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Fas Splicing Regulation during Early Apoptosis Is Linked to Caspase-mediated Cleavage of U2AF65

By José M. Izquierdo


U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) auxiliary factor 65 kDa (U2AF65) is an essential splicing factor in the recognition of the pre-mRNA 3′ splice sites during the assembly of the splicing commitment complex. We report here that U2AF65 is proteolyzed during apoptosis. This cleavage is group I or III caspase dependent in a noncanonical single site localized around the aspartic acid128 residue and leads to the separation of the N- and C-terminal parts of U2AF65. The U2AF65 N-terminal fragment mainly accumulates in the nucleus within nuclear bodies (nucleoli-like pattern) and to a much lesser extent in the cytoplasm, whereas the C-terminal fragment is found in the cytoplasm, even in localization studies on apoptosis induction. From a functional viewpoint, the N-terminal fragment promotes Fas exon 6 skipping from a reporter minigene, by acting as a dominant-negative version of U2AF65, whereas the C-terminal fragment has no significant effect. The dominant-negative behavior of the U2AF65 N-terminal fragment can be reverted by U2AF35 overexpression. Interestingly, U2AF65 proteolysis in Jurkat cells on induction of early apoptosis correlates with the down-regulation of endogenous Fas exon 6 inclusion. Thus, these results support a functional link among apoptosis induction, U2AF65 cleavage, and the regulation of Fas alternative splicing

Topics: Articles
Publisher: The American Society for Cell Biology
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2488311
Provided by: PubMed Central
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