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Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 Jul 6;46(12):6344-6355. doi: 10.1093/nar/gky267.

HITS-CLIP in various brain areas reveals new targets and new modalities of RNA binding by fragile X mental retardation protein.

Author information

1
Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, IPMC, 06560 Valbonne, France.
2
CNRS LIA « Neogenex », 06560 Valbonne, France.
3
Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.
4
CNRS, Institut de Génétique Moléculaire, 34293 Montpellier, France.
5
Université Côte d'Azur, INSERM, CNRS, IPMC, 06560 Valbonne, France.

Abstract

Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common form of inherited intellectual disability, is due to the functional deficiency of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), an RNA-binding protein involved in translational regulation of many messenger RNAs, playing key roles in synaptic morphology and plasticity. To date, no effective treatment for FXS is available. We searched for FMRP targets by HITS-CLIP during early development of multiple mouse brain regions (hippocampus, cortex and cerebellum) at a time of brain development when FMRP is most highly expressed and synaptogenesis reaches a peak. We identified the largest dataset of mRNA targets of FMRP available in brain and we defined their cellular origin. We confirmed the G-quadruplex containing structure as an enriched motif in FMRP RNA targets. In addition to four less represented motifs, our study points out that, in the brain, CTGKA is the prominent motif bound by FMRP, which recognizes it when not engaged in Watson-Crick pairing. All of these motifs negatively modulated the expression level of a reporter protein. While the repertoire of FMRP RNA targets in cerebellum is quite divergent, the ones of cortex and hippocampus are vastly overlapping. In these two brain regions, the Phosphodiesterase 2a (Pde2a) mRNA is a prominent target of FMRP, which modulates its translation and intracellular transport. This enzyme regulates the homeostasis of cAMP and cGMP and represents a novel and attractive therapeutic target to treat FXS.

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