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DBIRD complex integrates alternative mRNA splicing with RNA polymerase II transcript elongation.


Söding,  J.
Research Group of Computational Biology, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Close, P., East, P., Dirac-Svejstrup, A. B., Hartmann, H., Heron, M., Maslen, S., et al. (2012). DBIRD complex integrates alternative mRNA splicing with RNA polymerase II transcript elongation. Nature, 484(7394), 386-389. doi:10.1038/nature10925.

Alternative messenger RNA splicing is the main reason that vast mammalian proteomic complexity can be achieved with a limited number of genes. Splicing is physically and functionally coupled to transcription, and is greatly affected by the rate of transcript elongation 1–3 . As the nascent pre-mRNA emerges from transcrib- ing RNA polymerase II (RNAPII), it is assembled into a messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) particle; this is the functional form of the nascent pre-mRNA and determines the fate of the mature tran- script 4 . However, factors that connect the transcribing polymerase with the mRNP particle and help to integrate transcript elongation with mRNA splicing remain unclear. Here we characterize the human interactome of chromatin-associated mRNP particles. This led us to identify deleted in breast cancer 1 (DBC1) and ZNF326 ( which we call ZNF-protein interacting with nuclear mRNPs and DBC1 (ZIRD)) as subunits of a novel protein complex — named DBIRD — that binds directly to RNAPII. DBIRD regulates alternative splicing of a large set of exons embedded in ( A 1 T)-rich DNA, and is present at the affected exons. RNA- interference-mediated DBIRD depletion results in region-specific decreases in transcript elongation, particularly across areas encom- passing affected exons. Together, these data indicate that the DBIRD complex acts at the interface between mRNP particles and RNAPII, integrating transcript elongation with the regulation of alternative splicing