We have previously identified an Alu-derived Intronic Splicing enhancer (ISE) in the Ataxia Teleangectasia Mutated gene (ATM) that facilitates intron pre-mRNA processing and leads to the inclusion of a cryptic exon in the final mRNA transcript. By using an RNA pull-down assay, we show here that hnRNPA1/A2, HuR and DAZAP1 splicing factors and DHX36 RNA helicase bind to the ISE. By functional studies (overexpression and siRNA experiments), we demonstrate that hnRNPA1 and DAZAP1 are indeed involved in ISE-dependent ATM cryptic exon activation, with hnRNPA1 acting negatively and DAZAP1 positively on splicing selection. On the contrary, HuR and DHX36 have no effect on ATM splicing pattern. These data suggest that splicing factors with both negative and positive effect can assemble on the intronic Alu repeats and regulate pre-mRNA splicing
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