Recurrent SRSF2 mutations in MDS affect both splicing and NMD.
ABSTRACT: Oncogenic mutations in the RNA splicing factors SRSF2, SF3B1, and U2AF1 are the most frequent class of mutations in myelodysplastic syndromes and are also common in clonal hematopoiesis, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and a variety of solid tumors. They cause genome-wide splicing alterations that affect important regulators of hematopoiesis. Several mRNA isoforms promoted by the various splicing factor mutants comprise a premature termination codon (PTC) and are therefore potential targets of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). In light of the mechanistic relationship between splicing and NMD, we sought evidence for a specific role of mutant SRSF2 in NMD. We show that SRSF2 Pro95 hot spot mutations elicit enhanced mRNA decay, which is dependent on sequence-specific RNA binding and splicing. SRSF2 mutants enhance the deposition of exon junction complexes (EJCs) downstream from the PTC through RNA-mediated molecular interactions. This architecture then favors the association of key NMD factors to elicit mRNA decay. Gene-specific blocking of EJC deposition by antisense oligonucleotides circumvents aberrant NMD promoted by mutant SRSF2, restoring the expression of PTC-containing transcript. Our study uncovered critical effects of SRSF2 mutants in hematologic malignancies, reflecting the regulation at multiple levels of RNA metabolism, from splicing to decay.
Project description:Mutations within genes encoding spliceosomal proteins are the most common class of mutations in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes, yet it is currently not well understood how these mutations impact hematopoiesis or RNA splicing. Here we report that mutations affecting the splicing factor SRSF2 alter its normal RNA recognition activity, resulting in impaired hematopoietic differentiation and myelodysplasia. Commonly occurring SRSF2 mutations impaired wildtype SRSF2’s normal RNA-binding avidity and preference for specific exonic splicing enhancer RNA motifs. Integration of murine and human transcriptome data identified recurrent mis-splicing of key transcriptional regulators in the presence of mutant SRSF2, including promotion of a highly conserved “poison” exon of EZH2 that results in nonsense-mediated decay and contributes to impaired hematopoiesis. These data provide a mechanistic basis for the enrichment of specific mutations in spliceosomal proteins in myelodysplasia, and suggest that altered RNA recognition activity is a novel mechanism of leukemogenesis. mRNA profiles of murine model and K562 cells expressing SRSF2 WT, mutants and knockdown of SRSF2 in TF-1 cells generated by deep sequencing.
Project description:Recognition and rapid degradation of mRNA harboring premature translation termination codons (PTCs) serves to protect cells from accumulating non-functional and potentially toxic truncated polypeptides. Targeting of PTC-containing transcripts is mediated by the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) pathway and requires a conserved set of proteins including UPF1, an RNA helicase whose ATPase activity is essential for NMD. Previously, we identified a functional interaction between the NMD machinery and terminating ribosomes based on 3' RNA decay fragments that accrue in UPF1 ATPase mutants. Herein, we show that those decay intermediates originate downstream of the PTC and harbor 80S ribosomes that migrate into the mRNA 3' UTR independent of canonical translation. Accumulation of 3' RNA decay fragments is determined by both RNA sequence downstream of the PTC and the inactivating mutation within the active site of UPF1. Our data reveal a failure in post-termination ribosome recycling in UPF1 ATPase mutants.
Project description:Loss of 'Survival of Motor Neurons' (SMN) leads to spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disease characterized by degeneration of spinal cord alpha motor neurons, resulting in muscle weakness, paralysis and death during early childhood. SMN is required for assembly of the core splicing machinery, and splicing defects were documented in SMA. We previously uncovered that Coactivator-Associated Methyltransferase-1 (CARM1) is abnormally up-regulated in SMA, leading to mis-regulation of a number of transcriptional and alternative splicing events. We report here that CARM1 can promote decay of a premature terminating codon (PTC)-containing mRNA reporter, suggesting it can act as a mediator of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). Interestingly, this pathway, while originally perceived as solely a surveillance mechanism preventing expression of potentially detrimental proteins, is now emerging as a highly regulated RNA decay pathway also acting on a subset of normal mRNAs. We further show that CARM1 associates with major NMD factor UPF1 and promotes its occupancy on PTC-containing transcripts. Finally, we identify a specific subset of NMD targets that are dependent on CARM1 for degradation and that are also misregulated in SMA, potentially adding exacerbated targeting of PTC-containing mRNAs to the already complex array of molecular defects associated with this disease.
