Abstract 235: Global RNA Splicing and Regulation in Cardiac Maturation and Diseases
Background: The complexity of transcriptome and proteome is contributed by alternative splicing of mRNA. Altered mRNA splicing is also implicated in many human diseases including cancer. However, the global pattern of alternative mRNA splicing during cardiac development and diseases is unknown, and the regulatory mechanisms remain unexplored.
Methods and Results: Using deep RNA-Sequencing, we have identified global alternative splicing changes associated with both cardiac development and pathological remodeling in mouse heart following pressure-overload induced heart failure. The alternative RNA splicing events observed in failing hearts mimics the profile in fetal hearts, suggesting a fetal-like RNA splicing program induced in diseased hearts. Using RNA-Seq database and real-time PCR analysis, we examined the expression profile of a large number of known alternative splicing regulators. Among them, we identified Fox1 as a significantly induced regulator during cardiac development in zebrafish, mouse and human, and down-regulated in both mouse and human failing hearts. Morpholino mediated Fox1 knockdown in zebrafish embryos led to lethal phenotype associated with reduced cardiac function and defects in chamber specificity. This phenotype could be rescued by re-expressing both zebrafish and mouse Fox1 gene, suggesting a highly conserved cardiac function of Fox1 for normal cardiac development and function in vertebrates.
Conclusion: Our study provided the first comprehensive analysis of mRNA splicing regulation in heart during post-natal development and heart failure, and identified Fox1 as a key regulator for alternative RNA splicing in heart. This study expands our current understanding to the complexity of cardiac transcriptome, and reveals the functional importance of RNA-splicing in cardiac development and diseases.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.