A cytoplasmic quaking I isoform regulates the hnRNP F/H-dependent alternative splicing pathway in myelinating glia

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The selective RNA-binding protein quaking I (QKI) plays important roles in controlling alternative splicing (AS). Three QKI isoforms are broadly expressed, which display distinct nuclear-cytoplasmic distribution. However, molecular mechanisms by which QKI isoforms control AS, especially in distinct cell types, still remain elusive. The quakingviable (qkv) mutant mice carry deficiencies of all QKI isoforms in oligodendrocytes (OLs) and Schwann cells (SWCs), the myelinating glia of central and peripheral nervous system (CNS and PNS), respectively, resulting in severe dysregulation of AS. We found that the cytoplasmic isoform QKI-6 regulates AS of polyguanine (G-run)-containing transcripts in OLs and rescues aberrant AS in the qkv mutant by repressing expression of two canonical splicing factors, heterologous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) F and H. Moreover, we identified a broad spectrum ofin vivofunctional hnRNP F/H targets in OLs that contain conserved exons flanked by G-runs, many of which are dysregulated in the qkv mutant. Interestingly, AS targets of the QKI-6-hnRNP F/H pathway in OLs are differentially affected in SWCs, suggesting that additional cell-type-specific factors modulate AS during CNS and PNS myelination. Together, our studies provide the first evidence that cytoplasmic QKI-6 acts upstream of hnRNP F/H, which forms a novel pathway to control AS in myelinating glia.

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