Genome-wide analysis of alternative pre-mRNA splicing and RNA-binding specificities of the Drosophila hnRNP A/B family members

Mol Cell. 2009 Feb 27;33(4):438-49. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2009.01.022.


Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) have been traditionally seen as proteins packaging RNA nonspecifically into ribonucleoprotein particles (RNPs), but evidence suggests specific cellular functions on discrete target pre-mRNAs. Here we report genome-wide analysis of alternative splicing patterns regulated by four Drosophila homologs of the mammalian hnRNP A/B family (hrp36, hrp38, hrp40, and hrp48). Analysis of the global RNA-binding distributions of each protein revealed both small and extensively bound regions on target transcripts. A significant subset of RNAs were bound and regulated by more than one hnRNP protein, revealing a combinatorial network of interactions. In vitro RNA-binding site selection experiments (SELEX) identified distinct binding motif specificities for each protein, which were overrepresented in their respective regulated and bound transcripts. These results indicate that individual heterogeneous ribonucleoproteins have specific affinities for overlapping, but distinct, populations of target pre-mRNAs controlling their patterns of RNA processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / metabolism
  • Genome, Insect*
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Group A-B / genetics*
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Group A-B / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA Precursors / genetics
  • RNA Precursors / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*


  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Group A-B
  • RNA Precursors
  • RNA, Messenger

Associated data

  • GENBANK/GSE13940