Modulator-Dependent RBPs Changes Alternative Splicing Outcomes in Kidney Cancer.
ABSTRACT: Alternative splicing alterations can contribute to human disease. The ability of an RNA-binding protein to regulate alternative splicing outcomes can be modulated by a variety of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. In this study, we use a computational framework to investigate the roles of certain genes, termed modulators, on changing RBPs' effect on splicing regulation. A total of 1,040,254 modulator-mediated RBP-splicing interactions were identified, including 137 RBPs, 4,309 splicing events and 2,905 modulator candidates from TCGA-KIRC RNA sequencing data. Modulators function categories were defined according to the correlation changes between RBPs expression and their targets splicing outcomes. QKI, as one of the RBPs influencing the most splicing events, attracted our attention in this study: 2,014 changing triplets were identified, including 1,101 modulators and 187 splicing events. Pathway enrichment analysis showed that QKI splicing targets were enriched in tight junction pathway, endocytosis and MAPK signaling pathways, all of which are highly associated with cancer development and progression. This is the first instance of a comprehensive study on how alternative splicing outcomes changes are associated with different expression level of certain proteins, even though they were regulated by the same RBP. Our work may provide a novel view on understanding alternative splicing mechanisms in kidney cancer.
Project description:The Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene has a complex expression pattern regulated by multiple tissue-specific promoters and by alternative splicing (AS) of the resulting transcripts. Here, we used an RNAi-based approach coupled with DMD-targeted RNA-seq to identify RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that regulate splicing of its skeletal muscle isoform (Dp427m) in a human muscular cell line. A total of 16 RBPs comprising the major regulators of muscle-specific splicing events were tested. We show that distinct combinations of RBPs maintain the correct inclusion in the Dp427m of exons that undergo spatio-temporal AS in other dystrophin isoforms. In particular, our findings revealed the complex networks of RBPs contributing to the splicing of the two short DMD exons 71 and 78, the inclusion of exon 78 in the adult Dp427m isoform being crucial for muscle function. Among the RBPs tested, QKI and DDX5/DDX17 proteins are important determinants of DMD exon inclusion. This is the first large-scale study to determine which RBP proteins act on the physiological splicing of the DMD gene. Our data shed light on molecular mechanisms contributing to the expression of the different dystrophin isoforms, which could be influenced by a change in the function or expression level of the identified RBPs.
Project description:RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) play a critical role in the regulation of alternative splicing (AS), a prevalent mechanism for generating transcriptomic and proteomic diversity in eukaryotic cells. Studies have shown that AS can be regulated by RBPs in a binding-site-position dependent manner. Depending on where RBPs bind, splicing of an alternative exon can be enhanced or suppressed. Therefore, spatial analyses of RBP motifs and binding sites around alternative exons will help elucidate splicing regulation by RBPs. The development of high-throughput sequencing technologies has allowed transcriptome-wide analyses of AS and RBP-RNA interactions. Given a set of differentially regulated alternative exons obtained from RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) experiments, the rMAPS web server (http://rmaps.cecsresearch.org) performs motif analyses of RBPs in the vicinity of alternatively spliced exons and creates RNA maps that depict the spatial patterns of RBP motifs. Similarly, rMAPS can also perform spatial analyses of RBP-RNA binding sites identified by cross-linking immunoprecipitation sequencing (CLIP-seq) experiments. We anticipate rMAPS will be a useful tool for elucidating RBP regulation of alternative exon splicing using high-throughput sequencing data.
Project description:RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are key regulators of posttranscriptional processes such as RNA maturation, localization, turnover and translation. Despite their dysregulation in various diseases including cancer, the landscape of RBP expression in human cancer has not been well elucidated. Here, we built a comprehensive expression landscape of 1504 RBPs across 16 human cancer types, which revealed that RBPs are predominantly upregulated in tumours and this phenomenon is affected by the tumour immune subtypes and microenvironment. Across different cancer types, 109 RBPs are consistently upregulated while 41 RBPs are consistently downregulated. These up-regulated and down-regulated RBPs show distinct molecular characteristics and prognostic effects, whereas their dysregulation is mediated by distinct cis/trans-regulatory mechanisms. Finally, we validated one candidate PABPC1L that might promote colon tumorigenesis by regulating mRNA splicing. In summary, we built a comprehensive expression landscape of RBPs across different cancer types and identified consistently dysregulated RBPs which could be novel targets for developing broad-spectrum anticancer agents.
