UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

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Program in Molecular Medicine; Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology

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Article Preprint


Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins | Congenital, Hereditary, and Neonatal Diseases and Abnormalities | Molecular Biology | Nervous System Diseases | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Nucleic Acids, Nucleotides, and Nucleosides


Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by inactivation of the FMR1 gene and loss of encoded FMRP, an RNA binding protein that represses translation of some of its target transcripts. Here we use ribosome profiling and RNA-seq to investigate the dysregulation of translation in the mouse brain cortex. We find that most changes in ribosome occupancy on hundreds of mRNAs are largely driven by dysregulation in transcript abundance. Many downregulated mRNAs, which are mostly responsible for neuronal and synaptic functions, are highly enriched for FMRP binding targets. RNA metabolic labeling demonstrates that in FMRP-deficient cortical neurons, mRNA downregulation is caused by elevated degradation, and is correlated with codon optimality. Moreover, FMRP preferentially binds mRNAs with optimal codons, suggesting that it stabilizes such transcripts through direct interactions via the translational machinery. Finally, we show that the paradigm of genetic rescue of FXS-like phenotypes in FMRP-deficient mice by deletion of the Cpeb1 gene is mediated by restoration of steady state RNA levels and consequent rebalancing of translational homeostasis. Our data establish an essential role of FMRP in codon optimality-dependent mRNA stability as an important factor in FXS.


molecular Biology, Fragile X syndrome, FMRP, mRNAs

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bioRxiv 801449; doi: Link to preprint on bioRxiv service.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.