Noncoding RNA-regulated gain-of-function of STOX2 in Finnish pre-eclamptic families

Cees B. M. Oudejans, Ankie Poutsma, Omar J. Michel, Hari K. Thulluru, Joyce Mulders, Henri J. van de Vrugt, Erik A. Sistermans, Marie van Dijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The familial forms of early onset pre-eclampsia and related syndromes (HELLP) present with hypertension and proteinuria in the mother and growth restriction of the fetus. Genetically, these clinically similar entities are caused by different founder-dependent, placentally-expressed paralogous genes. All susceptibility genes (STOX1, lincHELLP, INO80B) identified so far are master control genes that regulate an essential trophoblast differentiation pathway, but act at different entry points. Many genes remain to be identified. Here we demonstrate that a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) within intron 3 of the STOX2 gene on 4q35.1 acts as a permissive cis-acting regulator of alternative splicing of STOX2. When this lncRNA is mutated or absent, an alternative exon (3B) of STOX2 is included. This introduces a stop codon resulting in the deletion of a highly conserved domain of 64 amino acids in the C-terminal of the STOX2 protein. A mutation present within a regulatory region within intron 1 of STOX2 has the same effect after blocking with CRISPR technology: transcripts with exon 3B are upregulated. This proces appears related to transcriptional control by a chromatin-splicing adaptor complex as described for FGFR2. For STOX2, CHD5, coding for a chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein, qualifies as the chromatin modifier in this process
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32129
Number of pages32129
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2016

Cite this