Alternative RNA splicing
Convertini, Paolo Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.
Stamm, Stefan Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.
- Definition of alternative pre-mRNA splicing
- Splice site selection
- Alternative exon plasticity
- Function of alternative splicing
- Alternative splicing is connected to other parts of gene expression
- Splicing and disease
- Conclusions and perspectives
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
To convert the genetic information stored in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) to proteins, the DNA is transcribed to produce an intermediate called precursor messenger ribonucleic acid (pre-mRNA). Only parts of the pre-mRNA, the exons (which comprise less than 5% of the average human gene), are exported into the cytosol as mature mRNA. Prior to the formation of mRNA, the exons are spliced together, which removes intermediate (intronic) sequences. Notably, this process can be alternative, which allows an organism to determine which parts of the DNA are translated into proteins (Fig. 1). Alternative splicing affects more than 92% of human genes, making it one of the most versatile mechanisms to increase the use of genetic information stored in DNA.
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