FCCC LOGO Faculty Publications
Peterson ML , Perry RP
The regulated production of mu m and mu s mRNA is dependent on the relative efficiencies of mu s poly(A) site usage and the c mu 4-to-M1 splice
Mol Cell Biol. 1989 Feb;9(2) :726-38
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The relative abundance of the mRNAs encoding the membrane (mu m) and secreted (mu s) forms of immunoglobulin mu heavy chain is regulated during B-cell maturation by a change in the mode of RNA processing. Current models to explain this regulation involve either competition between cleavage-polyadenylation at the proximal (mu s) poly(A) site and cleavage-polyadenylation at the distal (mu m) poly(A) site [poly(A) site model] or competition between cleavage-polyadenylation at the mu s poly(A) site and splicing of the C mu 4 and M1 exons, which eliminates the mu s site (mu s site-splice model). To test certain predictions of these models and to determine whether there is a unique structural feature of the mu s poly(A) site that is essential for regulation, we constructed modified mu genes in which the mu s or mu m poly(A) site was replaced by other poly(A) sites and then studied the transient expression of these genes in cells representative of both early- and late-stage lymphocytes. Substitutions at the mu s site dramatically altered the relative usage of this site and caused corresponding reciprocal changes in the usage of the mu m site. Despite these changes, use of the proximal site was still usually higher in plasmacytomas than in pre-B cells, indicating that regulation does not depend on a unique feature of the mu s poly(A) site. Replacement of the distal (mu m) site had no detectable effect on the usage of the mu s site in either plasmacytomas or pre-B cells. These findings are inconsistent with the poly(A) site model. In addition, we noted that in a wide variety of organisms, the sequence at the 5' splice junction of the C mu 4-to-M1 intron is significantly different from the consensus 5' splice junction sequence and is therefore suboptimal with respect to its complementary base pairing with U1 small nuclear RNA. When we mutated this suboptimal sequence into the consensus sequence, the mu mRNA production in plasmacytoma cells was shifted from predominantly mu s to exclusively mu m. This result unequivocally demonstrated that splicing of the C mu 4-to-M1 exon is in competition with usage of the mu s poly(A) site. A key feature of this regulatory phenomenon appears to be the appropriately balanced efficiencies of these two processing reactions. Consistent with predictions of the mu s site-splice model, B cells were found to contain mu m precursor RNA that had undergone the C mu 4-to-M1 splice but had not yet been polyadenylated at the mu m site.
0270-7306 Journal Article