Alternative spliced transcripts as cancer markers

Dis Markers. 2001;17(2):67-75. doi: 10.1155/2001/184856.


Eukaryotic mRNAs are transcribed as precursors containing their intronic sequences. These are subsequently excised and the exons are spliced together to form mature mRNAs. This process can lead to transcript diversification through the phenomenon of alternative splicing. Alternative splicing can take the form of one or more skipped exons, variable position of intron splicing or intron retention. The effect of alternative splicing in expanding protein repertoire might partially underlie the apparent discrepancy between gene number and the complexity of higher eukaryotes. It is likely that more than 50% form. Many cancer-associated genes, such as CD44 and WT1 are alternatively spliced. Variation of the splicing process occurs during tumor progression and may play a major role in tumorigenesis. Furthermore, alternatively spliced transcripts may be extremely useful as cancer markers, since it appears likely that there may be striking contrasts in usage of alternatively spliced transcript variants between normal and tumor tissue than in alterations in the general levels of gene expression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • WT1 Proteins / genetics


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Hyaluronan Receptors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • WT1 Proteins