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RNA-binding proteins switch gears to drive alternative splicing in neurons

A new study reveals that cells naturally switch from expressing one polypyrimidine tract–binding protein (PTB) to a highly similar family member, nPTB, during the development of neurons, and shows that PTB itself regulates this transition. Ensembles of coregulated exons simultaneously change their splicing patterns, suggesting that this phenomenon could potentially mediate widespread changes in proteins composed of modular functional domains, thus driving neuronal phenotypes or disfavoring non-neuronal ones.

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Figure 1: PTB switches to nPTB during neuronal, but not glial cell, development to induce changes in the splicing patterns of ensembles of responsive exons.
Figure 2: PTB cross-regulates nPTB in neural progenitor cells.


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Grabowski, P. RNA-binding proteins switch gears to drive alternative splicing in neurons. Nat Struct Mol Biol 14, 577–579 (2007).

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