RNA binding proteins (RBPs) have essential roles in posttranscriptional gene
regulation, however, such functions are yet to be explained. Thus,
scientists from China Agricultural University and Shanghai University
conducted a study to elucidate the function of one RBP (DEK42) inmaize.
Dek42 is continuously expressed in the different tissues of maize. When this
gene was mutated, there was a significant decrease in the build up BEK42
protein in mutant kernels. Analysis showed that the dek42 mutation changed
the expression of thousands of genes during the development of maize kernel.
Further analysis also showed that the dek42 mutation significantly changed
alternative splicing in expressed genes, which were especially enriched for
the U12$B!>(Btype intron retained type.
The findings imply that DEK42 is vital in the regulation of pre-mRA splicing
through its interaction with other spliceosome components.