Neuronal Depolarization Induced RNA m5C Methylation Changes in Mouse Cortical Neurons


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Neuronal activity is accomplished via substantial changes in gene expression, which may be accompanied by post-transcriptional modifications including RNA cytosine-5 methylation (m5C). Despite several reports on the transcriptome profiling of activated neurons, the dynamics of neuronal mRNA m5C modification in response to environmental stimuli has not been explored. Here, we provide transcriptome-wide maps of m5C modification, together with gene expression profiles, for mouse cortical neurons at 0 h, 2 h, and 6 h upon membrane depolarization. Thousands of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified during the neuronal depolarization process. In stimulated neurons, the majority of early response genes were found to serve as expression regulators of late response genes, which are involved in signaling pathways and diverse synaptic functions. With RNA bisulfite sequencing data, a union set of 439 m5C sites was identified with high confidence, and approximately 30% of them were shared by neurons at all three time points. Interestingly, over 41% of the m5C sites showed increased methylation upon neuronal activation and were enriched in transcripts coding for proteins with synaptic functions. In addition, a modest negative correlation was observed between RNA expression and methylation. In summary, our study provided dynamic transcriptome-wide landscapes of RNA m5C methylation in neurons, and revealed that mRNA m5C methylation is associated with the regulation of gene expression.




Xu, X.; Johnson, Z.; Xie, H. Neuronal Depolarization Induced RNA m5C Methylation Changes in Mouse Cortical Neurons. Biology 2022, 11, 988.