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Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA. 2015 May-Jun;6(3):311-26. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1276. Epub 2015 Jan 28.

Functional roles of alternative splicing factors in human disease.

Author information

1
Departments of Medicine (Renal) and Genetics, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Abstract

Alternative splicing (AS) is an important mechanism used to generate greater transcriptomic and proteomic diversity from a finite genome. Nearly all human gene transcripts are alternatively spliced and can produce protein isoforms with divergent and even antagonistic properties that impact cell functions. Many AS events are tightly regulated in a cell-type or tissue-specific manner, and at different developmental stages. AS is regulated by RNA-binding proteins, including cell- or tissue-specific splicing factors. In the past few years, technological advances have defined genome-wide programs of AS regulated by increasing numbers of splicing factors. These splicing regulatory networks (SRNs) consist of transcripts that encode proteins that function in coordinated and related processes that impact the development and phenotypes of different cell types. As such, it is increasingly recognized that disruption of normal programs of splicing regulated by different splicing factors can lead to human diseases. We will summarize examples of diseases in which altered expression or function of splicing regulatory proteins has been implicated in human disease pathophysiology. As the role of AS continues to be unveiled in human disease and disease risk, it is hoped that further investigations into the functions of numerous splicing factors and their regulated targets will enable the development of novel therapies that are directed at specific AS events as well as the biological pathways they impact.

PMID:
25630614
PMCID:
PMC4671264
DOI:
10.1002/wrna.1276
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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