Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in five cohorts reveals common variants in RBFOX1, a regulator of tissue-specific splicing, associated with refractive error.
ABSTRACT: Visual refractive errors (REs) are complex genetic traits with a largely unknown etiology. To date, genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of moderate size have identified several novel risk markers for RE, measured here as mean spherical equivalent (MSE). We performed a GWAS using a total of 7280 samples from five cohorts: the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS); the KORA study ('Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg'); the Framingham Eye Study (FES); the Ogliastra Genetic Park-Talana (OGP-Talana) Study and the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Genotyping was performed on Illumina and Affymetrix platforms with additional markers imputed to the HapMap II reference panel. We identified a new genome-wide significant locus on chromosome 16 (rs10500355, P = 3.9 × 10(-9)) in a combined discovery and replication set (26 953 samples). This single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is located within the RBFOX1 gene which is a neuron-specific splicing factor regulating a wide range of alternative splicing events implicated in neuronal development and maturation, including transcription factors, other splicing factors and synaptic proteins.
Project description:We used RNA sequencing to identify the RBFOX1 splicing network at a genome-wide level in primary human neural stem cells during differentiation. We observe that RBFOX1 regulates a large set of alternative splicing events implicated in neurogenesis and cell maintenance. Subsequent alterations in gene expression define an additional transcriptional network regulated by RBFOX1 involved in neurodevelopmental pathways remarkably parallel to those affected by splicing. RNA sequencing at a 75bp single-end read scale was performed using polyA-enriched RNA from 5 biological replicates of primary human neural progenitor cell lines generated by lentiviral-mediated knockdown of GFP (control) or RBFOX1 and differentiated for 4 weeks.
Project description:RNA splicing plays a critical role in the programming of neuronal differentiation and, consequently, normal human neurodevelopment, and its disruption may underlie neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. The RNA-binding protein, fox-1 homolog (RBFOX1; also termed A2BP1 or FOX1), is a neuron-specific splicing factor predicted to regulate neuronal splicing networks clinically implicated in neurodevelopmental disease, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but only a few targets have been experimentally identified. We used RNA sequencing to identify the RBFOX1 splicing network at a genome-wide level in primary human neural stem cells during differentiation. We observe that RBFOX1 regulates a wide range of alternative splicing events implicated in neuronal development and maturation, including transcription factors, other splicing factors and synaptic proteins. Downstream alterations in gene expression define an additional transcriptional network regulated by RBFOX1 involved in neurodevelopmental pathways remarkably parallel to those affected by splicing. Several of these differentially expressed genes are further implicated in ASD and related neurodevelopmental diseases. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis demonstrates a high degree of connectivity among these disease-related genes, highlighting RBFOX1 as a key factor coordinating the regulation of both neurodevelopmentally important alternative splicing events and clinically relevant neuronal transcriptional programs in the development of human neurons.
Project description:The Rbfox family of RNA-binding proteins is highly conserved with established roles in alternative splicing (AS) regulation. High-throughput studies aimed at understanding transcriptome remodeling have revealed skeletal muscle as displaying one of the largest number of AS events. This finding is consistent with requirements for tissue-specific protein isoforms needed to sustain muscle-specific functions. Rbfox1 is abundant in vertebrate brain, heart and skeletal muscle. Genome-wide genetic approaches have linked the Rbfox1 gene to autism, and a brain-specific knockout mouse revealed a critical role for this splicing regulator in neuronal function. Moreover, a Caenorhabditis elegans Rbfox1 homolog regulates muscle-specific splicing. To determine the role of Rbfox1 in muscle function, we developed a conditional knockout mouse model to specifically delete Rbfox1 in adult tissue. We show that Rbfox1 is required for muscle function but a >70% loss of Rbfox1 in satellite cells does not disrupt muscle regeneration. Deep sequencing identified aberrant splicing of multiple genes including those encoding myofibrillar and cytoskeletal proteins, and proteins that regulate calcium handling. Ultrastructure analysis of Rbfox1(-/-) muscle by electron microscopy revealed abundant tubular aggregates. Immunostaining showed mislocalization of the sarcoplasmic reticulum proteins Serca1 and Ryr1 in a pattern indicative of colocalization with the tubular aggregates. Consistent with mislocalization of Serca1 and Ryr1, calcium handling was drastically altered in Rbfox1(-/-) muscle. Moreover, muscle function was significantly impaired in Rbfox1(-/-) muscle as indicated by decreased force generation. These results demonstrate that Rbfox1 regulates a network of AS events required to maintain multiple aspects of muscle physiology.
