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Genes encoding replication-dependent histones lack introns, and the mRNAs produced are a unique class of RNA polymerase II transcripts in eukaryotic cells that do not end in a polyadenylated tail. Mature mRNAs are thus formed by a single endonucleolytic cleavage that releases the pre-mRNA from the DNA and is the only processing event necessary. U7 snRNP is one of the key factors that determines the cleavage site within the 3'UTR of replication-dependent histone pre-mRNAs. We have previously showed that the FUS protein interacts with U7 snRNA/snRNP and regulates the expression of histone genes by stimulating transcription and 3' end maturation. Mutations in the FUS gene first identified in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) lead to the accumulation of the FUS protein in cytoplasmic inclusions. Here, we report that mutations in FUS lead to disruption of the transcriptional activity of FUS and mislocalization of U7 snRNA/snRNP in cytoplasmic aggregates in cellular models and primary neurons. As a consequence, decreased transcriptional efficiency and aberrant 3' end processing of histone pre-mRNAs were observed. This study highlights for the first time the deregulation of replication-dependent histone gene expression and its involvement in ALS.


Ankur Gadgil, Agnieszka Walczak, Agata Stępień, Jonas Mechtersheimer, Agnes Lumi Nishimura, Christopher E Shaw, Marc-David Ruepp, Katarzyna Dorota Raczyńska. ALS-linked FUS mutants affect the localization of U7 snRNP and replication-dependent histone gene expression in human cells. Scientific reports. 2021 Jun 04;11(1):11868

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PMID: 34088960

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