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EMBO J. 2005 Aug 3;24(15):2792-802. Epub 2005 Jul 7.

HnRNP L represses exon splicing via a regulated exonic splicing silencer.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.


Skipping of mammalian exons during pre-mRNA splicing is commonly mediated by the activity of exonic splicing silencers (ESSs). We have recently identified a regulated ESS within variable exon 4 of the CD45 gene, named ESS1, that is necessary and sufficient for partial exon repression in resting T cells and has additional silencing activity upon T-cell activation. In this study, we identify three heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) that bind specifically to ESS1. The binding of one of these proteins, hnRNP-L, is significantly decreased by mutations that disrupt both the basal and induced activities of ESS1. Recombinant hnRNP-L functions to repress exon inclusion in vitro in an ESS1-dependent manner. Moreover, depletion of hnRNP-L, either in vitro or in vivo, leads to increased exon inclusion. In contrast, the other ESS1-binding proteins, PTB and hnRNP E2, do not discriminate between wild-type and mutant ESS1 in binding studies, and do not specifically alter ESS1-dependent splicing in vitro. Together, these studies demonstrate that hnRNP-L is the primary protein through which CD45 exon 4 silencing is mediated by the regulatory sequence ESS1.

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