Raczynska KD, Stepien A, Kierzkowski D, Kalak M, Bajczyk M, McNicol J, Simpson CG, Szweykowska-Kulinska Z, Brown JW, Jarmolowski A
How alternative splicing (AS) is regulated in plants has not yet been elucidated. Previously, we have shown that the nuclear cap-binding protein complex (AtCBC) is involved in AS in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here we show that both subunits of AtCBC (AtCBP20 and AtCBP80) interact with SERRATE (AtSE), a protein involved in the microRNA biogenesis pathway. Moreover, using a high-resolution reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction AS system we have found that AtSE influences AS in a similar way to the cap-binding complex (CBC), preferentially affecting selection of 5' splice site of first introns. The AtSE protein acts in cooperation with AtCBC: many changes observed in the mutant lacking the correct SERRATE activity were common to those observed in the cbp mutants. Interestingly, significant changes in AS of some genes were also observed in other mutants of plant microRNA biogenesis pathway, hyl1-2 and dcl1-7, but a majority of them did not correspond to the changes observed in the se-1 mutant. Thus, the role of SERRATE in AS regulation is distinct from that of HYL1 and DCL1, and is similar to the regulation of AS in which CBC is involved.