The Role of Spliceosome in the Human Breast

  • Jose Russo
  • Irma H. Russo


In 1977, work by the Sharp and Roberts labs revealed that genes of higher organisms are “split” or present in several distinct segments along the DNA molecule [1, 2]. The coding regions of the gene are separated by noncoding DNA that is not involved in protein expression. The split gene structure was found when adenoviral mRNAs were hybridized to endonuclease cleavage fragments of single-stranded viral DNA [1]. It was observed that the mRNAs of the mRNA-DNA hybrids contained 5′ and 3′ tails of non-hydrogen bonded regions. When larger fragments of viral DNAs were used, forked structures of looped out DNA were observed when hybridized to the viral mRNAs. It was realized that the looped out regions, the introns, are excised from the precursor mRNAs in a process Sharp named “splicing.” The split gene structure was subsequently found to be common to most eukaryotic genes. Phillip Sharp and Richard J. Roberts were awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of introns and the splicing process. The advances in this field is unprecedented mainly due to the new implications in our understanding of the basic biological process and its application to the treatment and prevention of many diseases [3, 4]. In this chapter we will describe the main pathways of the splicing mechanism that help the reader to understand the new findings in the human breast and their role in breast cancer prevention.


Spinal Muscular Atrophy Splice Factor Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Nuclear Speckle Exon Junction Complex 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jose Russo
    • 1
  • Irma H. Russo
    • 1
  1. 1.Breast Cancer Research LaboratoryFox Chase Cancer CenterPhiladelphiaUSA

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