Main content area

Endonuclease G modulates the alternative splicing of deoxyribonuclease 1 mRNA in human CD4+ T lymphocytes and prevents the progression of apoptosis

Zhdanov, Dmitry D., Gladilina, Yulia A., Pokrovsky, Vadim S., Grishin, Dmitry V., Grachev, Vladimir A., Orlova, Valentina S., Pokrovskaya, Marina V., Alexandrova, Svetlana S., Plyasova, Anna A., Sokolov, Nikolay N.
Biochimie 2019 v.157 pp. 158-176
CD4-positive T-lymphocytes, alternative splicing, antisense DNA, apoptosis, cell nucleus, deoxyribonuclease I, enzyme activity, exons, gene overexpression, humans, introns, messenger RNA, mitochondria, oligonucleotides
Apoptotic endonucleases act cooperatively to fragment DNA and ensure the irreversibility of apoptosis. However, very little is known regarding the potential regulatory links between endonucleases. Deoxyribonuclease 1 (DNase I) inactivation is caused by alternative splicing (AS) of DNase I pre-mRNA skipping exon 4, which occurs in response to EndoG overexpression in cells. The current study aimed to determine the role of EndoG in the regulation of DNase I mRNA AS and the modulation of its enzymatic activity. A strong correlation was identified between the EndoG expression levels and DNase I splice variants in human lymphocytes. EndoG overexpression in CD4+ T cells down-regulated the mRNA levels of the active full-length DNase I variant and up-regulated the levels of the non-active spliced variant, which acts in a dominant-negative fashion. DNase I AS was induced by the translocation of EndoG from mitochondria into nuclei during the development of apoptosis. The DNase I spliced variant was induced by recombinant EndoG or by incubation with EndoG-digested cellular RNA in an in vitro system with isolated cell nuclei. Using antisense DNA oligonucleotides, we identified a 72-base segment that spans the adjacent segments of exon 4 and intron 4 and appears to be responsible for the AS. DNase I-positive CD4+ T cells overexpressing EndoG demonstrated decreased progression towards bleomycin-induced apoptosis. Therefore, EndoG is an endonuclease with the unique ability to inactivate another endonuclease, DNase I, and to modulate the development of apoptosis.