Wang, Y., Han, Y., Xu, P., Ding, S., Li, G., Jin, H., Meng, Y., Meng, A., Jia, S. (2018) prpf4 is essential for cell survival and posterior lateral line primordium migration in zebrafish. Journal of genetics and genomics = Yi chuan xue bao. 45(8):443-453.
Prpf4 (pre-mRNA processing factor 4), a key component of spliceosome, plays critical roles in pre-mRNA splicing and its mutations result in retinitis pigmentosa due to photoreceptor defects. In this study, we characterized a zebrafish prpf4t243 mutant harboring a Tol2 transposon-based gene trap cassette in the third intron of the prpf4 gene. Cells in the brain and spinal cord gradually undergo p53-dependent apoptosis after 28 hpf in prpf4t243 mutants, suggesting that a widespread function of prpf4 in neural cell survival. In addition, prpf4 is essential for survival of posterior lateral line primordial (pLLP) cells. prpf4 deficiency perturbs Fgf, Wnt/β-catenin and chemokine signaling pathways and impairs pLLP migration. RNA-Seq analysis suggests that prpf4 deficiency may impair spliceosome assembly, leading to compensatory upregulation of core spliceosomal genes and alteration of pre-mRNA splicing. Taken together, our studies uncover an essential role of prpf4 in pre-mRNA splicing, cell survival and pLLP migration.