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Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Jul;33(13):2560-73. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01380-12. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

αCP Poly(C) binding proteins act as global regulators of alternative polyadenylation.

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Department of Genetics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


We have previously demonstrated that the KH-domain protein αCP binds to a 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) C-rich motif of the nascent human alpha-globin (hα-globin) transcript and enhances the efficiency of 3' processing. Here we assess the genome-wide impact of αCP RNA-protein (RNP) complexes on 3' processing with a specific focus on its role in alternative polyadenylation (APA) site utilization. The major isoforms of αCP were acutely depleted from a human hematopoietic cell line, and the impact on mRNA representation and poly(A) site utilization was determined by direct RNA sequencing (DRS). Bioinformatic analysis revealed 357 significant alterations in poly(A) site utilization that could be specifically linked to the αCP depletion. These APA events correlated strongly with the presence of C-rich sequences in close proximity to the impacted poly(A) addition sites. The most significant linkage was the presence of a C-rich motif within a window 30 to 40 bases 5' to poly(A) signals (AAUAAA) that were repressed upon αCP depletion. This linkage is consistent with a general role for αCPs as enhancers of 3' processing. These findings predict a role for αCPs in posttranscriptional control pathways that can alter the coding potential and/or levels of expression of subsets of mRNAs in the mammalian transcriptome.

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