Int J Biol Sci 2017; 13(5):545-560. doi:10.7150/ijbs.18649


Multifaceted Regulation of Gene Expression by the Apoptosis- and Splicing-Associated Protein Complex and Its Components

Bhagyashree Deka, Kusum Kumari Singh

Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati-781039, Assam, India.


The differential deposition of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) on pre-mRNA mediates the processes of gene expression. One of the complexes containing RBPs that play a crucial part in RNA metabolism is the apoptosis-and splicing-associated protein (ASAP) complex. In this review, we present a summary of the structure of ASAP complex and its localization. Also, we discuss the findings by different groups on various functions of the subunits of the ASAP complex in RNA metabolism. The subunits of the ASAP complex are RNPS1, Acinus and SAP18. Originally, the ASAP complex was thought to link RNA processing with apoptosis. Further studies have shown the role of these components in RNA metabolism of cells, including transcription, splicing, translation and nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). In transcription, RNPS1 is involved in preventing the formation of R-loop, while Acinus and SAP18 suppress transcription with the help of histone deacetylase. On the one hand, individual components of the ASAP complex, namely RNPS1 and Acinus act as splicing activators, whereas on the other hand, in-vitro assay shows that the ASAP complex behaves as splicing repressor. In addition, the individual members of the ASAP complex associates with the exon junction complex (EJC) to play roles in splicing and translation. RNPS1 increases the translation efficiency by participating in the 3'end processing and polysome association of mRNAs. Similarly, during NMD RNPS1 aids in the recruitment of decay factors by interacting with EJC.

Keywords: ASAP, EJC, NMD, RBP, RNA metabolism, splicing, transcription, translation, apoptosis.

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How to cite this article:
Deka B, Singh KK. Multifaceted Regulation of Gene Expression by the Apoptosis- and Splicing-Associated Protein Complex and Its Components. Int J Biol Sci 2017; 13(5):545-560. doi:10.7150/ijbs.18649. Available from