The human long non-coding RNA gene RMRP has pleiotropic effects and regulates cell-cycle progression at G2

Sci Rep. 2019 Sep 24;9(1):13758. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-50334-6.


RMRP was the first non-coding nuclear RNA gene implicated in a disease. Its mutations cause cartilage-hair hypoplasia (CHH), an autosomal recessive skeletal dysplasia with growth failure, immunodeficiency, and a high risk for malignancies. This study aimed to gain further insight into the role of RNA Component of Mitochondrial RNA Processing Endoribonuclease (RMRP) in cellular physiology and disease pathogenesis. We combined transcriptome analysis with single-cell analysis using fibroblasts from CHH patients and healthy controls. To directly assess cell cycle progression, we followed CHH fibroblasts by pulse-labeling and time-lapse microscopy. Transcriptome analysis identified 35 significantly upregulated and 130 downregulated genes in CHH fibroblasts. The downregulated genes were significantly connected to the cell cycle. Multiple other pathways, involving regulation of apoptosis, bone and cartilage formation, and lymphocyte function, were also affected, as well as PI3K-Akt signaling. Cell-cycle studies indicated that the CHH cells were delayed specifically in the passage from G2 phase to mitosis. Our findings expand the mechanistic understanding of CHH, indicate possible pathways for therapeutic intervention and add to the limited understanding of the functions of RMRP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Down-Regulation / genetics
  • Endoribonucleases / genetics
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • G2 Phase / genetics*
  • Hair / abnormalities
  • Hirschsprung Disease / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / genetics
  • Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / congenital
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / genetics
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases / genetics
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Transcriptome / genetics
  • Up-Regulation / genetics


  • RMRP non-coding RNA, human
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • Endoribonucleases
  • mitochondrial RNA-processing endoribonuclease

Supplementary concepts

  • Cartilage-hair hypoplasia