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RNA. 2008 Oct;14(10):2038-49. doi: 10.1261/rna.1212008. Epub 2008 Aug 21.

A cell-based screen for splicing regulators identifies hnRNP LL as a distinct signal-induced repressor of CD45 variable exon 4.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-9038, USA.


The human CD45 gene encodes a protein-tyrosine phosphatase that exhibits differential isoform expression in resting and activated T cells due to alternative splicing of three variable exons. Previously, we have used biochemical methods to identify two regulatory proteins, hnRNP L and PSF, which contribute to the activation-induced skipping of CD45 via the ESS1 regulatory element in variable exon 4. Here we report the identification of a third CD45 regulatory factor, hnRNP L-like (hnRNP LL), via a cell-based screen for clonal variants that exhibit an activation-like phenotype of CD45 splicing even under resting conditions. Microarray analysis of two splicing-altered clones revealed increased expression of hnRNP LL relative to wild-type cells. We further demonstrate that both the expression of hnRNP LL protein and its binding to ESS1 are up-regulated in wild-type cells upon activation. Forced overexpression of hnRNP LL in wild-type cells results in an increase in exon repression, while knock-down of hnRNP LL eliminates activation-induced exon skipping. Interestingly, analysis of the binding of hnRNP L and hnRNP LL to mutants of ESS1 reveals that these proteins have overlapping, but distinct binding requirements. Together, these data establish that hnRNP LL plays a critical and unique role in the signal-induced regulation of CD45 and demonstrate the utility of cell-based screens for the identification of novel splicing regulatory factors.

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