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Copine-1 (Chromobindin 17) (Copine I) [CPN1]


Prevalent intron retention fine-tunes gene expression and contributes to cellular senescence.

Intron retention (IR) is the least well-understood alternative splicing type in animals, and its prevalence and function in physiological and pathological processes have long been underestimated. Cellular senescence contributes to individual aging and age-related diseases and can also serve as an important cancer prevention mechanism. Dynamic IR events have been observed in senescence models and aged tissues; however, whether and how IR impacts senescence remain unclear. Through analyzing polyA RNA-seq data from human replicative senescence models, we found IR was prevalent and dynamically regulated during senescence and IR changes negatively correlated with expression alteration of corresponding genes. We discovered that knocking down (KD) splicing factor U2AF1, which showed higher binding density to retained introns and decreased expression during senescence, led to senescence-associated phenotypes and global IR changes. Intriguingly, U2AF1-KD-induced IR changes also negatively correlated with gene expression. Furthermore, we demonstrated that U2AF1-mediated IR of specific gene (CPNE1 as an example) contributed to cellular senescence. Decreased expression of U2AF1, higher IR of CPNE1, and reduced expression of CPNE1 were also discovered in dermal fibroblasts with age. We discovered prevalent IR could fine-tune gene expression and contribute to senescence-associated phenotypes, largely extending the biological significance of IR.


  • CPNE1
  • U2AF1
  • intron retention
  • senescence
  • splicing factor

Genome-wide Associations Reveal Human-Mouse Genetic Convergence and Modifiers of Myogenesis, CPNE1 and STC2.

Muscle bulk in adult healthy humans is highly variable even after height, age, and sex are accounted for. Low muscle mass, due to fewer and/or smaller constituent muscle fibers, would exacerbate the impact of muscle loss occurring in aging or disease. Genetic variability substantially influences muscle mass differences, but causative genes remain largely unknown. In a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on appendicular lean mass (ALM) in a population of 85,750 middle-aged (aged 38-49 years) individuals from the UK Biobank (UKB), we found 182 loci associated with ALM (p < 5 × 10 ). We replicated associations for 78% of these loci (p < 5 × 10 ) with ALM in a population of 181,862 elderly (aged 60-74 years) individuals from UKB. We also conducted a GWAS on hindlimb skeletal muscle mass of 1,867 mice from an advanced intercross between two inbred strains (LG/J and SM/J); this GWAS identified 23 quantitative trait loci. Thirty-eight positional candidates distributed across five loci overlapped between the two species. In vitro studies of positional candidates confirmed CPNE1 and STC2 as modifiers of myogenesis. Collectively, these findings shed light on the genetics of muscle mass variability in humans and identify targets for the development of interventions for treatment of muscle loss. The overlapping results between humans and the mouse model GWAS point to shared genetic mechanisms across species.

MeSH Terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Body Weight
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Glycoproteins
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Development
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Thinness


  • UK Biobank
  • human and mouse GWAS
  • sarcopenia
  • skeletal muscle