Rbm24a and Rbm24b are required for normal somitogenesis
Samantha D. Maragh
We recently demonstrated that the gene encoding the RNA binding motif protein 24 (Rbm24)¬¬ is expressed during mouse cardiogenesis, and determined the developmental requirement for its zebrafish homologs Rbm24a and Rbm24b during cardiac development. We demonstrate here that both Rbm24a and Rbm24b are also required for normal somite and craniofacial development. Diminution of rbm24a or rbm24b gene products by morpholino knockdown resulted in significant disruption of somite formation. Detailed in situ hybridization-based analyses of a spectrum of somitogenesis-associated transcripts revealed reduced expression of the cyclic muscle pattering genes dlc and dld encoding Notch ligands, as well as their respective target genes her7, her1. By contrast expression of the Notch receptors notch1a and notch3 appears unchanged. Some RBM-family members have been implicated in pre-mRNA processing. Analysis of affected Notch-pathway mRNAs in rbm24a and rbm24b morpholino-injected embryos revealed aberrant transcript fragments of dlc and dld, but not her1 or her7, suggesting the reduction in transcription levels of Notch pathway components may result from aberrant processing of its ligands. These data imply a previously unknown requirement for Rbm24a and Rbm24b in somite and craniofacial development. Although we anticipate the influence of disrupting RBM24 homologs likely extends beyond the Notch pathway, our results suggest their perturbation may directly, or indirectly, compromise post-transcriptional processing, exemplified by imprecise processing of dlc and dld.