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Cancer Res. 2012 Feb 15;72(4):1023-34. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-3647. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

Mammary gland selective excision of c-jun identifies its role in mRNA splicing.

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Department of Cancer Biology, Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


The c-jun gene regulates cellular proliferation and apoptosis via direct regulation of cellular gene expression. Alternative splicing of pre-mRNA increases the diversity of protein functions, and alternate splicing events occur in tumors. Here, by targeting the excision of the endogenous c-jun gene within the mouse mammary epithelium, we have identified its selective role as an inhibitor of RNA splicing. Microarray-based assessment of gene expression, on laser capture microdissected c-jun(-/-) mammary epithelium, showed that endogenous c-jun regulates the expression of approximately 50 genes governing RNA splicing. In addition, genome-wide splicing arrays showed that endogenous c-jun regulated the alternate exon of approximately 147 genes, and 18% of these were either alternatively spliced in human tumors or involved in apoptosis. Endogenous c-jun also was shown to reduce splicing activity, which required the c-jun dimerization domain. Together, our findings suggest that c-jun directly attenuates RNA splicing efficiency, which may be of broad biologic importance as alternative splicing plays an important role in both cancer development and therapy resistance.

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