TCB Publications - Abstract

Chaitali Misra, Sushant Bangru, Feikai Lin, Kin Lam, Sara N. Koenig, Ellen R. Lubbers, Jamila Hedhli, Nathaniel P. Murphy, Darren J. Parker, Lawrence W. Dobrucki, Thomas A. Cooper, Emad Tajkhorshid, Peter J. Mohler, and Auinash Kalsotra. Aberrant expression of a non-muscle RBFOX2 isoform triggers cardiac conduction defects in myotonic dystrophy. Developmental Cell, 52:748-763, 2020. (PMC: PMC7098852)

MISR2020-ET Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a multisystemic genetic disorder caused by a CTG trinucleotide repeat expansion in the 3′ untranslated region of DMPK gene. Heart dysfunctions occur in nearly 80the second leading cause of DM1-related deaths. Despite these figures, the mechanisms underlying cardiac-based DM1 phenotypes are unknown. Herein, we report that upregulation of a non-muscle splice isoform of RNA binding protein RBFOX2 in DM1 heart tissue due to altered splicing factor and microRNA activities induces cardiac conduction defects in DM1 individuals. Mice engineered to express the non-muscle RBFOX2 isoform in heart via tetracycline-inducible transgenesis, or CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing, reproduced DM1-related cardiac-conduction delay and spontaneous episodes of arrhythmia. Further, by integrating RNA binding with cardiac transcriptome datasets from both DM1 patients and mice expressing the non-muscle RBFOX2 isoform, we identified RBFOX2-driven splicing defects in the voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels, which can alter their electrophysiological properties. Thus, our results uncover a trans-dominant role for an aberrantly expressed RBFOX2 isoform in DM1 cardiac pathogenesis.

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