How did alternative splicing evolve?

Gil Ast*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

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
Volume5
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2004

Funding

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

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