B-cell and plasma-cell splicing differences: A potential role in regulated immunoglobulin RNA processing

Shirley R. Bruce, R. W.Cameron Dingle, Martha L. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The immunoglobulin μ pre-mRNA is alternatively processed at its 3′ end by competing splice and cleavage-polyadenylation reactions to generate mRNAs encoding the membrane-associated or secreted forms of the IgM protein, respectively. The relative use of the competing processing pathways varies during B-lymphocyte development, and it has been established previously that cleavage-polyadenylation activity is higher in plasma cells, which secrete IgM, than in B cells, which produce membrane-associated IgM. To determine whether RNA-splicing activity varies during B-lymphocyte development to contribute to p RNA-processing regulation, we first demonstrate that p pre-mRNA processing is sensitive to artificial changes in the splice environment by coexpressing SR proteins with the p gene. To explore differences between the splice environments of B cells and plasma cells, we analyzed the splicing patterns from two different chimeric non-Ig genes that can be alternatively spliced but have no competing cleavage-polyadenylation reaction. The ratio of intact exon splicing to cryptic splice site use from one chimeric gene differs between several B-cell and several plasma-cell lines. Also, the amount of spliced RNA is higher in B-cell than plasma-cell lines from a set of genes whose splicing is dependent on a functional exonic splice enhancer. Thus, there is clear difference between the B-cell and plasma-cell splicing environments. We propose that both general cleavage-polyadenylation and general splice activities are modulated during B-lymphocyte development to ensure proper regulation of the alternative p RNA processing pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1264-1273
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003


  • Cleavage-polyadenylation
  • RNA splicing
  • SR proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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