RNA Binding Motif 5 (RBM5) in the CNS-Moving Beyond Cancer to Harness RNA Splicing to Mitigate the Consequences of Brain Injury.
ABSTRACT: Gene splicing modulates the potency of cell death effectors, alters neuropathological disease processes, influences neuronal recovery, but may also direct distinct mechanisms of secondary brain injury. Therapeutic targeting of RNA splicing is a promising avenue for next-generation CNS treatments. RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) regulate a variety of RNA species and are prime candidates in the hunt for druggable targets to manipulate and tailor gene-splicing responses in the brain. RBPs preferentially recognize unique consensus sequences in targeted mRNAs. Also, RBPs often contain multiple RNA-binding domains (RBDs)-each having a unique consensus sequence-suggesting the possibility that drugs could be developed to block individual functional domains, increasing the precision of RBP-targeting therapies. Empirical characterization of most RBPs is lacking and represents a major barrier to advance this emerging therapeutic area. There is a paucity of data on the role of RBPs in the brain including, identification of their unique mRNA targets, defining how CNS insults affect their levels and elucidating which RBPs (and individual domains within) to target to improve neurological outcomes. This review focuses on the state-of-the-art of the RBP tumor suppressor RNA binding motif 5 (RBM5) in the CNS. We discuss its potent pro-death roles in cancer, which motivated our interest to study it in the brain. We review recent studies showing that RBM5 levels are increased after CNS trauma and that it promotes neuronal death in vitro. Finally, we conclude with recent reports on the first set of RBM5 regulated genes identified in the intact brain, and discuss how those findings provide new clues germane to its potential function(s) in the CNS, and pose new questions on its therapeutic utility to mitigate CNS injury.
Project description:RNA binding motif 5 (RBM5) is a nuclear protein that modulates gene transcription and mRNA splicing in cancer cells. The brain is among the highest RBM5-expressing organ in the body but its mRNA target(s) or functions in the CNS have not been elucidated. Here we knocked down (KO) RBM5 in primary rat cortical neurons and analyzed total RNA extracts by gene microarray vs. neurons transduced with lentivirus to deliver control (non-targeting) shRNA. The mRNA levels of Sec23A (involved in ER-Golgi transport) and the small GTPase Rab4a (involved in endocytosis/protein trafficking) were increased in RBM5 KO neurons relative to controls. At the protein level, only Rab4a was significantly increased in RBM5 KO extracts. Also, elevated Rab4a levels in KO neurons were associated with decreased membrane levels of oligomeric serotonin transporters (SERT). Finally, RBM5 KO was associated with increased uptake of membrane-derived monomeric SERT. SIGNIFICANCE:Rab4a is involved in the regulation of endocytosis and protein trafficking in cells. In the CNS it regulates diverse neurobiological functions including (but not limited to) trafficking of transmembrane proteins involved in neurotransmission (e.g. SERT), maintaining dendritic spine size, promoting axonal growth, and modulating cognition. Our findings suggest that RBM5 regulates Rab4a in rat neurons.
Project description:Similar to many genes involved in programmed cell death (PCD), the caspase 2 (casp-2) gene generates both proapoptotic and antiapoptotic isoforms by alternative splicing. Using a yeast RNA-protein interaction assay, we identified RBM5 (also known as LUCA-15) as a protein that binds to casp-2 pre-mRNA. In both transfected cells and in vitro splicing assay, RBM5 enhances the formation of proapoptotic Casp-2L. RBM5 binds to a U/C-rich sequence immediately upstream of the previously identified In100 splicing repressor element. Our mutagenesis experiments demonstrate that RBM5 binding to this intronic sequence regulates the ratio of proapoptotic/antiapoptotic casp-2 splicing isoforms, suggesting that casp-2 splicing regulation by RBM5 may contribute to its tumor suppressor activity. Our work has uncovered a player in casp-2 alternative splicing regulation and revealed a link between the alternative splicing regulator and the candidate tumor suppressor gene. Together with previous studies, our work suggests that splicing control of cell death genes may be an important aspect in tumorigenesis. Enhancing the expression or activities of splicing regulators that promote the production of proapoptotic splicing isoforms might provide a therapeutic approach to cancer.
