A methyl transferase links the circadian clock to the regulation of alternative splicing

Sabrina E. Sanchez, Ezequiel Petrillo, Esteban J. Beckwith, Xu Zhang, Matias L. Rugnone, C. Esteban Hernando, Juan C. Cuevas, Micaela A. Godoy Herz, Ana Depetris-Chauvin, Craig G. Simpson, John W. S. Brown, Pablo D. Cerdán, Justin O. Borevitz, Paloma Mas, M. Fernanda Ceriani, Alberto R. Kornblihtt, Marcelo J. Yanovsky

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    190 Citations (Scopus)


    Circadian rhythms allow organisms to time biological processes to the most appropriate phases of the day-night cycle. Post-transcriptional regulation is emerging as an important component of circadian networks, but the molecular mechanisms linking the circadian clock to the control of RNA processing are largely unknown. Here we show that PROTEIN ARGININE METHYL TRANSFERASE 5 (PRMT5), which transfers methyl groups to arginine residues present in histones and Sm spliceosomal proteins, links the circadian clock to the control of alternative splicing in plants. Mutations in PRMT5 impair several circadian rhythms in Arabidopsis thaliana and this phenotype is caused, at least in part, by a strong alteration in alternative splicing of the core-clock gene PSEUDO RESPONSE REGULATOR 9 (PRR9). Furthermore, genome-wide studies show that PRMT5 contributes to the regulation of many pre-messenger-RNA splicing events, probably by modulating 5'-splice-site recognition. PRMT5 expression shows daily and circadian oscillations, and this contributes to the mediation of the circadian regulation of expression and alternative splicing of a subset of genes. Circadian rhythms in locomotor activity are also disrupted in dart5-1, a mutant affected in the Drosophila melanogaster PRMT5 homologue, and this is associated with alterations in splicing of the core-clock gene period and several clock-associated genes. Our results demonstrate a key role for PRMT5 in the regulation of alternative splicing and indicate that the interplay between the circadian clock and the regulation of alternative splicing by PRMT5 constitutes a common mechanism that helps organisms to synchronize physiological processes with daily changes in environmental conditions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)112-116
    Number of pages5
    Issue number7320
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    Cite this

    Sanchez, S. E., Petrillo, E., Beckwith, E. J., Zhang, X., Rugnone, M. L., Hernando, C. E., Cuevas, J. C., Godoy Herz, M. A., Depetris-Chauvin, A., Simpson, C. G., Brown, J. W. S., Cerdán, P. D., Borevitz, J. O., Mas, P., Ceriani, M. F., Kornblihtt, A. R., & Yanovsky, M. J. (2010). A methyl transferase links the circadian clock to the regulation of alternative splicing. Nature, 468(7320), 112-116. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature09470