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Genes Cells. 2004 Feb;9(2):121-30.

Tra2 beta, SF2/ASF and SRp30c modulate the function of an exonic splicing enhancer in exon 10 of tau pre-mRNA.

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Division of Structural Cellular Biology, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, 8916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara 630-0101, Japan.


Some of mutations in the tau gene, which were found in frontotemporal dementia with Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17), affect alternative splicing of its exon 10 which encodes one of four microtubule-binding motifs. To examine the molecular mechanisms responsible for aberrant splicing of the tau gene containing mutations linked to FTDP-17, we performed Exon trapping and binding assay using tau exon 10 pre-mRNA and nuclear extracts of neuroblastoma cell lines and in vitro splicing using dsx-substrate. We determined that 5' site of tau exon 10 (nucleotides 12-45) possesses exonic splicing enhancer (ESE) activities in vitro splicing and the FTDP-17-linked mutations affect the ESE activities and alter the splicing patterns of tau exon 10. Tra2 beta directly and ASF/SF2 indirectly associated with the ESE of wild tau exon 10. The binding amounts of these SR proteins to tau exon 10 bearing N279K mutation increased and they enhanced splicing the mutant tau exon 10. SRp30c also enhanced the splicing of tau exon 10. These results suggest that mutations in tau exon 10 that are linked to FTDP-17 affect the ESE activities by altering the binding of some SR proteins to its pre-mRNA.

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