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Papers of the Week

2022 Apr 10




Alternative Splicing of Neuropeptide Prohormone and Receptor Genes Associated with Pain Sensitivity Was Detected with Zero-Inflated Models.


Migraine is often accompanied by exacerbated sensitivity to stimuli and pain associated with alternative splicing of genes in signaling pathways. Complementary analyses of alternative splicing of neuropeptide prohormone and receptor genes involved in cell-cell communication in the trigeminal ganglia and nucleus accumbens regions of mice presenting nitroglycerin-elicited hypersensitivity and control mice were conducted. De novo sequence assembly detected 540 isoforms from 168 neuropeptide prohormone and receptor genes. A zero-inflated negative binomial model that accommodates for potential excess of zero isoform counts enabled the detection of 27, 202, and 12 differentially expressed isoforms associated with hypersensitivity, regions, and the interaction between hypersensitivity and regions, respectively. Skipped exons and alternative 3' splice sites were the most frequent splicing events detected in the genes studied. Significant differential splicing associated with hypersensitivity was identified in CALCA and VGF neuropeptide prohormone genes and ADCYAP1R1, CRHR2, and IGF1R neuropeptide receptor genes. The prevalent region effect on differential isoform levels (202 isoforms) and alternative splicing (82 events) were consistent with the distinct splicing known to differentiate central nervous structures. Our findings highlight the changes in alternative splicing in neuropeptide prohormone and receptor genes associated with hypersensitivity to pain and the necessity to target isoform profiles for enhanced understanding and treatment of associated disorders such as migraine.