Project description:RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are essential modulators of transcription and translation frequently dysregulated in cancer. We systematically interrogated RBP dependencies in human cancers using a comprehensive CRISPR/Cas9 domain-focused screen targeting RNA-binding domains of 490 classical RBPs. This uncovered a network of physically interacting RBPs upregulated in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and crucial for maintaining RNA splicing and AML survival. Genetic or pharmacologic targeting of one key member of this network, RBM39, repressed cassette exon inclusion and promoted intron retention within mRNAs encoding HOXA9 targets as well as in other RBPs preferentially required in AML. The effects of RBM39 loss on splicing further resulted in preferential lethality of spliceosomal mutant AML, providing a strategy for treatment of AML bearing RBP splicing mutations.
Project description:The worldwide incidence of skin cutaneous melanoma (SKCM) is increasing at a more rapid rate than other tumors. Aberrant alternative splicing (AS) is found to be common in cancer; however, how this process contributes to cancer prognosis still remains largely unknown. Mutations in RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) may trigger great changes in the splicing process. In this study, we comprehensively analyzed DNA and RNA sequencing data and clinical information of SKCM patients, together with widespread changes in splicing patterns induced by RBP mutations. We screened mRNA expression-related and prognosis-related mutations in RBPs and investigated the potential affections of RBP mutations on splicing patterns. Mutations in 853 RBPs were demonstrated to be correlated with splicing aberrations (p < 0.01). Functional enrichment analysis revealed that these alternative splicing events (ASEs) may participate in tumor progress by regulating the modification process, cell-cycle checkpoint, metabolic pathways, MAPK signaling, PI3K-Akt signaling, and other important pathways in cancer. We also constructed a prediction model based on overall survival-related AS events (OS-ASEs) affected by RBP mutations, which exhibited a good predict efficiency with the area under the curve of 0.989. Our work highlights the importance of RBP mutations in splicing alterations and provides effective biomarkers for prediction of prognosis of SKCM.
Project description:Single-cell transcriptomes are established by transcription factors (TFs), which determine a cell's gene-expression complement. Post-transcriptional regulation of single-cell transcriptomes, and the RNA binding proteins (RBPs) responsible, are more technically challenging to determine, and combinatorial TF-RBP coordination of single-cell transcriptomes remains unexplored. We used fluorescent reporters to visualize alternative splicing in single Caenorhabditis elegans neurons, identifying complex splicing patterns in the neuronal kinase sad-1. Most neurons express both isoforms, but the ALM mechanosensory neuron expresses only the exon-included isoform, while its developmental sister cell the BDU neuron expresses only the exon-skipped isoform. A cascade of three cell-specific TFs and two RBPs are combinatorially required for sad-1 exon inclusion. Mechanistically, TFs combinatorially ensure expression of RBPs, which interact with sad-1 pre-mRNA. Thus a combinatorial TF-RBP code controls single-neuron sad-1 splicing. Additionally, we find 'phenotypic convergence,' previously observed for TFs, also applies to RBPs: different RBP combinations generate similar splicing outcomes in different neurons.
