Mutant PRPF8 Causes Widespread Splicing Changes in Spliceosome Components in Retinitis Pigmentosa Patient iPSC-Derived RPE Cells

Ángeles Arzalluz-Luque, Jose Luis Cabrera, Heli Skottman, Alberto Benguria, Arantxa Bolinches-Amorós, Nicolás Cuenca, Vincenzo Lupo, Ana Dopazo, Sonia Tarazona, Bárbara Delás, Miguel Carballo, Beatriz Pascual, Imma Hernan, Slaven Erceg, Dunja Lukovic

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Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a rare, progressive disease that affects photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells with blindness as a final outcome. Despite high medical and social impact, there is currently no therapeutic options to slow down the progression of or cure the disease. The development of effective therapies was largely hindered by high genetic heterogeneity, inaccessible disease tissue, and unfaithful model organisms. The fact that components of ubiquitously expressed splicing factors lead to the retina-specific disease is an additional intriguing question. Herein, we sought to correlate the retinal cell-type-specific disease phenotype with the splicing profile shown by a patient with autosomal recessive RP, caused by a mutation in pre-mRNA splicing factor 8 (PRPF8). In order to get insight into the role of PRPF8 in homeostasis and disease, we capitalize on the ability to generate patient-specific RPE cells and reveal differentially expressed genes unique to RPE cells. We found that spliceosomal complex and ribosomal functions are crucial in determining cell-type specificity through differential expression and alternative splicing (AS) and that PRPF8 mutation causes global changes in splice site selection and exon inclusion that particularly affect genes involved in these cellular functions. This finding corroborates the hypothesis that retinal tissue identity is conferred by a specific splicing program and identifies retinal AS events as a framework toward the design of novel therapeutic opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number636969
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • alternative splicing
  • iPSC
  • pre-mRNA splicing
  • PRPF8
  • retinitis pigmentosa
  • RNA-Seq
  • RPE

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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