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Muscleblind-like 1 (Mbnl1) regulates pre-mRNA alternative splicing during terminal erythropoiesis

Albert W. Cheng, Jiahai Shi, Piu Wong, Katherine L. Luo, Paula Trepman, Eric T. Wang, Heejo Choi, Christopher B. Burge and Harvey F. Lodish

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  • RE: Muscleblind-like 1 (Mbnl1) regulates pre-mRNA alternative splicing during terminal erythropoiesis
    • John G. Conboy, Biomedical Research Scientist Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    Cheng, et al. present a very nice study highlighting the abundance of alternative splicing events in differentiating mouse fetal liver erythroblasts, and provide important new insights into a major regulator of erythroid splicing (MBNL1) and a physiologically important target of MBNL1-mediated splicing changes during terminal erythropoiesis (NDEL1). Readers interested in the essential role of alternative splicing in differentiating human erythroblasts are referred to our recent manuscript, entitled “A dynamic alternative splicing program regulates gene expression during terminal erythropoiesis” 1. Our paper used a similar RNA-seq approach to demonstrate extensive alternative splicing in highly purified human erythroblast populations. We showed that alternative splicing is enriched in genes regulating cell cycle, organelle organization, chromatin function and RNA processing; that switches in alternative splicing occur mainly in late erythroblasts; and that a subset of splicing switches introduce premature stop codons hypothesized to down-regulate expression via nonsense-mediated decay. The studies by Cheng et al. and Pimentel et al. using mouse and human erythroblasts, respectively, reinforce the notion that proper regulation of a complex alternative splicing program is essential for erythroblast during the extensive cellular remodeling that precedes enucleation. 1. Pimentel H, Parra M, Gee S, Ghanem D, An X, Li J, Mohandas N, Pachter L, Conboy JG. A dynamic alt...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    The Conboy and Lodish laboratories have both studied global alternative splicing patterns in mammalian erythroblasts.