Alternative Splicing: Evolution


Alternative splicing of pre‐messenger ribonucleic acid (pre‐mRNA) allows the generation of different mRNAs from the same gene. Evolution of alternative splicing affecting translated regions of mRNAs permits the synthesis of different proteins from a single gene, significantly increasing the diversity of the protein repertoire.

Keywords: spliceosome; splice site; donor site; acceptor site; branch site

Figure 1.

Duplication of an exon (B) via intronic recombination also duplicates adjacent regions of the flanking introns, including the 5′ donor site of the downstream intron (hatched lines) and the 3′ acceptor site of the upstream intron (thick black lines). Because the duplicated splice sites (which are present in the chimeric and the original introns) are likely to compete in splicing, the duplicated exons may be either skipped or included in the transcripts.

Figure 2.

Exon insertion by intronic recombination also inserts adjacent regions of the flanking introns, including the 5′ donor site of the downstream intron (thick black lines) and the 3′ acceptor site of the upstream intron (hatched lines). Because the original 5′ and 3′ splice‐site combination may be more favourable than the two novel splice‐site combinations, initially the inserted exon may be skipped in most mRNAs.



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Useful Internet Resources

ESEfinder is a web resource that identifies exonic splicing enhancers.

EuSplice is a unique resource which provides reliable splice signal and alternative splicing information for 23 eukaryotic genomes.

The ACESCAN2 Web Server is an online tool for identifying candidate cis‐elements (exonic splicing enhancers and silencers, intronic splicing enhancers) in alternative and constitutive splicing in mammalian exons.

The Alternative Exon Database (AEDB) is a manually generated database for human alternative exons and their properties: the data is gathered from literature where these exons have been experimentally verified.

The Alternative Splicing Database (ASD) Project aims to understand the mechanism of alternative splicing on a genome‐wide scale by creating a database of alternative splice events and the resultant isoform splice patterns of genes from human, and other model species.

The AltExtron Database is a computer generated high quality dataset of human transcript‐confirmed constitutive and alternative exons and introns.

The FAS‐ESS Web Server is an online tool for the systematic identification and analysis of exonic splicing silencers.‐ess/.

The RESCUE‐ESE Web Server is an online tool for identifying candidate ESEs in vertebrate exons.‐ese/.

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Patthy, László(Apr 2008) Alternative Splicing: Evolution. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005084.pub2]