How did alternative splicing evolve?

Gil Ast*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Alternative splicing creates transcriptome diversification, possibly leading to speciation. A large fraction of the protein-coding genes of multicellular organisms are alternatively spliced, although no regulated splicing has been detected in unicellular eukaryotes such as yeasts. A comparative analysis of unicellular and multicellular eukaryotic 5′ splice sites has revealed important differences - the plasticity of the 5′ splice sites of multicellular eukaryotes means that these sites can be used in both constitutive and alternative splicing, and for the regulation of the inclusion/skipping ratio in alternative splicing. So, alternative splicing might have originated as a result of relaxation of the 5′ splice site recognition in organisms that originally could support only constitutive splicing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-782
Number of pages10
JournalNature Reviews Genetics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004


FundersFunder number
Familial Dysantonomia Hope
Israel Academy of Science
Israel Health Ministry
Israel Cancer Association


    Dive into the research topics of 'How did alternative splicing evolve?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this