RNA Binding Protein CELF2 Regulates Signal-Induced Alternative Polyadenylation by Competing with Enhancers of the Polyadenylation Machinery.
ABSTRACT: The 3' UTR (UTR) of human mRNAs plays a critical role in controlling protein expression and function. Importantly, 3' UTRs of human messages are not invariant for each gene but rather are shaped by alternative polyadenylation (APA) in a cell state-dependent manner, including in response to T cell activation. However, the proteins and mechanisms driving APA regulation remain poorly understood. Here we show that the RNA-binding protein CELF2 controls APA of its own message in a signal-dependent manner by competing with core enhancers of the polyadenylation machinery for binding to RNA. We further show that CELF2 binding overlaps with APA enhancers transcriptome-wide, and almost half of 3' UTRs that undergo T cell signaling-induced APA are regulated in a CELF2-dependent manner. These studies thus reveal CELF2 to be a critical regulator of 3' UTR identity in T cells and demonstrate an additional mechanism for CELF2 in regulating polyadenylation site choice.
Project description:Background:Most eukaryotic protein-coding genes exhibit alternative cleavage and polyadenylation (APA), resulting in mRNA isoforms with different 3' untranslated regions (3' UTRs). Studies have shown that brain cells tend to express long 3' UTR isoforms using distal cleavage and polyadenylation sites (PASs). Methods:Using our recently developed, comprehensive PAS database PolyA_DB, we developed an efficient method to examine APA, named Significance Analysis of Alternative Polyadenylation using RNA-seq (SAAP-RS). We applied this method to study APA in brain cells and neurogenesis. Results:We found that neurons globally express longer 3' UTRs than other cell types in brain, and microglia and endothelial cells express substantially shorter 3' UTRs. We show that the 3' UTR diversity across brain cells can be corroborated with single cell sequencing data. Further analysis of APA regulation of 3' UTRs during differentiation of embryonic stem cells into neurons indicates that a large fraction of the APA events regulated in neurogenesis are similarly modulated in myogenesis, but to a much greater extent. Conclusion:Together, our data delineate APA profiles in different brain cells and indicate that APA regulation in neurogenesis is largely an augmented process taking place in other types of cell differentiation.
Project description:Most eukaryotic genes express alternative polyadenylation (APA) isoforms with different 3'UTR lengths, production of which is influenced by cellular conditions. Here, we show that arsenic stress elicits global shortening of 3'UTRs through preferential usage of proximal polyadenylation sites during stress and enhanced degradation of long 3'UTR isoforms during recovery. We demonstrate that RNA-binding protein TIA1 preferentially interacts with alternative 3'UTR sequences through U-rich motifs, correlating with stress granule association and mRNA decay of long 3'UTR isoforms. By contrast, genes with shortened 3'UTRs due to stress-induced APA can evade mRNA clearance and maintain transcript abundance post stress. Furthermore, we show that stress causes distinct 3'UTR size changes in proliferating and differentiated cells, highlighting its context-specific impacts on the 3'UTR landscape. Together, our data reveal a global, 3'UTR-based mRNA stability control in stressed cells and indicate that APA can function as an adaptive mechanism to preserve mRNAs in response to stress.
Project description:3' untranslated regions (3' UTRs) post-transcriptionally regulate mRNA stability, localization, and translation rate. While 3'-UTR isoforms have been globally quantified in limited cell types using bulk measurements, their differential usage among cell types during mammalian development remains poorly characterized. In this study, we examine a dataset comprising ~2 million nuclei spanning E9.5-E13.5 of mouse embryonic development to quantify transcriptome-wide changes in alternative polyadenylation (APA). We observe a global lengthening of 3' UTRs across embryonic stages in all cell types, although we detect shorter 3' UTRs in hematopoietic lineages and longer 3' UTRs in neuronal cell types within each stage. An analysis of RNA-binding protein (RBP) dynamics identifies ELAV-like family members, which are concomitantly induced in neuronal lineages and developmental stages experiencing 3'-UTR lengthening, as putative regulators of APA. By measuring 3'-UTR isoforms in an expansive single cell dataset, our work provides a transcriptome-wide and organism-wide map of the dynamic landscape of alternative polyadenylation during mammalian organogenesis.
