Alzheimer’s disease-associated U1 snRNP splicing dysfunction causes neuronal hyperexcitability and cognitive impairment

Ping Chung Chen, Xian Han, Timothy I. Shaw, Yingxue Fu, Huan Sun, Mingming Niu, Zhen Wang, Yun Jiao, Brett J.W. Teubner, Donnie Eddins, Lauren N. Beloate, Bing Bai, Joseph Mertz, Yuxin Li, Ji Hoon Cho, Xusheng Wang, Zhiping Wu, Danting Liu, Suresh Poudel, Zuo Fei YuanAriana Mancieri, Jonathan Low, Hyeong Min Lee, Mary H. Patton, Laurie R. Earls, Elizabeth Stewart, Peter Vogel, Yawei Hui, Shibiao Wan, David A. Bennett, Geidy E. Serrano, Thomas G. Beach, Michael A. Dyer, Richard J. Smeyne, Tudor Moldoveanu, Taosheng Chen, Gang Wu, Stanislav S. Zakharenko, Gang Yu, Junmin Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent proteome and transcriptome profiling of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brains reveals RNA splicing dysfunction and U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) pathology containing U1-70K and its N-terminal 40-KDa fragment (N40K). Here we present a causative role of U1 snRNP dysfunction to neurodegeneration in primary neurons and transgenic mice (N40K-Tg), in which N40K expression exerts a dominant-negative effect to downregulate full-length U1-70K. N40K-Tg recapitulates N40K insolubility, erroneous splicing events, neuronal degeneration and cognitive impairment. Specifically, N40K-Tg shows the reduction of GABAergic synapse components (for example, the GABA receptor subunit of GABRA2) and concomitant postsynaptic hyperexcitability that is rescued by a GABA receptor agonist. Crossing of N40K-Tg and the 5xFAD amyloidosis model indicates that the RNA splicing defect synergizes with the amyloid cascade to remodel the brain transcriptome and proteome, deregulate synaptic proteins and accelerate cognitive decline. Thus, our results support the contribution of U1 snRNP-mediated splicing dysfunction to AD pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-940
Number of pages18
JournalNature Aging
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


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