Project description:UNLABELLED: Transcription-induced chimerism, a mechanism involving the transcription and intergenic splicing of two consecutive genes, has recently been estimated to account for approximately 5% of the human transcriptome. Despite this prevalence, the regulation and function of these fused transcripts remains largely uncharacterised. RESULTS: We identified three novel transcription-induced chimeras resulting from the intergenic splicing of a single RNA transcript incorporating the two neighbouring 3p21.3 tumour suppressor locus genes, RBM6 and RBM5, which encode the RNA Binding Motif protein 6 and RNA Binding Motif protein 5, respectively. Each of the three novel chimeric transcripts lacked exons 3, 6, 20 and 21 of RBM6 and exon 1 of RBM5. Differences between the transcripts were associated with the presence or absence of exon 4, exon 5 and a 17 nucleotide (nt) sequence from intron 10 of RBM6. All three chimeric transcripts incorporated the canonical splice sites from both genes (excluding the 17 nt intron 10 insertion). Differential expression was observed in tumour tissue compared to non-tumour tissue, and amongst tumour types. In breast tumour tissue, chimeric expression was associated with elevated levels of RBM6 and RBM5 mRNA, and increased tumour size. No protein expression was detected by in vitro transcription/translation. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that RBM6 mRNA experiences altered co-transcriptional gene regulation in certain cancers. The results also suggest that RBM6-RBM5 transcription-induced chimerism might be a process that is linked to the tumour-associated increased transcriptional activity of the RBM6 gene. It appears that none of the transcription-induced chimeras generates a protein product; however, the novel alternative splicing, which affects putative functional domains within exons 3, 6 and 11 of RBM6, does suggest that the generation of these chimeric transcripts has functional relevance. Finally, the association of chimeric expression with breast tumour size suggests that RBM6-RBM5 chimeric expression may be a potential tumour differentiation marker.
Project description:Alternative splicing of precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) is common in mammalian cells and enables the production of multiple gene products from a single gene, thus increasing transcriptome and proteome diversity. Disturbance of splicing regulation is associated with many human diseases; however, key splicing factors that control tissue-specific alternative splicing remain largely undefined. In an unbiased genetic screen for essential male fertility genes in the mouse, we identified the RNA binding protein RBM5 (RNA binding motif 5) as an essential regulator of haploid male germ cell pre-mRNA splicing and fertility. Mice carrying a missense mutation (R263P) in the second RNA recognition motif (RRM) of RBM5 exhibited spermatid differentiation arrest, germ cell sloughing and apoptosis, which ultimately led to azoospermia (no sperm in the ejaculate) and male sterility. Molecular modelling suggested that the R263P mutation resulted in compromised mRNA binding. Within the adult mouse testis, RBM5 localises to somatic and germ cells including spermatogonia, spermatocytes and round spermatids. Through the use of RNA pull down coupled with microarrays, we identified 11 round spermatid-expressed mRNAs as putative RBM5 targets. Importantly, the R263P mutation affected pre-mRNA splicing and resulted in a shift in the isoform ratios, or the production of novel spliced transcripts, of most targets. Microarray analysis of isolated round spermatids suggests that altered splicing of RBM5 target pre-mRNAs affected expression of genes in several pathways, including those implicated in germ cell adhesion, spermatid head shaping, and acrosome and tail formation. In summary, our findings reveal a critical role for RBM5 as a pre-mRNA splicing regulator in round spermatids and male fertility. Our findings also suggest that the second RRM of RBM5 is pivotal for appropriate pre-mRNA splicing.
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: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:Mutations in the spliceosomal RNA binding protein RBM10 cause TARP syndrome and are frequently observed in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). We have previously shown that RBM10 enhances exon skipping of its target genes, including its paralog RBM5. Here, we report that RBM10 negatively regulates its own mRNA and protein expression and that of RBM5 by promoting alternative splicing-coupled nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (AS-NMD). Through computational analysis and experimental validation, we identified RBM10-promoted skipping of exon 6 or 12 in RBM10 and exon 6 or 16 in RBM5 as the underlying AS-NMD events. Importantly, we showed that LUAD-associated mutations affecting splice sites of RBM10 exons 6 or 12 abolished exon inclusion and correlated with reduced expression of RBM10 RNA. Together, our investigations have revealed novel molecular mechanisms underlying RBM10 autoregulation and cross-regulation of RBM5, thereby providing insights concerning the functions of RBM10 under various physiological and pathological conditions. Our combined computational and experimental approach should be useful for elucidating the role of AS-NMD in auto- and cross-regulation by other splicing regulators.
