An ancient germ cell-specific RNA-binding protein protects the germline from cryptic splice site poisoning

Ehrmann, Ingrid, Crichton, James H, Gazzara, Matthew R, James, Katherine, Liu, Yilei, Grellscheid, Sushma Nagaraja, Curk, Tomaž, de Rooij, Dirk, Steyn, Jannetta S, Cockell, Simon, Adams, Ian R, Barash, Yoseph and Elliott, David J (2019) An ancient germ cell-specific RNA-binding protein protects the germline from cryptic splice site poisoning. eLife, 8. e39304. ISSN 2050-084X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.39304

Abstract

Male germ cells of all placental mammals express an ancient nuclear RNA binding protein of unknown function called RBMXL2. Here we find that deletion of the retrogene encoding RBMXL2 blocks spermatogenesis. Transcriptome analyses of age-matched deletion mice show that RBMXL2 controls splicing patterns during meiosis. In particular, RBMXL2 represses the selection of aberrant splice sites and the insertion of cryptic and premature terminal exons. Our data suggest a Rbmxl2 retrogene has been conserved across mammals as part of a splicing control mechanism that is fundamentally important to germ cell biology. We propose that this mechanism is essential to meiosis because it buffers the high ambient concentrations of splicing activators, thereby preventing poisoning of key transcripts and disruption to gene expression by aberrant splice site selection.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C500 Microbiology
C700 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 16:09
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2020 16:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/41903

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