Alternative Splicing Regulation: Structural and Biophysical Studies
Alternative splicing (AS) is the process, by which multiple messenger RNAs are synthesized from a single gene and thereby can generate protein isoforms with distinct biological functions.
Around 1980 it was discovered that protein variants of different size can be derived from the same gene. Later, it was shown that these alternative protein products result from differential inclusion of information from a given gene during pre-mRNA splicing. This process, called alternative splicing, entails that pre-mRNA transcripts containing multiple exons can be spliced into different mRNAs and thus encode different proteins with distinct functions. A major consequence of alternative splicing is that the number of proteins in metazoan organisms greatly exceeds the number of genes. Alternative splicing allows differential regulation of gene expression depending on tissue, developmental stage, gender, or external stimuli (Nilsen and Graveley 2010). From genome-wide...
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