Genome-wide identification of alternative splicing events that regulate protein transport across the secretory pathway

J Cell Sci. 2019 Apr 25;132(8):jcs230201. doi: 10.1242/jcs.230201.


Alternative splicing (AS) strongly increases proteome diversity and functionality in eukaryotic cells. Protein secretion is a tightly controlled process, especially when it occurs in a tissue-specific and differentiation-dependent manner. While previous work has focussed on transcriptional and post-translational regulatory mechanisms, the impact of AS on the secretory pathway remains largely unexplored. Here, we integrate results from a published screen for modulators of protein transport and RNA-Seq analyses to identify over 200 AS events as secretion regulators. We confirm that splicing events along all stages of the secretory pathway regulate the efficiency of membrane trafficking using morpholino and CRISPR/Cas9 experiments. We furthermore show that these events are highly tissue-specific and mediate an adaptation of the secretory pathway during T-cell activation and adipocyte differentiation. Our data substantially advance the understanding of AS functionality, add a new regulatory layer to a fundamental cell biological process and provide a resource of alternative isoforms that control the secretory pathway.

Keywords: Alternative splicing; Protein secretion; Secretory pathway; Tissue-specific adaptation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing*
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Genome
  • Humans
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Transport*
  • Secretory Pathway / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA


  • Protein Isoforms