Project description:The splicing factor SRSF1 promotes nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), a quality control mechanism that degrades mRNAs with premature termination codons (PTCs). Here we show that transcript-bound SRSF1 increases the binding of NMD factor UPF1 to mRNAs while in, or associated with, the nucleus, bypassing UPF2 recruitment and promoting NMD. SRSF1 promotes NMD when positioned downstream of a PTC, which resembles the mode of action of exon junction complex (EJC) and NMD factors. Moreover, splicing and/or EJC deposition increase the effect of SRSF1 on NMD. Lastly, SRSF1 enhances NMD of PTC-containing endogenous transcripts that result from various events. Our findings reveal an alternative mechanism for UPF1 recruitment, uncovering an additional connection between splicing and NMD. SRSF1's role in the mRNA's journey from splicing to decay has broad implications for gene expression regulation and genetic diseases.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a translation-linked process that destroys mRNAs with premature translation termination codons (PTCs). In mammalian cells, NMD is also linked to pre-mRNA splicing, usually PTCs trigger strong NMD only when positioned upstream of at least one intron. The exon junction complex (EJC) is believed to mediate the link between splicing and NMD in these systems. Here, we report that in Schizosaccharomyces pombe splicing also enhances NMD, but against the EJC model prediction, an intron stimulated NMD regardless of whether it is positioned upstream or downstream of the PTC and EJC components are not required. Still the effect of splicing seems to be direct-we have found that the important NMD determinant is the proximity of an intron to the PTC, not just the occurrence of splicing. On the basis of these results, we propose a new model to explain how splicing could affect NMD.
Project description:We have previously reported that the methylxanthine caffeine increases expression of the splicing factor SRSF2, the levels of which are normally controlled by a negative autoregulatory loop. In the present study we have investigated the mechanisms by which methylxanthines induce this aberrant overexpression. RT-PCR analyses suggested little impact of caffeine on SRSF2 total mRNA levels. Instead, caffeine induced changes in the levels of SRSF2 3' UTR splice variants. Although some of these variants were substrates for nonsense-medicated decay (NMD), and could potentially have been stabilized by caffeine-mediated inhibition of NMD, down-regulation of NMD by a genetic approach was not sufficient to reproduce the phenotype. Furthermore, cell-based assays demonstrated that some of the caffeine-induced variants were intrinsically more efficiently translated than others; the addition of caffeine increased the translational efficiency of most SRSF2 transcripts. MicroRNA array analyses revealed a significant caffeine-mediated decrease in the expression of two SRSF2-targeting miRs, both of which were shown to repress translation of specific SRSF2 splice variants. These data support a complex model whereby caffeine down-regulates SRSF2-targeting microRNAs, leading to an increase in SRSF2 translation, which in turn induces SRSF2 splicing. SRSF2 splice variants are then stabilized by caffeine-mediated NMD inhibition, breaking the normal negative feedback loop and allowing the aberrant increase in SRSF2 protein levels. These findings highlight the complexity of SRSF2 gene regulation, and suggest ways in which SRSF2 expression may be dysregulated in disease.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) is a eukaryotic mRNA surveillance system that selectively degrades transcripts with premature termination codons (PTC). Many RNA-binding proteins (RBP) regulate their expression levels by a negative feedback loop, in which RBP binds its own pre-mRNA and causes alternative splicing to introduce a PTC. We present a bioinformatic analysis integrating three data sources, eCLIP assays for a large RBP panel, shRNA inactivation of NMD pathway, and shRNA-depletion of RBPs followed by RNA-seq, to identify novel such autoregulatory feedback loops. We show that RBPs frequently bind their own pre-mRNAs, their exons respond prominently to NMD pathway disruption, and that the responding exons are enriched with nearby eCLIP peaks. We confirm previously proposed models of autoregulation in SRSF7 and U2AF1 genes and present two novel models, in which (i) SFPQ binds its mRNA and promotes switching to an alternative distal 3'-UTR that is targeted by NMD, and (ii) RPS3 binding activates a poison 5'-splice site in its pre-mRNA that leads to a frame shift and degradation by NMD. We also suggest specific splicing events that could be implicated in autoregulatory feedback loops in RBM39, HNRNPM, and U2AF2 genes. The results are available through a UCSC Genome Browser track hub.
