hnRNP A1 and the SR proteins ASF/SF2 and SC35 have antagonistic functions in splicing of beta-tropomyosin exon 6B.J Biol Chem. 2004 Sep 10; 279(37):38249-59.JB
Mutually exclusive splicing of exons 6A and 6B from the chicken beta-tropomyosin gene involves numerous regulatory sequences. Previously, we identified a G-rich intronic sequence (S3) downstream of exon 6B. This element consists of six G-rich motifs, mutations of which abolish splicing of exon 6B. In this paper, we investigated the cellular factors that bind to this G-rich element. By using RNA affinity chromatography, we identified heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A1, the SR proteins ASF/SF2 and SC35, and hnRNP F/H as specific components that are assembled onto the G-rich element. By using hnRNP A1-depleted HeLa nuclear extract and add-back experiments, we show that hnRNP A1 has a negative effect on splicing of exon 6B. In agreement with in vitro data, artificial recruitment of hnRNP A1, as a fusion with the MS2 coat protein, also represses splicing of exon 6B ex vivo. In contrast, ASF/SF2 and SC35 activate splicing of exon 6B. As observed with other systems, hnRNP A1 counteracts the stimulating effect of the SR proteins. Moreover, cross-linking experiments show that both ASF/SF2 and SC35 are able to displace binding of hnRNP A1 to the G-rich element, suggesting that the binding sites for these proteins are overlapping. These data indicate that the G-rich sequence is a composite element that acts as an enhancer or as a silencer, depending on which proteins bind to them.