vertebrate evolution. By calculating evolutionary rate shifts in exons, we identified cis-acting regulatory sequences that became fixed during the transition from early vertebrates to mammals. Experimental validations performed on a selection of these hexamers confirmed their regulatory function. We additionally revealed many features of exons that can discriminate alternative from constitutive exons. These features were integrated into a machine-learning approach to predict whether an exon is alternative. Our algorithm obtains very high predictive power (AUC of 0.91), and using these predictions we have identified and successfully validated novel alternatively spliced exons. Overall, we provide novel insights regarding the evolutionary constraints acting upon exons and their recognition by the splicing machinery. PMID:21974994

  14. Identification of a Chloroplast Ribonucleoprotein Complex Containing Trans-splicing Factors, Intron RNA, and Novel Components*

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, Jessica; Marx, Christina; Kock, Vera; Reifschneider, Olga; Fränzel, Benjamin; Krisp, Christoph; Wolters, Dirk; Kück, Ulrich

    2013-01-01

    Maturation of chloroplast psaA pre-mRNA from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii requires the trans-splicing of two split group II introns. Several nuclear-encoded trans-splicing factors are required for the correct processing of psaA mRNA. Among these is the recently identified Raa4 protein, which is involved in splicing of the tripartite intron 1 of the psaA precursor mRNA. Part of this tripartite group II intron is the chloroplast encoded tscA RNA, which is specifically bound by Raa4. Using Raa4 as bait in a combined tandem affinity purification and mass spectrometry approach, we identified core components of a multisubunit ribonucleoprotein complex, including three previously identified trans-splicing factors (Raa1, Raa3, and Rat2). We further detected tscA RNA in the purified protein complex, which seems to be specific for splicing of the tripartite group II intron. A yeast-two hybrid screen and co-immunoprecipitation identified chloroplast-localized Raa4-binding protein 1 (Rab1), which specifically binds tscA RNA from the tripartite psaA group II intron. The yeast-two hybrid system provides evidence in support of direct interactions between Rab1 and four trans-splicing factors. Our findings contribute to our knowledge of chloroplast multisubunit ribonucleoprotein complexes and are discussed in support of the generally accepted view that group II introns are the ancestors of the eukaryotic spliceosomal introns. PMID:23559604

  15. Evolution of trans-splicing plant mitochondrial introns in pre-Permian times

    PubMed Central

    Malek, Olaf; Brennicke, Axel; Knoop, Volker

    1997-01-01

    Trans-splicing in angiosperm plant mitochondria connects exons from independent RNA molecules by means of group II intron fragments. Homologues of trans-splicing introns in the angiosperm mitochondrial nad2 and nad5 genes are now identified as uninterrupted group II introns in the ferns Asplenium nidus and Marsilea drummondii. These fern introns are correctly spliced from the pre-mRNA at the sites predicted from their well-conserved secondary structures. The flanking exon sequences of the nad2 and nad5 genes in the ferns require RNA editing, including the removal of in-frame stop codons by U-to-C changes for correct expression of the genetic information. We conclude that cis-splicing introns like the ones now identified in ferns are the ancestors of trans-splicing introns in angiosperm mitochondria. Intron disruption is apparently due to a size increase of the structurally variable group II intron domain IV followed by DNA recombination in the plant mitochondrial genome. PMID:9012822

  16. Conserved intron elements repress splicing of a neuron-specific c-src exon in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Chan, R C; Black, D L

    1995-01-01

    The neuron-specific N1 exon of the mouse c-src transcript is normally skipped in nonneuronal cells. In this study, we examined the sequence requirements for the exclusion of this exon in nonneuronal HeLa cell nuclear extracts. We found that the repression of the N1 exon is mediated by specific intron sequences that flank the N1 exon. Mutagenesis experiments identified conserved CUCUCU elements within these intron regions that are required for the repression of N1 splicing. The addition of an RNA competitor containing the upstream regulatory sequence to the HeLa extract induced splicing of the intron downstream of N1, indicating that the competitor sequence binds to splicing repressor proteins. The similarities between this mechanism for src splicing repression and the repression of other regulated exons point to a common role of exon-spanning interactions in splicing repression. PMID:7565790

  17. Feed-Forward Microprocessing and Splicing Activities at a MicroRNA–Containing Intron

    PubMed Central

    Janas, Maja M.; Khaled, Mehdi; Schubert, Steffen; Bernstein, Jacob G.; Golan, David; Veguilla, Rosa A.; Fisher, David E.; Shomron, Noam; Levy, Carmit; Novina, Carl D.

    2011-01-01

    The majority of mammalian microRNA (miRNA) genes reside within introns of protein-encoding and non-coding genes, yet the mechanisms coordinating primary transcript processing into both mature miRNA and spliced mRNA are poorly understood. Analysis of melanoma invasion suppressor miR-211 expressed from intron 6 of melastatin revealed that microprocessing of miR-211 promotes splicing of the exon 6–exon 7 junction of melastatin by a mechanism requiring the RNase III activity of Drosha. Additionally, mutations in the 5′ splice site (5′SS), but not in the 3′SS, branch point, or polypyrimidine tract of intron 6 reduced miR-211 biogenesis and Drosha recruitment to intron 6, indicating that 5′SS recognition by the spliceosome promotes microprocessing of miR-211. Globally, knockdown of U1 splicing factors reduced intronic miRNA expression. Our data demonstrate novel mutually-cooperative microprocessing and splicing activities at an intronic miRNA locus and suggest that the initiation of spliceosome assembly may promote microprocessing of intronic miRNAs. PMID:22028668

  18. Aberrant splicing of U12-type introns is the hallmark of ZRSR2 mutant myelodysplastic syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Madan, Vikas; Kanojia, Deepika; Li, Jia; Okamoto, Ryoko; Sato-Otsubo, Aiko; Kohlmann, Alexander; Sanada, Masashi; Grossmann, Vera; Sundaresan, Janani; Shiraishi, Yuichi; Miyano, Satoru; Thol, Felicitas; Ganser, Arnold; Yang, Henry; Haferlach, Torsten; Ogawa, Seishi; Koeffler, H. Phillip

    2014-01-01

    Somatic mutations in the spliceosome gene ZRSR2 — located on the X chromosome — are associated with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). ZRSR2 is involved in the recognition of 3΄ splice site during the early stages of spliceosome assembly; however, its precise role in RNA splicing has remained unclear. Here, we characterize ZRSR2 as an essential component of the minor spliceosome (U12-dependent) assembly. shRNA mediated knockdown of ZRSR2 leads to impaired splicing of the U12-type introns, and RNA-Sequencing of MDS bone marrow reveals that loss of ZRSR2 activity causes increased mis-splicing. These splicing defects involve retention of the U12-type introns while splicing of the U2-type introns remain mostly unaffected. ZRSR2 deficient cells also exhibit reduced proliferation potential and distinct alterations in myeloid and erythroid differentiation in vitro. These data identify a specific role for ZRSR2 in RNA splicing and highlight dysregulated splicing of U12-type introns as a characteristic feature of ZRSR2 mutations in MDS. PMID:25586593

  19. Enhancement of Transcription by a Splicing-Competent Intron Is Dependent on Promoter Directionality

    PubMed Central

    Agarwal, Neha; Ansari, Athar

    2016-01-01

    Enhancement of transcription by a splicing-competent intron is an evolutionarily conserved feature among eukaryotes. The molecular mechanism underlying the phenomenon, however, is not entirely clear. Here we show that the intron is an important regulator of promoter directionality. Employing strand-specific transcription run-on (TRO) analysis, we show that the transcription of mRNA is favored over the upstream anti-sense transcripts (uaRNA) initiating from the promoter in the presence of an intron. Mutation of either the 5′ or 3′ splice site resulted in the reversal of promoter directionality, thereby suggesting that it is not merely the 5′ splice site but the entire splicing-competent intron that regulates transcription directionality. ChIP analysis revealed the recruitment of termination factors near the promoter region in the presence of an intron. Removal of intron or the mutation of splice sites adversely affected the promoter localization of termination factors. We have earlier demonstrated that the intron-mediated enhancement of transcription is dependent on gene looping. Here we show that gene looping is crucial for the recruitment of termination factors in the promoter-proximal region of an intron-containing gene. In a looping-defective mutant, despite normal splicing, the promoter occupancy of factors required for poly(A)-dependent termination of transcription was compromised. This was accompanied by a concomitant loss of transcription directionality. On the basis of these results, we propose that the intron-dependent gene looping places the terminator-bound factors in the vicinity of the promoter region for termination of the promoter-initiated upstream antisense transcription, thereby conferring promoter directionality. PMID:27152651

  20. The genomic signature of splicing-coupled selection differs between long and short introns.

    PubMed

    Farlow, Ashley; Dolezal, Marlies; Hua, Liushuai; Schlötterer, Christian

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the function of noncoding regions in the genome, such as introns, is of central importance to evolutionary biology. One approach is to assay for the targets of natural selection. On one hand, the sequence of introns, especially short introns, appears to evolve in an almost neutral manner. Whereas on the other hand, a large proportion of intronic sequence is under selective constraint. This discrepancy is largely dependent on intron length and differences in the methods used to infer selection. We have used a method based on DNA strand asymmetery that does not require comparison with any putatively neutrally evolving sequence, nor sequence conservation between species, to detect selection within introns. The strongest signal we identify is associated with short introns. This signal comes from a family of motifs that could act as cryptic 5' splice sites during mRNA processing, suggesting a mechanistic justification underlying this signal of selection. Together with an analysis of intron length and splice site strength, we observe that the genomic signature of splicing-coupled selection differs between long and short introns.

  1. A conserved intronic U1 snRNP-binding sequence promotes trans-splicing in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Gao, Jun-Li; Fan, Yu-Jie; Wang, Xiu-Ye; Zhang, Yu; Pu, Jia; Li, Liang; Shao, Wei; Zhan, Shuai; Hao, Jianjiang; Xu, Yong-Zhen

    2015-04-01

    Unlike typical cis-splicing, trans-splicing joins exons from two separate transcripts to produce chimeric mRNA and has been detected in most eukaryotes. Trans-splicing in trypanosomes and nematodes has been characterized as a spliced leader RNA-facilitated reaction; in contrast, its mechanism in higher eukaryotes remains unclear. Here we investigate mod(mdg4), a classic trans-spliced gene in Drosophila, and report that two critical RNA sequences in the middle of the last 5' intron, TSA and TSB, promote trans-splicing of mod(mdg4). In TSA, a 13-nucleotide (nt) core motif is conserved across Drosophila species and is essential and sufficient for trans-splicing, which binds U1 small nuclear RNP (snRNP) through strong base-pairing with U1 snRNA. In TSB, a conserved secondary structure acts as an enhancer. Deletions of TSA and TSB using the CRISPR/Cas9 system result in developmental defects in flies. Although it is not clear how the 5' intron finds the 3' introns, compensatory changes in U1 snRNA rescue trans-splicing of TSA mutants, demonstrating that U1 recruitment is critical to promote trans-splicing in vivo. Furthermore, TSA core-like motifs are found in many other trans-spliced Drosophila genes, including lola. These findings represent a novel mechanism of trans-splicing, in which RNA motifs in the 5' intron are sufficient to bring separate transcripts into close proximity to promote trans-splicing. PMID:25838544

  2. A conserved intronic U1 snRNP-binding sequence promotes trans-splicing in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Gao, Jun-Li; Fan, Yu-Jie; Wang, Xiu-Ye; Zhang, Yu; Pu, Jia; Li, Liang; Shao, Wei; Zhan, Shuai; Hao, Jianjiang; Xu, Yong-Zhen

    2015-04-01

    Unlike typical cis-splicing, trans-splicing joins exons from two separate transcripts to produce chimeric mRNA and has been detected in most eukaryotes. Trans-splicing in trypanosomes and nematodes has been characterized as a spliced leader RNA-facilitated reaction; in contrast, its mechanism in higher eukaryotes remains unclear. Here we investigate mod(mdg4), a classic trans-spliced gene in Drosophila, and report that two critical RNA sequences in the middle of the last 5' intron, TSA and TSB, promote trans-splicing of mod(mdg4). In TSA, a 13-nucleotide (nt) core motif is conserved across Drosophila species and is essential and sufficient for trans-splicing, which binds U1 small nuclear RNP (snRNP) through strong base-pairing with U1 snRNA. In TSB, a conserved secondary structure acts as an enhancer. Deletions of TSA and TSB using the CRISPR/Cas9 system result in developmental defects in flies. Although it is not clear how the 5' intron finds the 3' introns, compensatory changes in U1 snRNA rescue trans-splicing of TSA mutants, demonstrating that U1 recruitment is critical to promote trans-splicing in vivo. Furthermore, TSA core-like motifs are found in many other trans-spliced Drosophila genes, including lola. These findings represent a novel mechanism of trans-splicing, in which RNA motifs in the 5' intron are sufficient to bring separate transcripts into close proximity to promote trans-splicing.

  3. A conserved intronic U1 snRNP-binding sequence promotes trans-splicing in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Jun-Li; Fan, Yu-Jie; Wang, Xiu-Ye; Zhang, Yu; Pu, Jia; Li, Liang; Shao, Wei; Zhan, Shuai; Hao, Jianjiang

    2015-01-01

    Unlike typical cis-splicing, trans-splicing joins exons from two separate transcripts to produce chimeric mRNA and has been detected in most eukaryotes. Trans-splicing in trypanosomes and nematodes has been characterized as a spliced leader RNA-facilitated reaction; in contrast, its mechanism in higher eukaryotes remains unclear. Here we investigate mod(mdg4), a classic trans-spliced gene in Drosophila, and report that two critical RNA sequences in the middle of the last 5′ intron, TSA and TSB, promote trans-splicing of mod(mdg4). In TSA, a 13-nucleotide (nt) core motif is conserved across Drosophila species and is essential and sufficient for trans-splicing, which binds U1 small nuclear RNP (snRNP) through strong base-pairing with U1 snRNA. In TSB, a conserved secondary structure acts as an enhancer. Deletions of TSA and TSB using the CRISPR/Cas9 system result in developmental defects in flies. Although it is not clear how the 5′ intron finds the 3′ introns, compensatory changes in U1 snRNA rescue trans-splicing of TSA mutants, demonstrating that U1 recruitment is critical to promote trans-splicing in vivo. Furthermore, TSA core-like motifs are found in many other trans-spliced Drosophila genes, including lola. These findings represent a novel mechanism of trans-splicing, in which RNA motifs in the 5′ intron are sufficient to bring separate transcripts into close proximity to promote trans-splicing. PMID:25838544

  4. Novel RNA structural features of an alternatively splicing group II intron from Clostridium tetani.

    PubMed

    McNeil, Bonnie A; Zimmerly, Steven

    2014-06-01

    Group II introns are ribozymes in bacterial and organellar genomes that function as self-splicing introns and as retroelements. Previously, we reported that the group II intron C.te.I1 of Clostridium tetani alternatively splices in vivo to produce five distinct coding mRNAs. Accurate fusion of upstream and downstream reading frames requires a shifted 5' splice site located 8 nt upstream of the usual 5' GUGYG motif. This site is specified by the ribozyme through an altered intron/exon-binding site 1 (IBS1-EBS1) pairing. Here we use mutagenesis and self-splicing assays to investigate in more detail the significance of the structural features of the C.te.I1 ribozyme. The shifted 5' splice site is shown to be affected by structures in addition to IBS1-EBS1, and unlike other group II introns, C.te.I1 appears to require a spacer between IBS1 and the GUGYG motif. In addition, the mechanism of 3' exon recognition is modified from the ancestral IIB mechanism to a IIA-like mechanism that appears to be longer than the typical single base-pair interaction and may extend up to 4 bp. The novel ribozyme properties that have evolved for C.te.I1 illustrate the plasticity of group II introns in adapting new structural and catalytic properties that can be utilized to affect gene expression.

  5. The intronic splicing code: multiple factors involved in ATM pseudoexon definition.

    PubMed

    Dhir, Ashish; Buratti, Emanuele; van Santen, Maria A; Lührmann, Reinhard; Baralle, Francisco E

    2010-02-17

    Abundance of pseudo splice sites in introns can potentially give rise to innumerable pseudoexons, outnumbering the real ones. Nonetheless, these are efficiently ignored by the splicing machinery, a process yet to be understood completely. Although numerous 5' splice site-like sequences functioning as splicing silencers have been found to be enriched in predicted human pseudoexons, the lack of active pseudoexons pose a fundamental challenge to how these U1snRNP-binding sites function in splicing inhibition. Here, we address this issue by focusing on a previously described pathological ATM pseudoexon whose inhibition is mediated by U1snRNP binding at intronic splicing processing element (ISPE), composed of a consensus donor splice site. Spliceosomal complex assembly demonstrates inefficient A complex formation when ISPE is intact, implying U1snRNP-mediated unproductive U2snRNP recruitment. Furthermore, interaction of SF2/ASF with its motif seems to be dependent on RNA structure and U1snRNP interaction. Our results suggest a complex combinatorial interplay of RNA structure and trans-acting factors in determining the splicing outcome and contribute to understanding the intronic splicing code for the ATM pseudoexon.

  6. Branch Point Identification and Sequence Requirements for Intron Splicing in Plasmodium falciparum ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaohong; Tolzmann, Caitlin A.; Melcher, Martin; Haas, Brian J.; Gardner, Malcolm J.; Smith, Joseph D.; Feagin, Jean E.

    2011-01-01

    Splicing of mRNA is an ancient and evolutionarily conserved process in eukaryotic organisms, but intron-exon structures vary. Plasmodium falciparum has an extreme AT nucleotide bias (>80%), providing a unique opportunity to investigate how evolutionary forces have acted on intron structures. In this study, we developed an in vivo luciferase reporter splicing assay and employed it in combination with lariat isolation and sequencing to characterize 5′ and 3′ splicing requirements and experimentally determine the intron branch point in P. falciparum. This analysis indicates that P. falciparum mRNAs have canonical 5′ and 3′ splice sites. However, the 5′ consensus motif is weakly conserved and tolerates nucleotide substitution, including the fifth nucleotide in the intron, which is more typically a G nucleotide in most eukaryotes. In comparison, the 3′ splice site has a strong eukaryotic consensus sequence and adjacent polypyrimidine tract. In four different P. falciparum pre-mRNAs, multiple branch points per intron were detected, with some at U instead of the typical A residue. A weak branch point consensus was detected among 18 identified branch points. This analysis indicates that P. falciparum retains many consensus eukaryotic splice site features, despite having an extreme codon bias, and possesses flexibility in branch point nucleophilic attack. PMID:21926333

  7. An Intronic G Run within HIV-1 Intron 2 Is Critical for Splicing Regulation of vif mRNA

    PubMed Central

    Widera, Marek; Erkelenz, Steffen; Hillebrand, Frank; Krikoni, Aikaterini; Widera, Darius; Kaisers, Wolfgang; Deenen, René; Gombert, Michael; Dellen, Rafael; Pfeiffer, Tanya; Kaltschmidt, Barbara; Münk, Carsten; Bosch, Valerie; Köhrer, Karl

    2013-01-01

    Within target T lymphocytes, human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1) encounters the retroviral restriction factor APOBEC3G (apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme, catalytic polypeptide-like 3G; A3G), which is counteracted by the HIV-1 accessory protein Vif. Vif is encoded by intron-containing viral RNAs that are generated by splicing at 3′ splice site (3′ss) A1 but lack splicing at 5′ss D2, which results in the retention of a large downstream intron. Hence, the extents of activation of 3′ss A1 and repression of D2, respectively, determine the levels of vif mRNA and thus the ability to evade A3G-mediated antiviral effects. The use of 3′ss A1 can be enhanced or repressed by splicing regulatory elements that control the recognition of downstream 5′ss D2. Here we show that an intronic G run (GI2-1) represses the use of a second 5′ss, termed D2b, that is embedded within intron 2 and, as determined by RNA deep-sequencing analysis, is normally inefficiently used. Mutations of GI2-1 and activation of D2b led to the generation of transcripts coding for Gp41 and Rev protein isoforms but primarily led to considerable upregulation of vif mRNA expression. We further demonstrate, however, that higher levels of Vif protein are actually detrimental to viral replication in A3G-expressing T cell lines but not in A3G-deficient cells. These observations suggest that an appropriate ratio of Vif-to-A3G protein levels is required for optimal virus replication and that part of Vif level regulation is effected by the novel G run identified here. PMID:23255806

  8. Intron Retention in the Alternatively Spliced Region of RON Results from Weak 3’ Splice Site Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Lindsay D.; Lucas, Christian M.; Eperon, Ian C.

    2013-01-01

    The RON gene encodes a tyrosine kinase receptor for macrophage-stimulating protein. A constitutively active isoform that arises by skipping of exon 11 is expressed in carcinomas and contributes to an invasive phenotype. However, a high proportion of the mRNA expressed from the endogenous gene, or from transfected minigenes, appears to retain introns 10 and 11. It is not known whether this represents specific repression or the presence of weak splicing signals. We have used chimeric pre-mRNAs spliced in vitro to investigate the reason for intron retention. A systematic test showed that, surprisingly, the exon sequences known to modulate exon 11 skipping were not limiting, but the 3’ splice site regions adjacent to exons 11 and 12 were too weak to support splicing when inserted into a globin intron. UV-crosslinking experiments showed binding of hnRNP F/H just 5’ of these regions, but the hnRNP F/H target sequences did not mediate inhibition. Instead, the failure of splicing is linked to weak binding of U2AF65, and spliceosome assembly stalls prior to formation of any of the ATP-dependent complexes. We discuss mechanisms by which U2AF65 binding is facilitated in vivo. PMID:24155930

  9. How Are Short Exons Flanked by Long Introns Defined and Committed to Splicing?

    PubMed

    Hollander, Dror; Naftelberg, Shiran; Lev-Maor, Galit; Kornblihtt, Alberto R; Ast, Gil

    2016-10-01

    The splice sites (SSs) delimiting an intron are brought together in the earliest step of spliceosome assembly yet it remains obscure how SS pairing occurs, especially when introns are thousands of nucleotides long. Splicing occurs in vivo in mammals within minutes regardless of intron length, implying that SS pairing can instantly follow transcription. Also, factors required for SS pairing, such as the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) and U2AF65, associate with RNA polymerase II (RNAPII), while nucleosomes preferentially bind exonic sequences and associate with U2 snRNP. Based on recent publications, we assume that the 5' SS-bound U1 snRNP can remain tethered to RNAPII until complete synthesis of the downstream intron and exon. An additional U1 snRNP then binds the downstream 5' SS, whereas the RNAPII-associated U2AF65 binds the upstream 3' SS to facilitate SS pairing along with exon definition. Next, the nucleosome-associated U2 snRNP binds the branch site to advance splicing complex assembly. This may explain how RNAPII and chromatin are involved in spliceosome assembly and how introns lengthened during evolution with a relatively minimal compromise in splicing.

  10. How Are Short Exons Flanked by Long Introns Defined and Committed to Splicing?

    PubMed

    Hollander, Dror; Naftelberg, Shiran; Lev-Maor, Galit; Kornblihtt, Alberto R; Ast, Gil

    2016-10-01

    The splice sites (SSs) delimiting an intron are brought together in the earliest step of spliceosome assembly yet it remains obscure how SS pairing occurs, especially when introns are thousands of nucleotides long. Splicing occurs in vivo in mammals within minutes regardless of intron length, implying that SS pairing can instantly follow transcription. Also, factors required for SS pairing, such as the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) and U2AF65, associate with RNA polymerase II (RNAPII), while nucleosomes preferentially bind exonic sequences and associate with U2 snRNP. Based on recent publications, we assume that the 5' SS-bound U1 snRNP can remain tethered to RNAPII until complete synthesis of the downstream intron and exon. An additional U1 snRNP then binds the downstream 5' SS, whereas the RNAPII-associated U2AF65 binds the upstream 3' SS to facilitate SS pairing along with exon definition. Next, the nucleosome-associated U2 snRNP binds the branch site to advance splicing complex assembly. This may explain how RNAPII and chromatin are involved in spliceosome assembly and how introns lengthened during evolution with a relatively minimal compromise in splicing. PMID:27507607

  11. Trans-splicing with the group I intron ribozyme from Azoarcus

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Gregory F.; Müller, Ulrich F.

    2014-01-01

    Group I introns are ribozymes (catalytic RNAs) that excise themselves from RNA primary transcripts by catalyzing two successive transesterification reactions. These cis-splicing ribozymes can be converted into trans-splicing ribozymes, which can modify the sequence of a separate substrate RNA, both in vitro and in vivo. Previous work on trans-splicing ribozymes has mostly focused on the 16S rRNA group I intron ribozyme from Tetrahymena thermophila. Here, we test the trans-splicing potential of the tRNAIle group I intron ribozyme from the bacterium Azoarcus. This ribozyme is only half the size of the Tetrahymena ribozyme and folds faster into its active conformation in vitro. Our results showed that in vitro, the Azoarcus and Tetrahymena ribozymes favored the same set of splice sites on a substrate RNA. Both ribozymes showed the same trans-splicing efficiency when containing their individually optimized 5′ terminus. In contrast to the previously optimized 5′-terminal design of the Tetrahymena ribozyme, the Azoarcus ribozyme was most efficient with a trans-splicing design that resembled the secondary structure context of the natural cis-splicing Azoarcus ribozyme, which includes base-pairing between the substrate 5′ portion and the ribozyme 3′ exon. These results suggested preferred trans-splicing interactions for the Azoarcus ribozyme under near-physiological in vitro conditions. Despite the high activity in vitro, however, the splicing efficiency of the Azoarcus ribozyme in Escherichia coli cells was significantly below that of the Tetrahymena ribozyme. PMID:24344321

  12. Alternative splicing in spinal muscular atrophy underscores the role of an intron definition model.

    PubMed

    Singh, Natalia N; Singh, Ravindra N

    2011-01-01

    Humans have two nearly identical copies of the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) gene: SMN1 and SMN2. The two SMN genes code for identical proteins; however, SMN2 predominantly generates a shorter transcript due to skipping of exon 7, the last coding exon. Skipping of SMN2 exon 7 leads to production of a truncated SMN protein that is highly unstable. The inability of SMN2 to compensate for the loss of SMN1 results in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the second most prevalent genetic cause of infant mortality. Since SMN2 is almost universally present in SMA patients, correction of SMN2 exon 7 splicing holds the promise for cure. Consistently, SMN2 exon 7 splicing has emerged as one of the best studied splicing systems in humans. The vast amount of recent literature provides a clue that SMN2 exon 7 splicing is regulated by an intron definition mechanism, which does not require cross-exon communication as prerequisite for exon inclusion. Our conclusion is based on the prominent role of intronic cis-elements, some of them have emerged as the frontrunners among potential therapeutic targets of SMA. Further, the widely expressed T-cell-restricted intracellular antigen-1 (TIA1), a member of the Q-rich domain containing RNA-binding proteins, has recently been found to regulate SMN exon 7 splicing by binding to intron 7 sequences away from the 5′ ss. These findings make a strong argument for an "intron definition model", according to which regulatory sequences within a downstream intron are capable of enforcing exon inclusion even in the absence of a defined upstream 3′ ss of an alternatively spliced exon.

  13. Nucleotide sequence composition adjacent to intronic splice sites improves splicing efficiency via its effect on pre-mRNA local folding in fungi.

    PubMed

    Zafrir, Zohar; Tuller, Tamir

    2015-10-01

    RNA splicing is the central process of intron removal in eukaryotes known to regulate various cellular functions such as growth, development, and response to external signals. The canonical sequences indicating the splicing sites needed for intronic boundary recognition are well known. However, the roles and evolution of the local folding of intronic and exonic sequence features adjacent to splice sites has yet to be thoroughly studied. Here, focusing on four fungi (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Aspergillus nidulans, and Candida albicans), we performed for the first time a comprehensive high-resolution study aimed at characterizing the encoding of intronic splicing efficiency in pre-mRNA transcripts and its effect on intron evolution. Our analysis supports the conjecture that pre-mRNA local folding strength at intronic boundaries is under selective pressure, as it significantly affects splicing efficiency. Specifically, we show that in the immediate region of 12-30 nucleotides (nt) surrounding the intronic donor site there is a preference for weak pre-mRNA folding; similarly, in the region of 15-33 nt surrounding the acceptor and branch sites there is a preference for weak pre-mRNA folding. We also show that in most cases there is a preference for strong pre-mRNA folding further away from intronic splice sites. In addition, we demonstrate that these signals are not associated with gene-specific functions, and they correlate with splicing efficiency measurements (r = 0.77, P = 2.98 × 10(-21)) and with expression levels of the corresponding genes (P = 1.24 × 10(-19)). We suggest that pre-mRNA folding strength in the above-mentioned regions has a direct effect on splicing efficiency by improving the recognition of intronic boundaries. These new discoveries are contributory steps toward a broader understanding of splicing regulation and intronic/transcript evolution.

  14. Nucleotide sequence composition adjacent to intronic splice sites improves splicing efficiency via its effect on pre-mRNA local folding in fungi.

    PubMed

    Zafrir, Zohar; Tuller, Tamir

    2015-10-01

    RNA splicing is the central process of intron removal in eukaryotes known to regulate various cellular functions such as growth, development, and response to external signals. The canonical sequences indicating the splicing sites needed for intronic boundary recognition are well known. However, the roles and evolution of the local folding of intronic and exonic sequence features adjacent to splice sites has yet to be thoroughly studied. Here, focusing on four fungi (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Aspergillus nidulans, and Candida albicans), we performed for the first time a comprehensive high-resolution study aimed at characterizing the encoding of intronic splicing efficiency in pre-mRNA transcripts and its effect on intron evolution. Our analysis supports the conjecture that pre-mRNA local folding strength at intronic boundaries is under selective pressure, as it significantly affects splicing efficiency. Specifically, we show that in the immediate region of 12-30 nucleotides (nt) surrounding the intronic donor site there is a preference for weak pre-mRNA folding; similarly, in the region of 15-33 nt surrounding the acceptor and branch sites there is a preference for weak pre-mRNA folding. We also show that in most cases there is a preference for strong pre-mRNA folding further away from intronic splice sites. In addition, we demonstrate that these signals are not associated with gene-specific functions, and they correlate with splicing efficiency measurements (r = 0.77, P = 2.98 × 10(-21)) and with expression levels of the corresponding genes (P = 1.24 × 10(-19)). We suggest that pre-mRNA folding strength in the above-mentioned regions has a direct effect on splicing efficiency by improving the recognition of intronic boundaries. These new discoveries are contributory steps toward a broader understanding of splicing regulation and intronic/transcript evolution. PMID:26246046

  15. Nucleotide sequence composition adjacent to intronic splice sites improves splicing efficiency via its effect on pre-mRNA local folding in fungi

    PubMed Central

    Zafrir, Zohar; Tuller, Tamir

    2015-01-01

    RNA splicing is the central process of intron removal in eukaryotes known to regulate various cellular functions such as growth, development, and response to external signals. The canonical sequences indicating the splicing sites needed for intronic boundary recognition are well known. However, the roles and evolution of the local folding of intronic and exonic sequence features adjacent to splice sites has yet to be thoroughly studied. Here, focusing on four fungi (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Aspergillus nidulans, and Candida albicans), we performed for the first time a comprehensive high-resolution study aimed at characterizing the encoding of intronic splicing efficiency in pre-mRNA transcripts and its effect on intron evolution. Our analysis supports the conjecture that pre-mRNA local folding strength at intronic boundaries is under selective pressure, as it significantly affects splicing efficiency. Specifically, we show that in the immediate region of 12–30 nucleotides (nt) surrounding the intronic donor site there is a preference for weak pre-mRNA folding; similarly, in the region of 15–33 nt surrounding the acceptor and branch sites there is a preference for weak pre-mRNA folding. We also show that in most cases there is a preference for strong pre-mRNA folding further away from intronic splice sites. In addition, we demonstrate that these signals are not associated with gene-specific functions, and they correlate with splicing efficiency measurements (r = 0.77, P = 2.98 × 10−21) and with expression levels of the corresponding genes (P = 1.24 × 10−19). We suggest that pre-mRNA folding strength in the above-mentioned regions has a direct effect on splicing efficiency by improving the recognition of intronic boundaries. These new discoveries are contributory steps toward a broader understanding of splicing regulation and intronic/transcript evolution. PMID:26246046

  16. Dinoflagellate Gene Structure and Intron Splice Sites in a Genomic Tandem Array.

    PubMed

    Mendez, Gregory S; Delwiche, Charles F; Apt, Kirk E; Lippmeier, J Casey

    2015-01-01

    Dinoflagellates are one of the last major lineages of eukaryotes for which little is known about genome structure and organization. We report here the sequence and gene structure of a clone isolated from a cosmid library which, to our knowledge, represents the largest contiguously sequenced, dinoflagellate genomic, tandem gene array. These data, combined with information from a large transcriptomic library, allowed a high level of confidence of every base pair call. This degree of confidence is not possible with PCR-based contigs. The sequence contains an intron-rich set of five highly expressed gene repeats arranged in tandem. One of the tandem repeat gene members contains an intron 26,372 bp long. This study characterizes a splice site consensus sequence for dinoflagellate introns. Two to nine base pairs around the 3' splice site are repeated by an identical two to nine base pairs around the 5' splice site. The 5' and 3' splice sites are in the same locations within each repeat so that the repeat is found only once in the mature mRNA. This identically repeated intron boundary sequence might be useful in gene modeling and annotation of genomes.

  17. Bronze-2 Gene Expression and Intron Splicing Patterns in Cells and Tissues of Zea mays L.

    PubMed

    Nash, J; Walbot, V

    1992-09-01

    A large fraction of the transcripts of the Bronze-2 (Bz2) gene of maize (Zea mays L.) are unspliced in purple husk tissues. The accumulation of unspliced messages could have destructive potential if the intron-bearing mRNAs are translated into aberrant proteins. Our initial studies suggested that both genetic and physiological factors may influence the degree of splicing failure. Nuclear background rather than cis-sequence effects is shown to contribute to the genetic component. The accumulation of unspliced message does not appear to be directly influenced by diurnal effects on transcript abundance, by the expression level of the Bz2 gene, or by thermal stress. We also show that maize cell cultures (Black Mexican Sweet, BMS) can be used to examine the molecular details involved in splicing failure. Much like whole maize plants, the BMS cells excise the Bz2 intron with varying degrees of efficiency. In contrast with heterologous constructs containing plant introns, splicing of the native Bz2 intron can appproach 100% in BMS cells. Splicing of transcripts from a marked, introduced gene can be compared to the endogeneous Bz2 gene facilitating analysis of the impact of sequence changes. PMID:16652984

  18. A splice site mutant of maize activates cryptic splice sites, elicits intron inclusion and exon exclusion, and permits branch point elucidation.

    PubMed

    Lal, S; Choi, J H; Shaw, J R; Hannah, L C

    1999-10-01

    DNA sequence analysis of the bt2-7503 mutant allele of the maize brittle-2 gene revealed a point mutation in the 5' terminal sequence of intron 3 changing GT to AT. This lesion completely abolishes use of this splice site, activates two cryptic splice sites, and alters the splicing pattern from extant splice sites. One activated donor site, located nine nt 5' to the normal splice donor site, begins with the dinucleotide GC. While non-consensus, this sequence still permits both trans-esterification reactions of pre-mRNA splicing. A second cryptic site located 23 nt 5' to the normal splice site and beginning with GA, undergoes the first trans-esterification reaction leading to lariat formation, but lacks the ability to participate in the second reaction. Accumulation of this splicing intermediate and use of an innovative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction technique (J. Vogel, R.H. Wolfgang, T. Borner [1997] Nucleic Acids Res 25: 2030-2031) led to the identification of 3' intron sequences needed for lariat formation. In most splicing reactions, neither cryptic site is recognized. Most mature transcripts include intron 3, while the second most frequent class lacks exon 3. Traditionally, the former class of transcripts is taken as evidence for the intron definition of splicing, while the latter class has given credence to the exon definition of splicing. PMID:10517832

  19. An mTERF domain protein functions in group II intron splicing in maize chloroplasts.

    PubMed

    Hammani, Kamel; Barkan, Alice

    2014-04-01

    The mitochondrial transcription termination factor (mTERF) proteins are nucleic acid binding proteins characterized by degenerate helical repeats of ∼30 amino acids. Metazoan genomes encode a small family of mTERF proteins whose members influence mitochondrial gene expression and DNA replication. The mTERF family in higher plants consists of roughly 30 members, which localize to mitochondria or chloroplasts. Effects of several mTERF proteins on plant development and physiology have been described, but molecular functions of mTERF proteins in plants are unknown. We show that a maize mTERF protein, Zm-mTERF4, promotes the splicing of group II introns in chloroplasts. Zm-mTERF4 coimmunoprecipitates with many chloroplast introns and the splicing of some of these introns is disrupted even in hypomorphic Zm-mterf4 mutants. Furthermore, Zm-mTERF4 is found in high molecular weight complexes that include known chloroplast splicing factors. The splicing of two transfer RNAs (trnI-GAU and trnA-UGC) and one ribosomal protein messenger RNA (rpl2) is particularly sensitive to the loss of Zm-mTERF4, accounting for the loss of plastid ribosomes in Zm-mTERF4 mutants. These findings extend the known functional repertoire of the mTERF family to include group II intron splicing and suggest that a conserved role in chloroplast RNA splicing underlies the physiological defects described for mutations in BSM/Rugosa2, the Zm-mTERF4 ortholog in Arabidopsis.

  20. Modulation of splicing of the preceding intron by antisense oligonucleotide complementary to intra-exon sequence deleted in dystrophin Kobe

    SciTech Connect

    Takeshima, Y.; Matuso, M.; Sakamoto, H.; Nishio, H.

    1994-09-01

    Molecular analysis of dystrophin Kobe showed that exon 19 of the dystrophin gene bearing a 52 bp deletion was skipped during splicing, although the known consensus sequences at the 5{prime} and 3{prime} splice site of exon 19 were maintained. These data suggest that the deleted sequence of exon 19 may function as a cis-acting factor for exact splicing for the upstream intron. To investigate this potential role, an in vitro splicing system using dystrophin precursors was established. A two-exon precursor containing exon 18, truncated intron 18, and exon 19 was accurately spliced. However, splicing of intron 18 was dramatically inhibited when wild exon 19 was replaced with mutated exon 19. Even though the length of exon 19 was restored to normal by replacing the deleted sequence with other sequence, splicing of intron 18 was not fully reactivated. Characteristically, splicing of intron 18 was inactivated more markedly when the replaced sequence contained less polypurine stretches. These data suggested that modification of the exon sequence would result in a splicing abnormality. Antisense 31 mer 2`-O-methyl ribonucleotide was targeted against 5{prime} end of deleted region of exon 19 to modulate splicing of the mRNA precursor. Splicing of intron 18 was inhibited in a dose- and time-dependent manner. This is the first in vitro evidence to show splicing of dystrophin pre-mRNA can be managed by antisense oligonucleotides. These experiments represent an approach in which antisense oligonucleotides are used to restore the function of a defective dystrophin gene in Duchenne muscular dystrophy by inducing skipping of certain exons during splicing.

  1. Intronic motif pairs cooperate across exons to promote pre-mRNA splicing

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background A very early step in splice site recognition is exon definition, a process that is as yet poorly understood. Communication between the two ends of an exon is thought to be required for this step. We report genome-wide evidence for exons being defined through the combinatorial activity of motifs located in flanking intronic regions. Results Strongly co-occurring motifs were found to specifically reside in four intronic regions surrounding a large number of human exons. These paired motifs occur around constitutive and alternative exons but not pseudo exons. Most co-occurring motifs are limited to intronic regions within 100 nucleotides of the exon. They are preferentially associated with weaker exons. Their pairing is conserved in evolution and they exhibit a lower frequency of single nucleotide polymorphism when paired. Paired motifs display specificity with respect to distance from the exon borders and in constitutive versus alternative splicing. Many resemble binding sites for heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins. Specific pairs are associated with tissue-specific genes, the higher expression of which coincides with that of the pertinent RNA binding proteins. Tested pairs acted synergistically to enhance exon inclusion, and this enhancement was found to be exon-specific. Conclusions The exon-flanking sequence pairs identified here by genomic analysis promote exon inclusion and may play a role in the exon definition step in pre-mRNA splicing. We propose a model in which multiple concerted interactions are required between exonic sequences and flanking intronic sequences to effect exon definition. PMID:20704715

  2. Evolution of gene structural complexity: an alternative-splicing-based model accounts for intron-containing retrogenes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chengjun; Gschwend, Andrea R; Ouyang, Yidan; Long, Manyuan

    2014-05-01

    The structure of eukaryotic genes evolves extensively by intron loss or gain. Previous studies have revealed two models for gene structure evolution through the loss of introns: RNA-based gene conversion, dubbed the Fink model and retroposition model. However, retrogenes that experienced both intron loss and intron-retaining events have been ignored; evolutionary processes responsible for the variation in complex exon-intron structure were unknown. We detected hundreds of retroduplication-derived genes in human (Homo sapiens), fly (Drosophila melanogaster), rice (Oryza sativa), and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and categorized them either as duplicated genes that have all introns lost or as duplicated genes that have at least lost one and retained one intron compared with the parental copy (intron-retaining [IR] type). Our new model attributes intron retention alternative splicing to the generation of these IR-type gene pairs. We presented 25 parental genes that have an intron retention isoform and have retained introns in the same locations in the IR-type duplicate genes, which directly support our hypothesis. Our alternative-splicing-based model in conjunction with the retroposition and Fink models can explain the IR-type gene observed. We discovered a greater percentage of IR-type genes in plants than in animals, which may be due to the abundance of intron retention cases in plants. Given the prevalence of intron retention in plants, this new model gives a support that plant genomes have very complex gene structures.

  3. Association of Carney Complex with an Intronic Splice Site Mutation in the PRKAR1A Gene.

    PubMed

    Guo, H; Xiong, H; Li, Z; Xu, J; Zhang, H; Chen, X; Hu, S

    2016-06-01

    This study was aimed to investigate the clinical features and mutations in the PRKAR1A gene of a multigenerational kindred including 17 individuals at risk for Carney complex. Eight patients were diagnosed with Carney complex among the 17 individuals (47.1%). Among the 8 affected patients, 4 had cardiac myxomas, 8 had skin pigmentation, and 3 had diabetes. Genomic DNA sequencing in 14 surviving patients showed 6 had the same germline mutation in the sixth intron and affected the splice site. cDNA sequencing and DNAMAN software showed 159 bases were absent, resulting in the absence of the amino acids 249 to 301 from the protein. All 6 patients with this PRKAR1A gene mutation had skin pigmentation. In conclusion, the present study reported for the first time an intronic splice site mutation in the PRKAR1A gene of a Chinese family with Carney complex, which probably caused skin pigmentation observed in affected family members. PMID:26788925

  4. PCR differentiation of commercial yeast strains using intron splice site primers.

    PubMed Central

    de Barros Lopes, M; Soden, A; Henschke, P A; Langridge, P

    1996-01-01

    The increased use of pure starter cultures in the wine industry has made it necessary to develop a rapid and simple identification system for yeast strains. A method based upon the PCR using oligonucleotide primers that are complementary to intron splice sites has been developed. Since most introns are not essential for gene function, introns have evolved with minimal constraint. By targeting these highly variable sequences, the PCR has proved to be very effective in uncovering polymorphisms in commercial yeast strains. The speed of the method and the ability to analyze many samples in a single day permit the monitoring of specific yeast strains during fermentations. Furthermore, the simplicity of the technique, which does not require the isolation of DNA, makes it accessible to industrial laboratories that have limited molecular expertise and resources. PMID:8953723

  5. Antagonistic factors control the unproductive splicing of SC35 terminal intron

    PubMed Central

    Dreumont, Natacha; Hardy, Sara; Behm-Ansmant, Isabelle; Kister, Liliane; Branlant, Christiane; Stévenin, James; Bourgeois, Cyril F.

    2010-01-01

    Alternative splicing is regulated in part by variations in the relative concentrations of a variety of factors, including serine/arginine-rich (SR) proteins. The SR protein SC35 self-regulates its expression by stimulating unproductive splicing events in the 3′ untranslated region of its own pre-mRNA. Using various minigene constructs containing the terminal retained intron and flanking exons, we identified in the highly conserved last exon a number of exonic splicing enhancer elements responding specifically to SC35, and showed an inverse correlation between affinity of SC35 and enhancer strength. The enhancer region, which is included in a long stem loop, also contains repressor elements, and is recognized by other RNA-binding proteins, notably hnRNP H protein and TAR DNA binding protein (TDP-43). Finally, in vitro and in cellulo experiments indicated that hnRNP H and TDP-43 antagonize the binding of SC35 to the terminal exon and specifically repress the use of SC35 terminal 3′ splice site. Our study provides new information about the molecular mechanisms of SC35-mediated splicing activation. It also highlights the existence of a complex network of self- and cross-regulatory mechanisms between splicing regulators, which controls their homeostasis and offers many ways of modulating their concentration in response to the cellular environment. PMID:19965769

  6. Metal ion interaction with cosubstrate in self-splicing of group I introns.

    PubMed Central

    Sjögren, A S; Pettersson, E; Sjöberg, B M; Strömberg, R

    1997-01-01

    The catalytic mechanism for self-splicing of the group I intron in the pre-mRNA from the nrdB gene in bacteriophage T4 has been investigated using 2'-amino- 2'-deoxyguanosine or guanosine as cosubstrates in the presence of Mg2+, Mn2+and Zn2+. The results show that a divalent metal ion interacts with the cosubstrate and thereby influences the efficiency of catalysis in the first step of splicing. This suggests the existence of a metal ion that catalyses the nucleophilic attack of the cosubstrate. Of particular significance is that the transesterification reactions of the first step of splicing with 2'-amino-2'-deoxyguanosine as cosubstrate are more efficient in mixtures containing either Mn2+or Zn2+together with Mg2+than with only magnesium ions present. The experiments in metal ion mixtures show that two (or more) metal ions are crucial for the self-splicing of group I introns and suggest the possibility that more than one of these have a direct catalytic role. A working model for a two-metal-ion mechanism in the transesterification steps is suggested. PMID:9016608

  7. Single-nucleotide resolution mapping of the Gossypium raimondii transcriptome reveals a new mechanism for alternative splicing of introns.

    PubMed

    Li, Qin; Xiao, Guanghui; Zhu, Yu-Xian

    2014-05-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) is a vital genetic mechanism that enhances the diversity of eukaryotic transcriptomes. Here, we generated 8.3 Gb high-quality RNA-sequencing data from cotton (Gossypium raimondii) and performed a systematic, comparative analysis of AS events. We mapped 85% of the RNA-sequencing data onto the reference genome and identified 154368 splice junctions with 16437 as events in 10197 genes. Intron retention constituted the majority (40%) of all AS events in G. raimondii. Comparison across 11 eukaryote species showed that intron retention is the most common AS type in higher plants. Although transposable elements (TEs) were found in only 2.9% of all G. raimondii introns, they are present in 43% of the retained introns, suggesting that TE-insertion may be an important mechanism for intron retention during AS. The majority of the TE insertions are concentrated 0-40 nt upstream of the 3'-splice site, substantially altering the distribution of branch points from preferred positions and reducing the efficiency of intron splicing by decreasing RNA secondary structure flexibility. Our data suggest that TE-insertion-induced changes in branch point-site distribution are important for intron retention-type AS. Our findings may help explain the vast differences in intron-retention frequencies between vertebrates and higher plants.

  8. Intronic variants in BRCA1 and BRCA2 that affect RNA splicing can be reliably selected by splice-site prediction programs.

    PubMed

    Vreeswijk, Maaike P G; Kraan, Jaennelle N; van der Klift, Heleen M; Vink, Geraldine R; Cornelisse, Cees J; Wijnen, Juul T; Bakker, Egbert; van Asperen, Christi J; Devilee, Peter

    2009-01-01

    A large number of sequence variants identified in BRCA1 and BRCA2 cannot be distinguished as either disease-causing mutations or neutral variants. These so-called unclassified variants (UVs) include variants that are located in the intronic sequences of BRCA1 and BRCA2. The purpose of this study was to assess the use of splice-site prediction programs (SSPPs) to select intronic variants in BRCA1 and BRCA2 that are likely to affect RNA splicing. We performed in vitro molecular characterization of RNA of six intronic variants in BRCA1 and BRCA2. In four cases (BRCA1, c.81-6T>A and c.4986+5G>T; BRCA2, c.7617+2T>G and c.8754+5G>A) a deleterious effect on RNA splicing was seen, whereas the c.135-15_-12del variant in BRCA1 showed no effect on RNA splicing. In the case of the BRCA2 c.68-7T>A variant, RNA analysis was not sufficient to establish the clinical significance. Six SSPPs were used to predict whether an effect on RNA splicing was expected for these six variants as well as for 23 intronic variants in BRCA1 for which the effect on RNA splicing has been published. Out of a total of 174 predictions, 161 (93%) were informative (i.e., the wild-type splice-site was recognized). No false-negative predictions were observed; an effect on RNA splicing was always predicted by these programs. In four cases (2.5%) a false-positive prediction was observed. For DNA diagnostic laboratories, these programs are therefore very useful to select intronic variants that are likely to affect RNA splicing for further analysis.

  9. RNA-Seq Analysis of Differential Splice Junction Usage and Intron Retentions by DEXSeq

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yafang; Rao, Xiayu; Mattox, William W.; Amos, Christopher I.; Liu, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Alternative splicing is an important biological process in the generation of multiple functional transcripts from the same genomic sequences. Differential analysis of splice junctions (SJs) and intron retentions (IRs) is helpful in the detection of alternative splicing events. In this study, we conducted differential analysis of SJs and IRs by use of DEXSeq, a Bioconductor package originally designed for differential exon usage analysis in RNA-seq data analysis. We set up an analysis pipeline including mapping of RNA-seq reads, the preparation of count tables of SJs and IRs as the input files, and the differential analysis in DEXSeq. We analyzed the public RNA-seq datasets generated from RNAi experiments on Drosophila melanogaster S2-DRSC cells to deplete RNA-binding proteins (GSE18508). The analysis confirmed previous findings on the alternative splicing of the trol and Ant2 (sesB) genes in the CG8144 (ps)-depletion experiment and identified some new alternative splicing events in other RNAi experiments. We also identified IRs that were confirmed in our SJ analysis. The proposed method used in our study can output the genomic coordinates of differentially used SJs and thus enable sequence motif search. Sequence motif search and gene function annotation analysis helped us infer the underlying mechanism in alternative splicing events. To further evaluate this method, we also applied the method to public RNA-seq data from human breast cancer (GSE45419) and the plant Arabidopsis (SRP008262). In conclusion, our study showed that DEXSeq can be adapted to differential analysis of SJs and IRs, which will facilitate the identification of alternative splicing events and provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of transcription processes and disease development. PMID:26327458

  10. DNA-methylation effect on cotranscriptional splicing is dependent on GC architecture of the exon–intron structure

    PubMed Central

    Gelfman, Sahar; Cohen, Noa; Yearim, Ahuvi; Ast, Gil

    2013-01-01

    DNA methylation is known to regulate transcription and was recently found to be involved in exon recognition via cotranscriptional splicing. We recently observed that exon–intron architectures can be grouped into two classes: one with higher GC content in exons compared to the flanking introns, and the other with similar GC content in exons and introns. The first group has higher nucleosome occupancy on exons than introns, whereas the second group exhibits weak nucleosome marking of exons, suggesting another type of epigenetic marker distinguishes exons from introns when GC content is similar. We find different and specific patterns of DNA methylation in each of the GC architectures; yet in both groups, DNA methylation clearly marks the exons. Exons of the leveled GC architecture exhibit a significantly stronger DNA methylation signal in relation to their flanking introns compared to exons of the differential GC architecture. This is accentuated by a reduction of the DNA methylation level in the intronic sequences in proximity to the splice sites and shows that different epigenetic modifications mark the location of exons already at the DNA level. Also, lower levels of methylated CpGs on alternative exons can successfully distinguish alternative exons from constitutive ones. Three positions at the splice sites show high CpG abundance and accompany elevated nucleosome occupancy in a leveled GC architecture. Overall, these results suggest that DNA methylation affects exon recognition and is influenced by the GC architecture of the exon and flanking introns. PMID:23502848

  11. Activation and repression functions of an SR splicing regulator depend on exonic versus intronic-binding position.

    PubMed

    Shen, Manli; Mattox, William

    2012-01-01

    SR proteins and related factors play widespread roles in alternative pre-mRNA splicing and are known to promote splice site recognition through their Arg-Ser-rich effector domains. However, binding of SR regulators to some targets results in repression of splice sites through a distinct mechanism. Here, we investigate how activated and repressed targets of the Drosophila SR regulator Transformer2 elicit its differing effects on splicing. We find that, like activation, repression affects early steps in the recognition of splice sites and spliceosome assembly. Repositioning of regulatory elements reveals that Tra2 complexes that normally repress splicing from intronic positions activate splicing when located in an exon. Protein tethering experiments demonstrate that this position dependence is an intrinsic property of Tra2 and further show that repression and activation are mediated by separate effector domains of this protein. When other Drosophila SR factors (SF2 and Rbp1) that activate splicing from exonic positions were tethered intronically they failed to either activate or repress splicing. Interestingly, both activities of Tra2 favor the exonic identity of the RNA sequences that encompass its binding sites. This suggests a model in which these two opposite functions act in concert to define both the position and extent of alternatively spliced exons.

  12. Activating the branch-forming splicing pathway by reengineering the ribozyme component of a natural group II intron.

    PubMed

    Monachello, Dario; Michel, François; Costa, Maria

    2016-03-01

    When assayed in vitro, group IIC self-splicing introns, which target bacterial Rho-independent transcription terminators, generally fail to yield branched products during splicing despite their possessing a seemingly normal branchpoint. Starting with intron O.i.I1 from Oceanobacillus iheyensis, whose crystallographically determined structure lacks branchpoint-containing domain VI, we attempted to determine what makes this intron unfit for in vitro branch formation. A major factor was found to be the length of the helix at the base of domain VI: 4 base pairs (bp) are required for efficient branching, even though a majority of group IIC introns have a 3-bp helix. Equally important for lariat formation is the removal of interactions between ribozyme domains II and VI, which are specific to the second step of splicing. Conversely, mismatching of domain VI and its proposed first-step receptor in subdomain IC1 was found to be detrimental; these data suggest that the intron-encoded protein may promote branch formation partly by modulating the equilibrium between conformations specific to the first and second steps of splicing. As a practical application, we show that by making just two changes to the O.i.I1 ribozyme, it is possible to generate sufficient amounts of lariat intron for the latter to be purified and used in kinetic assays in which folding and reaction are uncoupled.

  13. Activating the branch-forming splicing pathway by reengineering the ribozyme component of a natural group II intron.

    PubMed

    Monachello, Dario; Michel, François; Costa, Maria

    2016-03-01

    When assayed in vitro, group IIC self-splicing introns, which target bacterial Rho-independent transcription terminators, generally fail to yield branched products during splicing despite their possessing a seemingly normal branchpoint. Starting with intron O.i.I1 from Oceanobacillus iheyensis, whose crystallographically determined structure lacks branchpoint-containing domain VI, we attempted to determine what makes this intron unfit for in vitro branch formation. A major factor was found to be the length of the helix at the base of domain VI: 4 base pairs (bp) are required for efficient branching, even though a majority of group IIC introns have a 3-bp helix. Equally important for lariat formation is the removal of interactions between ribozyme domains II and VI, which are specific to the second step of splicing. Conversely, mismatching of domain VI and its proposed first-step receptor in subdomain IC1 was found to be detrimental; these data suggest that the intron-encoded protein may promote branch formation partly by modulating the equilibrium between conformations specific to the first and second steps of splicing. As a practical application, we show that by making just two changes to the O.i.I1 ribozyme, it is possible to generate sufficient amounts of lariat intron for the latter to be purified and used in kinetic assays in which folding and reaction are uncoupled. PMID:26769855

  14. Rescue of splicing-mediated intron loss maximizes expression in lentiviral vectors containing the human ubiquitin C promoter.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Aaron R; Lill, Georgia R; Gschweng, Eric H; Kohn, Donald B

    2015-01-01

    Lentiviral vectors almost universally use heterologous internal promoters to express transgenes. One of the most commonly used promoter fragments is a 1.2-kb sequence from the human ubiquitin C (UBC) gene, encompassing the promoter, some enhancers, first exon, first intron and a small part of the second exon of UBC. Because splicing can occur after transcription of the vector genome during vector production, we investigated whether the intron within the UBC promoter fragment is faithfully transmitted to target cells. Genetic analysis revealed that more than 80% of proviral forms lack the intron of the UBC promoter. The human elongation factor 1 alpha (EEF1A1) promoter fragment intron was not lost during lentiviral packaging, and this difference between the UBC and EEF1A1 promoter introns was conferred by promoter exonic sequences. UBC promoter intron loss caused a 4-fold reduction in transgene expression. Movement of the expression cassette to the opposite strand prevented intron loss and restored full expression. This increase in expression was mostly due to non-classical enhancer activity within the intron, and movement of putative intronic enhancer sequences to multiple promoter-proximal sites actually repressed expression. Reversal of the UBC promoter also prevented intron loss and restored full expression in bidirectional lentiviral vectors.

  15. An in vitro peptide complementation assay for CYT-18-dependent group I intron splicing reveals a new role for the N-terminus.

    PubMed

    Geng, Chun; Paukstelis, Paul J

    2014-03-01

    The mitochondrial tyrosyl tRNA synthetase from Neurospora crassa (CYT-18 protein) is a bifunctional group I intron splicing cofactor. CYT-18 is capable of splicing multiple group I introns from a wide variety of sources by stabilizing the catalytically active intron structures. CYT-18 and mt TyrRSs from related fungal species have evolved to assist in group I intron splicing in part by the accumulation of three N-terminal domain insertions. Biochemical and structural analysis indicate that the N-terminal insertions serve primarily to create a structure-stabilizing scaffold for critical tertiary interactions between the two major RNA domains of group I introns. Previous studies concluded that the primarily α-helical N-terminal insertion, H0, contributes to protein stability and is necessary for splicing the N. crassa ND1 intron but is dispensable for splicing the N. crassa mitochondrial LSU intron. Here, we show that CYT-18 with a complete H0 deletion retains residual ND1 intron splicing activity and that addition of the missing N-terminus in trans is capable of restoring a significant portion of its splicing activity. The development of this peptide complementation assay has allowed us to explore important characteristics of the CYT-18/group I intron interaction including the stoichiometry of H0 in intron splicing and the importance of specific H0 residues. Evaluation of truncated H0 peptides in this assay and a re-examination of the CYT-18 crystal structure suggest a previously unknown structural role of the first five N-terminal residues of CYT-18. These residues interact directly with another splicing insertion, making H0 a central structural element responsible for connecting all three N-terminal splicing insertions.

  16. The Mitochondrial Genome of the Prasinophyte Prasinoderma coloniale Reveals Two Trans-Spliced Group I Introns in the Large Subunit rRNA Gene

    PubMed Central

    Pombert, Jean-François; Otis, Christian; Turmel, Monique; Lemieux, Claude

    2013-01-01

    Organelle genes are often interrupted by group I and or group II introns. Splicing of these mobile genetic occurs at the RNA level via serial transesterification steps catalyzed by the introns'own tertiary structures and, sometimes, with the help of external factors. These catalytic ribozymes can be found in cis or trans configuration, and although trans-arrayed group II introns have been known for decades, trans-spliced group I introns have been reported only recently. In the course of sequencing the complete mitochondrial genome of the prasinophyte picoplanktonic green alga Prasinoderma coloniale CCMP 1220 (Prasinococcales, clade VI), we uncovered two additional cases of trans-spliced group I introns. Here, we describe these introns and compare the 54,546 bp-long mitochondrial genome of Prasinoderma with those of four other prasinophytes (clades II, III and V). This comparison underscores the highly variable mitochondrial genome architecture in these ancient chlorophyte lineages. Both Prasinoderma trans-spliced introns reside within the large subunit rRNA gene (rnl) at positions where cis-spliced relatives, often containing homing endonuclease genes, have been found in other organelles. In contrast, all previously reported trans-spliced group I introns occur in different mitochondrial genes (rns or coxI). Each Prasinoderma intron is fragmented into two pieces, forming at the RNA level a secondary structure that resembles those of its cis-spliced counterparts. As observed for other trans-spliced group I introns, the breakpoint of the first intron maps to the variable loop L8, whereas that of the second is uniquely located downstream of P9.1. The breakpoint In each Prasinoderma intron corresponds to the same region where the open reading frame (ORF) occurs when present in cis-spliced orthologs. This correlation between the intron breakpoint and the ORF location in cis-spliced orthologs also holds for other trans-spliced introns; we discuss the possible implications

  17. The mitochondrial genome of the prasinophyte Prasinoderma coloniale reveals two trans-spliced group I introns in the large subunit rRNA gene.

    PubMed

    Pombert, Jean-François; Otis, Christian; Turmel, Monique; Lemieux, Claude

    2013-01-01

    Organelle genes are often interrupted by group I and or group II introns. Splicing of these mobile genetic occurs at the RNA level via serial transesterification steps catalyzed by the introns'own tertiary structures and, sometimes, with the help of external factors. These catalytic ribozymes can be found in cis or trans configuration, and although trans-arrayed group II introns have been known for decades, trans-spliced group I introns have been reported only recently. In the course of sequencing the complete mitochondrial genome of the prasinophyte picoplanktonic green alga Prasinoderma coloniale CCMP 1220 (Prasinococcales, clade VI), we uncovered two additional cases of trans-spliced group I introns. Here, we describe these introns and compare the 54,546 bp-long mitochondrial genome of Prasinoderma with those of four other prasinophytes (clades II, III and V). This comparison underscores the highly variable mitochondrial genome architecture in these ancient chlorophyte lineages. Both Prasinoderma trans-spliced introns reside within the large subunit rRNA gene (rnl) at positions where cis-spliced relatives, often containing homing endonuclease genes, have been found in other organelles. In contrast, all previously reported trans-spliced group I introns occur in different mitochondrial genes (rns or coxI). Each Prasinoderma intron is fragmented into two pieces, forming at the RNA level a secondary structure that resembles those of its cis-spliced counterparts. As observed for other trans-spliced group I introns, the breakpoint of the first intron maps to the variable loop L8, whereas that of the second is uniquely located downstream of P9.1. The breakpoint In each Prasinoderma intron corresponds to the same region where the open reading frame (ORF) occurs when present in cis-spliced orthologs. This correlation between the intron breakpoint and the ORF location in cis-spliced orthologs also holds for other trans-spliced introns; we discuss the possible implications

  18. A group II intron in the Neurospora mitochondrial coI gene: nucleotide sequence and implications for splicing and molecular evolution.

    PubMed Central

    Field, D J; Sommerfield, A; Saville, B J; Collins, R A

    1989-01-01

    The temperature-sensitive Neurospora nuclear mutant cyt18-1 is deficient in splicing many Group I mitochondrial introns when grown at its non-permissive temperature; however, splicing of intron 1 in the coI gene of the Adiopodoume (formerly called North Africa) strain is unaffected (R.A. Collins and A.M. Lambowitz, J. Mol. Biol. 184: 413-428, 1985). Here we show that coI intron 1 is a typical Group II intron, the only one identified to date in Neurospora. The differential effect of the cyt18-1 mutation suggests that splicing of certain introns could be regulated independently of others by nuclear-encoded proteins. The intron contains a long open reading frame (ORF) resembling that of the Neurospora Mauriceville mitochondrial plasmid. The intron and plasmid ORFs share unusual features of codon usage that suggest both evolved outside of the Neurospora mitochondrial genetic system. Images PMID:2531370

  19. A single nucleotide difference at the 3' end of an intron causes differential splicing of two histocompatibility genes.

    PubMed Central

    Archibald, A L; Thompson, N A; Kvist, S

    1986-01-01

    The murine histocompatibility class I genes, H-2 Kb and Kk, display considerable homology at their 3' ends. In fact, from exon 5 to the termination codon, only two nucleotides differ between the two genes, one at the 5' end and the other at the 3' end of intron 7. Despite this similarity, the gene products have distinctly different mol. wts as determined by SDS-PAGE. By constructing two hybrid genes, pC2 and pC4, we demonstrated that it is the cytoplasmic parts of the antigens (encoded by exons 6-8) which are responsible for the major difference in mol. wt. We have used site-directed mutagenesis to change the two nucleotides in intron 7 of the H-2 Kk gene to those present in the H-2 Kb gene. S1 nuclease mapping has been used to identify the actual splice site of the authentic Kb and Kk genes, the hybrid genes and the mutagenized genes. We have shown that it is the 3' nucleotide difference, nine nucleotides upstream of the 3' splice site, which causes the different excision of intron 7 of the Kb gene. The 5' nucleotide difference does not alter the splicing. The choice of branch points and 3' splice signals for intron 7 of five H-2 class I genes, is discussed. Images Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 6. Fig. 7. PMID:3013627

  20. The RAD52-like protein ODB1 is required for the efficient excision of two mitochondrial introns spliced via first-step hydrolysis.

    PubMed

    Gualberto, José M; Le Ret, Monique; Beator, Barbara; Kühn, Kristina

    2015-07-27

    Transcript splicing in plant mitochondria involves numerous nucleus-encoded factors, most of which are of eukaryotic origin. Some of these belong to protein families initially characterised to perform unrelated functions. The RAD52-like ODB1 protein has been reported to have roles in homologous recombination-dependent DNA repair in the nuclear and mitochondrial compartments in Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that it is additionally involved in splicing and facilitates the excision of two cis-spliced group II introns, nad1 intron 2 and nad2 intron 1, in Arabidopsis mitochondria. odb1 mutants lacking detectable amounts of ODB1 protein over-accumulated incompletely spliced nad1 and nad2 transcripts. The two ODB1-dependent introns were both found to splice via first-step hydrolysis and to be released as linear or circular molecules instead of lariats. Our systematic analysis of the structures of excised introns in Arabidopsis mitochondria revealed several other hydrolytically spliced group II introns in addition to nad1 intron 2 and nad2 intron 1, indicating that ODB1 is not a general determinant of the hydrolytic splicing pathway.

  1. The RAD52-like protein ODB1 is required for the efficient excision of two mitochondrial introns spliced via first-step hydrolysis

    PubMed Central

    Gualberto, José M.; Le Ret, Monique; Beator, Barbara; Kühn, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    Transcript splicing in plant mitochondria involves numerous nucleus-encoded factors, most of which are of eukaryotic origin. Some of these belong to protein families initially characterised to perform unrelated functions. The RAD52-like ODB1 protein has been reported to have roles in homologous recombination-dependent DNA repair in the nuclear and mitochondrial compartments in Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that it is additionally involved in splicing and facilitates the excision of two cis-spliced group II introns, nad1 intron 2 and nad2 intron 1, in Arabidopsis mitochondria. odb1 mutants lacking detectable amounts of ODB1 protein over-accumulated incompletely spliced nad1 and nad2 transcripts. The two ODB1-dependent introns were both found to splice via first-step hydrolysis and to be released as linear or circular molecules instead of lariats. Our systematic analysis of the structures of excised introns in Arabidopsis mitochondria revealed several other hydrolytically spliced group II introns in addition to nad1 intron 2 and nad2 intron 1, indicating that ODB1 is not a general determinant of the hydrolytic splicing pathway. PMID:26048959

  2. A short PPR protein required for the splicing of specific group II introns in angiosperm chloroplasts.

    PubMed

    Khrouchtchova, Anastassia; Monde, Rita-Ann; Barkan, Alice

    2012-06-01

    A maize gene designated thylakoid assembly 8 (tha8) emerged from a screen for nuclear mutations that cause defects in the biogenesis of chloroplast thylakoid membranes. The tha8 gene encodes an unusual member of the pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) family, a family of helical repeat proteins that participate in various aspects of organellar RNA metabolism. THA8 localizes to chloroplasts, where it associates specifically with the ycf3-2 and trnA group II introns. The splicing of ycf3-2 is eliminated in tha8 mutants, and trnA splicing is strongly compromised. Reverse-genetic analysis of the tha8 ortholog in Arabidopsis thaliana showed that these molecular functions are conserved, although null alleles are embryo lethal in Arabidopsis and seedling lethal in maize. Whereas most PPR proteins have more than 10 PPR motifs, THA8 belongs to a subfamily of plant PPR proteins with only four PPR motifs and little else. THA8 is the first member of this subfamily with a defined molecular function, and illustrates that even small PPR proteins have the potential to mediate specific intermolecular interactions in vivo.

