Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Feb;21(4):1285-96.

The CELF family of RNA binding proteins is implicated in cell-specific and developmentally regulated alternative splicing.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Alternative splicing of cardiac troponin T (cTNT) exon 5 undergoes a developmentally regulated switch such that exon inclusion predominates in embryonic, but not adult, striated muscle. We previously described four muscle-specific splicing enhancers (MSEs) within introns flanking exon 5 in chicken cTNT that are both necessary and sufficient for exon inclusion in embryonic muscle. We also demonstrated that CUG-binding protein (CUG-BP) binds a conserved CUG motif within a human cTNT MSE and positively regulates MSE-dependent exon inclusion. Here we report that CUG-BP is one of a novel family of developmentally regulated RNA binding proteins that includes embryonically lethal abnormal vision-type RNA binding protein 3 (ETR-3). This family, which we call CELF proteins for CUG-BP- and ETR-3-like factors, specifically bound MSE-containing RNAs in vitro and activated MSE-dependent exon inclusion of cTNT minigenes in vivo. The expression of two CELF proteins is highly restricted to brain. CUG-BP, ETR-3, and CELF4 are more broadly expressed, and expression is developmentally regulated in striated muscle and brain. Changes in the level of expression and isoforms of ETR-3 in two different developmental systems correlated with regulated changes in cTNT splicing. A switch from cTNT exon skipping to inclusion tightly correlated with induction of ETR-3 protein expression during differentiation of C2C12 myoblasts. During heart development, the switch in cTNT splicing correlated with a transition in ETR-3 protein isoforms. We propose that ETR-3 is a major regulator of cTNT alternative splicing and that the CELF family plays an important regulatory role in cell-specific alternative splicing during normal development and disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk