In this study, we have investigated the global impact of heterogeneous nuclear Ribonuclear Protein (hnRNP) H/F-mediated regulation of splicing events and gene expression in oligodendrocytes. We have performed a genome-wide transcriptomic analysis at the gene and exon levels in Oli-neu cells treated with siRNA that targets hnRNPH/F compared to untreated cells using Affymetrix Exon Array. Gene expression levels and regulated exons were identified with the GenoSplice EASANA algorithm. Bioinformatics analyses were performed to determine the structural properties of G tracts that correlate with the function of hnRNPH/F as enhancers vs. repressors of exon inclusion. Different types of alternatively spliced events are regulated by hnRNPH/F. Intronic G tracts density, length and proximity to the 5' splice site correlate with the hnRNPH/F enhancer function. Additionally, 6% of genes are differently expressed upon knock down of hnRNPH/F. Genes that regulate the transition of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells to oligodendrocytes are differentially expressed in hnRNPH/F depleted Oli-neu cells, resulting in a decrease of negative regulators and an increase of differentiation-inducing regulators. The changes were confirmed in developing oligodendrocytes in vivo. This is the first genome wide analysis of splicing events and gene expression regulated by hnRNPH/F in oligodendrocytes and the first report that hnRNPH/F regulate genes that are involved in the transition from oligodendrocyte progenitor cells to oligodendrocytes.

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Published in PLoS ONE, v. 7, no. 12, e51266.

© 2012 Wang et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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