  3. Why Selection Might Be Stronger When Populations Are Small: Intron Size and Density Predict within and between-Species Usage of Exonic Splice Associated cis-Motifs.

    PubMed

    Wu, XianMing; Hurst, Laurence D

    2015-07-01

    The nearly neutral theory predicts that small effective population size provides the conditions for weakened selection. This is postulated to explain why our genome is more "bloated" than that of, for example, yeast, ours having large introns and large intergene spacer. If a bloated genome is also an error prone genome might it, however, be the case that selection for error-mitigating properties is stronger in our genome? We examine this notion using splicing as an exemplar, not least because large introns can predispose to noisy splicing. We thus ask whether, owing to genomic decay, selection for splice error-control mechanisms is stronger, not weaker, in species with large introns and small populations. In humans much information defining splice sites is in cis-exonic motifs, most notably exonic splice enhancers (ESEs). These act as splice-error control elements. Here then we ask whether within and between-species intron size is a predictor of the commonality of exonic cis-splicing motifs. We show that, as predicted, the proportion of synonymous sites that are ESE-associated and under selection in humans is weakly positively correlated with the size of the flanking intron. In a phylogenetically controlled framework, we observe, also as expected, that mean intron size is both predicted by Ne.μ and is a good predictor of cis-motif usage across species, this usage coevolving with splice site definition. Unexpectedly, however, across taxa intron density is a better predictor of cis-motif usage than intron size. We propose that selection for splice-related motifs is driven by a need to avoid decoy splice sites that will be more common in genes with many and large introns. That intron number and density predict ESE usage within human genes is consistent with this, as is the finding of intragenic heterogeneity in ESE density. As intronic content and splice site usage across species is also well predicted by Ne.μ, the result also suggests an unusual circumstance in

  4. Why Selection Might Be Stronger When Populations Are Small: Intron Size and Density Predict within and between-Species Usage of Exonic Splice Associated cis-Motifs

    PubMed Central

    Wu, XianMing; Hurst, Laurence D.

    2015-01-01

    The nearly neutral theory predicts that small effective population size provides the conditions for weakened selection. This is postulated to explain why our genome is more “bloated” than that of, for example, yeast, ours having large introns and large intergene spacer. If a bloated genome is also an error prone genome might it, however, be the case that selection for error-mitigating properties is stronger in our genome? We examine this notion using splicing as an exemplar, not least because large introns can predispose to noisy splicing. We thus ask whether, owing to genomic decay, selection for splice error-control mechanisms is stronger, not weaker, in species with large introns and small populations. In humans much information defining splice sites is in cis-exonic motifs, most notably exonic splice enhancers (ESEs). These act as splice-error control elements. Here then we ask whether within and between-species intron size is a predictor of the commonality of exonic cis-splicing motifs. We show that, as predicted, the proportion of synonymous sites that are ESE-associated and under selection in humans is weakly positively correlated with the size of the flanking intron. In a phylogenetically controlled framework, we observe, also as expected, that mean intron size is both predicted by Ne.μ and is a good predictor of cis-motif usage across species, this usage coevolving with splice site definition. Unexpectedly, however, across taxa intron density is a better predictor of cis-motif usage than intron size. We propose that selection for splice-related motifs is driven by a need to avoid decoy splice sites that will be more common in genes with many and large introns. That intron number and density predict ESE usage within human genes is consistent with this, as is the finding of intragenic heterogeneity in ESE density. As intronic content and splice site usage across species is also well predicted by Ne.μ, the result also suggests an unusual circumstance in

  5. Albino Leaf 2 is involved in the splicing of chloroplast group I and II introns in rice

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Changhong; Zhu, Haitao; Xing, Yi; Tan, Jianjie; Chen, Xionghui; Zhang, Jianjun; Peng, Haifeng; Xie, Qingjun; Zhang, Zemin

    2016-01-01

    Chloroplasts play an essential role in plant growth and development through manipulating photosynthesis and the production of hormones and metabolites. Although many genes or regulators involved in chloroplast biogenesis and development have been isolated and characterized, identification of novel components is still lacking. We isolated a rice (Oryza sativa) mutant, termed albino leaf 2 (al2), using genetic screening. Phenotypic analysis revealed that the al2 mutation caused obvious albino leaves at the early developmental stage, eventually leading to al2 seedling death. Electron microscopy investigations indicated that the chloroplast structure was disrupted in the al2 mutants at an early developmental stage and subsequently resulted in the breakdown of the entire chloroplast. Molecular cloning illustrated that AL2 encodes a chloroplast group IIA intron splicing facilitator (CRS1) in rice, which was confirmed by a genetic complementation experiment. Moreover, our results demonstrated that AL2 was constitutively expressed in various tissues, including green and non-green tissues. Interestingly, we found that the expression levels of a subset of chloroplast genes that contain group IIA and IIB introns were significantly reduced in the al2 mutant compared to that in the wild type, suggesting that AL2 is a functional CRS1 in rice. Differing from the orthologous CRS1 in maize and Arabidopsis that only regulates splicing of the chloroplast group II intron, our results demonstrated that the AL2 gene is also likely to be involved in the splicing of the chloroplast group I intron. They also showed that disruption of AL2 results in the altered expression of chloroplast-associated genes, including chlorophyll biosynthetic genes, plastid-encoded polymerases and nuclear-encoded chloroplast genes. Taken together, these findings shed new light on the function of nuclear-encoded chloroplast group I and II intron splicing factors in rice. PMID:27543605

  6. The molecular evolution and structural organization of self-splicing group I introns at position 516 in nuclear SSU rDNA of myxomycetes.

    PubMed

    Haugen, Peik; Coucheron, Dag H; Rønning, Sissel B; Haugli, Kari; Johansen, Steinar

    2003-01-01

    Group I introns are relatively common within nuclear ribosomal DNA of eukaryotic microorganisms, especially in myxomycetes. Introns at position S516 in the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene are particularly common, but have a sporadic occurrence in myxomycetes. Fuligo septica, Badhamia gracilis, and Physarum flavicomum, all members of the family Physaraceae, contain related group IC1 introns at this site. The F. septica intron was studied at the molecular level and found to self-splice as naked RNA and to generate full-length intron RNA circles during incubation. Group I introns at position S516 appear to have a particularly widespread distribution among protists and fungi. Secondary structural analysis of more than 140 S516 group I introns available in the database revealed five different types of organization, including IC1 introns with and without His-Cys homing endonuclease genes, complex twin-ribozyme introns, IE introns, and degenerate group I-like introns. Both intron structural and phylogenetic analyses indicate a multiple origin of the S516 introns during evolution. The myxomycete introns are related to S516 introns in the more distantly related brown algae and Acanthamoeba species. Possible mechanisms of intron transfer both at the RNA- and DNA-levels are discussed in order to explain the observed widespread, but scattered, phylogenetic distribution.

  7. A factor related to pseudouridine synthases is required for chloroplast group II intron trans-splicing in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed

    Perron, K; Goldschmidt-Clermont, M; Rochaix, J D

    1999-11-15

    In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the psaA mRNA is assembled by a process involving two steps of trans-splicing that remove two group II introns and give rise to the mature mRNA. The products of at least 14 nuclear genes and one chloroplast gene (tscA) are necessary for this process. We have cloned Maa2, one of the nuclear genes involved in trans-splicing of the second intron. Maa2 encodes a protein with similarity to conserved domains of pseudouridine synthases, but mutagenesis of putative catalytic residues showed that this activity may not be required for trans-splicing of psaA RNA. Although it is not clear whether the pseudouridine synthase activity has been maintained in Maa2, it is possible that this enzyme was recruited during evolution as an RNA chaperone for folding or stabilizing the psaA intron. The Maa2 protein appears to be associated through ionic interactions with a low density membrane system in the chloroplast that also contains RNA-binding proteins involved in translation.

  8. Connections between RNA splicing and DNA intron mobility in yeast mitochondria: RNA maturase and DNA endonuclease switching experiments.

    PubMed Central

    Goguel, V; Delahodde, A; Jacq, C

    1992-01-01

    , which is required for the splicing of its coding intron, also controls the splicing process of the aI4 intron. We propose a scenario for the evolution of these intronic proteins that relies on a switch from DNA endonuclease to RNA maturase activity. Images PMID:1310149

  9. Evolution of shorter and more hydrophilic transthyretin N-termini by stepwise conversion of exon 2 into intron 1 sequences (shifting the 3' splice site of intron 1)

    PubMed

    Aldred, A R; Prapunpoj, P; Schreiber, G

    1997-06-01

    Transthyretin cDNA was cloned from Eastern Grey Kangaroo liver and its nucleotide sequence determined. Analysis of the derived amino acid sequence of kangaroo transthyretin, together with data obtained previously for transthyretins from other vertebrate species [Duan, W., Richardson, S. J., Babon, J. J., Heyes, R. J., Southwell, B. R., Harms, P. J., Wettenhall, R. E. H., Dziegielewska, K. M., Selwood, L., Bradley, A. J., Brack, C. M. & Schreiber, G. (1995) Eur. J. Biochem. 227, 396-406], showed that the N-terminus is the region which changes most distinctly during evolution. It has been shown for human, mouse and rat transthyretins, that this region is encoded by DNA at the border of exon 1 and exon 2. Therefore, this section of transthyretin genomic DNA was amplified by PCR and directly sequenced for the Buffalo Rat, Tammar Wallaby, Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Stripe-faced Dunnart, Short-tailed Grey Opossum and White Leghorn Chicken. The splice sites at both ends of intron 1 were identified by comparison with the cDNA sequences. The obtained data suggest that the N-termini of transthyretin evolved by successive shifts of the 3' splice site of intron 1 in the 3' direction, resulting in successive shortening of the 5' end of exon 2. At the protein level, this resulted in a shorter and more hydrophilic N-terminal region of transthyretin. Successive shifts in splice sites may be an evolutionary mechanism of general importance, since they can lead to stepwise changes in the properties of proteins. This could be a molecular mechanism for positive Darwinian selection.

  10. Splicing analysis of unclassified variants in COL2A1 and COL11A1 identifies deep intronic pathogenic mutations

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Allan J; McNinch, Annie; Whittaker, Joanne; Treacy, Becky; Oakhill, Kim; Poulson, Arabella; Snead, Martin P

    2012-01-01

    UK NHS diagnostic service sequence analysis of genes generally examines and reports on variations within a designated region 5′ and 3′ of each exon, typically 30 bp up and downstream. However, because of the degenerate nature of the splice sites, intronic variants outside the AG and GT dinucleotides of the acceptor and donor splice sites (ASS and DSS) are most often classified as being of unknown clinical significance, unless there is some functional evidence of their pathogenicity. It is now becoming clear that mutations deep within introns can also interfere with normal processing of pre-mRNA and result in pathogenic effects on the mature transcript. In diagnostic laboratories, these deep intronic variants most often fall outside of the regions analysed and so are rarely reported. With the likelihood that next generation sequencing will identify more of these unclassified variants, it will become important to perform additional studies to determine the pathogenicity of such sequence anomalies. Here, we analyse variants detected in either COL2A1 or COL11A1 in patients with Stickler syndrome. These have been analysed both in silico and functionally using either RNA isolated from the patient's cells or, more commonly, minigenes as splicing reporters. We show that deep intronic mutations are not a rare occurrence, including one variant that results in multiple transcripts, where both de novo donor and ASS are created by the mutation. Another variant produces transcripts that result in either haploinsufficiency or a dominant negative effect, potentially modifying the disease phenotype. PMID:22189268

  11. Group II Intron-Mediated Trans-Splicing in the Gene-Rich Mitochondrial Genome of an Enigmatic Eukaryote, Diphylleia rotans.

    PubMed

    Kamikawa, Ryoma; Shiratori, Takashi; Ishida, Ken-Ichiro; Miyashita, Hideaki; Roger, Andrew J

    2016-02-01

    Although mitochondria have evolved from a single endosymbiotic event, present day mitochondria of diverse eukaryotes display a great range of genome structures, content and features. Group I and group II introns are two features that are distributed broadly but patchily in mitochondrial genomes across branches of the tree of eukaryotes. While group I intron-mediated trans-splicing has been reported from some lineages distantly related to each other, findings of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing has been restricted to members of the Chloroplastida. In this study, we found the mitochondrial genome of the unicellular eukaryote Diphylleia rotans possesses currently the second largest gene repertoire. On the basis of a probable phylogenetic position of Diphylleia, which is located within Amorphea, current mosaic gene distribution in Amorphea must invoke parallel gene losses from mitochondrial genomes during evolution. Most notably, although the cytochrome c oxidase subunit (cox) 1 gene was split into four pieces which located at a distance to each other, we confirmed that a single mature mRNA that covered the entire coding region could be generated by group II intron-mediated trans-splicing. This is the first example of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing outside Chloroplastida. Similar trans-splicing mechanisms likely work for bipartitely split cox2 and nad3 genes to generate single mature mRNAs. We finally discuss origin and evolution of this type of trans-splicing in D. rotans as well as in eukaryotes. PMID:26833505

  12. Group II Intron-Mediated Trans-Splicing in the Gene-Rich Mitochondrial Genome of an Enigmatic Eukaryote, Diphylleia rotans

    PubMed Central

    Kamikawa, Ryoma; Shiratori, Takashi; Ishida, Ken-Ichiro; Miyashita, Hideaki; Roger, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Although mitochondria have evolved from a single endosymbiotic event, present day mitochondria of diverse eukaryotes display a great range of genome structures, content and features. Group I and group II introns are two features that are distributed broadly but patchily in mitochondrial genomes across branches of the tree of eukaryotes. While group I intron-mediated trans-splicing has been reported from some lineages distantly related to each other, findings of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing has been restricted to members of the Chloroplastida. In this study, we found the mitochondrial genome of the unicellular eukaryote Diphylleia rotans possesses currently the second largest gene repertoire. On the basis of a probable phylogenetic position of Diphylleia, which is located within Amorphea, current mosaic gene distribution in Amorphea must invoke parallel gene losses from mitochondrial genomes during evolution. Most notably, although the cytochrome c oxidase subunit (cox) 1 gene was split into four pieces which located at a distance to each other, we confirmed that a single mature mRNA that covered the entire coding region could be generated by group II intron-mediated trans-splicing. This is the first example of group II intron-mediated trans-splicing outside Chloroplastida. Similar trans-splicing mechanisms likely work for bipartitely split cox2 and nad3 genes to generate single mature mRNAs. We finally discuss origin and evolution of this type of trans-splicing in D. rotans as well as in eukaryotes. PMID:26833505

  13. Using intron splicing trick for preferential gene expression in transduced cells: an approach for suicide gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Pourzadegan, F; Shariati, L; Taghizadeh, R; Khanahmad, H; Mohammadi, Z; Tabatabaiefar, M A

    2016-01-01

    Suicide gene therapy is one of the most innovative approaches in which a potential toxic gene is delivered to the targeted cancer cell by different target delivery methods. We constructed a transfer vector to express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in transduced cells but not in packaging cells. We placed gfp under the control of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter, which is positioned between the two long-terminal repeats in reverse direction. The intron-2 sequence of the human beta globin gene with two poly-A signals and several stop codons on the antisense strand was placed on the leading strand between the CMV promoter and gfp. For lentiviral production, the HEK293T and line were co-transfected with the PMD2G, psPAX2 and pLentiGFP-Ins2 plasmids. The HEK293T and line were transduced with this virus. PCR was performed for evaluation of intron splicing in transduced cells. The GFP expression was seen in 65% of the cells transduced. The PCR amplification of the genomic DNA of transduced cells confirmed the splicing of intron 2. The strategy is significant to accomplish our goal for preserving the packaging cells from the toxic gene expression during viral assembly and the resultant reduction in viral titration. Also it serves to address several other issues in the gene therapy.

  14. Insertion of part of an intron into the 5[prime] untranslated region of a Caenorhabditis elegans gene converts it into a trans-spliced gene

    SciTech Connect

    Conrad, R.; Thomas, J.; Spieth, J.; Blumenthal, T. )

    1991-04-01

    In nematodes, the RNA products of some genes are trans-spliced to a 22-nucleotide spliced leader (SL), while the RNA products of other genes are not. In Caenorhabditis elegans, there are two SLs, Sl1 and SL2, donated by two distinct small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles in a process functionally quite similar to nuclear intron removal. The authors demonstrate here that it is possible to convert a non-trans-spliced gene into a trans-spliced gene by placement of an intron missing only the 5[prime] splice site into the 5[prime] untranslated region. Stable transgenic strains were isolated expressing a gene in which 69 nucleotides of a vit-5 intron, including the 3[prime] splice site, were inserted into the 5[prime] untranslated region of a vit-2/vit-6 fusion gene. The RNA product of this gene was examined by primer extension and PCR amplification. Although the vit-2/vit-6 transgene product is not normally trans-spliced, the majority of transcripts from this altered gene were trans-spliced to SL1. They termed the region of a trans-spliced mRNA precursor between the 5[prime] end and the first 3[prime] splice site an 'outrun'. The results suggest that if a transcript begins with intronlike sequence followed by a 3[prime] splice site, this alone may constitute an outrun and be sufficient to demarcate a transcript as a trans-splice acceptor. These findings leave open the possibility that specific sequences are required to increase the efficiency of trans-splicing.

  15. Splicing of the Large Intron Present in the Nonstructural Gene of Minute Virus of Mice Is Governed by TIA-1/TIAR Binding Downstream of the Nonconsensus Donor▿

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Eun-Young; Pintel, David

    2009-01-01

    The essential proteins NS1 and NS2 of minute virus of mice are encoded by mRNAs R1 and R2, respectively. R2 is derived from R1 by excision of a large intron and thus splicing governs the relative ratios of NS1 and NS2. Excision of the large intron utilizes a nonconsensus 5′ donor site. We identified a U-rich and A-rich intronic sequence immediately downstream of the nonconsensus 5′ donor site that functions as an intronic splicing enhancer (ISE) required for efficient large-intron excision. The ISE binds the cellular RNA-processing proteins TIA-1 and TIAR, which enhance usage of the nonconsensus donor. PMID:19339348

  16. Characterization of a Disease-associated Mutation Affecting a Putative Splicing Regulatory Element in Intron 6b of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) Gene*

    PubMed Central

    Faà, Valeria; Incani, Federica; Meloni, Alessandra; Corda, Denise; Masala, Maddalena; Baffico, A. Maria; Seia, Manuela; Cao, Antonio; Rosatelli, M. Cristina

    2009-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a common recessive disorder caused by >1600 mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. About 13% of CFTR mutations are classified as “splicing mutations,” but for almost 40% of these, their role in affecting the pre-mRNA splicing of the gene is not yet defined. In this work, we describe a new splicing mutation detected in three unrelated Italian CF patients. By DNA analyses and mRNA studies, we identified the c.1002–1110_1113delTAAG mutation localized in intron 6b of the CFTR gene. At the mRNA level, this mutation creates an aberrant inclusion of a sequence of 101 nucleotides between exons 6b and 7. This sequence corresponds to a portion of intron 6b and resembles a cryptic exon because it is characterized by an upstream ag and a downstream gt sequence, which are most probably recognized as 5′- and 3′-splice sites by the spliceosome. Through functional analysis of this splicing defect, we show that this mutation abolishes the interaction of the splicing regulatory protein heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2/B1 with an intronic splicing regulatory element and creates a new recognition motif for the SRp75 splicing factor, causing activation of the cryptic exon. Our results show that the c.1002–1110_1113delTAAG mutation creates a new intronic splicing regulatory element in intron 6b of the CFTR gene exclusively recognized by SRp75. PMID:19759008

  17. Interactions of SR45, an SR-like protein, with spliceosomal proteins and an intronic sequence: insights into regulated splicing.

    PubMed

    Day, Irene S; Golovkin, Maxim; Palusa, Saiprasad G; Link, Alicia; Ali, Gul S; Thomas, Julie; Richardson, Dale N; Reddy, Anireddy S N

    2012-09-01

    SR45 is a serine/arginine-rich (SR)-like protein with two arginine/serine-rich (RS) domains. We have previously shown that SR45 regulates alternative splicing (AS) by differential selection of 5' and 3' splice sites. However, it is unknown how SR45 regulates AS. To gain mechanistic insights into the roles of SR45 in splicing, we screened a yeast two-hybrid library with SR45. This screening resulted in the isolation of two spliceosomal proteins, U1-70K and U2AF(35) b that are known to function in 5' and 3' splice site selection, respectively. This screen not only confirmed our prior observation that U1-70K and SR45 interact, but also helped to identify an additional interacting partner (U2AF(35) ). In vitro and in vivo analyses revealed an interaction of SR45 with both paralogs of U2AF(35) . Furthermore, we show that the RS1 and RS2 domains of SR45, and not the RNA recognition motif (RRM) domain, associate independently with both U2AF(35) proteins. Interaction studies among U2AF(35) paralogs and between U2AF(35) and U1-70K revealed that U2AF(35) can form homo- or heterodimers and that U2AF(35) proteins can associate with U1-70K. Using RNA probes from SR30 intron 10, whose splicing is altered in the sr45 mutant, we show that SR45 and U2AF(35) b bind to different parts of the intron, with a binding site for SR45 in the 5' region and two binding regions, each ending with a known 3' splice site, for U2AF(35) b. These results suggest that SR45 recruits U1snRNP and U2AF to 5' and 3' splice sites, respectively, by interacting with pre-mRNA, U1-70K and U2AF(35) and modulates AS. PMID:22563826

  18. The Arabidopsis homolog of human minor spliceosomal protein U11-48K plays a crucial role in U12 intron splicing and plant development.

    PubMed

    Xu, Tao; Kim, Bo Mi; Kwak, Kyung Jin; Jung, Hyun Ju; Kang, Hunseung

    2016-05-01

    The minor U12 introns are removed from precursor mRNAs by the U12 intron-specific minor spliceosome. Among the seven ribonucleoproteins unique to the minor spliceosome, denoted as U11/U12-20K, U11/U12-25K, U11/U12-31K, U11/U12-65K, U11-35K, U11-48K, and U11-59K, the roles of only U11/U12-31K and U11/U12-65K have been demonstrated in U12 intron splicing and plant development. Here, the functional role of the Arabidopsis homolog of human U11-48K in U12 intron splicing and the development of Arabidopsis thaliana was examined using transgenic knockdown plants. The u11-48k mutants exhibited several defects in growth and development, such as severely arrested primary inflorescence stems, formation of serrated leaves, production of many rosette leaves after bolting, and delayed senescence. The splicing of most U12 introns analyzed was impaired in the u11-48k mutants. Comparative analysis of the splicing defects and phenotypes among the u11/u12-31k, u11-48k, and u11/12-65k mutants showed that the severity of abnormal development was closely correlated with the degree of impairment in U12 intron splicing. Taken together, these results provide compelling evidence that the Arabidopsis homolog of human U11-48K protein, as well as U11/U12-31K and U11/U12-65K proteins, is necessary for correct splicing of U12 introns and normal plant growth and development. PMID:27091878

  19. G to A substitution in 5{prime} donor splice site of introns 18 and 48 of COL1A1 gene of type I collagen results in different splicing alternatives in osteogenesis imperfecta type I cell strains

    SciTech Connect

    Willing, M.; Deschenes, S.

    1994-09-01

    We have identified a G to A substitution in the 5{prime} donor splice site of intron 18 of one COL1A1 allele in two unrelated families with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) type I. A third OI type I family has a G to A substitution at the identical position in intron 48 of one COL1A1 allele. Both mutations abolish normal splicing and lead to reduced steady-state levels of mRNA from the mutant COL1A1 allele. The intron 18 mutation leads to both exon 18 skipping in the mRNA and to utilization of a single alternative splice site near the 3{prime} end of exon 18. The latter results in deletion of the last 8 nucleotides of exon 18 from the mRNA, a shift in the translational reading-frame, and the creation of a premature termination codon in exon 19. Of the potential alternative 5{prime} splice sites in exon 18 and intron 18, the one utilized has a surrounding nucleotide sequence which most closely resembles that of the natural splice site. Although a G to A mutation was detected at the identical position in intron 48 of one COL1A1 allele in another OI type I family, nine complex alternative splicing patterns were identified by sequence analysis of cDNA clones derived from fibroblast mRNA from this cell strain. All result in partial or complete skipping of exon 48, with in-frame deletions of portions of exons 47 and/or 49. The different patterns of RNA splicing were not explained by their sequence homology with naturally occuring 5{prime} splice sites, but rather by recombination between highly homologous exon sequences, suggesting that we may not have identified the major splicing alternative(s) in this cell strain. Both G to A mutations result in decreased production of type I collagen, the common biochemical correlate of OI type I.

  20. Abiotic stresses affect differently the intron splicing and expression of chloroplast genes in coffee plants (Coffea arabica) and rice (Oryza sativa).

    PubMed

    Nguyen Dinh, Sy; Sai, Than Zaw Tun; Nawaz, Ghazala; Lee, Kwanuk; Kang, Hunseung

    2016-08-20

    Despite the increasing understanding of the regulation of chloroplast gene expression in plants, the importance of intron splicing and processing of chloroplast RNA transcripts under stress conditions is largely unknown. Here, to understand how abiotic stresses affect the intron splicing and expression patterns of chloroplast genes in dicots and monocots, we carried out a comprehensive analysis of the intron splicing and expression patterns of chloroplast genes in the coffee plant (Coffea arabica) as a dicot and rice (Oryza sativa) as a monocot under abiotic stresses, including drought, cold, or combined drought and heat stresses. The photosynthetic activity of both coffee plants and rice seedlings was significantly reduced under all stress conditions tested. Analysis of the transcript levels of chloroplast genes revealed that the splicing of tRNAs and mRNAs in coffee plants and rice seedlings were significantly affected by abiotic stresses. Notably, abiotic stresses affected differently the splicing of chloroplast tRNAs and mRNAs in coffee plants and rice seedlings. The transcript levels of most chloroplast genes were markedly downregulated in both coffee plants and rice seedlings upon stress treatment. Taken together, these results suggest that coffee and rice plants respond to abiotic stresses via regulating the intron splicing and expression of different sets of chloroplast genes. PMID:27448724

  1. Insertion of a self-splicing intron into the mtDNA of atriploblastic animal

    SciTech Connect

    Valles, Y.; Halanych, K.; Boore, J.L.

    2006-04-14

    Nephtys longosetosa is a carnivorous polychaete worm that lives in the intertidal and subtidal zones with worldwide distribution (pleijel&rouse2001). Its mitochondrial genome has the characteristics typical of most metazoans: 37 genes; circular molecule; almost no intergenic sequence; and no significant gene rearrangements when compared to other annelid mtDNAs (booremoritz19981995). Ubiquitous features as small intergenic regions and lack of introns suggested that metazoan mtDNAs are under strong selective pressures to reduce their genome size allowing for faster replication requirements (booremoritz19981995Lynch2005). Yet, in 1996 two type I introns were found in the mtDNA of the basal metazoan Metridium senile (FigureX). Breaking a long-standing rule (absence of introns in metazoan mtDNA), this finding was later supported by the further presence of group I introns in other cnidarians. Interestingly, only the class Anthozoa within cnidarians seems to harbor such introns. Although several hundreds of triploblastic metazoan mtDNAs have been sequenced, this study is the first evidence of mitochondrial introns in triploblastic metazoans. The cox1 gene of N. longosetosa has an intron of almost 2 kbs in length. This finding represents as well the first instance of a group II intron (anthozoans harbor group I introns) in all metazoan lineages. Opposite trends are observed within plants, fungi and protist mtDNAs, where introns (both group I and II) and other non-coding sequences are widespread. Plant, fungal and protist mtDNA structure and organization differ enormously from that of metazoan mtDNA. Both, plant and fungal mtDNA are dynamic molecules that undergo high rates of recombination, contain long intergenic spacer regions and harbor both group I and group II introns. However, as metazoans they have a conserved gene content. Protists, on the other hand have a striking variation of gene content and introns that account for the genome size variation. In contrast to

  2. Species-dependent splice recognition of a cryptic exon resulting from a recurrent intronic CEP290 mutation that causes congenital blindness.

    PubMed

    Garanto, Alejandro; Duijkers, Lonneke; Collin, Rob W J

    2015-01-01

    A mutation in intron 26 of CEP290 (c.2991+1655A>G) is the most common genetic cause of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a severe type of inherited retinal degeneration. This mutation creates a cryptic splice donor site, resulting in the insertion of an aberrant exon (exon X) into ~50% of all CEP290 transcripts. A humanized mouse model with this mutation did not recapitulate the aberrant CEP290 splicing observed in LCA patients, suggesting differential recognition of cryptic splice sites between species. To further assess this phenomenon, we generated two CEP290 minigene constructs, with and without the intronic mutation, and transfected these in cell lines of various species. RT-PCR analysis revealed that exon X is well recognized by the splicing machinery in human and non-human primate cell lines. Intriguingly, this recognition decreases in cell lines derived from species such as dog and rodents, and it is completely absent in Drosophila. In addition, other cryptic splicing events corresponding to sequences in intron 26 of CEP290 were observed to varying degrees in the different cell lines. Together, these results highlight the complexity of splice site recognition among different species, and show that care is warranted when generating animal models to mimic splice site mutations in vivo.

  3. Who Activates the Nucleophile in Ribozyme Catalysis? An Answer from the Splicing Mechanism of Group II Introns.

    PubMed

    Casalino, Lorenzo; Palermo, Giulia; Rothlisberger, Ursula; Magistrato, Alessandra

    2016-08-24

    Group II introns are Mg(2+)-dependent ribozymes that are considered to be the evolutionary ancestors of the eukaryotic spliceosome, thus representing an ideal model system to understand the mechanism of conversion of premature messenger RNA (mRNA) into mature mRNA. Neither in splicing nor for self-cleaving ribozymes has the role of the two Mg(2+) ions been established, and even the way the nucleophile is activated is still controversial. Here we employed hybrid quantum-classical QM(Car-Parrinello)/MM molecular dynamics simulations in combination with thermodynamic integration to characterize the molecular mechanism of the first and rate-determining step of the splicing process (i.e., the cleavage of the 5'-exon) catalyzed by group II intron ribozymes. Remarkably, our results show a new RNA-specific dissociative mechanism in which the bulk water accepts the nucleophile's proton during its attack on the scissile phosphate. The process occurs in a single step with no Mg(2+) ion activating the nucleophile, at odds with nucleases enzymes. We suggest that the novel reaction path elucidated here might be an evolutionary ancestor of the more efficient two-metal-ion mechanism found in enzymes. PMID:27309711

  4. Compound heterozygous mutations in the noncoding RNU4ATAC cause Roifman Syndrome by disrupting minor intron splicing

    PubMed Central

    Merico, Daniele; Roifman, Maian; Braunschweig, Ulrich; Yuen, Ryan K. C.; Alexandrova, Roumiana; Bates, Andrea; Reid, Brenda; Nalpathamkalam, Thomas; Wang, Zhuozhi; Thiruvahindrapuram, Bhooma; Gray, Paul; Kakakios, Alyson; Peake, Jane; Hogarth, Stephanie; Manson, David; Buncic, Raymond; Pereira, Sergio L.; Herbrick, Jo-Anne; Blencowe, Benjamin J.; Roifman, Chaim M.; Scherer, Stephen W.

    2015-01-01

    Roifman Syndrome is a rare congenital disorder characterized by growth retardation, cognitive delay, spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia and antibody deficiency. Here we utilize whole-genome sequencing of Roifman Syndrome patients to reveal compound heterozygous rare variants that disrupt highly conserved positions of the RNU4ATAC small nuclear RNA gene, a minor spliceosome component that is essential for minor intron splicing. Targeted sequencing confirms allele segregation in six cases from four unrelated families. RNU4ATAC rare variants have been recently reported to cause microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism, type I (MOPD1), whose phenotype is distinct from Roifman Syndrome. Strikingly, all six of the Roifman Syndrome cases have one variant that overlaps MOPD1-implicated structural elements, while the other variant overlaps a highly conserved structural element not previously implicated in disease. RNA-seq analysis confirms extensive and specific defects of minor intron splicing. Available allele frequency data suggest that recessive genetic disorders caused by RNU4ATAC rare variants may be more prevalent than previously reported. PMID:26522830

  5. The position of yeast snoRNA-coding regions within host introns is essential for their biosynthesis and for efficient splicing of the host pre-mRNA

    PubMed Central

    Vincenti, Sara; Chiara, Valentina De; Bozzoni, Irene; Presutti, Carlo

    2007-01-01

    Genomic location of sequences encoding small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) is peculiar in all eukaryotes from yeast to mammals: most of them are encoded within the introns of host genes. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, seven snoRNAs show this location. In this work we demonstrate that the position of snoRNA-coding regions with respect to splicing consensus sequences is critical: yeast strains expressing mutant constructs containing shorter or longer spacers (the regions between snoRNA ends and intron splice sites) show a drop in accumulation of U24 and U18 snoRNAs. Further mutational analysis demonstrates that altering the distance between the 3′ end of the snoRNA and the branch point is the most important constraint for snoRNA biosynthesis, and that stable external stems, which are sometimes present in introns containing snoRNAs, can overcome the positional effect. Surprisingly enough, splicing of the host introns is clearly affected in most of these constructs indicating that, at least in S. cerevisiae, an incorrect location of snoRNA-coding sequences within the host intron is detrimental to the splicing process. This is different with respect to what was demonstrated in mammals, where the activity of the splicing machinery seems to be dominant with respect to the assembly of snoRNPs, and it is not affected by the location of snoRNA sequences. We also show that intronic box C/D snoRNA recognition and assembly of snoRNPs occur during transcription when splicing sequences are recognized. PMID:17135484

  6. The RNA-binding protein hnRNPLL induces a T cell alternative splicing program delineated by differential intron retention in polyadenylated RNA

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Retention of a subset of introns in spliced polyadenylated mRNA is emerging as a frequent, unexplained finding from RNA deep sequencing in mammalian cells. Results Here we analyze intron retention in T lymphocytes by deep sequencing polyadenylated RNA. We show a developmentally regulated RNA-binding protein, hnRNPLL, induces retention of specific introns by sequencing RNA from T cells with an inactivating Hnrpll mutation and from B lymphocytes that physiologically downregulate Hnrpll during their differentiation. In Ptprc mRNA encoding the tyrosine phosphatase CD45, hnRNPLL induces selective retention of introns flanking exons 4 to 6; these correspond to the cassette exons containing hnRNPLL binding sites that are skipped in cells with normal, but not mutant or low, hnRNPLL. We identify similar patterns of hnRNPLL-induced differential intron retention flanking alternative exons in 14 other genes, representing novel elements of the hnRNPLL-induced splicing program in T cells. Retroviral expression of a normally spliced cDNA for one of these targets, Senp2, partially corrects the survival defect of Hnrpll-mutant T cells. We find that integrating a number of computational methods to detect genes with differentially retained introns provides a strategy to enrich for alternatively spliced exons in mammalian RNA-seq data, when complemented by RNA-seq analysis of purified cells with experimentally perturbed RNA-binding proteins. Conclusions Our findings demonstrate that intron retention in mRNA is induced by specific RNA-binding proteins and suggest a biological significance for this process in marking exons that are poised for alternative splicing. PMID:24476532

  7. A PPR-DYW protein is required for splicing of a group II intron of cox1 pre-mRNA in Physcomitrella patens.

    PubMed

    Ichinose, Mizuho; Tasaki, Eiji; Sugita, Chieko; Sugita, Mamoru

    2012-04-01

    The pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) protein family is involved in various steps of RNA metabolism in plastids and mitochondria. To investigate the function of a DYW sub-class PPR protein in the moss Physcomitrella patens, we constructed and characterized knockout mutants of the PpPPR_43 gene, which encodes a mitochondrial localized PPR protein with a C-terminal DYW domain. The disruptants showed poor growth of moss protonemata. To investigate whether mitochondrial transcripts were affected by disruption of PpPPR_43, we sequenced the cDNA to detect RNA editing events and performed RT-PCR analyses to measure steady-state mitochondrial transcript levels. Disruption of PpPPR_43 did not result in defective RNA editing, but a substantial reduction in the level of mature cox1 transcript was observed in the disruptants. RT-PCR analysis showed that the 3rd intron of cox1 pre-mRNA was not spliced out in the disruptants, but the 1st, 2nd and 4th introns were efficiently spliced out. This suggests that PpPPR_43 is an intron 3-specific splicing factor. The role of the C-terminal domains of PpPPR_43 in intron 3 splicing was analyzed by complementation experiments with truncated constructs lacking the DYW domain or both the E and DYW domains. Both truncated genes completely restored splicing in the PpPPR_43 knockout mutant. This indicates that the E and DYW domains of PpPPR_43 are not required for splicing, and can be deleted without loss of cox1 intron 3 splicing.

  8. Intron definition and a branch site adenosine at nt 385 control RNA splicing of HPV16 E6*I and E7 expression.

    PubMed

    Ajiro, Masahiko; Jia, Rong; Zhang, Lifang; Liu, Xuefeng; Zheng, Zhi-Ming

    2012-01-01

    HPV16 E6 and E7, two viral oncogenes, are expressed from a single bicistronic pre-mRNA. In this report, we provide the evidence that the bicistronic pre-mRNA intron 1 contains three 5' splice sites (5' ss) and three 3' splice sites (3' ss) normally used in HPV16(+) cervical cancer and its derived cell lines. The choice of two novel alternative 5' ss (nt 221 5' ss and nt 191 5' ss) produces two novel isoforms of E6E7 mRNAs (E6*V and E6*VI). The nt 226 5' ss and nt 409 3' ss is preferentially selected over the other splice sites crossing over the intron to excise a minimal length of the intron in RNA splicing. We identified AACAAAC as the preferred branch point sequence (BPS) and an adenosine at nt 385 (underlined) in the BPS as a branch site to dictate the selection of the nt 409 3' ss for E6*I splicing and E7 expression. Introduction of point mutations into the mapped BPS led to reduced U2 binding to the BPS and thereby inhibition of the second step of E6E7 splicing at the nt 409 3' ss. Importantly, the E6E7 bicistronic RNA with a mutant BPS and inefficient splicing makes little or no E7 and the resulted E6 with mutations of (91)QYNK(94) to (91)PSFW(94) displays attenuate activity on p53 degradation. Together, our data provide structural basis of the E6E7 intron 1 for better understanding of how viral E6 and E7 expression is regulated by alternative RNA splicing. This study elucidates for the first time a mapped branch point in HPV16 genome involved in viral oncogene expression.

  9. Intron splice sites of Papilio glaucus PglRh3 corroborate insect opsin phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Briscoe, A D

    1999-04-01

    Full-length cDNA clones encoding the PglRh3 opsin from the tiger swallowtail butterfly Papilio glaucus were isolated from cDNA synthesized from adult head tissue total RNA. This cDNA consists of 1679 nucleotides and contains a single open reading frame predicted to be 379 amino acids in length. PCR amplification of genomic DNA with primers spanning the coding region yielded a single 2760bp fragment which was sequenced. The PglRh3 gene has nine exons and eight introns, four of which are in unique locations relative to the positions of introns in other known insect opsin sequences. Phylogenetic analyses of amino acid and nucleotide sequence data places PglRh3 within a clade of insect visual pigments thought to be sensitive to long wavelengths of light. The genomic structure of PglRh3 is the first characterized from a member of this opsin clade. Three PglRh3 intron positions are shared with Drosophila Rh1, and one of these is also shared with Drosophila Rh2. By contrast, none of the known intron locations in a clade of anciently diverged ultraviolet- and blue-sensitive visual pigments are shared by P. glaucus PglRh3, Drosophila Rh1 or Rh2. The placement of introns within opsin genes therefore independently supports the clustering of a putatively long-wavelength-sensitive clade with a clade of blue-green-sensitive visual pigments.

  10. Splicing defective mutants of the COXI gene of yeast mitochondrial DNA: initial definition of the maturase domain of the group II intron aI2.

    PubMed Central

    Moran, J V; Mecklenburg, K L; Sass, P; Belcher, S M; Mahnke, D; Lewin, A; Perlman, P

    1994-01-01

    Six mutations blocking the function of a seven intron form of the mitochondrial gene encoding subunit I of cytochrome c oxidase (COXI) and mapping upstream of exon 3 were isolated and characterized. A cis-dominant mutant of the group IIA intron 1 defines a helical portion of the C1 substructure of domain 1 as essential for splicing. A trans-recessive mutant confirms that the intron 1 reading frame encodes a maturase function. A cis-dominant mutant in exon 2 was found to have no effect on the splicing of intron 1 or 2. A trans-recessive mutant, located in the group IIA intron 2, demonstrates for the first time that intron 2 encodes a maturase. A genetic dissection of the five missense mutations present in the intron 2 reading frame of that strain demonstrates that the maturase defect results from one or both of the missense mutations in a newly-recognized conserved sequence called domain X. Images PMID:8029012

  11. Splicing analysis for exonic and intronic mismatch repair gene variants associated with Lynch syndrome confirms high concordance between minigene assays and patient RNA analyses

    PubMed Central

    van der Klift, Heleen M; Jansen, Anne M L; van der Steenstraten, Niki; Bik, Elsa C; Tops, Carli M J; Devilee, Peter; Wijnen, Juul T

    2015-01-01

    A subset of DNA variants causes genetic disease through aberrant splicing. Experimental splicing assays, either RT-PCR analyses of patient RNA or functional splicing reporter minigene assays, are required to evaluate the molecular nature of the splice defect. Here, we present minigene assays performed for 17 variants in the consensus splice site regions, 14 exonic variants outside these regions, and two deep intronic variants, all in the DNA mismatch-repair (MMR) genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2, associated with Lynch syndrome. We also included two deep intronic variants in APC and PKD2. For one variant (MLH1 c.122A>G), our minigene assay and patient RNA analysis could not confirm the previously reported aberrant splicing. The aim of our study was to further investigate the concordance between minigene splicing assays and patient RNA analyses. For 30 variants results from patient RNA analyses were available, either performed by our laboratory or presented in literature. Some variants were deliberately included in this study because they resulted in multiple aberrant transcripts in patient RNA analysis, or caused a splice effect other than the prevalent exon skip. While both methods were completely concordant in the assessment of splice effects, four variants exhibited major differences in aberrant splice patterns. Based on the present and earlier studies, together showing an almost 100% concordance of minigene assays with patient RNA analyses, we discuss the weight given to minigene splicing assays in the current criteria proposed by InSiGHT for clinical classification of MMR variants. PMID:26247049

  12. HLA-A*68020103 shows an eight nucleotides deletion within intron 2 but has normal mRNA splicing and serological recognition.

    PubMed

    Balas, A; Sánchez-García, F; Bustamante, L; García-Sánchez, F; Vicario, J L

    2007-09-01

    A novel A*68020103 allele was completely characterized by sequencing in a Spanish bone marrow donor. A*68020103 has an eight nucleotides deletion at the 5'-end of intron 2, when compared with other A*6802 alleles. This alteration does not affect either its mRNA splicing process or serological detection. PMID:17661918

  13. Rhodopsin mutations in a Scottish retinitis pigmentosa population, including a novel splice site mutation in intron four.

    PubMed Central

    Bell, C; Converse, C A; Hammer, H M; Osborne, A; Haites, N E

    1994-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the name given to a group of disorders, both clinically and genetically heterogeneous, that primarily affect the photoreceptor function of the eye. Mutations in the genes encoding for rhodopsin, RDS-peripherin, or the beta subunit of the cGMP phosphodiesterase enzyme can be responsible for the phenotype. In this study the rhodopsin gene has been screened for mutations in a panel of RP individuals and five different sequence changes have been detected to date in three dominantly inherited and two unclassified families. One of these, a base substitution in the 3'UTR, has not yet been confirmed as disease specific, while three missense substitutions have previously been reported and are likely to be responsible for the phenotype. The fifth change, a base substitution at the intron 4 acceptor splice site, represents a novel mutation and is assumed to be the causative mutation. Images PMID:7819178

  14. N-Ethyl-N-Nitrosourea (ENU) Mutagenesis Reveals an Intronic Residue Critical for Caenorhabditis elegans 3′ Splice Site Function in Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Itani, Omar A.; Flibotte, Stephane; Dumas, Kathleen J.; Guo, Chunfang; Blumenthal, Thomas; Hu, Patrick J.

    2016-01-01

    Metazoan introns contain a polypyrimidine tract immediately upstream of the AG dinucleotide that defines the 3′ splice site. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, 3′ splice sites are characterized by a highly conserved UUUUCAG/R octamer motif. While the conservation of pyrimidines in this motif is strongly suggestive of their importance in pre-mRNA splicing, in vivo evidence in support of this is lacking. In an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis screen in Caenorhabditis elegans, we have isolated a strain containing a point mutation in the octamer motif of a 3′ splice site in the daf-12 gene. This mutation, a single base T-to-G transversion at the -5 position relative to the splice site, causes a strong daf-12 loss-of-function phenotype by abrogating splicing. The resulting transcript is predicted to encode a truncated DAF-12 protein generated by translation into the retained intron, which contains an in-frame stop codon. Other than the perfectly conserved AG dinucleotide at the site of splicing, G at the –5 position of the octamer motif is the most uncommon base in C. elegans 3′ splice sites, occurring at closely paired sites where the better match to the splicing consensus is a few bases downstream. Our results highlight both the biological importance of the highly conserved –5 uridine residue in the C. elegans 3′ splice site octamer motif as well as the utility of using ENU as a mutagen to study the function of polypyrimidine tracts and other AU- or AT-rich motifs in vivo. PMID:27172199

  15. Role of helical constraints of the EBS1-IBS1 duplex of a group II intron on demarcation of the 5' splice site.

    PubMed

    Popovic, Milena; Greenbaum, Nancy L

    2014-01-01

    Recognition of the 5' splice site by group II introns involves pairing between an exon binding sequence (EBS) 1 within the ID3 stem-loop of domain 1 and a complementary sequence at the 3' end of exon 1 (IBS1). To identify the molecular basis for splice site definition of a group IIB ai5γ intron, we probed the solution structure of the ID3 stem-loop alone and upon binding of its IBS1 target by solution NMR. The ID3 stem was structured. The base of the ID3 loop was stacked but displayed a highly flexible EBS1 region. The flexibility of EBS1 appears to be a general feature of the ai5γ and the smaller Oceanobacillus iheyensis (O.i.) intron and may help in effective search of conformational space and prevent errors in splicing as a result of fortuitous base-pairing. Binding of IBS1 results in formation of a structured seven base pair duplex that terminates at the 5' splice site in spite of the potential for additional A-U and G•U pairs. Comparison of these data with conformational features of EBS1-IBS1 duplexes extracted from published structures suggests that termination of the duplex and definition of the splice site are governed by constraints of the helical geometry within the ID3 loop. This feature and flexibility of the uncomplexed ID3 loop appear to be common for both the ai5γ and O.i. introns and may help to fine-tune elements of recognition in group II introns. PMID:24243113

  16. RNomics in Archaea reveals a further link between splicing of archaeal introns and rRNA processing

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Thean Hock; Rozhdestvensky, Timofey S.; d’Orval, Béatrice Clouet; Bortolin, Marie-Line; Huber, Harald; Charpentier, Bruno; Branlant, Christiane; Bachellerie, Jean-Pierre; Brosius, Jürgen; Hüttenhofer, Alexander

    2002-01-01

    The bulge–helix–bulge (BHB) motif recognised by the archaeal splicing endonuclease is also found in the long processing stems of archaeal rRNA precursors in which it is cleaved to generate pre-16S and pre-23S rRNAs. We show that in two species, Archaeoglobus fulgidus and Sulfolobus solfataricus, representatives from the two major archaeal kingdoms Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota, respectively, the pre-rRNA spacers cleaved at the BHB motifs surrounding pre-16S and pre-23S rRNAs subsequently become ligated. In addition, we present evidence that this is accompanied by circularisation of ribosomal pre-16S and pre-23S rRNAs in both species. These data reveal a further link between intron splicing and pre-rRNA processing in Archaea, which might reflect a common evolutionary origin of the two processes. One spliced RNA species designated 16S-D RNA, resulting from religation at the BHB motif of 16S pre-rRNA, is a highly abundant and stable RNA which folds into a three-stem structure interrupted by two single-stranded regions as assessed by chemical probing. It spans a region of the pre-rRNA 5′ external transcribed spacer exhibiting a highly conserved folding pattern in Archaea. Surprisingly, 16S-D RNA contains structural motifs found in archaeal C/D box small RNAs and binds to the L7Ae protein, a core component of archaeal C/D box RNPs. This supports the notion that it might have an important but still unknown role in pre-rRNA biogenesis or might even target RNA molecules other than rRNA. PMID:11842103

  17. hnRNP A1 controls HIV-1 mRNA splicing through cooperative binding to intron and exon splicing silencers in the context of a conserved secondary structure.

    PubMed Central

    Damgaard, Christian Kroun; Tange, Thomas Ostergaard; Kjems, Jørgen

    2002-01-01

    The removal of the second intron in the HIV-1 rev/tat pre-mRNAs, which involves the joining of splice site SD4 to SA7, is inhibited by hnRNP A1 by a mechanism that requires the intronic splicing silencer (ISS) and the exon splicing silencer (ESS3). In this study, we have determined the RNA secondary structure and the hnRNP A1 binding sites within the 3' splice site region by phylogenetic comparison and chemical/enzymatic probing. A biochemical characterization of the RNA/protein complexes demonstrates that hnRNP A1 binds specifically to primarily three sites, the ISS, a novel UAG motif in the exon splicing enhancer (ESE) and the ESS3 element, which are all situated in experimentally supported stem loop structures. A mutational analysis of the ISS region revealed that the core hnRNP A1 binding site directly overlaps with a major branchpoint used in splicing to SA7, thereby providing a direct explanation for the inhibition of U2 snRNP association with the pre-mRNA by hnRNP A1. Binding of hnRNP A1 to the ISS core site is inhibited by RNA structure but strongly stimulated by the exonic silencer, ESS3. Moreover, the ISS also stimulate binding of hnRNP A1 to the exonic splicing regulators ESS3 and the ESE. Our results suggest a model where a network is formed between hnRNP A1 molecules situated at discrete sites in the intron and exon and that these interactions preclude the recognition of essential splicing signals including the branch point. PMID:12458794

  18. Fox-2 Splicing Factor Binds to a Conserved Intron Motif to PromoteInclusion of Protein 4.1R Alternative Exon 16

    SciTech Connect

    Ponthier, Julie L.; Schluepen, Christina; Chen, Weiguo; Lersch,Robert A.; Gee, Sherry L.; Hou, Victor C.; Lo, Annie J.; Short, Sarah A.; Chasis, Joel A.; Winkelmann, John C.; Conboy, John G.

    2006-03-01

    Activation of protein 4.1R exon 16 (E16) inclusion during erythropoiesis represents a physiologically important splicing switch that increases 4.1R affinity for spectrin and actin. Previous studies showed that negative regulation of E16 splicing is mediated by the binding of hnRNP A/B proteins to silencer elements in the exon and that downregulation of hnRNP A/B proteins in erythroblasts leads to activation of E16 inclusion. This paper demonstrates that positive regulation of E16 splicing can be mediated by Fox-2 or Fox-1, two closely related splicing factors that possess identical RNA recognition motifs. SELEX experiments with human Fox-1 revealed highly selective binding to the hexamer UGCAUG. Both Fox-1 and Fox-2 were able to bind the conserved UGCAUG elements in the proximal intron downstream of E16, and both could activate E16 splicing in HeLa cell co-transfection assays in a UGCAUG-dependent manner. Conversely, knockdown of Fox-2 expression, achieved with two different siRNA sequences resulted in decreased E16 splicing. Moreover, immunoblot experiments demonstrate mouse erythroblasts express Fox-2, but not Fox-1. These findings suggest that Fox-2 is a physiological activator of E16 splicing in differentiating erythroid cells in vivo. Recent experiments show that UGCAUG is present in the proximal intron sequence of many tissue-specific alternative exons, and we propose that the Fox family of splicing enhancers plays an important role in alternative splicing switches during differentiation in metazoan organisms.

  19. An Intronic MBTPS2 Variant Results in a Splicing Defect in Horses with Brindle Coat Texture.

    PubMed

    Murgiano, Leonardo; Waluk, Dominik P; Towers, Rachel; Wiedemar, Natalie; Dietrich, Joëlle; Jagannathan, Vidhya; Drögemüller, Michaela; Balmer, Pierre; Druet, Tom; Galichet, Arnaud; Penedo, M Cecilia; Müller, Eliane J; Roosje, Petra; Welle, Monika M; Leeb, Tosso

    2016-01-01

    We investigated a family of horses exhibiting irregular vertical stripes in their hair coat texture along the neck, back, hindquarters, and upper legs. This phenotype is termed "brindle" by horse breeders. We propose the term "brindle 1 (BR1)" for this specific form of brindle. In some BR1 horses, the stripes were also differentially pigmented. Pedigree analyses were suggestive of a monogenic X-chromosomal semidominant mode of inheritance. Haplotype analyses identified a 5 Mb candidate region on chromosome X. Whole genome sequencing of four BR1 and 60 nonbrindle horses identified 61 private variants in the critical interval, none of them located in an exon of an annotated gene. However, one of the private variants was close to an exon/intron boundary in intron 10 of the MBTPS2 gene encoding the membrane bound transcription factor peptidase, site 2 (c.1437+4T>C). Different coding variants in this gene lead to three related genodermatoses in human patients. We therefore analyzed MBTPS2 transcripts in skin, and identified an aberrant transcript in a BR1 horse, which lacked the entire exon 10 and parts of exon 11. The MBTPS2:c1437+4T>C variant showed perfect cosegregation with the brindle phenotype in the investigated family, and was absent from 457 control horses of diverse breeds. Altogether, our genetic data, and previous knowledge on MBTPS2 function in the skin, suggest that the identified MBTPS2 intronic variant leads to partial exon skipping, and causes the BR1 phenotype in horses. PMID:27449517

  20. An Intronic MBTPS2 Variant Results in a Splicing Defect in Horses with Brindle Coat Texture

    PubMed Central

    Murgiano, Leonardo; Waluk, Dominik P.; Towers, Rachel; Wiedemar, Natalie; Dietrich, Joëlle; Jagannathan, Vidhya; Drögemüller, Michaela; Balmer, Pierre; Druet, Tom; Galichet, Arnaud; Penedo, M. Cecilia; Müller, Eliane J.; Roosje, Petra; Welle, Monika M.; Leeb, Tosso

    2016-01-01

    We investigated a family of horses exhibiting irregular vertical stripes in their hair coat texture along the neck, back, hindquarters, and upper legs. This phenotype is termed “brindle” by horse breeders. We propose the term “brindle 1 (BR1)” for this specific form of brindle. In some BR1 horses, the stripes were also differentially pigmented. Pedigree analyses were suggestive of a monogenic X-chromosomal semidominant mode of inheritance. Haplotype analyses identified a 5 Mb candidate region on chromosome X. Whole genome sequencing of four BR1 and 60 nonbrindle horses identified 61 private variants in the critical interval, none of them located in an exon of an annotated gene. However, one of the private variants was close to an exon/intron boundary in intron 10 of the MBTPS2 gene encoding the membrane bound transcription factor peptidase, site 2 (c.1437+4T>C). Different coding variants in this gene lead to three related genodermatoses in human patients. We therefore analyzed MBTPS2 transcripts in skin, and identified an aberrant transcript in a BR1 horse, which lacked the entire exon 10 and parts of exon 11. The MBTPS2:c1437+4T>C variant showed perfect cosegregation with the brindle phenotype in the investigated family, and was absent from 457 control horses of diverse breeds. Altogether, our genetic data, and previous knowledge on MBTPS2 function in the skin, suggest that the identified MBTPS2 intronic variant leads to partial exon skipping, and causes the BR1 phenotype in horses. PMID:27449517

  1. The SLOW GROWTH3 Pentatricopeptide Repeat Protein Is Required for the Splicing of Mitochondrial NADH Dehydrogenase Subunit7 Intron 2 in Arabidopsis1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Jo-Chien; Chang, Chiung-Yun; Harrison, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria play an important role in maintaining metabolic and energy homeostasis in the cell. In plants, impairment in mitochondrial functions usually has detrimental effects on growth and development. To study genes that are important for plant growth, we have isolated a collection of slow growth (slo) mutants in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). One of the slo mutants, slo3, has a significant reduction in mitochondrial complex I activity. The slo3 mutant has a four-nucleotide deletion in At3g61360 that encodes a pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) protein. The SLO3 protein contains nine classic PPR domains belonging to the P subfamily. The small deletion in the slo3 mutant changes the reading frame and creates a premature stop codon in the first PPR domain. We demonstrated that the SLO3-GFP is localized to the mitochondrion. Further analysis of mitochondrial RNA metabolism revealed that the slo3 mutant was defective in splicing of NADH dehydrogenase subunit7 (nad7) intron 2. This specific splicing defect led to a dramatic reduction in complex I activity in the mutant as revealed by blue native gel analysis. Complementation of slo3 by 35S:SLO3 or 35S:SLO3-GFP restored the splicing of nad7 intron 2, the complex I activity, and the growth defects of the mutant. Together, these results indicate that the SLO3 PPR protein is a splicing factor of nad7 intron 2 in Arabidopsis mitochondria. PMID:25888618

  2. Compound heterozygote for lipoprotein lipase deficiency: Ser----Thr244 and transition in 3' splice site of intron 2 (AG----AA) in the lipoprotein lipase gene.

    PubMed Central

    Hata, A; Emi, M; Luc, G; Basdevant, A; Gambert, P; Iverius, P H; Lalouel, J M

    1990-01-01

    Cloning and sequencing of translated exons and intron-exon boundaries of the lipoprotein lipase gene in a patient of French descent who has the chylomicronemia syndrome revealed that he was a compound heterozygote for two nucleotide substitutions. One (TCC----ACC) leads to an amino acid substitution (Ser----Thr244), while the other alters the 3' splice site of intron 2 (AG----AA). The functional significance of the Thr244 amino acid substitution was established by in vitro expression in cultured mammalian cells. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 PMID:2121025

  3. Modeling study on the cleavage step of the self-splicing reaction in group I introns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Setlik, R. F.; Garduno-Juarez, R.; Manchester, J. I.; Shibata, M.; Ornstein, R. L.; Rein, R.

    1993-01-01

    A three-dimensional model of the Tetrahymena thermophila group I intron is used to further explore the catalytic mechanism of the transphosphorylation reaction of the cleavage step. Based on the coordinates of the catalytic core model proposed by Michel and Westhof (Michel, F., Westhof, E. J. Mol. Biol. 216, 585-610 (1990)), we first converted their ligation step model into a model of the cleavage step by the substitution of several bases and the removal of helix P9. Next, an attempt to place a trigonal bipyramidal transition state model in the active site revealed that this modified model for the cleavage step could not accommodate the transition state due to insufficient space. A lowering of P1 helix relative to surrounding helices provided the additional space required. Simultaneously, it provided a better starting geometry to model the molecular contacts proposed by Pyle et al. (Pyle, A. M., Murphy, F. L., Cech, T. R. Nature 358, 123-128. (1992)), based on mutational studies involving the J8/7 segment. Two hydrated Mg2+ complexes were placed in the active site of the ribozyme model, using the crystal structure of the functionally similar Klenow fragment (Beese, L.S., Steitz, T.A. EMBO J. 10, 25-33 (1991)) as a guide. The presence of two metal ions in the active site of the intron differs from previous models, which incorporate one metal ion in the catalytic site to fulfill the postulated roles of Mg2+ in catalysis. The reaction profile is simulated based on a trigonal bipyramidal transition state, and the role of the hydrated Mg2+ complexes in catalysis is further explored using molecular orbital calculations.

  4. SR proteins Asf/SF2 and 9G8 interact to activate enhancer-dependent intron D splicing of bovine growth hormone pre-mRNA in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Li, X; Shambaugh, M E; Rottman, F M; Bokar, J A

    2000-01-01

    The alternative splicing of the last intron (intron D) of bovine growth hormone (bGH) pre-mRNA requires a down-stream exonic splicing enhancer (FP/ESE). The presence of at least one SR protein has been shown to be essential for FP/ESE function and splicing of intron D in in vitro splicing assays. However, in vitro reconstitution of splicing using individual purified SR proteins may not accurately reflect the true complexity of alternative splicing in an intact nucleus, where multiple SR proteins in varying amounts are likely to be available simultaneously. Here, a panel of recombinant baculovirus-expressed SR proteins was produced and tested for the ability to activate FP/ESE-dependent splicing. Individual recombinant SR proteins differed significantly in their activity in promoting intron D splicing. Among the recombinant SR proteins tested, SRp55 was the most active, SC35 showed very little activity, and ASF/SF2 and 9G8 individually had intermediate activity. At least one SR protein (ASF/SF2) bound to the FP/ESE with characteristics of a cooperative interaction. Most interestingly, low concentrations of ASF/SF2 and 9G8 acted synergistically to activate intron D splicing. This was due in part to synergistic binding to the FP/ESE. Splicing of bGH intron D is inherently complex, and is likely controlled by an interaction of the FP/ESE with several trans-acting protein factors acting both independently and cooperatively. This level of complexity may be required for precise control of alternative splicing by an exon sequence, which simultaneously is constrained to maintain translational integrity of the mature mRNA. PMID:11142383

  5. New approaches to targeting RNA with oligonucleotides: inhibition of group I intron self-splicing.

    PubMed

    Disney, Matthew D; Childs, Jessica L; Turner, Douglas H

    2004-01-01

    RNA is one class of relatively unexplored drug targets. Since RNAs play a myriad of essential roles, it is likely that new drugs can be developed that target RNA. There are several factors that make targeting RNA particularly attractive. First, the amount of information about the roles of RNA in essential biological processes is currently being expanded. Second, sequence information about targetable RNA is pouring out of genome sequencing efforts at unprecedented levels. Third, designing and screening potential oligonucleotide therapeutics to target RNA is relatively simple. The use of oligonucleotides in cell culture, however, presents several challenges such as oligonucleotide uptake and stability, and selective targeting of genes of interest. Here, we review investigations aimed at targeting RNA with oligonucleotides that can circumvent several of these potential problems. The hallmark of the strategies discussed is the use of short oligonucleotides, which may have the advantage of higher cellular uptake and improved binding selectivity compared to longer oligonucleotides. These strategies have been applied to Group I introns from the mammalian pathogens Pneumocystis carinii and Candida albicans. Both are examples of fungal infections that are increasing in number and prevalence. PMID:14691946

  6. Solution Structure of the HIV-1 Intron Splicing Silencer and Its Interactions with the UP1 Domain of Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A1.

    PubMed

    Jain, Niyati; Morgan, Christopher E; Rife, Brittany D; Salemi, Marco; Tolbert, Blanton S

    2016-01-29

    Splicing patterns in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are maintained through cis regulatory elements that recruit antagonistic host RNA-binding proteins. The activity of the 3' acceptor site A7 is tightly regulated through a complex network of an intronic splicing silencer (ISS), a bipartite exonic splicing silencer (ESS3a/b), and an exonic splicing enhancer (ESE3). Because HIV-1 splicing depends on protein-RNA interactions, it is important to know the tertiary structures surrounding the splice sites. Herein, we present the NMR solution structure of the phylogenetically conserved ISS stem loop. ISS adopts a stable structure consisting of conserved UG wobble pairs, a folded 2X2 (GU/UA) internal loop, a UU bulge, and a flexible AGUGA apical loop. Calorimetric and biochemical titrations indicate that the UP1 domain of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 binds the ISS apical loop site-specifically and with nanomolar affinity. Collectively, this work provides additional insights into how HIV-1 uses a conserved RNA structure to commandeer a host RNA-binding protein. PMID:26607354

  7. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus ORF57 functions as a viral splicing factor and promotes expression of intron-containing viral lytic genes in spliceosome-mediated RNA splicing.

    PubMed

    Majerciak, Vladimir; Yamanegi, Koji; Allemand, Eric; Kruhlak, Michael; Krainer, Adrian R; Zheng, Zhi-Ming

    2008-03-01

    Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) ORF57 facilitates the expression of both intronless viral ORF59 genes and intron-containing viral K8 and K8.1 genes (V. Majerciak, N. Pripuzova, J. P. McCoy, S. J. Gao, and Z. M. Zheng, J. Virol. 81:1062-1071, 2007). In this study, we showed that disruption of ORF57 in a KSHV genome led to increased accumulation of ORF50 and K8 pre-mRNAs and reduced expression of ORF50 and K-bZIP proteins but had no effect on latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA). Cotransfection of ORF57 and K8beta cDNA, which retains a suboptimal intron of K8 pre-mRNA due to alternative splicing, promoted RNA splicing of K8beta and production of K8alpha (K-bZIP). Although Epstein-Barr virus EB2, a closely related homolog of ORF57, had a similar activity in the cotransfection assays, herpes simplex virus type 1 ICP27 was inactive. This enhancement of RNA splicing by ORF57 correlates with the intact N-terminal nuclear localization signal motifs of ORF57 and takes place in the absence of other viral proteins. In activated KSHV-infected B cells, KSHV ORF57 partially colocalizes with splicing factors in nuclear speckles and assembles into spliceosomal complexes in association with low-abundance viral ORF50 and K8 pre-mRNAs and essential splicing components. The association of ORF57 with snRNAs occurs by ORF57-Sm protein interaction. We also found that ORF57 binds K8beta pre-mRNAs in vitro in the presence of nuclear extracts. Collectively our data indicate that KSHV ORF57 functions as a novel splicing factor in the spliceosome-mediated splicing of viral RNA transcripts.

  8. Altered Pre-mRNA Splicing Caused by a Novel Intronic Mutation c.1443+5G>A in the Dihydropyrimidinase (DPYS) Gene

    PubMed Central

    Nakajima, Yoko; Meijer, Judith; Zhang, Chunhua; Wang, Xu; Kondo, Tomomi; Ito, Tetsuya; Dobritzsch, Doreen; Van Kuilenburg, André B. P.

    2016-01-01

    Dihydropyrimidinase (DHP) deficiency is an autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in the DPYS gene. Patients present with highly elevated levels of dihydrouracil and dihydrothymine in their urine, blood and cerebrospinal fluid. The analysis of the effect of mutations in DPYS on pre-mRNA splicing is hampered by the fact that DHP is primarily expressed in liver and kidney cells. The minigene approach can detect mRNA splicing aberrations using cells that do not express the endogenous mRNA. We have used a minigene-based approach to analyze the effects of a presumptive pre-mRNA splicing mutation in two newly identified Chinese pediatric patients with DHP deficiency. Mutation analysis of DPYS showed that both patients were compound heterozygous for a novel intronic mutation c.1443+5G>A in intron 8 and a previously described missense mutation c.1001A>G (p.Q334R) in exon 6. Wild-type and the mutated minigene constructs, containing exons 7, 8 and 9 of DPYS, yielded different splicing products after expression in HEK293 cells. The c.1443+5G>A mutation resulted in altered pre-mRNA splicing of the DPYS minigene construct with full skipping of exon 8. Analysis of the DHP crystal structure showed that the deletion of exon 8 severely affects folding, stability and homooligomerization of the enzyme as well as disruption of the catalytic site. Thus, the analysis suggests that the c.1443+5G>A mutation results in aberrant splicing of the pre-mRNA encoding DHP, underlying the DHP deficiency in two unrelated Chinese patients. PMID:26771602

  9. The Arabidopsis U11/U12-65K is an indispensible component of minor spliceosome and plays a crucial role in U12 intron splicing and plant development.

    PubMed

    Jung, Hyun Ju; Kang, Hunseung

    2014-06-01

    The U12-dependent introns have been identified in a wide range of eukaryotes and are removed from precursor-mRNAs by U12 intron-specific minor spliceosome. Although several proteins unique to minor spliceosome have been identified, the nature of their effect on U12 intron splicing as well as plant growth and development remain largely unknown. Here, we characterized the functional role of an U12-type spliceosomal protein, U11/U12-65K in Arabidopsis thaliana. The transgenic knockdown plants generated by artificial miRNA-mediated silencing strategy exhibited severe defect in growth and development, such as severely arrested primary inflorescence stems, serrated leaves, and the formation of many rosette leaves after bolting. RNA sequencing and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analyses revealed that splicing of 198 out of the 234 previously predicted U12 intron-containing genes and 32 previously unidentified U12 introns was impaired in u11/u12-65k mutant. Moreover, the U11/U12-65K mutation affected alternative splicing, as well as U12 intron splicing, of many introns. Microarray analysis revealed that the genes involved in cell wall biogenesis and function, plant development, and metabolic processes are differentially expressed in the mutant plants. U11/U12-65K protein bound specifically to U12 small nuclear RNA (snRNA), which is necessary for branch-point site recognition. Taken together, these results provide clear evidence that U11/U12-65K is an indispensible component of minor spliceosome and involved in U12 intron splicing and alternative splicing of many introns, which is crucial for plant development.