Project description:Splicing factors (SFs) coordinate nuclear intron/exon splicing of RNA. Splicing factor disturbances can cause cell death. RNA binding motif 5 (RBM5) and 10 (RBM10) promote apoptosis in cancer cells by activating detrimental alternative splicing of key death/survival genes. The role(s) of RBM5/10 in neurons has not been established. Here, we report that RBM5 knockdown in human neuronal cells decreases caspase activation by staurosporine. In contrast, RBM10 knockdown augments caspase activation. To determine whether brain injury alters RBM signaling, we measured RBM5/10 protein in mouse cortical/hippocampus homogenates after controlled cortical impact (CCI) traumatic brain injury (TBI) plus hemorrhagic shock (CCI+HS). The RBM5/10 staining was higher 48 to 72 hours after injury and appeared to be increased in neuronal nuclei of the hippocampus. We also measured levels of other nuclear SFs known to be essential for cellular viability and report that splicing factor 1 (SF1) but not splicing factor 3A (SF3A) decreased 4 to 72 hours after injury. Finally, we confirm that RBM5/10 regulate protein expression of several target genes including caspase-2, cellular FLICE-like inhibitory protein (c-FLIP), LETM1 Domain-Containing Protein 1 (LETMD1), and amyloid precursor-like protein 2 (APLP2) in neuronal cells. Knockdown of RBM5 appeared to increase expression of c-FLIP(s), LETMD1, and APLP2 but decrease caspase-2.
Project description:The RNA binding motif protein 5 (RBM5), also known as Luca15 or H37, is a component of prespliceosomal complexes that regulates the alternative splicing of several mRNAs, such as Fas and caspase-2. The RBM5 gene is located at the 2p21.3 chromosomal region, which is strongly associated with lung cancer and many other cancers. Both increased and decreased levels of RBM5 can play a role in tumor progression. In particular, downregulation of rbm5 is involved in lung cancer and other cancers upon Ras activation, and, also, represents a molecular signature associated with metastasis in various solid tumors. On the other hand, upregulation of RBM5 occurs in breast and ovarian cancer. Moreover, RBM5 was also found to be involved in the early stage of the HIV-1 viral cycle, representing a potential target for the treatment of the HIV-1 infection. While the molecular basis for RNA recognition and ubiquitin interaction has been structurally characterized, small molecules binding this zinc finger (ZF) domain that might contribute to characterizing their activity and to the development of potential therapeutic agents have not yet been reported. Using an NMR screening of a fragment library we identified several binders and the complex of the most promising one, compound 1, with the RBM5 ZF1 was structurally characterized in solution. Interestingly, the binding mechanism reveals that 1 occupies the RNA binding pocket and is therefore able to compete with the RNA to bind RBM5 RanBP2-type ZF domain, as indicated by NMR studies.
Project description:Dynamic regulation of RNA molecules is critical to the survival and development of cells. Messenger RNAs are transcribed in the nucleus as intron-containing pre-mRNAs and bound by RNA-binding proteins, which control their fate by regulating RNA stability, splicing, polyadenylation, translation, and cellular localization. Most RBPs have distinct mRNA-binding and functional domains; thus, the function of an RBP can be studied independently of RNA-binding by artificially recruiting the RBP to a reporter RNA and then measuring the effect of RBP recruitment on reporter splicing, stability, translational efficiency, or intracellular trafficking. These tethered function assays therefore do not require prior knowledge of the RBP's endogenous RNA targets or its binding sites within these RNAs. Here, we provide an overview of the experimental strategy and the strengths and limitations of common tethering systems. We illustrate specific examples of the application of the assay in elucidating the function of various classes of RBPs. We also discuss how classic tethering assay approaches and insights gained from them have been empowered by more recent technological advances, including efficient genome editing and high-throughput RNA-sequencing.