MeCP2 gates spatial learning-induced alternative splicing events in the mouse hippocampus / David V.C. Brito, Kubra Gulmez Karaca, Janina Kupke, Lukas Frank and Ana M.M. Oliveira

Long-term memory formation is supported by functional and structural changes of neuronal networks, which rely on de novo gene transcription and protein synthesis. The modulation of the neuronal transcriptome in response to learning depends on transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms. DNA methylation writers and readers regulate the activity-dependent genomic program required for memory consolidation. The most abundant DNA methylation reader, the Methyl CpG binding domain protein 2 (MeCP2), has been shown to regulate alternative splicing, but whether it establishes splicing events important for memory consolidation has not been investigated. In this study, we identified the alternative splicing profile of the mouse hippocampus in basal conditions and after a spatial learning experience, and investigated the requirement of MeCP2 for these processes. We observed that spatial learning triggers a wide-range of alternative splicing events in transcripts associated with structural and functional remodeling and that virus-mediated knockdown of MeCP2 impairs learning-dependent post-transcriptional responses of mature hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, we found that MeCP2 preferentially affected the splicing modalities intron retention and exon skipping and guided the alternative splicing of distinct set of genes in baseline conditions and after learning. Lastly, comparative analysis of the MeCP2-regulated transcriptome with the alternatively spliced mRNA pool, revealed that MeCP2 disruption alters the relative abundance of alternatively spliced isoforms without affecting the overall mRNA levels. Taken together, our findings reveal that adult hippocampal MeCP2 is required to finetune alternative splicing events in basal conditions, as well as in response to spatial learning. This study provides new insight into how MeCP2 regulates brain function, particularly cognitive abilities, and sheds light onto the pathophysiological mechanisms of Rett syndrome, that is characterized by intellectual disability and caused by mutations in the Mecp2 gene.

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Persons: Brito, David V. C. [Author]; Gülmez Karaca, Kübra [Author]; Kupke, Janina [Author]; Frank, Lukas [Author]; Oliveira, Ana [Author]
Format: eArticle
Language(s):English
Publication:17 November 2020
Part of:Molecular brain 13(2020) Artikel-Nummer 156, 16 Seiten
Subjects:Adult brain
Alternative splicing
DNA methylation
Gene transcription
Rett syndrome
RNA sequencing
Notes:Gesehen am 21.12.2020
Physical description:16
ISSN:1756-6606
DOI:10.1186/s13041-020-00695-1