  10. Chloroplast RH3 DEAD box RNA helicases in maize and Arabidopsis function in splicing of specific group II introns and affect chloroplast ribosome biogenesis.

    PubMed

    Asakura, Yukari; Galarneau, Erin; Watkins, Kenneth P; Barkan, Alice; van Wijk, Klaas J

    2012-07-01

    Chloroplasts in angiosperms contain at least seven nucleus-encoded members of the DEAD box RNA helicase family. Phylogenetic analysis shows that five of these plastid members (RH22, -39, -47, -50, and -58) form a single clade and that RH3 forms a clade with two mitochondrial RH proteins (PMH1 and -2) functioning in intron splicing. The function of chloroplast RH3 in maize (Zea mays; ZmRH3) and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana; AtRH3) was determined. ZmRH3 and AtRH3 are both under strong developmental control, and ZmRH3 abundance sharply peaked in the sink-source transition zone of developing maize leaves, coincident with the plastid biogenesis machinery. ZmRH3 coimmunoprecipitated with a specific set of plastid RNAs, including several group II introns, as well as pre23S and 23S ribosomal RNA (rRNA), but not 16S rRNA. Furthermore, ZmRH3 associated with 50S preribosome particles as well as nucleoids. AtRH3 null mutants are embryo lethal, whereas a weak allele (rh3-4) results in pale-green seedlings with defects in splicing of several group II introns and rRNA maturation as well as reduced levels of assembled ribosomes. These results provide strong evidence that RH3 functions in the splicing of group II introns and possibly also contributes to the assembly of the 50S ribosomal particle. Previously, we observed 5- to 10-fold up-regulation of AtRH3 in plastid Caseinolytic protease mutants. The results shown here indicate that AtRH3 up-regulation was not a direct consequence of reduced proteolysis but constituted a compensatory response at both RH3 transcript and protein levels to impaired chloroplast biogenesis; this response demonstrates that cross talk between the chloroplast and the nucleus is used to regulate RH3 levels.

  11. FTIR spectroscopic studies of oligonucleotides that model a triple-helical domain in self-splicing group I introns.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, M; Dornberger, U; Rozners, E; Fritzsche, H; Strömberg, R; Gräslund, A

    1997-12-01

    Fourier Transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to characterize the Mg2+ dependent association of a 23-mer mixed ribo-deoxyribonucleotide (23-mer RNA) and a 7-mer oligoribonucleotide (7-mer RNA) that models the triple-helical domain of a self-splicing group I intron [Sarkar et al. (1996) Biochemistry 35, 4678-4688]. To elucidate the effect of deoxyribose substitution in the entire backbone, as well as at specific positions, in the assembly of the triple-helical domain, parallel studies were carried out on the association of pure deoxyribonucleotides having base sequences corresponding to the oligoribonucleotides and also between 23-mer RNA and two 7-mer RNA variants. In the variants, either the ribose attached to G451 or the ribose attached to U453 was changed to deoxyribose. FTIR-monitored thermal denaturation of the two 23-mer hairpins shows two distinct melting regions in 1 M NaCl, in case of the RNA hairpin but not for the 23-mer DNA. Triple-helix association between the two strands (7-mer and 23-mer) studied by FTIR show that only when both strands are RNA, association takes place with the formation of the P6 helix. Our results also show that the interactions between the two RNA strands involve some participation of the riboses, which could also involve the 2'-OH groups of the RNA backbone. The assembly of the triple-helical domain is not possible with a deoxyribose backbone and is completely perturbed even when only one ribose at either G451 or U453 position is substituted by deoxyribose.

  12. In vitro characterization of the splicing efficiency and fidelity of the RmInt1 group II intron as a means of controlling the dispersion of its host mobile element.

    PubMed

    Chillón, Isabel; Molina-Sánchez, María Dolores; Fedorova, Olga; García-Rodríguez, Fernando Manuel; Martínez-Abarca, Francisco; Toro, Nicolás

    2014-12-01

    Group II introns are catalytic RNAs that are excised from their precursors in a protein-dependent manner in vivo. Certain group II introns can also react in a protein-independent manner under nonphysiological conditions in vitro. The efficiency and fidelity of the splicing reaction is crucial, to guarantee the correct formation and expression of the protein-coding mRNA. RmInt1 is an efficient mobile intron found within the ISRm2011-2 insertion sequence in the symbiotic bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti. The RmInt1 intron self-splices in vitro, but this reaction generates side products due to a predicted cryptic IBS1* sequence within the 3' exon. We engineered an RmInt1 intron lacking the cryptic IBS1* sequence, which improved the fidelity of the splicing reaction. However, atypical circular forms of similar electrophoretic mobility to the lariat intron were nevertheless observed. We analyzed a run of four cytidine residues at the 3' splice site potentially responsible for a lack of fidelity at this site leading to the formation of circular intron forms. We showed that mutations of residues base-pairing in the tertiary EBS3-IBS3 interaction increased the efficiency and fidelity of the splicing reaction. Our results indicate that RmInt1 has developed strategies for decreasing its splicing efficiency and fidelity. RmInt1 makes use of unproductive splicing reactions to limit the transposition of the insertion sequence into which it inserts itself in its natural context, thereby preventing potentially harmful dispersion of ISRm2011-2 throughout the genome of its host.

  13. Reverse transcription of spliced psbA mRNA in Chlamydomonas spp. and its possible role in evolutionary intron loss.

    PubMed

    Odom, Obed W; Herrin, David L

    2013-12-01

    Reverse transcription of mRNA is thought to be an important first step in a model that explains certain evolutionary changes within genes, such as the loss of introns or RNA editing sites. In this model, reverse transcription of mRNA produces cDNA molecules that replace part of the parental gene by homologous recombination. In vivo evidence of reverse transcription of physiologically relevant mRNAs is generally lacking, however, except in genetically engineered cells. Here, we provide in vivo evidence for reverse transcription of the chloroplast psbA mRNA in two naturally occurring species of Chlamydomonas (raudensis and subcaudata) that is based on the presence of spliced cDNAs in both organisms. The psbA cDNAs, which lack the group II intron of the genomic gene, are nearly full length, and the majority of them--though not all--are in the form of RNA-cDNA hybrids. Moreover, the presence in these species of psbA cDNAs is correlated with the loss of an early group I intron from the same psbA gene. The group II intron that interrupts psbA in C. raudensis and C. subcaudata potentially encodes a protein with a reverse transcriptase domain, and the C. raudensis protein was shown to have reverse transcriptase activity in vitro. These results provide strong evidence for reverse transcription of a physiologically important mRNA (psbA) in two species of Chlamydomonas that have also lost an intron from the same gene, possibly through recombination with the cDNA.

  14. Group I intron-mediated trans-splicing in mitochondria of Gigaspora rosea and a robust phylogenetic affiliation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi with Mortierellales.

    PubMed

    Nadimi, Maryam; Beaudet, Denis; Forget, Lise; Hijri, Mohamed; Lang, B Franz

    2012-09-01

    Gigaspora rosea is a member of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF; Glomeromycota) and a distant relative of Glomus species that are beneficial to plant growth. To allow for a better understanding of Glomeromycota, we have sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of G. rosea. A comparison with Glomus mitochondrial genomes reveals that Glomeromycota undergo insertion and loss of mitochondrial plasmid-related sequences and exhibit considerable variation in introns. The gene order between the two species is almost completely reshuffled. Furthermore, Gigaspora has fragmented cox1 and rns genes, and an unorthodox initiator tRNA that is tailored to decoding frequent UUG initiation codons. For the fragmented cox1 gene, we provide evidence that its RNA is joined via group I-mediated trans-splicing, whereas rns RNA remains in pieces. According to our model, the two cox1 precursor RNA pieces are brought together by flanking cox1 exon sequences that form a group I intron structure, potentially in conjunction with the nad5 intron 3 sequence. Finally, we present analyses that address the controversial phylogenetic association of Glomeromycota within fungi. According to our results, Glomeromycota are not a separate group of paraphyletic zygomycetes but branch together with Mortierellales, potentially also Harpellales.

  15. Factor IXMadrid 2: a deletion/insertion in factor IX gene which abolishes the sequence of the donor junction at the exon IV-intron d splice site.

    PubMed

    Solera, J; Magallón, M; Martin-Villar, J; Coloma, A

    1992-02-01

    DNA from a patient with severe hemophilia B was evaluated by RFLP analysis, producing results which suggested the existence of a partial deletion within the factor IX gene. The deletion was further localized and characterized by PCR amplification and sequencing. The altered allele has a 4,442-bp deletion which removes both the donor splice site located at the 5' end of intron d and the two last coding nucleotides located at the 3' end of exon IV in the normal factor IX gene; this fragment has been replaced by a 47-bp sequence from the normal factor IX gene, although this fragment has been inserted in inverted orientation. Two homologous sequences have been discovered at the ends of the deleted DNA fragment.

  16. Factor IXMadrid 2: a deletion/insertion in factor IX gene which abolishes the sequence of the donor junction at the exon IV-intron d splice site.

    PubMed Central

    Solera, J; Magallón, M; Martin-Villar, J; Coloma, A

    1992-01-01

    DNA from a patient with severe hemophilia B was evaluated by RFLP analysis, producing results which suggested the existence of a partial deletion within the factor IX gene. The deletion was further localized and characterized by PCR amplification and sequencing. The altered allele has a 4,442-bp deletion which removes both the donor splice site located at the 5' end of intron d and the two last coding nucleotides located at the 3' end of exon IV in the normal factor IX gene; this fragment has been replaced by a 47-bp sequence from the normal factor IX gene, although this fragment has been inserted in inverted orientation. Two homologous sequences have been discovered at the ends of the deleted DNA fragment. Images Figure 1 PMID:1346483

  17. Computation of direct and inverse mutations with the SEGM web server (Stochastic Evolution of Genetic Motifs): an application to splice sites of human genome introns.

    PubMed

    Benard, Emmanuel; Michel, Christian J

    2009-08-01

    We present here the SEGM web server (Stochastic Evolution of Genetic Motifs) in order to study the evolution of genetic motifs both in the direct evolutionary sense (past-present) and in the inverse evolutionary sense (present-past). The genetic motifs studied can be nucleotides, dinucleotides and trinucleotides. As an example of an application of SEGM and to understand its functionalities, we give an analysis of inverse mutations of splice sites of human genome introns. SEGM is freely accessible at http://lsiit-bioinfo.u-strasbg.fr:8080/webMathematica/SEGM/SEGM.html directly or by the web site http://dpt-info.u-strasbg.fr/~michel/. To our knowledge, this SEGM web server is to date the only computational biology software in this evolutionary approach.

  18. Familial retinoblastoma due to intronic LINE-1 insertion causes aberrant and noncanonical mRNA splicing of the RB1 gene.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Martín, Carlos; Cidre, Florencia; Fernández-Teijeiro, Ana; Gómez-Mariano, Gema; de la Vega, Leticia; Ramos, Patricia; Zaballos, Ángel; Monzón, Sara; Alonso, Javier

    2016-05-01

    Retinoblastoma (RB, MIM 180200) is the paradigm of hereditary cancer. Individuals harboring a constitutional mutation in one allele of the RB1 gene have a high predisposition to develop RB. Here, we present the first case of familial RB caused by a de novo insertion of a full-length long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1) into intron 14 of the RB1 gene that caused a highly heterogeneous splicing pattern of RB1 mRNA. LINE-1 insertion was inferred by mRNA studies and full-length sequenced by massive parallel sequencing. Some of the aberrant mRNAs were produced by noncanonical acceptor splice sites, a new finding that up to date has not been described to occur upon LINE-1 retrotransposition. Our results clearly show that RNA-based strategies have the potential to detect disease-causing transposon insertions. It also confirms that the incorporation of new genetic approaches, such as massive parallel sequencing, contributes to characterize at the sequence level these unique and exceptional genetic alterations.

  19. Identification of a family of group II introns encoding LAGLIDADG ORFs typical of group I introns.

    PubMed Central

    Toor, Navtej; Zimmerly, Steven

    2002-01-01

    Group I and group II introns are unrelated classes of introns that each encode proteins that facilitate intron splicing and intron mobility. Here we describe a new subfamily of nine introns in fungi that are group II introns but encode LAGLIDADG ORFs typical of group I introns. The introns have fairly standard group IIB1 RNA structures and are inserted into three different sites in SSU and LSU rRNA genes. Therefore, introns should not be assumed to be group I introns based solely on the presence of a LAGLIDADG ORF. PMID:12458791

  20. ida4-1, ida4-2, and ida4-3 are intron splicing mutations affecting the locus encoding p28, a light chain of Chlamydomonas axonemal inner dynein arms.

    PubMed Central

    LeDizet, M; Piperno, G

    1995-01-01

    We recently determined the nucleotide sequence of the gene encoding p28, a light chain of inner dynein arms of Chlamydomonas axonemes. Here, we show that p28 is the protein encoded by the IDA4 locus. p28, and the dynein heavy chains normally associated with it, are completely absent from the flagella and cell bodies of three allelic strains of ida4, named ida4-1, ida4-2, and ida4-3. We determined the nucleotide sequence of the three alleles of the p28 gene and found in each case a single nucleotide change, affecting the splice sites of the first, second, and fourth introns, respectively. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction amplification of RNAs prepared from ida4 cells confirmed that these mutations prevent the correct splicing of the affected introns, thereby blocking the synthesis of full-length p28. These are the first intron splicing mutations described in Chlamydomonas and the first inner dynein arm mutations characterized at the molecular level. The absence in ida4 axonemes of the dynein heavy chains normally found in association with p28 suggests that p28 is necessary for stable assembly of a subset of inner dynein arms or for the binding of these arms to the microtubule doublets. Images PMID:7579690

  1. Wilson's disease caused by alternative splicing and Alu exonization due to a homozygous 3039-bp deletion spanning from intron 1 to exon 2 of the ATP7B gene.

    PubMed

    Mameli, Eva; Lepori, Maria Barbara; Chiappe, Francesca; Ranucci, Giusy; Di Dato, Fabiola; Iorio, Raffaele; Loudianos, Georgios

    2015-09-15

    We describe a case of Wilson's disease (WD) diagnosed at 5 years after routine biochemical test showed increased aminotransferases. Mutation analysis of the ATP7B gene revealed a 3039-bp deletion in the homozygous state spanning from the terminal part of intron 1 to nt position 368 of exon 2. This deletion results in the activation of 3 cryptic splice sites: an AG acceptor splice site in nt positions 578-579 producing a different breakpoint and removing the first 577 nts of exon 2, an acceptor and a donor splice site in nt positions 20363-4 and 20456-7, respectively, in intron 1, resulting in the activation of a 94-bp cryptic Alu exon being incorporated into the mature transcript. The resulting alternative transcript contains a TAG stop codon in the first amino acid position of the cryptic exon, likely producing a truncated, non-functional protein. This study shows that intron exonization can also occur in humans through naturally occurring gross deletions. The results suggest that the combination of DNA and RNA analyses can be used for molecular characterization of gross ATP7B deletions, thus improving genetic counseling and diagnosis of WD. Moreover these studies help to better establish new molecular mechanisms producing Wilson's disease.

  2. A novel point mutation (G-1 to T) in a 5' splice donor site of intron 13 of the dystrophin gene results in exon skipping and is responsible for Becker muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Hagiwara, Y; Nishio, H; Kitoh, Y; Takeshima, Y; Narita, N; Wada, H; Yokoyama, M; Nakamura, H; Matsuo, M

    1994-01-01

    The mutations in one-third of Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy patients remain unknown, as they do not involve gross rearrangements of the dystrophin gene. We now report a defect in the splicing of precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA), resulting from a maternally inherited mutation of the dystrophin gene in a patient with Becker muscular dystrophy. This defect results from a G-to-T transversion at the terminal nucleotide of exon 13, within the 5' splice site of intron 13, and causes complete skipping of exon 13 during processing of dystrophin pre-mRNA. The predicted polypeptide encoded by the aberrant mRNA is a truncated dystrophin lacking 40 amino acids from the amino-proximal end of the rod domain. This is the first report of an intraexon point mutation that completely inactivates a 5' splice donor site in dystrophin pre-mRNA. Analysis of the genomic context of the G-1-to-T mutation at the 5' splice site supports the exon-definition model of pre-mRNA splicing and contributes to the understanding of splice-site selection.

  3. A novel point mutation (G[sup [minus]1] to T) in a 5[prime] splice donor site of intron 13 of the dystrophin gene results in exon skipping and is responsible for Becker Muscular Dystrophy

    SciTech Connect

    Hagiwara, Yoko; Nishio, Hisahide; Kitoh, Yoshihiko; Takeshima, Yasuhiro; Narita, Naoko; Wada, Hiroko; Yokoyama, Mitsuhiro; Nakamura, Hajime; Matsuo, Masafumi )

    1994-01-01

    The mutations in one-third of Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy patients remain unknown, as they do not involve gross rearrangements of the dystrophin gene. The authors now report a defect in the splicing of precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA), resulting from a maternally inherited mutation of the dystrophin gene in a patient with Becker muscular dystrophy. This defect results from a G-to-T transversion at the terminal nucleotide of exon 13, within the 5[prime] splice site of intron 13, and causes complete skipping of exon 13 during processing of dystrophin pre-mRNA. The predicted polypeptide encoded by the aberrant mRNA is a truncated dystrophin lacking 40 amino acids from the amino-proximal end of the rod domain. This is the first report of an intraexon point mutation that completely inactivates a 5[prime] splice donor site in dystrophin pre-mRNA. Analysis of the genomic context of the G[sup [minus]1]-to-T mutation at the 5[prime] splice site supports the exon-definition model of pre-mRNA splicing and contributes to the understanding of splice-site selection. 48 refs., 5 figs.

  4. Nuclear expression of a group II intron is consistent with spliceosomal intron ancestry.

    PubMed

    Chalamcharla, Venkata R; Curcio, M Joan; Belfort, Marlene

    2010-04-15

    Group II introns are self-splicing RNAs found in eubacteria, archaea, and eukaryotic organelles. They are mechanistically similar to the metazoan nuclear spliceosomal introns; therefore, group II introns have been invoked as the progenitors of the eukaryotic pre-mRNA introns. However, the ability of group II introns to function outside of the bacteria-derived organelles is debatable, since they are not found in the nuclear genomes of eukaryotes. Here, we show that the Lactococcus lactis Ll.LtrB group II intron splices accurately and efficiently from different pre-mRNAs in a eukaryote, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, a pre-mRNA harboring a group II intron is spliced predominantly in the cytoplasm and is subject to nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), and the mature mRNA from which the group II intron is spliced is poorly translated. In contrast, a pre-mRNA bearing the Tetrahymena group I intron or the yeast spliceosomal ACT1 intron at the same location is not subject to NMD, and the mature mRNA is translated efficiently. Thus, a group II intron can splice from a nuclear transcript, but RNA instability and translation defects would have favored intron loss or evolution into protein-dependent spliceosomal introns, consistent with the bacterial group II intron ancestry hypothesis.

  5. The complex intron landscape and massive intron invasion in a picoeukaryote provides insights into intron evolution.

    PubMed

    Verhelst, Bram; Van de Peer, Yves; Rouzé, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    Genes in pieces and spliceosomal introns are a landmark of eukaryotes, with intron invasion usually assumed to have happened early on in evolution. Here, we analyze the intron landscape of Micromonas, a unicellular green alga in the Mamiellophyceae lineage, demonstrating the coexistence of several classes of introns and the occurrence of recent massive intron invasion. This study focuses on two strains, CCMP1545 and RCC299, and their related individuals from ocean samplings, showing that they not only harbor different classes of introns depending on their location in the genome, as for other Mamiellophyceae, but also uniquely carry several classes of repeat introns. These introns, dubbed introner elements (IEs), are found at novel positions in genes and have conserved sequences, contrary to canonical introns. This IE invasion has a huge impact on the genome, doubling the number of introns in the CCMP1545 strain. We hypothesize that each IE class originated from a single ancestral IE that has been colonizing the genome after strain divergence by inserting copies of itself into genes by intron transposition, likely involving reverse splicing. Along with similar cases recently observed in other organisms, our observations in Micromonas strains shed a new light on the evolution of introns, suggesting that intron gain is more widespread than previously thought.

  6. The natural history of group I introns.

    PubMed

    Haugen, Peik; Simon, Dawn M; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2005-02-01

    There are four major classes of introns: self-splicing group I and group II introns, tRNA and/or archaeal introns and spliceosomal introns in nuclear pre-mRNA. Group I introns are widely distributed in protists, bacteria and bacteriophages. Group II introns are found in fungal and land plant mitochondria, algal plastids, bacteria and Archaea. Group II and spliceosomal introns share a common splicing pathway and might be related to each other. The tRNA and/or archaeal introns are found in the nuclear tRNA of eukaryotes and in archaeal tRNA, rRNA and mRNA. The mechanisms underlying the self-splicing and mobility of a few model group I introns are well understood. By contrast, the role of these highly distinct processes in the evolution of the 1500 group I introns found thus far in nature (e.g. in algae and fungi) has only recently been clarified. The explosion of new sequence data has facilitated the use of comparative methods to understand group I intron evolution in a broader context and to generate hypotheses about intron insertion, splicing and spread that can be tested experimentally.

  7. Introduction to cotranscriptional RNA splicing.

    PubMed

    Merkhofer, Evan C; Hu, Peter; Johnson, Tracy L

    2014-01-01

    The discovery that many intron-containing genes can be cotranscriptionally spliced has led to an increased understanding of how splicing and transcription are intricately intertwined. Cotranscriptional splicing has been demonstrated in a number of different organisms and has been shown to play roles in coordinating both constitutive and alternative splicing. The nature of cotranscriptional splicing suggests that changes in transcription can dramatically affect splicing, and new evidence suggests that splicing can, in turn, influence transcription. In this chapter, we discuss the mechanisms and consequences of cotranscriptional splicing and introduce some of the tools used to measure this process.

  8. Database for mobile group II introns.

    PubMed

    Dai, Lixin; Toor, Navtej; Olson, Robert; Keeping, Andrew; Zimmerly, Steven

    2003-01-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing RNAs and retroelements found in bacteria and lower eukaryotic organelles. During the past several years, they have been uncovered in surprising numbers in bacteria due to the genome sequencing projects; however, most of the newly sequenced introns are not correctly identified. We have initiated an ongoing web site database for mobile group II introns in order to provide correct information on the introns, particularly in bacteria. Information in the web site includes: (1) introductory information on group II introns; (2) detailed information on subfamilies of intron RNA structures and intron-encoded proteins; (3) a listing of identified introns with correct boundaries, RNA secondary structures and other detailed information; and (4) phylogenetic and evolutionary information. The comparative data should facilitate study of the function, spread and evolution of group II introns. The database can be accessed at http://www.fp.ucalgary.ca/group2introns/.

  9. A heroin addiction severity-associated intronic single nucleotide polymorphism modulates alternative pre-mRNA splicing of the μ opioid receptor gene OPRM1 via hnRNPH interactions.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jin; Lu, Zhigang; Xu, Mingming; Pan, Ling; Deng, Yi; Xie, Xiaohu; Liu, Huifen; Ding, Shixiong; Hurd, Yasmin L; Pasternak, Gavril W; Klein, Robert J; Cartegni, Luca; Zhou, Wenhua; Pan, Ying-Xian

    2014-08-13

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the OPRM1 gene have been associated with vulnerability to opioid dependence. The current study identifies an association of an intronic SNP (rs9479757) with the severity of heroin addiction among Han-Chinese male heroin addicts. Individual SNP analysis and haplotype-based analysis with additional SNPs in the OPRM1 locus showed that mild heroin addiction was associated with the AG genotype, whereas severe heroin addiction was associated with the GG genotype. In vitro studies such as electrophoretic mobility shift assay, minigene, siRNA, and antisense morpholino oligonucleotide studies have identified heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein H (hnRNPH) as the major binding partner for the G-containing SNP site. The G-to-A transition weakens hnRNPH binding and facilitates exon 2 skipping, leading to altered expressions of OPRM1 splice-variant mRNAs and hMOR-1 proteins. Similar changes in splicing and hMOR-1 proteins were observed in human postmortem prefrontal cortex with the AG genotype of this SNP when compared with the GG genotype. Interestingly, the altered splicing led to an increase in hMOR-1 protein levels despite decreased hMOR-1 mRNA levels, which is likely contributed by a concurrent increase in single transmembrane domain variants that have a chaperone-like function on MOR-1 protein stability. Our studies delineate the role of this SNP as a modifier of OPRM1 alternative splicing via hnRNPH interactions, and suggest a functional link between an SNP-containing splicing modifier and the severity of heroin addiction.

  10. Morphine Regulates Expression of μ-Opioid Receptor MOR-1A, an Intron-Retention Carboxyl Terminal Splice Variant of the μ-Opioid Receptor (OPRM1) Gene via miR-103/miR-107

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zhigang; Xu, Jin; Xu, Mingming; Pasternak, Gavril W.

    2014-01-01

    The μ-opioid receptor (MOR-1) gene OPRM1 undergoes extensive alternative splicing, generating an array of splice variants. Of these variants, MOR-1A, an intron-retention carboxyl terminal splice variant identical to MOR-1 except for the terminal intracellular tail encoded by exon 3b, is quite abundant and conserved from rodent to humans. Increasing evidence indicates that miroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate MOR-1 expression and that μ agonists such as morphine modulate miRNA expression. However, little is known about miRNA regulation of the OPRM1 splice variants. Using 3′-rapid amplification cDNA end and Northern blot analyses, we identified the complete 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR) for both mouse and human MOR-1A and their conserved polyadenylation site, and defined the role the 3′-UTR in mRNA stability using a luciferase reporter assay. Computer models predicted a conserved miR-103/107 targeting site in the 3′-UTR of both mouse and human MOR-1A. The functional relevance of miR-103/107 in regulating expression of MOR-1A protein through the consensus miR-103/107 binding sites in the 3′-UTR was established by using mutagenesis and a miR-107 inhibitor in transfected human embryonic kidney 293 cells and Be(2)C cells that endogenously express human MOR-1A. Chronic morphine treatment significantly upregulated miR-103 and miR-107 levels, leading to downregulation of polyribosome-associated MOR-1A in both Be(2)C cells and the striatum of a morphine-tolerant mouse, providing a new perspective on understanding the roles of miRNAs and OPRM1 splice variants in modulating the complex actions of morphine in animals and humans. PMID:24302561

  11. A Heroin Addiction Severity-Associated Intronic Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Modulates Alternative Pre-mRNA Splicing of the μ Opioid Receptor Gene OPRM1 via hnRNPH Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jin; Lu, Zhigang; Xu, Mingming; Pan, Ling; Deng, Yi; Xie, Xiaohu; Liu, Huifen; Ding, Shixiong; Hurd, Yasmin L.; Pasternak, Gavril W.; Klein, Robert J.; Cartegni, Luca

    2014-01-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the OPRM1 gene have been associated with vulnerability to opioid dependence. The current study identifies an association of an intronic SNP (rs9479757) with the severity of heroin addiction among Han-Chinese male heroin addicts. Individual SNP analysis and haplotype-based analysis with additional SNPs in the OPRM1 locus showed that mild heroin addiction was associated with the AG genotype, whereas severe heroin addiction was associated with the GG genotype. In vitro studies such as electrophoretic mobility shift assay, minigene, siRNA, and antisense morpholino oligonucleotide studies have identified heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein H (hnRNPH) as the major binding partner for the G-containing SNP site. The G-to-A transition weakens hnRNPH binding and facilitates exon 2 skipping, leading to altered expressions of OPRM1 splice-variant mRNAs and hMOR-1 proteins. Similar changes in splicing and hMOR-1 proteins were observed in human postmortem prefrontal cortex with the AG genotype of this SNP when compared with the GG genotype. Interestingly, the altered splicing led to an increase in hMOR-1 protein levels despite decreased hMOR-1 mRNA levels, which is likely contributed by a concurrent increase in single transmembrane domain variants that have a chaperone-like function on MOR-1 protein stability. Our studies delineate the role of this SNP as a modifier of OPRM1 alternative splicing via hnRNPH interactions, and suggest a functional link between an SNP-containing splicing modifier and the severity of heroin addiction. PMID:25122903

  12. The Ll.LtrB intron from Lactococcus lactis excises as circles in vivo: insights into the group II intron circularization pathway.

    PubMed

    Monat, Caroline; Quiroga, Cecilia; Laroche-Johnston, Felix; Cousineau, Benoit

    2015-07-01

    Group II introns are large ribozymes that require the assistance of intron-encoded or free-standing maturases to splice from their pre-mRNAs in vivo. They mainly splice through the classical branching pathway, being released as RNA lariats. However, group II introns can also splice through secondary pathways like hydrolysis and circularization leading to the release of linear and circular introns, respectively. Here, we assessed in vivo splicing of various constructs of the Ll.LtrB group II intron from the Gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis. The study of excised intron junctions revealed, in addition to branched intron lariats, the presence of perfect end-to-end intron circles and alternatively circularized introns. Removal of the branch point A residue prevented Ll.LtrB excision through the branching pathway but did not hinder intron circle formation. Complete intron RNA circles were found associated with the intron-encoded protein LtrA forming nevertheless inactive RNPs. Traces of double-stranded head-to-tail intron DNA junctions were also detected in L. lactis RNA and nucleic acid extracts. Some intron circles and alternatively circularized introns harbored variable number of non-encoded nucleotides at their splice junction. The presence of mRNA fragments at the splice junction of some intron RNA circles provides insights into the group II intron circularization pathway in bacteria.

  13. Functional analysis of deep intronic SNP rs13438494 in intron 24 of PCLO gene.

    PubMed

    Seo, Seunghee; Takayama, Kanako; Uno, Kyosuke; Ohi, Kazutaka; Hashimoto, Ryota; Nishizawa, Daisuke; Ikeda, Kazutaka; Ozaki, Norio; Nabeshima, Toshitaka; Miyamoto, Yoshiaki; Nitta, Atsumi

    2013-01-01

    The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs13438494 in intron 24 of PCLO was significantly associated with bipolar disorder in a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. In this study, we performed functional minigene analysis and bioinformatics prediction of splicing regulatory sequences to characterize the deep intronic SNP rs13438494. We constructed minigenes with A and C alleles containing exon 24, intron 24, and exon 25 of PCLO to assess the genetic effect of rs13438494 on splicing. We found that the C allele of rs13438494 reduces the splicing efficiency of the PCLO minigene. In addition, prediction analysis of enhancer/silencer motifs using the Human Splice Finder web tool indicated that rs13438494 induces the abrogation or creation of such binding sites. Our results indicate that rs13438494 alters splicing efficiency by creating or disrupting a splicing motif, which functions by binding of splicing regulatory proteins, and may ultimately result in bipolar disorder in affected people.

  14. Reenacting the birth of an intron

    SciTech Connect

    Hellsten, Uffe; Aspden, Julie L.; Rio, Donald C.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.

    2011-07-01

    An intron is an extended genomic feature whose function requires multiple constrained positions - donor and acceptor splice sites, a branch point, a polypyrimidine tract and suitable splicing enhancers - that may be distributed over hundreds or thousands of nucleotides. New introns are therefore unlikely to emerge by incremental accumulation of functional sub-elements. Here we demonstrate that a functional intron can be created de novo in a single step by a segmental genomic duplication. This experiment recapitulates in vivo the birth of an intron that arose in the ancestral jawed vertebrate lineage nearly half a billion years ago.

  15. Cryptic splice sites and split genes

    PubMed Central

    Kapustin, Yuri; Chan, Elcie; Sarkar, Rupa; Wong, Frederick; Vorechovsky, Igor; Winston, Robert M.; Tatusova, Tatiana; Dibb, Nick J.

    2011-01-01

    We describe a new program called cryptic splice finder (CSF) that can reliably identify cryptic splice sites (css), so providing a useful tool to help investigate splicing mutations in genetic disease. We report that many css are not entirely dormant and are often already active at low levels in normal genes prior to their enhancement in genetic disease. We also report a fascinating correlation between the positions of css and introns, whereby css within the exons of one species frequently match the exact position of introns in equivalent genes from another species. These results strongly indicate that many introns were inserted into css during evolution and they also imply that the splicing information that lies outside some introns can be independently recognized by the splicing machinery and was in place prior to intron insertion. This indicates that non-intronic splicing information had a key role in shaping the split structure of eukaryote genes. PMID:21470962

  16. Identification of a novel latency-specific splice donor signal within the herpes simplex virus type 1 2.0-kilobase latency-associated transcript (LAT): translation inhibition of LAT open reading frames by the intron within the 2.0-kilobase LAT.

    PubMed

    Spivack, J G; Woods, G M; Fraser, N W

    1991-12-01

    Herpes simplex virus type 1 establishes latent infection in trigeminal ganglia of mice infected via the eye. A family of three colinear viral transcripts (LATs), 2.0, 1.5, and 1.45 kb, is present in latently infected ganglia. To characterize these LATs, lambda gt10 cDNA libraries were constructed with RNAs isolated from the trigeminal ganglia of latently infected mice. A series of recombinant bacteriophage were isolated containing cDNA inserts covering 1.7 kb of the 2.0-kb LAT. Splice junctions of the smaller LATs and the 3' end of the 2.0-kb LAT were identified by sequence analysis of RNA polymerase chain reaction products. No splice acceptor site, which does not support the hypotheses that the 2.0-kb LAT is an intron. However, the data are consistent with the possibility of a short leader sequence or multiple LAT transcription start sites. To generate the smaller 1.5- and 1.45-kb LATs, there is a 559-nucleotide intron spliced from the 2.0-kb LAT in strain F and a 556-nucleotide intron in strain 17+. The nucleotide sequences at the 5' and 3' ends of these introns are characteristic of spliced transcripts from eukaryotic protein-encoding genes, with one significant difference; i.e., the 5' end of the LAT intron is GC instead of the consensus sequence GT. This splice donor sequence is conserved in herpes simplex virus type 1 strains F, 17+, and KOS. Processing of the 2.0-kb LAT to form the spliced LATs preserves two open reading frames (ORFs) at the 3' end of the LATs; no new ORFs are created. Splicing of the LATs positions a 276-nucleotide leader sequence close to these ORFs and removes an intron that inhibits their translation in vitro. The novel 5' structure of the intron within the 2.0-kb LAT may be part of a control mechanism for transcription processing that results in splicing of the LATs only in sensory neurons during latent infection and reactivation but not during the viral replication cycle.

  17. Group II Introns and Their Protein Collaborators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solem, Amanda; Zingler, Nora; Pyle, Anna Marie; Li-Pook-Than, Jennifer

    Group II introns are an abundant class of autocatalytic introns that excise themselves from precursor mRNAs. Although group II introns are catalytic RNAs, they require the assistance of proteins for efficient splicing in vivo. Proteins that facilitate splicing of organellar group II introns fall into two main categories: intron-encoded maturases and host-encoded proteins. This chapter will focus on the host proteins that group II introns recruited to ensure their function. It will discuss the great diversity of these proteins, define common features, and describe different strategies employed to achieve specificity. Special emphasis will be placed on DEAD-box ATPases, currently the best studied example of host-encoded proteins with a role in group II intron splicing. Since the exact mechanisms by which splicing is facilitated is not known for any of the host proteins, general mechanistic strategies for protein-mediated RNA folding are described and assessed for their potential role in group II intron splicing.

  18. Origin and evolution of spliceosomal introns.

    PubMed

    Rogozin, Igor B; Carmel, Liran; Csuros, Miklos; Koonin, Eugene V

    2012-04-16

    Evolution of exon-intron structure of eukaryotic genes has been a matter of long-standing, intensive debate. The introns-early concept, later rebranded 'introns first' held that protein-coding genes were interrupted by numerous introns even at the earliest stages of life's evolution and that introns played a major role in the origin of proteins by facilitating recombination of sequences coding for small protein/peptide modules. The introns-late concept held that introns emerged only in eukaryotes and new introns have been accumulating continuously throughout eukaryotic evolution. Analysis of orthologous genes from completely sequenced eukaryotic genomes revealed numerous shared intron positions in orthologous genes from animals and plants and even between animals, plants and protists, suggesting that many ancestral introns have persisted since the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). Reconstructions of intron gain and loss using the growing collection of genomes of diverse eukaryotes and increasingly advanced probabilistic models convincingly show that the LECA and the ancestors of each eukaryotic supergroup had intron-rich genes, with intron densities comparable to those in the most intron-rich modern genomes such as those of vertebrates. The subsequent evolution in most lineages of eukaryotes involved primarily loss of introns, with only a few episodes of substantial intron gain that might have accompanied major evolutionary innovations such as the origin of metazoa. The original invasion of self-splicing Group II introns, presumably originating from the mitochondrial endosymbiont, into the genome of the emerging eukaryote might have been a key factor of eukaryogenesis that in particular triggered the origin of endomembranes and the nucleus. Conversely, splicing errors gave rise to alternative splicing, a major contribution to the biological complexity of multicellular eukaryotes. There is no indication that any prokaryote has ever possessed a spliceosome or

  19. Origin and evolution of spliceosomal introns

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Evolution of exon-intron structure of eukaryotic genes has been a matter of long-standing, intensive debate. The introns-early concept, later rebranded ‘introns first’ held that protein-coding genes were interrupted by numerous introns even at the earliest stages of life's evolution and that introns played a major role in the origin of proteins by facilitating recombination of sequences coding for small protein/peptide modules. The introns-late concept held that introns emerged only in eukaryotes and new introns have been accumulating continuously throughout eukaryotic evolution. Analysis of orthologous genes from completely sequenced eukaryotic genomes revealed numerous shared intron positions in orthologous genes from animals and plants and even between animals, plants and protists, suggesting that many ancestral introns have persisted since the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). Reconstructions of intron gain and loss using the growing collection of genomes of diverse eukaryotes and increasingly advanced probabilistic models convincingly show that the LECA and the ancestors of each eukaryotic supergroup had intron-rich genes, with intron densities comparable to those in the most intron-rich modern genomes such as those of vertebrates. The subsequent evolution in most lineages of eukaryotes involved primarily loss of introns, with only a few episodes of substantial intron gain that might have accompanied major evolutionary innovations such as the origin of metazoa. The original invasion of self-splicing Group II introns, presumably originating from the mitochondrial endosymbiont, into the genome of the emerging eukaryote might have been a key factor of eukaryogenesis that in particular triggered the origin of endomembranes and the nucleus. Conversely, splicing errors gave rise to alternative splicing, a major contribution to the biological complexity of multicellular eukaryotes. There is no indication that any prokaryote has ever possessed a spliceosome

  20. Aberrant splicing in transgenes containing introns, exons, and V5 epitopes: lessons from developing an FSHD mouse model expressing a D4Z4 repeat with flanking genomic sequences.

    PubMed

    Ansseau, Eugénie; Domire, Jacqueline S; Wallace, Lindsay M; Eidahl, Jocelyn O; Guckes, Susan M; Giesige, Carlee R; Pyne, Nettie K; Belayew, Alexandra; Harper, Scott Q

    2015-01-01

    The DUX4 gene, encoded within D4Z4 repeats on human chromosome 4q35, has recently emerged as a key factor in the pathogenic mechanisms underlying Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). This recognition prompted development of animal models expressing the DUX4 open reading frame (ORF) alone or embedded within D4Z4 repeats. In the first published model, we used adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) and strong viral control elements (CMV promoter, SV40 poly A) to demonstrate that the DUX4 cDNA caused dose-dependent toxicity in mouse muscles. As a follow-up, we designed a second generation of DUX4-expressing AAV vectors to more faithfully genocopy the FSHD-permissive D4Z4 repeat region located at 4q35. This new vector (called AAV.D4Z4.V5.pLAM) contained the D4Z4/DUX4 promoter region, a V5 epitope-tagged DUX4 ORF, and the natural 3' untranslated region (pLAM) harboring two small introns, DUX4 exons 2 and 3, and the non-canonical poly A signal required for stabilizing DUX4 mRNA in FSHD. AAV.D4Z4.V5.pLAM failed to recapitulate the robust pathology of our first generation vectors following delivery to mouse muscle. We found that the DUX4.V5 junction sequence created an unexpected splice donor in the pre-mRNA that was preferentially utilized to remove the V5 coding sequence and DUX4 stop codon, yielding non-functional DUX4 protein with 55 additional residues on its carboxyl-terminus. Importantly, we further found that aberrant splicing could occur in any expression construct containing a functional splice acceptor and sequences resembling minimal splice donors. Our findings represent an interesting case study with respect to AAV.D4Z4.V5.pLAM, but more broadly serve as a note of caution for designing constructs containing V5 epitope tags and/or transgenes with downstream introns and exons. PMID:25742305

  1. Spliceosome twin introns in fungal nuclear transcripts.

    PubMed

    Flipphi, Michel; Fekete, Erzsébet; Ag, Norbert; Scazzocchio, Claudio; Karaffa, Levente

    2013-08-01

    The spliceosome is an RNA/protein complex, responsible for intron excision from eukaryotic nuclear transcripts. In bacteria, mitochondria and plastids, intron excision does not involve the spliceosome, but occurs through mechanisms dependent on intron RNA secondary and tertiary structure. For group II/III chloroplast introns, "twintrons" (introns within introns) have been described. The excision of the external intron, and thus proper RNA maturation, necessitates prior removal of the internal intron, which interrupts crucial sequences of the former. We have here predicted analogous instances of spliceosomal twintrons ("stwintrons") in filamentous fungi. In two specific cases, where the internal intron interrupts the donor of the external intron after the first or after the second nucleotide, respectively, we show that intermediates with the sequence predicted by the "stwintron" hypothesis, are produced in the splicing process. This implies that two successive rounds of RNA scanning by the spliceosome are necessary to produce the mature mRNA. The phylogenetic distributions of the stwintrons we have identified suggest that they derive from "late" events, subsequent to the appearance of the host intron. They may well not be limited to fungal nuclear transcripts, and their generation and eventual disappearance in the evolutionary process are relevant to hypotheses of intron origin and alternative splicing.

  2. Intron loss and gain in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Coulombe-Huntington, Jasmin; Majewski, Jacek

    2007-12-01

    Although introns were first discovered almost 30 years ago, their evolutionary origin remains elusive. In this work, we used multispecies whole-genome alignments to map Drosophila melanogaster introns onto 10 other fully sequenced Drosophila genomes. We were able to find 1,944 sites where an intron was missing in one or more species. We show that for most (>80%) of these cases, there is no leftover intronic sequence or any missing exonic sequence, indicating exact intron loss or gain events. We used parsimony to classify these differences as 1,754 intron loss events and 213 gain events. We show that lost and gained introns are significantly shorter than average and flanked by longer than average exons. They also display quite distinct phase distributions and show greater than average similarity between the 5' splice site and its 3' partner splice site. Introns that have been lost in one or more species evolve faster than other introns, occur in slowly evolving genes, and are found adjacent to each other more often than would be expected for independent single losses. Our results support the cDNA recombination mechanism of intron loss, suggest that selective pressures affect site-specific loss rates, and show conclusively that intron gain has occurred within the Drosophila lineage, solidifying the "introns-middle" hypothesis and providing some hints about the gain mechanism.

  3. hnRNP H binding at the 5′ splice site correlates with the pathological effect of two intronic mutations in the NF-1 and TSHβ genes

    PubMed Central

    Buratti, Emanuele; Baralle, Marco; De Conti, Laura; Baralle, Diana; Romano, Maurizio; Ayala, Youhna M.; Baralle, Francisco E.

    2004-01-01

    We have recently reported a disease-causing substitution (+5G > C) at the donor site of NF-1 exon 3 that produces its skipping. We have now studied in detail the splicing mechanism involved in analyzing RNA–protein complexes at several 5′ splice sites. Characteristic protein patterns were observed by pulldown and band-shift/super-shift analysis. Here, we show that hnRNP H binds specifically to the wild-type GGGgu donor sequence of the NF-1 exon 3. Depletion analyses shows that this protein restricts the accessibility of U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (U1snRNA) to the donor site. In this context, the +5G > C mutation abolishes both U1snRNP base pairing and the 5′ splice site (5′ss) function. However, exon recognition in the mutant can be rescued by disrupting the binding of hnRNP H, demonstrating that this protein enhances the effects of the +5G > C substitution. Significantly, a similar situation was found for a second disease-causing +5G > A substitution in the 5′ss of TSHβ exon 2, which harbors a GGgu donor sequence. Thus, the reason why similar nucleotide substitutions can be either neutral or very disruptive of splicing function can be explained by the presence of specific binding signatures depending on local contexts. PMID:15299088

  4. Neuronal SH-SY5Y cells use the C-dystrophin promoter coupled with exon 78 skipping and display multiple patterns of alternative splicing including two intronic insertion events.

    PubMed

    Nishida, Atsushi; Minegishi, Maki; Takeuchi, Atsuko; Awano, Hiroyuki; Niba, Emma Tabe Eko; Matsuo, Masafumi

    2015-09-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a progressive muscle wasting disease caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. One-third of DMD cases are complicated by mental retardation. Here, we used reverse transcription PCR to analyze the pattern of dystrophin transcripts in neuronal SH-SY5Y cells. Among the three alternative promoters/first exons at the 5'-end, only transcripts containing the brain cortex-specific C1 exon could be amplified. The C-transcript appeared as two products: a major product of the expected size and a minor larger product that contained the cryptic exon 1a between exons C1 and 2. At the 3'-end there was complete exon 78 skipping. Together, these findings indicate that SH-SY5Y cells have neuron-specific characteristics with regard to both promoter activation and alternative splicing. We also revealed partial skipping of exons 9 and 71. Four amplified products were obtained from a fragment covering exons 36-41: a strong expected product, two weak products lacking either exon 37 or exon 38, and a second strong larger product with a 568-bp insertion between exons 40 and 41. The inserted sequence matched the 3'-end of intron 40 perfectly. We concluded that a cryptic splice site was activated in SH-SY5Y cells to create the novel, unusually large, exon 41e (751 bp). In total, we identified seven alternative splicing events in neuronal SH-SY5Y cells, and calculated that 32 dystrophin transcripts could be produced. Our results may provide clues in the analysis of transcriptype-phenotype correlations as regards mental retardation in DMD.

  5. Identification and molecular characterization of three new K+-channel specific toxins from the Chinese scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch revealing intronic number polymorphism and alternative splicing in duplicated genes.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xian-Chun; Zhang, Lei; Nie, Yao; Luo, Xuesong

    2012-04-01

    K(+)-channel specific toxins from scorpions are powerful probes used in the structural and functional characterization of different subfamilies of K(+)-channels which are thought to be the most diverse ion channels. However, only a limited number of K(+)-channel toxins have been identified from scorpions so far; moreover, little is known about the mechanisms for the generation of a combinatorial peptide library in a venom gland of a scorpion. Here, we identified and characterized three new K(+)-channel toxin-like peptides from the scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch, which were referred to as BmKcug1, BmKcug2 and BmKcugx, respectively. BmKcug1 and BmKcug2 are two new members of α-KTx1 subfamily, and have been classified as α-KTx1.14 and α-KTx1.15, respectively. BmKcugx represents a new subfamily of K(+)-channel specific toxins which was classified into α-KTx22. BmKcugx was thus classified as α-KTx22.1. Genomic analysis demonstrated that BmKcugx gene has two exons interrupted by an intron inserted in the signal peptide encoding region, whereas BmKcug1a (a close homologue of BmKcug1)/BmKcug2 gene was interrupted by two introns, located within the 5'UTR of the gene and in the signal peptide encoding region, respectively. Transcriptomic analysis for the venom glands of M. martensii Karsch indicated that the abundances of the transcripts of BmKcug1a and BmKcug2 are much higher than that of BmKcugx; it suggests that the intron in 5'UTR could markedly increase the expression level of the K(+)-channel toxins. Alignment of the genomic sequences of BmKcug1a and BmKcug2 revealed that an alternative splicing event occurred at the intron 1-exon 2 junction in the 5'UTR of BmKcug2 transcript.

  6. Recent evolutionary acquisition of alternative pre-mRNA splicing and 3' processing regulations induced by intronic B2 SINE insertion.

    PubMed Central

    Michel, D; Chatelain, G; Mauduit, C; Benahmed, M; Brun, G

    1997-01-01

    Contrary to the membrane-anchored leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR), the mouse soluble LIFR is an inhibitor of LIF action, possibly through a ligand titration effect. Two mRNA species encoding the soluble LIFR have been identified. Since the 3'-untranslated end of the shorter form was shown to contain a B2 element, we have examined the possibility that this SINE may be responsible for LIFR mRNA truncation. Transient expression assays, using B2-derived or intron-derived sequences independently or in conjunction, show that the B2 element has fortuitously unmasked a cryptic pre-mRNA 3'processing activity of silent intron sequences. The corresponding locus of the rat genome has been isolated and was shown to be devoid of any retroposon, which may explain why no soluble LIFR has yet been identified in any other species and further indicates that the B2 insertion event in the mouse LIFR gene has occurred recently during evolution. And yet, a tight tissue-specific regulation of alternative synthesis of soluble and membrane-bound LIFR mRNA has already emerged in mice. These results provide striking evidence for the rapid influence of retroposition on genome expression. PMID:9241235

  7. Alternative splicing of human T-cell-specific MAL mRNA and its correlation with the exon/intron organization of the gene

    SciTech Connect

    Rancano, C.; Rubio, T.; Alonso, M.A. )

    1994-05-15

    Sequence analysis of the T-cell-specific MAL gene revealed four exons, each encoding a hydrophobic, presumably membrane-associated, segment and its adjacent hydrophilic sequence. Amplification by the polymerase chain reaction of cDNA from different T-cell samples indicated the existence of four different forms of MAL mRNA, termed MAL-a, -b, -c, and -d, that arise from differential usage of exons II and/or III. As the three introns were located between complete codons, the reading frame was maintained in all the transcripts. A model resembling the structures postulated for different proteolipid proteins is proposed for the protein encoded by each alternative mRNA species. 9 refs., 3 figs.

  8. A spliceosomal intron in Giardia lamblia.

    PubMed

    Nixon, Julie E J; Wang, Amy; Morrison, Hilary G; McArthur, Andrew G; Sogin, Mitchell L; Loftus, Brendan J; Samuelson, John

    2002-03-19

    Short introns occur in numerous protist lineages, but there are no reports of intervening sequences in the protists Giardia lamblia and Trichomonas vaginalis, which may represent the deepest known branches in the eukaryotic line of descent. We have discovered a 35-bp spliceosomal intron in a gene encoding a putative [2Fe-2S] ferredoxin of G. lamblia. The Giardia intron contains a canonical splice site at its 3' end (AG), a noncanonical splice site at its 5' end (CT), and a branch point sequence that fits the yeast consensus sequence of TACTAAC except for the first nucleotide (AACTAAC). We have also identified several G. lamblia genes with spliceosomal peptides, including homologues of eukaryote-specific spliceosomal peptides (Prp8 and Prp11), several DExH-box RNA-helicases that have homologues in eubacteria, but serve essential functions in the splicing of introns in eukaryotes, and 11 predicted archaebacteria-like Sm and like-Sm core peptides, which coat small nuclear RNAs. Phylogenetic analyses show the Giardia Sm core peptides are the products of multiple, ancestral gene duplications followed by divergence, but they retain strong similarity to Sm and like-Sm peptides of other eukaryotes. Although we have documented only a single intron in Giardia, it likely has other introns and fully functional, spliceosomal machinery. If introns were added during eukaryotic evolution (the introns-late hypothesis), then these results push back the date of this event before the branching of G. lamblia.

  9. RNA structure in splicing: An evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chien-Ling; Taggart, Allison J; Fairbrother, William G

    2016-09-01

    Pre-mRNA splicing is a key post-transcriptional regulation process in which introns are excised and exons are ligated together. A novel class of structured intron was recently discovered in fish. Simple expansions of complementary AC and GT dimers at opposite boundaries of an intron were found to form a bridging structure, thereby enforcing correct splice site pairing across the intron. In some fish introns, the RNA structures are strong enough to bypass the need of regulatory protein factors for splicing. Here, we discuss the prevalence and potential functions of highly structured introns. In humans, structured introns usually arise through the co-occurrence of C and G-rich repeats at intron boundaries. We explore the potentially instructive example of the HLA receptor genes. In HLA pre-mRNA, structured introns flank the exons that encode the highly polymorphic β sheet cleft, making the processing of the transcript robust to variants that disrupt splicing factor binding. While selective forces that have shaped HLA receptor are fairly atypical, numerous other highly polymorphic genes that encode receptors contain structured introns. Finally, we discuss how the elevated mutation rate associated with the simple repeats that often compose structured intron can make structured introns themselves rapidly evolving elements. PMID:27454491

  10. Structural basis for exon recognition by a group II intron

    SciTech Connect

    Toor, Navtej; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Keating, Kevin S.; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2008-11-18

    Free group II introns are infectious retroelements that can bind and insert themselves into RNA and DNA molecules via reverse splicing. Here we report the 3.4-A crystal structure of a complex between an oligonucleotide target substrate and a group IIC intron, as well as the refined free intron structure. The structure of the complex reveals the conformation of motifs involved in exon recognition by group II introns.

  11. A novel donor splice site in intron 11 of the CFTR gene, created by mutation 1811 + 1.6kbA {yields} G, produces a new exon: High frequency in spanish cystic fibrosis chromosomes and association with severe phenotype

    SciTech Connect

    Chillon, M.; Casals, T.; Gimenez, J.; Ramos, D.; Nunes, V.; Estivill, X.; Doerk, T.; Will, K.; Fonknechten, N.

    1995-03-01

    mRNA analysis of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene in tissues of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients has allowed us to detect a cryptic exon. The new exon involves 49 base pairs between exons 11 and 12 and is due to a point mutation (1811+1.6bA{yields}G) that creates a new donor splice site in intron 11. Semiquantitative mRNA analysis showed that 1811+1.6kbA{r_arrow}G-mRNA was 5-10-fold less abundant than {triangle}F508 mRNA. Mutations 1811+1.6kbA{yields}G was found in 21 Spanish and 1 German CF chromosome(s), making it the fourth-most-frequent mutation (2%) in the Spanish population. Individuals with genotype {triangle}F508/1811+1.6kbA{yields}G have only 1%-3% of normal CFTR mRNA. This loss of 97% of normal CFTR mRNA must be responsible for the pancreatic insufficiency and for the severe CF phenotype in these patients. 30 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  12. A novel donor splice site in intron 11 of the CFTR gene, created by mutation 1811+1.6kbA-->G, produces a new exon: high frequency in Spanish cystic fibrosis chromosomes and association with severe phenotype.

    PubMed

    Chillón, M; Dörk, T; Casals, T; Giménez, J; Fonknechten, N; Will, K; Ramos, D; Nunes, V; Estivill, X

    1995-03-01

    mRNA analysis of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene in tissues of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients has allowed us to detect a cryptic exon. The new exon involves 49 base pairs between exons 11 and 12 and is due to a point mutation (1811+1.6kbA-->G) that creates a new donor splice site in intron 11. Semiquantitative mRNA analysis showed that 1811+1.6kbA-->G-mRNA was 5-10-fold less abundant than delta F508 mRNA. Mutation 1811+1.6kbA-->G was found in 21 Spanish and 1 German CF chromosomes, making it the fourth-most-frequent mutation (2%) in the Spanish population. Individuals with genotype delta F508/1811+1.6kbA-->G have only 1%-3% of normal CFTR mRNA. This loss of 97% of normal CFTR mRNA must be responsible for the pancreatic insufficiency and for the severe CF phenotype in these patients.

  13. Crystal structure of a group II intron in the pre-catalytic state

    SciTech Connect

    Chan, Russell T.; Robart, Aaron R.; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R.; Pyle, Anna Marie; Toor, Navtej

    2012-12-10

    Group II introns are self-splicing catalytic RNAs that are thought to be ancestral to the spliceosome. Here we report the 3.65-{angstrom} crystal structure of the group II intron from Oceanobacillus iheyensis in the pre-catalytic state. The structure reveals the conformation of the 5' splice site in the catalytic core and represents the first structure of an intron prior to the first step of splicing.

  14. Mammalian Introns: When the Junk Generates Molecular Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Hubé, Florent; Francastel, Claire

    2015-01-01

    Introns represent almost half of the human genome, yet their vast majority is eliminated from eukaryotic transcripts through RNA splicing. Nevertheless, they feature key elements and functions that deserve further interest. At the level of DNA, introns are genomic segments that can shelter independent transcription units for coding and non-coding RNAs which transcription may interfere with that of the host gene, and regulatory elements that can influence gene expression and splicing itself. From the RNA perspective, some introns can be subjected to alternative splicing. Intron retention appear to provide some plasticity to the nature of the protein produced, its distribution in a given cell type and timing of its translation. Intron retention may also serve as a switch to produce coding or non-coding RNAs from the same transcription unit. Conversely, splicing of introns has been directly implicated in the production of small regulatory RNAs. Hence, splicing of introns also appears to provide plasticity to the type of RNA produced from a genetic locus (coding, non-coding, short or long). We addressed these aspects to add to our understanding of mechanisms that control the fate of introns and could be instrumental in regulating genomic output and hence cell fate. PMID:25710723

  15. Evolution of the Exon-Intron Structure in Ciliate Genomes.

    PubMed

    Bondarenko, Vladyslav S; Gelfand, Mikhail S

    2016-01-01

    A typical eukaryotic gene is comprised of alternating stretches of regions, exons and introns, retained in and spliced out a mature mRNA, respectively. Although the length of introns may vary substantially among organisms, a large fraction of genes contains short introns in many species. Notably, some Ciliates (Paramecium and Nyctotherus) possess only ultra-short introns, around 25 bp long. In Paramecium, ultra-short introns with length divisible by three (3n) are under strong evolutionary pressure and have a high frequency of in-frame stop codons, which, in the case of intron retention, cause premature termination of mRNA translation and consequent degradation of the mis-spliced mRNA by the nonsense-mediated decay mechanism. Here, we analyzed introns in five genera of Ciliates, Paramecium, Tetrahymena, Ichthyophthirius, Oxytricha, and Stylonychia. Introns can be classified into two length classes in Tetrahymena and Ichthyophthirius (with means 48 bp, 69 bp, and 55 bp, 64 bp, respectively), but, surprisingly, comprise three distinct length classes in Oxytricha and Stylonychia (with means 33-35 bp, 47-51 bp, and 78-80 bp). In most ranges of the intron lengths, 3n introns are underrepresented and have a high frequency of in-frame stop codons in all studied species. Introns of Paramecium, Tetrahymena, and Ichthyophthirius are preferentially located at the 5' and 3' ends of genes, whereas introns of Oxytricha and Stylonychia are strongly skewed towards the 5' end. Analysis of evolutionary conservation shows that, in each studied genome, a significant fraction of intron positions is conserved between the orthologs, but intron lengths are not correlated between the species. In summary, our study provides a detailed characterization of introns in several genera of Ciliates and highlights some of their distinctive properties, which, together, indicate that splicing spellchecking is a universal and evolutionarily conserved process in the biogenesis of short introns in

  16. Evolution of the Exon-Intron Structure in Ciliate Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Gelfand, Mikhail S.

    2016-01-01

    A typical eukaryotic gene is comprised of alternating stretches of regions, exons and introns, retained in and spliced out a mature mRNA, respectively. Although the length of introns may vary substantially among organisms, a large fraction of genes contains short introns in many species. Notably, some Ciliates (Paramecium and Nyctotherus) possess only ultra-short introns, around 25 bp long. In Paramecium, ultra-short introns with length divisible by three (3n) are under strong evolutionary pressure and have a high frequency of in-frame stop codons, which, in the case of intron retention, cause premature termination of mRNA translation and consequent degradation of the mis-spliced mRNA by the nonsense-mediated decay mechanism. Here, we analyzed introns in five genera of Ciliates, Paramecium, Tetrahymena, Ichthyophthirius, Oxytricha, and Stylonychia. Introns can be classified into two length classes in Tetrahymena and Ichthyophthirius (with means 48 bp, 69 bp, and 55 bp, 64 bp, respectively), but, surprisingly, comprise three distinct length classes in Oxytricha and Stylonychia (with means 33–35 bp, 47–51 bp, and 78–80 bp). In most ranges of the intron lengths, 3n introns are underrepresented and have a high frequency of in-frame stop codons in all studied species. Introns of Paramecium, Tetrahymena, and Ichthyophthirius are preferentially located at the 5' and 3' ends of genes, whereas introns of Oxytricha and Stylonychia are strongly skewed towards the 5' end. Analysis of evolutionary conservation shows that, in each studied genome, a significant fraction of intron positions is conserved between the orthologs, but intron lengths are not correlated between the species. In summary, our study provides a detailed characterization of introns in several genera of Ciliates and highlights some of their distinctive properties, which, together, indicate that splicing spellchecking is a universal and evolutionarily conserved process in the biogenesis of short introns in

  17. The Arabidopsis thaliana MHX gene includes an intronic element that boosts translation when localized in a 5' UTR intron.

    PubMed

    Akua, Tsofit; Shaul, Orit

    2013-11-01

    The mechanisms that underlie the ability of some introns to increase gene expression, a phenomenon called intron-mediated enhancement (IME), are not fully understood. It is also not known why introns localized in the 5'-untranslated region (5' UTR) are considerably longer than downstream eukaryotic introns. It was hypothesized that this extra length results from the presence of some functional intronic elements. However, deletion analyses studies carried out thus far were unable to identify specific intronic regions necessary for IME. Using deletion analysis and a gain-of-function approach, an internal element that considerably increases translational efficiency, without affecting splicing, was identified in the 5' UTR intron of the Arabidopsis thaliana MHX gene. Moreover, the ability of this element to enhance translation was diminished by a minor downstream shift in the position of introns containing it from the 5' UTR into the coding sequence. These data suggest that some of the extra length of 5' UTR introns results from the presence of elements that enhance translation, and, moreover, from the ability of 5' UTR introns to provide preferable platforms for such elements over downstream introns. The impact of the identified intronic element on translational efficiency was augmented upon removal of neighbouring intronic elements. Interference between different intronic elements had not been reported thus far. This interference may support the bioinformatics-based idea that some of the extra sequence of 5' UTR introns is also necessary for separating different functional intronic elements.

  18. The human decorin gene: Intron-exon organization, discovery of two alternatively spliced exons in the 5[prime] untralsated region, and mapping of the gene to chromosome 12q23

    SciTech Connect

    Danielson, K.G.; Fazzio, A.; Cohen, I.; Cannizzaro, L.A.; Eichstetter, I.; Iozzo, R.V. )

    1993-01-01

    Decorin is a chondroitin/dermatan sulfate proteoglycan expressed by most vascular and avascular connective tissues and, because of its ability to interact with collagen and growth factors, has been implicated in the control of matrix assembly and cellular growth. To understand the molecular mechanisms involved in regulating its tissue expression, we have isolated a number of genomic clones encoding the complete decorin gene. The human decorin gene spans over 38 kb of continuous DNA sequence and contains eight exons and very large introns, two of which are 5.4 and > 13.2 kb. We have discovered two alternatively spliced leader exons, exons Ia and Ib, in the 5[prime] untranslated region. These exons were identified by cloning and sequencing cDNAs obtained by polymerase chain reaction amplification of a fibroblast cDNA library. Using Northern blotting or reverse transcriptase PCR, we detected the two leader exons in a variety of mRNAs isolated from human cell lines and tissues. Interestingly, sequences highly (74-87%) homologous to exons Ia and lb are found in the 5[prime]untranslated region of avian and bovine decorin, respectively. This high degree of conservation among species suggests regulatory functions for these leader exons. In the 3' untranslated region there are several polyadenylation sites, and at least two of these sites could give rise to the transcripts of [approx]1.6 and [approx]1.9 kb, typically detected in a variety of tissues and cells. Using a genomic clone as the labeled probe and in situ hybridization of human metaphase chromosomes, we have mapped the decorin gene to the discrete region of human chromosome 12q23. This sturdy provides the molecular basis for discerning the transcriptional control of the decorin gene and offers the opportunity to investigate genetic disorders linked to this important human gene. 57 refs., 11 figs., 3 tabs.

  19. Phylogenetically close group I introns with different positions among Paramecium bursaria photobionts imply a primitive stage of intron diversification.

    PubMed

    Hoshina, Ryo; Imamura, Nobutaka

    2009-06-01

    Group I introns are a distinct RNA group that catalyze their excision from precursor RNA transcripts and ligate the exons. Group I introns have a sporadic and highly biased distribution due to the two intron transfer mechanisms of homing and reverse splicing. These transfer pathways recognize assigned sequences even when introns are transferred beyond the species level. Consequently, introns at homologous gene sites between different host organisms are more related than those at heterologous sites within an organism. We describe the subgroup IE introns of two Chlorella species that are symbiotic green algae (photobionts) of a ciliate, Paramecium bursaria. One strain Chlorella sp. SW1-ZK (Csw.) had two IE introns at S651 and L2449, and the other strain Chlorella sp. OK1-ZK (Cok.) had four IE introns at S943, L1688, L1926, and L2184 (numbering reflects their homologous position in Escherichia coli rRNA gene: S = small subunit rRNA, L = large subunit rRNA). Despite locating on six heterologous sites, the introns formed a monophyletic clade independent of other groups. Phylogenetic and structural analyses of the introns indicated that Csw.L2449 has an archaic state, and the other introns are assumed to be originated from this intron. Some of the introns shared common internal guide sequences, which are necessary for misdirected transfer (i.e., transposition) via reverse splicing. Other introns, however, shared similar sequence fragments further upstream, after the insertions. We propose a hypothetical model to explain how these intron transpositions may have occurred in these photobionts; they transposed by a combination of homing-like event requiring relaxed sequence homology of recognition sequences and reverse splicing. This case study may represent a key to describe how group I intron explores new insertion sites.

  20. FGLamide Allatostatin genes in Arthropoda: introns early or late?

    PubMed

    Martínez-Pérez, Francisco; Bendena, William G; Chang, Belinda S W; Tobe, Stephen S

    2009-07-01

    FGLamide allatostatins are invertebrate neuropeptides which inhibit juvenile hormone biosynthesis in Dictyoptera and related orders and also show myomodulatory activity. The FGLamide allatostatin (AST) gene structure in Dictyoptera is intronless within the ORF, whereas in 9 species of Diptera, the FGLamide AST ORF has one intron. To investigate the evolutionary history of AST intron structure, (intron early versus intron late hypothesis), all available Arthropoda FGLamide AST gene sequences were examined from genome databases with reference to intron presence and position/phase. Three types of FGLamide AST ORF organization were found: intronless in I. scapularis and P. humanus corporis; one intron in D. pulex, A. pisum, A. mellifera and five Drosophila sp.; two introns in N. vitripennis, B. mori strains, A. aegypti, A. gambiae and C. quinquefasciatus. The literature suggests that for the majority of genes examined, most introns exist between codons (phase 0) which may reflect an ancient function of introns to separate protein modules. 60% of the FGLamide AST ORFs introns were between the first and second base within a codon (phase 1), 28% were between the second and third nucleotides within a codon (phase two) and 12% were phase 0. As would be required for correct intron splicing consensus sequence, 84% of introns were in codons starting with guanine. The positioning of introns was a maximum of 9 codons from a dibasic cleavage site. Our results suggest that the introns in the analyzed species support the intron late model.

  1. The brown algae Pl.LSU/2 group II intron-encoded protein has functional reverse transcriptase and maturase activities.

    PubMed

    Zerbato, Madeleine; Holic, Nathalie; Moniot-Frin, Sophie; Ingrao, Dina; Galy, Anne; Perea, Javier

    2013-01-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing mobile elements found in prokaryotes and eukaryotic organelles. These introns propagate by homing into precise genomic locations, following assembly of a ribonucleoprotein complex containing the intron-encoded protein (IEP) and the spliced intron RNA. Engineered group II introns are now commonly used tools for targeted genomic modifications in prokaryotes but not in eukaryotes. We speculate that the catalytic activation of currently known group II introns is limited in eukaryotic cells. The brown algae Pylaiella littoralis Pl.LSU/2 group II intron is uniquely capable of in vitro ribozyme activity at physiological level of magnesium but this intron remains poorly characterized. We purified and characterized recombinant Pl.LSU/2 IEP. Unlike most IEPs, Pl.LSU/2 IEP displayed a reverse transcriptase activity without intronic RNA. The Pl.LSU/2 intron could be engineered to splice accurately in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and splicing efficiency was increased by the maturase activity of the IEP. However, spliced transcripts were not expressed. Furthermore, intron splicing was not detected in human cells. While further tool development is needed, these data provide the first functional characterization of the PI.LSU/2 IEP and the first evidence that the Pl.LSU/2 group II intron splicing occurs in vivo in eukaryotes in an IEP-dependent manner.

