THO/TREX is a conserved complex with a role in messenger ribonucleoprotein biogenesis that links gene expression and genome instability. Here, we show that human THO interacts with MFAP1 (microfibrillar-associated protein 1), a spliceosome-associated factor. Interestingly, MFAP1 depletion impairs cell proliferation and genome integrity, increasing γH2AX foci and DNA breaks. This phenotype is not dependent on either transcription or RNA-DNA hybrids. Mutations in the yeast orthologous gene SPP381 cause similar transcription-independent genome instability, supporting a conserved role. MFAP1 depletion has a wide effect on splicing and gene expression in human cells, determined by transcriptome analyses. MFAP1 depletion affects a number of DNA damage response (DDR) genes, which supports an indirect role of MFAP1 on genome integrity. Our work defines a functional interaction between THO and RNA processing and argues that splicing factors may contribute to genome integrity indirectly by regulating the expression of DDR genes rather than by a direct role.
Keywords: MFAP1/SPP381; THO complex; alternative splicing; genome instability.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.