The Francis Crick Institute
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m6a methylation orchestrates IMP1 regulation of microtubules during human neuronal differentiation.

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-11, 09:58 authored by Pierre Klein, Marija Petrić Howe, Jasmine Harley, Harry Crook, Sofia Esteban Serna, Theodoros I Roumeliotis, Jyoti S Choudhary, Anob M Chakrabarti, Raphaëlle Luisier, Rickie Patani, Andres Ramos
Neuronal differentiation requires building a complex intracellular architecture, and therefore the coordinated regulation of defined sets of genes. RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) play a key role in this regulation. However, while their action on individual mRNAs has been explored in depth, the mechanisms used to coordinate gene expression programs shaping neuronal morphology are poorly understood. To address this, we studied how the paradigmatic RBP IMP1 (IGF2BP1), an essential developmental factor, selects and regulates its RNA targets during the human neuronal differentiation. We perform a combination of system-wide and molecular analyses, revealing that IMP1 developmentally transitions to and directly regulates the expression of mRNAs encoding essential regulators of the microtubule network, a key component of neuronal morphology. Furthermore, we show that m6A methylation drives the selection of specific IMP1 mRNA targets and their protein expression during the developmental transition from neural precursors to neurons, providing a molecular principle for the onset of target selectivity.