alternative splicing

Topics: RNA splicing, Messenger RNA, Spliceosome Pages: 4 (910 words) Published: October 13, 2013
Review articles

Alternative splicing:
current perspectives
Eddo Kim,{ Amir Goren,{ and Gil Ast*
Summary
Alternative splicing is a well-characterized mechanism by
which multiple transcripts are generated from a single
mRNA precursor. By allowing production of several
protein isoforms from one pre-mRNA, alternative splicing
contributes to proteomic diversity. But what do we know
about the origin of this mechanism? Do the same
evolutionary forces apply to alternatively and constitutively splice exons? Do similar forces act on all types of alternative splicing? Are the products generated by
alternative splicing functional? Why is ‘‘improper’’ recognition of exons and introns allowed by the splicing machinery? In this review, we summarize the current
knowledge regarding these issues from an evolutionary
perspective. BioEssays 30:38–47, 2008.
ß 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Introduction
Splicing is the process by which introns are removed from an mRNA precursor (pre-mRNA) and exons are ligated to form a
mature mRNA.(1) Most types of splicing, in organisms ranging from yeast to human, take place within the spliceosome—a
large complex composed of five ribonucleoproteins (RNPs)
containing the small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) U1, U2, U4, U5
and U6 and as many as 150 proteins.(2–5) The splicing
machinery recognizes exons and introns by using multiple
signals, which presumably results in a network of interactions across exons and/or introns; this recognition is known as exon

Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel. Funding agency: This work was supported by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation (1449/04 and 40/05), MOP Germany-Israel, GIF, DIP the chief scientist of the Health Ministry; ICA through the Ber, Lehmsdorf Memorial Fund and EURASNET to GA. EK is a fellow of the Clore Scholars Programme. AG is supported by the Adams

Fellowship Program of the Israel...
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