Project description:RNA splicing is a major contributor to total transcriptome complexity; however, the functional role and regulation of splicing in heart failure remain poorly understood. Here, we used a total transcriptome profiling and bioinformatic analysis approach and identified a muscle-specific isoform of an RNA splicing regulator, RBFox1 (also known as A2BP1), as a prominent regulator of alternative RNA splicing during heart failure. Evaluation of developing murine and zebrafish hearts revealed that RBFox1 is induced during postnatal cardiac maturation. However, we found that RBFox1 is markedly diminished in failing human and mouse hearts. In a mouse model, RBFox1 deficiency in the heart promoted pressure overload-induced heart failure. We determined that RBFox1 is a potent regulator of RNA splicing and is required for a conserved splicing process of transcription factor MEF2 family members that yields different MEF2 isoforms with differential effects on cardiac hypertrophic gene expression. Finally, induction of RBFox1 expression in murine pressure overload models substantially attenuated cardiac hypertrophy and pathological manifestations. Together, this study identifies regulation of RNA splicing by RBFox1 as an important player in transcriptome reprogramming during heart failure that influence pathogenesis of the disease.
Project description:Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is a common muscle disease whose molecular pathogenesis remains largely unknown. Over-expression of FSHD region gene 1 (FRG1) in mice, frogs, and worms perturbs muscle development and causes FSHD-like phenotypes. FRG1 has been implicated in splicing, and we asked how splicing might be involved in FSHD by conducting a genome-wide analysis in FRG1 mice. We find that splicing perturbations parallel the responses of different muscles to FRG1 over-expression and disease progression. Interestingly, binding sites for the Rbfox family of splicing factors are over-represented in a subset of FRG1-affected splicing events. Rbfox1 knockdown, over-expression, and RNA-IP confirm that these are direct Rbfox1 targets. We find that FRG1 is associated to the Rbfox1 RNA and decreases its stability. Consistent with this, Rbfox1 expression is down-regulated in mice and cells over-expressing FRG1 as well as in FSHD patients. Among the genes affected is Calpain 3, which is mutated in limb girdle muscular dystrophy, a disease phenotypically similar to FSHD. In FRG1 mice and FSHD patients, the Calpain 3 isoform lacking exon 6 (Capn3 E6-) is increased. Finally, Rbfox1 knockdown and over-expression of Capn3 E6- inhibit muscle differentiation. Collectively, our results suggest that a component of FSHD pathogenesis may arise by over-expression of FRG1, reducing Rbfox1 levels and leading to aberrant expression of an altered Calpain 3 protein through dysregulated splicing.
Project description:Human genetic studies have identified the neuronal RNA binding protein, Rbfox1, as a candidate gene for autism spectrum disorders. While Rbfox1 functions as a splicing regulator in the nucleus, it is also alternatively spliced to produce cytoplasmic isoforms. To investigate the function of cytoplasmic Rbfox1, we knocked down Rbfox proteins in mouse neurons and rescued with cytoplasmic or nuclear Rbfox1. Transcriptome profiling showed that nuclear Rbfox1 rescued splicing changes, whereas cytoplasmic Rbfox1 rescued changes in mRNA levels. iCLIP-seq of subcellular fractions revealed that Rbfox1 bound predominantly to introns in nascent RNA, while cytoplasmic Rbox1 bound to 3' UTRs. Cytoplasmic Rbfox1 binding increased target mRNA stability and translation, and Rbfox1 and miRNA binding sites overlapped significantly. Cytoplasmic Rbfox1 target mRNAs were enriched in genes involved in cortical development and autism. Our results uncover a new Rbfox1 regulatory network and highlight the importance of cytoplasmic RNA metabolism to cortical development and disease.
Project description:Alternative splicing is one of the major mechanisms through which the proteomic and functional diversity of eukaryotes is achieved. However, the complex nature of the splicing machinery, its associated splicing regulators and the functional implications of alternatively spliced transcripts are only poorly understood. Here, we investigated the functional role of the splicing regulator rbfox1 in vivo using the zebrafish as a model system. We found that loss of rbfox1 led to progressive cardiac contractile dysfunction and heart failure. By using deep-transcriptome sequencing and quantitative real-time PCR, we show that depletion of rbfox1 in zebrafish results in an altered isoform expression of several crucial target genes, such as actn3a and hug. This study underlines that tightly regulated splicing is necessary for unconstrained cardiac function and renders the splicing regulator rbfox1 an interesting target for investigation in human heart failure and cardiomyopathy.
