How introns influence and enhance eukaryotic gene expression

Trends Biochem Sci. 2003 Apr;28(4):215-20. doi: 10.1016/S0968-0004(03)00052-5.


Although it has been known since the late 1970s that intron-containing and intronless versions of otherwise identical genes can exhibit dramatically different expression profiles, the underlying molecular mechanisms have only lately come to light. This review summarizes recent progress in our understanding of how introns and the act of their removal by the spliceosome can influence and enhance almost every step of mRNA metabolism. A rudimentary understanding of these effects can prove invaluable to researchers interested in optimizing transgene expression in eukaryotic systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eukaryotic Cells
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Introns*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA Splicing*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • RNA, Messenger