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PLoS One. 2008 Jan 9;3(1):e1418. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001418.

Signal-regulated Pre-mRNA occupancy by the general splicing factor U2AF.

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Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH, Institut für Toxikologie und Genetik, Karlsruhe, Germany.


Alternative splicing of transcripts in a signal-dependent manner has emerged as an important concept to ensure appropriate expression of splice variants under different conditions. Binding of the general splicing factor U2AF to splice sites preceding alternatively spliced exons has been suggested to be an important step for splice site recognition. For splicing to proceed, U2AF has to be replaced by other factors. We show here that U2AF interacts with the signal-dependent splice regulator Sam68 and that forced expression of Sam68 results in enhanced binding of the U2AF65 subunit to an alternatively spliced pre-mRNA sequence in vivo. Conversely, the rapid signal-induced and phosphorylation-dependent interference with Sam68 binding to RNA was accompanied by reduced pre-mRNA occupancy of U2AF in vivo. Our data suggest that Sam68 can affect splice site occupancy by U2AF in signal-dependent splicing. We propose that the induced release of U2AF from pre-mRNA provides a regulatory step to control alternative splicing.

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