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The ``Alternative'' Choice of Constitutive Exons throughout Evolution

Summary: The ``Alternative'' Choice of Constitutive
Exons throughout Evolution
Galit Lev-Maor1[
, Amir Goren1[
, Noa Sela1[
, Eddo Kim1
, Hadas Keren1
, Adi Doron-Faigenboim2
Shelly Leibman-Barak3
, Tal Pupko2
, Gil Ast1*
1 Department of Human Molecular Genetics, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2 Department of Cell Research and Immunology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel,
3 Department of Neurobiochemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Alternative cassette exons are known to originate from two processes--exonization of intronic sequences and exon
shuffling. Herein, we suggest an additional mechanism by which constitutively spliced exons become alternative
cassette exons during evolution. We compiled a dataset of orthologous exons from human and mouse that are
constitutively spliced in one species but alternatively spliced in the other. Examination of these exons suggests that
the common ancestors were constitutively spliced. We show that relaxation of the 59 splice site during evolution is one
of the molecular mechanisms by which exons shift from constitutive to alternative splicing. This shift is associated with


Source: Ast, Gil - Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Tel Aviv University


Collections: Biology and Medicine