Genes for RNA-binding proteins involved in neural-specific functions and diseases are downregulated in Rubinstein-Taybi iNeurons


Taking advantage of the fast-growing knowledge of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) we review the signature of downregulated genes for RBPs in the transcriptome of induced pluripotent stem cell neurons (iNeurons) modelling the neurodevelopmental Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome (RSTS) caused by mutations in the genes encoding CBP/p300 acetyltransferases. We discuss top and functionally connected downregulated genes sorted to "RNA processing" and "Ribonucleoprotein complex biogenesis" Gene Ontology clusters. The first set of downregulated RBPs includes members of hnRNHP (A1, A2B1, D, G, H2-H1, MAGOHB, PAPBC), core subunits of U small nuclear ribonucleoproteins and Serine-Arginine splicing regulators families, acting in precursor messenger RNA alternative splicing and processing. Consistent with literature findings on reduced transcript levels of serine/arginine repetitive matrix 4 (SRRM4) protein, the main regulator of the neural-specific microexons splicing program upon depletion of Ep300 and Crebbp in mouse neurons, RSTS iNeurons show downregulated genes for proteins impacting this network. We link downregulated genes to neurological disorders including the new HNRNPH1-related intellectual disability syndrome with clinical overlap to RSTS. The set of downregulated genes for Ribosome biogenesis includes several components of ribosomal subunits and nucleolar proteins, such NOP58 and fibrillarin that form complexes with snoRNAs with a central role in guiding post-transcriptional modifications needed for rRNA maturation. These nucleolar proteins are "dual" players as fibrillarin is also required for epigenetic regulation of ribosomal genes and conversely NOP58-associated snoRNA levels are under the control of NOP58 interactor BMAL1, a transcriptional regulator of the circadian rhythm. Additional downregulated genes for "dual specificity" RBPs such as RUVBL1 and METTL1 highlight the links between chromatin and the RBP-ome and the contribution of perturbations in their cross-talk to RSTS. We underline the hub position of CBP/p300 in chromatin regulation, the impact of its defect on neurons' post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression and the potential use of epidrugs in therapeutics of RBP-caused neurodevelopmental disorders.

Authors Larizza L, Calzari L, Alari V, Russo S
Journal Neural regeneration research
Publication Date 2022 Jan;17(1):5-14
PubMed 34100419
PubMed Central PMC8451555
DOI 10.4103/1673-5374.314286

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