Abstract 15: Global RNA Splicing Regulation in Cardiac Maturation
Background: The complexity of transcriptome and proteome is contributed by alternative splicing of mRNA. Altered mRNA splicing is implicated in both development and disease. However, the change of alternative mRNA splicing during cardiomyocytes maturation is unknown, and the regulatory mechanisms remain unexplored.
Methods and Results: Using deep RNA-Sequencing, we identified global alternative splicing changes associated with both cardiac development and pathological remodeling in mouse heart. Further, we identified a highly conserved splicing regulator-RBFox1 to be significantly induced during zebrafish, mouse and human cardiac maturation. RBFox1 expression was also detected in cardiomyocytes derived from both mouse and human embryonic stem cells but at much lower levels comparing to adult heart. In zebrafish embryos, inactivation of RBFox1 caused cardiomyocyte maturation defects. Expression of RBFox1 in cultured neonatal cardiomyocytes was sufficient to promote maturation by reducing fetal marker gene expression while increasing calcium handling gene expression including RyR and promoting sarcomere organization. Deep RNA-Sequencing analysis showed that RBFox1 expression promoted alternative splicing in genes involved in calcium cycling, blood vessel development and muscle contraction. Finally, we identified a highly conserved mutually exclusive alternative splicing event of transcription factor MEF2 to be a direct downstream target of RBFox1. Expression of individual MEF2 splicing variants led to different cardiac developmental phenotypes in zebrafish, indicating their different transcriptional activities.
Conclusion: Our study provided the first comprehensive analysis of mRNA splicing regulation in heart during post-natal development and heart failure, and identified RBFox1 as a key regulator for alternative RNA splicing during cardiomyocytes maturation. Further exploration of RBFox1 mediated RNA splicing regulation in heart may yield novel insight to the underlying mechanisms of cardiac maturation and new approach to improve cell based therapy for heart diseases.
Author Disclosures: C. Gao: None. S. Ren: None. J. Lee: None. Y. Hsiao: None. X. Xiao: None. J. Chen: None. A. Nakano: None. J. Wu: None. Y. Wang: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.