ESRP2 controls an adult splicing programme in hepatocytes to support postnatal liver maturation

Nat Commun. 2015 Nov 4;6:8768. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9768.

Abstract

Although major genetic networks controlling early liver specification and morphogenesis are known, the mechanisms responsible for postnatal hepatic maturation are poorly understood. Here we employ global analyses of the mouse liver transcriptome to demonstrate that postnatal remodelling of the liver is accompanied by large-scale transcriptional and post-transcriptional transitions that are cell-type-specific and temporally coordinated. Combining detailed expression analyses with gain- and loss-of-function studies, we identify epithelial splicing regulatory protein 2 (ESRP2) as a conserved regulatory factor that controls the neonatal-to-adult switch of ∼20% of splice isoforms in mouse and human hepatocytes. The normal shift in splicing coincides tightly with dramatic postnatal induction of ESRP2 in hepatocytes. We further demonstrate that forced expression of ESRP2 in immature mouse and human hepatocytes is sufficient to drive a reciprocal shift in splicing and causes various physiological abnormalities. These findings define a direct role for ESRP2 in the generation of conserved repertoires of adult splice isoforms that facilitate terminal differentiation and maturation of hepatocytes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Liver / growth & development
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional / genetics*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction

Substances

  • ESRP2 protein, human
  • ESRP2 protein, mouse
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA-Binding Proteins

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE67009