  2. Circularization pathway of a bacterial group II intron.

    PubMed

    Monat, Caroline; Cousineau, Benoit

    2016-02-29

    Group II introns are large RNA enzymes that can excise as lariats, circles or in a linear form through branching, circularization or hydrolysis, respectively. Branching is by far the main and most studied splicing pathway while circularization was mostly overlooked. We previously showed that removal of the branch point A residue from Ll.LtrB, the group II intron from Lactococcus lactis, exclusively leads to circularization. However, the majority of the released intron circles harbored an additional C residue of unknown origin at the splice junction. Here, we exploited the Ll.LtrB-ΔA mutant to study the circularization pathway of bacterial group II introns in vivo. We demonstrated that the non-encoded C residue, present at the intron circle splice junction, corresponds to the first nt of exon 2. Intron circularization intermediates, harboring the first 2 or 3 nts of exon 2, were found to accumulate showing that branch point removal leads to 3' splice site misrecognition. Traces of properly ligated exons were also detected functionally confirming that a small proportion of Ll.LtrB-ΔA circularizes accurately. Overall, our data provide the first detailed molecular analysis of the group II intron circularization pathway and suggests that circularization is a conserved splicing pathway in bacteria.

  3. Circularization pathway of a bacterial group II intron

    PubMed Central

    Monat, Caroline; Cousineau, Benoit

    2016-01-01

    Group II introns are large RNA enzymes that can excise as lariats, circles or in a linear form through branching, circularization or hydrolysis, respectively. Branching is by far the main and most studied splicing pathway while circularization was mostly overlooked. We previously showed that removal of the branch point A residue from Ll.LtrB, the group II intron from Lactococcus lactis, exclusively leads to circularization. However, the majority of the released intron circles harbored an additional C residue of unknown origin at the splice junction. Here, we exploited the Ll.LtrB-ΔA mutant to study the circularization pathway of bacterial group II introns in vivo. We demonstrated that the non-encoded C residue, present at the intron circle splice junction, corresponds to the first nt of exon 2. Intron circularization intermediates, harboring the first 2 or 3 nts of exon 2, were found to accumulate showing that branch point removal leads to 3′ splice site misrecognition. Traces of properly ligated exons were also detected functionally confirming that a small proportion of Ll.LtrB-ΔA circularizes accurately. Overall, our data provide the first detailed molecular analysis of the group II intron circularization pathway and suggests that circularization is a conserved splicing pathway in bacteria. PMID:26673697

  4. Predicted group II intron lineages E and F comprise catalytically active ribozymes.

    PubMed

    Nagy, Vivien; Pirakitikulr, Nathan; Zhou, Katherine Ismei; Chillón, Isabel; Luo, Jerome; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2013-09-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing, retrotransposable ribozymes that contribute to gene expression and evolution in most organisms. The ongoing identification of new group II introns and recent bioinformatic analyses have suggested that there are novel lineages, which include the group IIE and IIF introns. Because the function and biochemical activity of group IIE and IIF introns have never been experimentally tested and because these introns appear to have features that distinguish them from other introns, we set out to determine if they were indeed self-splicing, catalytically active RNA molecules. To this end, we transcribed and studied a set of diverse group IIE and IIF introns, quantitatively characterizing their in vitro self-splicing reactivity, ionic requirements, and reaction products. In addition, we used mutational analysis to determine the relative role of the EBS-IBS 1 and 2 recognition elements during splicing by these introns. We show that group IIE and IIF introns are indeed distinct active intron families, with different reactivities and structures. We show that the group IIE introns self-splice exclusively through the hydrolytic pathway, while group IIF introns can also catalyze transesterifications. Intriguingly, we observe one group IIF intron that forms circular intron. Finally, despite an apparent EBS2-IBS2 duplex in the sequences of these introns, we find that this interaction plays no role during self-splicing in vitro. It is now clear that the group IIE and IIF introns are functional ribozymes, with distinctive properties that may be useful for biotechnological applications, and which may contribute to the biology of host organisms.

  5. Intron evolution in Saccharomycetaceae.

    PubMed

    Hooks, Katarzyna B; Delneri, Daniela; Griffiths-Jones, Sam

    2014-09-01

    Introns in protein-coding genes are very rare in hemiascomycetous yeast genomes. It has been suggested that these species have experienced extensive intron loss during their evolution from the postulated intron-rich fungal ancestor. However, no intron-devoidy east species have been identified and some of the introns remaining within the genomes of intron-poor species, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, appear to be beneficial during growth under stress conditions. In order to reveal the pattern of intron retention within intron-poor yeast species and better understand the mechanisms of intron evolution, we generated a comprehensive set of 250 orthologous introns in the 20 species that comprise the Saccharomycetaceae, by analyzing RNA deep-sequencing data and alignments of intron-containing genes. Analysis of these intron sets shows that intron loss is at least two orders of magnitude more frequent than intron gain. Fine mapping of intron positions shows that intron sliding is rare, and that introns are almost always removed without changing the primary sequence of the encoded protein. The latter finding is consistent with the prevailing view that homologous recombination between reverse-transcribed mature mRNAs and the corresponding genomic locus is the primary mechanism of intron loss. However, we also find evidence that loss of a small number of introns is mediated by micro-homology, and that the number of intron losses is diminished in yeast species that have lost the microhomology end joining and nonhomologous end joining machinery.

  6. Bioinformatics analysis of plant orthologous introns: identification of an intronic tRNA-like sequence.

    PubMed

    Akkuratov, Evgeny E; Walters, Lorraine; Saha-Mandal, Arnab; Khandekar, Sushant; Crawford, Erin; Zirbel, Craig L; Leisner, Scott; Prakash, Ashwin; Fedorova, Larisa; Fedorov, Alexei

    2014-09-10

    Orthologous introns have identical positions relative to the coding sequence in orthologous genes of different species. By analyzing the complete genomes of five plants we generated a database of 40,512 orthologous intron groups of dicotyledonous plants, 28,519 orthologous intron groups of angiosperms, and 15,726 of land plants (moss and angiosperms). Multiple sequence alignments of each orthologous intron group were obtained using the Mafft algorithm. The number of conserved regions in plant introns appeared to be hundreds of times fewer than that in mammals or vertebrates. Approximately three quarters of conserved intronic regions among angiosperms and dicots, in particular, correspond to alternatively-spliced exonic sequences. We registered only a handful of conserved intronic ncRNAs of flowering plants. However, the most evolutionarily conserved intronic region, which is ubiquitous for all plants examined in this study, including moss, possessed multiple structural features of tRNAs, which caused us to classify it as a putative tRNA-like ncRNA. Intronic sequences encoding tRNA-like structures are not unique to plants. Bioinformatics examination of the presence of tRNA inside introns revealed an unusually long-term association of four glycine tRNAs inside the Vac14 gene of fish, amniotes, and mammals. PMID:25014137

  7. Retrohoming of a Mobile Group II Intron in Human Cells Suggests How Eukaryotes Limit Group II Intron Proliferation.

    PubMed

    Truong, David M; Hewitt, F Curtis; Hanson, Joseph H; Cui, Xiaoxia; Lambowitz, Alan M

    2015-08-01

    Mobile bacterial group II introns are evolutionary ancestors of spliceosomal introns and retroelements in eukaryotes. They consist of an autocatalytic intron RNA (a "ribozyme") and an intron-encoded reverse transcriptase, which function together to promote intron integration into new DNA sites by a mechanism termed "retrohoming". Although mobile group II introns splice and retrohome efficiently in bacteria, all examined thus far function inefficiently in eukaryotes, where their ribozyme activity is limited by low Mg2+ concentrations, and intron-containing transcripts are subject to nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) and translational repression. Here, by using RNA polymerase II to express a humanized group II intron reverse transcriptase and T7 RNA polymerase to express intron transcripts resistant to NMD, we find that simply supplementing culture medium with Mg2+ induces the Lactococcus lactis Ll.LtrB intron to retrohome into plasmid and chromosomal sites, the latter at frequencies up to ~0.1%, in viable HEK-293 cells. Surprisingly, under these conditions, the Ll.LtrB intron reverse transcriptase is required for retrohoming but not for RNA splicing as in bacteria. By using a genetic assay for in vivo selections combined with deep sequencing, we identified intron RNA mutations that enhance retrohoming in human cells, but <4-fold and not without added Mg2+. Further, the selected mutations lie outside the ribozyme catalytic core, which appears not readily modified to function efficiently at low Mg2+ concentrations. Our results reveal differences between group II intron retrohoming in human cells and bacteria and suggest constraints on critical nucleotide residues of the ribozyme core that limit how much group II intron retrohoming in eukaryotes can be enhanced. These findings have implications for group II intron use for gene targeting in eukaryotes and suggest how differences in intracellular Mg2+ concentrations between bacteria and eukarya may have impacted the

  8. Retrohoming of a Mobile Group II Intron in Human Cells Suggests How Eukaryotes Limit Group II Intron Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Truong, David M.; Hewitt, F. Curtis; Hanson, Joseph H.; Cui, Xiaoxia; Lambowitz, Alan M.

    2015-01-01

    Mobile bacterial group II introns are evolutionary ancestors of spliceosomal introns and retroelements in eukaryotes. They consist of an autocatalytic intron RNA (a “ribozyme”) and an intron-encoded reverse transcriptase, which function together to promote intron integration into new DNA sites by a mechanism termed “retrohoming”. Although mobile group II introns splice and retrohome efficiently in bacteria, all examined thus far function inefficiently in eukaryotes, where their ribozyme activity is limited by low Mg2+ concentrations, and intron-containing transcripts are subject to nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) and translational repression. Here, by using RNA polymerase II to express a humanized group II intron reverse transcriptase and T7 RNA polymerase to express intron transcripts resistant to NMD, we find that simply supplementing culture medium with Mg2+ induces the Lactococcus lactis Ll.LtrB intron to retrohome into plasmid and chromosomal sites, the latter at frequencies up to ~0.1%, in viable HEK-293 cells. Surprisingly, under these conditions, the Ll.LtrB intron reverse transcriptase is required for retrohoming but not for RNA splicing as in bacteria. By using a genetic assay for in vivo selections combined with deep sequencing, we identified intron RNA mutations that enhance retrohoming in human cells, but <4-fold and not without added Mg2+. Further, the selected mutations lie outside the ribozyme catalytic core, which appears not readily modified to function efficiently at low Mg2+ concentrations. Our results reveal differences between group II intron retrohoming in human cells and bacteria and suggest constraints on critical nucleotide residues of the ribozyme core that limit how much group II intron retrohoming in eukaryotes can be enhanced. These findings have implications for group II intron use for gene targeting in eukaryotes and suggest how differences in intracellular Mg2+ concentrations between bacteria and eukarya may have impacted the

  9. Intron Length Coevolution across Mammalian Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Keane, Peter A.; Seoighe, Cathal

    2016-01-01

    Although they do not contribute directly to the proteome, introns frequently contain regulatory elements and can extend the protein coding potential of the genome through alternative splicing. For some genes, the contribution of introns to the time required for transcription can also be functionally significant. We have previously shown that intron length in genes associated with developmental patterning is often highly conserved. In general, sets of genes that require precise coordination in the timing of their expression may be sensitive to changes in transcript length. A prediction of this hypothesis is that evolutionary changes in intron length, when they occur, may be correlated between sets of coordinately expressed genes. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed intron length coevolution in alignments from nine eutherian mammals. Overall, genes that belong to the same protein complex or that are coexpressed were significantly more likely to show evidence of intron length coevolution than matched, randomly sampled genes. Individually, protein complexes involved in the cell cycle showed the strongest evidence of coevolution of intron lengths and clusters of coexpressed genes enriched for cell cycle genes also showed significant evidence of intron length coevolution. Our results reveal a novel aspect of gene coevolution and provide a means to identify genes, protein complexes and biological processes that may be particularly sensitive to changes in transcriptional dynamics. PMID:27550903

  10. Intron Length Coevolution across Mammalian Genomes.

    PubMed

    Keane, Peter A; Seoighe, Cathal

    2016-10-01

    Although they do not contribute directly to the proteome, introns frequently contain regulatory elements and can extend the protein coding potential of the genome through alternative splicing. For some genes, the contribution of introns to the time required for transcription can also be functionally significant. We have previously shown that intron length in genes associated with developmental patterning is often highly conserved. In general, sets of genes that require precise coordination in the timing of their expression may be sensitive to changes in transcript length. A prediction of this hypothesis is that evolutionary changes in intron length, when they occur, may be correlated between sets of coordinately expressed genes. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed intron length coevolution in alignments from nine eutherian mammals. Overall, genes that belong to the same protein complex or that are coexpressed were significantly more likely to show evidence of intron length coevolution than matched, randomly sampled genes. Individually, protein complexes involved in the cell cycle showed the strongest evidence of coevolution of intron lengths and clusters of coexpressed genes enriched for cell cycle genes also showed significant evidence of intron length coevolution. Our results reveal a novel aspect of gene coevolution and provide a means to identify genes, protein complexes and biological processes that may be particularly sensitive to changes in transcriptional dynamics. PMID:27550903

  11. SplicingTypesAnno: annotating and quantifying alternative splicing events for RNA-Seq data.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiaoyong; Zuo, Fenghua; Ru, Yuanbin; Guo, Jiqiang; Yan, Xiaoyan; Sablok, Gaurav

    2015-04-01

    Alternative splicing plays a key role in the regulation of the central dogma. Four major types of alternative splicing have been classified as intron retention, exon skipping, alternative 5 splice sites or alternative donor sites, and alternative 3 splice sites or alternative acceptor sites. A few algorithms have been developed to detect splice junctions from RNA-Seq reads. However, there are few tools targeting at the major alternative splicing types at the exon/intron level. This type of analysis may reveal subtle, yet important events of alternative splicing, and thus help gain deeper understanding of the mechanism of alternative splicing. This paper describes a user-friendly R package, extracting, annotating and analyzing alternative splicing types for sequence alignment files from RNA-Seq. SplicingTypesAnno can: (1) provide annotation for major alternative splicing at exon/intron level. By comparing the annotation from GTF/GFF file, it identifies the novel alternative splicing sites; (2) offer a convenient two-level analysis: genome-scale annotation for users with high performance computing environment, and gene-scale annotation for users with personal computers; (3) generate a user-friendly web report and additional BED files for IGV visualization. SplicingTypesAnno is a user-friendly R package for extracting, annotating and analyzing alternative splicing types at exon/intron level for sequence alignment files from RNA-Seq. It is publically available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/splicingtypes/files/ or http://genome.sdau.edu.cn/research/software/SplicingTypesAnno.html. PMID:25720307

  12. Higher frequency of intron loss from the promoter proximally paused genes of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Li; Li, Xue-Nan; Niu, Deng-Ke

    2014-01-01

    Although intron losses have been widely reported, it is not clear whether they are neutral and therefore random or driven by positive selection. Intron transcription and splicing are time-consuming and can delay the expression of its host gene. For genes that must be activated quickly to respond to physiological or stress signals, intron delay may be deleterious. Promoter proximally paused (PPP) genes are a group of rapidly expressed genes. To respond quickly to activation signals, they generally initiate transcription competently but stall after synthesizing a short RNA. In this study, performed in Drosophila melanogaster, the PPP genes were found to have a significantly higher rate of intron loss than control genes. However, further analysis did not find more significant shrinkage of intron size in PPP genes. Referring to previous studies on the rates of transcription and splicing and to the time saved by deletion of the introns from mouse gene Hes7, it is here suggested that transcription delay is comparable to splicing delay only when the intron is 28.5 kb or larger, which is greater in size than 95% of vertebrate introns, 99.5% of Drosophila introns, and all the annotated introns of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis thaliana. Delays in intron splicing are probably a selective force, promoting intron loss from quickly expressed genes. In other genes, it may have been an exaptation during the emergency of developmental clocks.

  13. Intron gain by tandem genomic duplication: a novel case in a potato gene encoding RNA-dependent RNA polymerase

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Ming-Yue; Lan, Xin-Ran

    2016-01-01

    The origin and subsequent accumulation of spliceosomal introns are prominent events in the evolution of eukaryotic gene structure. However, the mechanisms underlying intron gain remain unclear because there are few proven cases of recently gained introns. In an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene, we found that a tandem duplication occurred after the divergence of potato and its wild relatives among other Solanum plants. The duplicated sequence crosses the intron-exon boundary of the first intron and the second exon. A new intron was detected at this duplicated region, and it includes a small previously exonic segment of the upstream copy of the duplicated sequence and the intronic segment of the downstream copy of the duplicated sequence. The donor site of this new intron was directly obtained from the small previously exonic segment. Most of the splicing signals were inherited directly from the parental intron/exon structure, including a putative branch site, the polypyrimidine tract, the 3′ splicing site, two putative exonic splicing enhancers, and the GC contents differed between the intron and exon. In the widely cited model of intron gain by tandem genomic duplication, the duplication of an AGGT-containing exonic segment provides the GT and AG splicing sites for the new intron. Our results illustrate that the tandem duplication model of intron gain should be diverse in terms of obtaining the proper splicing signals. PMID:27547574

  14. Intron gain by tandem genomic duplication: a novel case in a potato gene encoding RNA-dependent RNA polymerase.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ming-Yue; Lan, Xin-Ran; Niu, Deng-Ke

    2016-01-01

    The origin and subsequent accumulation of spliceosomal introns are prominent events in the evolution of eukaryotic gene structure. However, the mechanisms underlying intron gain remain unclear because there are few proven cases of recently gained introns. In an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene, we found that a tandem duplication occurred after the divergence of potato and its wild relatives among other Solanum plants. The duplicated sequence crosses the intron-exon boundary of the first intron and the second exon. A new intron was detected at this duplicated region, and it includes a small previously exonic segment of the upstream copy of the duplicated sequence and the intronic segment of the downstream copy of the duplicated sequence. The donor site of this new intron was directly obtained from the small previously exonic segment. Most of the splicing signals were inherited directly from the parental intron/exon structure, including a putative branch site, the polypyrimidine tract, the 3' splicing site, two putative exonic splicing enhancers, and the GC contents differed between the intron and exon. In the widely cited model of intron gain by tandem genomic duplication, the duplication of an AGGT-containing exonic segment provides the GT and AG splicing sites for the new intron. Our results illustrate that the tandem duplication model of intron gain should be diverse in terms of obtaining the proper splicing signals. PMID:27547574

  15. Evolution of splicing regulatory networks in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    McManus, C. Joel; Coolon, Joseph D.; Eipper-Mains, Jodi; Wittkopp, Patricia J.; Graveley, Brenton R.

    2014-01-01

    The proteome expanding effects of alternative pre-mRNA splicing have had a profound impact on eukaryotic evolution. The events that create this diversity can be placed into four major classes: exon skipping, intron retention, alternative 5′ splice sites, and alternative 3′ splice sites. Although the regulatory mechanisms and evolutionary pressures among alternative splicing classes clearly differ, how these differences affect the evolution of splicing regulation remains poorly characterized. We used RNA-seq to investigate splicing differences in D. simulans, D. sechellia, and three strains of D. melanogaster. Regulation of exon skipping and tandem alternative 3′ splice sites (NAGNAGs) were more divergent than other splicing classes. Splicing regulation was most divergent in frame-preserving events and events in noncoding regions. We further determined the contributions of cis- and trans-acting changes in splicing regulatory networks by comparing allele-specific splicing in F1 interspecific hybrids, because differences in allele-specific splicing reflect changes in cis-regulatory element activity. We find that species-specific differences in intron retention and alternative splice site usage are primarily attributable to changes in cis-regulatory elements (median ∼80% cis), whereas species-specific exon skipping differences are driven by both cis- and trans-regulatory divergence (median ∼50% cis). These results help define the mechanisms and constraints that influence splicing regulatory evolution and show that networks regulating the four major classes of alternative splicing diverge through different genetic mechanisms. We propose a model in which differences in regulatory network architecture among classes of alternative splicing affect the evolution of splicing regulation. PMID:24515119

  16. Tissue- and case-specific retention of intron 40 in mature dystrophin mRNA.

    PubMed

    Nishida, Atsushi; Minegishi, Maki; Takeuchi, Atsuko; Niba, Emma Tabe Eko; Awano, Hiroyuki; Lee, Tomoko; Iijima, Kazumoto; Takeshima, Yasuhiro; Matsuo, Masafumi

    2015-06-01

    The dystrophin gene, which is mutated in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), comprises 79 exons that show multiple alternative splicing events. Intron retention, a type of alternative splicing, may control gene expression. We examined intron retention in dystrophin introns by reverse-transcription PCR from skeletal muscle, focusing on the nine shortest (all <1000 bp), because these are more likely to be retained. Only one, intron 40, was retained in mRNA; sequencing revealed insertion of a complete intron 40 (851 nt) between exons 40 and 41. The intron 40 retention product accounted for 1.2% of the total product but had a premature stop codon at the fifth intronic codon. Intron 40 retention was most strongly observed in the kidney (36.6%) and was not obtained from the fetal liver, lung, spleen or placenta. This indicated that intron retention is a tissue-specific event whose level varies among tissues. In two DMD patients, intron 40 retention was observed in one patient but not in the other. Examination of splicing regulatory factors revealed that intron 40 had the highest guanine-cytosine content of all examined introns in a 30-nt segment at its 3' end. Further studies are needed to clarify the biological role of intron 40-retained dystrophin mRNA.

  17. RNA splicing. The human splicing code reveals new insights into the genetic determinants of disease.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Hui Y; Alipanahi, Babak; Lee, Leo J; Bretschneider, Hannes; Merico, Daniele; Yuen, Ryan K C; Hua, Yimin; Gueroussov, Serge; Najafabadi, Hamed S; Hughes, Timothy R; Morris, Quaid; Barash, Yoseph; Krainer, Adrian R; Jojic, Nebojsa; Scherer, Stephen W; Blencowe, Benjamin J; Frey, Brendan J

    2015-01-01

    To facilitate precision medicine and whole-genome annotation, we developed a machine-learning technique that scores how strongly genetic variants affect RNA splicing, whose alteration contributes to many diseases. Analysis of more than 650,000 intronic and exonic variants revealed widespread patterns of mutation-driven aberrant splicing. Intronic disease mutations that are more than 30 nucleotides from any splice site alter splicing nine times as often as common variants, and missense exonic disease mutations that have the least impact on protein function are five times as likely as others to alter splicing. We detected tens of thousands of disease-causing mutations, including those involved in cancers and spinal muscular atrophy. Examination of intronic and exonic variants found using whole-genome sequencing of individuals with autism revealed misspliced genes with neurodevelopmental phenotypes. Our approach provides evidence for causal variants and should enable new discoveries in precision medicine.

  18. Intron-dependent evolution of chicken glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase gene.

    PubMed

    Stone, E M; Rothblum, K N; Schwartz, R J

    The function of introns in the evolution of genes can be explained in at least two ways: either introns appeared late in evolution and therefore could not have participated in the construction of primordial genes, or RNA splicing and introns existed in the earliest organisms but were lost during the evolution of the modern prokaryotes. The latter alternative allows the possibility of intron participation in the formation of primordial genes before the divergence of modern prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Blake suggested that evidence for intron-facilitated evolution of a gene might be found by comparing the borders of functional protein domains with the placement of introns. We therefore examined glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), a glycolytic enzyme, because it is the first protein for which the following data are available: X-ray crystallographic studies demonstrating structurally independent protein 'domains' which were highly conserved during the divergence of prokaryotes and eukaryotes; and a study of genomic organization which mapped introns in the gene. Sequencing of the chicken GAPDH gene revealed 11 introns. We report here that sites of three of the introns (IV, VI and XI) correspond closely with the borders of the NAD-binding, catalytic and helical tail domains of the enzyme, supporting the hypothesis that introns did have a role in the evolution of primitive genes. In addition, other biochemical and structural data were used to construct a model of the intron-mediated assembly of the GAPDH gene that explains the existence of 10 introns.

  19. Splicing and spliceosome formation of the yeast MATa1 transcript require a minimum distance from the 5' splice site to the internal branch acceptor site.

    PubMed Central

    Köhrer, K; Domdey, H

    1988-01-01

    Small deletions of 6, 7, and 12 nucleotides introduced between the 5' splice site and the internal branch acceptor site of the first intron of the yeast MATa1 gene completely abolish accurate splicing in vitro in these constructs. Splicing only occurs at an alternative 5' splice site which was found in the first exon of the MATa1 gene and which is used both in vivo and in vitro. The splicing defect cannot be cured by expanding the distance from the branch point to the 3' splice site. If the alternative 5' splice site is deleted as well in these constructs, neither spliced products nor spliceosomes are formed. Our findings especially lead to the conclusion that a minimum distance between the 5' splice site and the internal branch acceptor site of the intron is required for the formation of splicing complexes and for accurate splicing. Images PMID:3054807

  20. Isolation and Characterization of Functional Tripartite Group II Introns Using a Tn5-Based Genetic Screen

    PubMed Central

    Ritlop, Christine; Monat, Caroline; Cousineau, Benoit

    2012-01-01

    Background Group II introns are RNA enzymes that splice themselves from pre-mRNA transcripts. Most bacterial group II introns harbour an open reading frame (ORF), coding for a protein with reverse transcriptase, maturase and occasionally DNA binding and endonuclease activities. Some ORF-containing group II introns were shown to be mobile retroelements that invade new DNA target sites. From an evolutionary perspective, group II introns are hypothesized to be the ancestors of the spliceosome-dependent nuclear introns and the small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs – U1, U2, U4, U5 and U6) that are important functional elements of the spliceosome machinery. The ability of some group II introns fragmented in two or three pieces to assemble and undergo splicing in trans supports the theory that spliceosomal snRNAs evolved from portions of group II introns. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a transposon-based genetic screen to explore the ability of the Ll.LtrB group II intron from the Gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis to be fragmented into three pieces in vivo. Trans-splicing tripartite variants of Ll.LtrB were selected using a highly efficient and sensitive trans-splicing/conjugation screen. We report that numerous fragmentation sites located throughout Ll.LtrB support tripartite trans-splicing, showing that this intron is remarkably tolerant to fragmentation. Conclusions/Significance This work unveils the great versatility of group II intron fragments to assemble and accurately trans-splice their flanking exons in vivo. The selected introns represent the first evidence of functional tripartite group II introns in bacteria and provide experimental support for the proposed evolutionary relationship between group II introns and snRNAs. PMID:22876289

  1. Handling tRNA introns, archaeal way and eukaryotic way

    PubMed Central

    Yoshihisa, Tohru

    2014-01-01

    Introns are found in various tRNA genes in all the three kingdoms of life. Especially, archaeal and eukaryotic genomes are good sources of tRNA introns that are removed by proteinaceous splicing machinery. Most intron-containing tRNA genes both in archaea and eukaryotes possess an intron at a so-called canonical position, one nucleotide 3′ to their anticodon, while recent bioinformatics have revealed unusual types of tRNA introns and their derivatives especially in archaeal genomes. Gain and loss of tRNA introns during various stages of evolution are obvious both in archaea and eukaryotes from analyses of comparative genomics. The splicing of tRNA molecules has been studied extensively from biochemical and cell biological points of view, and such analyses of eukaryotic systems provided interesting findings in the past years. Here, I summarize recent progresses in the analyses of tRNA introns and the splicing process, and try to clarify new and old questions to be solved in the next stages. PMID:25071838

  2. The horsetail Equisetum arvense mitochondria share two group I introns with the liverwort Marchantia, acquired a novel group II intron but lost intron-encoded ORFs.

    PubMed

    Bégu, Dominique; Araya, Alejandro

    2009-02-01

    We studied the genomic structure and RNA editing of mitochondrial cox1, cox2, cob and atp9 from the horsetail Equisetum arvense, a representative of an old fern lineage. Editing of cox1, cob and atp9 mRNAs occur only by C-to-U transitions. No changes were found in cox2 transcripts constituting one of the rare examples of unedited mitochondrial mRNA in land plants. From three intervening sequences in cox1, cox1i395 and cox1i624 are group IB introns homologous to the Marchantia polymorpha cox1 introns, and cox1i747 is a group IIA intron different to other introns found in plant mtDNA. The group II intron cox2i373 is very similar to other introns found in cox2 from vascular plants. While cob and atp9 have no introns and display the gene structure found in seed plants, various nucleotide substitutions abolish the only potential ORF, a LAGLIDADG endonuclease present in cox1i395. Thus, E. arvense mitochondria conserve two group I introns from non-vascular plants, probably inherited from a common ancestor with liverworts. Analogous to seed plants, E. arvense has no potential mitochondrial splicing factors encoded in these introns. This is the first report concerning the presence of vertically inherited group I introns in vascular plant mitochondria.

  3. The enduring mystery of intron-mediated enhancement.

    PubMed

    Gallegos, Jenna E; Rose, Alan B

    2015-08-01

    Within two years of their discovery in 1977, introns were found to have a positive effect on gene expression. Numerous examples of stimulatory introns have been described since then in very diverse organisms, including plants. In some cases, the mechanism through which the intron affects expression is readily understood. However, many introns that affect expression increase mRNA accumulation through an unknown mechanism, referred to as intron-mediated enhancement (IME). Despite several decades of research into IME, and the clear benefits of using introns to increase transgene expression, little progress has been made in understanding the mechanism of IME. Several fundamental questions regarding the role of transcription and splicing, the sequences responsible for IME, the involvement of other factors, and the relationship between introns and promoters remain unanswered. The more we learn about the properties of stimulating introns, the clearer it becomes that the effects of introns are unfamiliar and difficult to reconcile with conventional views of how transcription is controlled. We hypothesize that introns increase transcript initiation upstream of themselves by creating a localized region of accessible chromatin. Introns might represent a novel kind of downstream regulatory element for genes transcribed by RNA polymerase II.

  4. Lateral transfer of introns in the cryptophyte plastid genome

    PubMed Central

    Archibald, John M.

    2008-01-01

    Cryptophytes are unicellular eukaryotic algae that acquired photosynthesis secondarily through the uptake and retention of a red-algal endosymbiont. The plastid genome of the cryptophyte Rhodomonas salina CCMP1319 was recently sequenced and found to contain a genetic element similar to a group II intron. Here, we explore the distribution, structure and function of group II introns in the plastid genomes of distantly and closely related cryptophytes. The predicted secondary structures of six introns contained in three different genes were examined and found to be generally similar to group II introns but unusually large in size (including the largest known noncoding intron). Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the cryptophyte group II introns were acquired via lateral gene transfer (LGT) from a euglenid-like species. Unexpectedly, the six introns occupy five distinct genomic locations, suggesting multiple LGT events or recent transposition (or both). Combined with structural considerations, RT–PCR experiments suggest that the transferred introns are degenerate ‘twintrons’ (i.e. nested group II/group III introns) in which the internal intron has lost its splicing capability, resulting in an amalgamation with the outer intron. PMID:18397952

  5. Extensive in silico analysis of NF1 splicing defects uncovers determinants for splicing outcome upon 5' splice-site disruption.

    PubMed

    Wimmer, K; Roca, X; Beiglböck, H; Callens, T; Etzler, J; Rao, A R; Krainer, A R; Fonatsch, C; Messiaen, L

    2007-06-01

    We describe 94 pathogenic NF1 gene alterations in a cohort of 97 Austrian neurofibromatosis type 1 patients meeting the NIH criteria. All mutations were fully characterized at the genomic and mRNA levels. Over half of the patients carried novel mutations, and only a quarter carried recurrent minor-lesion mutations at 16 mutational warm spots. The remaining patients carried NF1 microdeletions (7%) and rare recurring mutations. Thirty-six of the mutations (38%) altered pre-mRNA splicing, and fall into five groups: exon skipping resulting from mutations at authentic splice sites (type I), cryptic exon inclusion caused by deep intronic mutations (type II), creation of de novo splice sites causing loss of exonic sequences (type III), activation of cryptic splice sites upon authentic splice-site disruption (type IV), and exonic sequence alterations causing exon skipping (type V). Extensive in silico analyses of 37 NF1 exons and surrounding intronic sequences suggested that the availability of a cryptic splice site combined with a strong natural upstream 3' splice site (3'ss)is the main determinant of cryptic splice-site activation upon 5' splice-site disruption. Furthermore, the exonic sequences downstream of exonic cryptic 5' splice sites (5'ss) resemble intronic more than exonic sequences with respect to exonic splicing enhancer and silencer density, helping to distinguish between exonic cryptic and pseudo 5'ss. This study provides valuable predictors for the splicing pathway used upon 5'ss mutation, and underscores the importance of using RNA-based techniques, together with methods to identify microdeletions and intragenic copy-number changes, for effective and reliable NF1 mutation detection.

  6. The genetics of splicing in neuroblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Justin; Hackett, Christopher S.; Zhang, Shile; Song, Young K.; Bell, Robert J.A.; Molinaro, Annette M.; Quigley, David A.; Balmain, Allan; Song, Jun S.; Costello, Joseph F.; Gustafson, W. Clay; Dyke, Terry Van; Kwok, Pui-Yan; Khan, Javed; Weiss, William A.

    2015-01-01

    Regulation of mRNA splicing, a critical and tightly regulated cellular function, underlies the majority of proteomic diversity, and is frequently disrupted in disease. Using an integrative genomics approach, we combined both genome and exon level transcriptome data in two somatic tissues (cerebella and peripheral ganglia) from a transgenic mouse model of neuroblastoma, a tumor that arises from peripheral neural crest. Here we describe splicing quantitative trait loci (sQTL) associated with differential splicing across the genome that we use to identify genes with previously unknown functions within the splicing pathway and to define de novo intronic splicing motifs that influence splicing from hundreds of bases away. Our results show that these splicing motifs represent sites for functional recurrent mutations and highlight novel candidate genes in human cancers, including childhood neuroblastoma. PMID:25637275

  7. Host Factors Influencing the Retrohoming Pathway of Group II Intron RmInt1, Which Has an Intron-Encoded Protein Naturally Devoid of Endonuclease Activity.

    PubMed

    Nisa-Martínez, Rafael; Molina-Sánchez, María Dolores; Toro, Nicolás

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial group II introns are self-splicing catalytic RNAs and mobile retroelements that have an open reading frame encoding an intron-encoded protein (IEP) with reverse transcriptase (RT) and RNA splicing or maturase activity. Some IEPs carry a DNA endonuclease (En) domain, which is required to cleave the bottom strand downstream from the intron-insertion site for target DNA-primed reverse transcription (TPRT) of the inserted intron RNA. Host factors complete the insertion of the intron. By contrast, the major retrohoming pathway of introns with IEPs naturally lacking endonuclease activity, like the Sinorhizobium meliloti intron RmInt1, is thought to involve insertion of the intron RNA into the template for lagging strand DNA synthesis ahead of the replication fork, with possible use of the nascent strand to prime reverse transcription of the intron RNA. The host factors influencing the retrohoming pathway of such introns have not yet been described. Here, we identify key candidates likely to be involved in early and late steps of RmInt1 retrohoming. Some of these host factors are common to En+ group II intron retrohoming, but some have different functions. Our results also suggest that the retrohoming process of RmInt1 may be less dependent on the intracellular free Mg2+ concentration than those of other group II introns. PMID:27588750

  8. Host Factors Influencing the Retrohoming Pathway of Group II Intron RmInt1, Which Has an Intron-Encoded Protein Naturally Devoid of Endonuclease Activity

    PubMed Central

    Nisa-Martínez, Rafael; Molina-Sánchez, María Dolores; Toro, Nicolás

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial group II introns are self-splicing catalytic RNAs and mobile retroelements that have an open reading frame encoding an intron-encoded protein (IEP) with reverse transcriptase (RT) and RNA splicing or maturase activity. Some IEPs carry a DNA endonuclease (En) domain, which is required to cleave the bottom strand downstream from the intron-insertion site for target DNA-primed reverse transcription (TPRT) of the inserted intron RNA. Host factors complete the insertion of the intron. By contrast, the major retrohoming pathway of introns with IEPs naturally lacking endonuclease activity, like the Sinorhizobium meliloti intron RmInt1, is thought to involve insertion of the intron RNA into the template for lagging strand DNA synthesis ahead of the replication fork, with possible use of the nascent strand to prime reverse transcription of the intron RNA. The host factors influencing the retrohoming pathway of such introns have not yet been described. Here, we identify key candidates likely to be involved in early and late steps of RmInt1 retrohoming. Some of these host factors are common to En+ group II intron retrohoming, but some have different functions. Our results also suggest that the retrohoming process of RmInt1 may be less dependent on the intracellular free Mg2+ concentration than those of other group II introns. PMID:27588750

  9. Diverse alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing landscape of circular RNAs.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Ou; Dong, Rui; Zhang, Yang; Zhang, Jia-Lin; Luo, Zheng; Zhang, Jun; Chen, Ling-Ling; Yang, Li

    2016-09-01

    Circular RNAs (circRNAs) derived from back-spliced exons have been widely identified as being co-expressed with their linear counterparts. A single gene locus can produce multiple circRNAs through alternative back-splice site selection and/or alternative splice site selection; however, a detailed map of alternative back-splicing/splicing in circRNAs is lacking. Here, with the upgraded CIRCexplorer2 pipeline, we systematically annotated different types of alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing events in circRNAs from various cell lines. Compared with their linear cognate RNAs, circRNAs exhibited distinct patterns of alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing. Alternative back-splice site selection was correlated with the competition of putative RNA pairs across introns that bracket alternative back-splice sites. In addition, all four basic types of alternative splicing that have been identified in the (linear) mRNA process were found within circRNAs, and many exons were predominantly spliced in circRNAs. Unexpectedly, thousands of previously unannotated exons were detected in circRNAs from the examined cell lines. Although these novel exons had similar splice site strength, they were much less conserved than known exons in sequences. Finally, both alternative back-splicing and circRNA-predominant alternative splicing were highly diverse among the examined cell lines. All of the identified alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing in circRNAs are available in the CIRCpedia database (http://www.picb.ac.cn/rnomics/circpedia). Collectively, the annotation of alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing in circRNAs provides a valuable resource for depicting the complexity of circRNA biogenesis and for studying the potential functions of circRNAs in different cells. PMID:27365365

  10. Diverse alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing landscape of circular RNAs

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-Ou; Dong, Rui; Zhang, Yang; Zhang, Jia-Lin; Luo, Zheng; Zhang, Jun; Chen, Ling-Ling; Yang, Li

    2016-01-01

    Circular RNAs (circRNAs) derived from back-spliced exons have been widely identified as being co-expressed with their linear counterparts. A single gene locus can produce multiple circRNAs through alternative back-splice site selection and/or alternative splice site selection; however, a detailed map of alternative back-splicing/splicing in circRNAs is lacking. Here, with the upgraded CIRCexplorer2 pipeline, we systematically annotated different types of alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing events in circRNAs from various cell lines. Compared with their linear cognate RNAs, circRNAs exhibited distinct patterns of alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing. Alternative back-splice site selection was correlated with the competition of putative RNA pairs across introns that bracket alternative back-splice sites. In addition, all four basic types of alternative splicing that have been identified in the (linear) mRNA process were found within circRNAs, and many exons were predominantly spliced in circRNAs. Unexpectedly, thousands of previously unannotated exons were detected in circRNAs from the examined cell lines. Although these novel exons had similar splice site strength, they were much less conserved than known exons in sequences. Finally, both alternative back-splicing and circRNA-predominant alternative splicing were highly diverse among the examined cell lines. All of the identified alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing in circRNAs are available in the CIRCpedia database (http://www.picb.ac.cn/rnomics/circpedia). Collectively, the annotation of alternative back-splicing and alternative splicing in circRNAs provides a valuable resource for depicting the complexity of circRNA biogenesis and for studying the potential functions of circRNAs in different cells. PMID:27365365

  11. Distribution of conventional and nonconventional introns in tubulin (α and β) genes of euglenids.

    PubMed

    Milanowski, Rafał; Karnkowska, Anna; Ishikawa, Takao; Zakryś, Bozena

    2014-03-01

    The nuclear genomes of euglenids contain three types of introns: conventional spliceosomal introns, nonconventional introns for which a splicing mechanism is unknown (variable noncanonical borders, RNA secondary structure bringing together intron ends), and so-called intermediate introns, which combine features of conventional and nonconventional introns. Analysis of two genes, tubA and tubB, from 20 species of euglenids reveals contrasting distribution patterns of conventional and nonconventional introns--positions of conventional introns are conserved, whereas those of the nonconventional ones are unique to individual species or small groups of closely related taxa. Moreover, in the group of phototrophic euglenids, 11 events of conventional intron loss versus 15 events of nonconventional intron gain were identified. A comparison of all nonconventional intron sequences highlighted the most conserved elements in their sequence and secondary structure. Our results led us to put forward two hypotheses. 1) The first one posits that mutational changes in intron sequence could lead to a change in their excision mechanism--intermediate introns would then be a transitional form between the conventional and nonconventional introns. 2) The second hypothesis concerns the origin of nonconventional introns--because of the presence of inverted repeats near their ends, insertion of MITE-like transposon elements is proposed as a possible source of new introns.

  12. Mobile Bacterial Group II Introns at the Crux of Eukaryotic Evolution.

    PubMed

    Lambowitz, Alan M; Belfort, Marlene

    2015-02-01

    This review focuses on recent developments in our understanding of group II intron function, the relationships of these introns to retrotransposons and spliceosomes, and how their common features have informed thinking about bacterial group II introns as key elements in eukaryotic evolution. Reverse transcriptase-mediated and host factor-aided intron retrohoming pathways are considered along with retrotransposition mechanisms to novel sites in bacteria, where group II introns are thought to have originated. DNA target recognition and movement by target-primed reverse transcription infer an evolutionary relationship among group II introns, non-LTR retrotransposons, such as LINE elements, and telomerase. Additionally, group II introns are almost certainly the progenitors of spliceosomal introns. Their profound similarities include splicing chemistry extending to RNA catalysis, reaction stereochemistry, and the position of two divalent metals that perform catalysis at the RNA active site. There are also sequence and structural similarities between group II introns and the spliceosome's small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) and between a highly conserved core spliceosomal protein Prp8 and a group II intron-like reverse transcriptase. It has been proposed that group II introns entered eukaryotes during bacterial endosymbiosis or bacterial-archaeal fusion, proliferated within the nuclear genome, necessitating evolution of the nuclear envelope, and fragmented giving rise to spliceosomal introns. Thus, these bacterial self-splicing mobile elements have fundamentally impacted the composition of extant eukaryotic genomes, including the human genome, most of which is derived from close relatives of mobile group II introns.

  13. Mobile Bacterial Group II Introns at the Crux of Eukaryotic Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Lambowitz, Alan M.; Belfort, Marlene

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY This review focuses on recent developments in our understanding of group II intron function, the relationships of these introns to retrotransposons and spliceosomes, and how their common features have informed thinking about bacterial group II introns as key elements in eukaryotic evolution. Reverse transcriptase-mediated and host factor-aided intron retrohoming pathways are considered along with retrotransposition mechanisms to novel sites in bacteria, where group II introns are thought to have originated. DNA target recognition and movement by target-primed reverse transcription infer an evolutionary relationship among group II introns, non-LTR retrotransposons, such as LINE elements, and telomerase. Additionally, group II introns are almost certainly the progenitors of spliceosomal introns. Their profound similarities include splicing chemistry extending to RNA catalysis, reaction stereochemistry, and the position of two divalent metals that perform catalysis at the RNA active site. There are also sequence and structural similarities between group II introns and the spliceosome’s small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) and between a highly conserved core spliceosomal protein Prp8 and a group II intron-like reverse transcriptase. It has been proposed that group II introns entered eukaryotes during bacterial endosymbiosis or bacterial-archaeal fusion, proliferated within the nuclear genome, necessitating evolution of the nuclear envelope, and fragmented giving rise to spliceosomal introns. Thus, these bacterial self-splicing mobile elements have fundamentally impacted the composition of extant eukaryotic genomes, including the human genome, most of which is derived from close relatives of mobile group II introns. PMID:25878921

  14. A broadscale phylogenetic analysis of group II intron RNAs and intron-encoded reverse transcriptases.

    PubMed

    Simon, Dawn M; Kelchner, Scot A; Zimmerly, Steven

    2009-12-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing RNAs that are frequently assumed to be the ancestors of spliceosomal introns. They are widely distributed in bacteria and are also found in organelles of plants, fungi, and protists. In this study, we present a broadscale phylogenetic analysis of group II introns using sequence data from both the conserved RNA structure and the intron-encoded reverse transcriptase (RT). Two similar phylogenies are estimated for the RT open reading frame (ORF), based on either amino acid or nucleotide sequence, whereas one phylogeny is produced for the RNA. In making these estimates, we confronted nearly all the classic challenges to phylogenetic inference, including positional saturation, base composition heterogeneity, short internodes with low support, and sensitivity to taxon sampling. Although the major lineages are well-defined, robust resolution of topology is not possible between these lineages. The approximately unbiased (AU) and Shimodaira-Hasegawa topology tests indicated that the RT ORF and RNA ribozyme data sets are in significant conflict under a variety of models, revealing the possibility of imperfect coevolution between group II introns and their intron-encoded ORFs. The high level of sequence divergence, large timescale, and limited number of alignable characters in our study are representative of many RTs and group I introns, and our results suggest that phylogenetic analyses of any of these sequences could suffer from the same sources of error and instability identified in this study.

  15. Nuclearly encoded splicing factors implicated in RNA splicing in higher plant organelles.

    PubMed

    de Longevialle, Andéol Falcon; Small, Ian D; Lurin, Claire

    2010-07-01

    Plant organelles arose from two independent endosymbiosis events. Throughout evolutionary history, tight control of chloroplasts and mitochondria has been gained by the nucleus, which regulates most steps of organelle genome expression and metabolism. In particular, RNA maturation, including RNA splicing, is highly dependent on nuclearly encoded splicing factors. Most introns in organelles are group II introns, whose catalytic mechanism closely resembles that of the nuclear spliceosome. Plant group II introns have lost the ability to self-splice in vivo and require nuclearly encoded proteins as cofactors. Since the first splicing factor was identified in chloroplasts more than 10 years ago, many other proteins have been shown to be involved in splicing of one or more introns in chloroplasts or mitochondria. These new proteins belong to a variety of different families of RNA binding proteins and provide new insights into ribonucleo-protein complexes and RNA splicing machineries in organelles. In this review, we describe how splicing factors, encoded by the nucleus and targeted to the organelles, take part in post-transcriptional steps in higher plant organelle gene expression. We go on to discuss the potential for these factors to regulate organelle gene expression.

  16. Selection for reduced translation costs at the intronic 5′ end in fungi

    PubMed Central

    Zafrir, Zohar; Zur, Hadas; Tuller, Tamir

    2016-01-01

    It is generally believed that introns are not translated; therefore, the potential intronic features that may be related to the translation step (occurring after splicing) have yet to be thoroughly studied. Here, focusing on four fungi, we performed for the first time a comprehensive study aimed at characterizing how translation efficiency is encoded in introns and affects their evolution. By analysing their intronome we provide evidence of selection for STOP codons close to the intronic 5′ end, and show that the beginning of introns are selected for significantly high translation, presumably to reduce translation and metabolic costs in cases of non-spliced introns. Ribosomal profiling data analysis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae supports the conjecture that in this organism intron retention frequently occurs, introns are partially translated, and their translation efficiency affects organismal fitness. We show that the reported results are more significant in highly translated and highly spliced genes, but are not associated only with genes with a specific function. We also discuss the potential relation of the reported signals to efficient nonsense-mediated decay due to splicing errors. These new discoveries are supported by population-genetics considerations. In addition, they are contributory steps towards a broader understanding of intron evolution and the effect of silent mutations on gene expression and organismal fitness. PMID:27260512

  17. Processing of multiple-intron-containing pretRNA

    PubMed Central

    Tocchini-Valentini, Giuseppe D.; Fruscoloni, Paolo; Tocchini-Valentini, Glauco P.

    2009-01-01

    Computational studies predict the simultaneous presence of two and even three introns in certain crenarchaeal tRNA genes. In these multiple-intron-containing pretRNAs, the introns are nested one inside the other and the pretRNA folds into a conformation that is anticipated to allow splicing of the last intron only after splicing the others. A set of operations, each consisting of two cleavages and one ligation, therefore needs to be carried out sequentially. PretRNAs containing multiple introns are predicted to fold, forming bulge–helix–bulge (BHB) and BHB-like motifs. The tRNA splicing endonuclease should recognize these motifs. To test this hypothetical scenario, we used the homotetrameric enzyme from Methanocaldococcus jannaschii (METJA) and the heterotetrameric enzyme from Sulfolobus solfataricus (SULSO). On the basis of our previous studies, the METJA enzyme should cleave only the BHB structure motif, while the SULSO enzyme can in addition cleave variant substrate structures, like the bulge-helix-loop (BHL). We show here that the processing of multiple-intron-containing pretRNA can be observed in vitro. PMID:19910528

  18. Autogenous Regulation of Splicing of the Transcript of a Yeast Ribosomal Protein Gene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dabeva, Mariana D.; Post-Beittenmiller, Martha A.; Warner, Jonathan R.

    1986-08-01

    The gene for a yeast ribosomal protein, RPL32, contains a single intron. The product of this gene appears to participate in feedback control of the splicing of the intron from the transcript. This autogenous regulation of splicing provides a striking analogy to the autogenous regulation of translation of ribosomal proteins in Escherichia coli.

  19. Position-dependent splicing activation and repression by SR and hnRNP proteins rely on common mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Erkelenz, Steffen; Mueller, William F.; Evans, Melanie S.; Busch, Anke; Schöneweis, Katrin; Hertel, Klemens J.; Schaal, Heiner

    2013-01-01

    Alternative splicing is regulated by splicing factors that modulate splice site selection. In some cases, however, splicing factors show antagonistic activities by either activating or repressing splicing. Here, we show that these opposing outcomes are based on their binding location relative to regulated 5′ splice sites. SR proteins enhance splicing only when they are recruited to the exon. However, they interfere with splicing by simply relocating them to the opposite intronic side of the splice site. hnRNP splicing factors display analogous opposing activities, but in a reversed position dependence. Activation by SR or hnRNP proteins increases splice site recognition at the earliest steps of exon definition, whereas splicing repression promotes the assembly of nonproductive complexes that arrest spliceosome assembly prior to splice site pairing. Thus, SR and hnRNP splicing factors exploit similar mechanisms to positively or negatively influence splice site selection. PMID:23175589

  20. Horizontal transfer and gene conversion as an important driving force in shaping the landscape of mitochondrial introns.

    PubMed

    Wu, Baojun; Hao, Weilong

    2014-04-16

    Group I introns are highly dynamic and mobile, featuring extensive presence-absence variation and widespread horizontal transfer. Group I introns can invade intron-lacking alleles via intron homing powered by their own encoded homing endonuclease gene (HEG) after horizontal transfer or via reverse splicing through an RNA intermediate. After successful invasion, the intron and HEG are subject to degeneration and sequential loss. It remains unclear whether these mechanisms can fully address the high dynamics and mobility of group I introns. Here, we found that HEGs undergo a fast gain-and-loss turnover comparable with introns in the yeast mitochondrial 21S-rRNA gene, which is unexpected, as the intron and HEG are generally believed to move together as a unit. We further observed extensively mosaic sequences in both the introns and HEGs, and evidence of gene conversion between HEG-containing and HEG-lacking introns. Our findings suggest horizontal transfer and gene conversion can accelerate HEG/intron degeneration and loss, or rescue and propagate HEG/introns, and ultimately result in high HEG/intron turnover rate. Given that up to 25% of the yeast mitochondrial genome is composed of introns and most mitochondrial introns are group I introns, horizontal transfer and gene conversion could have served as an important mechanism in introducing mitochondrial intron diversity, promoting intron mobility and consequently shaping mitochondrial genome architecture.

  1. Introns in the Cytolethal Distending Toxin Gene of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Kai Soo; Ong, Grace; Song, Keang Peng

    2005-01-01

    In eukaryotic cells, genes are interrupted by intervening sequences called introns. Introns are transcribed as part of a precursor RNA that is subsequently removed by splicing, giving rise to mature mRNA. However, introns are rarely found in bacteria. Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is a periodontal pathogen implicated in aggressive forms of periodontal disease. This organism has been shown to produce cytolethal distending toxin (CDT), which causes sensitive eukaryotic cells to become irreversibly blocked at the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. In this study, we report the presence of introns within the cdt gene of A. actinomycetemcomitans. By use of reverse transcription-PCR, cdt transcripts of 2.123, 1.572, and 0.882 kb (RTA1, RTA2, and RTA3, respectively) were detected. In contrast, a single 2.123-kb amplicon was obtained by PCR with the genomic DNA. Similar results were obtained when a plasmid carrying cdt was cloned into Escherichia coli. Sequence analysis of RTA1, RTA2, and RTA3 revealed that RTA1 had undergone splicing, giving rise to RTA2 and RTA3. Two exon-intron boundaries, or splice sites, were identified at positions 863 to 868 and 1553 to 1558 of RTA1. Site-directed and deletion mutation studies of the splice site sequence indicated that sequence conservation was important in order for accurate splicing to occur. The catalytic region of the cdt RNA was located within the cdtC gene. This 0.56-kb RNA behaved independently as a catalytically active RNA molecule (a ribozyme) in vitro, capable of splicing heterologous RNA in both cis and trans configurations. PMID:15629928

  2. Intron-Specific Neuropeptide Probes

    PubMed Central

    Gainer, Harold; Ponzio, Todd A.; Yue, Chunmei; Kawasaki, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    Measurements of changes in pre-mRNA levels by intron-specific probes are generally accepted as more closely reflecting changes in gene transcription rates than are measurements of mRNA levels by exonic probes. This is, in part, because the pre-mRNAs, which include the primary transcript and various splicing intermediates located in the nucleus (also referred to as heteronuclear RNAs, or hnRNAs), are processed rapidly (with half-lives <60 min) as compared to neuropeptide mRNAs, which are then transferred to the cytoplasm and which have much longer half-lives (often over days). In this chapter, we describe the use of exon-and intron-specific probes to evaluate oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (VP) neuropeptide gene expression by analyses of their mRNAs and hnRNAs by quantitative in situ hybridization (qISH) and also by using specific PCR primers in quantitative, real-time PCR (qPCR) procedures. PMID:21922402

  3. The allele-specific suppressor sup-39 alters use of cryptic splice sites in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Roller, A B; Hoffman, D C; Zahler, A M

    2000-01-01

    Mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans sup-39 gene cause allele-specific suppression of the uncoordination defect of unc-73(e936). e936 is a point mutation that changes the canonical G at the 5' end of intron 16 to a U. This mutation activates three splice donors, two of which define introns beginning with the canonical GU. Use of these two cryptic splice sites causes loss of reading frame; interestingly these messages are not substrates for nonsense-mediated decay. The third splice donor, used in 10% of steady-state e936 messages, is the mutated splice donor at the wild-type position, which defines an intron beginning with UU. In the presence of a sup-39 mutation, these same three splice donors are used, but the ratio of messages produced by splicing at these sites changes. The percentage of unc-73(e936) messages containing the wild-type splice junction is increased to 33% with a corresponding increase in the level of UNC-73 protein. This sup-39-induced change was also observed when the e936 mutant intron region was inserted into a heterologous splicing reporter construct transfected into worms. Experiments with splicing reporter constructs showed that the degree of 5' splice site match to the splicing consensus sequence can strongly influence cryptic splice site choice. We propose that mutant SUP-39 is a new type of informational suppressor that alters the use of weak splice donors. PMID:10757761

  4. Group II introns: structure and catalytic versatility of large natural ribozymes.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, Karola; Schmidt, Udo

    2003-01-01

    Group II introns are large, natural catalytic RNAs or ribozymes that were discovered in organelles of certain protists, fungi, algae, and plants and more recently also in prokaryotic organisms. In vitro, some members were found to self-splice from their pre-RNAs by two consecutive transesterification reactions joining the flanking exons and releasing the intron in a typical lariat form. Apart from self-splicing, a variety of other in vitro activities have been detected for group II introns demonstrating their amazing catalytic versatility. Group II introns fold into a conserved secondary structure consisting of six domains radiating from a central wheel that brings the 5' and 3' splice junction into close proximity. Domain 1 is the largest domain that is assumed to deliver the molecular scaffold assembling the intron in its active structure, while domain 5 is the phylogenetically most conserved part that represents the active site of the ribozyme. In vivo, the splicing reaction of many, if not all group II introns is assisted by proteins either encoded by the introns themselves (maturases), or encoded by other genes of the host organisms. The host proteins known to date have additional cellular functions and seem to have been adapted for splicing during evolution. Some of the protein-encoding group II introns were also shown to act as mobile genetic elements. They can integrate efficiently into intronless alleles of the same gene (homing) and at much lower frequencies into ectopic sites (transposition). The mobility process depends on intron encoded protein functions (endonuclease and reverse transcriptase) and on the intron RNA. This review provides a comprehensive survey of the structure/function relationships and the reaction potential of group II introns, the structurally most complicated, but also most fascinating ribozymes when looking at their catalytic repertoire in vitro and in vivo.

  5. Invasion of protein coding genes by green algal ribosomal group I introns.

    PubMed

    McManus, Hilary A; Lewis, Louise A; Fučíková, Karolina; Haugen, Peik

    2012-01-01

    The spread of group I introns depends on their association with intron-encoded homing endonucleases. Introns that encode functional homing endonuclease genes (HEGs) are highly invasive, whereas introns that only encode the group I ribozyme responsible for self-splicing are generally stably inherited (i.e., vertical inheritance). A number of recent case studies have provided new knowledge on the evolution of group I introns, however, there are still large gaps in understanding of their distribution on the tree of life, and how they have spread into new hosts and genic sites. During a larger phylogenetic survey of chlorophyceaen green algae, we found that 23 isolates contain at least one group I intron in the rbcL chloroplast gene. Structural analyses show that the introns belong to one of two intron lineages, group IA2 intron-HEG (GIY-YIG family) elements inserted after position 462 in the rbcL gene, and group IA1 introns inserted after position 699. The latter intron type sometimes encodes HNH homing endonucleases. The distribution of introns was analyzed on an exon phylogeny and patterns were recovered that are consistent with vertical inheritance and possible horizontal transfer. The rbcL 462 introns are thus far reported only within the Volvocales, Hydrodictyaceae and Bracteacoccus, and closely related isolates of algae differ in the presence of rbcL introns. Phylogenetic analysis of the intron conserved regions indicates that the rbcL699 and rbcL462 introns have distinct evolutionary origins. The rbcL699 introns were likely derived from ribosomal RNA L2449 introns, whereas the rbcL462 introns form a close relationship with psbA introns.

  6. The Function of Introns

    PubMed Central

    Chorev, Michal; Carmel, Liran

    2012-01-01

    The intron–exon architecture of many eukaryotic genes raises the intriguing question of whether this unique organization serves any function, or is it simply a result of the spread of functionless introns in eukaryotic genomes. In this review, we show that introns in contemporary species fulfill a broad spectrum of functions, and are involved in virtually every step of mRNA processing. We propose that this great diversity of intronic functions supports the notion that introns were indeed selfish elements in early eukaryotes, but then independently gained numerous functions in different eukaryotic lineages. We suggest a novel criterion of evolutionary conservation, dubbed intron positional conservation, which can identify functional introns. PMID:22518112

  7. Functional comparison of three transformer gene introns regulating conditional female lethality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The trasformer gene plays a critical role in the sex determination pathways of many insects. We cloned two transformer gene introns from Anastrepha suspensa, the Caribbean fruit fly. These introns have sequences that putatively have a role in sex-specific splicing patterns that affect sex determinat...

  8. Genetic interaction between U6 snRNA and the first intron nucleotide in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Luukkonen, B G; Séraphin, B

    1998-01-01

    Nuclear pre-mRNA splicing necessitates specific recognition of the pre-mRNA splice sites. It is known that 5' splice site selection requires base pairing of U6 snRNA with intron positions 4-6. However, no factor recognizing the highly conserved 5' splice site GU has yet been identified. We have tested if the known U6 snRNA-pre-mRNA interaction could be extended to include the first intron nucleotides and the conserved 50GAG52 sequence of U6 snRNA. We observe that some combinations of 5' splice site and U6 snRNA mutations produce a specific synthetic block to the first splicing step. In addition, the U6-G52U allele can switch between two competing 5' splice sites harboring different nucleotides following the cleavage site. These results indicate that U6 snRNA position 52 interacts with the first nucleotide of the intron before 5' splice site cleavage. Some combinations of U6 snRNA and pre-mRNA mutations also blocked the second splicing step, suggesting a role for the corresponding nucleotides in a proofreading step before exon ligation. From studies in diverse organisms, various functions have been ascribed to the conserved U6 snRNA 47ACAGAG52 sequence. Our results suggest that these discrepancies might reflect variations between different experimental systems and point to an important conserved role of this sequence in the splicing reaction. PMID:9570316

  9. Systematic analysis of intron size and abundance parameters in diverse lineages.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jiayan; Xiao, Jingfa; Wang, Lingping; Zhong, Jun; Yin, Hongyan; Wu, Shuangxiu; Zhang, Zhang; Yu, Jun

    2013-10-01

    All eukaryotic genomes have genes with introns in variable sizes. As far as spliceosomal introns are concerned, there are at least three basic parameters to stratify introns across diverse eukaryotic taxa: size, number, and sequence context. The number parameter is highly variable in lower eukaryotes, especially among protozoan and fungal species, which ranges from less than 4% to 78% of the genes. Over greater evolutionary time scales, the number parameter undoubtedly increases as observed in higher plants and higher vertebrates, reaching greater than 12.5 exons per gene in average among mammalian genomes. The size parameter is more complex, where multiple modes appear at work. Aside from intronless genes, there are three other types of intron-containing genes: half-sized, minimal, and size-expandable introns. The half-sized introns have only been found in a limited number of genomes among protozoan and fungal lineages and the other two types are prevalent in all animal and plant genomes. Among the size-expandable introns, the sizes of plant introns are expansion-limited in that the large introns exceeding 1000 bp are fewer in numbers and transposon-free as compared to the large introns among animals, where the larger introns are filled with transposable elements and appear expansion-flexible, reaching several kilobasepairs (kbp) and even thousands of kbp in size. Most of the intron parameters can be studied as signatures of the specific splicing machineries of different eukaryotic lineages and are highly relevant to the regulation of gene expression and functionality. In particular, the transcription-splicing-export coupling of eukaryotic intron dispensing leads to a working hypothesis that all intron parameters are evolved to be efficient and function-related in processing and routing the spliced transcripts.

  10. Intron retention-dependent gene regulation in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Hilarion, Sara; Paulet, Damien; Lee, Kyung-Tae; Hon, Chung-Chau; Lechat, Pierre; Mogensen, Estelle; Moyrand, Frédérique; Proux, Caroline; Barboux, Rony; Bussotti, Giovanni; Hwang, Jungwook; Coppée, Jean-Yves; Bahn, Yong-Sun; Janbon, Guilhem

    2016-01-01

    The biological impact of alternative splicing is poorly understood in fungi, although recent studies have shown that these microorganisms are usually intron-rich. In this study, we re-annotated the genome of C. neoformans var. neoformans using RNA-Seq data. Comparison with C. neoformans var. grubii revealed that more than 99% of ORF-introns are in the same exact position in the two varieties whereas UTR-introns are much less evolutionary conserved. We also confirmed that alternative splicing is very common in C. neoformans, affecting nearly all expressed genes. We also observed specific regulation of alternative splicing by environmental cues in this yeast. However, alternative splicing does not appear to be an efficient method to diversify the C. neoformans proteome. Instead, our data suggest the existence of an intron retention-dependent mechanism of gene expression regulation that is not dependent on NMD. This regulatory process represents an additional layer of gene expression regulation in fungi and provides a mechanism to tune gene expression levels in response to any environmental modification. PMID:27577684

  11. Intron retention-dependent gene regulation in Cryptococcus neoformans

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Hilarion, Sara; Paulet, Damien; Lee, Kyung-Tae; Hon, Chung-Chau; Lechat, Pierre; Mogensen, Estelle; Moyrand, Frédérique; Proux, Caroline; Barboux, Rony; Bussotti, Giovanni; Hwang, Jungwook; Coppée, Jean-Yves; Bahn, Yong-Sun; Janbon, Guilhem

    2016-01-01

    The biological impact of alternative splicing is poorly understood in fungi, although recent studies have shown that these microorganisms are usually intron-rich. In this study, we re-annotated the genome of C. neoformans var. neoformans using RNA-Seq data. Comparison with C. neoformans var. grubii revealed that more than 99% of ORF-introns are in the same exact position in the two varieties whereas UTR-introns are much less evolutionary conserved. We also confirmed that alternative splicing is very common in C. neoformans, affecting nearly all expressed genes. We also observed specific regulation of alternative splicing by environmental cues in this yeast. However, alternative splicing does not appear to be an efficient method to diversify the C. neoformans proteome. Instead, our data suggest the existence of an intron retention-dependent mechanism of gene expression regulation that is not dependent on NMD. This regulatory process represents an additional layer of gene expression regulation in fungi and provides a mechanism to tune gene expression levels in response to any environmental modification. PMID:27577684

  12. Testing the IMEter on rice introns and other aspects of intron-mediated enhancement of gene expression.

    PubMed

    Morello, Laura; Gianì, Silvia; Troina, Filippo; Breviario, Diego

    2011-01-01

    In many eukaryotes, spliceosomal introns are able to influence the level and site of gene expression. The mechanism of this Intron Mediated Enhancement (IME) has not yet been elucidated, but regulation of gene expression is likely to occur at several steps during and after transcription. Different introns have different intrinsic enhancing properties, but the determinants of these differences remain unknown. Recently, an algorithm called IMEter, which is able to predict the IME potential of introns without direct testing, has been proposed. A computer program was developed for Arabidopsis thaliana and rice (Oryza sativa L.), but was only tested experimentally in Arabidopsis by measuring the enhancement effect on GUS expression of different introns inserted within otherwise identical plasmids. To test the IMEter potential in rice, a vector bearing the upstream regulatory sequence of a rice β-tubulin gene (OsTub6) fused to the GUS reporter gene was used. The enhancing intron interrupting the OsTub6 5'-UTR was precisely replaced by seven other introns carrying different features. GUS expression level in transiently transformed rice calli does not significantly correlate with the calculated IMEter score. It was also found that enhanced GUS expression was mainly due to a strong increase in the mRNA steady-state level and that mutations at the splice recognition sites almost completely abolished the enhancing effect. Splicing also appeared to be required for IME in Arabidopsis cell cultures, where failure of the OsTub6 5' region to drive high level gene expression could be rescued by replacing the poorly spliced rice intron with one from Arabidopsis.

  13. The exon junction complex is required for definition and excision of neighboring introns in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Rippei; Handler, Dominik; Ish-Horowicz, David; Brennecke, Julius

    2014-08-15

    Splicing of pre-mRNAs results in the deposition of the exon junction complex (EJC) upstream of exon-exon boundaries. The EJC plays crucial post-splicing roles in export, translation, localization, and nonsense-mediated decay of mRNAs. It also aids faithful splicing of pre-mRNAs containing large introns, albeit via an unknown mechanism. Here, we show that the core EJC plus the accessory factors RnpS1 and Acinus aid in definition and efficient splicing of neighboring introns. This requires prior deposition of the EJC in close proximity to either an upstream or downstream splicing event. If present in isolation, EJC-dependent introns are splicing-defective also in wild-type cells. Interestingly, the most affected intron belongs to the piwi locus, which explains the reported transposon desilencing in EJC-depleted Drosophila ovaries. Based on a transcriptome-wide analysis, we propose that the dependency of splicing on the EJC is exploited as a means to control the temporal order of splicing events. PMID:25081352

  14. The exon junction complex is required for definition and excision of neighboring introns in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Rippei; Handler, Dominik; Ish-Horowicz, David

    2014-01-01

    Splicing of pre-mRNAs results in the deposition of the exon junction complex (EJC) upstream of exon–exon boundaries. The EJC plays crucial post-splicing roles in export, translation, localization, and nonsense-mediated decay of mRNAs. It also aids faithful splicing of pre-mRNAs containing large introns, albeit via an unknown mechanism. Here, we show that the core EJC plus the accessory factors RnpS1 and Acinus aid in definition and efficient splicing of neighboring introns. This requires prior deposition of the EJC in close proximity to either an upstream or downstream splicing event. If present in isolation, EJC-dependent introns are splicing-defective also in wild-type cells. Interestingly, the most affected intron belongs to the piwi locus, which explains the reported transposon desilencing in EJC-depleted Drosophila ovaries. Based on a transcriptome-wide analysis, we propose that the dependency of splicing on the EJC is exploited as a means to control the temporal order of splicing events. PMID:25081352

  15. The exon junction complex is required for definition and excision of neighboring introns in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Rippei; Handler, Dominik; Ish-Horowicz, David; Brennecke, Julius

    2014-08-15

    Splicing of pre-mRNAs results in the deposition of the exon junction complex (EJC) upstream of exon-exon boundaries. The EJC plays crucial post-splicing roles in export, translation, localization, and nonsense-mediated decay of mRNAs. It also aids faithful splicing of pre-mRNAs containing large introns, albeit via an unknown mechanism. Here, we show that the core EJC plus the accessory factors RnpS1 and Acinus aid in definition and efficient splicing of neighboring introns. This requires prior deposition of the EJC in close proximity to either an upstream or downstream splicing event. If present in isolation, EJC-dependent introns are splicing-defective also in wild-type cells. Interestingly, the most affected intron belongs to the piwi locus, which explains the reported transposon desilencing in EJC-depleted Drosophila ovaries. Based on a transcriptome-wide analysis, we propose that the dependency of splicing on the EJC is exploited as a means to control the temporal order of splicing events.

