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1.  OLego: fast and sensitive mapping of spliced mRNA-Seq reads using small seeds 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;41(10):5149-5163.
A crucial step in analyzing mRNA-Seq data is to accurately and efficiently map hundreds of millions of reads to the reference genome and exon junctions. Here we present OLego, an algorithm specifically designed for de novo mapping of spliced mRNA-Seq reads. OLego adopts a multiple-seed-and-extend scheme, and does not rely on a separate external aligner. It achieves high sensitivity of junction detection by strategic searches with small seeds (∼14 nt for mammalian genomes). To improve accuracy and resolve ambiguous mapping at junctions, OLego uses a built-in statistical model to score exon junctions by splice-site strength and intron size. Burrows–Wheeler transform is used in multiple steps of the algorithm to efficiently map seeds, locate junctions and identify small exons. OLego is implemented in C++ with fully multithreaded execution, and allows fast processing of large-scale data. We systematically evaluated the performance of OLego in comparison with published tools using both simulated and real data. OLego demonstrated better sensitivity, higher or comparable accuracy and substantially improved speed. OLego also identified hundreds of novel micro-exons (<30 nt) in the mouse transcriptome, many of which are phylogenetically conserved and can be validated experimentally in vivo. OLego is freely available at http://zhanglab.c2b2.columbia.edu/index.php/OLego.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkt216
PMCID: PMC3664805  PMID: 23571760
2.  THE SPLICING FACTOR SRSF1 REGULATES APOPTOSIS AND PROLIFERATION TO PROMOTE MAMMARY EPITHELIAL CELL TRANSFORMATION 
The splicing-factor oncoprotein SRSF1 (also known as SF2/ASF) is upregulated in breast cancers. We investigated SRSF1’s ability to transform human and mouse mammary epithelial cells in vivo and in vitro. SRSF1-overexpressing COMMA-1D cells formed tumors, following orthotopic transplantation to reconstitute the mammary gland. In 3-D culture, SRSF1-overexpressing MCF-10A cells formed larger acini than control cells, reflecting increased proliferation and delayed apoptosis during acinar morphogenesis. These effects required the first RNA-recognition motif and nuclear functions of SRSF1. SRSF1 overexpression promoted alternative splicing of BIM and BIN1 isoforms that lack pro-apoptotic functions and contribute to the phenotype. Finally, SRSF1 cooperated specifically with MYC to transform mammary epithelial cells, in part by potentiating eIF4E activation, and these cooperating oncogenes are significantly co-expressed in human breast tumors. Thus, SRSF1 can promote breast cancer, and SRSF1 itself or its downstream effectors may be valuable targets for therapeutics development.
doi:10.1038/nsmb.2207
PMCID: PMC3272117  PMID: 22245967
3.  ONCOGENIC SPLICING FACTOR SRSF1 IS A CRITICAL TRANSCRIPTIONAL TARGET OF MYC 
Cell reports  2012;1(2):110-117.
The SR protein splicing factor SRSF1 is a potent proto-oncogene that is frequently upregulated in cancer. Here we show that SRSF1 is a direct target of the transcription-factor oncoprotein MYC. These two oncogenes are significantly co-expressed in lung carcinomas, and MYC knockdown downregulates SRSF1 expression in lung-cancer cell lines. MYC directly activates transcription of SRSF1 through two non-canonical E-boxes in its promoter. The resulting increase in SRSF1 protein is sufficient to modulate alternative splicing of a subset of transcripts. In particular, MYC induction leads to SRSF1-mediated alternative splicing of the signaling kinase MKNK2 and the transcription factor TEAD1. SRSF1 knockdown reduces MYC’s oncogenic activity, decreasing proliferation and anchorage-independent growth. These results suggest a mechanism for SRSF1 upregulation in tumors with elevated MYC, and identify SRSF1 as a critical MYC target that contributes to its oncogenic potential by enabling MYC to regulate the expression of specific protein isoforms through alternative splicing.
doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2011.12.001
PMCID: PMC3334311  PMID: 22545246
4.  Comparison of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay efficiency in various murine tissues 
BMC Genetics  2008;9:83.
Background
The Nonsense-Mediated mRNA Decay (NMD) pathway detects and degrades mRNAs containing premature termination codons, thereby preventing the accumulation of potentially detrimental truncated proteins. Intertissue variation in the efficiency of this mechanism has been suggested, which could have important implications for the understanding of genotype-phenotype correlations in various genetic disorders. However, compelling evidence in favour of this hypothesis is lacking. Here, we have explored this question by measuring the ratio of mutant versus wild-type Men1 transcripts in thirteen tissues from mice carrying a heterozygous truncating mutation in the ubiquitously expressed Men1 gene.
Results
Significant differences were found between two groups of tissues. The first group, which includes testis, ovary, brain and heart, displays a strong decrease of the nonsense transcript (average ratio of 18% of mutant versus wild-type Men1 transcripts, identical to the value measured in murine embryonic fibroblasts). The second group, comprising lung, intestine and thymus, shows much less pronounced NMD (average ratio of 35%). Importantly, the extent of degradation by NMD does not correlate with the expression level of eleven genes encoding proteins involved in NMD or with the expression level of the Men1 gene.
Conclusion
Mouse models are an attractive option to evaluate the efficiency of NMD in multiple mammalian tissues and organs, given that it is much easier to obtain these from a mouse than from a single individual carrying a germline truncating mutation. In this study, we have uncovered in the thirteen different murine tissues that we examined up to a two-fold difference in NMD efficiency.
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-9-83
PMCID: PMC2607305  PMID: 19061508

Results 1-4 (4)