Dysregulation of alternative splicing of mRNA precursors is known to contribute to numerous human diseases. In this study we carried out the first systematic search for asthma-associated changes in alternative splicing events, using a model of Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus)-sensitized mice and an exon junction microarray to detect potential changes in alternative splicing. One of the sensitization-associated changes identified in the search was a shift in alternative splicing of the mRNA encoding cFLIP, a modulator of the caspase-mediated extrinsic apoptosis pathway. Expanding these studies to human asthma patients, we discovered a significant decrease in the expression of both cFLIP isoforms in severe corticosteroid-resistant asthmatics. Although it is unclear whether these changes were due solely to differences in alternative splicing, these findings provide evidence that dysregulation of the extrinsic apoptosis pathway is part of the underlying immunopathogenesis of severe refractory asthma.
Lazarev, D., Miller, R. L., Dimango, E., Fu, X. D., Li, H. R., Logan, C. J., & Manley, J. L. (2014). CFLIP expression is altered in severe corticosteroid-resistant asthma. Genomics Data, 2, 99–104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gdata.2014.05.003