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Specific histone modifications associate with alternative exon selection during mammalian development

By Q Hu, Casey S. Greene, EA Heller

Posted 04 Jul 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/361816 (published DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkaa248)

Alternative splicing (AS) is frequent during early mouse embryonic development. Specific histone post-translational modifications (hPTMs) have been shown to regulate exon splicing by either directly recruiting splice machinery or indirectly modulating transcriptional elongation. In this study, we hypothesized that hPTMs regulate expression of alternatively spliced genes for specific processes during differentiation. To address this notion, we applied an innovative machine learning approach to relate global hPTM enrichment to AS regulation during mammalian tissue development. We found that specific histone modifications, H3K36me3 and H3K4me1, play a dominant role in skipped exon selection among all the tissues and developmental time points examined. In addition, we used iterative random forest model to identify interactions of several hPTMs that associated with skipped exon selection during tissue development. Collectively, our data demonstrated a link between hPTMs and alternative splicing which will drive further experimental studies on the functional relevance of these modifications to alternative splicing.

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