Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 54, Issue 10, pp 7808–7823 | Cite as

Transcriptional Elongation Regulator 1 Affects Transcription and Splicing of Genes Associated with Cellular Morphology and Cytoskeleton Dynamics and Is Required for Neurite Outgrowth in Neuroblastoma Cells and Primary Neuronal Cultures

  • Juan Pablo Muñoz-Cobo
  • Noemí Sánchez-Hernández
  • Sara Gutiérrez
  • Younes El Yousfi
  • Marta Montes
  • Carme Gallego
  • Cristina Hernández-Munain
  • Carlos SuñéEmail author


TCERG1 is a highly conserved human protein implicated in interactions with the transcriptional and splicing machinery that is associated with neurodegenerative disorders. Biochemical, neuropathological, and genetic evidence suggests an important role for TCERG1 in Huntington’s disease (HD) pathogenesis. At present, the molecular mechanism underlying TCERG1-mediated neuronal effects is unknown. Here, we show that TCERG1 depletion led to widespread alterations in mRNA processing that affected different types of alternative transcriptional or splicing events, indicating that TCERG1 plays a broad role in the regulation of alternative splicing. We observed considerable changes in the transcription and alternative splicing patterns of genes involved in cytoskeleton dynamics and neurite outgrowth. Accordingly, TCERG1 depletion in the neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line and primary mouse neurons affected morphogenesis and resulted in reduced dendritic outgrowth, with a major effect on dendrite ramification and branching complexity. These defects could be rescued by ectopic expression of TCERG1. Our results indicate that TCERG1 affects expression of multiple mRNAs involved in neuron projection development, whose misregulation may be involved in TCERG1-linked neurological disorders.


TCERG1 Transcription Alternative splicing Cytoskeleton Neurite outgrowth Dendrites 



Transcription elongation regulator 1


Huntington’s disease


RNA polymerase II;


Quantitative PCR



We are grateful to many colleagues for their helpful suggestions, critical discussions, and comments. The technical assistance of Laura Montosa and Eduardo Andrés-León during the confocal microscopy and bioinformatic studies is gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


This work was supported by grants from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (grant number BFU2014–54660-R) and the Andalusian Government (Excellence Project BIO-2515/2012) to C.S. and from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (grant number BFU2013–44660-R) and the Andalusian Government (Excellence Project CTS-6587) to C.H.M. Support from the European Region Development Fund (ERDF [FEDER]), is also acknowledged.

Supplementary material

12035_2016_284_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.2 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 3250 kb)
12035_2016_284_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (44 kb)
ESM 2 (XLSX 43 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Pablo Muñoz-Cobo
    • 1
  • Noemí Sánchez-Hernández
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sara Gutiérrez
    • 3
  • Younes El Yousfi
    • 1
  • Marta Montes
    • 1
    • 4
  • Carme Gallego
    • 3
  • Cristina Hernández-Munain
    • 5
  • Carlos Suñé
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Molecular BiologyInstitute of Parasitology and Biomedicine “López Neyra” (IPBLN-CSIC), PTSGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren InstituteStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona (IBMB-CSIC)BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Biotech Research and Innovation CentreUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  5. 5.Department of Cell Biology and ImmunologyInstitute of Parasitology and Biomedicine “López Neyra” (IPBLN-CSIC), PTSGranadaSpain

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