  16. Inhibition of Splicing but not Cleavage at the 5' Splice Site by Truncating Human β -globin Pre-mRNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furdon, Paul J.; Kole, Ryszard

    1986-02-01

    Human β -globin mRNAs truncated in the second exon or in the first intron have been processed in vitro in a HeLa cell nuclear extract. Transcripts containing a fragment of the second exon as short as 53 nucleotides are efficiently spliced, whereas transcripts truncated 24 or 14 nucleotides downstream from the 3' splice site are spliced inefficiently, if at all. All of these transcripts, however, are efficiently and accurately cleaved at the 5' splice site. In contrast, RNA truncated in the first intron, 54 nucleotides upstream from the 3' splice site, is not processed at all. These findings suggest that cleavage at the 5' splice site and subsequent splicing steps--i.e., cleavage at the 3' splice site and exon ligation--need not be coupled. Anti-Sm serum inhibits the complete splicing reaction and cleavage at the 5' splice site, suggesting involvement of certain ribonucleoprotein particles in the cleavage reaction. ATP and Mg2+ are required for cleavage at the 5' splice site at concentrations similar to those for the complete splicing reaction.

  17. Unmasking alternative splicing inside protein-coding exons defines exitrons and their role in proteome plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Marquez, Yamile; Höpfler, Markus; Ayatollahi, Zahra; Barta, Andrea; Kalyna, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) diversifies transcriptomes and proteomes and is widely recognized as a key mechanism for regulating gene expression. Previously, in an analysis of intron retention events in Arabidopsis, we found unusual AS events inside annotated protein-coding exons. Here, we also identify such AS events in human and use these two sets to analyse their features, regulation, functional impact, and evolutionary origin. As these events involve introns with features of both introns and protein-coding exons, we name them exitrons (exonic introns). Though exitrons were detected as a subset of retained introns, they are clearly distinguishable, and their splicing results in transcripts with different fates. About half of the 1002 Arabidopsis and 923 human exitrons have sizes of multiples of 3 nucleotides (nt). Splicing of these exitrons results in internally deleted proteins and affects protein domains, disordered regions, and various post-translational modification sites, thus broadly impacting protein function. Exitron splicing is regulated across tissues, in response to stress and in carcinogenesis. Intriguingly, annotated intronless genes can be also alternatively spliced via exitron usage. We demonstrate that at least some exitrons originate from ancestral coding exons. Based on our findings, we propose a “splicing memory” hypothesis whereby upon intron loss imprints of former exon borders defined by vestigial splicing regulatory elements could drive the evolution of exitron splicing. Altogether, our studies show that exitron splicing is a conserved strategy for increasing proteome plasticity in plants and animals, complementing the repertoire of AS events. PMID:25934563

  18. Module-intron correlation and intron sliding in family F/10 xylanase genes.

    PubMed

    Sato, Y; Niimura, Y; Yura, K; Go, M

    1999-09-30

    Xylanases are classified into two families, numbered F/10 and G/11 according to the similarity of amino acid sequences of their catalytic domain (Henrissat, B., Bairoch, A., 1993. New families in the classification of glycosyl hydrolases based on amino acid sequence similarities. Biochem. J. 293, 781-788). Three-dimensional structure of the catalytic domain of the family F/10 xylanase was reported (White, A., Withers, S.G., Gilkes, N.R., Rose, D.R., 1994. Crystal structure of the catalytic domain of the beta-1,4-glycanase Cex from Cellulomonas fimi. Biochemistry 33, 12546-12552). The domain was decomposed into 22 modules by centripetal profiles (Go, M., Nosaka, M., 1987. Protein architecture and the origin of introns. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 52, 915-924; Noguti, T., Sakakibara, H., Go, M., 1993. Localization of hydrogen-bonds within modules in barnase. Proteins 16, 357-363). A module is a contiguous polypeptide segment of amino acid residues having a compact conformation within a globular domain. Collected 31 intron sites of the family F/10 xylanase genes from fungus were found to be correlated to module boundaries with considerable statistical force (p values <0.001). The relationship between the intron locations and protein structures provides supporting evidence for the ancient origin of introns, because such a relationship cannot be expected by random insertion of introns into eukaryotic genes, but it rather suggests pre-existence of introns in the ancestral genes of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. A phylogenetic tree of the fungal and bacterial xylanase sequences made two clusters; one includes both the bacterial and fungal genes, but the other consists of only fungal genes. The mixed cluster of bacterial genes without introns and the fungal genes with introns further supports the ancient origin of introns. Comparison of the conserved base sequences of introns indicates that sliding of a splice site occurred in Aspergillus kawachii gene by one base

  19. Genome-wide Identification of Zero Nucleotide Recursive Splicing in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Duff, Michael O.; Olson, Sara; Wei, Xintao; Garrett, Sandra C.; Osman, Ahmad; Bolisetty, Mohan; Plocik, Alex; Celniker, Susan; Graveley, Brenton R.

    2015-01-01

    Recursive splicing is a process in which large introns are removed in multiple steps by resplicing at ratchet points - 5′ splice sites recreated after splicing1. Recursive splicing was first identified in the Drosophila Ultrabithorax (Ubx) gene1 and only three additional Drosophila genes have since been experimentally shown to undergo recursive splicing2,3. Here, we identify 197 zero nucleotide exon ratchet points in 130 introns of 115 Drosophila genes from total RNA sequencing data generated from developmental time points, dissected tissues, and cultured cells. The sequential nature of recursive splicing was confirmed by identification of lariat introns generated by splicing to and from the ratchet points. We also show that recursive splicing is a constitutive process, that depletion of U2AF inhibits recursive splicing, and that the sequence and function of ratchet points are evolutionarily conserved in Drosophila. Finally, we identified four recursively spliced human genes, one of which is also recursively spliced in Drosophila. Together these results indicate that recursive splicing is commonly used in Drosophila, occurs in human and provides insight into the mechanisms by which some large introns are removed. PMID:25970244

  20. Evolution of Pleopsidium (lichenized Ascomycota) S943 group I introns and the phylogeography of an intron-encoded putative homing endonuclease.

    PubMed

    Reeb, Valérie; Haugen, Peik; Bhattacharya, Debashish; Lutzoni, François

    2007-03-01

    The sporadic distribution of nuclear group I introns among different fungal lineages can be explained by vertical inheritance of the introns followed by successive losses, or horizontal transfers from one lineage to another through intron homing or reverse splicing. Homing is mediated by an intron-encoded homing endonuclease (HE) and recent studies suggest that the introns and their associated HE gene (HEG) follow a recurrent cyclical model of invasion, degeneration, loss, and reinvasion. The purpose of this study was to compare this model to the evolution of HEGs found in the group I intron at position S943 of the nuclear ribosomal DNA of the lichen-forming fungus Pleopsidium. Forty-eight S943 introns were found in the 64 Pleopsidium samples from a worldwide screen, 22 of which contained a full-length HEG that encodes a putative 256-amino acid HE, and 2 contained HE pseudogenes. The HEGs are divided into two closely related types (as are the introns that encode them) that differ by 22.6% in their nucleotide sequences. The evolution of the Pleopsidium intron-HEG element shows strong evidence for a cyclical model of evolution. The intron was likely acquired twice in the genus and then transmitted via two or three interspecific horizontal transfers. Close geographical proximity plays an important role in intron-HEG horizontal transfer because most of these mobile elements were found in Europe. Once acquired in a lineage, the intron-HEG element was also vertically transmitted, and occasionally degenerated or was lost.

  1. Mechanisms and Regulation of Alternative Pre-mRNA Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yeon

    2015-01-01

    Precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing is a critical step in the posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression, providing significant expansion of the functional proteome of eukaryotic organisms with limited gene numbers. Split eukaryotic genes contain intervening sequences or introns disrupting protein-coding exons, and intron removal occurs by repeated assembly of a large and highly dynamic ribonucleoprotein complex termed the spliceosome, which is composed of five small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles, U1, U2, U4/U6, and U5. Biochemical studies over the past 10 years have allowed the isolation as well as compositional, functional, and structural analysis of splicing complexes at distinct stages along the spliceosome cycle. The average human gene contains eight exons and seven introns, producing an average of three or more alternatively spliced mRNA isoforms. Recent high-throughput sequencing studies indicate that 100% of human genes produce at least two alternative mRNA isoforms. Mechanisms of alternative splicing include RNA–protein interactions of splicing factors with regulatory sites termed silencers or enhancers, RNA–RNA base-pairing interactions, or chromatin-based effects that can change or determine splicing patterns. Disease-causing mutations can often occur in splice sites near intron borders or in exonic or intronic RNA regulatory silencer or enhancer elements, as well as in genes that encode splicing factors. Together, these studies provide mechanistic insights into how spliceosome assembly, dynamics, and catalysis occur; how alternative splicing is regulated and evolves; and how splicing can be disrupted by cis- and trans-acting mutations leading to disease states. These findings make the spliceosome an attractive new target for small-molecule, antisense, and genome-editing therapeutic interventions. PMID:25784052

  2. Insights into the strategies used by related group II introns to adapt successfully for the colonisation of a bacterial genome.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Rodríguez, Laura; García-Rodríguez, Fernando M; Molina-Sánchez, María Dolores; Toro, Nicolás; Martínez-Abarca, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing RNAs and site-specific mobile retroelements found in bacterial and organellar genomes. The group II intron RmInt1 is present at high copy number in Sinorhizobium meliloti species, and has a multifunctional intron-encoded protein (IEP) with reverse transcriptase/maturase activities, but lacking the DNA-binding and endonuclease domains. We characterized two RmInt1-related group II introns RmInt2 from S. meliloti strain GR4 and Sr.md.I1 from S. medicae strain WSM419 in terms of splicing and mobility activities. We used both wild-type and engineered intron-donor constructs based on ribozyme ΔORF-coding sequence derivatives, and we determined the DNA target requirements for RmInt2, the element most distantly related to RmInt1. The excision and mobility patterns of intron-donor constructs expressing different combinations of IEP and intron RNA provided experimental evidence for the co-operation of IEPs and intron RNAs from related elements in intron splicing and, in some cases, in intron homing. We were also able to identify the DNA target regions recognized by these IEPs lacking the DNA endonuclease domain. Our results provide new insight into the versatility of related group II introns and the possible co-operation between these elements to facilitate the colonization of bacterial genomes.

  3. Functional selection of splicing enhancers that stimulate trans-splicing in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Boukis, L A; Bruzik, J P

    2001-01-01

    The role of exonic sequences in naturally occurring trans-splicing has not been explored in detail. Here, we have identified trans-splicing enhancers through the use of an iterative selection scheme. Several classes of enhancer sequences were identified that led to dramatic increases in trans-splicing efficiency. Two sequence families were investigated in detail. These include motifs containing the element (G/C)GAC(G/C) and also 5' splice site-like sequences. Distinct elements were tested for their ability to function as splicing enhancers and in competition experiments. In addition, discrete trans-acting factors were identified. This work demonstrates that splicing enhancers are able to effect a large increase in trans-splicing efficiency and that the process of exon definition is able to positively enhance trans-splicing even though the reaction itself is independent of the need for the 5' end of U1 snRNA. Due to the presence of internal introns in messages that are trans-spliced, the natural arrangement of 5' splice sites downstream of trans-splicing acceptors may lead to a general promotion of this unusual reaction. PMID:11421358

  4. Alternative RNA splicing of KSHV ORF57 produces two different RNA isoforms.

    PubMed

    Majerciak, Vladimir; Zheng, Zhi-Ming

    2016-01-15

    In lytically infected B cells Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) ORF57 gene encodes two RNA isoforms by alternative splicing of its pre-mRNA, which contains a small, constitutive intron in its 5' half and a large, suboptimal intron in its 3's half. The RNA1 isoform encodes full-length ORF57 and is a major isoform derived from splicing of the constitutive small intron, but retaining the suboptimal large intron as the coding region. A small fraction (<5%) of ORF57 RNA undergoes double splicing to produce a smaller non-coding RNA2 due to lack of a translational termination codon. Both RNAs are cleaved and polyadenylated at the same cleavage site CS83636. The insertion of ORF57 RNA1 into a restriction cutting site in certain mammalian expression vectors activates splicing of the subopitmal intron and produces a truncated ORF57 protein.

  5. Genome-wide analysis of alternative splicing in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Genome-wide computational analysis of alternative splicing (AS) in several flowering plants has revealed that pre-mRNAs from about 30% of genes undergo AS. Chlamydomonas, a simple unicellular green alga, is part of the lineage that includes land plants. However, it diverged from land plants about one billion years ago. Hence, it serves as a good model system to study alternative splicing in early photosynthetic eukaryotes, to obtain insights into the evolution of this process in plants, and to compare splicing in simple unicellular photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic eukaryotes. We performed a global analysis of alternative splicing in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using its recently completed genome sequence and all available ESTs and cDNAs. Results Our analysis of AS using BLAT and a modified version of the Sircah tool revealed AS of 498 transcriptional units with 611 events, representing about 3% of the total number of genes. As in land plants, intron retention is the most prevalent form of AS. Retained introns and skipped exons tend to be shorter than their counterparts in constitutively spliced genes. The splice site signals in all types of AS events are weaker than those in constitutively spliced genes. Furthermore, in alternatively spliced genes, the prevalent splice form has a stronger splice site signal than the non-prevalent form. Analysis of constitutively spliced introns revealed an over-abundance of motifs with simple repetitive elements in comparison to introns involved in intron retention. In almost all cases, AS results in a truncated ORF, leading to a coding sequence that is around 50% shorter than the prevalent splice form. Using RT-PCR we verified AS of two genes and show that they produce more isoforms than indicated by EST data. All cDNA/EST alignments and splice graphs are provided in a website at http://combi.cs.colostate.edu/as/chlamy. Conclusions The extent of AS in Chlamydomonas that we observed is much smaller than observed in

  6. Statistical analysis of the exon-intron structure of higher and lower eukaryote genes.

    PubMed

    Kriventseva, E V; Gelfand, M S

    1999-10-01

    Statistics of the exon-intron structure and splicing sites of several diverse eukaryotes was studied. The yeast exon-intron structures have a number of unique features. A yeast gene usually have at most one intron. The branch site is strongly conserved, whereas the polypirimidine tract is short. Long yeast introns tend to have stronger acceptor sites. In other species the branch site is less conserved and often cannot be determined. In non-yeast samples there is an almost universal correlation between lengths of neighboring exons (all samples excluding protists) and correlation between lengths of neighboring introns (human, drosophila, protists). On the average first introns are longer, and anomalously long introns are usually first introns in a gene. There is a universal preference for exons and exon pairs with the (total) length divisible by 3. Introns positioned between codons are preferred, whereas those positioned between the first and second positions in codon are avoided. The choice of A or G at the third position of intron (the donor splice sites generally prefer purines at this position) is correlated with the overall GC-composition of the gene. In all samples dinucleotide AG is avoided in the region preceding the acceptor site.

  7. Inactivation of group II intron RmInt1 in the Sinorhizobium meliloti genome.

    PubMed

    Molina-Sánchez, María Dolores; Toro, Nicolás

    2015-07-09

    Group II introns are self-splicing catalytic RNAs that probably originated in bacteria and act as mobile retroelements. The dispersal and dynamics of group II intron spread within a bacterial genome are thought to follow a selection-driven extinction model. Likewise, various studies on the evolution of group II introns have suggested that they are evolving toward an inactive form by fragmentation, with the loss of the intron 3'-terminus, but with some intron fragments remaining and continuing to evolve in the genome. RmInt1 is a mobile group II intron that is widespread in natural populations of Sinorhizobium meliloti, but some strains of this species have no RmInt1 introns. We studied the splicing ability and mobility of the three full-length RmInt1 copies harbored by S. meliloti 1021, and obtained evidence suggesting that specific mutations may lead to the impairment of intron splicing and retrohoming. Our data suggest that the RmInt1 copies in this strain are undergoing a process of inactivation.

  8. Molecular characterization of a new member of the lariat capping twin-ribozyme introns

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Twin-ribozyme introns represent a complex class of mobile group I introns that harbour a lariat capping (LC) ribozyme and a homing endonuclease gene embedded in a conventional self-splicing group I ribozyme (GIR2). Twin-ribozyme introns have so far been confined to nucleolar DNA in Naegleria amoeboflagellates and the myxomycete Didymium iridis. Results We characterize structural organization, catalytic properties and molecular evolution of a new twin-ribozyme intron in Allovahlkampfia (Heterolobosea). The intron contains two ribozyme domains with different functions in ribosomal RNA splicing and homing endonuclease mRNA maturation. We found Allovahlkampfia GIR2 to be a typical group IC1 splicing ribozyme responsible for addition of the exogenous guanosine cofactor (exoG), exon ligation and circularization of intron RNA. The Allovahlkampfia LC ribozyme, by contrast, represents an efficient self-cleaving ribozyme that generates a small 2′,5′ lariat cap at the 5′ end of the homing endonuclease mRNA, and thus contributes to intron mobility. Conclusions The discovery of a twin-ribozyme intron in a member of Heterolobosea expands the distribution pattern of LC ribozymes. We identify a putative regulatory RNA element (AP2.1) in the Allovahlkampfia LC ribozyme that involves homing endonuclease mRNA coding sequences as an important structural component. PMID:25342998

  9. Half pint/Puf68 is required for negative regulation of splicing by the SR splicing factor Transformer2.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shanzhi; Wagner, Eric J; Mattox, William

    2013-08-01

    The SR family of proteins plays important regulatory roles in the control of alternative splicing in a wide range of organisms. These factors affect splicing through both positive and negative controls of splice site recognition by pre-spliceosomal factors. Recent studies indicate that the Drosophila SR factor Transformer 2 (Tra2) activates and represses splicing through distinct and separable effector regions of the protein. While the interactions of its Arg-Ser-rich activator region have been well studied, cofactors involved in splicing repression have yet to be found. Here we use a luciferase-based splicing reporter assay to screen for novel proteins necessary for Tra2-dependent repression of splicing. This approach identified Half pint, also known as Puf68, as a co-repressor required for Tra2-mediated autoregulation of the M1 intron. In vivo, Half pint is required for Tra2-dependent repression of M1 splicing but is not necessary for Tra2-dependent activation of doublesex splicing. Further experiments indicate that the effect of Hfp is sequence-specific and that it associates with these target transcripts in cells. Importantly, known M1 splicing regulatory elements are sufficient to sensitize a heterologous intron to Hfp regulation. Two alternative proteins deriving from Hfp transcripts, Hfp68, and Hfp58, were found to be expressed in vivo but differed dramatically in their effect on M1 splicing. Comparison of the cellular localization of these forms in S2 cells revealed that Hfp68 is predominantly localized to the nucleus while Hfp58 is distributed across both the nucleus and cytoplasm. This accords with their observed effects on splicing and suggests that differential compartmentalization may contribute to the specificity of these isoforms. Together, these studies reveal a function for Half pint in splicing repression and demonstrate it to be specifically required for Tra2-dependent intron inclusion.

  10. Half pint/Puf68 is required for negative regulation of splicing by the SR splicing factor Transformer2.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shanzhi; Wagner, Eric J; Mattox, William

    2013-08-01

    The SR family of proteins plays important regulatory roles in the control of alternative splicing in a wide range of organisms. These factors affect splicing through both positive and negative controls of splice site recognition by pre-spliceosomal factors. Recent studies indicate that the Drosophila SR factor Transformer 2 (Tra2) activates and represses splicing through distinct and separable effector regions of the protein. While the interactions of its Arg-Ser-rich activator region have been well studied, cofactors involved in splicing repression have yet to be found. Here we use a luciferase-based splicing reporter assay to screen for novel proteins necessary for Tra2-dependent repression of splicing. This approach identified Half pint, also known as Puf68, as a co-repressor required for Tra2-mediated autoregulation of the M1 intron. In vivo, Half pint is required for Tra2-dependent repression of M1 splicing but is not necessary for Tra2-dependent activation of doublesex splicing. Further experiments indicate that the effect of Hfp is sequence-specific and that it associates with these target transcripts in cells. Importantly, known M1 splicing regulatory elements are sufficient to sensitize a heterologous intron to Hfp regulation. Two alternative proteins deriving from Hfp transcripts, Hfp68, and Hfp58, were found to be expressed in vivo but differed dramatically in their effect on M1 splicing. Comparison of the cellular localization of these forms in S2 cells revealed that Hfp68 is predominantly localized to the nucleus while Hfp58 is distributed across both the nucleus and cytoplasm. This accords with their observed effects on splicing and suggests that differential compartmentalization may contribute to the specificity of these isoforms. Together, these studies reveal a function for Half pint in splicing repression and demonstrate it to be specifically required for Tra2-dependent intron inclusion. PMID:23880637

  11. Crystal structure of a eukaryotic group II intron lariat

    PubMed Central

    Robart, Aaron R.; Chan, Russell T.; Peters, Jessica K.; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R.; Toor, Navtej

    2014-01-01

    The formation of branched lariat RNA is an evolutionarily conserved feature of splicing reactions for both group II and spliceosomal introns. The lariat is important for the fidelity of 5′ splice site selection and consists of a 2′-5′ phosphodiester bond between a bulged adenosine and the 5′ end of the intron. To gain insight into this ubiquitous intramolecular linkage, we determined the crystal structure of a eukaryotic group IIB intron in the lariat form at 3.7 Å. This revealed that two tandem tetraloop-receptor interactions, η-η’ and π-π’, place domain VI in the core to position the lariat bond in the post-catalytic state. Based on structural and biochemical data, we propose that π-π’ is a dynamic interaction that mediates the transition between the two steps of splicing, with η-η’ serving an ancillary role. The structure also reveals a four-magnesium-ion cluster involved in both catalysis and positioning of the 5′ end. Given the evolutionary relationship between group II and nuclear introns, it is likely that this active site configuration exists in the spliceosome as well. PMID:25252982

  12. Horizontal transmission of group-I ribozymes: viruses as a carrier of the introns.

    PubMed

    Yamada, T; Songsri, P; Tamura, K

    1995-01-01

    The nucleotide sequences of two self-splicing group I introns found in viruses that infect the eukaryotic green alga Chlorella were compared with those of 19 nuclear group I introns of 11 green algae, 1 red alga, 2 yeasts and 1 protist. The similarity ranging from 69.5% to 89.0% in any comparison strongly suggested a close relatedness of these introns. Since this kind of viruses infect algal cells residing in protists such as Paramecium, they may serve as a mediator to spread group I introns horizontally among organisms of different phylogenetic kingdoms.

  13. Trans-splicing of pre-mRNA in plants, animals, and protists.

    PubMed

    Bonen, L

    1993-01-01

    Messenger RNA maturation in eukaryotes typically involves the removal of introns from long precursor molecules. An unusual form of RNA splicing in which separate precursor transcripts contribute sequences to the mature mRNA through intermolecular reactions has now been documented in a number of diverse organisms. In this review, the phenomenon of pre-mRNA trans-splicing has been divided into two categories. The "spliced leader" type, found in protozoans such as trypanosomes and lower invertebrates such as nematodes, results in the addition of a short, capped 5' noncoding sequence to the mRNA. The "discontinuous group II intron" form of trans-splicing, found in plant/algal chloroplasts and plant mitochondria, involves the joining of independently transcribed coding sequences, presumably through interactions between "intronic" RNA pieces. Both categories of trans-splicing are mechanistically similar to conventional nuclear pre-mRNA cis-splicing; potential evolutionary relationships are discussed.

  14. [Alternative splicing regulation: implications in cancer diagnosis and treatment].

    PubMed

    Martínez-Montiel, Nancy; Rosas-Murrieta, Nora; Martínez-Contreras, Rebeca

    2015-04-01

    The accurate expression of the genetic information is regulated by processes like mRNA splicing, proposed after the discoveries of Phil Sharp and Richard Roberts, who demonstrated the existence of intronic sequences, present in almost every structural eukaryotic gene, which should be precisely removed. This intron removal is called "splicing", which generates different proteins from a single mRNA, with different or even antagonistic functions. We currently know that alternative splicing is the most important source of protein diversity, given that 70% of the human genes undergo splicing and that mutations causing defects in this process could originate up to 50% of genetic diseases, including cancer. When these defects occur in genes involved in cell adhesion, proliferation and cell cycle regulation, there is an impact on cancer progression, rising the opportunity to diagnose and treat some types of cancer according to a particular splicing profile.

  15. Splicing regulation: From a parts list of regulatory elements to an integrated splicing code

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zefeng; Burge, Christopher B.

    2008-01-01

    Alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs is a major contributor to both proteomic diversity and control of gene expression levels. Splicing is tightly regulated in different tissues and developmental stages, and its disruption can lead to a wide range of human diseases. An important long-term goal in the splicing field is to determine a set of rules or “code” for splicing that will enable prediction of the splicing pattern of any primary transcript from its sequence. Outside of the core splice site motifs, the bulk of the information required for splicing is thought to be contained in exonic and intronic cis-regulatory elements that function by recruitment of sequence-specific RNA-binding protein factors that either activate or repress the use of adjacent splice sites. Here, we summarize the current state of knowledge of splicing cis-regulatory elements and their context-dependent effects on splicing, emphasizing recent global/genome-wide studies and open questions. PMID:18369186

  16. An Interspecific Plant Hybrid Shows Novel Changes in Parental Splice Forms of Genes for Splicing Factors

    PubMed Central

    Scascitelli, Moira; Cognet, Marie; Adams, Keith L.

    2010-01-01

    Interspecific hybridization plays an important role in plant adaptive evolution and speciation, and the process often results in phenotypic novelty. Hybrids can show changes in genome structure and gene expression compared with their parents including chromosomal rearrangments, changes in cytosine methylation, up- and downregulation of gene expression, and gene silencing. Alternative splicing (AS) is a fundamental aspect of the expression of many genes. However alternative splicing patterns have not been examined in multiple genes in an interspecific plant hybrid compared with its parents. Here we studied alternative splicing patterns in an interspecific Populus hybrid and its parents by assaying 40 genes using reverse transcription PCR. Most of the genes showed identical alternative splicing patterns between the parents and the hybrid. We found new alternative splicing variants present in the hybrid in two SR genes involved in the regulation of splicing and alternative splicing. The novel alternative splicing patterns included changes in donor and acceptor sites to create a new exon in one allele of PtRSZ22 in the hybrid and retention of an intron in both alleles of PtSR34a.1 in the hybrid, with effects on the function of the corresponding truncated proteins, if present. Our results suggest that novel alternative splicing patterns are present in a small percentage of genes in hybrids, but they could make a considerable impact on the expression of some genes. Changes in alternative splicing are likely to be an important component of the genetic changes that occur upon interspecific hybridization. PMID:20100939

  17. Convergent intron gains in hymenopteran elongation factor-1α.

    PubMed

    Klopfstein, Seraina; Ronquist, Fredrik

    2013-04-01

    The eukaryotic translation elongation factor-1α gene (eEF1A) has been used extensively in higher level phylogenetics of insects and other groups, despite being present in two or more copies in several taxa. Orthology assessment has relied heavily on the position of introns, but the basic assumption of low rates of intron loss and absence of convergent intron gains has not been tested thoroughly. Here, we study the evolution of eEF1A based on a broad sample of taxa in the insect order Hymenoptera. The gene is universally present in two copies - F1 and F2 - both of which apparently originated before the emergence of the order. An elevated ratio of non-synonymous versus synonymous substitutions and differences in rates of amino acid replacements between the copies suggest that they evolve independently, and phylogenetic methods clearly cluster the copies separately. The F2 copy appears to be ancient; it is orthologous with the copy known as F1 in Diptera, and is likely present in most insect orders. The hymenopteran F1 copy, which may or may not be unique to this order, apparently originated through retroposition and was originally intron free. During the evolution of the Hymenoptera, it has successively accumulated introns, at least three of which have appeared at the same position as introns in the F2 copy or in eEF1A copies in other insects. The sites of convergent intron gain are characterized by highly conserved nucleotides that strongly resemble specific intron-associated sequence motifs, so-called proto-splice sites. The significant rate of convergent intron gain renders intron-exon structure unreliable as an indicator of orthology in eEF1A, and probably also in other protein-coding genes.

  18. SplicePie: a novel analytical approach for the detection of alternative, non-sequential and recursive splicing.

    PubMed

    Pulyakhina, Irina; Gazzoli, Isabella; 't Hoen, Peter A C; Verwey, Nisha; den Dunnen, Johan T; den Dunnen, Johan; Aartsma-Rus, Annemieke; Laros, Jeroen F J

    2015-07-13

    Alternative splicing is a powerful mechanism present in eukaryotic cells to obtain a wide range of transcripts and protein isoforms from a relatively small number of genes. The mechanisms regulating (alternative) splicing and the paradigm of consecutive splicing have recently been challenged, especially for genes with a large number of introns. RNA-Seq, a powerful technology using deep sequencing in order to determine transcript structure and expression levels, is usually performed on mature mRNA, therefore not allowing detailed analysis of splicing progression. Sequencing pre-mRNA at different stages of splicing potentially provides insight into mRNA maturation. Although the number of tools that analyze total and cytoplasmic RNA in order to elucidate the transcriptome composition is rapidly growing, there are no tools specifically designed for the analysis of nuclear RNA (which contains mixtures of pre- and mature mRNA). We developed dedicated algorithms to investigate the splicing process. In this paper, we present a new classification of RNA-Seq reads based on three major stages of splicing: pre-, intermediate- and post-splicing. Applying this novel classification we demonstrate the possibility to analyze the order of splicing. Furthermore, we uncover the potential to investigate the multi-step nature of splicing, assessing various types of recursive splicing events. We provide the data that gives biological insight into the order of splicing, show that non-sequential splicing of certain introns is reproducible and coinciding in multiple cell lines. We validated our observations with independent experimental technologies and showed the reliability of our method. The pipeline, named SplicePie, is freely available at: https://github.com/pulyakhina/splicing_analysis_pipeline. The example data can be found at: https://barmsijs.lumc.nl/HG/irina/example_data.tar.gz. PMID:25800735

  19. SplicePie: a novel analytical approach for the detection of alternative, non-sequential and recursive splicing.

    PubMed

    Pulyakhina, Irina; Gazzoli, Isabella; 't Hoen, Peter A C; Verwey, Nisha; den Dunnen, Johan T; den Dunnen, Johan; Aartsma-Rus, Annemieke; Laros, Jeroen F J

    2015-07-13

    Alternative splicing is a powerful mechanism present in eukaryotic cells to obtain a wide range of transcripts and protein isoforms from a relatively small number of genes. The mechanisms regulating (alternative) splicing and the paradigm of consecutive splicing have recently been challenged, especially for genes with a large number of introns. RNA-Seq, a powerful technology using deep sequencing in order to determine transcript structure and expression levels, is usually performed on mature mRNA, therefore not allowing detailed analysis of splicing progression. Sequencing pre-mRNA at different stages of splicing potentially provides insight into mRNA maturation. Although the number of tools that analyze total and cytoplasmic RNA in order to elucidate the transcriptome composition is rapidly growing, there are no tools specifically designed for the analysis of nuclear RNA (which contains mixtures of pre- and mature mRNA). We developed dedicated algorithms to investigate the splicing process. In this paper, we present a new classification of RNA-Seq reads based on three major stages of splicing: pre-, intermediate- and post-splicing. Applying this novel classification we demonstrate the possibility to analyze the order of splicing. Furthermore, we uncover the potential to investigate the multi-step nature of splicing, assessing various types of recursive splicing events. We provide the data that gives biological insight into the order of splicing, show that non-sequential splicing of certain introns is reproducible and coinciding in multiple cell lines. We validated our observations with independent experimental technologies and showed the reliability of our method. The pipeline, named SplicePie, is freely available at: https://github.com/pulyakhina/splicing_analysis_pipeline. The example data can be found at: https://barmsijs.lumc.nl/HG/irina/example_data.tar.gz.

  20. Identification of new branch points and unconventional introns in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Gould, Genevieve M; Paggi, Joseph M; Guo, Yuchun; Phizicky, David V; Zinshteyn, Boris; Wang, Eric T; Gilbert, Wendy V; Gifford, David K; Burge, Christopher B

    2016-10-01

    Spliced messages constitute one-fourth of expressed mRNAs in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and most mRNAs in metazoans. Splicing requires 5' splice site (5'SS), branch point (BP), and 3' splice site (3'SS) elements, but the role of the BP in splicing control is poorly understood because BP identification remains difficult. We developed a high-throughput method, Branch-seq, to map BPs and 5'SSs of isolated RNA lariats. Applied to S. cerevisiae, Branch-seq detected 76% of expressed, annotated BPs and identified a comparable number of novel BPs. We performed RNA-seq to confirm associated 3'SS locations, identifying some 200 novel splice junctions, including an AT-AC intron. We show that several yeast introns use two or even three different BPs, with effects on 3'SS choice, protein coding potential, or RNA stability, and identify novel introns whose splicing changes during meiosis or in response to stress. Together, these findings show unanticipated complexity of splicing in yeast. PMID:27473169

  1. Increased efficiency of evolved group I intron spliceozymes by decreased side product formation

    PubMed Central

    Amini, Zhaleh N.; Müller, Ulrich F.

    2015-01-01

    The group I intron ribozyme from Tetrahymena was recently reengineered into a trans-splicing variant that is able to remove 100-nt introns from pre-mRNA, analogous to the spliceosome. These spliceozymes were improved in this study by 10 rounds of evolution in Escherichia coli cells. One clone with increased activity in E. coli cells was analyzed in detail. Three of its 10 necessary mutations extended the substrate binding duplexes, which led to increased product formation and reduced cleavage at the 5′-splice site. One mutation in the conserved core of the spliceozyme led to a further reduction of cleavage at the 5′-splice site but an increase in cleavage side products at the 3′-splice site. The latter was partially reduced by six additional mutations. Together, the mutations increased product formation while reducing activity at the 5′-splice site and increasing activity at the 3′-splice site. These results show the adaptation of a ribozyme that evolved in nature for cis-splicing to trans-splicing, and they highlight the interdependent function of nucleotides within group I intron ribozymes. Implications for the possible use of spliceozymes as tools in research and therapy, and as a model for the evolution of the spliceosome, are discussed. PMID:26106216

  2. SpliceJumper: a classification-based approach for calling splicing junctions from RNA-seq data

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Next-generation RNA sequencing technologies have been widely applied in transcriptome profiling. This facilitates further studies of gene structure and expression on the genome wide scale. It is an important step to align reads to the reference genome and call out splicing junctions for the following analysis, such as the analysis of alternative splicing and isoform construction. However, because of the existence of introns, when RNA-seq reads are aligned to the reference genome, reads can not be fully mapped at splicing sites. Thus, it is challenging to align reads and call out splicing junctions accurately. Results In this paper, we present a classification based approach for calling splicing junctions from RNA-seq data, which is implemented in the program SpliceJumper. SpliceJumper uses a machine learning approach which combines multiple features extracted from RNA-seq data. We compare SpliceJumper with two existing RNA-seq analysis approaches, TopHat2 and MapSplice2, on both simulated and real data. Our results show that SpliceJumper outperforms TopHat2 and MapSplice2 in accuracy. The program SpliceJumper can be downloaded at https://github.com/Reedwarbler/SpliceJumper. PMID:26678515

  3. BRR2a Affects Flowering Time via FLC Splicing.

    PubMed

    Mahrez, Walid; Shin, Juhyun; Muñoz-Viana, Rafael; Figueiredo, Duarte D; Trejo-Arellano, Minerva S; Exner, Vivien; Siretskiy, Alexey; Gruissem, Wilhelm; Köhler, Claudia; Hennig, Lars

    2016-04-01

    Several pathways control time to flowering in Arabidopsis thaliana through transcriptional and posttranscriptional gene regulation. In recent years, mRNA processing has gained interest as a critical regulator of flowering time control in plants. However, the molecular mechanisms linking RNA splicing to flowering time are not well understood. In a screen for Arabidopsis early flowering mutants we identified an allele of BRR2a. BRR2 proteins are components of the spliceosome and highly conserved in eukaryotes. Arabidopsis BRR2a is ubiquitously expressed in all analyzed tissues and involved in the processing of flowering time gene transcripts, most notably FLC. A missense mutation of threonine 895 in BRR2a caused defects in FLC splicing and greatly reduced FLC transcript levels. Reduced FLC expression increased transcription of FT and SOC1 leading to early flowering in both short and long days. Genome-wide experiments established that only a small set of introns was not correctly spliced in the brr2a mutant. Compared to control introns, retained introns were often shorter and GC-poor, had low H3K4me1 and CG methylation levels, and were often derived from genes with a high-H3K27me3-low-H3K36me3 signature. We propose that BRR2a is specifically needed for efficient splicing of a subset of introns characterized by a combination of factors including intron size, sequence and chromatin, and that FLC is most sensitive to splicing defects. PMID:27100965

  4. BRR2a Affects Flowering Time via FLC Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Mahrez, Walid; Shin, Juhyun; Exner, Vivien; Siretskiy, Alexey; Köhler, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    Several pathways control time to flowering in Arabidopsis thaliana through transcriptional and posttranscriptional gene regulation. In recent years, mRNA processing has gained interest as a critical regulator of flowering time control in plants. However, the molecular mechanisms linking RNA splicing to flowering time are not well understood. In a screen for Arabidopsis early flowering mutants we identified an allele of BRR2a. BRR2 proteins are components of the spliceosome and highly conserved in eukaryotes. Arabidopsis BRR2a is ubiquitously expressed in all analyzed tissues and involved in the processing of flowering time gene transcripts, most notably FLC. A missense mutation of threonine 895 in BRR2a caused defects in FLC splicing and greatly reduced FLC transcript levels. Reduced FLC expression increased transcription of FT and SOC1 leading to early flowering in both short and long days. Genome-wide experiments established that only a small set of introns was not correctly spliced in the brr2a mutant. Compared to control introns, retained introns were often shorter and GC-poor, had low H3K4me1 and CG methylation levels, and were often derived from genes with a high-H3K27me3-low-H3K36me3 signature. We propose that BRR2a is specifically needed for efficient splicing of a subset of introns characterized by a combination of factors including intron size, sequence and chromatin, and that FLC is most sensitive to splicing defects. PMID:27100965

  5. Intron loss and gain during evolution of the catalase gene family in angiosperms.

    PubMed Central

    Frugoli, J A; McPeek, M A; Thomas, T L; McClung, C R

    1998-01-01

    Angiosperms (flowering plants), including both monocots and dicots, contain small catalase gene families. In the dicot, Arabidopsis thaliana, two catalase (CAT) genes, CAT1 and CAT3, are tightly linked on chromosome 1 and a third, CAT2, which is more similar to CAT1 than to CAT3, is unlinked on chromosome 4. Comparison of positions and numbers of introns among 13 angiosperm catalase genomic sequences indicates that intron positions are conserved, and suggests that an ancestral catalase gene common to monocots and dicots contained seven introns. Arabidopsis CAT2 has seven introns; both CAT1 and CAT3 have six introns in positions conserved with CAT2, but each has lost a different intron. We suggest the following sequence of events during the evolution of the Arabidopsis catalase gene family. An initial duplication of an ancestral catalase gene gave rise to CAT3 and CAT1. CAT1 then served as the template for a second duplication, yielding CAT2. Intron losses from CAT1 and CAT3 followed these duplications. One subclade of monocot catalases has lost all but the 5'-most and 3'-most introns, which is consistent with a mechanism of intron loss by replacement of an ancestral intron-containing gene with a reverse-transcribed DNA copy of a fully spliced mRNA. Following this event of concerted intron loss, the Oryza sativa (rice, a monocot) CAT1 lineage acquired an intron in a novel position, consistent with a mechanism of intron gain at proto-splice sites. PMID:9584109

  6. U1 small nuclear RNA and spliceosomal introns in Euglena gracilis

    PubMed Central

    Breckenridge, David G.; Watanabe, Yoh-ichi; Greenwood, Spencer J.; Gray, Michael W.; Schnare, Murray N.

    1999-01-01

    In the flagellated protozoon Euglena gracilis, characterized nuclear genes harbor atypical introns that usually are flanked by short repeats, adopt complex secondary structures in pre-mRNA, and do not obey the GT-AG rule of conventional cis-spliced introns. In the nuclear fibrillarin gene of E. gracilis, we have identified three spliceosomal-type introns that have GT-AG consensus borders. Furthermore, we have isolated a small RNA from E. gracilis and propose, on the basis of primary and secondary structure comparisons, that it is a homolog of U1 small nuclear RNA, an essential component of the cis-spliceosome in higher eukaryotes. Conserved sequences at the 5′ splice sites of the fibrillarin introns can potentially base pair with Euglena U1 small nuclear RNA. Our observations demonstrate that spliceosomal GT-AG cis-splicing occurs in Euglena, in addition to the nonconventional cis-splicing and spliced leader trans-splicing previously recognized in this early diverging unicellular eukaryote. PMID:9927657

  7. The exon junction complex controls transposable element activity by ensuring faithful splicing of the piwi transcript

    PubMed Central

    Malone, Colin D.; Mestdagh, Claire; Akhtar, Junaid; Kreim, Nastasja; Deinhard, Pia; Sachidanandam, Ravi; Treisman, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    The exon junction complex (EJC) is a highly conserved ribonucleoprotein complex that binds RNAs during splicing and remains associated with them following export to the cytoplasm. While the role of this complex in mRNA localization, translation, and degradation has been well characterized, its mechanism of action in splicing a subset of Drosophila and human transcripts remains to be elucidated. Here, we describe a novel function for the EJC and its splicing subunit, RnpS1, in preventing transposon accumulation in both Drosophila germline and surrounding somatic follicle cells. This function is mediated specifically through the control of piwi transcript splicing, where, in the absence of RnpS1, the fourth intron of piwi is retained. This intron contains a weak polypyrimidine tract that is sufficient to confer dependence on RnpS1. Finally, we demonstrate that RnpS1-dependent removal of this intron requires splicing of the flanking introns, suggesting a model in which the EJC facilitates the splicing of weak introns following its initial deposition at adjacent exon junctions. These data demonstrate a novel role for the EJC in regulating piwi intron excision and provide a mechanism for its function during splicing. PMID:25104425

  8. Loss of two introns from the Magnolia tripetala mitochondrial cox2 gene implicates horizontal gene transfer and gene conversion as a novel mechanism of intron loss.

    PubMed

    Hepburn, Nancy J; Schmidt, Derek W; Mower, Jeffrey P

    2012-10-01

    Intron loss is often thought to occur through retroprocessing, which is the reverse transcription and genomic integration of a spliced transcript. In plant mitochondria, several unambiguous examples of retroprocessing are supported by the parallel loss of an intron and numerous adjacent RNA edit sites, but in most cases, the evidence for intron loss via retroprocessing is weak or lacking entirely. To evaluate mechanisms of intron loss, we designed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay to detect recent intron losses from the mitochondrial cox2 gene within genus Magnolia, which was previously suggested to have variability in cox2 intron content. Our assay showed that all 22 examined species have a cox2 gene with two introns. However, one species, Magnolia tripetala, contains an additional cox2 gene that lacks both introns. Quantitative PCR showed that both M. tripetala cox2 genes are present in the mitochondrial genome. Although the intronless gene has lost several ancestral RNA edit sites, their distribution is inconsistent with retroprocessing models. Instead, phylogenetic and gene conversion analyses indicate that the intronless gene was horizontally acquired from a eudicot and then underwent gene conversion with the native intron-containing gene. The models are presented to summarize the roles of horizontal gene transfer and gene conversion as a novel mechanism of intron loss.

  9. Regular spliceosomal introns are invasive in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: 15 introns in the recently relocated mitochondrial cox2 and cox3 genes.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, K I; Ohama, T

    2001-01-01

    In the unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, cytochrome oxidase subunit 2 (cox2) and 3 (cox3) genes are missing from the mitochondrial genome. We isolated and sequenced a BAC clone that carries the whole cox3 gene and its corresponding cDNA. Almost the entire cox2 gene and its cDNA were also determined. Comparison of the genomic and the corresponding cDNA sequences revealed that the cox3 gene contains as many as nine spliceosomal introns and that cox2 bears six introns. Putative mitochondria targeting signals were predicted at each N terminal of the cox genes. These spliceosomal introns were typical GT-AG-type introns, which are very common not only in Chlamydomonas nuclear genes but also in diverse eukaryotic taxa. We found no particular distinguishing features in the cox introns. Comparative analysis of these genes with the various mitochondrial genes showed that 8 of the 15 introns were interrupting the conserved mature protein coding segments, while the other 7 introns were located in the N-terminal target peptide regions. Phylogenetic analysis of the evolutionary position of C. reinhardtii in Chlorophyta was carried out and the existence of the cox2 and cox3 genes in the mitochondrial genome was superimposed in the tree. This analysis clearly shows that these cox genes were relocated during the evolution of Chlorophyceae. It is apparent that long before the estimated period of relocation of these mitochondrial genes, the cytosol had lost the splicing ability for group II introns. Therefore, at least eight introns located in the mature protein coding region cannot be the direct descendant of group II introns. Here, we conclude that the presence of these introns is due to the invasion of spliceosomal introns, which occurred during the evolution of Chlorophyceae. This finding provides concrete evidence supporting the "intron-late" model, which rests largely on the mobility of spliceosomal introns. PMID:11675593

  10. Enhanced group II intron retrohoming in magnesium-deficient Escherichia coli via selection of mutations in the ribozyme core

    PubMed Central

    Truong, David M.; Sidote, David J.; Russell, Rick; Lambowitz, Alan M.

    2013-01-01

    Mobile group II introns are bacterial retrotransposons thought to be evolutionary ancestors of spliceosomal introns and retroelements in eukaryotes. They consist of a catalytically active intron RNA (“ribozyme”) and an intron-encoded reverse transcriptase, which function together to promote RNA splicing and intron mobility via reverse splicing of the intron RNA into new DNA sites (“retrohoming”). Although group II introns are active in bacteria, their natural hosts, they function inefficiently in eukaryotes, where lower free Mg2+ concentrations decrease their ribozyme activity and constitute a natural barrier to group II intron proliferation within nuclear genomes. Here, we show that retrohoming of the Ll.LtrB group II intron is strongly inhibited in an Escherichia coli mutant lacking the Mg2+ transporter MgtA, and we use this system to select mutations in catalytic core domain V (DV) that partially rescue retrohoming at low Mg2+ concentrations. We thus identified mutations in the distal stem of DV that increase retrohoming efficiency in the MgtA mutant up to 22-fold. Biochemical assays of splicing and reverse splicing indicate that the mutations increase the fraction of intron RNA that folds into an active conformation at low Mg2+ concentrations, and terbium-cleavage assays suggest that this increase is due to enhanced Mg2+ binding to the distal stem of DV. Our findings indicate that DV is involved in a critical Mg2+-dependent RNA folding step in group II introns and demonstrate the feasibility of selecting intron variants that function more efficiently at low Mg2+ concentrations, with implications for evolution and potential applications in gene targeting. PMID:24043808

  11. Functionality of In vitro Reconstituted Group II Intron RmInt1-Derived Ribonucleoprotein Particles

    PubMed Central

    Molina-Sánchez, Maria D.; García-Rodríguez, Fernando M.; Toro, Nicolás

    2016-01-01

    The functional unit of mobile group II introns is a ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP) consisting of the intron-encoded protein (IEP) and the excised intron RNA. The IEP has reverse transcriptase activity but also promotes RNA splicing, and the RNA-protein complex triggers site-specific DNA insertion by reverse splicing, in a process called retrohoming. In vitro reconstituted ribonucleoprotein complexes from the Lactococcus lactis group II intron Ll.LtrB, which produce a double strand break, have recently been studied as a means of developing group II intron-based gene targeting methods for higher organisms. The Sinorhizobium meliloti group II intron RmInt1 is an efficient mobile retroelement, the dispersal of which appears to be linked to transient single-stranded DNA during replication. The RmInt1IEP lacks the endonuclease domain (En) and cannot cut the bottom strand to generate the 3′ end to initiate reverse transcription. We used an Escherichia coli expression system to produce soluble and active RmInt1 IEP and reconstituted RNPs with purified components in vitro. The RNPs generated were functional and reverse-spliced into a single-stranded DNA target. This work constitutes the starting point for the use of group II introns lacking DNA endonuclease domain-derived RNPs for highly specific gene targeting methods. PMID:27730127

  12. Phylogenetic distribution of intron positions in alpha-amylase genes of bilateria suggests numerous gains and losses.

    PubMed

    Da Lage, Jean-Luc; Maczkowiak, Frédérique; Cariou, Marie-Louise

    2011-01-01

    Most eukaryotes have at least some genes interrupted by introns. While it is well accepted that introns were already present at moderate density in the last eukaryote common ancestor, the conspicuous diversity of intron density among genomes suggests a complex evolutionary history, with marked differences between phyla. The question of the rates of intron gains and loss in the course of evolution and factors influencing them remains controversial. We have investigated a single gene family, alpha-amylase, in 55 species covering a variety of animal phyla. Comparison of intron positions across phyla suggests a complex history, with a likely ancestral intronless gene undergoing frequent intron loss and gain, leading to extant intron/exon structures that are highly variable, even among species from the same phylum. Because introns are known to play no regulatory role in this gene and there is no alternative splicing, the structural differences may be interpreted more easily: intron positions, sizes, losses or gains may be more likely related to factors linked to splicing mechanisms and requirements, and to recognition of introns and exons, or to more extrinsic factors, such as life cycle and population size. We have shown that intron losses outnumbered gains in recent periods, but that "resets" of intron positions occurred at the origin of several phyla, including vertebrates. Rates of gain and loss appear to be positively correlated. No phase preference was found. We also found evidence for parallel gains and for intron sliding. Presence of introns at given positions was correlated to a strong protosplice consensus sequence AG/G, which was much weaker in the absence of intron. In contrast, recent intron insertions were not associated with a specific sequence. In animal Amy genes, population size and generation time seem to have played only minor roles in shaping gene structures.

  13. Localized Retroprocessing as a Model of Intron Loss in the Plant Mitochondrial Genome.

    PubMed

    Cuenca, Argelia; Ross, T Gregory; Graham, Sean W; Barrett, Craig F; Davis, Jerrold I; Seberg, Ole; Petersen, Gitte

    2016-08-03

    Loss of introns in plant mitochondrial genes is commonly explained by retroprocessing. Under this model, an mRNA is reverse transcribed and integrated back into the genome, simultaneously affecting the contents of introns and edited sites. To evaluate the extent to which retroprocessing explains intron loss, we analyzed patterns of intron content and predicted RNA editing for whole mitochondrial genomes of 30 species in the monocot order Alismatales. In this group, we found an unusually high degree of variation in the intron content, even expanding the hitherto known variation among angiosperms. Some species have lost some two-third of the cis-spliced introns. We found a strong correlation between intron content and editing frequency, and detected 27 events in which intron loss is consistent with the presence of nucleotides in an edited state, supporting retroprocessing. However, we also detected seven cases of intron loss not readily being explained by retroprocession. Our analyses are also not consistent with the entire length of a fully processed cDNA copy being integrated into the genome, but instead indicate that retroprocessing usually occurs for only part of the gene. In some cases, several rounds of retroprocessing may explain intron loss in genes completely devoid of introns. A number of taxa retroprocessing seem to be very common and a possibly ongoing process. It affects the entire mitochondrial genome.

  14. Localized Retroprocessing as a Model of Intron Loss in the Plant Mitochondrial Genome

    PubMed Central

    Cuenca, Argelia; Ross, T. Gregory; Graham, Sean W.; Barrett, Craig F.; Davis, Jerrold I.; Seberg, Ole; Petersen, Gitte

    2016-01-01

    Loss of introns in plant mitochondrial genes is commonly explained by retroprocessing. Under this model, an mRNA is reverse transcribed and integrated back into the genome, simultaneously affecting the contents of introns and edited sites. To evaluate the extent to which retroprocessing explains intron loss, we analyzed patterns of intron content and predicted RNA editing for whole mitochondrial genomes of 30 species in the monocot order Alismatales. In this group, we found an unusually high degree of variation in the intron content, even expanding the hitherto known variation among angiosperms. Some species have lost some two-third of the cis-spliced introns. We found a strong correlation between intron content and editing frequency, and detected 27 events in which intron loss is consistent with the presence of nucleotides in an edited state, supporting retroprocessing. However, we also detected seven cases of intron loss not readily being explained by retroprocession. Our analyses are also not consistent with the entire length of a fully processed cDNA copy being integrated into the genome, but instead indicate that retroprocessing usually occurs for only part of the gene. In some cases, several rounds of retroprocessing may explain intron loss in genes completely devoid of introns. A number of taxa retroprocessing seem to be very common and a possibly ongoing process. It affects the entire mitochondrial genome. PMID:27435795

  15. Schizophyllum commune has an extensive and functional alternative splicing repertoire

    PubMed Central

    Gehrmann, Thies; Pelkmans, Jordi F.; Lugones, Luis G.; Wösten, Han A. B.; Abeel, Thomas; Reinders, Marcel J. T.

    2016-01-01

    Recent genome-wide studies have demonstrated that fungi possess the machinery to alternatively splice pre-mRNA. However, there has not been a systematic categorization of the functional impact of alternative splicing in a fungus. We investigate alternative splicing and its functional consequences in the model mushroom forming fungus Schizophyllum commune. Alternative splicing was demonstrated for 2,285 out of 12,988 expressed genes, resulting in 20% additional transcripts. Intron retentions were the most common alternative splicing events, accounting for 33% of all splicing events, and 43% of the events in coding regions. On the other hand, exon skipping events were rare in coding regions (1%) but enriched in UTRs where they accounted for 57% of the events. Specific functional groups, including transcription factors, contained alternatively spliced genes. Alternatively spliced transcripts were regulated differently throughout development in 19% of the 2,285 alternatively spliced genes. Notably, 69% of alternatively spliced genes have predicted alternative functionality by loss or gain of functional domains, or by acquiring alternative subcellular locations. S. commune exhibits more alternative splicing than any other studied fungus. Taken together, alternative splicing increases the complexity of the S. commune proteome considerably and provides it with a rich repertoire of alternative functionality that is exploited dynamically. PMID:27659065

  16. Intron-genome size relationship on a large evolutionary scale.

    PubMed

    Vinogradov, A E

    1999-09-01

    The intron-genome size relationship was studied across a wide evolutionary range (from slime mold and yeast to human and maize), as well as the relationship between genome size and the ratio of intervening/coding sequence size. The average intron size is scaled to genome size with a slope of about one-fourth for the log-transformed values; i.e., on the global scale its increase in evolution is lower than the increase in genome size by four orders of magnitude. There are exceptions to the general trend. In baker's yeast introns are extraordinarily long for its genome size. Tetrapods also have longer introns than expected for their genome sizes. In teleost fish the mean intron size does not differ significantly, notwithstanding the differences in genome size. In contrast to previous reports, avian introns were not found to be significantly shorter than introns of mammals, although avian genomes are smaller than genomes of mammals on average by about a factor of 2.5. The extra-/intragenic ratio of noncoding DNA can be higher in fungi than in animals, notwithstanding the smaller fungal genomes. In vertebrates and invertebrates taken separately, this ratio is increasing as the increase in genome size. Two hypotheses are proposed to explain the variation in the extra-/intragenic ratio of noncoding DNA in organisms with similar numbers of genes: transition (dynamic) and equilibrium (static). According to the transition model, this variation arises with the rapid shift of genome size because the bulk of extragenic DNA can be changed more rapidly than the finely interspersed intron sequences. The equilibrium model assumes that this variation is a result of selective adjustment of genome size with constraints imposed on the intron size due to its putative link to chromatin structure (and constraints of the splicing machinery). PMID:10473779

  17. Altered PLP1 splicing causes hypomyelination of early myelinating structures

    PubMed Central

    Kevelam, Sietske H; Taube, Jennifer R; van Spaendonk, Rosalina M L; Bertini, Enrico; Sperle, Karen; Tarnopolsky, Mark; Tonduti, Davide; Valente, Enza Maria; Travaglini, Lorena; Sistermans, Erik A; Bernard, Geneviève; Catsman-Berrevoets, Coriene E; van Karnebeek, Clara D M; Østergaard, John R; Friederich, Richard L; Fawzi Elsaid, Mahmoud; Schieving, Jolanda H; Tarailo-Graovac, Maja; Orcesi, Simona; Steenweg, Marjan E; van Berkel, Carola G M; Waisfisz, Quinten; Abbink, Truus E M; van der Knaap, Marjo S; Hobson, Grace M; Wolf, Nicole I

    2015-01-01

    Objective The objective of this study was to investigate the genetic etiology of the X-linked disorder “Hypomyelination of Early Myelinating Structures” (HEMS). Methods We included 16 patients from 10 families diagnosed with HEMS by brain MRI criteria. Exome sequencing was used to search for causal mutations. In silico analysis of effects of the mutations on splicing and RNA folding was performed. In vitro gene splicing was examined in RNA from patients’ fibroblasts and an immortalized immature oligodendrocyte cell line after transfection with mutant minigene splicing constructs. Results All patients had unusual hemizygous mutations of PLP1 located in exon 3B (one deletion, one missense and two silent), which is spliced out in isoform DM20, or in intron 3 (five mutations). The deletion led to truncation of PLP1, but not DM20. Four mutations were predicted to affect PLP1/DM20 alternative splicing by creating exonic splicing silencer motifs or new splice donor sites or by affecting the local RNA structure of the PLP1 splice donor site. Four deep intronic mutations were predicted to destabilize a long-distance interaction structure in the secondary PLP1 RNA fragment involved in regulating PLP1/DM20 alternative splicing. Splicing studies in fibroblasts and transfected cells confirmed a decreased PLP1/DM20 ratio. Interpretation Brain structures that normally myelinate early are poorly myelinated in HEMS, while they are the best myelinated structures in Pelizaeus–Merzbacher disease, also caused by PLP1 alterations. Our data extend the phenotypic spectrum of PLP1-related disorders indicating that normal PLP1/DM20 alternative splicing is essential for early myelination and support the need to include intron 3 in diagnostic sequencing. PMID:26125040

  18. In vitro Splicing of Influenza Viral NS1 mRNA and NS1-β -globin Chimeras: Possible Mechanisms for the Control of Viral mRNA Splicing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plotch, Stephen J.; Krug, Robert M.

    1986-08-01

    In influenza virus-infected cells, the splicing of the viral NS1 mRNA catalyzed by host nuclear enzymes is controlled so that the steady-state amount of the spliced NS2 mRNA is only 5-10% of that of the unspliced NS1 mRNA. Here we examine the splicing of NS1 mRNA in vitro, using nuclear extracts from HeLa cells. We show that in addition to its consensus 5' and 3' splice sites, NS1 mRNA has an intron branch-point adenosine residue that was functional in lariat formation. Nonetheless, this RNA was not detectably spliced in vitro under conditions in which a human β -globin precursor was efficiently spliced. Using chimeric RNA precursors containing both NS1 and β -globin sequences, we show that the NS1 5' splice site was effectively utilized by the β -globin branch-point sequence and 3' splice site to form a spliced RNA, whereas the NS1 3' splice site did not function in detectable splicing in vitro, even in the presence of the β -globin branch-point sequence or in the presence of both the branch-point sequence and 5' exon and splice site from β -globin With the chimeric precursors that were not detectably spliced, as with NS1 mRNA itself, a low level of a lariat structure containing only intron and not 3' exon sequences was formed. The inability of the consensus 3' splice site of NS1 mRNA to function effectively in in vitro splicing suggests that this site is structurally inaccessible to components of the splicing machinery. Based on these results, we propose two mechanisms whereby NS1 mRNA splicing in infected cells is controlled via the accessibility of its 3' splice site.

  19. An intron within the 16S ribosomal RNA gene of the archaeon Pyrobaculum aerophilum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burggraf, S.; Larsen, N.; Woese, C. R.; Stetter, K. O.

    1993-01-01

    The 16S rRNA genes of Pyrobaculum aerophilum and Pyrobaculum islandicum were amplified by the polymerase chain reaction, and the resulting products were sequenced directly. The two organisms are closely related by this measure (over 98% similar). However, they differ in that the (lone) 16S rRNA gene of Pyrobaculum aerophilum contains a 713-bp intron not seen in the corresponding gene of Pyrobaculum islandicum. To our knowledge, this is the only intron so far reported in the small subunit rRNA gene of a prokaryote. Upon excision the intron is circularized. A secondary structure model of the intron-containing rRNA suggests a splicing mechanism of the same type as that invoked for the tRNA introns of the Archaea and Eucarya and 23S rRNAs of the Archaea. The intron contains an open reading frame whose protein translation shows no certain homology with any known protein sequence.

  20. Parallel Loss of Plastid Introns and Their Maturase in the Genus Cuscuta

    PubMed Central

    McNeal, Joel R.; Kuehl, Jennifer V.; Boore, Jeffrey L.; Leebens-Mack, Jim; dePamphilis, Claude W.

    2009-01-01

    Plastid genome content and arrangement are highly conserved across most land plants and their closest relatives, streptophyte algae, with nearly all plastid introns having invaded the genome in their common ancestor at least 450 million years ago. One such intron, within the transfer RNA trnK-UUU, contains a large open reading frame that encodes a presumed intron maturase, matK. This gene is missing from the plastid genomes of two species in the parasitic plant genus Cuscuta but is found in all other published land plant and streptophyte algal plastid genomes, including that of the nonphotosynthetic angiosperm Epifagus virginiana and two other species of Cuscuta. By examining matK and plastid intron distribution in Cuscuta, we add support to the hypothesis that its normal role is in splicing seven of the eight group IIA introns in the genome. We also analyze matK nucleotide sequences from Cuscuta species and relatives that retain matK to test whether changes in selective pressure in the maturase are associated with intron deletion. Stepwise loss of most group IIA introns from the plastid genome results in substantial change in selective pressure within the hypothetical RNA-binding domain of matK in both Cuscuta and Epifagus, either through evolution from a generalist to a specialist intron splicer or due to loss of a particular intron responsible for most of the constraint on the binding region. The possibility of intron-specific specialization in the X-domain is implicated by evidence of positive selection on the lineage leading to C. nitida in association with the loss of six of seven introns putatively spliced by matK. Moreover, transfer RNA gene deletion facilitated by parasitism combined with an unusually high rate of intron loss from remaining functional plastid genes created a unique circumstance on the lineage leading to Cuscuta subgenus Grammica that allowed elimination of matK in the most species-rich lineage of Cuscuta. PMID:19543388

  1. Introns: The Functional Benefits of Introns in Genomes.

    PubMed

    Jo, Bong-Seok; Choi, Sun Shim

    2015-12-01

    The intron has been a big biological mystery since it was first discovered in several aspects. First, all of the completely sequenced eukaryotes harbor introns in the genomic structure, whereas no prokaryotes identified so far carry introns. Second, the amount of total introns varies in different species. Third, the length and number of introns vary in different genes, even within the same species genome. Fourth, all introns are copied into RNAs by transcription and DNAs by replication processes, but intron sequences do not participate in protein-coding sequences. The existence of introns in the genome should be a burden to some cells, because cells have to consume a great deal of energy to copy and excise them exactly at the correct positions with the help of complicated spliceosomal machineries. The existence throughout the long evolutionary history is explained, only if selective advantages of carrying introns are assumed to be given to cells to overcome the negative effect of introns. In that regard, we summarize previous research about the functional roles or benefits of introns. Additionally, several other studies strongly suggesting that introns should not be junk will be introduced. PMID:26865841

  2. Introns of plant pri-miRNAs enhance miRNA biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Bielewicz, Dawid; Kalak, Malgorzata; Kalyna, Maria; Windels, David; Barta, Andrea; Vazquez, Franck; Szweykowska-Kulinska, Zofia; Jarmolowski, Artur

    2013-01-01

    Plant MIR genes are independent transcription units that encode long primary miRNA precursors, which usually contain introns. For two miRNA genes, MIR163 and MIR161, we show that introns are crucial for the accumulation of proper levels of mature miRNA. Removal of the intron in both cases led to a drop-off in the level of mature miRNAs. We demonstrate that the stimulating effects of the intron mostly reside in the 5′ss rather than on a genuine splicing event. Our findings are biologically significant as the presence of functional splice sites in the MIR163 gene appears mandatory for pathogen-triggered accumulation of miR163 and proper regulation of at least one of its targets. PMID:23681439

  3. Localization of a bacterial group II intron-encoded protein in human cells

    PubMed Central

    Reinoso-Colacio, Mercedes; García-Rodríguez, Fernando Manuel; García-Cañadas, Marta; Amador-Cubero, Suyapa; Pérez, José Luis García; Toro, Nicolás

    2015-01-01

    Group II introns are mobile retroelements that self-splice from precursor RNAs to form ribonucleoparticles (RNP), which can invade new specific genomic DNA sites. This specificity can be reprogrammed, for insertion into any desired DNA site, making these introns useful tools for bacterial genetic engineering. However, previous studies have suggested that these elements may function inefficiently in eukaryotes. We investigated the subcellular distribution, in cultured human cells, of the protein encoded by the group II intron RmInt1 (IEP) and several mutants. We created fusions with yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) and with a FLAG epitope. We found that the IEP was localized in the nucleus and nucleolus of the cells. Remarkably, it also accumulated at the periphery of the nuclear matrix. We were also able to identify spliced lariat intron RNA, which co-immunoprecipitated with the IEP, suggesting that functional RmInt1 RNPs can be assembled in cultured human cells. PMID:26244523

  4. RNA chaperone StpA loosens interactions of the tertiary structure in the td group I intron in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Waldsich, Christina; Grossberger, Rupert; Schroeder, Renée

    2002-01-01

    Efficient splicing of the td group I intron in vivo is dependent on the ribosome. In the absence of translation, the pre-mRNA is trapped in nonnative-splicing-incompetent conformations. Alternatively, folding of the pre-mRNA can be promoted by the RNA chaperone StpA or by the group I intron-specific splicing factor Cyt-18. To understand the mechanism of action of RNA chaperones, we probed the impact of StpA on the structure of the td intron in vivo. Our data suggest that StpA loosens tertiary interactions. The most prominent structural change was the opening of the base triples, which are involved in the correct orientation of the two major intron core domains. In line with the destabilizing activity of StpA, splicing of mutant introns with a reduced structural stability is sensitive to StpA. In contrast, Cyt-18 strengthens tertiary contacts, thereby rescuing splicing of structurally compromised td mutants in vivo. Our data provide direct evidence for protein-induced conformational changes within catalytic RNA in vivo. Whereas StpA resolves tertiary contacts enabling the RNA to refold, Cyt-18 contributes to the overall compactness of the td intron in vivo. PMID:12208852

  5. Functional analysis of a C. elegans trans-splice acceptor.

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, R; Liou, R F; Blumenthal, T

    1993-01-01

    The rol-6 gene is trans-spliced to the 22 nt leader, SL1, 173 nt downstream of the transcription start. We have analyzed splicing in transformants carrying extrachromosomal arrays of rol-6 with mutations in the trans-splice acceptor site. This site is a close match to the consensus, UUUCAG, that is highly conserved in both trans-splice and intron acceptor sites in C. elegans. When the trans-splice site was inactivated by mutating the perfectly-conserved AG, trans-splicing still occurred, but at a cryptic site 20 nt upstream. We tested the frequency with which splicing switched from the normal site to the cryptic site when the pyrimidines at this site were changed to A's. Since most C. elegans 3' splice sites lack an obvious polypyrimidine tract, we hypothesized that these four pyrimidines might play this role, and indeed mutation of these bases caused splicing to switch to the cryptic site. We also demonstrated that a major reason the downstream site is normally favored is because it occurs at a boundary between A+U rich and non-A+U rich RNA. When the RNA between the two splice sites was made less A+U rich, splicing occurred preferentially at the upstream site. Images PMID:8451190

  6. An SF1 affinity model to identify branch point sequences in human introns

    PubMed Central

    Pastuszak, Alexander W.; Joachimiak, Marcin P.; Blanchette, Marco; Rio, Donald C.; Brenner, Steven E.; Frankel, Alan D.