Project description:Alternative polyadenylation (APA) produces transcript 3' untranslated regions (3'UTRs) with distinct sequences, lengths, stabilities and functions. We show here that APA products include a class of cryptic nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) substrates with extended 3'UTRs that gene- or transcript-level analyses of NMD often fail to detect. Transcriptome-wide, the core NMD factor UPF1 preferentially recognizes long 3'UTR products of APA, leading to their systematic downregulation. Counteracting this mechanism, the multifunctional RNA-binding protein PTBP1 regulates the balance of short and long 3'UTR isoforms by inhibiting NMD, in addition to its previously described modulation of co-transcriptional polyadenylation (polyA) site choice. Further, we find that many transcripts with altered APA isoform abundance across multiple tumor types are controlled by NMD. Together, our findings reveal a widespread role for NMD in shaping the outcomes of APA.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Alternative polyadenylation (APA) refers to the regulated selection of polyadenylation sites (PASs) in transcripts, which determines the length of their 3' untranslated regions (3'UTRs). We have recently shown that SRSF3 and SRSF7, two closely related SR proteins, connect APA with mRNA export. The mechanism underlying APA regulation by SRSF3 and SRSF7 remained unknown.<h4>Results</h4>Here we combine iCLIP and 3'-end sequencing and find that SRSF3 and SRSF7 bind upstream of proximal PASs (pPASs), but they exert opposite effects on 3'UTR length. SRSF7 enhances pPAS usage in a concentration-dependent but splicing-independent manner by recruiting the cleavage factor FIP1, generating short 3'UTRs. Protein domains unique to SRSF7, which are absent from SRSF3, contribute to FIP1 recruitment. In contrast, SRSF3 promotes distal PAS (dPAS) usage and hence long 3'UTRs directly by counteracting SRSF7, but also indirectly by maintaining high levels of cleavage factor Im (CFIm) via alternative splicing. Upon SRSF3 depletion, CFIm levels decrease and 3'UTRs are shortened. The indirect SRSF3 targets are particularly sensitive to low CFIm levels, because here CFIm serves a dual function; it enhances dPAS and inhibits pPAS usage by binding immediately downstream and assembling unproductive cleavage complexes, which together promotes long 3'UTRs.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We demonstrate that SRSF3 and SRSF7 are direct modulators of pPAS usage and show how small differences in the domain architecture of SR proteins can confer opposite effects on pPAS regulation.
Project description:The 3' untranslated regions (3'UTRs) of mRNAs contain cis elements involved in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Over half of all mammalian genes contain multiple polyadenylation sites that lead to different 3'UTRs for a gene. Studies have shown that the alternative polyadenylation (APA) pattern varies across tissues, and is dynamically regulated in proliferating or differentiating cells. Generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, in which differentiated cells are reprogrammed to an embryonic stem (ES) cell-like state, has been intensively studied in recent years. However, it is not known how 3'UTRs are regulated during cell reprogramming.Using a computational method that robustly examines APA across DNA microarray data sets, we analyzed 3'UTR dynamics in generation of iPS cells from different cell types. We found that 3'UTRs shorten during reprogramming of somatic cells, the extent of which depends on the type of source cell. By contrast, reprogramming of spermatogonial cells involves 3'UTR lengthening. The alternative polyadenylation sites that are highly responsive to change of cell state in generation of iPS cells are also highly regulated during embryonic development in opposite directions. Compared with other sites, they are more conserved, can lead to longer alternative 3'UTRs, and are associated with more cis elements for polyadenylation. Consistently, reprogramming of somatic cells and germ cells involves significant upregulation and downregulation, respectively, of mRNAs encoding polyadenylation factors, and RNA processing is one of the most significantly regulated biological processes during cell reprogramming. Furthermore, genes containing target sites of ES cell-specific microRNAs (miRNAs) in different portions of 3'UTR are distinctively regulated during cell reprogramming, suggesting impact of APA on miRNA targeting.Taken together, these findings indicate that reprogramming of 3'UTRs by APA, which result from regulation of both general polyadenylation activity and cell type-specific factors and can reset post-transcriptional gene regulatory programs in the cell, is an integral part of iPS cell generation, and the APA pattern can be a good biomarker for cell type and state, useful for sample classification. The results also suggest that perturbation of the mRNA polyadenylation machinery or RNA processing activity may facilitate generation of iPS cells.
