Nudt21 regulates the alternative polyadenylation of Pak1 and is predictive in the prognosis of glioblastoma patients

Yuan Chu, Nathan Elrod, Chaojie Wang, Lei Li, Tao Chen, Andrew Routh, Zheng Xia, Wei Li, Eric J. Wagner, Ping Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Alternative polyadenylation (APA) has emerged as a prevalent feature associated with cancer development and progression. The advantage of APA to tumor progression is to induce oncogenes through 3′-UTR shortening, and to inactivate tumor suppressor genes via the re-routing of microRNA competition. We previously identified the Mammalian Cleavage Factor I-25 (CFIm25) (encoded by Nudt21 gene) as a master APA regulator whose expression levels directly impact the tumorigenicity of glioblastoma (GBM) in vitro and in vivo. Despite its importance, the role of Nudt21 in GBM development is not known and the genes subject to Nudt21 APA regulation that contribute to GBM progression have not been identified. Here, we find that Nudt21 is reduced in low grade glioma (LGG) and all four subtypes of high grade glioma (GBM). Reduced expression of Nudt21 associates with worse survival in TCGA LGG cohorts and two TCGA GBM cohorts. Moreover, although CFIm25 was initially identified as biochemically associated with both CFIm59 and CFIm68, we observed three CFIm distinct subcomplexes exist and CFIm59 protein level is dependent on Nudt21 expression in GBM cells, but CFIm68 is not, and that only CFIm59 predicts prognosis of GBM patients similar to Nudt21. Through the use of Poly(A)-Click-Seq to characterize APA, we define the mRNAs subject to 3′-UTR shortening upon Nudt21 depletion in GBM cells and observed enrichment in genes important in the Ras signaling pathway, including Pak1. Remarkably, we find that Pak1 expression is regulated by Nudt21 through its 3′-UTR APA, and the combination of Pak1 and Nudt21 expression generates an even stronger prognostic indicator of GBM survival versus either value used alone. Collectively, our data uncover Nudt21 and its downstream target Pak1 as a potential “combination biomarker” for predicting prognosis of GBM patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4154-4168
Number of pages15
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 23 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Nudt21 regulates the alternative polyadenylation of Pak1 and is predictive in the prognosis of glioblastoma patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this