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Sci Rep. 2013;3:2054. doi: 10.1038/srep02054.

Cold-induced RNA-binding proteins regulate circadian gene expression by controlling alternative polyadenylation.

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CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200031, China.


The body temperature is considered a universal cue by which the master clock synchronizes the peripheral clocks in mammals, but the mechanism is not fully understood. Here we identified two cold-induced RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), Cirbp and Rbm3, as important regulators for the temperature entrained circadian gene expression. The depletion of Cirbp or Rbm3 significantly reduced the amplitudes of core circadian genes. PAR-CLIP analyses showed that the 3'UTR binding sites of Cirbp and Rbm3 were significantly enriched near the polyadenylation sites (PASs). Furthermore, the depletion of Cirbp or Rbm3 shortened 3'UTR, whereas low temperature (upregulating Cirbp and Rbm3) lengthened 3'UTR. Remarkably, we found that they repressed the usage of proximal PASs by binding to the common 3'UTR, and many cases of proximal/distal PAS selection regulated by them showed strong circadian oscillations. Our results suggested that Cirbp and Rbm3 regulated the circadian gene expression by controlling alternative polyadenylation (APA).

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