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Cell. 1985 Aug;42(1):165-71.

Trans splicing of mRNA precursors in vitro.


Two exon segments from two separate RNA molecules can be joined in a trans splicing process. In trans splicing reactions, an RNA molecule containing an exon, a 5' splice site, and adjacent intron sequences was mixed with an RNA molecule containing an exon, a 3' splice site, and adjacent intron sequences. The efficiency of trans splicing of these two RNAs increased if the two termini of the intervening sequences were paired in a short RNA duplex. However, trans splicing of two RNA molecules with no significant complementarity was also observed. These results strongly suggest that significant secondary structures within intervening sequences could affect the splicing of flanking exons. Similarly, RNAs that are complementary to segments within the intervening sequences could potentially regulate the selection of splice sites. Finally, some organisms might use trans splicing to distribute a single exon to many different mRNAs.

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