Cell type-specific CLIP reveals that NOVA regulates cytoskeleton interactions in motoneurons

Yuan, Yuan; Xie, Shirley; Darnell, Jennifer C.; Darnell, Andrew J.; Saito, Yuhki; Phatnani, Hemali P.; Murphy, Elisabeth A.; Zhang, Chaolin; Maniatis, Tom; Darnell, Robert B.

Alternative RNA processing plays an essential role in shaping cell identity and connectivity in the central nervous system. This is believed to involve differential regulation of RNA processing in various cell types. However, in vivo study of cell type-specific post-transcriptional regulation has been a challenge. Here, we describe a sensitive and stringent method combining genetics and CLIP (crosslinking and immunoprecipitation) to globally identify regulatory interactions between NOVA and RNA in the mouse spinal cord motoneurons.

We developed a means of undertaking motoneuron-specific CLIP to explore motoneuron-specific protein–RNA interactions relative to studies of the whole spinal cord in mouse. This allowed us to pinpoint differential RNA regulation specific to motoneurons, revealing a major role for NOVA in regulating cytoskeleton interactions in motoneurons. In particular, NOVA specifically promotes the palmitoylated isoform of the cytoskeleton protein Septin 8 in motoneurons, which enhances dendritic arborization.

Our study demonstrates that cell type-specific RNA regulation is important for fine tuning motoneuron physiology and highlights the value of defining RNA processing regulation at single cell type resolution.


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Academic Units
Systems Biology
Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Published Here
October 4, 2018


Cell type-specific, CLIP, Motoneuron, NOVA, RNA, Alternative splicing, Alternative last exon usage, Septin