3D genome organization around nuclear speckles drives mRNA splicing efficiency

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Jan 4:2023.01.04.522632. doi: 10.1101/2023.01.04.522632.


The nucleus is highly organized such that factors involved in transcription and processing of distinct classes of RNA are organized within specific nuclear bodies. One such nuclear body is the nuclear speckle, which is defined by high concentrations of protein and non-coding RNA regulators of pre-mRNA splicing. What functional role, if any, speckles might play in the process of mRNA splicing remains unknown. Here we show that genes localized near nuclear speckles display higher spliceosome concentrations, increased spliceosome binding to their pre-mRNAs, and higher co-transcriptional splicing levels relative to genes that are located farther from nuclear speckles. We show that directed recruitment of a pre-mRNA to nuclear speckles is sufficient to drive increased mRNA splicing levels. Finally, we show that gene organization around nuclear speckles is highly dynamic with differential localization between cell types corresponding to differences in Pol II occupancy. Together, our results integrate the longstanding observations of nuclear speckles with the biochemistry of mRNA splicing and demonstrate a critical role for dynamic 3D spatial organization of genomic DNA in driving spliceosome concentrations and controlling the efficiency of mRNA splicing.

Publication types

  • Preprint