Book of Abstracts: Albany 2009
June 16-20 2009
© Adenine Press (2008)
Comparative Genomics of Alternative Splicing
Alternative splicing is one of the major mechanisms for generation of protein diversity both in an organism and in evolution. Availability of many sequenced genomes of related organisms creates new opportunities for comparative analysis of exon-intron structure, alternative splicing and its regulation. Alternatively spliced exons tend to be less conserved than constitutive ones both in terms of gain and loss, and in terms of substitution rate. The rate of synonymous and non-synonymous substitutions strongly depends on the type of alternative (cassette and mutually exclusive exons, regions between alternative splice sites, retained introns). In particular, minor isoform exons evolve under a considerable positive selection pressure. Recent comparative genomic analysis of fruit flies, nematodes, and mammals (separately for each group) revealed that introns often contain conserved base-paired regions at intron ends. Such regions may form RNA structures with large loops, and they are often associated with alternative splicing.
A.A.Kharkevich Institute for Information Transmission Problems RAS