Scientific publications

Splicing events in the control of genome integrity: role of SLU7 and truncated SRSF3 proteins

Apr 23, 2019 | Magazine: Nucleic Acids Research

Maddalen Jiménez, Raquel Urtasun, María Elizalde, María Azkona, M Ujue Latasa, Iker Uriarte, María Arechederra, Diego Alignani, Marina Bárcena-Varela, Gloria Álvarez-Sola, Leticia Colyn, Eva Santamaría, Bruno Sangro, Carlos Rodriguez-Ortigosa, Maite G Fernández-Barrena, Matías A Ávila, Carmen Berasain


Genome instability is related to disease development and carcinogenesis. DNA lesions are caused by genotoxic compounds but also by the dysregulation of fundamental processes like transcription, DNA replication and mitosis. Recent evidence indicates that impaired expression of RNA-binding proteins results in mitotic aberrations and the formation of transcription-associated RNA-DNA hybrids (R-loops), events strongly associated with DNA injury.

We identify the splicing regulator SLU7 as a key mediator of genome stability. SLU7 knockdown results in R-loops formation, DNA damage, cell-cycle arrest and severe mitotic derangements with loss of sister chromatid cohesion (SCC). We define a molecular pathway through which SLU7 keeps in check the generation of truncated forms of the splicing factor SRSF3 (SRp20) (SRSF3-TR). Behaving as dominant negative, or by gain-of-function, SRSF3-TR impair the correct splicing and expression of the splicing regulator SRSF1 (ASF/SF2) and the crucial SCC protein sororin.

This unique function of SLU7 was found in cancer cells of different tissue origin and also in the normal mouse liver, demonstrating a conserved and fundamental role of SLU7 in the preservation of genome integrity. Therefore, the dowregulation of SLU7 and the alterations of this pathway that we observe in the cirrhotic liver could be involved in the process of hepatocarcinogenesis.

CITATION  Nucleic Acids Res. 2019 Apr 23;47(7):3450-3466. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz014.

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