Project description:More than half of human genes use alternative cleavage and polyadenylation (ApA) to generate mRNA transcripts that differ in the lengths of their 3' untranslated regions (UTRs), thus altering the post-transcriptional fate of the message and likely the protein output. The extent of 3' UTR variation across tissues and the functional role of ApA remain poorly understood. We developed a sequencing method called 3'-seq to quantitatively map the 3' ends of the transcriptome of diverse human tissues and isogenic transformation systems. We found that cell type-specific gene expression is accomplished by two complementary programs. Tissue-restricted genes tend to have single 3' UTRs, whereas a majority of ubiquitously transcribed genes generate multiple 3' UTRs. During transformation and differentiation, single-UTR genes change their mRNA abundance levels, while multi-UTR genes mostly change 3' UTR isoform ratios to achieve tissue specificity. However, both regulation programs target genes that function in the same pathways and processes that characterize the new cell type. Instead of finding global shifts in 3' UTR length during transformation and differentiation, we identify tissue-specific groups of multi-UTR genes that change their 3' UTR ratios; these changes in 3' UTR length are largely independent from changes in mRNA abundance. Finally, tissue-specific usage of ApA sites appears to be a mechanism for changing the landscape targetable by ubiquitously expressed microRNAs.
Project description:Most mammalian genes display alternative cleavage and polyadenylation (APA). Previous studies have indicated preferential expression of APA isoforms with short 3âUTRs in testes. Here we show widespread shortening of 3âUTR by APA during the first wave of spermatogenesis in mouse, with 3âUTRs being the shortest in spermatids. Shortening of 3âUTR eliminates destabilizing elements, such as U-rich elements and transposable elements, which appear to be highly potent for transcript elimination during spermatogenesis. We additionally found widespread regulation of APA in introns and global activation of upstream antisense transcripts during spermatogenesis. Interestingly, genes that display 3âUTR shortening tend to have higher levels of H3K4me3, consistent with the open chromatin feature previously observed in spermatids. Since genes with 3âUTR shortening tend to have functions important for further sperm development after spermatids, when transcription is halted, this result indicates that expression of short, stable mRNAs may serve the purpose of mRNA storage for later translation. Thus, APA in spermatogenesis connects regulation of chromatin status with post-transcriptional control, and impacts sperm maturation. 3'READS of 1 week to 6 week of testis development
Project description:Down-regulated splicing factor SRSF3 is known to promote cellular senescence, an important biological process in preventing cancer and contributing to individual aging, via its alternative splicing dependent function in human cells. Here we discovered alternative polyadenylation (APA) dependent function of SRSF3 as a novel mechanism explaining SRSF3 downregulation induced cellular senescence. Knockdown of SRSF3 resulted in preference usage of proximal poly(A) sites and thus global shortening of 3' untranslated regions (3' UTRs) of mRNAs. SRSF3-depletion also induced senescence-related phenotypes in both human and mouse cells. These 3' UTR shortened genes were enriched in senescence-associated pathways. Shortened 3' UTRs tended to produce more proteins than the longer ones. Simulating the effects of 3' UTR shortening by overexpression of three candidate genes (PTEN, PIAS1 and DNMT3A) all led to senescence-associated phenotypes. Mechanistically, SRSF3 has higher binding density near proximal poly(A) site than distal one in 3' UTR shortened genes. Further, upregulation of PTEN by either ectopic overexpression or SRSF3-knockdown induction both led to reduced phosphorylation of AKT and ultimately senescence-associated phenotypes. We revealed for the first time that reduced SRSF3 expression could promote cellular senescence through its APA-dependent function, largely extending our mechanistic understanding in splicing factor regulated cellular senescence.
Project description:During pre-mRNA maturation 3' end processing can occur at different polyadenylation sites in the 3' untranslated region (3' UTR) to give rise to transcript isoforms that differ in the length of their 3' UTRs. Longer 3' UTRs contain additional <i>cis</i>-regulatory elements that impact the fate of the transcript and/or of the resulting protein. Extensive alternative polyadenylation (APA) has been observed in cancers, but the mechanisms and roles remain elusive. In particular, it is unclear whether the APA occurs in the malignant cells or in other cell types that infiltrate the tumor. To resolve this, we developed a computational method, called SCUREL, that quantifies changes in 3' UTR length between groups of cells, including cells of the same type originating from tumor and control tissue. We used this method to study APA in human lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). SCUREL relies solely on annotated 3' UTRs and on control systems such as T cell activation, and spermatogenesis gives qualitatively similar results at much greater sensitivity compared to the previously published scAPA method. In the LUAD samples, we find a general trend toward 3' UTR shortening not only in cancer cells compared to the cell type of origin, but also when comparing other cell types from the tumor vs. the control tissue environment. However, we also find high variability in the individual targets between patients. The findings help in understanding the extent and impact of APA in LUAD, which may support improvements in diagnosis and treatment.