Pre-mRNA splicing is widely repressed upon heat shock in eukaryotic cells. However, it has been shown that HSP105 pre-mRNA is alternatively spliced in response to heat stress. Using RNAi screening in HeLa cells, we found that RNA-binding proteins hnRNP K and PSF/SFPQ are necessary for the exon 12 exclusion of HSP105 during heat stress. Moreover, exon array analyses showed that a group of genes is alternatively spliced during heat stress in an hnRNP K-dependent manner, whereas hnRNP K is not necessary for the stress-induced alternative splicing of the remaining genes. Among the latter group, we found that SRp38/SRSF10 and SC35/SRSF2 are necessary for the inclusion of exon 13 of TNRC6A during heat stress. Thus, our study clearly showed that several RNA-binding proteins are involved in the splicing regulation in response to heat stress in mammalian cells.
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