Chtop (chromatin target of Prmt1) regulates various aspects of gene expression including transcription and mRNA export. Despite these important functions, the regulatory mechanism underlying Chtop expression remains undetermined. Using Chtop-expressing human cell lines, we demonstrate that Chtop expression is controlled via an autoregulatory negative feedback loop whereby Chtop binds its own mRNA to retain intron 2 during splicing; a premature termination codon present at the 5' end of intron 2 leads to nonsense-mediated decay of the mRNA. We also show that Chtop interacts with exon 2 of Chtop mRNA via its arginine-glycine-rich (RG) domain, and with intron 2 via its N-terminal (N1) domain; both are required for retention of intron 2. In addition, we show that hnRNP H accelerates intron 2 splicing of Chtop mRNA in a manner dependent on Chtop expression level, suggesting that Chtop and hnRNP H regulate intron 2 retention of Chtop mRNA antagonistically. Thus, the present study provides a novel molecular mechanism by which mRNA and protein levels are constitutively regulated by intron retention.
- rna splicing