Conserved sequene elements associated with exon skipping

Elana Miriami*, Hanah Margalit, Ruth Sperling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

One of the major forms of alternative splicing, which generates multiple mRNA isoforms differing in the precise combinations of their exon sequences, is exon skipping. While in constitutive splicing all exons are included, in the skipped pattern(s) one or more exons are skipped. The regulation of this process is still not well understood; so far, cis-regulatory elements (such as exonic splicing enhancers) were identified in individual cases. We therefore set to investigate the possibility that exon skipping is controlled by sequences in the adjacent introns. We employed a computer analysis on 54 sequences documented as undergoing exon skipping, and identified two motifs both in the upstream and downstream introns of the skipped exons. One motif is highly enriched in pyrimidines (mostly C residues), and the other motif is highly enriched in purines (mostly G residues). The two motifs differ from the known cis-elements present at the 5′ and 3′ splice site. Interestingly, the two motifs are complementary, and their relative positional order is conserved in the flanking introns. These suggest that base pairing interactions can underlie a mechanism that involves secondary structure to regulate exon skipping. Remarkably, the two motifs are conserved in mouse orthologous genes that undergo exon skipping.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1974-1983
Number of pages10
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Volume31
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2003

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