Integrative bioinformatics analysis characterizing the role of EDC3 in mRNA decay and its association to intellectual disability

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Scheller, Ute
Pfisterer, Kathrin
Uebe, Steffen
Ekici, Arif B.
Reis, André
Jamra, Rami
Ferrazzi, Fulvia


Decapping of mRNA is an important step in the regulation of mRNA turnover and therefore of gene expression, which is a key process controlling development and homeostasis of all organisms. It has been shown that EDC3 plays a role in mRNA decapping, however its function is not well understood. Previously, we have associated a homozygous variant in EDC3 with autosomal recessive intellectual disability. Here, we investigate the functional role of EDC3.


We performed transcriptome analyses in patients’ samples. In addition, we established an EDC3 loss-of-function model using siRNA-based knockdown in the human neuroblastoma cell line SKNBE and carried out RNA sequencing. Integrative bioinformatics analyses were performed to identify EDC3-dependent candidate genes and/or pathways.


Our analyses revealed that 235 genes were differentially expressed in patients versus controls. In addition, AU-rich element (ARE)-containing mRNAs, whose degradation in humans has been suggested to involve EDC3, had higher fold changes than non-ARE-containing genes. The analysis of RNA sequencing data from the EDC3 in vitro loss-of-function model confirmed the higher fold changes of ARE-containing mRNAs compared to non-ARE-containing mRNAs and further showed an upregulation of long non-coding and coding RNAs. In total, 764 genes were differentially expressed. Integrative bioinformatics analyses of these genes identified dysregulated candidate pathways, including pathways related to synapses/coated vesicles and DNA replication/cell cycle.


Our data support the involvement of EDC3 in mRNA decay, including ARE-containing mRNAs, and suggest that EDC3 might be preferentially involved in the degradation of long coding and non-coding RNAs. Furthermore, our results associate ECD3 loss-of-function with synapses-related pathways. Collectively, our data provide novel information that might help elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the association of intellectual disability with the dysregulation of mRNA degradation.

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BMC Medical Genomics
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