Encyclopedia of Biophysics

Living Edition
| Editors: Gordon Roberts, Anthony Watts, European Biophysical Societies

Alternative Splicing Regulation: Structural and Biophysical Studies

  • André Mourão
  • Michael SattlerEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35943-9_446-1


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.

Alternative Splicing

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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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association (EBSA) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Structural BiologyHelmholtz Zentrum MünchenNeuherbergGermany
  2. 2.Biomolecular NMR and Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich, Department ChemieTU MünchenGarchingGermany