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Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Feb;27(3):830-41. Epub 2006 Nov 13.

Role for Fox-1/Fox-2 in mediating the neuronal pathway of calcitonin/calcitonin gene-related peptide alternative RNA processing.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


Although multiple regulatory elements and protein factors are known to regulate the non-neuronal pathway of alternative processing of the calcitonin/calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) pre-mRNA, the mechanisms controlling the neuron-specific pathway have remained elusive. Here we report the identification of Fox-1 and Fox-2 proteins as novel regulators that mediate the neuron-specific splicing pattern. Fox-1 and Fox-2 proteins function to repress exon 4 inclusion, and this effect depends on two UGCAUG elements surrounding the 3' splice site of the calcitonin-specific exon 4. In neuron-like cells, mutation of a subset of UGCAUG elements promotes the non-neuronal pattern in which exon 4 is included. In HeLa cells, overexpression of Fox-1 or Fox-2 protein decreases exon 4 inclusion. Fox-1 and Fox-2 proteins interact with the UGCAUG elements specifically and regulate splicing by blocking U2AF(65) binding to the 3' splice site upstream of exon 4. We further investigated the inter-relationship between the UGCAUG silencer elements and the previously identified intronic and exonic splicing regulatory elements and found that exon 4 is regulated by an intricate balance of positive and negative regulation. These results define a critical role for Fox-1 and Fox-2 proteins in exon 4 inclusion of calcitonin/CGRP pre-mRNA and establish a regulatory network that controls the fate of exon 4.

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