Aberrant splicing in several human tumors in the tumor suppressor genes neurofibromatosis type 1, neurofibromatosis type 2, and tuberous sclerosis 2

Academic Article


  • Mutations at splice sites or surrounding sequences have been reported to cause aberrant splicing. However, splicing errors can also occur without sequence alterations. We investigated three tumor suppressor genes for aberrant splicing in tumors. At a low frequency per exon it was found in five of seven of the investigated in-frame exons of the neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) gene, in two of three exons of the neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) gene, and in one of three exons of the tuberous sclerosis 2 gene. It was detectable in all of the human tumor tissues tested (NF1 neurofibroma, sporadic intramedullar neurinoma, sporadic meningiomas, NF2 schwannoma, NF2 meningioma, basalioma, and naevus) as well as in cultured tumor cell lines and cultured primary cells. Hence, our data show that aberrant splicing is a very common process. According to simulations of the secondary structures of the pre-mRNA, we suggest that aberrant splicing is attributable to the rare occurrence of alternative structures at the splice donor site, which are not recognized by the splice machinery. In HeLa cells, aberrant splicing is found to be increased at elevated temperatures and low pH in vitro, conditions often found in tumor tissues. In three tumor tissues tested for one NF1 exon, we found approximately twice the amount of aberrant transcript as in normal tissues. Therefore, we suggest that the increase in aberrant splicing caused by environmental factors represents an additional mechanism for the reduction of the amount of tumor suppressor mRNA in the absence of relevant mutations in the tumor.
  • Published In

  • Cancer Research  Journal
  • Author List

  • Kaufmann D; Leistner W; Kruse P; Kenner O; Hoffmeyer S; Hein C; Vogel W; Messiaen L; Bartelt B
  • Start Page

  • 1503
  • End Page

  • 1509
  • Volume

  • 62
  • Issue

  • 5