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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 480; doi:10.3390/ijms19020480

CircSMARCA5 Inhibits Migration of Glioblastoma Multiforme Cells by Regulating a Molecular Axis Involving Splicing Factors SRSF1/SRSF3/PTB

Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences—Section of Biology and Genetics, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
Department of Medical, Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies and Biotechnological Sciences G.F. Ingrassia, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
Multidisciplinary Research Center on Brain Tumors Diagnosis and Therapy, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG), Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
These are Senior Authors.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 3 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glioma Cell Invasion)
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Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have recently emerged as a new class of RNAs, highly enriched in the brain and very stable within cells, exosomes and body fluids. To analyze their involvement in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) pathogenesis, we assayed the expression of twelve circRNAs, physiologically enriched in several regions of the brain, through real-time PCR in a cohort of fifty-six GBM patient biopsies and seven normal brain parenchymas. We focused on hsa_circ_0001445 (circSMARCA5): it was significantly downregulated in GBM biopsies as compared to normal brain tissues (p-value < 0.00001, student’s t-test), contrary to its linear isoform counterpart that did not show any differential expression (p-value = 0.694, student’s t-test). Analysis of a public dataset revealed a negative correlation between the expression of circSMARCA5 and glioma’s histological grade, suggesting its potential negative role in the progression to malignancy. Overexpressing circSMARCA5 in U87MG cells significantly decreased their migration, but not their proliferation rate. In silico scanning of circSMARCA5 sequence revealed an enrichment in binding motifs for several RNA binding proteins (RBPs), specifically involved in splicing. Among them, serine and arginine rich splicing factor 1 (SRSF1), a splicing factor known to be a positive controller of cell migration and known to be overexpressed in GBM, was predicted to bind circSMARCA5 by three different prediction tools. Direct interaction between circSMARCA5 and SRSF1 is supported by enhanced UV crosslinking and immunoprecipitation (eCLIP) data for SRSF1 in K562 cells from Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE). Consistently, U87MG overexpressing circSMARCA5 showed an increased expression of serine and arginine rich splicing factor 3 (SRSF3) RNA isoform containing exon 4, normally skipped in a SRSF1-dependent manner, resulting in a non-productive non-sense mediated decay (NMD) substrate. Interestingly, SRSF3 is known to interplay with two other splicing factors, polypyrimidine tract binding protein 1 (PTBP1) and polypyrimidine tract binding protein 2 (PTBP2), that positively regulate glioma cells migration. Collectively, our data show circSMARCA5 as a promising druggable tumor suppressor in GBM and suggest that it may exert its function by tethering the RBP SRSF1. View Full-Text
Keywords: circRNAs; glioblastoma multiforme; cell migration; splicing; RNA binding proteins circRNAs; glioblastoma multiforme; cell migration; splicing; RNA binding proteins

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Barbagallo, D.; Caponnetto, A.; Cirnigliaro, M.; Brex, D.; Barbagallo, C.; D’Angeli, F.; Morrone, A.; Caltabiano, R.; Barbagallo, G.M.; Ragusa, M.; Di Pietro, C.; Hansen, T.B.; Purrello, M. CircSMARCA5 Inhibits Migration of Glioblastoma Multiforme Cells by Regulating a Molecular Axis Involving Splicing Factors SRSF1/SRSF3/PTB. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 480.

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