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Trends Genet. 2007 Jan;23(1):5-7. Epub 2006 Oct 30.

SR proteins: a foot on the exon before the transition from intron to exon definition.

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  • 1Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv 69978, Israel.


Two recent publications illuminate the evolution of alternative splicing, showing that a SR (serine-arginine-rich) protein that regulates alternative splicing in multicellular organisms is also found in a unicellular organism without alternative splicing, in which it can assist in the splicing of weak introns. Moreover, insertion of SR proteins into an organism lacking such proteins can restore the splicing of weak introns. These results imply that SR proteins had already facilitated the splicing of weak introns before the evolution of alternative splicing.

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