Helping 3′ splice site recognition

Splicing is a complex mechanism that generates mature mRNA from pre-mRNA and which is essential for a correct gene expression. It involves many factors – nearly 400, if we consider alternative splicing as well – and it is tightly controlled. A new paper published in Molecular Cell by Juan Valcárcel, head of the Regulation of Alternative pre-mRNA Splicing group at the CRG, and colleagues has now identified an heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) that helps in the recognition of the 3′ splice site. The essential pre-mRNA splicing factor U2AF guides the early stages of splice site choice by recognizing a polypyrimidine … Continue reading Helping 3′ splice site recognition

Protein coding genes exhibit low splicing variability within populations

Despite all having the same DNA content, each cell is different. The phenotypic differences observed between cells depend on the differences in the RNA transcript content of the cell. And this variability of transcript abundance is the result of gene expression variability, which has been studied for many years and is usually measured using DNA arrays, but also of alternative splicing variability. Indeed, changes in splicing ratios, even without changes in overall gene expression, can have important phenotypic effects. However, little is known about the variability of alternative splicing amongst individuals and populations. Taking advantage of the popular use of … Continue reading Protein coding genes exhibit low splicing variability within populations