Sensory neuron transcriptomes reveal complex neuron-specific function and regulation of mec-2/Stomatin splicing

Xiaoyu Liang, Canyon Calovich-Benne, and Adam Norris

Nucleic Acids Research, gkab1134, doi:10.1093/nar/gkab1134

Measuring splicing with single-cell resolution faces considerable challenges. This can lead to erroneous conclusions about the nature of individual neuronal transcriptomes and hamper downstream efforts to elucidate regulatory and functional principles. Here, investigators obtain deep transcriptomes of individual neuron types in C. elegans, which leads them to decipher both regulatory and functional consequences of splicing in specific sensory neurons. The analysis reveals simultaneous expression of multiple gene isoforms in single neurons, with important functional consequences. The conserved splicing factor MEC-8/RBPMS controls a small mechanosensory neuron splicing network. Restoring a single target isoform fully rescues mec-8 mutant mechanosensory defects. Mechanosensory neurons express two mec-2 isoforms simultaneously required for neuron function, while a third mec-2 isoform is expressed and functional in olfactory neurons.

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