A simple model to explain evolutionary trends of eukaryotic gene architecture and expression: How competition between splicing and cleavage/polyadenylation factors may affect gene expression and splice-site recognition in eukaryotes

Francesco Catania, Michael Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Enormous phylogenetic variation exists in the number and sizes of introns in protein-coding genes. Although some consideration has been given to the underlying role of the population-genetic environment in defining such patterns, the influence of the intracellular environment remains virtually unexplored. Drawing from observations on interactions between co-transcriptional processes involved in splicing and mRNA 3′-end formation, a mechanistic model is proposed for splice-site recognition that challenges the commonly accepted intron- and exon-definition models. Under the suggested model, splicing factors that outcompete 3′-end processing factors for access to intronic binding sites concurrently favor the recruitment of 3′-end processing factors at the pre-mRNA tail. This hypothesis sheds new light on observations such as the intron-mediated enhancement of gene expression and the negative correlation between intron length and levels of gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-570
Number of pages10
JournalBioEssays
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cleavage and polyadenylation
  • Exon definition
  • Gene expression
  • Intron definition
  • Splicing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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