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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Jun;1819(6):538-45. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2011.12.011. Epub 2012 Jan 9.

Regulated pre-mRNA splicing: the ghostwriter of the eukaryotic genome.

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  • 1Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.


Intron removal is at the heart of mRNA synthesis. It is mediated by one of the cell's largest complexes, the spliceosome. Yet, the fundamental chemistry involved is simple. In this review we will address how the spliceosome acts in diverse ways to optimize gene expression in order to meet the cell's needs. This is done largely by regulating the splicing of key transcripts encoding products that control gene expression pathways. This widespread role is evident even in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, where many introns appear to have been lost; yet how this control is being achieved is known only in a few cases. Here we explore the relevant examples and posit hypotheses whereby regulated splicing fine-tunes gene expression pathways to maintain cell homeostasis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Nuclear Transport and RNA Processing.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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