Splicing factors (SFs) act in dynamic macromolecular complexes to modulate RNA processing. To understand the complex role of SFs in cancer progression, we performed a systemic analysis of the co-regulation of SFs using primary tumor RNA sequencing data. Co-regulated SFs were associated with aggressive breast cancer phenotypes and enhanced metastasis formation, resulting in the classification of Enhancer- (21 genes) and Suppressor-SFs (64 genes). High Enhancer-SF levels were related to distinct splicing patterns and expression of known oncogenic pathways such as respiratory electron transport, DNA damage and cell cycle regulation. Importantly, largely identical SF co-regulation was observed in almost all major cancer types, including lung, pancreas and prostate cancer. In conclusion, we identified cancer-associated co-regulated expression of SFs that are associated with aggressive phenotypes. This study increases the global understanding of the role of the spliceosome in cancer progression and also contributes to the development of strategies to cure cancer patients.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-40759-4, hdl.handle.net/1765/116282
Journal Scientific Reports
Koedoot, E., Smid, M, Foekens, J.A, Martens, J.W.M, Le Devedec, SE, & van de Water, B. (2019). Co-regulated gene expression of splicing factors as drivers of cancer progression. Scientific Reports, 9. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-40759-4