Sulfotransferase 4A1 (SULT4A1) is a sulfotransferase-like protein that is highly conserved between species. In human tissues, there are two transcripts, one that produces a full-length protein and one that produces an unstable truncated protein. The second transcript, which includes a pseudo-exon between exons 6 and 7 (6p), is widely expressed, whereas the first is more restricted. Differentiation of neuronal cells results in the removal of the pseudo-exon and subsequent SULT4A1 protein expression. Recent studies with SULT4A1 knockout mice showed that the protein is essential for normal development and that its absence leads to a severe neurologic phenotype. Here, the regulation of SULT4A1 6p splicing was investigated during neuronal differentiation using SH-SY5Y cells, human induced pluripotent stem cells, and mouse embryonic tissue. In all three models, pseudo-exon 6p was removed during differentiation, resulting in stable SULT4A1 protein expression. Using a minigene splicing assay, a region upstream of pseudo-exon 6p was identified that is essential for correct splicing of SULT4A1 mRNA. Within this region, there were binding motifs for four RNA processing factors (MBNL-1, MBNL-2, CELF-1, and CELF-2). Time-dependent changes in SULT4A1 protein and MBNL/CELF protein during differentiation supported their role in correctly splicing the SULT4A1 mRNA. Furthermore, ectopic expression of each factor produced efficient splicing in the minigene assay as well as correct splicing of the endogenous SULT4A1 mRNA. These results show that SULT4A1 mRNA is a target for MBNL/CELF-dependent splicing, which may be essential in producing stable, functional SULT4A1.
Research. Development. Production.
We are a leading supplier to the global Life Science industry with solutions and services for research, biotechnology development and production, and pharmaceutical drug therapy development and production.