    2011-01-01

    Splicing factor 1 (SF1) binds to the branch point sequence (BPS) of mammalian introns and is believed to be important for the splicing of some, but not all, introns. To help identify BPSs, particularly those that depend on SF1, we generated a BPS profile model in which SF1 binding affinity data, validated by branch point mapping, were iteratively incorporated into computational models. We searched a data set of 117 499 human introns for best matches to the SF1 Affinity Model above a threshold, and counted the number of matches at each intronic position. After subtracting a background value, we found that 87.9% of remaining high-scoring matches identified were located in a region upstream of 3′-splice sites where BPSs are typically found. Since U2AF65 recognizes the polypyrimidine tract (PPT) and forms a cooperative RNA complex with SF1, we combined the SF1 model with a PPT model computed from high affinity binding sequences for U2AF65. The combined model, together with binding site location constraints, accurately identified introns bound by SF1 that are candidates for SF1-dependent splicing. PMID:21071404

  7. A mutation in a splicing factor that causes retinitis pigmentosa has a transcriptome-wide effect on mRNA splicing

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Substantial progress has been made in the identification of sequence elements that control mRNA splicing and the genetic variants in these elements that alter mRNA splicing (referred to as splicing quantitative trait loci – sQTLs). Genetic variants that affect mRNA splicing in trans are harder to identify because their effects can be more subtle and diffuse, and the variants are not co-located with their targets. We carried out a transcriptome-wide analysis of the effects of a mutation in a ubiquitous splicing factor that causes retinitis pigmentosa (RP) on mRNA splicing, using exon microarrays. Results Exon microarray data was generated from whole blood samples obtained from four individuals with a mutation in the splicing factor PRPF8 and four sibling controls. Although the mutation has no known phenotype in blood, there was evidence of widespread differences in splicing between cases and controls (affecting approximately 20% of exons). Most probesets with significantly different inclusion (defined as the expression intensity of the exon divided by the expression of the corresponding transcript) between cases and controls had higher inclusion in cases and corresponded to exons that were shorter than average, AT rich, located towards the 5’ end of the gene and flanked by long introns. Introns flanking affected probesets were particularly depleted for the shortest category of introns, associated with splicing via intron definition. Conclusions Our results show that a mutation in a splicing factor, with a phenotype that is restricted to retinal tissue, acts as a trans-sQTL cluster in whole blood samples. Characteristics of the affected exons suggest that they are spliced co-transcriptionally and via exon definition. However, due to the small sample size available for this study, further studies are required to confirm the widespread impact of this PRPF8 mutation on mRNA splicing outside the retina. PMID:24969741

  8. Alternative pre-mRNA splicing in Drosophila spliceosomal assembly factor RNP-4F during development.

    PubMed

    Fetherson, Rebecca A; Strock, Stephen B; White, Kristen N; Vaughn, Jack C

    2006-04-26

    The 5'- and 3'-UTR regions in pre-mRNAs play a variety of roles in controlling eukaryotic gene expression, including translational modulation. Here we report the results of a systematic study of alternative splicing in rnp-4f, which encodes a Drosophila spliceosomal assembly factor. We show that most of the nine introns are constitutively spliced, but several patterns of alternative splicing are observed in two pre-mRNA regions including the 5'-UTR. Intron V is shown to be of recent evolutionary origin and is infrequently spliced, resulting in generation of an in-frame stop codon and a predicted truncated protein lacking a nuclear localization signal, so that alternative splicing regulates its subcellular localization. Intron 0, located in the 5'-UTR, is subject to three different splicing decisions in D. melanogaster. Northern analysis of poly(A+) mRNAs reveals two differently sized rnp-4f mRNA isoforms in this species. A switch in relative isoform abundance occurs during mid-embryo stages, when the larger isoform becomes more abundant. This isoform is shown to represent intron 0 unspliced mRNA, whereas the smaller transcript represents the product of alternative splicing. Comparative genomic analysis predicts that intron 0 is present in diverse Drosophila species. Intron 0 splicing results in loss of an evolutionarily conserved stem-loop constituting a potential cis-regulatory element at the 3'-splice site. A model is proposed for the role of this element both in 5'-UTR alternative splicing decisions and in RNP-4F translational modulation. Preliminary evidences in support of our model are discussed.

  9. RNA splicing in a new rhabdovirus from Culex mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Kuwata, Ryusei; Isawa, Haruhiko; Hoshino, Keita; Tsuda, Yoshio; Yanase, Tohru; Sasaki, Toshinori; Kobayashi, Mutsuo; Sawabe, Kyoko

    2011-07-01

    Among members of the order Mononegavirales, RNA splicing events have been found only in the family Bornaviridae. Here, we report that a new rhabdovirus isolated from the mosquito Culex tritaeniorhynchus replicates in the nuclei of infected cells and requires RNA splicing for viral mRNA maturation. The virus, designated Culex tritaeniorhynchus rhabdovirus (CTRV), shares a similar genome organization with other rhabdoviruses, except for the presence of a putative intron in the coding region for the L protein. Molecular phylogenetic studies indicated that CTRV belongs to the family Rhabdoviridae, but it is yet to be assigned a genus. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that the CTRV virion is extremely elongated, unlike virions of rhabdoviruses, which are generally bullet shaped. Northern hybridization confirmed that a large transcript (approximately 6,500 nucleotides [nt]) from the CTRV L gene was present in the infected cells. Strand-specific reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) analyses identified the intron-exon boundaries and the 76-nt intron sequence, which contains the typical motif for eukaryotic spliceosomal intron-splice donor/acceptor sites (GU-AG), a predicted branch point, and a polypyrimidine tract. In situ hybridization exhibited that viral RNAs are primarily localized in the nucleus of infected cells, indicating that CTRV replicates in the nucleus and is allowed to utilize the host's nuclear splicing machinery. This is the first report of RNA splicing among the members of the family Rhabdoviridae.

  10. RNA structural patterns and splicing: molecular basis for an RNA-based enhancer.

    PubMed Central

    Libri, D; Stutz, F; McCarthy, T; Rosbash, M

    1995-01-01

    Efficient splicing of the 325-nt yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) rp51b intron requires the presence of two short interacting sequences located 200 nt apart. We used the powerful technique of randomization-selection to probe the overall structure of the intron and to investigate its role in pre-mRNA splicing. We identified a number of alternative RNA-RNA interactions in the intron that promote efficient splicing, and we showed that similar base pairings can also improve splicing efficiency in artificially designed introns. Only a very limited amount of structural information is necessary to create or maintain such a mechanism. Our results suggest that the base pairing contributes transiently to the spliceosome assembly process, most likely by complementing interactions between splicing factors. We propose that splicing enhancement by structure represents a general mechanism operating in large yeast introns that evolutionarily preceded the protein-based splicing enhancers of higher eukaryotes. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 FIGURE 5 FIGURE 6 PMID:7493320

  11. Alternative splicing of the maize Ac transposase transcript in transgenic sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.).

    PubMed

    Lisson, Ralph; Hellert, Jan; Ringleb, Malte; Machens, Fabian; Kraus, Josef; Hehl, Reinhard

    2010-09-01

    The maize Activator/Dissociation (Ac/Ds) transposable element system was introduced into sugar beet. The autonomous Ac and non-autonomous Ds element excise from the T-DNA vector and integrate at novel positions in the sugar beet genome. Ac and Ds excisions generate footprints in the donor T-DNA that support the hairpin model for transposon excision. Two complete integration events into genomic sugar beet DNA were obtained by IPCR. Integration of Ac leads to an eight bp duplication, while integration of Ds in a homologue of a sugar beet flowering locus gene did not induce a duplication. The molecular structure of the target site indicates Ds integration into a double strand break. Analyses of transposase transcription using RT-PCR revealed low amounts of alternatively spliced mRNAs. The fourth intron of the transposase was found to be partially misspliced. Four different splice products were identified. In addition, the second and third exon were found to harbour two and three novel introns, respectively. These utilize each the same splice donor but several alternative splice acceptor sites. Using the SplicePredictor online tool, one of the two introns within exon two is predicted to be efficiently spliced in maize. Most interestingly, splicing of this intron together with the four major introns of Ac would generate a transposase that lacks the DNA binding domain and two of its three nuclear localization signals, but still harbours the dimerization domain.

  12. Alternative splicing of the maize Ac transposase transcript in transgenic sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.)

    PubMed Central

    Lisson, Ralph; Hellert, Jan; Ringleb, Malte; Machens, Fabian; Kraus, Josef

    2010-01-01

    The maize Activator/Dissociation (Ac/Ds) transposable element system was introduced into sugar beet. The autonomous Ac and non-autonomous Ds element excise from the T-DNA vector and integrate at novel positions in the sugar beet genome. Ac and Ds excisions generate footprints in the donor T-DNA that support the hairpin model for transposon excision. Two complete integration events into genomic sugar beet DNA were obtained by IPCR. Integration of Ac leads to an eight bp duplication, while integration of Ds in a homologue of a sugar beet flowering locus gene did not induce a duplication. The molecular structure of the target site indicates Ds integration into a double strand break. Analyses of transposase transcription using RT–PCR revealed low amounts of alternatively spliced mRNAs. The fourth intron of the transposase was found to be partially misspliced. Four different splice products were identified. In addition, the second and third exon were found to harbour two and three novel introns, respectively. These utilize each the same splice donor but several alternative splice acceptor sites. Using the SplicePredictor online tool, one of the two introns within exon two is predicted to be efficiently spliced in maize. Most interestingly, splicing of this intron together with the four major introns of Ac would generate a transposase that lacks the DNA binding domain and two of its three nuclear localization signals, but still harbours the dimerization domain. PMID:20512402

  13. Alternative splicing of the maize Ac transposase transcript in transgenic sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.).

    PubMed

    Lisson, Ralph; Hellert, Jan; Ringleb, Malte; Machens, Fabian; Kraus, Josef; Hehl, Reinhard

    2010-09-01

    The maize Activator/Dissociation (Ac/Ds) transposable element system was introduced into sugar beet. The autonomous Ac and non-autonomous Ds element excise from the T-DNA vector and integrate at novel positions in the sugar beet genome. Ac and Ds excisions generate footprints in the donor T-DNA that support the hairpin model for transposon excision. Two complete integration events into genomic sugar beet DNA were obtained by IPCR. Integration of Ac leads to an eight bp duplication, while integration of Ds in a homologue of a sugar beet flowering locus gene did not induce a duplication. The molecular structure of the target site indicates Ds integration into a double strand break. Analyses of transposase transcription using RT-PCR revealed low amounts of alternatively spliced mRNAs. The fourth intron of the transposase was found to be partially misspliced. Four different splice products were identified. In addition, the second and third exon were found to harbour two and three novel introns, respectively. These utilize each the same splice donor but several alternative splice acceptor sites. Using the SplicePredictor online tool, one of the two introns within exon two is predicted to be efficiently spliced in maize. Most interestingly, splicing of this intron together with the four major introns of Ac would generate a transposase that lacks the DNA binding domain and two of its three nuclear localization signals, but still harbours the dimerization domain. PMID:20512402

  14. Characterization of the molecular basis of group II intron RNA recognition by CRS1-CRM domains.

    PubMed

    Keren, Ido; Klipcan, Liron; Bezawork-Geleta, Ayenachew; Kolton, Max; Shaya, Felix; Ostersetzer-Biran, Oren

    2008-08-22

    CRM (chloroplast RNA splicing and ribosome maturation) is a recently recognized RNA-binding domain of ancient origin that has been retained in eukaryotic genomes only within the plant lineage. Whereas in bacteria CRM domains exist as single domain proteins involved in ribosome maturation, in plants they are found in a family of proteins that contain between one and four repeats. Several members of this family with multiple CRM domains have been shown to be required for the splicing of specific plastidic group II introns. Detailed biochemical analysis of one of these factors in maize, CRS1, demonstrated its high affinity and specific binding to the single group II intron whose splicing it facilitates, the plastid-encoded atpF intron RNA. Through its association with two intronic regions, CRS1 guides the folding of atpF intron RNA into its predicted "catalytically active" form. To understand how multiple CRM domains cooperate to achieve high affinity sequence-specific binding to RNA, we analyzed the RNA binding affinity and specificity associated with each individual CRM domain in CRS1; whereas CRM3 bound tightly to the RNA, CRM1 associated specifically with a unique region found within atpF intron domain I. CRM2, which demonstrated only low binding affinity, also seems to form specific interactions with regions localized to domains I, III, and IV. We further show that CRM domains share structural similarities and RNA binding characteristics with the well known RNA recognition motif domain.

  15. Structure-function analysis of the trypanosomatid spliced leader RNA.

    PubMed Central

    Goncharov, I; Xu, Y X; Zimmer, Y; Sherman, K; Michaeli, S

    1998-01-01

    In trypanosomes, all mRNAs possess a spliced leader (SL) at their 5' end. SL is added to pre-mRNA via trans -splicing from a small RNA, the SL RNA. To examine structure-function aspects of the trypanosomatid SL RNA, an in vivo system was developed in the monogenetic trypanosomatid Leptomonas collosoma to analyze the function of chimeric and site-directed SL RNA mutants in trans -splicing. Stable cell lines expressing chimeric and mutated SL RNA from the authentic SL RNA regulatory unit were obtained. The chimeric RNA was expressed and assembled into an SL RNP particle, but could not serve as a substrate in splicing. Mutations in loop II and III of L.collosoma SL RNA formed the Y structure intermediate. In addition, a double SL RNA mutant in loop II, and positions 7 and 8 of the intron, also formed the Y structure intermediate, suggesting that these intron positions, although proposed to participate in the interaction of SL RNA with U5, may not be crucial for the first step of the trans -splicing reaction. A mutation in the exon located in loop I was not utilized in splicing, suggesting the importance of exon sequences for trans -splicing in trypanosomes. However, a double SL RNA mutant in loop II and exon position 31 was utilized in both steps of splicing; the mutant thus provides a model molecule for further analysis of positions essential for the function of the SL RNA. PMID:9547281

  16. Involvement of PARP1 in the regulation of alternative splicing

    PubMed Central

    Matveeva, Elena; Maiorano, John; Zhang, Qingyang; Eteleeb, Abdallah M; Convertini, Paolo; Chen, Jing; Infantino, Vittoria; Stamm, Stefan; Wang, Jiping; Rouchka, Eric C; Fondufe-Mittendorf, Yvonne N

    2016-01-01

    Specialized chromatin structures such as nucleosomes with specific histone modifications decorate exons in eukaryotic genomes, suggesting a functional connection between chromatin organization and the regulation of pre-mRNA splicing. Through profiling the functional location of Poly (ADP) ribose polymerase, we observed that it is associated with the nucleosomes at exon/intron boundaries of specific genes, suggestive of a role for this enzyme in alternative splicing. Poly (ADP) ribose polymerase has previously been implicated in the PARylation of splicing factors as well as regulation of the histone modification H3K4me3, a mark critical for co-transcriptional splicing. In light of these studies, we hypothesized that interaction of the chromatin-modifying factor, Poly (ADP) ribose polymerase with nucleosomal structures at exon–intron boundaries, might regulate pre-mRNA splicing. Using genome-wide approaches validated by gene-specific assays, we show that depletion of PARP1 or inhibition of its PARylation activity results in changes in alternative splicing of a specific subset of genes. Furthermore, we observed that PARP1 bound to RNA, splicing factors and chromatin, suggesting that Poly (ADP) ribose polymerase serves as a gene regulatory hub to facilitate co-transcriptional splicing. These studies add another function to the multi-functional protein, Poly (ADP) ribose polymerase, and provide a platform for further investigation of this protein’s function in organizing chromatin during gene regulatory processes. PMID:27462443

  17. Nanoplasmonic probes of RNA folding and assembly during pre-mRNA splicing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Anh H.; Lee, Jong Uk; Sim, Sang Jun

    2016-02-01

    RNA splicing plays important roles in transcriptome and proteome diversity. Herein, we describe the use of a nanoplasmonic system that unveils RNA folding and assembly during pre-mRNA splicing wherein the quantification of mRNA splice variants is not taken into account. With a couple of SERS-probes and plasmonic probes binding at the boundary sites of exon-2/intron-2 and intron-2/exon-3 of the pre-mature RNA of the β-globin gene, the splicing process brings the probes into the plasmonic bands. For plasmonic probes, a plasmon shift increase of ~29 nm, corresponding to intron removal and exon-2 and exon-3 connection to form the mRNA molecule, is measured by plasmonic coupling. The increased scattering intensity and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) fingerprinting reveal the clear dynamics of pre-mRNA splicing. Moreover, a time-resolved experiment of individual RNA molecules exhibited a successful splicing and an inhibited splicing event by 33 μM biflavonoid isoginkgetin, a general inhibitor of RNA splicing. The results suggest that the RNA splicing is successfully monitored with the nanoplasmonic system. Thus, this platform can be useful for studying RNA nanotechnology, biomolecular folding, alternative splicing, and maturation of microRNA.

  18. Purifying Selection on Exonic Splice Enhancers in Intronless Genes

    PubMed Central

    Savisaar, Rosina; Hurst, Laurence D.

    2016-01-01

    Exonic splice enhancers (ESEs) are short nucleotide motifs, enriched near exon ends, that enhance the recognition of the splice site and thus promote splicing. Are intronless genes under selection to avoid these motifs so as not to attract the splicing machinery to an mRNA that should not be spliced, thereby preventing the production of an aberrant transcript? Consistent with this possibility, we find that ESEs in putative recent retrocopies are at a higher density and evolving faster than those in other intronless genes, suggesting that they are being lost. Moreover, intronless genes are less dense in putative ESEs than intron-containing ones. However, this latter difference is likely due to the skewed base composition of intronless sequences, a skew that is in line with the general GC richness of few exon genes. Indeed, after controlling for such biases, we find that both intronless and intron-containing genes are denser in ESEs than expected by chance. Importantly, nucleotide-controlled analysis of evolutionary rates at synonymous sites in ESEs indicates that the ESEs in intronless genes are under purifying selection in both human and mouse. We conclude that on the loss of introns, some but not all, ESE motifs are lost, the remainder having functions beyond a role in splice promotion. These results have implications for the design of intronless transgenes and for understanding the causes of selection on synonymous sites. PMID:26802218

  19. An intronic RNA structure modulates expression of the mRNA biogenesis factor Sus1.

    PubMed

    AbuQattam, Ali; Gallego, José; Rodríguez-Navarro, Susana

    2016-01-01

    Sus1 is a conserved protein involved in chromatin remodeling and mRNA biogenesis. Unlike most yeast genes, the SUS1 pre-mRNA of Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains two introns and is alternatively spliced, retaining one or both introns in response to changes in environmental conditions. SUS1 splicing may allow the cell to control Sus1 expression, but the mechanisms that regulate this process remain unknown. Using in silico analyses together with NMR spectroscopy, gel electrophoresis, and UV thermal denaturation experiments, we show that the downstream intron (I2) of SUS1 forms a weakly stable, 37-nucleotide stem-loop structure containing the branch site near its apical loop and the 3' splice site after the stem terminus. A cellular assay revealed that two of four mutants containing altered I2 structures had significantly impaired SUS1 expression. Semiquantitative RT-PCR experiments indicated that all mutants accumulated unspliced SUS1 pre-mRNA and/or induced distorted levels of fully spliced mRNA relative to wild type. Concomitantly, Sus1 cellular functions in histone H2B deubiquitination and mRNA export were affected in I2 hairpin mutants that inhibited splicing. This work demonstrates that I2 structure is relevant for SUS1 expression, and that this effect is likely exerted through modulation of splicing.

  20. An intronic RNA structure modulates expression of the mRNA biogenesis factor Sus1

    PubMed Central

    AbuQattam, Ali; Gallego, José; Rodríguez-Navarro, Susana

    2016-01-01

    Sus1 is a conserved protein involved in chromatin remodeling and mRNA biogenesis. Unlike most yeast genes, the SUS1 pre-mRNA of Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains two introns and is alternatively spliced, retaining one or both introns in response to changes in environmental conditions. SUS1 splicing may allow the cell to control Sus1 expression, but the mechanisms that regulate this process remain unknown. Using in silico analyses together with NMR spectroscopy, gel electrophoresis, and UV thermal denaturation experiments, we show that the downstream intron (I2) of SUS1 forms a weakly stable, 37-nucleotide stem–loop structure containing the branch site near its apical loop and the 3′ splice site after the stem terminus. A cellular assay revealed that two of four mutants containing altered I2 structures had significantly impaired SUS1 expression. Semiquantitative RT-PCR experiments indicated that all mutants accumulated unspliced SUS1 pre-mRNA and/or induced distorted levels of fully spliced mRNA relative to wild type. Concomitantly, Sus1 cellular functions in histone H2B deubiquitination and mRNA export were affected in I2 hairpin mutants that inhibited splicing. This work demonstrates that I2 structure is relevant for SUS1 expression, and that this effect is likely exerted through modulation of splicing. PMID:26546116

  1. Whence genes in pieces: reconstruction of the exon-intron gene structures of the last eukaryotic common ancestor and other ancestral eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V; Csuros, Miklos; Rogozin, Igor B

    2013-01-01

    In eukaryotes, protein-coding sequences are interrupted by non-coding sequences known as introns. During mRNA maturation, introns are excised by the spliceosome and the coding regions, exons, are spliced to form the mature coding region. The intron densities widely differ between eukaryotic lineages, from 6 to 7 introns per kb of coding sequence in vertebrates, some invertebrates and green plants, to only a few introns across the entire genome in many unicellular eukaryotes. Evolutionary reconstructions using maximum likelihood methods suggest intron-rich ancestors for each major group of eukaryotes. For the last common ancestor of animals, the highest intron density of all extant and extinct eukaryotes was inferred, at 120-130% of the human intron density. Furthermore, an intron density within 53-74% of the human values was inferred for the last eukaryotic common ancestor. Accordingly, evolution of eukaryotic genes in all lines of descent involved primarily intron loss, with substantial gain only at the bases of several branches including plants and animals. These conclusions have substantial biological implications indicating that the common ancestor of all modern eukaryotes was a complex organism with a gene architecture resembling those in multicellular organisms. Alternative splicing most likely initially appeared as an inevitable result of splicing errors and only later was employed to generate structural and functional diversification of proteins.

  2. Factors influencing alternative splice site utilization in vivo.

    PubMed Central

    Fu, X Y; Manley, J L

    1987-01-01

    To study factors that influence the choice of alternative pre-mRNA splicing pathways, we introduced plasmids expressing either wild-type or mutated simian virus 40 (SV40) early regions into tissue culture cells and then measured the quantities of small-t and large-T RNAs produced. One important element controlling splice site selection was found to be the size of the intron removed in the production of small-t mRNA; expansion of this intron (from 66 to 77 or more nucleotides) resulted in a substantial increase in the amount of small-t mRNA produced relative to large-T mRNA. This suggests that in the normal course of SV40 early pre-mRNA processing, large-T splicing is at a competitive advantage relative to small-t splicing because of the small size of the latter intron. Several additional features of the pre-mRNA that can influence splice site selection were also identified by analyzing the effects of mutations containing splice site duplications. These include the strengths of competing 5' splice sites and the relative positions of splice sites in the pre-mRNA. Finally, we showed that the ratio of small-t to large-T mRNA was 10 to 15-fold greater in human 293 cells than in HeLa cells or other mammalian cell types. These results suggest the existence of cell-specific trans-acting factors that can dramatically alter the pattern of splice site selection in a pre-mRNA. Images PMID:3029566

  3. Alternative splicing acting as a bridge in evolution

    PubMed Central

    Salamov, Asaf; Kuo, Alan; Aerts, Andrea L.; Kong, Xiangyang; Grigoriev, Igor V.

    2015-01-01

    Background Alternative splicing (AS) regulates diverse cellular and developmental functions through alternative protein structures of different isoforms. Alternative exons dominate AS in vertebrates; however, very little is known about the extent and function of AS in lower eukaryotes. To understand the role of introns in gene evolution, we examined AS from a green algal and five fungal genomes using a novel EST-based gene-modeling algorithm (COMBEST). Methods AS from each genome was classified with COMBEST that maps EST sequences to genomes to build gene models. Various aspects of AS were analyzed through statistical methods. The interplay of intron 3n length, phase, coding property, and intron retention (RI) were examined with Chi-square testing. Results With 3 to 834 times EST coverage, we identified up to 73% of AS in intron-containing genes and found preponderance of RI among 11 types of AS. The number of exons, expression level, and maximum intron length correlated with number of AS per gene (NAG), and intron-rich genes suppressed AS. Genes with AS were more ancient, and AS was conserved among fungal genomes. Among stopless introns, non-retained introns (NRI) avoided, but major RI preferred 3n length. In contrast, stop-containing introns showed uniform distribution among 3n, 3n+1, and 3n+2 lengths. We found a clue to the intron phase enigma: it was the coding function of introns involved in AS that dictates the intron phase bias. Conclusions Majority of AS is non-functional, and the extent of AS is suppressed for intron-rich genes. RI through 3n length, stop codon, and phase bias bridges the transition from functionless to functional alternative isoforms. PMID:27358887

  4. Tertiary architecture of the Oceanobacillus iheyensis group II intron

    SciTech Connect

    Toor, Navtej; Keating, Kevin S.; Fedorova, Olga; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Wang, Jimin; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2010-05-03

    Group II introns are large ribozymes that act as self-splicing and retrotransposable RNA molecules. They are of great interest because of their potential evolutionary relationship to the eukaryotic spliceosome, their continued influence on the organization of many genomes in bacteria and eukaryotes, and their potential utility as tools for gene therapy and biotechnology. One of the most interesting features of group II introns is their relative lack of nucleobase conservation and covariation, which has long suggested that group II intron structures are stabilized by numerous unusual tertiary interactions and backbone-mediated contacts. Here, we provide a detailed description of the tertiary interaction networks within the Oceanobacillus iheyensis group IIC intron, for which a crystal structure was recently solved to 3.1 {angstrom} resolution. The structure can be described as a set of several intricately constructed tertiary interaction nodes, each of which contains a core of extended stacking networks and elaborate motifs. Many of these nodes are surrounded by a web of ribose zippers, which appear to further stabilize local structure. As predicted from biochemical and genetic studies, the group II intron provides a wealth of new information on strategies for RNA folding and tertiary structural organization.

  5. Pre-Mrna Introns as a Model for Cryptographic Algorithm:. Theory and Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regoli, Massimo

    2010-01-01

    The RNA-Crypto System (shortly RCS) is a symmetric key algorithm to cipher data. The idea for this new algorithm starts from the observation of nature. In particular from the observation of RNA behavior and some of its properties. In particular the RNA sequences have some sections called Introns. Introns, derived from the term "intragenic regions", are non-coding sections of precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA) or other RNAs, that are removed (spliced out of the RNA) before the mature RNA is formed. Once the introns have been spliced out of a pre-mRNA, the resulting mRNA sequence is ready to be translated into a protein. The corresponding parts of a gene are known as introns as well. The nature and the role of Introns in the pre-mRNA is not clear and it is under ponderous researches by Biologists but, in our case, we will use the presence of Introns in the RNA-Crypto System output as a strong method to add chaotic non coding information and an unnecessary behaviour in the access to the secret key to code the messages. In the RNA-Crypto System algorithm the introns are sections of the ciphered message with non-coding information as well as in the precursor mRNA.

  6. a Simple Symmetric Algorithm Using a Likeness with Introns Behavior in RNA Sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regoli, Massimo

    2009-02-01

    The RNA-Crypto System (shortly RCS) is a symmetric key algorithm to cipher data. The idea for this new algorithm starts from the observation of nature. In particular from the observation of RNA behavior and some of its properties. The RNA sequences has some sections called Introns. Introns, derived from the term "intragenic regions", are non-coding sections of precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA) or other RNAs, that are removed (spliced out of the RNA) before the mature RNA is formed. Once the introns have been spliced out of a pre-mRNA, the resulting mRNA sequence is ready to be translated into a protein. The corresponding parts of a gene are known as introns as well. The nature and the role of Introns in the pre-mRNA is not clear and it is under ponderous researches by Biologists but, in our case, we will use the presence of Introns in the RNA-Crypto System output as a strong method to add chaotic non coding information and an unnecessary behaviour in the access to the secret key to code the messages. In the RNA-Crypto System algoritnm the introns are sections of the ciphered message with non-coding information as well as in the precursor mRNA.

  7. Stable intronic sequence RNAs (sisRNAs): a new layer of gene regulation.

    PubMed

    Osman, Ismail; Tay, Mandy Li-Ian; Pek, Jun Wei

    2016-09-01

    Upon splicing, introns are rapidly degraded. Hence, RNAs derived from introns are commonly deemed as junk sequences. However, the discoveries of intronic-derived small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs), small Cajal body associated RNAs (scaRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) suggested otherwise. These non-coding RNAs are shown to play various roles in gene regulation. In this review, we highlight another class of intron-derived RNAs known as stable intronic sequence RNAs (sisRNAs). sisRNAs have been observed since the 1980 s; however, we are only beginning to understand their biological significance. Recent studies have shown or suggested that sisRNAs regulate their own host's gene expression, function as molecular sinks or sponges, and regulate protein translation. We propose that sisRNAs function as an additional layer of gene regulation in the cells. PMID:27147469

  8. Optimal antisense target reducing INS intron 1 retention is adjacent to a parallel G quadruplex

    PubMed Central

    Kralovicova, Jana; Lages, Ana; Patel, Alpa; Dhir, Ashish; Buratti, Emanuele; Searle, Mark; Vorechovsky, Igor

    2014-01-01

    Splice-switching oligonucleotides (SSOs) have been widely used to inhibit exon usage but antisense strategies that promote removal of entire introns to increase splicing-mediated gene expression have not been developed. Here we show reduction of INS intron 1 retention by SSOs that bind transcripts derived from a human haplotype expressing low levels of proinsulin. This haplotype is tagged by a polypyrimidine tract variant rs689 that decreases the efficiency of intron 1 splicing and increases the relative abundance of mRNAs with extended 5' untranslated region (5' UTR), which curtails translation. Co-expression of haplotype-specific reporter constructs with SSOs bound to splicing regulatory motifs and decoy splice sites in primary transcripts revealed a motif that significantly reduced intron 1-containing mRNAs. Using an antisense microwalk at a single nucleotide resolution, the optimal target was mapped to a splicing silencer containing two pseudoacceptor sites sandwiched between predicted RNA guanine (G) quadruplex structures. Circular dichroism spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance of synthetic G-rich oligoribonucleotide tracts derived from this region showed formation of a stable parallel 2-quartet G-quadruplex on the 3' side of the antisense retention target and an equilibrium between quadruplexes and stable hairpin-loop structures bound by optimal SSOs. This region interacts with heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins F and H that may interfere with conformational transitions involving the antisense target. The SSO-assisted promotion of weak intron removal from the 5' UTR through competing noncanonical and canonical RNA structures may facilitate development of novel strategies to enhance gene expression. PMID:24944197

  9. Virus deletion mutants that affect a 3' splice site in the E3 transcription unit of adenovirus 2.

    PubMed Central

    Bhat, B M; Brady, H A; Wold, W S

    1985-01-01

    Five viable virus mutants were constructed with deletions near a 3' splice site located at nucleotide 2157 in the E3 transcription unit of adenovirus 2. The mutants were examined for splicing activity at the 2157 3' splice site in vivo by nuclease-gel analysis of steady-state cytoplasmic mRNA. Splicing was not prevented by an exon deletion (dl719) that leaves 16 5'-proximal exon nucleotides intact or by intron deletions that leave 34 (dl717, dl712) or 18 (dl716) 3'-proximal intron nucleotides intact. The sequences deleted in one of these intron mutants (dl716) include the putative branchpoint site used in lariat formation during splicing. Thus, a surrogate branchpoint site apparently can be used for splicing. Another intron mutant (dl714) has a deletion that leaves 15 3'-proximal intron nucleotides intact; remarkably, this deletion virtually abolished splicing, even though the deletion is only 3 nucleotides closer to the splice site than is the deletion in dl716 which splices normally. The three nucleotides deleted in dl714 that are retained by dl716 are the sequence TGT. The TGT sequence is located on the 5' boundary of the pyrimidine-rich region upstream of the nucleotide 2157 3' splice site. Such pyrimidine-rich regions are ubiquitous at 3' splice sites. Most likely, the TGT is required for splicing at the nucleotide 2157 3' splice site. The TGT may be important because of its specific sequence or because it forms the 5' boundary of the pyrimidine-rich region. Images PMID:3879768

  10. Transcriptome Bioinformatical Analysis of Vertebrate Stages of Schistosoma japonicum Reveals Alternative Splicing Events

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xinye; Xu, Xindong; Lu, Xingyu; Zhang, Yuanbin; Pan, Weiqing

    2015-01-01

    Alternative splicing is a molecular process that contributes greatly to the diversification of proteome and to gene functions. Understanding the mechanisms of stage-specific alternative splicing can provide a better understanding of the development of eukaryotes and the functions of different genes. Schistosoma japonicum is an infectious blood-dwelling trematode with a complex lifecycle that causes the tropical disease schistosomiasis. In this study, we analyzed the transcriptome of Schistosoma japonicum to discover alternative splicing events in this parasite, by applying RNA-seq to cDNA library of adults and schistosomula. Results were validated by RT-PCR and sequencing. We found 11,623 alternative splicing events among 7,099 protein encoding genes and average proportion of alternative splicing events per gene was 42.14%. We showed that exon skip is the most common type of alternative splicing events as found in high eukaryotes, whereas intron retention is the least common alternative splicing type. According to intron boundary analysis, the parasite possesses same intron boundaries as other organisms, namely the classic “GT-AG” rule. And in alternative spliced introns or exons, this rule is less strict. And we have attempted to detect alternative splicing events in genes encoding proteins with signal peptides and transmembrane helices, suggesting that alternative splicing could change subcellular locations of specific gene products. Our results indicate that alternative splicing is prevalent in this parasitic worm, and that the worm is close to its hosts. The revealed secretome involved in alternative splicing implies new perspective into understanding interaction between the parasite and its host. PMID:26407301

  11. Mutations that alter RNA splicing of the human HPRT gene: a review of the spectrum.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, J P; Rogan, P K; Cariello, N; Nicklas, J A

    1998-11-01

    The human HPRT gene contains spans approximately 42,000 base pairs in genomic DNA, has a mRNA of approximately 900 bases and a protein coding sequence of 657 bases (initiation codon AUG to termination codon UAA). This coding sequence is distributed into 9 exons ranging from 18 (exon 5) to 184 (exon 3) base pairs. Intron sizes range from 170 (intron 7) to 13,075 (intron 1) base pairs. In a database of human HPRT mutations, 277 of 2224 (12.5%) mutations result in alterations in splicing of the mRNA as analyzed by both reverse transcriptase mediated production of a cDNA followed by PCR amplification and cDNA sequencing and by genomic DNA PCR amplification and sequencing. Mutations have been found in all eight 5' (donor) and 3' (acceptor) splice sequences. Mutations in the 5' splice sequences of introns 1 and 5 result in intron inclusion in the cDNA due to the use of cryptic donor splice sequences within the introns; mutations in the other six 5' sites result in simple exon exclusion. Mutations in the 3' splice sequences of introns 1, 3, 7 and 8 result in partial exon exclusion due to the use of cryptic acceptor splice sequences within the exons; mutations in the other four 3' sites result in simple exon exclusion. A base substitution in exon 3 (209G-->T) creates a new 5' (donor) splice site which results in the exclusion of 110 bases of exon 3 from the cDNA. Two base substitutions in intron 8 (IVS8-16G-->A and IVS8-3T-->G) result in the inclusion of intron 8 sequences in the cDNA due to the creation of new 3' (acceptor) splice sites. Base substitution within exons 1, 3, 4, 6 and 8 also result in splice alterations in cDNA. Those in exons 1 and 6 are at the 3' end of the exon and may directly affect splicing. Those within exons 3 and 4 may be the result of the creation of nonsense codons, while those in exon 8 cannot be explained by this mechanism. Lastly, many mutations that affect splicing of the HPRT mRNA have pleiotropic effects in that multiple cDNA products are

  12. From Cryptic Toward Canonical Pre-mRNA Splicing in Pompe Disease: a Pipeline for the Development of Antisense Oligonucleotides.

    PubMed

    Bergsma, Atze J; In 't Groen, Stijn Lm; Verheijen, Frans W; van der Ploeg, Ans T; Pijnappel, Wwm Pim

    2016-01-01

    While 9% of human pathogenic variants have an established effect on pre-mRNA splicing, it is suspected that an additional 20% of otherwise classified variants also affect splicing. Aberrant splicing includes disruption of splice sites or regulatory elements, or creation or strengthening of cryptic splice sites. For the majority of variants, it is poorly understood to what extent and how these may affect splicing. We have identified cryptic splicing in an unbiased manner. Three types of cryptic splicing were analyzed in the context of pathogenic variants in the acid α-glucosidase gene causing Pompe disease. These involved newly formed deep intronic or exonic cryptic splice sites, and a natural cryptic splice that was utilized due to weakening of a canonical splice site. Antisense oligonucleotides that targeted the identified cryptic splice sites repressed cryptic splicing at the expense of canonical splicing in all three cases, as shown by reverse-transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis and by enhancement of acid α-glucosidase enzymatic activity. This argues for a competition model for available splice sites, including intact or weakened canonical sites and natural or newly formed cryptic sites. The pipeline described here can detect cryptic splicing and correct canonical splicing using antisense oligonucleotides to restore the gene defect. PMID:27623443

  13. From Cryptic Toward Canonical Pre-mRNA Splicing in Pompe Disease: a Pipeline for the Development of Antisense Oligonucleotides

    PubMed Central

    Bergsma, Atze J; in ‘t Groen, Stijn LM; Verheijen, Frans W; van der Ploeg, Ans T; Pijnappel, WWM Pim

    2016-01-01

    While 9% of human pathogenic variants have an established effect on pre-mRNA splicing, it is suspected that an additional 20% of otherwise classified variants also affect splicing. Aberrant splicing includes disruption of splice sites or regulatory elements, or creation or strengthening of cryptic splice sites. For the majority of variants, it is poorly understood to what extent and how these may affect splicing. We have identified cryptic splicing in an unbiased manner. Three types of cryptic splicing were analyzed in the context of pathogenic variants in the acid α-glucosidase gene causing Pompe disease. These involved newly formed deep intronic or exonic cryptic splice sites, and a natural cryptic splice that was utilized due to weakening of a canonical splice site. Antisense oligonucleotides that targeted the identified cryptic splice sites repressed cryptic splicing at the expense of canonical splicing in all three cases, as shown by reverse-transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis and by enhancement of acid α-glucosidase enzymatic activity. This argues for a competition model for available splice sites, including intact or weakened canonical sites and natural or newly formed cryptic sites. The pipeline described here can detect cryptic splicing and correct canonical splicing using antisense oligonucleotides to restore the gene defect. PMID:27623443

  14. Four novel cystic fibrosis mutations in splice junction sequences affecting the CFTR nucleotide binding folds

    SciTech Connect

    Doerk, T.; Wulbrand, U.; Tuemmler, B. )

    1993-03-01

    Single cases of the four novel splice site mutations 1525[minus]1 G [r arrow] A (intron 9), 3601[minus]2 A [r arrow] G (intron 18), 3850[minus]3 T [r arrow] G (intron 19), and 4374+1 G [r arrow] T (intron 23) were detected in the CFTR gene of cystic fibrosis patients of Indo-Iranian, Turkish, Polish, and Germany descent. The nucleotide substitutions at the +1, [minus]1, and [minus]2 positions all destroy splice sites and lead to severe disease alleles associated with features typical of gastrointestinal and pulmonary cystic fibrosis disease. The 3850[minus]3 T-to-G change was discovered in a very mildly affected 33-year-old [Delta]F508 compound heterozygote, suggesting that the T-to-G transversion at the less conserved [minus]3 position of the acceptor splice site may retain some wildtype function. 13 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  15. Splicing defects in the ataxia-telangiectasia gene, ATM: underlying mutations and consequences.

    PubMed Central

    Teraoka, S N; Telatar, M; Becker-Catania, S; Liang, T; Onengüt, S; Tolun, A; Chessa, L; Sanal, O; Bernatowska, E; Gatti, R A; Concannon, P

    1999-01-01

    Mutations resulting in defective splicing constitute a significant proportion (30/62 [48%]) of a new series of mutations in the ATM gene in patients with ataxia-telangiectasia (AT) that were detected by the protein-truncation assay followed by sequence analysis of genomic DNA. Fewer than half of the splicing mutations involved the canonical AG splice-acceptor site or GT splice-donor site. A higher percentage of mutations occurred at less stringently conserved sites, including silent mutations of the last nucleotide of exons, mutations in nucleotides other than the conserved AG and GT in the consensus splice sites, and creation of splice-acceptor or splice-donor sites in either introns or exons. These splicing mutations led to a variety of consequences, including exon skipping and, to a lesser degree, intron retention, activation of cryptic splice sites, or creation of new splice sites. In addition, 5 of 12 nonsense mutations and 1 missense mutation were associated with deletion in the cDNA of the exons in which the mutations occurred. No ATM protein was detected by western blotting in any AT cell line in which splicing mutations were identified. Several cases of exon skipping in both normal controls and patients for whom no underlying defect could be found in genomic DNA were also observed, suggesting caution in the interpretation of exon deletions observed in ATM cDNA when there is no accompanying identification of genomic mutations. PMID:10330348

  16. [Statistical analysis of DNA sequences nearby splicing sites].

    PubMed

    Korzinov, O M; Astakhova, T V; Vlasov, P K; Roĭtberg, M A

    2008-01-01

    Recognition of coding regions within eukaryotic genomes is one of oldest but yet not solved problems of bioinformatics. New high-accuracy methods of splicing sites recognition are needed to solve this problem. A question of current interest is to identify specific features of nucleotide sequences nearby splicing sites and recognize sites in sequence context. We performed a statistical analysis of human genes fragment database and revealed some characteristics of nucleotide sequences in splicing sites neighborhood. Frequencies of all nucleotides and dinucleotides in splicing sites environment were computed and nucleotides and dinucleotides with extremely high\\low occurrences were identified. Statistical information obtained in this work can be used in further development of the methods of splicing sites annotation and exon-intron structure recognition.

  17. Planes formed with four intron-positions in tertiary structures of retinol binding protein and calpain domain VI.

    PubMed

    Nosaka, Michiko; Hirata, Katsuki; Tsuji, Ryotarou; Sunaba, Syunya

    2014-01-01

    Eukaryotic genes have intervening sequences, introns, in their coding regions. Since introns are spliced out from m-RNA before translation, they are considered to have no effect on the protein structure. Here, we report a novel relationship between introns and the tertiary structures of retinol binding protein and calpain domain VI. We identified "intron-positions" as amino acid residues on which or just after which introns are found in their corresponding nucleotide sequences, and then found that four intron-positions form a plane. We also found that the four intron-positions of retinol-binding protein encloses its ligand retinol. The tertiary structure of calpain domain VI changes after Ca(2+) binding, and the four intron-positions form a plane that includes its ligand calpastatin. To evaluate the statistical significance of the planarity, we calculated the mean distance of each intron-position from the plane defined by the other three intron-positions, and showed that it is significantly smaller than the one calculated for randomly generated locations based on exon size distribution. On the basis of this finding, we discuss the evolution of retinol binding protein and the origin of introns.

  18. Autoregulation of expression of the yeast Dbp2p 'DEAD-box' protein is mediated by sequences in the conserved DBP2 intron.

    PubMed Central

    Barta, I; Iggo, R

    1995-01-01

    The human p68, Saccharomyces cerevisiae DBP2 and Schizosaccharomyces pombe dbp2 genes are closely related members of the 'DEAD-box' RNA helicase superfamily. All three genes contain an intron at a conserved site in RNA helicase motif V. The S.cerevisiae intron is unusual both for its position near the 3'-end of the open reading frame and for its size, 1001 nucleotides. We show here that precise deletion of the intron has no effect on cell viability but leads to an increase in Dbp2p protein expression. Inefficient splicing due to the size of the intron can not account for this difference because the intron is efficiently spliced in Dbp2p-deficient cells. Instead, there is a reciprocal relationship between the amount of Dbp2p in the cell and the efficiency with which DBP2 intron-containing genes are expressed. Inactive Dbp2p mutants are efficiently expressed from DBP2 intron-containing plasmids, and fragments of the DBP2 intron confer Dbp2p-responsiveness on heterologous reporter introns. This suggest that there is an intron-mediated negative feedback loop regulating DBP2 expression, and provides a possible explanation for the retention of such an unusual intron in S.cerevisiae. Images PMID:7641698

  19. RNA structure replaces the need for U2AF2 in splicing

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Chien-Ling; Taggart, Allison J.; Lim, Kian Huat; Cygan, Kamil J.; Ferraris, Luciana; Creton, Robbert; Huang, Yen-Tsung; Fairbrother, William G.

    2016-01-01

    RNA secondary structure plays an integral role in catalytic, ribosomal, small nuclear, micro, and transfer RNAs. Discovering a prevalent role for secondary structure in pre-mRNAs has proven more elusive. By utilizing a variety of computational and biochemical approaches, we present evidence for a class of nuclear introns that relies upon secondary structure for correct splicing. These introns are defined by simple repeat expansions of complementary AC and GT dimers that co-occur at opposite boundaries of an intron to form a bridging structure that enforces correct splice site pairing. Remarkably, this class of introns does not require U2AF2, a core component of the spliceosome, for its processing. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that this mechanism was present in the ancestral vertebrate lineage prior to the divergence of tetrapods from teleosts. While largely lost from land dwelling vertebrates, this class of introns is found in 10% of all zebrafish genes. PMID:26566657

  20. Functional Dissection of an Alternatively Spliced Herpesvirus Gene by Splice Site Mutagenesis

    PubMed Central

    Schommartz, Tim; Loroch, Stefan; Alawi, Malik; Grundhoff, Adam; Sickmann, Albert

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Herpesviruses have large and complex DNA genomes. The largest among the herpesviruses, those of the cytomegaloviruses, include over 170 genes. Although most herpesvirus gene products are expressed from unspliced transcripts, a substantial number of viral transcripts are spliced. Some viral transcripts are subject to alternative splicing, which leads to the expression of several proteins from a single gene. Functional analysis of individual proteins derived from an alternatively spliced gene is difficult, as deletion and nonsense mutagenesis, both common methods used in the generation of viral gene knockout mutants, affect several or all gene products at the same time. Here, we show that individual gene products of an alternatively spliced herpesvirus gene can be inactivated selectively by mutagenesis of the splice donor or acceptor site and by intron deletion or substitution mutagenesis. We used this strategy to dissect the essential M112/113 gene of murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), which encodes the MCMV Early 1 (E1) proteins. The expression of each of the four E1 protein isoforms was inactivated individually, and the requirement for each isoform in MCMV replication was analyzed in fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and macrophages. We show that the E1 p87 isoform, but not the p33, p36, and p38 isoforms, is essential for viral replication in cell culture. Moreover, the presence of one of the two medium-size isoforms (p36 or p38) and the presence of intron 1, but not its specific sequence, are required for viral replication. This study demonstrates the usefulness of splice site mutagenesis for the functional analysis of alternatively spliced herpesvirus genes. IMPORTANCE Herpesviruses include up to 170 genes in their DNA genomes. The functions of most viral gene products remain poorly defined. The construction of viral gene knockout mutants has thus been an important tool for functional analysis of viral proteins. However, this strategy is of limited use when

  1. The High Level of Aberrant Splicing of ISCU in Slow-Twitch Muscle May Involve the Splicing Factor SRSF3

    PubMed Central

    Österman, Lennart; Lindsten, Hans; Holmberg, Monica

    2016-01-01

    Hereditary myopathy with lactic acidosis (HML) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by an intronic one-base mutation in the iron-sulfur cluster assembly (ISCU) gene, resulting in aberrant splicing. The incorrectly spliced transcripts contain a 100 or 86 bp intron sequence encoding a non-functional ISCU protein, which leads to defects in several Fe-S containing proteins in the respiratory chain and the TCA cycle. The symptoms in HML are restricted to skeletal muscle, and it has been proposed that this effect is due to higher levels of incorrectly spliced ISCU in skeletal muscle compared with other energy-demanding tissues. In this study, we confirm that skeletal muscle contains the highest levels of incorrect ISCU splice variants compared with heart, brain, liver and kidney using a transgenic mouse model expressing human HML mutated ISCU. We also show that incorrect splicing occurs to a significantly higher extent in the slow-twitch soleus muscle compared with the gastrocnemius and quadriceps. The splicing factor serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 3 (SRSF3) was identified as a potential candidate for the slow fiber specific regulation of ISCU splicing since this factor was expressed at higher levels in the soleus compared to the gastrocnemius and quadriceps. We identified an interaction between SRSF3 and the ISCU transcript, and by overexpressing SRSF3 in human myoblasts we observed increased levels of incorrectly spliced ISCU, while knockdown of SRSF3 resulted in decreased levels. We therefore suggest that SRSF3 may participate in the regulation of the incorrect splicing of mutant ISCU and may, at least partially, explain the muscle-specific symptoms of HML. PMID:27783661

  2. Analysis of evolution of exon-intron structure of eukaryotic genes.

    PubMed

    Rogozin, Igor B; Sverdlov, Alexander V; Babenko, Vladimir N; Koonin, Eugene V

    2005-06-01

    addressed by examining the context of introns inserted within codons that encode amino acids conserved in all eukaryotes and, accordingly, are not subject to selection for splicing efficiency. It was shown that introns indeed predominantly insert into or are fixed in specific protosplice sites which have the consensus sequence (A/C)AG|Gt.

  3. Understanding splicing regulation through RNA splicing maps.

    PubMed

    Witten, Joshua T; Ule, Jernej

    2011-03-01

    Alternative splicing is a highly regulated process that greatly increases the proteome diversity and plays an important role in cellular differentiation and disease. Interactions between RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and pre-mRNA are the principle regulator of splicing decisions. Findings from recent genome-wide studies of protein-RNA interactions have been combined with assays of the global effects of RBPs on splicing to create RNA splicing maps. These maps integrate information from all pre-mRNAs regulated by single RBPs to identify the global positioning principles guiding splicing regulation. Recent studies using this approach have identified a set of positional principles that are shared between diverse RBPs. Here, we discuss how insights from RNA splicing maps of different RBPs inform the mechanistic models of splicing regulation.

  4. Nucleolar introns from Physarum flavicomum contain insertion elements that may explain how mobile group I introns gained their open reading frames.

    PubMed Central

    Vader, A; Naess, J; Haugli, K; Haugli, F; Johansen, S

    1994-01-01

    Comparison of two group I intron sequences in the nucleolar genome of the myxomycete Physarum flavicomum to their homologs in the closely related Physarum polycephalum revealed insertion-like elements. One of the insertion-like elements consists of two repetitive sequence motifs of 11 and 101 bp in five and three copies, respectively. The smaller motif, which flanks the larger, resembles a target duplication and indicates a relationship to transposons or retroelements. The insertion-like elements are found in the peripheral loops of the RNA structure; the positions occupied by the ORFs of mobile nucleolar group I introns. The P. flavicomum introns are 1184 and 637 bp in size, located in the large subunit ribosomal RNA gene, and can be folded into group I intron structures at the RNA level. However, the intron 2s from both P. flavicomum and P. polycephalum contain an unusual core region that lacks the P8 segment. None of the introns are able to self-splice in vitro. Southern analysis of different isolates indicates that the introns are not optional in myxomycetes. Images PMID:7984404

  5. Comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of bacterial group II intron-encoded ORFs lacking the DNA endonuclease domain reveals new varieties.

    PubMed

    Toro, Nicolás; Martínez-Abarca, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing RNAs that act as mobile retroelements in the organelles of plants, fungi and protists. They are also widely distributed in bacteria, and are generally assumed to be the ancestors of nuclear spliceosomal introns. Most bacterial group II introns have a multifunctional intron-encoded protein (IEP) ORF within the ribozyme domain IV (DIV). This ORF encodes an N-terminal reverse transcriptase (RT) domain, followed by a putative RNA-binding domain with RNA splicing or maturase activity and, in some cases, a C-terminal DNA-binding (D) region followed by a DNA endonuclease (En) domain. In this study, we focused on bacterial group II intron ORF phylogenetic classes containing only reverse transcriptase/maturase open reading frames, with no recognizable D/En region (classes A, C, D, E, F and unclassified introns). On the basis of phylogenetic analyses of the maturase domain and its C-terminal extension, which appears to be a signature characteristic of ORF phylogenetic class, with support from the phylogeny inferred from the RT domain, we have revised the proposed new class F, defining new intron ORF varieties. Our results increase knowledge of the lineage of group II introns encoding proteins lacking the En-domain.

  6. On splice site prediction using weight array models: a comparison of smoothing techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taher, Leila; Meinicke, Peter; Morgenstern, Burkhard

    2007-11-01

    In most eukaryotic genes, protein-coding exons are separated by non-coding introns which are removed from the primary transcript by a process called "splicing". The positions where introns are cut and exons are spliced together are called "splice sites". Thus, computational prediction of splice sites is crucial for gene finding in eukaryotes. Weight array models are a powerful probabilistic approach to splice site detection. Parameters for these models are usually derived from m-tuple frequencies in trusted training data and subsequently smoothed to avoid zero probabilities. In this study we compare three different ways of parameter estimation for m-tuple frequencies, namely (a) non-smoothed probability estimation, (b) standard pseudo counts and (c) a Gaussian smoothing procedure that we recently developed.

  7. Estimation of the minimum mRNA splicing error rate in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Skandalis, A

    2016-01-01

    The majority of protein coding genes in vertebrates contain several introns that are removed by the mRNA splicing machinery. Errors during splicing can generate aberrant transcripts and degrade the transmission of genetic information thus contributing to genomic instability and disease. However, estimating the error rate of constitutive splicing is complicated by the process of alternative splicing which can generate multiple alternative transcripts per locus and is particularly active in humans. In order to estimate the error frequency of constitutive mRNA splicing and avoid bias by alternative splicing we have characterized the frequency of splice variants at three loci, HPRT, POLB, and TRPV1 in multiple tissues of six vertebrate species. Our analysis revealed that the frequency of splice variants varied widely among loci, tissues, and species. However, the lowest observed frequency is quite constant among loci and approximately 0.1% aberrant transcripts per intron. Arguably this reflects the "irreducible" error rate of splicing, which consists primarily of the combination of replication errors by RNA polymerase II in splice consensus sequences and spliceosome errors in correctly pairing exons. PMID:26811995

  8. Desmin splice variants causing cardiac and skeletal myopathy.

    PubMed

    Park, K Y; Dalakas, M C; Goebel, H H; Ferrans, V J; Semino-Mora, C; Litvak, S; Takeda, K; Goldfarb, L G

    2000-11-01

    Desmin myopathy is a hereditary or sporadic cardiac and skeletal myopathy characterised by intracytoplasmic accumulation of desmin reactive deposits in muscle cells. We have characterised novel splice site mutations in the gene desmin resulting in deletion of the entire exon 3 during the pre-mRNA splicing. Sequencing of cDNA and genomic DNA identified a heterozygous de novo A to G change at the +3 position of the splice donor site of intron 3 (IVS3+3A-->G) in a patient with sporadic skeletal and cardiac myopathy. A G to A transition at the highly conserved -1 nucleotide position of intron 2 affecting the splice acceptor site (IVS2-1G-->A) was found in an unrelated patient with a similar phenotype. Expression of genomic DNA fragments carrying the IVS3+3A-->G and IVS2-1G-->A mutations confirmed that these mutations cause exon 3 deletion. Aberrant splicing leads to an in frame deletion of 32 complete codons and is predicted to result in mutant desmin lacking 32 amino acids from the 1B segment of the alpha helical rod. Functional analysis of the mutant desmin in SW13 (vim-) cells showed aggregation of abnormal coarse clumps of desmin positive material dispersed throughout the cytoplasm. This is the first report on the pathogenic potentials of splice site mutations in the desmin gene.

  9. RNA-RNA interactions and pre-mRNA mislocalization as drivers of group II intron loss from nuclear genomes.

    PubMed

    Qu, Guosheng; Dong, Xiaolong; Piazza, Carol Lyn; Chalamcharla, Venkata R; Lutz, Sheila; Curcio, M Joan; Belfort, Marlene

    2014-05-01

    Group II introns are commonly believed to be the progenitors of spliceosomal introns, but they are notably absent from nuclear genomes. Barriers to group II intron function in nuclear genomes therefore beg examination. A previous study showed that nuclear expression of a group II intron in yeast results in nonsense-mediated decay and translational repression of mRNA, and that these roadblocks to expression are group II intron-specific. To determine the molecular basis for repression of gene expression, we investigated cellular dynamics of processed group II intron RNAs, from transcription to cellular localization. Our data show pre-mRNA mislocalization to the cytoplasm, where the RNAs are targeted to foci. Furthermore, tenacious mRNA-pre-mRNA interactions, based on intron-exon binding sequences, result in reduced abundance of spliced mRNAs. Nuclear retention of pre-mRNA prevents this interaction and relieves these expression blocks. In addition to providing a mechanistic rationale for group II intron-specific repression, our data support the hypothesis that RNA silencing of the host gene contributed to expulsion of group II introns from nuclear genomes and drove the evolution of spliceosomal introns.

  10. Another heritage from the RNA world: self-excision of intron sequence from nuclear pre-tRNAs.

    PubMed Central

    Weber, U; Beier, H; Gross, H J

    1996-01-01

    The intervening sequences of nuclear tRNA precursors are known to be excised by tRNA splicing endonuclease. We show here that a T7 transcript corresponding to a pre-tRNA(Tyr) from Arabidopsis thaliana has a highly specific activity for autolytic intron excision. Self-cleavage occurs precisely at the authentic 3'-splice site and at the phosphodiester bond one nucleotide downstream of the authentic 5'-splice site. The reaction results in fragments with 2',3'-cyclic phosphate and 5'-OH termini. It is resistant to proteinase K and/or SDS treatment and is not inhibited by added tRNA. The self-cleavage depends on Mg2+ and is stimulated by spermine and Triton X-100. A set of sequence variants at the cleavage sites has been analysed for autolytic intron excision and, in parallel, for enzymatic in vitro splicing in wheat germ S23 extract. Single-stranded loops are a prerequisite for both reactions. Self-cleavage not only occurs at pyrimidine-A but also at U-U bonds. Since intron self-excision is only about five times slower than the enzymatic intron excision in a wheat germ S23 extract, we propose that the splicing endonuclease may function by improving the preciseness and efficiency of an inherent pre-tRNA self-cleavage activity. PMID:8710488

  11. Higher intron loss rate in Arabidopsis thaliana than A. lyrata is consistent with stronger selection for a smaller genome.

    PubMed

    Fawcett, Jeffrey A; Rouzé, Pierre; Van de Peer, Yves

    2012-02-01

    The number of introns varies considerably among different organisms. This can be explained by the differences in the rates of intron gain and loss. Two factors that are likely to influence these rates are selection for or against introns and the mutation rate that generates the novel intron or the intronless copy. Although it has been speculated that stronger selection for a compact genome might result in a higher rate of intron loss and a lower rate of intron gain, clear evidence is lacking, and the role of selection in determining these rates has not been established. Here, we studied the gain and loss of introns in the two closely related species Arabidopsis thaliana and A. lyrata as it was recently shown that A. thaliana has been undergoing a faster genome reduction driven by selection. We found that A. thaliana has lost six times more introns than A. lyrata since the divergence of the two species but gained very few introns. We suggest that stronger selection for genome reduction probably resulted in the much higher intron loss rate in A. thaliana, although further analysis is required as we could not find evidence that the loss rate increased in A. thaliana as opposed to having decreased in A. lyrata compared with the rate in the common ancestor. We also examined the pattern of the intron gains and losses to better understand the mechanisms by which they occur. Microsimilarity was detected between the splice sites of several gained and lost introns, suggesting that nonhomologous end joining repair of double-strand breaks might be a common pathway not only for intron gain but also for intron loss.

  12. Sequential splicing of a group II twintron in the marine cyanobacterium Trichodesmium

    PubMed Central

    Pfreundt, Ulrike; Hess, Wolfgang R.

    2015-01-01

    The marine cyanobacterium Trichodesmium is unusual in its genomic architecture as 40% of the genome is occupied by non-coding DNA. Although the majority of it is transcribed into RNA, it is not well understood why such a large non-coding genome fraction is maintained. Mobile genetic elements can contribute to genome expansion. Many bacteria harbor introns whereas twintrons, introns-in-introns, are rare and not known to interrupt protein-coding genes in bacteria. Here we show the sequential in vivo splicing of a 5400 nt long group II twintron interrupting a highly conserved gene that is associated with RNase HI in some cyanobacteria, but free-standing in others, including Trichodesmium erythraeum. We show that twintron splicing results in a putatively functional mRNA. The full genetic arrangement was found conserved in two geospatially distinct metagenomic datasets supporting its functional relevance. We further show that splicing of the inner intron yields the free intron as a true circle. This reaction requires the spliced exon reopening (SER) reaction to provide a free 5′ exon. The fact that Trichodesmium harbors a functional twintron fits in well with the high intron load of these genomes, and suggests peculiarities in its genetic machinery permitting such arrangements. PMID:26577185

  13. Inefficient rpl2 splicing in barley mutants with ribosome-deficient plastids.

    PubMed Central

    Hess, W R; Hoch, B; Zeltz, P; Hübschmann, T; Kössel, H; Börner, T

    1994-01-01

    Analysis of transcript accumulation and splicing in plastids of four nuclear mutants of barley revealed that the ribosomal protein L2 (rpl2) gene transcripts containing a group II intron remained entirely unspliced, whereas the intron of the ribosomal protein L16 (rpl16) gene (linked with the rpl2 gene in the same operon) was removed in the mutant plastids. Also, the transcripts of other genes containing group II introns (ribosomal protein S16 gene, rps16; NADH dehydrogenase ND2 gene, ndhB; cytochrome f gene, petD; and intron-containing reading frame 170, irf170) and of the tRNA for leucine, trnL (UAA), possessing the only chloroplast group I intron, were found to be spliced. The mutants used in this investigation are considered to be nonallelic; this excludes the possibility that a single nuclear gene is responsible for the impaired splicing of rpl2 transcripts. The mutants, however, have a severe deficiency in chloroplast ribosomes in common; this deficiency is evident from the lack of the essential ribosomal protein L2 and from an extremely low steady state level of plastid rRNAs. From these results, we conclude that a functioning translational apparatus of the organelle is a prerequisite for splicing of the chloroplast rpl2 class II intron but not for splicing of at least five other group II intron-containing transcripts. This provides genetic evidence for a chloroplast DNA-encoded component (e.g., a maturase) involved in the splicing of rpl2 pre-mRNA. PMID:7994178

  14. Endogenous Multiple Exon Skipping and Back-Splicing at the DMD Mutation Hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Hitoshi; Aoki, Yoshitsugu; Kameyama, Toshiki; Saito, Takashi; Masuda, Satoru; Tanihata, Jun; Nagata, Tetsuya; Mayeda, Akila; Takeda, Shin’ichi; Tsukahara, Toshifumi

    2016-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe muscular disorder. It was reported that multiple exon skipping (MES), targeting exon 45–55 of the DMD gene, might improve patients’ symptoms because patients who have a genomic deletion of all these exons showed very mild symptoms. Thus, exon 45–55 skipping treatments for DMD have been proposed as a potential clinical cure. Herein, we detected the expression of endogenous exons 44–56 connected mRNA transcript of the DMD using total RNAs derived from human normal skeletal muscle by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and identified a total of eight types of MES products around the hotspot. Surprisingly, the 5′ splice sites of recently reported post-transcriptional introns (remaining introns after co-transcriptional splicing) act as splicing donor sites for MESs. We also tested exon combinations to generate DMD circular RNAs (circRNAs) and determined the preferential splice sites of back-splicing, which are involved not only in circRNA generation, but also in MESs. Our results fit the current circRNA-generation model, suggesting that upstream post-transcriptional introns trigger MES and generate circRNA because its existence is critical for the intra-intronic interaction or for extremely distal splicing. PMID:27754374

  15. Computational Analysis of an Evolutionarily Conserved VertebrateMuscle Alternative Splicing Program

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Debopriya; Clark, Tyson A.; Schweitzer, Anthony; Marr,Henry; Yamamoto, Miki L.; Parra, Marilyn K.; Arribere, Josh; Minovitsky,Simon; Dubchak, Inna; Blume, John E.; Conboy, John G.

    2006-06-15

    A novel exon microarray format that probes gene expression with single exon resolution was employed to elucidate critical features of a vertebrate muscle alternative splicing program. A dataset of 56 microarray-defined, muscle-enriched exons and their flanking introns were examined computationally in order to investigate coordination of the muscle splicing program. Candidate intron regulatory motifs were required to meet several stringent criteria: significant over-representation near muscle-enriched exons, correlation with muscle expression, and phylogenetic conservation among genomes of several vertebrate orders. Three classes of regulatory motifs were identified in the proximal downstream intron, within 200nt of the target exons: UGCAUG, a specific binding site for Fox-1 related splicing factors; ACUAAC, a novel branchpoint-like element; and UG-/UGC-rich elements characteristic of binding sites for CELF splicing factors. UGCAUG was remarkably enriched, being present in nearly one-half of all cases. These studies suggest that Fox and CELF splicing factors play a major role in enforcing the muscle-specific alternative splicing program, facilitating expression of a set of unique isoforms of cytoskeletal proteins that are critical to muscle cell differentiation. Supplementary materials: There are four supplementary tables and one supplementary figure. The tables provide additional detailed information concerning the muscle-enriched datasets, and about over-represented oligonucleotide sequences in the flanking introns. The supplementary figure shows RT-PCR data confirming the muscle-enriched expression of exons predicted from the microarray analysis.

  16. Alternative Splice in Alternative Lice

    PubMed Central

    Tovar-Corona, Jaime M.; Castillo-Morales, Atahualpa; Chen, Lu; Olds, Brett P.; Clark, John M.; Reynolds, Stuart E.; Pittendrigh, Barry R.; Feil, Edward J.; Urrutia, Araxi O.

    2015-01-01

    Genomic and transcriptomics analyses have revealed human head and body lice to be almost genetically identical; although con-specific, they nevertheless occupy distinct ecological niches and have differing feeding patterns. Most importantly, while head lice are not known to be vector competent, body lice can transmit three serious bacterial diseases; epidemictyphus, trench fever, and relapsing fever. In order to gain insights into the molecular bases for these differences, we analyzed alternative splicing (AS) using next-generation sequencing data for one strain of head lice and one strain of body lice. We identified a total of 3,598 AS events which were head or body lice specific. Exon skipping AS events were overrepresented among both head and body lice, whereas intron retention events were underrepresented in both. However, both the enrichment of exon skipping and the underrepresentation of intron retention are significantly stronger in body lice compared with head lice. Genes containing body louse-specific AS events were found to be significantly enriched for functions associated with development of the nervous system, salivary gland, trachea, and ovarian follicle cells, as well as regulation of transcription. In contrast, no functional categories were overrepresented among genes with head louse-specific AS events. Together, our results constitute the first evidence for transcript pool differences in head and body lice, providing insights into molecular adaptations that enabled human lice to adapt to clothing, and representing a powerful illustration of the pivotal role AS can play in functional adaptation. PMID:26169943

  17. Alternative Splice in Alternative Lice.

    PubMed

    Tovar-Corona, Jaime M; Castillo-Morales, Atahualpa; Chen, Lu; Olds, Brett P; Clark, John M; Reynolds, Stuart E; Pittendrigh, Barry R; Feil, Edward J; Urrutia, Araxi O

    2015-10-01

    Genomic and transcriptomics analyses have revealed human head and body lice to be almost genetically identical; although con-specific, they nevertheless occupy distinct ecological niches and have differing feeding patterns. Most importantly, while head lice are not known to be vector competent, body lice can transmit three serious bacterial diseases; epidemictyphus, trench fever, and relapsing fever. In order to gain insights into the molecular bases for these differences, we analyzed alternative splicing (AS) using next-generation sequencing data for one strain of head lice and one strain of body lice. We identified a total of 3,598 AS events which were head or body lice specific. Exon skipping AS events were overrepresented among both head and body lice, whereas intron retention events were underrepresented in both. However, both the enrichment of exon skipping and the underrepresentation of intron retention are significantly stronger in body lice compared with head lice. Genes containing body louse-specific AS events were found to be significantly enriched for functions associated with development of the nervous system, salivary gland, trachea, and ovarian follicle cells, as well as regulation of transcription. In contrast, no functional categories were overrepresented among genes with head louse-specific AS events. Together, our results constitute the first evidence for transcript pool differences in head and body lice, providing insights into molecular adaptations that enabled human lice to adapt to clothing, and representing a powerful illustration of the pivotal role AS can play in functional adaptation.

