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Nat Rev Genet. 2007 Oct;8(10):749-61. Epub 2007 Aug 29.

Splicing in disease: disruption of the splicing code and the decoding machinery.

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Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Human genes contain a dense array of diverse cis-acting elements that make up a code required for the expression of correctly spliced mRNAs. Alternative splicing generates a highly dynamic human proteome through networks of coordinated splicing events. Cis- and trans-acting mutations that disrupt the splicing code or the machinery required for splicing and its regulation have roles in various diseases, and recent studies have provided new insights into the mechanisms by which these effects occur. An unexpectedly large fraction of exonic mutations exhibit a primary pathogenic effect on splicing. Furthermore, normal genetic variation significantly contributes to disease severity and susceptibility by affecting splicing efficiency.

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