Genome-wide analysis of immune activation in human T and B cells reveals distinct classes of alternatively spliced genes

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Abstract

Alternative splicing of pre-mRNA is a mechanism that increases the protein diversity of a single gene by differential exon inclusion/ exclusion during post-transcriptional processing. While alternative splicing is established to occur during lymphocyte activation, little is known about the role it plays during the immune response. Our study is among the first reports of a systematic genome-wide analysis of activated human T and B lymphocytes using whole exon DNA microarrays integrating alternative splicing and differential gene expression. Purified human CD2 + T or CD19 + B cells were activated using protocols to model the early events in post-transplant allograft immunity and sampled as a function of time during the process of immune activation. Here we show that 3 distinct classes of alternatively spliced and/or differentially expressed genes change in an ordered manner as a function of immune activation. We mapped our results to function-based canonical pathways and demonstrated that some are populated by only one class of genes, like integrin signaling, while other pathways, such as purine metabolism and T cell receptor signaling, are populated by all three classes of genes. Our studies augment the current view of T and B cell activation in immunity that has been based exclusively upon differential gene expression by providing evidence for a large number of molecular networks populated as a function of time and activation by alternatively spliced genes, many of which are constitutively expressed. © 2009 Grigoryev et al.

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Grigoryev, Y. A., Kurian, S. M., Nakorchevskiy, A. A., Burke, J. P., Campbell, D., Head, S. R., … Salomon, D. R. (2009). Genome-wide analysis of immune activation in human T and B cells reveals distinct classes of alternatively spliced genes. PLoS ONE, 4(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0007906

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