  18. Hypophosphatemic rickets caused by a novel splice donor site mutation and activation of two cryptic splice donor sites in the PHEX gene.

    PubMed

    Zou, Minjing; Buluş, Derya; Al-Rijjal, Roua A; Andıran, Nesibe; BinEssa, Huda; Kattan, Walaa E; Meyer, Brian; Shi, Yufei

    2015-01-01

    X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets (XLH) is the most common inherited form of rickets. XLH is caused by inactivating mutations in the PHEX gene and is transmitted as an X-linked dominant disorder. We investigated PHEX mutation in a sporadic Turkish girl with hypophosphatemic rickets. The patient was 2 years of age with a complaint of inability to walk. She had bowing of legs and growth retardation. Laboratory data showed normal calcium, low phosphate with markedly elevated ALP, and low phosphate renal tubular reabsorption. She was treated with Calcitriol 0.5 mg/kg/day and oral phosphate supplement with good response. The entire coding region of PHEX gene was sequenced from patient's peripheral leukocyte DNA and a novel 13 bp deletion at the donor splice site of exon5 was found (c.663+12del). Instead of using the donor splice site of intron 4 to splice out exon 5 and intron 5, the spliceosome utilized two nearby cryptic donor splice sites (5' splice site) to splice out intron 4, resulting in two smaller transcripts. Both of them could not translate into functional proteins due to frameshift. Her parents did not carry the mutation, indicating that this is a de novo PHEX mutation likely resulting from mutagenesis of X chromosome in paternal germ cells. We conclude that c.663+12del is a novel mutation that can activate nearby cryptic 5' splice sites. The selection of cryptic 5' splice sites adds the complexity of cell's splicing mechanisms. The current study extends the database of PHEX mutation and cryptic 5' splice sites.

  19. Lead cleavage sites in the core structure of group I intron-RNA.

    PubMed Central

    Streicher, B; von Ahsen, U; Schroeder, R

    1993-01-01

    Self-splicing of group I introns requires divalent metal ions to promote catalysis as well as for the correct folding of the RNA. Lead cleavage has been used to probe the intron RNA for divalent metal ion binding sites. In the conserved core of the intron, only two sites of Pb2+ cleavage have been detected, which are located close to the substrate binding sites in the junction J8/7 and at the bulged nucleotide in the P7 stem. Both lead cleavages can be inhibited by high concentrations of Mg2+ and Mn2+ ions, suggesting that they displace Pb2+ ions from the binding sites. The RNA is protected from lead cleavage by 2'-deoxyGTP, a competitive inhibitor of splicing. The two major lead induced cleavages are both located in the conserved core of the intron and at phosphates, which had independently been demonstrated to interact with magnesium ions and to be essential for splicing. Thus, we suggest that the conditions required for lead cleavage occur mainly at those sites, where divalent ions bind that are functionally involved in catalysis. We propose lead cleavage analysis of functional RNA to be a useful tool for mapping functional magnesium ion binding sites. Images PMID:7680116

  20. Promoter-driven splicing regulation in fission yeast.

    PubMed

    Moldón, Alberto; Malapeira, Jordi; Gabrielli, Natalia; Gogol, Madelaine; Gómez-Escoda, Blanca; Ivanova, Tsvetomira; Seidel, Chris; Ayté, José

    2008-10-16

    The meiotic cell cycle is modified from the mitotic cell cycle by having a pre-meiotic S phase that leads to high levels of recombination, two rounds of nuclear division with no intervening DNA synthesis and a reductional pattern of chromosome segregation. Rem1 is a cyclin that is only expressed during meiosis in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Cells in which rem1 has been deleted show decreased intragenic meiotic recombination and a delay at the onset of meiosis I (ref. 1). When ectopically expressed in mitotically growing cells, Rem1 induces a G1 arrest followed by severe mitotic catastrophes. Here we show that rem1 expression is regulated at the level of both transcription and splicing, encoding two proteins with different functions depending on the intron retention. We have determined that the regulation of rem1 splicing is not dependent on any transcribed region of the gene. Furthermore, when the rem1 promoter is fused to other intron-containing genes, the chimaeras show a meiotic-specific regulation of splicing, exactly the same as endogenous rem1. This regulation is dependent on two transcription factors of the forkhead family, Mei4 (ref. 2) and Fkh2 (ref. 3). Whereas Mei4 induces both transcription and splicing of rem1, Fkh2 is responsible for the intron retention of the transcript during vegetative growth and the pre-meiotic S phase. PMID:18815595

  1. Two group I ribozymes with different functions in a nuclear rDNA intron.

    PubMed Central

    Decatur, W A; Einvik, C; Johansen, S; Vogt, V M

    1995-01-01

    DiSSU1, a mobile intron in the nuclear rRNA gene of Didymium iridis, was previously reported to contain two independent catalytic RNA elements. We have found that both catalytic elements, renamed GIR1 and GIR2, are group I ribozymes, but with differing functionality. GIR2 carries out the several reactions associated with self-splicing. GIR1 carries out a hydrolysis reaction at an internal processing site (IPS-1). These conclusions are based on the catalytic properties of RNAs transcribed in vitro. Mutation of the P7 pairing segment of GIR2 abrogated self-splicing, while mutation of P7 in GIR1 abrogated hydrolysis at the IPS-1. Much of the P2 stem and all of the associated loop could be deleted without effect on self-splicing. These results are accounted for by a secondary structure model, in which a long P2 pairing segment brings the 5' splice site to the GIR2 catalytic core. GIR1 is the smallest natural group I ribozyme yet reported and is the first example of a group I ribozyme whose presumptive biological function is hydrolysis. We hypothesize that GIR1-mediated cleavage of the excised intron RNA functions in the generation and expression of the mRNA for the intron-encoded endonuclease I-DirI. Images PMID:7556099

  2. Reiterated sequences within the intron of an immediate-early gene of herpes simplex virus type 1.

    PubMed Central

    Watson, R J; Umene, K; Enquist, L W

    1981-01-01

    We describe the nucleotide sequence of a herpes simplex virus type 1 DNA fragment containing the intron of the immediate-early mRNA-5 (IE mRNA-5) gene. The location of the intron within this fragment was determined by a Berk & Sharp nuclease S1 protection analysis, and by cloning and sequencing cDNA containing sequences overlapping t he IE mRNA-5 splice point. We found that the 149 base pair (bp) intron contained four copies of an identical 23 bp GC rich tandem repeat followed by a further reiteration consisting of the first 15 bp only. Images PMID:6272198

  3. Plant pre-tRNA splicing enzymes are targeted to multiple cellular compartments.

    PubMed

    Englert, Markus; Latz, Andreas; Becker, Dirk; Gimple, Olaf; Beier, Hildburg; Akama, Kazuhito

    2007-11-01

    Splicing of precursor tRNAs in plants requires the concerted action of three enzymes: an endonuclease to cleave the intron at the two splice sites, an RNA ligase for joining the resulting tRNA halves and a 2'-phosphotransferase to remove the 2'-phosphate from the splice junction. Pre-tRNA splicing has been demonstrated to occur exclusively in the nucleus of vertebrates and in the cytoplasm of budding yeast cells, respectively. We have investigated the subcellular localization of plant splicing enzymes fused to GFP by their transient expression in Allium epidermal and Vicia guard cells. Our results show that all three classes of splicing enzymes derived from Arabidopsis and Oryza are localized in the nucleus, suggesting that plant pre-tRNA splicing takes place preferentially in the nucleus. Moreover, two of the splicing enzymes, i.e., tRNA ligase and 2'-phosphotransferase, contain chloroplast transit signals at their N-termini and are predominantly targeted to chloroplasts and proplastids, respectively. The putative transit sequences are effective also in the heterologous context fused directly to GFP. Chloroplast genomes do not encode intron-containing tRNA genes of the nuclear type and consequently tRNA ligase and 2'-phosphotransferase are not required for classical pre-tRNA splicing in these organelles but they may play a role in tRNA repair and/or splicing of atypical group II introns. Additionally, 2'-phosphotransferase-GFP fusion protein has been found to be associated with mitochondria, as confirmed by colocalization studies with MitoTracker Red. In vivo analyses with mutated constructs suggest that alternative initiation of translation is one way utilized by tRNA splicing enzymes for differential targeting. PMID:17698277

  4. An artificial riboswitch for controlling pre-mRNA splicing.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dong-Suk; Gusti, Veronica; Pillai, Sailesh G; Gaur, Rajesh K

    2005-11-01

    Riboswitches, as previously reported, are natural RNA aptamers that regulate the expression of numerous bacterial metabolic genes in response to small molecule ligands. It has recently been shown that these RNA genetic elements are also present near the splice site junctions of plant and fungal introns, thus raising the possibility of their involvement in regulating mRNA splicing. Here it is shown for the first time that a riboswitch can be engineered to regulate pre-mRNA splicing in vitro. We show that insertion of a high-affinity theophylline binding aptamer into the 3' splice site (3' ss) region of a model pre-mRNA (AdML-Theo29AG) enables its splicing to be repressed by the addition theophylline. Our results indicate that the location of 3' ss AG within the aptamer plays a crucial role in conferring theophylline-dependent control of pre-mRNA splicing. We also show that theophylline-mediated control of pre-mRNA splicing is highly specific by first demonstrating that a small molecule ligand similar in shape and size to theophylline had no effect on the splicing of AdML-Theo29AG pre-mRNA. Second, theophylline failed to exert any influence on the splicing of a pre-mRNA that does not contain its binding site. Third, theophylline specifically blocks the step II of the splicing reaction. Finally, we provide evidence that theophylline-dependent control of pre-mRNA splicing is functionally relevant. PMID:16244133

  5. Evolution of alternative splicing in primate brain transcriptomes

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Lan; Shen, Shihao; Jiang, Peng; Sato, Seiko; Davidson, Beverly L.; Xing, Yi

    2010-01-01

    Alternative splicing is a predominant form of gene regulation in higher eukaryotes. The evolution of alternative splicing provides an important mechanism for the acquisition of novel gene functions. In this work, we carried out a genome-wide phylogenetic survey of lineage-specific splicing patterns in the primate brain, via high-density exon junction array profiling of brain transcriptomes of humans, chimpanzees and rhesus macaques. We identified 509 genes showing splicing differences among these species. RT–PCR analysis of 40 exons confirmed the predicted splicing evolution of 33 exons. Of these 33 exons, outgroup analysis using rhesus macaques confirmed 13 exons with human-specific increase or decrease in transcript inclusion levels after humans diverged from chimpanzees. Some of the human-specific brain splicing patterns disrupt domains critical for protein–protein interactions, and some modulate translational efficiency of their host genes. Strikingly, for exons showing splicing differences across species, we observed a significant increase in the rate of silent substitutions within exons, coupled with accelerated sequence divergence in flanking introns. This indicates that evolution of cis-regulatory signals is a major contributor to the emergence of human-specific splicing patterns. In one gene (MAGOH), using minigene reporter assays, we demonstrated that the combination of two human-specific cis-sequence changes created its human-specific splicing pattern. Together, our data reveal widespread human-specific changes of alternative splicing in the brain and suggest an important role of splicing in the evolution of neuronal gene regulation and functions. PMID:20460271

  6. When good transcripts go bad: artifactual RT-PCR 'splicing' and genome analysis.

    PubMed

    Roy, Scott William; Irimia, Manuel

    2008-06-01

    Gene and intron prediction are essential for accurate inferences about genome evolution. Recently, two genome-wide studies searched for recent intron gains in humans, reaching very different conclusions: either of a complete absence of intron gain since early mammalian evolution, or of creation of numerous introns by genomic duplication in repetitive regions. We discuss one possible explanation: the underappreciated phenomenon of "template switching", by which reverse transcriptase may create artifactual splicing-like events in the preparation of cDNA/EST libraries, may cause complications in searches for newly gained introns in repetitive regions. We report large numbers of apparent template switching in transcript sequences from the intron-poor protists Trichomonas vaginalis and Giardia lamblia. Supplementary material for this article can be found on the BioEssays website (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/jpages/0265-9247/suppmat/index.html). PMID:18478540

  7. When good transcripts go bad: artifactual RT-PCR 'splicing' and genome analysis.

    PubMed

    Roy, Scott William; Irimia, Manuel

    2008-06-01

    Gene and intron prediction are essential for accurate inferences about genome evolution. Recently, two genome-wide studies searched for recent intron gains in humans, reaching very different conclusions: either of a complete absence of intron gain since early mammalian evolution, or of creation of numerous introns by genomic duplication in repetitive regions. We discuss one possible explanation: the underappreciated phenomenon of "template switching", by which reverse transcriptase may create artifactual splicing-like events in the preparation of cDNA/EST libraries, may cause complications in searches for newly gained introns in repetitive regions. We report large numbers of apparent template switching in transcript sequences from the intron-poor protists Trichomonas vaginalis and Giardia lamblia. Supplementary material for this article can be found on the BioEssays website (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/jpages/0265-9247/suppmat/index.html).

  8. The exon-intron organization of the human erythroid [beta]-spectrin gene

    SciTech Connect

    Amin, K.M.; Forget, B.G. ); Scarpa, A.L.; Curtis, P.J. ); Winkelmann, J.C. )

    1993-10-01

    The human erythrocyte [beta]-spectrin gene DNA has been cloned from overlapping human genomic phage and cosmid recombinants. The entire erythroid [beta]-spectrin mRNA is encoded by 32 exons that range in size from 49 to 871 bases. The exon/intron junctions have been identified and the exons mapped. There is no correlation between intron positions and the repeat units of 106 amino acids within domain II of the [beta]-spectrin gene. The scatter of the introns over the 17 repeats argues against the 106-amino-acid unit representing a minigene that underwent repeated duplication resulting in the present [beta]-spectrin gene. In fact, the two largest exons, exon 14 (871 bp) and 16 (757 bp), extend over 4 and 3 repeat units of 106 amino acids, respectively, while repeat [beta]10 is encoded by 4 exons. No single position of an intron in the [beta]-spectrin gene is conserved between any of the 17 [beta]-spectrin and 22 [alpha]-spectrin repeat units. The nucleotide sequences of the exon/intron boundaries conform to the consensus splice site sequences except for exon 20, whose 5[prime] donor splice-site sequence begins with GC. The [beta]-spectrin isoform present in the human brain, the skeletal muscle, and the cardiac muscle is an alternatively spliced product of the erythroid [beta]-spectrin gene. This splice site is located within the coding sequences of exon 32 and its utilization in nonerythroid tissues leads to the use of 4 additional downstream exons with a size range of 44 to 530 bp. 55 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  9. Constraints on intron evolution in the gene encoding the myosin alkali light chain in Drosophila

    SciTech Connect

    Leicht, B.G.; Muse, S.V.; Hanczyc, M.

    1995-01-01

    Interspecific comparisons of intron sequences reveal conserved blocks of invariant nucleotides and several other departures from the strictly neutral model of molecular evolution. To distinguish the past action of evolutionary forces in introns known to have regulatory information, we examined nucleotide sequence variation at 991 sites in a random sample of 16 Drosophila melanogaster alleles of the gene encoding the myosin alkali light chain (Mlc1). The Mlc1 gene of D. melanogaster encodes two Mlc1 isoforms via developmentally regulated alternative pre-mRNA splicing. Analyses of these data reveal that introns 4 and 5, which flank the alternatively spliced exon 5, have reduced levels of both intraspecific polymorphism and interspecific divergence relative to intron 3. No polymorphism was observed in any of the exons examined in D. melanogaster. A genealogical analysis clearly demonstrates the occurrence of intragenic recombination in the ancestral history of Mlc1. Recombination events are estimated to be 13 times more likely than mutation events over the span of the sequenced region. Although there is little evidence for pairwise linkage disequilibrium in the Mlc1 region, higher order disequilibrium. does seem to be present in the 5{prime} half of the portion of the gene that was examined. Predictions of the folding free energy of the pre-mRNA reveal that sampled alleles have a significantly higher (less stable) free energy than do randomly permuted sequences. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that introns surrounding an alternatively spliced exon are subjected to additional constraints, perhaps due to specific aspects of secondary structure required for appropriate splicing of the pre-mRNA molecule. 48 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs.

  10. Intron features of key functional genes mediating nitrogen metabolism in marine phytoplankton.

    PubMed

    Bhadury, Punyasloke; Song, Bongkeun; Ward, Bess B

    2011-09-01

    Introns are widespread and variable in eukaryotic genomes. Although their histories and functions, or even whether all of them have any function, remain largely unknown, analysis of intron sequences and genomic contexts may shed light on the evolutionary history of genes and organisms. The number and frequency of introns vary widely in the small number of published genomes of protists and algae suggesting that the same is true of the vast diversity of protists and algae that remain uncultivated. The objective of this study were to investigate introns in sequences of functional genes of phytoplankton, both in published genomes and in sequences obtained from environmental clone libraries. We examined the introns of the genes involved in nitrogen uptake and assimilation pathways in the genome sequences of cultivated phytoplankton as well as in environmental clone libraries of nitrate reductases (NR), nitrite reductase (NiR), nitrate transporter (Nrt2) and ammonium transporter (AMT) genes constructed from pelagic phytoplankton communities in Monterey Bay (CA, USA) and Onslow Bay (NC, USA). Here we describe the most extensive set to date of intron sequences from uncultivated marine algae and report important differences for diatom vs. non-diatom sequences. The majority of the introns in NR, NiR, Nrt2 and AMT from cultured phytoplankton and environmental libraries showed canonical splice patterns. Introns found in diatom-like NR environmental libraries had lower GC content than the respective exons. The green algal-like NR and Nrt2 environmental sequences had introns and exons of much more similar GC content, and both higher than in diatoms. These patterns suggest a different evolutionary history and recent acquisition of diatom introns compared to other algae.

  11. Attenuation of the suppressive activity of cellular splicing factor SRSF3 by Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus ORF57 protein is required for RNA splicing.

    PubMed

    Majerciak, Vladimir; Lu, Mathew; Li, Xiaofan; Zheng, Zhi-Ming

    2014-11-01

    Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) ORF57 is a multifunctional post-transcriptional regulator essential for viral gene expression during KSHV lytic infection. ORF57 requires interactions with various cellular proteins for its function. Here, we identified serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 3 (SRSF3, formerly known as SRp20) as a cellular cofactor involved in ORF57-mediated splicing of KSHV K8β RNA. In the absence of ORF57, SRSF3 binds to a suboptimal K8β intron and inhibits K8β splicing. Knockdown of SRSF3 promotes K8β splicing, mimicking the effect of ORF57. The N-terminal half of ORF57 binds to the RNA recognition motif of SRSF3, which prevents SRSF3 from associating with the K8β intron RNA and therefore attenuates the suppressive effect of SRSF3 on K8β splicing. ORF57 also promotes splicing of heterologous non-KSHV transcripts that are negatively regulated by SRSF3, indicating that the effect of ORF57 on SRSF3 activity is independent of RNA target. SPEN proteins, previously identified as ORF57-interacting partners, suppress ORF57 splicing activity by displacing ORF57 from SRSF3-RNA complexes. In summary, we have identified modulation of SRSF3 activity as the molecular mechanism by which ORF57 promotes RNA splicing.

  12. Attenuation of the suppressive activity of cellular splicing factor SRSF3 by Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus ORF57 protein is required for RNA splicing

    PubMed Central

    Majerciak, Vladimir; Lu, Mathew; Li, Xiaofan

    2014-01-01

    Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV) ORF57 is a multifunctional post-transcriptional regulator essential for viral gene expression during KSHV lytic infection. ORF57 requires interactions with various cellular proteins for its function. Here, we identified serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 3 (SRSF3, formerly known as SRp20) as a cellular cofactor involved in ORF57-mediated splicing of KSHV K8β RNA. In the absence of ORF57, SRSF3 binds to a suboptimal K8β intron and inhibits K8β splicing. Knockdown of SRSF3 promotes K8β splicing, mimicking the effect of ORF57. The N-terminal half of ORF57 binds to the RNA recognition motif of SRSF3, which prevents SRSF3 from associating with the K8β intron RNA and therefore attenuates the suppressive effect of SRSF3 on K8β splicing. ORF57 also promotes splicing of heterologous non-KSHV transcripts that are negatively regulated by SRSF3, indicating that the effect of ORF57 on SRSF3 activity is independent of RNA target. SPEN proteins, previously identified as ORF57-interacting partners, suppress ORF57 splicing activity by displacing ORF57 from SRSF3–RNA complexes. In summary, we have identified modulation of SRSF3 activity as the molecular mechanism by which ORF57 promotes RNA splicing. PMID:25234929

  13. The dynamic loss and gain of introns during the evolution of the Brassicaceae.

    PubMed

    Milia, Giampiera; Camiolo, Salvatore; Avesani, Linda; Porceddu, Andrea

    2015-06-01

    Sequence comparison allows the detailed analysis of evolution at the nucleotide and amino acid levels, but much less information is known about the structural evolution of genes, i.e. how the number, length and distribution of introns change over time. We constructed a parsimonious model for the evolutionary rate of intron loss (IL) and intron gain (IG) within the Brassicaceae and found that IL/IG has been highly dynamic, with substantial differences between and even within lineages. The divergence of the Brassicaceae lineages I and II marked a dramatic change in the IL rate, with the common ancestor of lineage I losing introns three times more rapidly than the common ancestor of lineage II. Our data also indicate a subsequent declining trend in the rate of IL, although in Arabidopsis thaliana introns continue to be lost at approximately the ancestral rate. Variations in the rate of IL/IG within lineage II have been even more remarkable. Brassica rapa appears to have lost introns approximately 15 times more rapidly than the common ancestor of B. rapa and Schenkiella parvula, and approximately 25 times more rapidly than its sister species Eutrema salsugineum. Microhomology was detected at the splice sites of several dynamic introns suggesting that the non-homologous end-joining and double-strand break repair is a common pathway underlying IL/IG in these species. We also detected molecular signatures typical of mRNA-mediated IL, but only in B. rapa.

  14. Intron-exon organization of the gene for the multifunctional animal fatty acid synthase.

    PubMed Central

    Amy, C M; Williams-Ahlf, B; Naggert, J; Smith, S

    1992-01-01

    The complete intron-exon organization of the gene encoding a multifunctional mammalian fatty acid synthase has been elucidated, and specific exons have been assigned to coding sequences for the component domains of the protein. The rat gene is interrupted by 42 introns and the sequences bordering the splice-site junctions universally follow the GT/AG rule. However, of the 41 introns that interrupt the coding region of the gene, 23 split the reading frame in phase I, 14 split the reading frame in phase 0, and only 4 split the reading frame in phase II. Remarkably, 46% of the introns interrupt codons for glycine. With only one exception, boundaries between the constituent enzymes of the multifunctional polypeptide coincide with the location of introns in the gene. The significance of the predominance of phase I introns, the almost uniformly short length of the 42 introns and the overall small size of the gene, is discussed in relation to the evolution of multifunctional proteins. Images PMID:1736293

  15. The dynamic loss and gain of introns during the evolution of the Brassicaceae.

    PubMed

    Milia, Giampiera; Camiolo, Salvatore; Avesani, Linda; Porceddu, Andrea

    2015-06-01

    Sequence comparison allows the detailed analysis of evolution at the nucleotide and amino acid levels, but much less information is known about the structural evolution of genes, i.e. how the number, length and distribution of introns change over time. We constructed a parsimonious model for the evolutionary rate of intron loss (IL) and intron gain (IG) within the Brassicaceae and found that IL/IG has been highly dynamic, with substantial differences between and even within lineages. The divergence of the Brassicaceae lineages I and II marked a dramatic change in the IL rate, with the common ancestor of lineage I losing introns three times more rapidly than the common ancestor of lineage II. Our data also indicate a subsequent declining trend in the rate of IL, although in Arabidopsis thaliana introns continue to be lost at approximately the ancestral rate. Variations in the rate of IL/IG within lineage II have been even more remarkable. Brassica rapa appears to have lost introns approximately 15 times more rapidly than the common ancestor of B. rapa and Schenkiella parvula, and approximately 25 times more rapidly than its sister species Eutrema salsugineum. Microhomology was detected at the splice sites of several dynamic introns suggesting that the non-homologous end-joining and double-strand break repair is a common pathway underlying IL/IG in these species. We also detected molecular signatures typical of mRNA-mediated IL, but only in B. rapa. PMID:25899207

  16. The Agaricus bisporus cox1 gene: the longest mitochondrial gene and the largest reservoir of mitochondrial group i introns.

    PubMed

    Férandon, Cyril; Moukha, Serge; Callac, Philippe; Benedetto, Jean-Pierre; Castroviejo, Michel; Barroso, Gérard

    2010-11-18

    In eukaryotes, introns are located in nuclear and organelle genes from several kingdoms. Large introns (up to 5 kbp) are frequent in mitochondrial genomes of plant and fungi but scarce in Metazoa, even if these organisms are grouped with fungi among the Opisthokonts. Mitochondrial introns are classified in two groups (I and II) according to their RNA secondary structure involved in the intron self-splicing mechanism. Most of these mitochondrial group I introns carry a "Homing Endonuclease Gene" (heg) encoding a DNA endonuclease acting in transfer and site-specific integration ("homing") and allowing intron spreading and gain after lateral transfer even between species from different kingdoms. Opposed to this gain mechanism, is another which implies that introns, which would have been abundant in the ancestral genes, would mainly evolve by loss. The importance of both mechanisms (loss and gain) is matter of debate. Here we report the sequence of the cox1 gene of the button mushroom Agaricus bisporus, the most widely cultivated mushroom in the world. This gene is both the longest mitochondrial gene (29,902 nt) and the largest group I intron reservoir reported to date with 18 group I and 1 group II. An exhaustive analysis of the group I introns available in cox1 genes shows that they are mobile genetic elements whose numerous events of loss and gain by lateral transfer combine to explain their wide and patchy distribution extending over several kingdoms. An overview of intron distribution, together with the high frequency of eroded heg, suggests that they are evolving towards loss. In this landscape of eroded and lost intron sequences, the A. bisporus cox1 gene exhibits a peculiar dynamics of intron keeping and catching, leading to the largest collection of mitochondrial group I introns reported to date in a Eukaryote.

  17. The Agaricus bisporus cox1 Gene: The Longest Mitochondrial Gene and the Largest Reservoir of Mitochondrial Group I Introns

    PubMed Central

    Férandon, Cyril; Moukha, Serge; Callac, Philippe; Benedetto, Jean-Pierre; Castroviejo, Michel; Barroso, Gérard

    2010-01-01

    In eukaryotes, introns are located in nuclear and organelle genes from several kingdoms. Large introns (up to 5 kbp) are frequent in mitochondrial genomes of plant and fungi but scarce in Metazoa, even if these organisms are grouped with fungi among the Opisthokonts. Mitochondrial introns are classified in two groups (I and II) according to their RNA secondary structure involved in the intron self-splicing mechanism. Most of these mitochondrial group I introns carry a “Homing Endonuclease Gene” (heg) encoding a DNA endonuclease acting in transfer and site-specific integration (“homing”) and allowing intron spreading and gain after lateral transfer even between species from different kingdoms. Opposed to this gain mechanism, is another which implies that introns, which would have been abundant in the ancestral genes, would mainly evolve by loss. The importance of both mechanisms (loss and gain) is matter of debate. Here we report the sequence of the cox1 gene of the button mushroom Agaricus bisporus, the most widely cultivated mushroom in the world. This gene is both the longest mitochondrial gene (29,902 nt) and the largest group I intron reservoir reported to date with 18 group I and 1 group II. An exhaustive analysis of the group I introns available in cox1 genes shows that they are mobile genetic elements whose numerous events of loss and gain by lateral transfer combine to explain their wide and patchy distribution extending over several kingdoms. An overview of intron distribution, together with the high frequency of eroded heg, suggests that they are evolving towards loss. In this landscape of eroded and lost intron sequences, the A. bisporus cox1 gene exhibits a peculiar dynamics of intron keeping and catching, leading to the largest collection of mitochondrial group I introns reported to date in a Eukaryote. PMID:21124976

  18. Primary and secondary structure analyses of the rDNA group-I introns of the Zygnematales (Charophyta).

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, D; Damberger, S; Surek, B; Melkonian, M

    1996-02-01

    The Zygnematales (Charophyta) contain a group-I intron (subgroupIC1) within their nuclear-encoded small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) coding region. This intron, which is inserted after position 1506 (relative to the SSU rDNA of Escherichia coli), is proposed to have been vertically inherited since the origin of the Zygnematales approximately 350-400 million years ago. Primary and secondary structure analyses were carried out to model group-I intron evolution in the Zygnematales. Secondary structure analyses support genetic data regarding sequence conservation within regions known to be functionally important for in vitro self-splicing of group-I introns. Comparisons of zygnematalean group-I intron secondary structures also provided some new insights into sequences that may have important roles in in vivo RNA splicing. Sequence analyses showed that sequence divergence rates and the nucleotide compositions of introns and coding regions within any one taxon varied widely, suggesting that the "1506" group-I introns and rDNA coding regions in the Zygnematales evolve independently.

  19. Analysis on the preference for sequence matching between mRNA sequences and the corresponding introns in ribosomal protein genes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiang; Li, Hong; Zhao, Xiaoqing; Zheng, Yan; Meng, Hu; Jia, Yun; Xue, Hui; Bo, Sulin

    2016-03-01

    Introns after splicing still play an important role. Introns can accomplish gene expression and regulation by interaction with corresponding mRNA sequences. Based on the Smith-Waterman method, local comparing makes us get the optimal matched segments between intron sequences and mRNA sequences. Analyzing the distribution regulation of the optimal matching region on mRNA sequences of ribosomal protein genes about 27 species, we find a strong interaction between UTR region sequences and introns. There are a lot of the optimal matching regions and low matching ones, and the latter are supposed to be the combined regions of protein complexes. The optimal matching frequency distributions have obvious differences nearby the mRNA functional sites such as translation initiation and termination sites, exon-exon joints and EJC regions. This conclusion shows that intron sequences and mature mRNA sequences are co-evolved and interactive to play their functions. PMID:26707402

  20. A Relaxed Active Site After Exon Ligation by the Group I Intron

    SciTech Connect

    Lipchock,S.; Strobel, S.

    2008-01-01

    During RNA maturation, the group I intron promotes two sequential phosphorotransfer reactions resulting in exon ligation and intron release. Here, we report the crystal structure of the intron in complex with spliced exons and two additional structures that examine the role of active-site metal ions during the second step of RNA splicing. These structures reveal a relaxed active site, in which direct metal coordination by the exons is lost after ligation, while other tertiary interactions are retained between the exon and the intron. Consistent with these structural observations, kinetic and thermodynamic measurements show that the scissile phosphate makes direct contact with metals in the ground state before exon ligation and in the transition state, but not after exon ligation. Despite no direct exonic interactions and even in the absence of the scissile phosphate, two metal ions remain bound within the active site. Together, these data suggest that release of the ligated exons from the intron is preceded by a change in substrate-metal coordination before tertiary hydrogen bonding contacts to the exons are broken.

  1. A dynamic intron retention program enriched in RNA processing genes regulates gene expression during terminal erythropoiesis.

    PubMed

    Pimentel, Harold; Parra, Marilyn; Gee, Sherry L; Mohandas, Narla; Pachter, Lior; Conboy, John G

    2016-01-29

    Differentiating erythroblasts execute a dynamic alternative splicing program shown here to include extensive and diverse intron retention (IR) events. Cluster analysis revealed hundreds of developmentally-dynamic introns that exhibit increased IR in mature erythroblasts, and are enriched in functions related to RNA processing such as SF3B1 spliceosomal factor. Distinct, developmentally-stable IR clusters are enriched in metal-ion binding functions and include mitoferrin genes SLC25A37 and SLC25A28 that are critical for iron homeostasis. Some IR transcripts are abundant, e.g. comprising ∼50% of highly-expressed SLC25A37 and SF3B1 transcripts in late erythroblasts, and thereby limiting functional mRNA levels. IR transcripts tested were predominantly nuclear-localized. Splice site strength correlated with IR among stable but not dynamic intron clusters, indicating distinct regulation of dynamically-increased IR in late erythroblasts. Retained introns were preferentially associated with alternative exons with premature termination codons (PTCs). High IR was observed in disease-causing genes including SF3B1 and the RNA binding protein FUS. Comparative studies demonstrated that the intron retention program in erythroblasts shares features with other tissues but ultimately is unique to erythropoiesis. We conclude that IR is a multi-dimensional set of processes that post-transcriptionally regulate diverse gene groups during normal erythropoiesis, misregulation of which could be responsible for human disease.

  2. A dynamic intron retention program enriched in RNA processing genes regulates gene expression during terminal erythropoiesis

    SciTech Connect

    Pimentel, Harold; Parra, Marilyn; Gee, Sherry L.; Mohandas, Narla; Pachter, Lior; Conboy, John G.

    2015-11-03

    Differentiating erythroblasts execute a dynamic alternative splicing program shown here to include extensive and diverse intron retention (IR) events. Cluster analysis revealed hundreds of developmentallydynamic introns that exhibit increased IR in mature erythroblasts, and are enriched in functions related to RNA processing such as SF3B1 spliceosomal factor. Distinct, developmentally-stable IR clusters are enriched in metal-ion binding functions and include mitoferrin genes SLC25A37 and SLC25A28 that are critical for iron homeostasis. Some IR transcripts are abundant, e.g. comprising ~50% of highly-expressed SLC25A37 and SF3B1 transcripts in late erythroblasts, and thereby limiting functional mRNA levels. IR transcripts tested were predominantly nuclearlocalized. Splice site strength correlated with IR among stable but not dynamic intron clusters, indicating distinct regulation of dynamically-increased IR in late erythroblasts. Retained introns were preferentially associated with alternative exons with premature termination codons (PTCs). High IR was observed in disease-causing genes including SF3B1 and the RNA binding protein FUS. Comparative studies demonstrated that the intron retention program in erythroblasts shares features with other tissues but ultimately is unique to erythropoiesis. Finally, we conclude that IR is a multi-dimensional set of processes that post-transcriptionally regulate diverse gene groups during normal erythropoiesis, misregulation of which could be responsible for human disease.

  3. A dynamic intron retention program enriched in RNA processing genes regulates gene expression during terminal erythropoiesis

    PubMed Central

    Pimentel, Harold; Parra, Marilyn; Gee, Sherry L.; Mohandas, Narla; Pachter, Lior; Conboy, John G.

    2016-01-01

    Differentiating erythroblasts execute a dynamic alternative splicing program shown here to include extensive and diverse intron retention (IR) events. Cluster analysis revealed hundreds of developmentally-dynamic introns that exhibit increased IR in mature erythroblasts, and are enriched in functions related to RNA processing such as SF3B1 spliceosomal factor. Distinct, developmentally-stable IR clusters are enriched in metal-ion binding functions and include mitoferrin genes SLC25A37 and SLC25A28 that are critical for iron homeostasis. Some IR transcripts are abundant, e.g. comprising ∼50% of highly-expressed SLC25A37 and SF3B1 transcripts in late erythroblasts, and thereby limiting functional mRNA levels. IR transcripts tested were predominantly nuclear-localized. Splice site strength correlated with IR among stable but not dynamic intron clusters, indicating distinct regulation of dynamically-increased IR in late erythroblasts. Retained introns were preferentially associated with alternative exons with premature termination codons (PTCs). High IR was observed in disease-causing genes including SF3B1 and the RNA binding protein FUS. Comparative studies demonstrated that the intron retention program in erythroblasts shares features with other tissues but ultimately is unique to erythropoiesis. We conclude that IR is a multi-dimensional set of processes that post-transcriptionally regulate diverse gene groups during normal erythropoiesis, misregulation of which could be responsible for human disease. PMID:26531823

  4. Entropic contributions to the splicing process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osella, Matteo; Caselle, Michele

    2009-12-01

    It has been recently argued that depletion attraction may play an important role in different aspects of cellular organization, ranging from the organization of transcriptional activity in transcription factories to the formation of nuclear bodies. In this paper, we suggest a new application of these ideas in the context of the splicing process, a crucial step of messenger RNA maturation in eukaryotes. We shall show that entropy effects and the resulting depletion attraction may explain the relevance of the aspecific intron length variable in the choice of splice-site recognition modality. On top of that, some qualitative features of the genome architecture of higher eukaryotes can find evolutionary realistic motivation in the light of our model.

  5. Probabilistic simple splicing systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selvarajoo, Mathuri; Heng, Fong Wan; Sarmin, Nor Haniza; Turaev, Sherzod

    2014-06-01

    A splicing system, one of the early theoretical models for DNA computing was introduced by Head in 1987. Splicing systems are based on the splicing operation which, informally, cuts two strings of DNA molecules at the specific recognition sites and attaches the prefix of the first string to the suffix of the second string, and the prefix of the second string to the suffix of the first string, thus yielding the new strings. For a specific type of splicing systems, namely the simple splicing systems, the recognition sites are the same for both strings of DNA molecules. It is known that splicing systems with finite sets of axioms and splicing rules only generate regular languages. Hence, different types of restrictions have been considered for splicing systems in order to increase their computational power. Recently, probabilistic splicing systems have been introduced where the probabilities are initially associated with the axioms, and the probabilities of the generated strings are computed from the probabilities of the initial strings. In this paper, some properties of probabilistic simple splicing systems are investigated. We prove that probabilistic simple splicing systems can also increase the computational power of the splicing languages generated.

  6. A 25-bp ancient spliceosomal intron in the TvRab1a gene of Trichomonas vaginalis.

    PubMed

    Deng, Xiao-Ling; Xu, Ming-Yan; Xu, Xiao-Yuan; Ba-Thein, William; Zhang, Ren-Li; Fu, Yu-Cai

    2009-02-01

    Spliceosomal introns play a key role in eukaryotic genome evolution and protein diversity. A large Rab GTPase family has been identified in a unicellular eukaryote Trichomonas vaginalis. However, the characteristics of introns in Rab genes of T. vaginalis have not been investigated previously. In this study, we identified a 25-bp spliceosomal intron in the T. vaginalis Rab1a (TvRab1a) gene, the smallest intron in T. vaginalis to be characterized to date. This intron contains a canonical splice site at both 5' (GT) and 3' (AG) ends, and a putative branch-point sequence (TCTAAC) that matches the Trichomonad consensus sequence of ACTAAC except for the first nucleotide. The position and phase of the TvRab1a intron are evolutionarily conserved in Rab1 homologous genes across at least five eukaryotic supergroups, including Opisthokonta, Amoebozoa, Excavata, Chromalveolata, and Plantae. These results strongly suggest that the TvRab1a intron is likely to be an ancient spliceosomal intron, and it can therefore be used as a phylogenetic marker to evaluate particular eukaryotic groupings. Identification and characterization of the TvRabla intron may provide an insight into the evolution of the large Rab repertoire in T. vaginalis. PMID:18926921

  7. Identification of novel splice variants of the Arabidopsis DCL2 gene.

    PubMed

    Yan, Fei; Peng, Jiejun; Lu, Yuwen; Lin, Lin; Zheng, Hongying; Chen, Hairu; Chen, Jianping; Adams, Michael J

    2009-02-01

    In Arabidopsis thaliana, Dicer-like protein 2 (DCL2) cleaves double-stranded virus RNA, playing an essential role in the RNA interference pathway. Here, we describe three alternative splicing (AS) forms of AtDCL2: in one, both intron 8 and intron 10 are retained in the mRNA, in second only intron 8 is retained and in the third no intron is retained, but there is a deletion of 56 nucleotides at the end of exon 10. These splicing forms are present in stems and leaves at different development stages. AS was also detected in DCL2 of Brassica rapa, where intron 9, but not intron 8 or intron 10, was retained suggesting that AS may be a common phenomenon in cruciferous plant DCL2s. The retained introns and sequence deletions detected in AtDCL2 changed the reading frame and produced premature terminal codons. The AS forms appeared to be substrates of nonsense-mediated decay of mRNA.

  8. Half Pint/Puf68 is required for negative regulation of splicing by the SR factor Transformer2

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shanzhi; Wagner, Eric J; Mattox, William

    2013-01-01

    The SR family of proteins plays important regulatory roles in the control of alternative splicing in a wide range of organisms. These factors affect splicing through both positive and negative controls of splice site recognition by pre-spliceosomal factors. Recent studies indicate that the Drosophila SR factor Transformer 2 (Tra2) activates and represses splicing through distinct and separable effector regions of the protein. While the interactions of its Arg-Ser-rich activator region have been well studied, cofactors involved in splicing repression have yet to be found. Here we use a luciferase-based splicing reporter assay to screen for novel proteins necessary for Tra2-dependent repression of splicing. This approach identified Half pint, also known as Puf68, as a co-repressor required for Tra2-mediated autoregulation of the M1 intron. In vivo, Half pint is required for Tra2-dependent repression of M1 splicing but is not necessary for Tra2-dependent activation of doublesex splicing. Further experiments indicate that the effect of Hfp is sequence-specific and that it associates with these target transcripts in cells. Importantly, known M1 splicing regulatory elements are sufficient to sensitize a heterologous intron to Hfp regulation. Two alternative proteins deriving from Hfp transcripts, Hfp68, and Hfp58, were found to be expressed in vivo but differed dramatically in their effect on M1 splicing. Comparison of the cellular localization of these forms in S2 cells revealed that Hfp68 is predominantly localized to the nucleus while Hfp58 is distributed across both the nucleus and cytoplasm. This accords with their observed effects on splicing and suggests that differential compartmentalization may contribute to the specificity of these isoforms. Together, these studies reveal a function for Half pint in splicing repression and demonstrate it to be specifically required for Tra2-dependent intron inclusion. PMID:23880637

  9. nagnag: Identification and quantification of NAGNAG alternative splicing using RNA-Seq data.

    PubMed

    Yan, Xiaoyan; Sablok, Gaurav; Feng, Gang; Ma, Jiaxin; Zhao, Hongwei; Sun, Xiaoyong

    2015-07-01

    Regulation of proteome diversity by alternative splicing has been widely demonstrated in plants and animals. NAGNAG splicing, which was recently defined as a tissue specific event, results in the production of two distinct isoforms that are distinguished by three nucleotides (NAG) as a consequence of the intron proximal or distal to the splice site. Since the NAGNAG mechanism is not well characterized, tools for the identification and quantification of NAGNAG splicing events remain under-developed. Here we report nagnag, an R-based NAGNAG splicing detection tool, which accurately identifies and quantifies NAGNAG splicing events using RNA-Seq. Overall, nagnag produces user-friendly visualization reports and highlights differences between the DNA/RNA/protein across the identified isoforms of the reported gene. The package is available on https://sourceforge.net/projects/nagnag/files/; or http://genome.sdau.edu.cn/research/software/nagnag.html. PMID:26028313

  10. Early base-pair fluctuations and the activation of mRNA splicing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Ariel

    1991-05-01

    By means of multiprocessed Monte Carlo simulations we study the amplification in time structural fluctuations in sequential RNA folding concomitant with transcription. The simulations allow for an exploration of configuration space subject to the realistic time-constraints of RNA synthesis. The treatment focuses on the splicing YC4 intron as a study case. We show how an early disruption in the folding may result in a terminal structure which is active for splicing, bringing together the two cleavage sites at both ends of the intron.

  11. The Interplay of Temperature and Genotype on Patterns of Alternative Splicing in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Jakšić, Ana Marija; Schlötterer, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Alternative splicing is the highly regulated process of variation in the removal of introns from premessenger-RNA transcripts. The consequences of alternative splicing on the phenotype are well documented, but the impact of the environment on alternative splicing is not yet clear. We studied variation in alternative splicing among four different temperatures, 13, 18, 23, and 29°, in two Drosophila melanogaster genotypes. We show plasticity of alternative splicing with up to 10% of the expressed genes being differentially spliced between the most extreme temperatures for a given genotype. Comparing the two genotypes at different temperatures, we found <1% of the genes being differentially spliced at 18°. At extreme temperatures, however, we detected substantial differences in alternative splicing—with almost 10% of the genes having differential splicing between the genotypes: a magnitude similar to between species differences. Genes with differential alternative splicing between genotypes frequently exhibit dominant inheritance. Remarkably, the pattern of surplus of differences in alternative splicing at extreme temperatures resembled the pattern seen for gene expression intensity. Since different sets of genes were involved for the two phenotypes, we propose that purifying selection results in the reduction of differences at benign temperatures. Relaxed purifying selection at temperature extremes, on the other hand, may cause the divergence in gene expression and alternative splicing between the two strains in rarely encountered environments. PMID:27440867

  12. Intronic hammerhead ribozymes in mRNA biogenesis.

    PubMed

    García-Robles, Inmaculada; Sánchez-Navarro, Jesús; de la Peña, Marcos

    2012-11-01

    Small self-cleaving ribozymes are a group of natural RNAs that are capable of catalyzing their own and sequence-specific endonucleolytic cleavage. One of the most studied members is the hammerhead ribozyme (HHR), a catalytic RNA originally discovered in subviral plant pathogens but recently shown to reside in a myriad of genomes along the tree of life. In eukaryotes, most of the genomic HHRs seem to be related to short interspersed retroelements, with the main exception of a group of strikingly conserved ribozymes found in the genomes of all amniotes (reptiles, birds and mammals). These amniota HHRs occur in the introns of a few specific genes, and clearly point to a preserved biological role during pre-mRNA biosynthesis. More specifically, bioinformatic analysis suggests that these intronic ribozymes could offer a new form of splicing regulation of the mRNA of higher vertebrates. We review here the latest advances in the discovery and biological characterization of intronic HHRs of vertebrates, including new conserved examples in the genomes of the primitive turtle and coelacanth fish. PMID:23109545

  13. A functional alternative splicing mutation in AIRE gene causes autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Junyu; Liu, Hongbin; Liu, Zhiyuan; Liao, Yong; Guo, Luo; Wang, Honglian; He, Lin; Zhang, Xiaodong; Xing, Qinghe

    2013-01-01

    Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APS-1) is a rare autosomal recessive disease defined by the presence of two of the three conditions: mucocutaneous candidiasis, hypoparathyroidism, and Addison's disease. Loss-of-function mutations of the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene have been linked to APS-1. Here we report mutational analysis and functional characterization of an AIRE mutation in a consanguineous Chinese family with APS-1. All exons of the AIRE gene and adjacent exon-intron sequences were amplified by PCR and subsequently sequenced. We identified a homozygous missense AIRE mutation c.463G>A (p.Gly155Ser) in two siblings with different clinical features of APS-1. In silico splice-site prediction and minigene analysis were carried out to study the potential pathological consequence. Minigene splicing analysis and subsequent cDNA sequencing revealed that the AIRE mutation potentially compromised the recognition of the splice donor of intron 3, causing alternative pre-mRNA splicing by intron 3 retention. Furthermore, the aberrant AIRE transcript was identified in a heterozygous carrier of the c.463G>A mutation. The aberrant intron 3-retaining transcript generated a truncated protein (p.G155fsX203) containing the first 154 AIRE amino acids and followed by 48 aberrant amino acids. Therefore, our study represents the first functional characterization of the alternatively spliced AIRE mutation that may explain the pathogenetic role in APS-1.

  14. Regulation of mRNA Levels by Decay-Promoting Introns that Recruit the Exosome Specificity Factor Mmi1.

    PubMed

    Kilchert, Cornelia; Wittmann, Sina; Passoni, Monica; Shah, Sneha; Granneman, Sander; Vasiljeva, Lidia

    2015-12-22

    In eukaryotic cells, inefficient splicing is surprisingly common and leads to the degradation of transcripts with retained introns. How pre-mRNAs are committed to nuclear decay is unknown. Here, we uncover a mechanism by which specific intron-containing transcripts are targeted for nuclear degradation in fission yeast. Sequence elements within these "decay-promoting" introns co-transcriptionally recruit the exosome specificity factor Mmi1, which induces degradation of the unspliced precursor and leads to a reduction in the levels of the spliced mRNA. This mechanism negatively regulates levels of the RNA helicase DDX5/Dbp2 to promote cell survival in response to stress. In contrast, fast removal of decay-promoting introns by co-transcriptional splicing precludes Mmi1 recruitment and relieves negative expression regulation. We propose that decay-promoting introns facilitate the regulation of gene expression. Based on the identification of multiple additional Mmi1 targets, including mRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, and sn/snoRNAs, we suggest a general role in RNA regulation for Mmi1 through transcript degradation.

  15. Regulation of mRNA Levels by Decay-Promoting Introns that Recruit the Exosome Specificity Factor Mmi1

    PubMed Central

    Kilchert, Cornelia; Wittmann, Sina; Passoni, Monica; Shah, Sneha; Granneman, Sander; Vasiljeva, Lidia

    2015-01-01

    Summary In eukaryotic cells, inefficient splicing is surprisingly common and leads to the degradation of transcripts with retained introns. How pre-mRNAs are committed to nuclear decay is unknown. Here, we uncover a mechanism by which specific intron-containing transcripts are targeted for nuclear degradation in fission yeast. Sequence elements within these “decay-promoting” introns co-transcriptionally recruit the exosome specificity factor Mmi1, which induces degradation of the unspliced precursor and leads to a reduction in the levels of the spliced mRNA. This mechanism negatively regulates levels of the RNA helicase DDX5/Dbp2 to promote cell survival in response to stress. In contrast, fast removal of decay-promoting introns by co-transcriptional splicing precludes Mmi1 recruitment and relieves negative expression regulation. We propose that decay-promoting introns facilitate the regulation of gene expression. Based on the identification of multiple additional Mmi1 targets, including mRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, and sn/snoRNAs, we suggest a general role in RNA regulation for Mmi1 through transcript degradation. PMID:26670050

  16. Intron sequences provide a tool for high-resolution phylogenetic analysis of volvocine algae.

    PubMed

    Liss, M; Kirk, D L; Beyser, K; Fabry, S

    1997-03-01

    Three nuclear spliceosomal introns in conserved locations were amplified and sequenced from 28 strains representing 14 species and 4 genera of volvocalean green algae. Data derived from the three different introns yielded congruent results in nearly all cases. In pairwise comparisons, a spectrum of taxon-specific sequence differences ranging from complete identity to no significant similarity was observed, with the most distantly related organisms lacking any conserved elements apart from exon-intron boundaries and a pyrimidine-rich stretch near the 3' splice site. A metric (SI50), providing a measure of the degree of similarity of any pair of intron sequences, was defined and used to calculate phylogenetic distances between organisms whose introns displayed statistically significant similarities. The rate of sequences divergence in the introns was great enough to provide useful information about relationships among different geographical isolates of a single species, but in most cases was too great to provide reliable guides to relationships above the species level. A substitution rate of approximately 3 x 10(-8) per intron position per year was estimated, which is about 150-fold higher than in nuclear genes encoding rRNA and about 10-fold higher than the synonymous substitution rate in protein-coding regions. Thus, these homologous introns not only provide useful information about intraspecific phylogenetic relationships, but also illustrate the concept that different parts of a gene may be subject to extremely different intensities of selection. The intron data generated here (1) reliably resolve for the first time the relationships among the five most extensively studied strains of Volvox, (2) reveal that two other Volvox species may be more closely related than had previously been suspected, (3) confirm prior evidence that particular isolates of Eudorina elegans and Pleodorina illinoisensis appear to be sibling taxa, and (4) contribute to the resolution of

  17. The evolution of spliced leader trans-splicing in nematodes.

    PubMed

    Pettitt, Jonathan; Harrison, Neale; Stansfield, Ian; Connolly, Bernadette; Müller, Berndt

    2010-08-01

    Spliced leader trans-splicing occurs in many primitive eukaryotes including nematodes. Most of our knowledge of trans-splicing in nematodes stems from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans and relatives, and from work with Ascaris. Our investigation of spliced leader trans-splicing in distantly related Dorylaimia nematodes indicates that spliced-leader trans-splicing arose before the nematode phylum and suggests that the spliced leader RNA gene complements in extant nematodes have evolved from a common ancestor with a diverse set of spliced leader RNA genes.

  18. Intrasplicing coordinates alternative first exons with alternative splicing in the protein 4.1R gene

    SciTech Connect

    Conboy, John G.; Parra, Marilyn K.; Tan, Jeff S.; Mohandas, Narla; Conboy, John G.

    2008-11-07

    In the protein 4.1R gene, alternative first exons splice differentially to alternative 3' splice sites far downstream in exon 2'/2 (E2'/2). We describe a novel intrasplicing mechanism by which exon 1A (E1A) splices exclusively to the distal E2'/2 acceptor via two nested splicing reactions regulated by novel properties of exon 1B (E1B). E1B behaves as an exon in the first step, using its consensus 5' donor to splice to the proximal E2'/2 acceptor. A long region of downstream intron is excised, juxtaposing E1B with E2'/2 to generate a new composite acceptor containing the E1B branchpoint/pyrimidine tract and E2 distal 3' AG-dinucleotide. Next, the upstream E1A splices over E1B to this distal acceptor, excising the remaining intron plus E1B and E2' to form mature E1A/E2 product. We mapped branch points for both intrasplicing reactions and demonstrated that mutation of the E1B 5' splice site or branchpoint abrogates intrasplicing. In the 4.1R gene, intrasplicing ultimately determines N-terminal protein structure and function. More generally, intrasplicing represents a new mechanism whereby alternative promoters can be coordinated with downstream alternative splicing.

  19. Intronic regulation of Aire expression by Jmjd6 for self-tolerance induction in the thymus

    PubMed Central

    Yanagihara, Toyoshi; Sanematsu, Fumiyuki; Sato, Tetsuya; Uruno, Takehito; Duan, Xuefeng; Tomino, Takahiro; Harada, Yosuke; Watanabe, Mayuki; Wang, Yuqing; Tanaka, Yoshihiko; Nakanishi, Yoichi; Suyama, Mikita; Yoshinori, Fukui

    2015-01-01

    The thymus has spatially distinct microenvironments, the cortex and the medulla, where the developing T-cells are selected to mature or die through the interaction with thymic stromal cells. To establish the immunological self in the thymus, medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) express diverse sets of tissue-specific self-antigens (TSAs). This ectopic expression of TSAs largely depends on the transcriptional regulator Aire, yet the mechanism controlling Aire expression itself remains unknown. Here, we show that Jmjd6, a dioxygenase that catalyses lysyl hydroxylation of splicing regulatory proteins, is critical for Aire expression. Although Jmjd6 deficiency does not affect abundance of Aire transcript, the intron 2 of Aire gene is not effectively spliced out in the absence of Jmjd6, resulting in marked reduction of mature Aire protein in mTECs and spontaneous development of multi-organ autoimmunity in mice. These results highlight the importance of intronic regulation in controlling Aire protein expression. PMID:26531897

  20. Intronic regulation of Aire expression by Jmjd6 for self-tolerance induction in the thymus.

    PubMed

    Yanagihara, Toyoshi; Sanematsu, Fumiyuki; Sato, Tetsuya; Uruno, Takehito; Duan, Xuefeng; Tomino, Takahiro; Harada, Yosuke; Watanabe, Mayuki; Wang, Yuqing; Tanaka, Yoshihiko; Nakanishi, Yoichi; Suyama, Mikita; Yoshinori, Fukui

    2015-11-04

    The thymus has spatially distinct microenvironments, the cortex and the medulla, where the developing T-cells are selected to mature or die through the interaction with thymic stromal cells. To establish the immunological self in the thymus, medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) express diverse sets of tissue-specific self-antigens (TSAs). This ectopic expression of TSAs largely depends on the transcriptional regulator Aire, yet the mechanism controlling Aire expression itself remains unknown. Here, we show that Jmjd6, a dioxygenase that catalyses lysyl hydroxylation of splicing regulatory proteins, is critical for Aire expression. Although Jmjd6 deficiency does not affect abundance of Aire transcript, the intron 2 of Aire gene is not effectively spliced out in the absence of Jmjd6, resulting in marked reduction of mature Aire protein in mTECs and spontaneous development of multi-organ autoimmunity in mice. These results highlight the importance of intronic regulation in controlling Aire protein expression.

  1. The alternative splicing regulator Tra2b is required for somitogenesis and regulates splicing of an inhibitory Wnt11b isoform

    PubMed Central

    Dichmann, Darwin S; Walentek, Peter; Harland, Richard M

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Alternative splicing is pervasive in vertebrates, yet little is known about most isoforms or their regulation. transformer-2b (tra2b) encodes a splicing regulator whose endogenous function is poorly understood. Tra2b knockdown in Xenopus results in embryos with multiple defects, including defective somitogenesis. Using RNA-seq, we identify 142 splice changes, mostly intron retention and exon skipping, of which 89% are not in current annotations. A previously not described isoform of wnt11b retains the last intron, resulting in a truncated ligand (Wnt11b-short). We show that this isoform acts as a dominant-negative in cardiac gene induction and pronephric tubule formation. To determine the contribution of Wnt11b-short to the tra2b phenotype, we induce retention of intron4 in wnt11b, which recapitulates the failure to form somites but not other tra2b morphant defects. This alternative splicing of a Wnt ligand adds intricacy to a complex signaling pathway and highlights intron retention as a regulatory mechanism. PMID:25620705

  2. A novel splicing mutation alters DSPP transcription and leads to dentinogenesis imperfecta type II.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jun; Wang, Jiucun; Ma, Yanyun; Du, Wenqi; Zhao, Siyang; Zhang, Zuowei; Zhang, Xiaojiao; Liu, Yue; Xiao, Huasheng; Wang, Hongyan; Jin, Li; Liu, Jie

    2011-01-01

    Dentinogenesis imperfecta (DGI) type II is an autosomal dominant disease characterized by a serious disorders in teeth. Mutations of dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP) gene were revealed to be the causation of DGI type II (DGI-II). In this study, we identified a novel mutation (NG_011595.1:g.8662T>C, c.135+2T>C) lying in the splice donor site of intron 3 of DSPP gene in a Chinese Han DGI-II pedigree. It was found in all affected subjects but not in unaffected ones or other unrelated healthy controls. The function of the mutant DSPP gene, which was predicted online and subsequently confirmed by in vitro splicing analysis, was the loss of splicing of intron 3, leading to the extended length of DSPP mRNA. For the first time, the functional non-splicing of intron was revealed in a novel DSPP mutation and was considered as the causation of DGI-II. It was also indicated that splicing was of key importance to the function of DSPP and this splice donor site might be a sensitive mutation hot spot. Our findings combined with other reports would facilitate the genetic diagnosis of DGI-II, shed light on its gene therapy and help to finally conquer human diseases.

  3. Noncanonical and canonical splice sites: a novel mutation at the rare noncanonical splice-donor cut site (IVS4+1A>G) of SEDL causes variable splicing isoforms in X-linked spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia tarda

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Feng; Gao, Jianjun; Li, Jun; Liu, Yun; Feng, Guoyin; Fang, Wenli; Chang, Hongfen; Xie, Jiang; Zheng, Haitao; Li, Tingyu; He, Lin

    2009-01-01

    X-linked spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia tarda can be caused by mutations in the SEDL gene. This study describes an interesting novel mutation (IVS4+1A>G) located exactly at the rare noncanonical AT–AC consensus splicing donor point of SEDL, which regained the canonical GT–AG consensus splicing junction in addition to several other rarer noncanonical splice patterns. The mutation activated several cryptic splice sites and generated the production of seven erroneous splicing isoforms, which we confirmed by sequencing of RT-PCR products and resequencing of cDNA clones. All the practical splice donors/acceptors were further assessed using FSPLICE 1.0 and SPL(M) Platforms to predict potential splice sites in genomic DNA. Subsequently, the expression levels of SEDL among the affected patients, carriers and controls were estimated using real-time quantitative PCR. Expression analyses showed that the expression levels of SEDL in both patients and carriers were decreased. Taken together, these results illustrated how disruption of the AT donor site in a rare AT–AC intron, leading to a canonical GT donor site, resulted in a multitude of aberrant transcripts, thus impairing exon definition. The unexpected splicing patterns resulting from the special mutation provide additional challenges and opportunities for understanding splicing mechanisms and specificity. PMID:19002213

  4. The heteromeric Nanoarchaeum equitans splicing endonuclease cleaves noncanonical bulge–helix–bulge motifs of joined tRNA halves

    PubMed Central

    Randau, Lennart; Calvin, Kate; Hall, Michelle; Yuan, Jing; Podar, Mircea; Li, Hong; Söll, Dieter

    2005-01-01

    Among the tRNA population of the archaeal parasite Nanoarchaeum equitans are five species assembled from separate 5′ and 3′ tRNA halves and four species derived from tRNA precursors containing introns. In both groups an intervening sequence element must be removed during tRNA maturation. A bulge–helix–bulge (BHB) motif is the hallmark structure required by the archaeal splicing endonuclease for recognition and excision of all introns. BHB motifs are recognizable at the joining sites of all five noncontinuous tRNA species, although deviations from the canonical BHB motif are clearly present in at least two of them. Here, we show that the N. equitans splicing endonuclease cleaves tRNA precursors containing normal introns, as well as all five noncontinuous precursor tRNAs, at the predicted splice sites, indicating the enzyme's dual role in the removal of tRNA introns and processing of tRNA halves to be joined in trans. The cleavage activity on a set of synthetic canonical and noncanonical BHB constructs showed that the N. equitans splicing endonuclease accepts a broader range of substrates than the homodimeric Archaeoglobus fulgidus enzyme. In contrast to the A. fulgidus endonuclease, the N. equitans splicing enzyme possesses two different subunits. This heteromeric endonuclease type, found in N. equitans, in all Crenarchaeota, and in Methanopyrus kandleri, is able to act on the noncanonical tRNA introns present only in these organisms, which suggests coevolution of enzyme and substrate. PMID:16330750

  5. Identification of minimal eukaryotic introns through GeneBase, a user-friendly tool for parsing the NCBI Gene databank.

    PubMed

    Piovesan, Allison; Caracausi, Maria; Ricci, Marco; Strippoli, Pierluigi; Vitale, Lorenza; Pelleri, Maria Chiara

    2015-12-01

    We have developed GeneBase, a full parser of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Gene database, which generates a fully structured local database with an intuitive user-friendly graphic interface for personal computers. Features of all the annotated eukaryotic genes are accessible through three main software tables, including for each entry details such as the gene summary, the gene exon/intron structure and the specific Gene Ontology attributions. The structuring of the data, the creation of additional calculation fields and the integration with nucleotide sequences allow users to make many types of comparisons and calculations that are useful for data retrieval and analysis. We provide an original example analysis of the existing introns across all the available species, through which the classic biological problem of the 'minimal intron' may find a solution using available data. Based on all currently available data, we can define the shortest known eukaryotic GT-AG intron length, setting the physical limit at the 30 base pair intron belonging to the human MST1L gene. This 'model intron' will shed light on the minimal requirement elements of recognition used for conventional splicing functioning. Remarkably, this size is indeed consistent with the sum of the splicing consensus sequence lengths.

  6. Insights into the history of a bacterial group II intron remnant from the genomes of the nitrogen-fixing symbionts Sinorhizobium meliloti and Sinorhizobium medicae.

    PubMed

    Toro, N; Martínez-Rodríguez, L; Martínez-Abarca, F

    2014-10-01

    Group II introns are self-splicing catalytic RNAs that act as mobile retroelements. In bacteria, they are thought to be tolerated to some extent because they self-splice and home preferentially to sites outside of functional genes, generally within intergenic regions or in other mobile genetic elements, by mechanisms including the divergence of DNA target specificity to prevent target site saturation. RmInt1 is a mobile group II intron that is widespread in natural populations of Sinorhizobium meliloti and was first described in the GR4 strain. Like other bacterial group II introns, RmInt1 tends to evolve toward an inactive form by fragmentation, with loss of the 3' terminus. We identified genomic evidence of a fragmented intron closely related to RmInt1 buried in the genome of the extant S. meliloti/S. medicae species. By studying this intron, we obtained evidence for the occurrence of intron insertion before the divergence of ancient rhizobial species. This fragmented group II intron has thus existed for a long time and has provided sequence variation, on which selection can act, contributing to diverse genetic rearrangements, and to generate pan-genome divergence after strain differentiation. The data presented here suggest that fragmented group II introns within intergenic regions closed to functionally important neighboring genes may have been microevolutionary forces driving adaptive evolution of these rhizobial species.

  7. Splicing of goose parvovirus pre-mRNA influences cytoplasmic translation of the processed mRNA

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Long; Pintel, David J.

    2012-04-25

    Translation of goose parvovirus (GPV) 72 kDa Rep 1 is initiated from unspliced P9-generated mRNAs in ORF1 from the first in-frame AUG (537 AUG); however, this AUG is bypassed in spliced P9-generated RNA: translation of the 52 kDa Rep 2 protein from spliced RNA is initiated in ORF2 at the next AUG downstream (650 AUG). Usage of the 537 AUG was restored in spliced RNA when the GPV intron was replaced with a chimeric SV40 intron, or following specific mutations of the GPV intron which did not appear in the final spliced mRNA. Additionally, 650 AUG usage was gained in unspliced RNA when the GPV intron splice sites were debilitated. Splicing-dependent regulation of translation initiation was mediated in cis by GPV RNA surrounding the target AUGs. Thus, nuclear RNA processing of GPV P9-generated pre-mRNAs has a complex, but significant, effect on alternative translation initiation of the GPV Rep proteins.

  8. PASTA: splice junction identification from RNA-Sequencing data

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Next generation transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) is emerging as a powerful experimental tool for the study of alternative splicing and its regulation, but requires ad-hoc analysis methods and tools. PASTA (Patterned Alignments for Splicing and Transcriptome Analysis) is a splice junction detection algorithm specifically designed for RNA-Seq data, relying on a highly accurate alignment strategy and on a combination of heuristic and statistical methods to identify exon-intron junctions with high accuracy. Results Comparisons against TopHat and other splice junction prediction software on real and simulated datasets show that PASTA exhibits high specificity and sensitivity, especially at lower coverage levels. Moreover, PASTA is highly configurable and flexible, and can therefore be applied in a wide range of analysis scenarios: it is able to handle both single-end and paired-end reads, it does not rely on the presence of canonical splicing signals, and it uses organism-specific regression models to accurately identify junctions. Conclusions PASTA is a highly efficient and sensitive tool to identify splicing junctions from RNA-Seq data. Compared to similar programs, it has the ability to identify a higher number of real splicing junctions, and provides highly annotated output files containing detailed information about their location and characteristics. Accurate junction data in turn facilitates the reconstruction of the splicing isoforms and the analysis of their expression levels, which will be performed by the remaining modules of the PASTA pipeline, still under development. Use of PASTA can therefore enable the large-scale investigation of transcription and alternative splicing. PMID:23557086

  9. Developmental regulation of a proinsulin messenger RNA generated by intron retention

    PubMed Central

    Mansilla, Alicia; López-Sánchez, Carmen; de la Rosa, Enrique J; García-Martínez, Virginio; Martínez-Salas, Encarna; de Pablo, Flora; Hernández-Sánchez, Catalina

    2005-01-01

    Proinsulin gene expression regulation and function during early embryonic development differ remarkably from those found in postnatal organisms. The embryonic proinsulin protein content decreased from gastrulation to neurulation in contrast with the overall proinsulin messenger RNA increase. This is due to increasing levels of a proinsulin mRNA variant generated by intron 1 retention in the 5′ untranslated region. Inclusion of intron 1 inhibited proinsulin translation almost completely without affecting nuclear export or cytoplasmic decay. The novel proinsulin mRNA isoform expression was developmentally regulated and tissue specific. The proportion of intron retention increased from gastrulation to organogenesis, was highest in the heart tube and presomitic region, and could not be detected in the pancreas. Notably, proinsulin addition induced cardiac marker gene expression in the early embryonic stages when the translationally active transcript was expressed. We propose that regulated unproductive splicing and translation is a mechanism that regulates proinsulin expression in accordance with specific requirements in developing vertebrates. PMID:16179943

  10. Correlated Evolution of Nucleotide Positions within Splice Sites in Mammals.

    PubMed

    Denisov, Stepan; Bazykin, Georgii; Favorov, Alexander; Mironov, Andrey; Gelfand, Mikhail

    2015-01-01

    Splice sites (SSs)--short nucleotide sequences flanking introns--are under selection for spliceosome binding, and adhere to consensus sequences. However, non-consensus nucleotides, many of which probably reduce SS performance, are frequent. Little is known about the mechanisms maintaining such apparently suboptimal SSs. Here, we study the correlations between strengths of nucleotides occupying different positions of the same SS. Such correlations may arise due to epistatic interactions between positions (i.e., a situation when the fitness effect of a nucleotide in one position depends on the nucleotide in another position), their evolutionary history, or to other reasons. Within both the intronic and the exonic parts of donor SSs, nucleotides that increase (decrease) SS strength tend to co-occur with other nucleotides increasing (respectively, decreasing) it, consistent with positive epistasis. Between the intronic and exonic parts of donor SSs, the correlations of nucleotide strengths tend to be negative, consistent with negative epistasis. In the course of evolution, substitutions at a donor SS tend to decrease the strength of its exonic part, and either increase or do not change the strength of its intronic part. In acceptor SSs, the situation is more complicated; the correlations between adjacent positions appear to be driven mainly by avoidance of the AG dinucleotide which may cause aberrant splicing. In summary, both the content and the evolution of SSs is shaped by a complex network of interdependences between adjacent nucleotides that respond to a range of sometimes conflicting selective constraints. PMID:26642327

  11. Database for bacterial group II introns.

    PubMed

    Candales, Manuel A; Duong, Adrian; Hood, Keyar S; Li, Tony; Neufeld, Ryan A E; Sun, Runda; McNeil, Bonnie A; Wu, Li; Jarding, Ashley M; Zimmerly, Steven

    2012-01-01

    The Database for Bacterial Group II Introns (http://webapps2.ucalgary.ca/~groupii/index.html#) provides a catalogue of full-length, non-redundant group II introns present in bacterial DNA sequences in GenBank. The website is divided into three sections. The first section provides general information on group II intron properties, structures and classification. The second and main section lists information for individual introns, including insertion sites, DNA sequences, intron-encoded protein sequences and RNA secondary structure models. The final section provides tools for identification and analysis of intron sequences. These include a step-by-step guide to identify introns in genomic sequences, a local BLAST tool to identify closest intron relatives to a query sequence, and a boundary-finding tool that predicts 5' and 3' intron-exon junctions in an input DNA sequence. Finally, selected intron data can be downloaded in FASTA format. It is hoped that this database will be a useful resource not only to group II intron and RNA researchers, but also to microbiologists who encounter these unexpected introns in genomic sequences.

