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Trends Genet. 2005 Feb;21(2):73-7.

Alternative splicing of conserved exons is frequently species-specific in human and mouse.

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  • 1CH Best Institute, University of Toronto, 112 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1L6.


In this article, we provide evidence that a frequent source of diversity between mammalian transcripts occurs as a consequence of species-specific alternative splicing (AS) of conserved exons. Using a highly predictive computational method, we estimate that >11% of human and mouse cassette alternative exons undergo skipping in one species but constitutively splicing in the other. These species-specific AS events are predicted to modify conserved domains in proteins more frequently than other classes of AS events. The results thus provide evidence that species-specific AS of conserved exons constitutes an additional potential source of complexity and species-specific differences between mammals.

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