Project description:The degradation of human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG, KCNH2) transcripts containing premature termination codon (PTC) mutations by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is an important mechanism of long QT syndrome type 2 (LQT2). The mechanisms governing the recognition of PTC-containing hERG transcripts as NMD substrates have not been established. We used a minigene system to study two frameshift mutations, R1032Gfs 25 and D1037Rfs 82. R1032Gfs 25 introduces a PTC in exon 14, whereas D1037Rfs 82 causes a PTC in the last exon (exon 15). We showed that R1032Gfs 25, but not D1037Rfs 82, reduced the level of mutant mRNA compared to the wild-type minigene in an NMD-dependent manner. The deletion of intron 14 prevented degradation of R1032Gfs 25 mRNA indicating that a downstream intron is required for NMD. The recognition and elimination of PTC-containing transcripts by NMD required that the mutation be positioned >54-60 nt upstream of the 3'-most exon-exon junction. Finally, we used a full-length hERG splicing-competent construct to show that inhibition of downstream intron splicing by antisense morpholino oligonucleotides inhibited NMD and rescued the functional expression of a third LQT2 mutation, Y1078. The present study defines the positional requirements for the susceptibility of LQT2 mutations to NMD and posits that the majority of reported LQT2 nonsense and frameshift mutations are potential targets of NMD.
Project description:Mutations affecting spliceosomal proteins are the most common mutations in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), but their role in MDS pathogenesis has not been delineated. Here we report that mutations affecting the splicing factor SRSF2 directly impair hematopoietic differentiation in vivo, which is not due to SRSF2 loss of function. By contrast, SRSF2 mutations alter SRSF2's normal sequence-specific RNA binding activity, thereby altering the recognition of specific exonic splicing enhancer motifs to drive recurrent mis-splicing of key hematopoietic regulators. This includes SRSF2 mutation-dependent splicing of EZH2, which triggers nonsense-mediated decay, which, in turn, results in impaired hematopoietic differentiation. These data provide a mechanistic link between a mutant spliceosomal protein, alterations in the splicing of key regulators, and impaired hematopoiesis.
Project description:Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a eukaryotic mRNA surveillance mechanism that detects and degrades mRNAs with premature termination codons (PTC+ mRNAs). In mammals, a termination codon is recognized as premature if it lies more than about 50 nucleotides upstream of the final intron position. More than a third of reliably inferred alternative splicing events in humans have been shown to result in PTC+ mRNA isoforms. As the mechanistic details of NMD have only recently been elucidated, we hypothesized that many PTC+ isoforms may have been cloned, characterized and deposited in the public databases, even though they would be targeted for degradation in vivo.We analyzed the human alternative protein isoforms described in the SWISS-PROT database and found that 144 (5.8% of 2,483) isoform sequences amenable to analysis, from 107 (7.9% of 1,363) SWISS-PROT entries, derive from PTC+ mRNA.For several of the PTC+ isoforms we identified, existing experimental evidence can be reinterpreted and is consistent with the action of NMD to degrade the transcripts. Several genes with mRNA isoforms that we identified as PTC+--calpain-10, the CDC-like kinases (CLKs) and LARD--show how previous experimental results may be understood in light of NMD.