  12. The strength of the HIV-1 3' splice sites affects Rev function

    PubMed Central

    Kammler, Susanne; Otte, Marianne; Hauber, Ilona; Kjems, Jørgen; Hauber, Joachim; Schaal, Heiner

    2006-01-01

    Background The HIV-1 Rev protein is a key component in the early to late switch in HIV-1 splicing from early intronless (e.g. tat, rev) to late intron-containing Rev-dependent (e.g. gag, vif, env) transcripts. Previous results suggested that cis-acting sequences and inefficient 5' and 3' splice sites are a prerequisite for Rev function. However, we and other groups have shown that two of the HIV-1 5' splice sites, D1 and D4, are efficiently used in vitro and in vivo. Here, we focus on the efficiency of the HIV-1 3' splice sites taking into consideration to what extent their intrinsic efficiencies are modulated by their downstream cis-acting exonic sequences. Furthermore, we delineate their role in RNA stabilization and Rev function. Results In the presence of an efficient upstream 5' splice site the integrity of the 3' splice site is not essential for Rev function whereas an efficient 3' splice site impairs Rev function. The detrimental effect of a strong 3' splice site on the amount of Rev-dependent intron-containing HIV-1 glycoprotein coding (env) mRNA is not compensatable by weakening the strength of the upstream 5' splice site. Swapping the HIV-1 3' splice sites in an RRE-containing minigene, we found a 3' splice site usage which was variably dependent on the presence of the usual downstream exonic sequence. The most evident activation of 3' splice site usage by its usual downstream exonic sequence was observed for 3' splice site A1 which was turned from an intrinsic very weak 3' splice site into the most active 3' splice site, even abolishing Rev activity. Performing pull-down experiments with nuclear extracts of HeLa cells we identified a novel ASF/SF2-dependent exonic splicing enhancer (ESE) within HIV-1 exon 2 consisting of a heptameric sequence motif occurring twice (M1 and M2) within this short non-coding leader exon. Single point mutation of M1 within an infectious molecular clone is detrimental for HIV-1 exon 2 recognition without affecting Rev

  13. Splicing mosaic of the myophosphorylase gene due to a silent mutation in McArdle disease.

    PubMed

    Fernandez-Cadenas, I; Andreu, A L; Gamez, J; Gonzalo, R; Martín, M A; Rubio, J C; Arenas, J

    2003-11-25

    The authors report the molecular findings in a patient with McArdle disease who harbored a silent polymorphism (K608K) in the myophosphorylase gene. cDNA studies demonstrated that this polymorphism leads to a severe mosaic alteration in mRNA splicing, including exon skipping, activation of cryptic splice-sites, and exon-intron reorganizations. These findings suggest that, in patients with McArdle disease in whom no pathogenic mutation has been found, any a priori silent polymorphism should be re-evaluated as a putative splicing mutation.

  14. Cancer-Associated Perturbations in Alternative Pre-messenger RNA Splicing.

    PubMed

    Shkreta, Lulzim; Bell, Brendan; Revil, Timothée; Venables, Julian P; Prinos, Panagiotis; Elela, Sherif Abou; Chabot, Benoit

    2013-01-01

    For most of our 25,000 genes, the removal of introns by pre-messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing represents an essential step toward the production of functional messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Alternative splicing of a single pre-mRNA results in the production of different mRNAs. Although complex organisms use alternative splicing to expand protein function and phenotypic diversity, patterns of alternative splicing are often altered in cancer cells. Alternative splicing contributes to tumorigenesis by producing splice isoforms that can stimulate cell proliferation and cell migration or induce resistance to apoptosis and anticancer agents. Cancer-specific changes in splicing profiles can occur through mutations that are affecting splice sites and splicing control elements, and also by alterations in the expression of proteins that control splicing decisions. Recent progress in global approaches that interrogate splicing diversity should help to obtain specific splicing signatures for cancer types. The development of innovative approaches for annotating and reprogramming splicing events will more fully establish the essential contribution of alternative splicing to the biology of cancer and will hopefully provide novel targets and anticancer strategies. Metazoan genes are usually made up of several exons interrupted by introns. The introns are removed from the pre-mRNA by RNA splicing. In conjunction with other maturation steps, such as capping and polyadenylation, the spliced mRNA is then transported to the cytoplasm to be translated into a functional protein. The basic mechanism of splicing requires accurate recognition of each extremity of each intron by the spliceosome. Introns are identified by the binding of U1 snRNP to the 5' splice site and the U2AF65/U2AF35 complex to the 3' splice site. Following these interactions, other proteins and snRNPs are recruited to generate the complete spliceosomal complex needed to excise the intron. While many introns are constitutively

  15. Intracellular Folding of the Tetrahymena Group I Intron Depends on Exon Sequence and Promoter Choice

    SciTech Connect

    Koduvayur,S.; Woodson, S.

    2004-01-01

    The Tetrahymena group I intron splices 20 to 50 times faster in Tetrahymena than in vitro, implying that the intron rapidly adopts its active conformation in the cell. The importance of cotranscriptional folding and the contribution of the rRNA exons to the stability of the active pre-RNA structure were investigated by comparing the activity of minimal pre-RNAs expressed in Escherichia coli. Pre-RNAs containing exons derived from E. coli 23 S rRNA were three to four times more active than the wild-type Tetrahymena pre-RNA. E. coli transcripts of the chimeric E. coli pre-RNA were two to eight times more active than were T7 transcripts. However, the effect of cotranscriptional folding depends on exon sequences. Unexpectedly, the unspliced pre-RNA decays more slowly than predicted from the rate of splicing. This observation is best explained by partitioning of transcripts into active and inactive pools. We propose that the active pool splices within a few seconds, whereas the inactive pool is degraded without appreciable splicing.

  16. Spliced leader RNA-mediated trans-splicing in phylum Rotifera.

    PubMed

    Pouchkina-Stantcheva, Natalia N; Tunnacliffe, Alan

    2005-06-01

    In kinetoplastids, Euglena, and four metazoan phyla, trans-splicing has been described as a mechanism for the generation of mature messenger RNAs (mRNAs): 5'-ends of precursor mRNAs are replaced by a short spliced leader (SL) exon from a small SL RNA. Although the full phylogenetic range is unknown, trans-splicing has not been found in vertebrates, insects, plants, or yeast. In animal groups where it does occur, i.e., nematodes, cnidarians, platyhelminths, and primitive chordates, SL RNAs do not show sequence relatedness across phyla. The apparently sporadic phylogenetic distribution and the lack of SL RNA homology have led to opposing hypotheses on its evolution, involving either an ancient origin followed by loss in multiple lineages or independent acquisition in several taxa. Here we present evidence for the occurrence of trans-splicing in bdelloid rotifers (Bdelloidea, Rotifera). A common 23-nt sequence, representing the SL exon-diagnostic of SL RNA-mediated trans-splicing-was found at the 5'-end of at least 50%-65% of mRNAs from Adineta ricciae and Philodina sp. The trans-splicing pattern in bdelloid rotifers can be unusually complex, as observed in transcripts from a heat shock protein gene, hsp82-1, where the SL exon was spliced to three alternative positions. Bdelloid rotifer SL RNAs were found to be 105 or 106 nt long and comprised the SL sequence, a conserved splice donor site and an intron containing a putative spliceosome-binding motif. Intriguingly, some similarity of rotifer SL RNA sequence and predicted secondary structure was seen to that of the predominant SL1 RNA of nematodes, although it is unlikely that this demonstrates homology. In addition, sequence corresponding to the rotifer SL exon was found at the 5'-end of a number of full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) clones in a rice (Oryza sativa) database. None of these cDNAs gave a close match with homologous plant genes, suggesting that a small but significant portion of the rice expressed

  17. [Perspectives of RNA interference application in the therapy of diseases associated with defects in alternative RNA splicing].

    PubMed

    Wysokiński, Daniel; Błasiak, Janusz

    2012-09-18

    The primary transcript of an eukaryotic gene (pre-mRNA) is composed of coding regions--exons intervened by non-coding introns--which are removed in the RNA splicing process, leading to the formation of mature, intron-free mRNA. Alternative splicing of pre-mRNA is responsible for high complexity of the cellular proteome and expresses effective use of genetic information contained in genomic DNA. Alternative splicing plays important roles in the organism, including apoptosis regulation or development and plasticity of the nervous system. The main role of alternative splicing is differential, dependent on conditions and the cell type, splicing of mRNA, generating diverse transcripts from one gene, and, after the translation, different isoforms of a particular protein. Because of the high complexity of this mechanism, alternative splicing is particularly prone to errors. The perturbations resulting from mutations in the key sequences for splicing regulations are especially harmful. The pathogenesis of numerous diseases results from disturbed alternative RNA splicing, and those include cancers and neurodegenerative disorders. The treatment of these conditions is problematic due to their genetic background and currently RNA interference, which is a common mechanism of eukaryotic gene regulation, is being studied. Initial successes in the attempts of silencing the expression of faulty protein isoforms support the idea of using RNA interference in targeting disease related to disturbances in alternative splicing of RNA.

  18. Suppression of mammalian 5' splice-site defects by U1 small nuclear RNAs from a distance.

    PubMed

    Cohen, J B; Snow, J E; Spencer, S D; Levinson, A D

    1994-10-25

    One of the earliest events in the process of intron removal from mRNA precursors is the establishment of a base-pairing interaction between U1 small nuclear (sn) RNA and the 5' splice site. Mutations at the 5' splice site that prevent splicing can often be suppressed by coexpression of U1 snRNAs with compensatory changes, but in yeast, accurate splicing is not restored when the universally conserved first intron base is changed. In our mammalian system as well, such a mutation could not be suppressed, but the complementary U1 caused aberrant splicing 12 bases downstream. This result is reminiscent of observations in yeast that aberrant 5' splice sites can be activated by U1 snRNA from a distance. Using a rapid, qualitative protein expression assay, we provide evidence that 5' splice-site mutations can be suppressed in mammalian cells by U1 snRNAs with complementarity to a range of sequences upstream or downstream of the site. Our approach uncouples in vivo the commitment-activation step of mammalian splicing from the process of 5' splice-site definition and as such will facilitate the genetic characterization of both.

  19. Alternative 3' splice acceptor sites modulate enzymic activity in derivative alleles of the maize bronze1-mutable 13 allele.

    PubMed Central

    Okagaki, R J; Sullivan, T D; Schiefelbein, J W; Nelson, O E

    1992-01-01

    The defective Suppressor-mutator (dSpm)-induced allele bronze1-mutable 13 (bz1-m13) and many of its derivative alleles are leaky mutants with measurable levels of flavonol O3-glucosyltransferase activity. This activity results from splicing at acceptor site-1, one of two cryptic 3' splice sites within the dSpm insertion in bz1-m13. In this study, splicing in bz1-m13 change-in-state (CS) alleles CS-3 and CS-64 was shown to be altered from bz1-m13; previous work found altered splicing in CS-9. CS-64 is a null allele and lacks the acceptor site-1-spliced transcript because this site is deleted. CS-3 and CS-9 had increased levels of the acceptor site-1 transcript relative to bz1-m13 and increased enzymic activities. A deletion in CS-9 altered splicing by eliminating acceptor site-2. Both acceptor sites were intact in CS-3, but a deletion removed most of a 275-bp GC-rich sequence in dSpm. This suggests that GC-rich sequences affect splicing and is consistent with models postulating a role for AU content in the splicing of plant introns. Splicing does not necessarily occur, however, at the junction of AU-rich intron sequences and GC-rich exon sequences. PMID:1477558

  20. The Conserved Splicing Factor SUA Controls Alternative Splicing of the Developmental Regulator ABI3 in Arabidopsis[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Sugliani, Matteo; Brambilla, Vittoria; Clerkx, Emile J.M.; Koornneef, Maarten; Soppe, Wim J.J.

    2010-01-01

    ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE3 (ABI3) is a major regulator of seed maturation in Arabidopsis thaliana. We detected two ABI3 transcripts, ABI3-α and ABI3-β, which encode full-length and truncated proteins, respectively. Alternative splicing of ABI3 is developmentally regulated, and the ABI3-β transcript accumulates at the end of seed maturation. The two ABI3 transcripts differ by the presence of a cryptic intron in ABI3-α, which is spliced out in ABI3-β. The suppressor of abi3-5 (sua) mutant consistently restores wild-type seed features in the frameshift mutant abi3-5 but does not suppress other abi3 mutant alleles. SUA is a conserved splicing factor, homologous to the human protein RBM5, and reduces splicing of the cryptic ABI3 intron, leading to a decrease in ABI3-β transcript. In the abi3-5 mutant, ABI3-β codes for a functional ABI3 protein due to frameshift restoration. PMID:20525852

  1. Cation-induced kinetic heterogeneity of the intron-exon recognition in single group II introns.

    PubMed

    Kowerko, Danny; König, Sebastian L B; Skilandat, Miriam; Kruschel, Daniela; Hadzic, Mélodie C A S; Cardo, Lucia; Sigel, Roland K O

    2015-03-17

    RNA is commonly believed to undergo a number of sequential folding steps before reaching its functional fold, i.e., the global minimum in the free energy landscape. However, there is accumulating evidence that several functional conformations are often in coexistence, corresponding to multiple (local) minima in the folding landscape. Here we use the 5'-exon-intron recognition duplex of a self-splicing ribozyme as a model system to study the influence of Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) on RNA tertiary structure formation. Bulk and single-molecule spectroscopy reveal that near-physiological M(2+) concentrations strongly promote interstrand association. Moreover, the presence of M(2+) leads to pronounced kinetic heterogeneity, suggesting the coexistence of multiple docked and undocked RNA conformations. Heterogeneity is found to decrease at saturating M(2+) concentrations. Using NMR, we locate specific Mg(2+) binding pockets and quantify their affinity toward Mg(2+). Mg(2+) pulse experiments show that M(2+) exchange occurs on the timescale of seconds. This unprecedented combination of NMR and single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer demonstrates for the first time to our knowledge that a rugged free energy landscape coincides with incomplete occupation of specific M(2+) binding sites at near-physiological M(2+) concentrations. Unconventional kinetics in nucleic acid folding frequently encountered in single-molecule experiments are therefore likely to originate from a spectrum of conformations that differ in the occupation of M(2+) binding sites.

  2. In vivo commitment to splicing in yeast involves the nucleotide upstream from the branch site conserved sequence and the Mud2 protein.

    PubMed

    Rain, J C; Legrain, P

    1997-04-01

    Pre-mRNA splicing is a stepwise nuclear process involving intron recognition and the assembly of the spliceosome followed by intron excision. We previously developed a pre-mRNA export assay that allows the discrimination between early steps of spliceosome formation and splicing per se. Here we present evidence that these two assays detect different biochemical defects for point mutations. Mutations at the 5' splice site lead to pre-mRNA export, whereas 3' splice site mutations do not. A genetic screen applied to mutants in the branch site region shows that all positions in the conserved TACTAAC sequence are important for intron recognition. An exhaustive analysis of pre-mRNA export and splicing defects of these mutants shows that the in vivo recognition of the branch site region does not involve the base pairing of U2 snRNA with the pre-mRNA. In addition, the nucleotide preceding the conserved TACTAAC sequence contributes to the recognition process. We show that a T residue at this position allows for optimal intron recognition and that in natural introns, this nucleotide is also used preferentially. Moreover, the Mud2 protein is involved in the recognition of this nucleotide, thus establishing a role for this factor in the in vivo splicing pathway.

  3. Imaging of endogenous messenger RNA splice variants in living cells reveals nuclear retention of transcripts inaccessible to nonsense-mediated decay in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Göhring, Janett; Jacak, Jaroslaw; Barta, Andrea

    2014-02-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) is an important regulatory process that leads to the creation of multiple RNA transcripts from a single gene. Alternative transcripts often carry premature termination codons (PTCs), which trigger nonsense-mediated decay (NMD), a cytoplasmic RNA degradation pathway. However, intron retention, the most prevalent AS event in plants, often leads to PTC-carrying splice variants that are insensitive to NMD; this led us to question the fate of these special RNA variants. Here, we present an innovative approach to monitor and characterize endogenous mRNA splice variants within living plant cells. This method combines standard confocal laser scanning microscopy for molecular beacon detection with a robust statistical pipeline for sample comparison. We demonstrate this technique on the localization of NMD-insensitive splice variants of two Arabidopsis thaliana genes, RS2Z33 and the SEF factor. The experiments reveal that these intron-containing splice variants remain within the nucleus, which allows them to escape the NMD machinery. Moreover, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments in the nucleoplasm show a decreased mobility of intron-retained mRNAs compared with fully spliced RNAs. In addition, differences in mobility were observed for an mRNA dependent on its origin from an intron-free or an intron-containing gene.

  4. An intronic deletion in the PROM1 gene leads to autosomal recessive cone-rod dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Eidinger, Osnat; Leibu, Rina; Newman, Hadas; Rizel, Leah; Perlman, Ido

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To investigate the genetic basis for autosomal recessive cone-rod dystrophy (CRD) in a consanguineous Israeli Jewish family. Methods Patients underwent a detailed ophthalmic evaluation, including eye examination, visual field testing, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and electrophysiological tests, electroretinography (ERG) and visual evoked potential (VEP). Genome-wide homozygosity mapping using a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array was performed to identify homozygous regions shared among two of the affected individuals. Mutation screening of the underlying gene was performed with direct sequencing. In silico and in vitro analyses were used to predict the effect of the identified mutation on splicing. Results The affected family members are three siblings who have various degrees of progressive visual deterioration, glare, color vision abnormalities, and night vision difficulties. Visual field tests revealed central scotomas of different extension. Cone and rod ERG responses were reduced, with cones more severely affected. Homozygosity mapping revealed several homozygous intervals shared among two of the affected individuals. One included the PROM1 gene. Sequence analysis of the 26 coding exons of PROM1 in one affected individual revealed no mutations in the coding sequence or in intronic splice sites. However, in intron 21, proximate to the intron–exon junction, we observed a homozygous 10 bp deletion between positions −26 and −17 (c.2281–26_-17del). The deletion was linked to a known SNP, c.2281–6C>G. The deletion cosegregated with the disease in the family, and was not detected in public databases or in 101 ethnically-matched control individuals. In silico analysis predicted that this deletion would lead to altered intron 21 splicing. Bioinformatic analysis predicted that a recognition site for the SRSF2 splicing factor is located within the deleted sequence. The in vitro splicing assay demonstrated that c.2281–26_-17del leads to

  5. Quantitation of normal CFTR mRNA in CF patients with splice-site mutations

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Z.; Olsen, J.C.; Silverman, L.M.

    1994-09-01

    Previously we identified two mutations in introns of the CFTR gene associated with partially active splice sites and unusual clinical phenotypes. One mutation in intron 19 (3849+10 kb C to T) is common in CF patients with normal sweat chloride values; an 84 bp sequence from intron 19, which contains a stop codon, is inserted between exon 19 and exon 20 in most nasal CFTR transcripts. The other mutation in intron 14B (2789+5 G to A) is associated with elevated sweat chloride levels, but mild pulmonary disease; exon 14B (38 bp) is spliced out of most nasal CFTR transcipts. The remaining CFTR cDNA sequences, other than the 84 bp insertion of exon 14B deletion, are identical to the published sequence. To correlate genotype and phenotype, we used quantitative RT-PCR to determine the levels of normally-spliced CFTR mRNA in nasal epithelia from these patients. CFTR cDNA was amplified (25 cycles) by using primers specific for normally-spliced species, {gamma}-actin cDNA was amplified as a standard.

  6. Experimental approaches to studying the nature and impact of splicing variation in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Keightley, M C; Markmiller, S; Love, C G; Rasko, J E J; Lieschke, G J; Heath, J K

    2016-01-01

    From a fixed number of genes carried in all cells, organisms create considerable diversity in cellular phenotype through differential regulation of gene expression. One prevalent source of transcriptome diversity is alternative pre-mRNA splicing, which is manifested in many different forms. Zebrafish models of splicing dysfunction due to mutated spliceosome components provide opportunity to link biochemical analyses of spliceosome structure and function with whole organism phenotypic outcomes. Drawing from experience with two zebrafish mutants: cephalophŏnus (a prpf8 mutant, isolated for defects in granulopoiesis) and caliban (a rnpc3 mutant, isolated for defects in digestive organ development), we describe the use of glycerol gradient sedimentation and native gel electrophoresis to resolve components of aberrant splicing complexes. We also describe how RNAseq can be employed to examine relatively rare alternative splicing events including intron retention. Such experimental approaches in zebrafish can promote understanding of how splicing variation and dysfunction contribute to phenotypic diversity and disease pathogenesis.

  7. Structure of the human myelin/oligodendrocyte glycoprotein gene and multiple alternative spliced isoforms

    SciTech Connect

    Pham-Dinh, D.; Gaspera, D.B.; Dautigny, A.

    1995-09-20

    Myelin/oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), a special component of the central nervous system localization on the outermost lamellae of mature myelin, is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily. We report here the organization of the human MOG gene, which spans approximately 17 kb, and the characterization of six MOG mRNA splicing variants. The intron/exon structure of the human MOG gene confirmed the splicing pattern, supporting the hypothesis that mRNA isoforms could arise by alternative splicing of a single gene. In addition to the eight exons coding for the major MOG isoform, the human MOG gene also contains 3` region, a previously unknown alternatively spliced coding exon, VIA. Alternative utilization of two acceptor splicing sites for exon VIII could produce two different C-termini. The nucleotide sequences presented here may be a useful tool to study further possible involvement if the MOG gene in hereditary neurological disorders. 23 refs., 5 figs.

  8. On the path to genetic novelties: insights from programmed DNA elimination and RNA splicing.

    PubMed

    Catania, Francesco; Schmitz, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how genetic novelties arise is a central goal of evolutionary biology. To this end, programmed DNA elimination and RNA splicing deserve special consideration. While programmed DNA elimination reshapes genomes by eliminating chromatin during organismal development, RNA splicing rearranges genetic messages by removing intronic regions during transcription. Small RNAs help to mediate this class of sequence reorganization, which is not error-free. It is this imperfection that makes programmed DNA elimination and RNA splicing excellent candidates for generating evolutionary novelties. Leveraging a number of these two processes' mechanistic and evolutionary properties, which have been uncovered over the past years, we present recently proposed models and empirical evidence for how splicing can shape the structure of protein-coding genes in eukaryotes. We also chronicle a number of intriguing similarities between the processes of programmed DNA elimination and RNA splicing, and highlight the role that the variation in the population-genetic environment may play in shaping their target sequences.

  9. Experimental approaches to studying the nature and impact of splicing variation in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Keightley, M C; Markmiller, S; Love, C G; Rasko, J E J; Lieschke, G J; Heath, J K

    2016-01-01

    From a fixed number of genes carried in all cells, organisms create considerable diversity in cellular phenotype through differential regulation of gene expression. One prevalent source of transcriptome diversity is alternative pre-mRNA splicing, which is manifested in many different forms. Zebrafish models of splicing dysfunction due to mutated spliceosome components provide opportunity to link biochemical analyses of spliceosome structure and function with whole organism phenotypic outcomes. Drawing from experience with two zebrafish mutants: cephalophŏnus (a prpf8 mutant, isolated for defects in granulopoiesis) and caliban (a rnpc3 mutant, isolated for defects in digestive organ development), we describe the use of glycerol gradient sedimentation and native gel electrophoresis to resolve components of aberrant splicing complexes. We also describe how RNAseq can be employed to examine relatively rare alternative splicing events including intron retention. Such experimental approaches in zebrafish can promote understanding of how splicing variation and dysfunction contribute to phenotypic diversity and disease pathogenesis. PMID:27443930

  10. Modelling of the three-dimensional architecture of group I catalytic introns based on comparative sequence analysis.

    PubMed

    Michel, F; Westhof, E

    1990-12-01

    Alignment of the 87 available sequences of group I self-splicing introns reveals numerous instances of covariation between distant sites. Some of these covariations cannot be ascribed to historical coincidences or the known secondary structure of group I introns, and are, therefore, best explained as reflecting tertiary contacts. With the help of stereochemical modelling, we have taken advantage of these novel interactions to derive a three-dimensional model of the conserved core of group I introns. Two noteworthy features of that model are its extreme compactness and the fact that all of the most evolutionarily conserved residues happen to converge around the two helices that constitute the substrate of the core ribozyme and the site that binds the guanosine cofactor necessary for self-splicing. Specific functional implications are discussed, both with regard to the way the substrate helices are recognized by the core and possible rearrangements of the introns during the self-splicing process. Concerning potential long-range interactions, emphasis is put on the possible recognition of two consecutive purines in the minor groove of a helix by a GAAA or related terminal loop.

  11. Convergent Evolution of Fern-Specific Mitochondrial Group II Intron atp1i361g2 and Its Ancient Source Paralogue rps3i249g2 and Independent Losses of Intron and RNA Editing among Pteridaceae.

    PubMed

    Zumkeller, Simon Maria; Knoop, Volker; Knie, Nils

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial intron patterns are highly divergent between the major land plant clades. An intron in the atp1 gene, atp1i361g2, is an example for a group II intron specific to monilophytes (ferns). Here, we report that atp1i361g2 is lost independently at least 4 times in the fern family Pteridaceae. Such plant organelle intron losses have previously been found to be accompanied by loss of RNA editing sites in the flanking exon regions as a consequence of genomic recombination of mature cDNA. Instead, we now observe that RNA editing events in both directions of pyrimidine exchange (C-to-U and U-to-C) are retained in atp1 exons after loss of the intron in Pteris argyraea/biaurita and in Actiniopteris and Onychium We find that atp1i361g2 has significant similarity with intron rps3i249g2 present in lycophytes and gymnosperms, which we now also find highly conserved in ferns. We conclude that atp1i361g2 may have originated from the more ancestral rps3i249g2 paralogue by a reverse splicing copy event early in the evolution of monilophytes. Secondary structure elements of the two introns, most characteristically their domains III, show strikingly convergent evolution in the monilophytes. Moreover, the intron paralogue rps3i249g2 reveals relaxed evolution in taxa where the atp1i361g2 paralogue is lost. Our findings may reflect convergent evolution of the two related mitochondrial introns exerted by co-evolution with an intron-binding protein simultaneously acting on the two paralogues. PMID:27492234

  12. Convergent Evolution of Fern-Specific Mitochondrial Group II Intron atp1i361g2 and Its Ancient Source Paralogue rps3i249g2 and Independent Losses of Intron and RNA Editing among Pteridaceae

    PubMed Central

    Zumkeller, Simon Maria; Knoop, Volker; Knie, Nils

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial intron patterns are highly divergent between the major land plant clades. An intron in the atp1 gene, atp1i361g2, is an example for a group II intron specific to monilophytes (ferns). Here, we report that atp1i361g2 is lost independently at least 4 times in the fern family Pteridaceae. Such plant organelle intron losses have previously been found to be accompanied by loss of RNA editing sites in the flanking exon regions as a consequence of genomic recombination of mature cDNA. Instead, we now observe that RNA editing events in both directions of pyrimidine exchange (C-to-U and U-to-C) are retained in atp1 exons after loss of the intron in Pteris argyraea/biaurita and in Actiniopteris and Onychium. We find that atp1i361g2 has significant similarity with intron rps3i249g2 present in lycophytes and gymnosperms, which we now also find highly conserved in ferns. We conclude that atp1i361g2 may have originated from the more ancestral rps3i249g2 paralogue by a reverse splicing copy event early in the evolution of monilophytes. Secondary structure elements of the two introns, most characteristically their domains III, show strikingly convergent evolution in the monilophytes. Moreover, the intron paralogue rps3i249g2 reveals relaxed evolution in taxa where the atp1i361g2 paralogue is lost. Our findings may reflect convergent evolution of the two related mitochondrial introns exerted by co-evolution with an intron-binding protein simultaneously acting on the two paralogues. PMID:27492234

  13. Complete androgen insensitivity syndrome caused by a deep intronic pseudoexon-activating mutation in the androgen receptor gene.

    PubMed

    Känsäkoski, Johanna; Jääskeläinen, Jarmo; Jääskeläinen, Tiina; Tommiska, Johanna; Saarinen, Lilli; Lehtonen, Rainer; Hautaniemi, Sampsa; Frilander, Mikko J; Palvimo, Jorma J; Toppari, Jorma; Raivio, Taneli

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in the X-linked androgen receptor (AR) gene underlie complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS), the most common cause of 46,XY sex reversal. Molecular genetic diagnosis of CAIS, however, remains uncertain in patients who show normal coding region of AR. Here, we describe a novel mechanism of AR disruption leading to CAIS in two 46,XY sisters. We analyzed whole-genome sequencing data of the patients for pathogenic variants outside the AR coding region. Patient fibroblasts from the genital area were used for AR cDNA analysis and protein quantification. Analysis of the cDNA revealed aberrant splicing of the mRNA caused by a deep intronic mutation (c.2450-118A>G) in the intron 6 of AR. The mutation creates a de novo 5' splice site and a putative exonic splicing enhancer motif, which leads to the preferential formation of two aberrantly spliced mRNAs (predicted to include a premature stop codon). Patient fibroblasts contained no detectable AR protein. Our results show that patients with CAIS and normal AR coding region need to be examined for deep intronic mutations that can lead to pseudoexon activation. PMID:27609317

  14. IRcall and IRclassifier: two methods for flexible detection of intron retention events from RNA-Seq data

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background The emergence of next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) provides tremendous opportunities for researchers to analyze alternative splicing on a genome-wide scale. However, accurate detection of intron retention (IR) events from RNA-Seq data has remained an unresolved challenge in next-generation sequencing (NGS) studies. Results We propose two new methods: IRcall and IRclassifier to detect IR events from RNA-Seq data. Our methods combine together gene expression information, read coverage within an intron, and read counts (within introns, within flanking exons, supporting splice junctions, and overlapping with 5' splice site/ 3' splice site), employing ranking strategy and classifiers to detect IR events. We applied our approaches to one published RNA-Seq data on contrasting skip mutant and wild-type in Arabidopsis thaliana. Compared with three state-of-the-art methods, IRcall and IRclassifier could effectively filter out false positives, and predict more accurate IR events. Availability The data and codes of IRcall and IRclassifier are available at http://mlg.hit.edu.cn/ybai/IR/IRcallAndIRclass.html PMID:25707295

  15. Complete androgen insensitivity syndrome caused by a deep intronic pseudoexon-activating mutation in the androgen receptor gene

    PubMed Central

    Känsäkoski, Johanna; Jääskeläinen, Jarmo; Jääskeläinen, Tiina; Tommiska, Johanna; Saarinen, Lilli; Lehtonen, Rainer; Hautaniemi, Sampsa; Frilander, Mikko J.; Palvimo, Jorma J.; Toppari, Jorma; Raivio, Taneli

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in the X-linked androgen receptor (AR) gene underlie complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS), the most common cause of 46,XY sex reversal. Molecular genetic diagnosis of CAIS, however, remains uncertain in patients who show normal coding region of AR. Here, we describe a novel mechanism of AR disruption leading to CAIS in two 46,XY sisters. We analyzed whole-genome sequencing data of the patients for pathogenic variants outside the AR coding region. Patient fibroblasts from the genital area were used for AR cDNA analysis and protein quantification. Analysis of the cDNA revealed aberrant splicing of the mRNA caused by a deep intronic mutation (c.2450-118A>G) in the intron 6 of AR. The mutation creates a de novo 5′ splice site and a putative exonic splicing enhancer motif, which leads to the preferential formation of two aberrantly spliced mRNAs (predicted to include a premature stop codon). Patient fibroblasts contained no detectable AR protein. Our results show that patients with CAIS and normal AR coding region need to be examined for deep intronic mutations that can lead to pseudoexon activation. PMID:27609317

  16. CYCLIN-DEPENDENT KINASE G1 is associated with the spliceosome to regulate CALLOSE SYNTHASE5 splicing and pollen wall formation in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xue-Yong; Niu, Jin; Sun, Ming-Xi; Zhu, Jun; Gao, Ju-Fang; Yang, Jun; Zhou, Que; Yang, Zhong-Nan

    2013-02-01

    Arabidopsis thaliana CYCLIN-DEPEDENT KINASE G1 (CDKG1) belongs to the family of cyclin-dependent protein kinases that were originally characterized as cell cycle regulators in eukaryotes. Here, we report that CDKG1 regulates pre-mRNA splicing of CALLOSE SYNTHASE5 (CalS5) and, therefore, pollen wall formation. The knockout mutant cdkg1 exhibits reduced male fertility with impaired callose synthesis and abnormal pollen wall formation. The sixth intron in CalS5 pre-mRNA, a rare type of intron with a GC 5' splice site, is abnormally spliced in cdkg1. RNA immunoprecipitation analysis suggests that CDKG1 is associated with this intron. CDKG1 contains N-terminal Ser/Arg (RS) motifs and interacts with splicing factor Arginine/Serine-Rich Zinc Knuckle-Containing Protein33 (RSZ33) through its RS region to regulate proper splicing. CDKG1 and RS-containing Zinc Finger Protein22 (SRZ22), a splicing factor interacting with RSZ33 and U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle (snRNP) component U1-70k, colocalize in nuclear speckles and reside in the same complex. We propose that CDKG1 is recruited to U1 snRNP through RSZ33 to facilitate the splicing of the sixth intron of CalS5.

  17. CYCLIN-DEPENDENT KINASE G1 Is Associated with the Spliceosome to Regulate CALLOSE SYNTHASE5 Splicing and Pollen Wall Formation in Arabidopsis[C][W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xue-Yong; Niu, Jin; Sun, Ming-Xi; Zhu, Jun; Gao, Ju-Fang; Yang, Jun; Zhou, Que; Yang, Zhong-Nan

    2013-01-01

    Arabidopsis thaliana CYCLIN-DEPEDENT KINASE G1 (CDKG1) belongs to the family of cyclin-dependent protein kinases that were originally characterized as cell cycle regulators in eukaryotes. Here, we report that CDKG1 regulates pre-mRNA splicing of CALLOSE SYNTHASE5 (CalS5) and, therefore, pollen wall formation. The knockout mutant cdkg1 exhibits reduced male fertility with impaired callose synthesis and abnormal pollen wall formation. The sixth intron in CalS5 pre-mRNA, a rare type of intron with a GC 5′ splice site, is abnormally spliced in cdkg1. RNA immunoprecipitation analysis suggests that CDKG1 is associated with this intron. CDKG1 contains N-terminal Ser/Arg (RS) motifs and interacts with splicing factor Arginine/Serine-Rich Zinc Knuckle-Containing Protein33 (RSZ33) through its RS region to regulate proper splicing. CDKG1 and RS-containing Zinc Finger Protein22 (SRZ22), a splicing factor interacting with RSZ33 and U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle (snRNP) component U1-70k, colocalize in nuclear speckles and reside in the same complex. We propose that CDKG1 is recruited to U1 snRNP through RSZ33 to facilitate the splicing of the sixth intron of CalS5. PMID:23404887

  18. Role of RNA splicing in mediating lineage-specific expression of the von Willebrand factor gene in the endothelium.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Lei; Janes, Lauren; Beeler, David; Spokes, Katherine C; Smith, Joshua; Li, Dan; Jaminet, Shou-Ching; Oettgen, Peter; Aird, William C

    2013-05-23

    We previously demonstrated that the first intron of the human von Willebrand factor (vWF) is required for gene expression in the endothelium of transgenic mice. Based on this finding, we hypothesized that RNA splicing plays a role in mediating vWF expression in the vasculature. To address this question, we used transient transfection assays in human endothelial cells and megakaryocytes with intron-containing and intronless human vWF promoter-luciferase constructs. Next, we generated knockin mice in which LacZ was targeted to the endogenous mouse vWF locus in the absence or presence of the native first intron or heterologous introns from the human β-globin, mouse Down syndrome critical region 1, or hagfish coagulation factor X genes. In both the in vitro assays and the knockin mice, the loss of the first intron of vWF resulted in a significant reduction of reporter gene expression in endothelial cells but not megakaryocytes. This effect was rescued to varying degrees by the introduction of a heterologous intron. Intron-mediated enhancement of expression was mediated at a posttranscriptional level. Together, these findings implicate a role for intronic splicing in mediating lineage-specific expression of vWF in the endothelium.

  19. Tissue-specific alternative splicing of TCF7L2

    PubMed Central

    Prokunina-Olsson, Ludmila; Welch, Cullan; Hansson, Ola; Adhikari, Neeta; Scott, Laura J.; Usher, Nicolle; Tong, Maurine; Sprau, Andrew; Swift, Amy; Bonnycastle, Lori L.; Erdos, Michael R.; He, Zhi; Saxena, Richa; Harmon, Brennan; Kotova, Olga; Hoffman, Eric P.; Altshuler, David; Groop, Leif; Boehnke, Michael; Collins, Francis S.; Hall, Jennifer L.

    2009-01-01

    Common variants in the transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene have been identified as the strongest genetic risk factors for type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, the mechanisms by which these non-coding variants increase risk for T2D are not well-established. We used 13 expression assays to survey mRNA expression of multiple TCF7L2 splicing forms in up to 380 samples from eight types of human tissue (pancreas, pancreatic islets, colon, liver, monocytes, skeletal muscle, subcutaneous adipose tissue and lymphoblastoid cell lines) and observed a tissue-specific pattern of alternative splicing. We tested whether the expression of TCF7L2 splicing forms was associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs7903146 and rs12255372, located within introns 3 and 4 of the gene and most strongly associated with T2D. Expression of two splicing forms was lower in pancreatic islets with increasing counts of T2D-associated alleles of the SNPs: a ubiquitous splicing form (P = 0.018 for rs7903146 and P = 0.020 for rs12255372) and a splicing form found in pancreatic islets, pancreas and colon but not in other tissues tested here (P = 0.009 for rs12255372 and P = 0.053 for rs7903146). Expression of this form in glucose-stimulated pancreatic islets correlated with expression of proinsulin (r2 = 0.84–0.90, P < 0.00063). In summary, we identified a tissue-specific pattern of alternative splicing of TCF7L2. After adjustment for multiple tests, no association between expression of TCF7L2 in eight types of human tissue samples and T2D-associated genetic variants remained significant. Alternative splicing of TCF7L2 in pancreatic islets warrants future studies. GenBank Accession Numbers: FJ010164–FJ010174. PMID:19602480

  20. Tissue-specific alternative splicing of TCF7L2.

    PubMed

    Prokunina-Olsson, Ludmila; Welch, Cullan; Hansson, Ola; Adhikari, Neeta; Scott, Laura J; Usher, Nicolle; Tong, Maurine; Sprau, Andrew; Swift, Amy; Bonnycastle, Lori L; Erdos, Michael R; He, Zhi; Saxena, Richa; Harmon, Brennan; Kotova, Olga; Hoffman, Eric P; Altshuler, David; Groop, Leif; Boehnke, Michael; Collins, Francis S; Hall, Jennifer L

    2009-10-15

    Common variants in the transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene have been identified as the strongest genetic risk factors for type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, the mechanisms by which these non-coding variants increase risk for T2D are not well-established. We used 13 expression assays to survey mRNA expression of multiple TCF7L2 splicing forms in up to 380 samples from eight types of human tissue (pancreas, pancreatic islets, colon, liver, monocytes, skeletal muscle, subcutaneous adipose tissue and lymphoblastoid cell lines) and observed a tissue-specific pattern of alternative splicing. We tested whether the expression of TCF7L2 splicing forms was associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs7903146 and rs12255372, located within introns 3 and 4 of the gene and most strongly associated with T2D. Expression of two splicing forms was lower in pancreatic islets with increasing counts of T2D-associated alleles of the SNPs: a ubiquitous splicing form (P = 0.018 for rs7903146 and P = 0.020 for rs12255372) and a splicing form found in pancreatic islets, pancreas and colon but not in other tissues tested here (P = 0.009 for rs12255372 and P = 0.053 for rs7903146). Expression of this form in glucose-stimulated pancreatic islets correlated with expression of proinsulin (r(2) = 0.84-0.90, P < 0.00063). In summary, we identified a tissue-specific pattern of alternative splicing of TCF7L2. After adjustment for multiple tests, no association between expression of TCF7L2 in eight types of human tissue samples and T2D-associated genetic variants remained significant. Alternative splicing of TCF7L2 in pancreatic islets warrants future studies. GenBank Accession Numbers: FJ010164-FJ010174. PMID:19602480

  1. Functional Analysis of A Novel Splicing Mutation in The Mutase Gene of Two Unrelated Pedigrees

    PubMed Central

    Miryounesi, Mohammad; Pasalar, Parvin; Keramatipour, Mohammad

    2016-01-01

    Objective Methylmalonic acidura (MMA) is a rare autosomal recessive inborn error of metabolism. In this study we present a novel nucleotide change in the mutase (MUT) gene of two unrelated Iranian pedigrees and introduce the methods used for its functional analysis. Materials and Methods Two probands with definite diagnosis of MMA and a common novel variant in the MUT were included in a descriptive study. Bioinformatic prediction of the splicing variant was done with different prediction servers. Reverse transcriptionpolymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was done for splicing analysis and the products were analyzed by sequencing. Results The included index patients showed elevated levels of propionylcarnitine (C3). Urine organic acid analysis confirmed the diagnosis of MMA, and screening for mutations in the MUT revealed a novel C to G variation at the 3´ splice acceptor site in intron 12. In silico analysis suggested the change as a mutation in a conserved sequence. The splicing analysis showed that the C to G nucleotide change at position -3 in the acceptor splice site can lead to retention of the intron 12 sequence. Conclusion This is the first report of a mutation at the position -3 in the MUT intron 12 (c.2125-3C>G). The results suggest that the identified variation can be associated with the typical clinical manifestations of MMA. PMID:27602322

  2. Functional Analysis of A Novel Splicing Mutation in The Mutase Gene of Two Unrelated Pedigrees

    PubMed Central

    Miryounesi, Mohammad; Pasalar, Parvin; Keramatipour, Mohammad

    2016-01-01

    Objective Methylmalonic acidura (MMA) is a rare autosomal recessive inborn error of metabolism. In this study we present a novel nucleotide change in the mutase (MUT) gene of two unrelated Iranian pedigrees and introduce the methods used for its functional analysis. Materials and Methods Two probands with definite diagnosis of MMA and a common novel variant in the MUT were included in a descriptive study. Bioinformatic prediction of the splicing variant was done with different prediction servers. Reverse transcriptionpolymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was done for splicing analysis and the products were analyzed by sequencing. Results The included index patients showed elevated levels of propionylcarnitine (C3). Urine organic acid analysis confirmed the diagnosis of MMA, and screening for mutations in the MUT revealed a novel C to G variation at the 3´ splice acceptor site in intron 12. In silico analysis suggested the change as a mutation in a conserved sequence. The splicing analysis showed that the C to G nucleotide change at position -3 in the acceptor splice site can lead to retention of the intron 12 sequence. Conclusion This is the first report of a mutation at the position -3 in the MUT intron 12 (c.2125-3C>G). The results suggest that the identified variation can be associated with the typical clinical manifestations of MMA.

  3. Effects of Antioxidants in Human Cancers: Differential Effects on Non-Coding Intronic RNA Expression

    PubMed Central

    Menon, Shreya; Lu, Chunxia; Menon, Rajasree; Schwartz, Jessica; Guan, Yuanfang

    2016-01-01

    The notion that dietary antioxidants can help fight cancer is popular. However, the mechanism(s) behind the effect of antioxidants in cancer is still unclear. Previous studies indicate that supplements can influence gene expression; however, all of these studies were focused on the coding/exonic gene expression. Studies are now emerging to highlight critical functional roles for RNAs expressed from the non-coding regions. This project was designed to study the effect of antioxidant supplements on non-coding intronic RNA expression in human cancers. Vitamin E, N-Acetyl cysteine (NAC) and Sulforaphane are commonly used supplements to prevent diseases including cancers. We studied the effect of these antioxidant supplements on the non-coding intronic RNA expression using publicly available datasets from a mouse model for lung cancer and prostate cancer cell lines. Although high throughput polyA-enriched RNA-Seq data characterize spliced coding mRNA regions, recent studies reveal the expression of reads from the non-coding intronic regions. Our analyses indicate that cancer cells have higher expression of introns compared to that of normal cells and that treatment with antioxidant supplements reduces the increased expression of introns of several genes. However, we did find high expression of introns of multiple genes including many oncogenes in the supplement treated groups compared to that of the control; this effect was distinct depending on the cell type and the supplement studied. Using RT-PCRs, we validated the expression of introns of two oncogenes, DLK1 and LRG1, known to be key players in lung cancer progression, and demonstrate changed intronic expression with supplement treatment in cancer cells. With regard to the antioxidant system, supplements did not change the intronic RNAs for endogenous antioxidant enzymes except for a significant decrease in the expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD) intronic RNA. Concurrently, we also found that a prolonged (48 h

  4. Distribution bias of the sequence matching between exons and introns in exon joint and EJC binding region in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiang; Li, Hong; Zhao, Xiaoqing; Zheng, Yan; Zhou, Deliang

    2015-01-01

    We propose a mechanism that there are matching relations between mRNA sequences and corresponding post-spliced introns, and introns play a significant role in the process of gene expression. In order to reveal the sequence matching features, Smith-Waterman local alignment method is used on C. elegans mRNA sequences to obtain optimal matched segments between exon-exon sequences and their corresponding introns. Distribution characters of matching frequency on exon-exon sequences and sequence characters of optimal matched segments are studied. Results show that distributions of matching frequency on exon-exon junction region have obvious differences, and the exon boundary is revealed. Distributions of the length and matching rate of optimal matched segments are consistent with sequence features of siRNA and miRNA. The optimal matched segments have special sequence characters compared with their host sequences. As for the first introns and long introns, matching frequency values of optimal matched segments with high GC content, rich CG dinucleotides and high λCG values show the minimum distribution in exon junction complex (EJC) binding region. High λCG values in optimal matched segments are main characters in distinguishing EJC binding region. Results indicate that EJC and introns have competitive and cooperative relations in the process of combining on protein coding sequences. Also intron sequences and protein coding sequences do have concerted evolution relations.

  5. Polypurine sequences within a downstream exon function as a splicing enhancer

    SciTech Connect

    Tanaka, Kenji; Watakabe, Akiya; Shimura, Yoshiro

    1994-02-01

    We have previously shown that a purine-rich sequence located within exon M2 of the mouse immunoglobulin {mu} gene functions as a splicing enhancer, as judged by its ability to stimulate splicing of a distant upstream intron. This sequence element has been designated ERS (exon recognition sequence). In this study, we investigated the stimulatory effects of various ERS-like sequences, using the in vitro splicing system with HeLa cell nuclear extracts. Here, we show that purine-rich sequences of several natural exons that have previously been shown to be required for splicing function as a splicing enhancer like the ERS of the immunoglobulin {mu} gene. Moreover, even synthetic polypurine sequences had stimulatory effects on the upstream splicing. Evaluation of the data obtained from the analyses of both natural and synthetic purine-rich sequences shows that (i) alternating purine sequences can stimulate splicing, while poly(A) or poly(G) sequences cannot, and (ii) the presence of U residues within the polypurine sequence greatly reduces the level of stimulation. Competition experiments strongly suggest that the stimulatory effects of various purine-rich sequences are mediated by the same trans-acting factor(s). We conclude from these results that the purine-rich sequences that we examined in this study also represent examples of ERS. Thus, ERS is considered a general splicing element that is present in various exons and plays an important role in splice site selection. 50 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.

  6. The ASAP II database: analysis and comparative genomics of alternative splicing in 15 animal species.

    PubMed

    Kim, Namshin; Alekseyenko, Alexander V; Roy, Meenakshi; Lee, Christopher

    2007-01-01

    We have greatly expanded the Alternative Splicing Annotation Project (ASAP) database: (i) its human alternative splicing data are expanded approximately 3-fold over the previous ASAP database, to nearly 90,000 distinct alternative splicing events; (ii) it now provides genome-wide alternative splicing analyses for 15 vertebrate, insect and other animal species; (iii) it provides comprehensive comparative genomics information for comparing alternative splicing and splice site conservation across 17 aligned genomes, based on UCSC multigenome alignments; (iv) it provides an approximately 2- to 3-fold expansion in detection of tissue-specific alternative splicing events, and of cancer versus normal specific alternative splicing events. We have also constructed a novel database linking orthologous exons and orthologous introns between genomes, based on multigenome alignment of 17 animal species. It can be a valuable resource for studies of gene structure evolution. ASAP II provides a new web interface enabling more detailed exploration of the data, and integrating comparative genomics information with alternative splicing data. We provide a set of tools for advanced data-mining of ASAP II with Pygr (the Python Graph Database Framework for Bioinformatics) including powerful features such as graph query, multigenome alignment query, etc. ASAP II is available at http://www.bioinformatics.ucla.edu/ASAP2.

  7. The Proper Splicing of RNAi Factors Is Critical for Pericentric Heterochromatin Assembly in Fission Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Kallgren, Scott P.; Moresco, James J.; Tu, Patricia G.; Yates, John R.; Nagy, Peter L.; Jia, Songtao

    2014-01-01

    Heterochromatin preferentially assembles at repetitive DNA elements, playing roles in transcriptional silencing, recombination suppression, and chromosome segregation. The RNAi machinery is required for heterochromatin assembly in a diverse range of organisms. In fission yeast, RNA splicing factors are also required for pericentric heterochromatin assembly, and a prevailing model is that splicing factors provide a platform for siRNA generation independently of their splicing activity. Here, by screening the fission yeast deletion library, we discovered four novel splicing factors that are required for pericentric heterochromatin assembly. Sequencing total cellular RNAs from the strongest of these mutants, cwf14Δ, showed intron retention in mRNAs of several RNAi factors. Moreover, introducing cDNA versions of RNAi factors significantly restored pericentric heterochromatin in splicing mutants. We also found that mutations of splicing factors resulted in defective telomeric heterochromatin assembly and mis-splicing the mRNA of shelterin component Tpz1, and that replacement of tpz1+ with its cDNA partially rescued heterochromatin defects at telomeres in splicing mutants. Thus, proper splicing of RNAi and shelterin factors contributes to heterochromatin assembly at pericentric regions and telomeres. PMID:24874881

  8. Functional analysis and in vitro correction of splicing FAH mutations causing tyrosinemia type I.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Carro, R; Sánchez-Alcudia, R; Pérez, B; Navarrete, R; Pérez-Cerdá, C; Ugarte, M; Desviat, L R

    2014-08-01

    Hereditary tyrosinemia type I (HT1) is a rare disease caused by a deficiency of fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (FAH) in the tyrosine catabolic pathway, resulting mainly in hepatic alterations due to accumulation of the toxic metabolites fumarylacetoacetate, maleylacetoacetate and succinylacetone. We have characterized using minigenes four splicing mutations affecting exonic or intronic nucleotides of the FAH gene identified in two HT1 patients. Two of the mutations are novel, c.82-1G>A and c.913G>C and the other two have been previously associated with a splicing defect (c.836A>G and c.1062+5G>A). All mutations were confirmed to affect splicing in minigenes, resulting in exon skipping or activation of a cryptic splice site. We have analyzed the effect of different compounds known to modulate splicing (valproic acid, phenyl butyrate, M344, EIPA, and resveratrol) and the overexpression of splice factors of the SR protein family on the transcriptional profile of the mutant minigenes. For the c.836A>G mutation, a partial recovery of the correctly spliced transcript was observed. These results confirm the relevance of performing functional studies for mutations potentially affecting the splicing process and open the possibility of supplementary therapeutic approaches to diseases caused by splicing defects.

  9. Introns Regulate Gene Expression in Cryptococcus neoformans in a Pab2p Dependent Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Goebels, Carolin; Thonn, Aline; Gonzalez-Hilarion, Sara; Rolland, Olga; Moyrand, Frederique; Beilharz, Traude H.; Janbon, Guilhem

    2013-01-01

    Most Cryptococccus neoformans genes are interrupted by introns, and alternative splicing occurs very often. In this study, we examined the influence of introns on C. neoformans gene expression. For most tested genes, elimination of introns greatly reduces mRNA accumulation. Strikingly, the number and the position of introns modulate the gene expression level in a cumulative manner. A screen for mutant strains able to express functionally an intronless allele revealed that the nuclear poly(A) binding protein Pab2 modulates intron-dependent regulation of gene expression in C. neoformans. PAB2 deletion partially restored accumulation of intronless mRNA. In addition, our results demonstrated that the essential nucleases Rrp44p and Xrn2p are implicated in the degradation of mRNA transcribed from an intronless allele in C. neoformans. Double mutant constructions and over-expression experiments suggested that Pab2p and Xrn2p could act in the same pathway whereas Rrp44p appears to act independently. Finally, deletion of the RRP6 or the CID14 gene, encoding the nuclear exosome nuclease and the TRAMP complex associated poly(A) polymerase, respectively, has no effect on intronless allele expression. PMID:23966870

  10. A dynamic intron retention program enriched in RNA processing genes regulates gene expression during terminal erythropoiesis

    DOE PAGES

    Pimentel, Harold; Parra, Marilyn; Gee, Sherry L.; Mohandas, Narla; Pachter, Lior; Conboy, John G.

    2015-11-03

    Differentiating erythroblasts execute a dynamic alternative splicing program shown here to include extensive and diverse intron retention (IR) events. Cluster analysis revealed hundreds of developmentallydynamic introns that exhibit increased IR in mature erythroblasts, and are enriched in functions related to RNA processing such as SF3B1 spliceosomal factor. Distinct, developmentally-stable IR clusters are enriched in metal-ion binding functions and include mitoferrin genes SLC25A37 and SLC25A28 that are critical for iron homeostasis. Some IR transcripts are abundant, e.g. comprising ~50% of highly-expressed SLC25A37 and SF3B1 transcripts in late erythroblasts, and thereby limiting functional mRNA levels. IR transcripts tested were predominantly nuclearlocalized. Splicemore » site strength correlated with IR among stable but not dynamic intron clusters, indicating distinct regulation of dynamically-increased IR in late erythroblasts. Retained introns were preferentially associated with alternative exons with premature termination codons (PTCs). High IR was observed in disease-causing genes including SF3B1 and the RNA binding protein FUS. Comparative studies demonstrated that the intron retention program in erythroblasts shares features with other tissues but ultimately is unique to erythropoiesis. Finally, we conclude that IR is a multi-dimensional set of processes that post-transcriptionally regulate diverse gene groups during normal erythropoiesis, misregulation of which could be responsible for human disease.« less

  11. One single nucleotide difference alters the differential expression of spliced RNAs between HBV genotypes A and D.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chien-Chiao; Kuo, Tzer-Min; Yeh, Chau-Ting; Hu, Cheng-Po; Chen, Ya-Ling; Tsai, Yue-Lin; Chen, Mong-Liang; Chou, Yu-Chi; Chang, Chungming

    2013-06-01

    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is generally classified into eight genotypes (A to H) based on genomic sequence divergence. The sequence variation among the different HBV genotypes suggests that the spliced RNAs should be different from genotype to genotype. However, the cis-acting element involved in the modulation of the distinct expression profiles of spliced HBV RNAs remains unidentified. Moreover, the biological role of splicing in the life cycle of HBV is not yet understood. In this study, spliced RNAs generated from genotypes A and D were carefully characterized in transfected HepG2 cells. The species and frequency of the spliced RNAs were dramatically different in the two genotypes. Of note, a population of multiply spliced RNAs with intron 2067-2350 excision was identified in HBV genotype A-transfected HepG2 cells, but not in genotype D transfected HepG2 cells. Further, we found a single nucleotide difference (2335) located within the polypyrimidine tract of the splice acceptor site 2350 between the two genotypes, and a single base substitution at 2335 was able to convert the splicing pattern of genotype D (or genotype A) to that of genotype A (or genotype D). These findings suggest that different unique splice sites may be preferentially used in different HBV genotypes resulting in distinct populations of spliced RNAs. The possible significance of the distinct spliced RNAs generated from the different HBV genotypes in HBV infection is discussed.

  12. Two stages splicing system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mudaber, Mohammad Hassan; Yusof, Yuhani

    2015-05-01

    The study of the biological process of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) splicing system in a translucent approach was investigated in 2012 by Yusof under the framework of formal language theory. In this work, the concepts of splicing system in two stages as well as splicing languages are mathematically and biologically discussed. Additionally, some theorems based on recognition site factor of initial strings at the existence of two initial strings and two rules are provided via Yusof-Goode (Y-G) approach. Besides, an example is also given in showing the biological meaning of the introduced concept.

  13. How did alternative splicing evolve?

    PubMed

    Ast, Gil

    2004-10-01

    Alternative splicing creates transcriptome diversification, possibly leading to speciation. A large fraction of the protein-coding genes of multicellular organisms are alternatively spliced, although no regulated splicing has been detected in unicellular eukaryotes such as yeasts. A comparative analysis of unicellular and multicellular eukaryotic 5' splice sites has revealed important differences - the plasticity of the 5' splice sites of multicellular eukaryotes means that these sites can be used in both constitutive and alternative splicing, and for the regulation of the inclusion/skipping ratio in alternative splicing. So, alternative splicing might have originated as a result of relaxation of the 5' splice site recognition in organisms that originally could support only constitutive splicing. PMID:15510168

  14. The anticodon of the maize chloroplast gene for tRNA Leu UAA is split by a large intron.

    PubMed Central

    Steinmetz, A; Gubbins, E J; Bogorad, L

    1982-01-01

    The maize chloroplast gene encoding tRNA Leu UAA has been sequenced. It contains a 458 base pair intron between the first and second bases of the anticodon. The tRNA is 88 nucleotides long (the 3'-terminal CCA sequence included which, however, is not encoded by the gene) and differs in only four nucleotides (modified nucleotides are not considered) from the corresponding isoacceptor from bean chloroplasts. The unusual position of the intron in this maize chloroplast tRNA gene suggests a splicing model different from that generally accepted for eukaryotic split tRNA genes. Images PMID:6285285

  15. New Splice Site Acceptor Mutation in AIRE Gene in Autoimmune Polyendocrine Syndrome Type 1

    PubMed Central

    Mora, Mireia; Hanzu, Felicia A.; Pradas-Juni, Marta; Aranda, Gloria B.; Halperin, Irene; Puig-Domingo, Manuel; Aguiló, Sira; Fernández-Rebollo, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 (APS-1, OMIM 240300) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder, characterized by the presence of at least two of three major diseases: hypoparathyroidism, Addison’s disease, and chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis. We aim to identify the molecular defects and investigate the clinical and mutational characteristics in an index case and other members of a consanguineous family. We identified a novel homozygous mutation in the splice site acceptor (SSA) of intron 5 (c.653-1G>A) in two siblings with different clinical outcomes of APS-1. Coding DNA sequencing revealed that this AIRE mutation potentially compromised the recognition of the constitutive SSA of intron 5, splicing upstream onto a nearby cryptic SSA in intron 5. Surprisingly, the use of an alternative SSA entails the uncovering of a cryptic donor splice site in exon 5. This new transcript generates a truncated protein (p.A214fs67X) containing the first 213 amino acids and followed by 68 aberrant amino acids. The mutation affects the proper splicing, not only at the acceptor but also at the donor splice site, highlighting the complexity of recognizing suitable splicing sites and the importance of sequencing the intron-exon junctions for a more precise molecular diagnosis and correct genetic counseling. As both siblings were carrying the same mutation but exhibited a different APS-1 onset, and one of the brothers was not clinically diagnosed, our finding highlights the possibility to suspect mutations in the AIRE gene in cases of childhood chronic candidiasis and/or hypoparathyroidism otherwise unexplained, especially when the phenotype is associated with other autoimmune diseases. PMID:24988226

  16. MRG15 is required for pre-mRNA splicing and spermatogenesis.

    PubMed

    Iwamori, Naoki; Tominaga, Kaoru; Sato, Tetsuya; Riehle, Kevin; Iwamori, Tokuko; Ohkawa, Yasuyuki; Coarfa, Cristian; Ono, Etsuro; Matzuk, Martin M

    2016-09-13

    Splicing can be epigenetically regulated and involved in cellular differentiation in somatic cells, but the interplay of epigenetic factors and the splicing machinery during spermatogenesis remains unclear. To study these interactions in vivo, we generated a germline deletion of MORF-related gene on chromosome 15 (MRG15), a multifunctional chromatin organizer that binds to methylated histone H3 lysine 36 (H3K36) in introns of transcriptionally active genes and has been implicated in regulation of histone acetylation, homology-directed DNA repair, and alternative splicing in somatic cells. Conditional KO (cKO) males lacking MRG15 in the germline are sterile secondary to spermatogenic arrest at the round spermatid stage. There were no significant alterations in meiotic division and histone acetylation. Specific mRNA sequences disappeared from 66 germ cell-expressed genes in the absence of MRG15, and specific intronic sequences were retained in mRNAs of 4 genes in the MRG15 cKO testes. In particular, introns were retained in mRNAs encoding the transition proteins that replace histones during sperm chromatin condensation. In round spermatids, MRG15 colocalizes with splicing factors PTBP1 and PTBP2 at H3K36me3 sites between the exons and single intron of transition nuclear protein 2 (Tnp2). Thus, our results reveal that MRG15 is essential for pre-mRNA splicing during spermatogenesis and that epigenetic regulation of pre-mRNA splicing by histone modification could be useful to understand not only spermatogenesis but also, epigenetic disorders underlying male infertile patients. PMID:27573846

  17. RNA-Seq analysis reveals new gene models and alternative splicing in the fungal pathogen Fusarium graminearum

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The genome of Fusarium graminearum has been sequenced and annotated previously, but correct gene annotation remains a challenge. In addition, posttranscriptional regulations, such as alternative splicing and RNA editing, are poorly understood in F. graminearum. Here we took advantage of RNA-Seq to improve gene annotations and to identify alternative splicing and RNA editing in F. graminearum. Results We identified and revised 655 incorrectly predicted gene models, including revisions of intron predictions, intron splice sites and prediction of novel introns. 231 genes were identified with two or more alternative splice variants, mostly due to intron retention. Interestingly, the expression ratios between different transcript isoforms appeared to be developmentally regulated. Surprisingly, no RNA editing was identified in F. graminearum. Moreover, 2459 novel transcriptionally active regions (nTARs) were identified and our analysis indicates that many of these could be missed genes. Finally, we identified the 5′ UTR and/or 3′ UTR sequences of 7666 genes. A number of representative novel gene models and alternatively spliced genes were validated by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and sequencing of the generated amplicons. Conclusions We have developed novel and efficient strategies to identify alternatively spliced genes and incorrect gene models based on RNA-Seq data. Our study identified hundreds of alternatively spliced genes in F. graminearum and for the first time indicated that alternative splicing is developmentally regulated in filamentous fungi. In addition, hundreds of incorrect predicted gene models were identified and revised and thousands of nTARs were discovered in our study, which will be helpful for the future genomic and transcriptomic studies in F. graminearum. PMID:23324402

  18. Intronic sequence elements impede exon ligation and trigger a discard pathway that yields functional telomerase RNA in fission yeast

    PubMed Central

    Kannan, Ram; Hartnett, Sean; Voelker, Rodger B.; Berglund, J. Andrew; Staley, Jonathan P.; Baumann, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The fission yeast telomerase RNA (TER1) precursor harbors an intron immediately downstream from its mature 3′ end. Unlike most introns, which are removed from precursor RNAs by the spliceosome in two sequential but tightly coupled transesterification reactions, TER1 only undergoes the first cleavage reaction during telomerase RNA maturation. The mechanism underlying spliceosome-mediated 3′ end processing has remained unclear. We now demonstrate that a strong branch site (BS), a long distance to the 3′ splice site (3′ SS), and a weak polypyrimidine (Py) tract act synergistically to attenuate the transition from the first to the second step of splicing. The observation that a strong BS antagonizes the second step of splicing in the context of TER1 suggests that the BS–U2 snRNA interaction is disrupted after the first step and thus much earlier than previously thought. The slow transition from first to second step triggers the Prp22 DExD/H-box helicase-dependent rejection of the cleaved products and Prp43-dependent “discard” of the splicing intermediates. Our findings explain how the spliceosome can function in 3′ end processing and provide new insights into the mechanism of splicing. PMID:23468430

  19. Molecular analysis of mutations affecting hprt mRNA splicing in human T-lymphocytes in vivo

    SciTech Connect

    Rossi, A.M. Pisa Univ. ); Tates, A.D.; van Zeeland, A.A.; Vrieling, H. )

    1992-01-01

    Molecular analysis of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (hprt) cDNA from 6-thioguanine-resistant T-lymphocytes cloned from smoking and non-smoking adult donors showed that 35% of these mutants were defective in splicing of hprt mRNA. Among a set of 42 hprt splice mutants, the authors observed (1) complete loss of one or more exons, (2) partial loss of one exon, or (3) inclusion of part of an intron sequence between adjacent exons. Loss of exon 4 was significantly more frequent than of the other exons, suggesting that the sequences that regulate splicing of this exon are either larger than those of the other exons or especially prone to mutation. In order to identify the molecular nature of DNA alterations causing aberrant splicing of hprt mRNA, 17 splice mutants were analyzed in more detail by sequencing the genomic regions flanking the mis-spliced exon. Base pair substitutions or small deletions causing defective splicing were either detected in exon sequences or in splice site consensus sequences of introns.

  20. Origins and evolution of spliceosomal introns.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Trelles, Francisco; Tarrío, Rosa; Ayala, Francisco J

    2006-01-01

    Research into the origins of introns is at a critical juncture in the resolution of theories on the evolution of early life (which came first, RNA or DNA?), the identity of LUCA (the last universal common ancestor, was it prokaryotic- or eukaryotic-like?), and the significance of noncoding nucleotide variation. One early notion was that introns would have evolved as a component of an efficient mechanism for the origin of genes. But alternative theories emerged as well. From the debate between the "introns-early" and "introns-late" theories came the proposal that introns arose before the origin of genetically encoded proteins and DNA, and the more recent "introns-first" theory, which postulates the presence of introns at that early evolutionary stage from a reconstruction of the "RNA world." Here we review seminal and recent ideas about intron origins. Recent discoveries about the patterns and causes of intron evolution make this one of the most hotly debated and exciting topics in molecular evolutionary biology today. PMID:17094737