Mar 28, 2020

O-GlcNAc regulates gene expression by controlling detained intron splicing

Zhi-Wei TanSuzanne Walker


Intron detention in precursor RNAs serves to regulate expression of a substantial fraction of genes in eukaryotic genomes. How detained intron (DI) splicing is controlled is poorly understood. Here we show that a ubiquitous post-translational modification called O-GlcNAc, which is thought to integrate signaling pathways as nutrient conditions fluctuate, controls detained intron splicing. Using specific inhibitors of the enzyme that installs O-GlcNAc (O-GlcNAc transferase, or OGT) and the enzyme that removes O-GlcNAc (O-GlcNAcase, or OGA), we first show that O-GlcNAc regulates splicing of the highly conserved detained introns in OGT and OGA to control mRNA abundance in order to buffer O-GlcNAc changes. We show that OGT and OGA represent two distinct paradigms for how DI splicing can control gene expression. We also show that when DI splicing of the O-GlcNAc-cycling genes fails to restore O-GlcNAc homeostasis, there is a global change in detained intron levels. Strikingly, almost all detained introns are spliced more efficiently when O-GlcNAc levels are low, yet other alternative splicing pathways change minimally. Our results demonstrate that O-GlcNAc controls detained intron splicing to tune system-wide gene expression, providi...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Transcription, Genetic
OGT gene
RNA Splicing
Peptide O-linked N-acetylglucosamine-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase
Post-Translational Protein Processing
MGEA5 gene
RNA, Messenger

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