BioScience Trends. 2017;11(1):16-22. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2016.01169)

Neuron-specific splicing.

Hakim NHA, Majlis BY, Suzuki H, Tsukahara T


During pre-mRNA splicing events, introns are removed from the pre-mRNA, and the remaining exons are connected together to form a single continuous molecule. Alternative splicing is a common mechanism for the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes. More than 90% of human genes are known to undergo alternative splicing. The most common type of alternative splicing is exon skipping, which is also known as cassette exon. Other known alternative splicing events include alternative 5′ splice sites, alternative 3′ splice sites, intron retention, and mutually exclusive exons. Alternative splicing events are controlled by regulatory proteins responsible for both positive and negative regulation. In this review, we focus on neuronal splicing regulators and discuss several notable regulators in depth. In addition, we have also included an example of splicing regulation mediated by the RBFox protein family. Lastly, as previous studies have shown that a number of splicing factors are associated with neuronal diseases such as Alzheime's disease (AD) and Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), here we consider their importance in neuronal diseases wherein the underlying mechanisms have yet to be elucidated.

KEYWORDS: Alternative splicing, gene regulation, RNA splicing, splicing regulator

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