Nucleic acids research

NSrp70 is a novel nuclear speckle-related protein that modulates alternative pre-mRNA splicing in vivo.

PMID 21296756


Nuclear speckles are known to be the storage sites of mRNA splicing regulators. We report here the identification and characterization of a novel speckle protein, referred to as NSrp70, based on its subcellular localization and apparent molecular weight. This protein was first identified as CCDC55 by the National Institutes of Health Mammalian Gene Collection, although its function has not been assigned. NSrp70 was colocalized and physically interacted with SC35 and ASF/SF2 in speckles. NSrp70 has a putative RNA recognition motif, the RS-like region, and two coiled-coil domains, suggesting a role in RNA processing. Accordingly, using CD44, Tra2β1 and Fas constructs as splicing reporter minigenes, we found that NSrp70 modulated alternative splice site selection in vivo. The C-terminal 10 amino acids (531-540), including (536)RD(537), were identified as a novel nuclear localization signal, and the region spanning 290-471 amino acids was critical for speckle localization and binding to SC35 and ASF/SF2. The N-terminal region (107-161) was essential for the pre-mRNA splicing activity. Finally, we found that knockout of NSrp70 gene in mice led to a lack of progeny, including fetal embryos. Collectively, we demonstrate that NSrp70 is a novel splicing regulator and essentially required early stage of embryonic development.