Project description:RNA binding proteins (RBPs) are a large protein family that plays important roles at almost all levels of gene regulation through interacting with RNAs, and contributes to numerous biological processes. However, the complete list of eukaryotic RBPs including human is still unavailable. Here, we systematically identified RBPs in 162 eukaryotic species based on both computational analysis of RNA binding domains (RBDs) and large-scale RNA binding proteomic data, and established a comprehensive eukaryotic RBP database, EuRBPDB (http://EuRBPDB.syshospital.org). We identified a total of 311 571 RBPs with RBDs (corresponding to 6368 ortholog groups) and 3,651 non-canonical RBPs without known RBDs. EuRBPDB provides detailed annotations for each RBP, including basic information and functional annotation. Moreover, we systematically investigated RBPs in the context of cancer biology based on published literatures, PPI-network and large-scale omics data. To facilitate the exploration of the clinical relevance of RBPs, we additionally designed a cancer web interface to systematically and interactively display the biological features of RBPs in various types of cancers. EuRBPDB has a user-friendly web interface with browse and search functions, as well as data downloading function. We expect that EuRBPDB will be a widely-used resource and platform for both the communities of RNA biology and cancer biology.
Project description:Alternative splicing of pre-messenger RNA transcripts enables the generation of multiple protein isoforms from the same gene locus, providing a major source of protein diversity in mammalian genomes. RNA binding proteins (RBPs) bind to RNA to control splice site choice and define which exons are included in the resulting mature RNA transcript. However, depending on where the RBPs bind relative to splice sites, they can activate or repress splice site usage. To explore this position-specific regulation, in vivo binding sites identified by methods such as cross-linking and immunoprecipitation (CLIP) are integrated with alternative splicing events identified by RNA-seq or microarray. Merging these data sets enables the generation of a "splicing map," where CLIP signal relative to a merged meta-exon provides a simple summary of the position-specific effect of binding on splicing regulation. Here, we provide RBP-Maps, a software tool to simplify generation of these maps and enable researchers to rapidly query regulatory patterns of an RBP of interest. Further, we discuss various alternative approaches to generate such splicing maps, focusing on how decisions in construction (such as the use of peak versus read density, or whole-reads versus only single-nucleotide candidate crosslink positions) can affect the interpretation of these maps using example eCLIP data from the 150 RBPs profiled by the ENCODE consortium.
Project description:Sequence-specific interactions of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) with their target transcripts are essential for post-transcriptional gene expression regulation in mammals. However, accurate prediction of RBP motif sites has been difficult because many RBPs recognize short and degenerate sequences. Here we describe a hidden Markov model (HMM)-based algorithm mCarts to predict clustered functional RBP-binding sites by effectively integrating the number and spacing of individual motif sites, their accessibility in local RNA secondary structures and cross-species conservation. This algorithm learns and quantifies rules of these features, taking advantage of a large number of in vivo RBP-binding sites obtained from cross-linking and immunoprecipitation data. We applied this algorithm to study two representative RBP families, Nova and Mbnl, which regulate tissue-specific alternative splicing through interacting with clustered YCAY and YGCY elements, respectively, and predicted their binding sites in the mouse transcriptome. Despite the low information content in individual motif elements, our algorithm made specific predictions for successful experimental validation. Analysis of predicted sites also revealed cases of extensive and distal RBP-binding sites important for splicing regulation. This algorithm can be readily applied to other RBPs to infer their RNA-regulatory networks. The software is freely available at http://zhanglab.c2b2.columbia.edu/index.php/MCarts.
Project description:Gene expression is tightly regulated at the post-transcriptional level through splicing, transport, translation, and decay. RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) play key roles in post-transcriptional gene regulation, and genetic variants that alter RBP-RNA interactions can affect gene products and functions. We developed a computational method ASPRIN (Allele-Specific Protein-RNA Interaction) that uses a joint analysis of CLIP-seq (cross-linking and immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing) and RNA-seq data to identify genetic variants that alter RBP-RNA interactions by directly observing the allelic preference of RBP from CLIP-seq experiments as compared to RNA-seq. We used ASPRIN to systematically analyze CLIP-seq and RNA-seq data for 166 RBPs in two ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) cell lines. ASPRIN identified genetic variants that alter RBP-RNA interactions by modifying RBP binding motifs within RNA. Moreover, through an integrative ASPRIN analysis with population-scale RNA-seq data, we showed that ASPRIN can help reveal potential causal variants that affect alternative splicing via allele-specific protein-RNA interactions.