Project description:Human genetic studies have identified the neuronal RNA binding protein, Rbfox1, as a candidate gene for autism spectrum disorders. While Rbfox1 functions as a splicing regulator in the nucleus, it is also alternatively spliced to produce cytoplasmic isoforms. To investigate cytoplasmic Rbfox1, we knocked down Rbfox proteins in mouse neurons and rescued with cytoplasmic or nuclear Rbfox1. Transcriptome profiling showed that nuclear Rbfox1 rescued splicing changes induced by knockdown, whereas cytoplasmic Rbfox1 rescued changes in mRNA levels. iCLIP-seq of subcellular fractions revealed that in nascent RNA Rbfox1 bound predominantly to introns, while cytoplasmic Rbox1 bound to 3' UTRs. Cytoplasmic Rbfox1 binding increased target mRNA stability and translation, and overlapped significantly with miRNA binding sites. Cytoplasmic Rbfox1 target mRNAs were enriched in genes involved in cortical development and autism. Our results uncover a new Rbfox1 regulatory network and highlight the importance of cytoplasmic RNA metabolism to cortical development and disease. In this data set, we included the data from iCLIP-seq experiments. We performed iCLIP procedures to identify Rbfox1 binding in the cytoplasm. Cultured mouse forebrain neurons were irradiated with UV and a cytoplasmic fraction was purified for immunoprecipitation. An anti-Rbfox1 antibody was used to immunoprecipitate Rbfox1 target RNAs and an anti-Flag antibody was used as control. Two samples were analyzed.
Project description:Partial deletions of the gene encoding the neuronal splicing regulator RBFOX1 have been reported in a range of neurodevelopmental diseases, including idiopathic generalized epilepsy. The RBFOX1 protein and its homologues (RBFOX2 and RBFOX3) regulate alternative splicing of many neuronal transcripts involved in the homeostatic control of neuronal excitability. In this study, we explored if structural microdeletions and exonic sequence variations in RBFOX1, RBFOX2, RBFOX3 confer susceptibility to rolandic epilepsy (RE), a common idiopathic focal childhood epilepsy. By high-density SNP array screening of 289 unrelated RE patients, we identified two hemizygous deletions, a 365?kb deletion affecting two untranslated 5'-terminal exons of RBFOX1 and a 43 kb deletion spanning exon 3 of RBFOX3. Exome sequencing of 242 RE patients revealed two novel probably deleterious variants in RBFOX1, a frameshift mutation (p.A233Vfs*74) and a hexanucleotide deletion (p.A299_A300del), and a novel nonsense mutation in RBFOX3 (p.Y287*). Although the three variants were inherited from unaffected parents, they were present in all family members exhibiting the RE trait clinically or electroencephalographically with only one exception. In contrast, no deleterious mutations of RBFOX1 and RBFOX3 were found in the exomes of 6503 non-RE subjects deposited in the Exome Variant Server database. The observed RBFOX3 exon 3 deletion and nonsense mutation suggest that RBFOX3 represents a novel risk factor for RE, indicating that exon deletions and truncating mutations of RBFOX1 and RBFOX3 contribute to the genetic variance of partial and generalized idiopathic epilepsy syndromes.
Project description:The Rbfox family of RNA binding proteins regulates alternative splicing of many important neuronal transcripts, but its role in neuronal physiology is not clear. We show here that central nervous system-specific deletion of the gene encoding Rbfox1 results in heightened susceptibility to spontaneous and kainic acid-induced seizures. Electrophysiological recording revealed a corresponding increase in neuronal excitability in the dentate gyrus of the knockout mice. Whole-transcriptome analyses identified multiple splicing changes in the Rbfox1(-/-) brain with few changes in overall transcript abundance. These splicing changes alter proteins that mediate synaptic transmission and membrane excitation. Thus, Rbfox1 directs a genetic program required in the prevention of neuronal hyperexcitation and seizures. The Rbfox1 knockout mice provide a new model to study the post-transcriptional regulation of synaptic function.