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J Biol Chem. 2013 Jan 25;288(4):2816-28. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.410803. Epub 2012 Dec 11.

Serine arginine splicing factor 3 is involved in enhanced splicing of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase RNA in response to nutrients and hormones in liver.

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Department of Biochemistry, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506, USA.


Expression of G6PD is controlled by changes in the degree of splicing of the G6PD mRNA in response to nutrients in the diet. This regulation involves an exonic splicing enhancer (ESE) in exon 12 of the mRNA. Using the G6PD model, we demonstrate that nutrients and hormones control the activity of serine-arginine-rich (SR) proteins, a family of splicing co-activators, and thereby regulate the splicing of G6PD mRNA. In primary rat hepatocyte cultures, insulin increased the amount of phosphorylated SR proteins, and this effect was counteracted by arachidonic acid. The results of RNA affinity analysis with nuclear extracts from intact liver demonstrated that the SR splicing factor proteins SRSF3 and SRSF4 bound to the G6PD ESE. Consequently, siRNA-mediated depletion of SRSF3, but not SRSF4, in liver cells inhibited accumulation of both mRNA expressed from a minigene containing exon 12 and the endogenous G6PD mRNA. Consistent with the functional role of SRSF3 in regulating splicing, SRSF3 was observed to bind to the ESE in both intact cells and in animals using RNA immunoprecipitation analysis. Furthermore, refeeding significantly increased the binding of SRSF3 coincident with increased splicing and expression of G6PD. Together, these data establish that nutritional regulation of SRSF3 activity is involved in the differential splicing of the G6PD transcript in response to nutrients. Nutritional regulation of other SR proteins presents a regulatory mechanism that could cause widespread changes in mRNA splicing. Nutrients are therefore novel regulators of mRNA splicing.

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