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The Role of RNA Splicing in Gene Expression

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RNA splicing is a vital process in eukaryotic gene expression, involving the removal of introns and joining of exons to form mature mRNA. This process is facilitated by the spliceosome, a complex of snRNPs and proteins. Alternative splicing allows for multiple protein variants from a single gene, adding to proteomic complexity. Splicing defects can lead to genetic disorders, highlighting the importance of accurate RNA processing.

The Role of RNA Splicing in Gene Expression

RNA splicing is an essential cellular process in eukaryotic organisms that converts precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) into mature mRNA, which is then translated into proteins. This process involves the precise removal of non-coding sequences called introns and the ligation of coding sequences known as exons. Occurring in the cell nucleus, splicing is facilitated by a complex known as the spliceosome, which is composed of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and other associated proteins. Some RNA molecules are capable of self-splicing, acting as ribozymes that catalyze their own excision without the spliceosome.
Scientist hands with latex gloves manipulate pipettes over test tubes with blue liquids on light blue rack in blurred modern laboratory.

Splicing Mechanisms and Recognition Sequences

The splicing process is initiated by the recognition of specific nucleotide sequences at the boundaries of introns and exons. Key sequences include the 5' splice site, the branch point sequence, and the 3' splice site. The spliceosome assembles around these sites and orchestrates the splicing reaction, which involves the formation of a lariat-shaped intermediate. Errors in splicing can lead to the use of incorrect splice sites, resulting in aberrant mRNA and potentially dysfunctional proteins. Such splicing defects are implicated in various genetic disorders.

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RNA splicing involves removing ______ called introns and joining ______ known as exons.

non-coding sequences

coding sequences


The ______ is responsible for RNA splicing and consists of snRNPs and other proteins.



RNA splicing typically occurs in the ______ of a cell.



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