Seminar, 01. December 2022, Dr. Kathi Zarnack

Thursday, 01. December 2022, 1.00 p.m. 

Ernst-Abbe-Platz 2, 4. Etage – SR 3423

High-throughput mutagenesis identifies mutations and RNA-binding proteins controlling CD19 splicing and CART-19 therapy resistance

Dr. Kathi Zarnack
(Computational RNA Biology, Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Frankfurt/Main Germany)

Following CART-19 immunotherapy for B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (B-ALL), many patients relapse due to loss of the cognate CD19 epitope. Since epitope loss can be caused by aberrant CD19 exon 2 processing, we herein investigate the regulatory code that controls CD19 splicing. We combine high-throughput mutagenesis with mathematical modelling to quantitatively disentangle the effects of all mutations in the region comprising CD19 exons 1-3. Thereupon, we identify ~200 single point mutations that alter CD19 splicing and thus could predispose B-ALL patients to developing CART-19 resistance. Furthermore, we report almost 100 previously unknown splice isoforms that emerge from cryptic splice sites and likely encode non-functional CD19 proteins. We further identify cis-regulatory elements and trans-acting RNA-binding proteins that control CD19 splicing (e.g., PTBP1 and SF3B4) and validate that loss of these factors leads to pervasive CD19 mis-splicing. Our dataset represents a comprehensive resource for identifying predictive biomarkers for CART-19 therapy.