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1.  Selection of Alternative 5′ Splice Sites: Role of U1 snRNP and Models for the Antagonistic Effects of SF2/ASF and hnRNP A1 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(22):8303-8318.
The first component known to recognize and discriminate among potential 5′ splice sites (5′SSs) in pre-mRNA is the U1 snRNP. However, the relative levels of U1 snRNP binding to alternative 5′SSs do not necessarily determine the splicing outcome. Strikingly, SF2/ASF, one of the essential SR protein-splicing factors, causes a dose-dependent shift in splicing to a downstream (intron-proximal) site, and yet it increases U1 snRNP binding at upstream and downstream sites simultaneously. We show here that hnRNP A1, which shifts splicing towards an upstream 5′SS, causes reduced U1 snRNP binding at both sites. Nonetheless, the importance of U1 snRNP binding is shown by proportionality between the level of U1 snRNP binding to the downstream site and its use in splicing. With purified components, hnRNP A1 reduces U1 snRNP binding to 5′SSs by binding cooperatively and indiscriminately to the pre-mRNA. Mutations in hnRNP A1 and SF2/ASF show that the opposite effects of the proteins on 5′SS choice are correlated with their effects on U1 snRNP binding. Cross-linking experiments show that SF2/ASF and hnRNP A1 compete to bind pre-mRNA, and we conclude that this competition is the basis of their functional antagonism; SF2/ASF enhances U1 snRNP binding at all 5′SSs, the rise in simultaneous occupancy causing a shift in splicing towards the downstream site, whereas hnRNP A1 interferes with U1 snRNP binding such that 5′SS occupancy is lower and the affinities of U1 snRNP for the individual sites determine the site of splicing.
PMCID: PMC102138  PMID: 11046128
2.  The Mkk3/6-p38–Signaling Cascade Alters the Subcellular Distribution of Hnrnp A1 and Modulates Alternative Splicing Regulation 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;149(2):307-316.
Individual members of the serine-arginine (SR) and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A/B families of proteins have antagonistic effects in regulating alternative splicing. Although hnRNP A1 accumulates predominantly in the nucleus, it shuttles continuously between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Some but not all SR proteins also undergo nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling, which is affected by phosphorylation of their serine/arginine (RS)–rich domain. The signaling mechanisms that control the subcellular localization of these proteins are unknown. We show that exposure of NIH-3T3 and SV-40 transformed green monkey kidney (COS) cells to stress stimuli such as osmotic shock or UVC irradiation, but not to mitogenic activators such as PDGF or EGF, results in a marked cytoplasmic accumulation of hnRNP A1, concomitant with an increase in its phosphorylation. These effects are mediated by the MKK3/6-p38 pathway, and moreover, p38 activation is necessary and sufficient for the induction of hnRNP A1 cytoplasmic accumulation. The stress-induced increase in the cytoplasmic levels of hnRNP A/B proteins and the concomitant decrease in their nuclear abundance are paralleled by changes in the alternative splicing pattern of an adenovirus E1A pre-mRNA splicing reporter. These results suggest the intriguing possibility that signaling mechanisms regulate pre-mRNA splicing in vivo by influencing the subcellular distribution of splicing factors.
PMCID: PMC2175157  PMID: 10769024
alternative splicing; hnRNP A1; signal transduction; p38 kinase; stress signaling
3.  Exonic Splicing Enhancer Motif Recognized by Human SC35 under Splicing Conditions 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(3):1063-1071.
Exonic splicing enhancers (ESEs) are important cis elements required for exon inclusion. Using an in vitro functional selection and amplification procedure, we have identified a novel ESE motif recognized by the human SR protein SC35 under splicing conditions. The selected sequences are functional and specific: they promote splicing in nuclear extract or in S100 extract complemented by SC35 but not by SF2/ASF. They can also function in a different exonic context from the one used for the selection procedure. The selected sequences share one or two close matches to a short and highly degenerate octamer consensus, GRYYcSYR. A score matrix was generated from the selected sequences according to the nucleotide frequency at each position of their best match to the consensus motif. The SC35 score matrix, along with our previously reported SF2/ASF score matrix, was used to search the sequences of two well-characterized splicing substrates derived from the mouse immunoglobulin M (IgM) and human immunodeficiency virus tat genes. Multiple SC35 high-score motifs, but only two widely separated SF2/ASF motifs, were found in the IgM C4 exon, which can be spliced in S100 extract complemented by SC35. In contrast, multiple high-score motifs for both SF2/ASF and SC35 were found in a variant of the Tat T3 exon (lacking an SC35-specific silencer) whose splicing can be complemented by either SF2/ASF or SC35. The motif score matrix can help locate SC35-specific enhancers in natural exon sequences.
PMCID: PMC85223  PMID: 10629063

Results 1-3 (3)