Longitudinal RNA-Seq Analysis of the Repeatability of Gene Expression and Splicing in Human Platelets Identifies a Platelet SELP Splice QTL.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

RATIONALE: Longitudinal studies are required to distinguish within versus between-individual variation and repeatability of gene expression. They are uniquely positioned to decipher genetic signal from environmental noise, with potential application to gene variant and expression studies. However, longitudinal analyses of gene expression in healthy individuals-especially with regards to alternative splicing-are lacking for most primary cell types, including platelets. OBJECTIVE: To assess repeatability of gene expression and splicing in platelets and use repeatability to identify novel platelet expression quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and splice QTLs. METHODS AND RESULTS: We sequenced the transcriptome of platelets isolated repeatedly up to 4 years from healthy individuals. We examined within and between individual variation and repeatability of platelet RNA expression and exon skipping, a readily measured alternative splicing event. We find that platelet gene expression is generally stable between and within-individuals over time-with the exception of a subset of genes enriched for the inflammation gene ontology. We show an enrichment among repeatable genes for associations with heritable traits, including known and novel platelet expression QTLs. Several exon skipping events were also highly repeatable, suggesting heritable patterns of splicing in platelets. One of the most repeatable was exon 14 skipping of SELP. Accordingly, we identify rs6128 as a platelet splice QTL and define an rs6128-dependent association between SELP exon 14 skipping and race. In vitro experiments demonstrate that this single nucleotide variant directly affects exon 14 skipping and changes the ratio of transmembrane versus soluble P-selectin protein production. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the platelet transcriptome is generally stable over 4 years. We demonstrate the use of repeatability of gene expression and splicing to identify novel platelet expression QTLs and splice QTLs. rs6128 is a platelet splice QTL that alters SELP exon 14 skipping and soluble versus transmembrane P-selectin protein production.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rondina, MT; Voora, D; Simon, LM; Schwertz, H; Harper, JF; Lee, O; Bhatlekar, SC; Li, Q; Eustes, AS; Montenont, E; Campbell, RA; Tolley, ND; Kosaka, Y; Weyrich, AS; Bray, PF; Rowley, JW

Published Date

  • February 14, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 126 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 501 - 516

PubMed ID

  • 31852401

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7323475

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1524-4571

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.119.315215


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States