Structural and functional diversity generated by alternative mRNA splicing

Trends Biochem Sci. 2005 Sep;30(9):515-21. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2005.07.001.


Alternative mRNA splicing is becoming increasingly recognized as an important mechanism for the generation of structural and functional diversity in proteins. Recent estimations predict that approximately 50% of all eukaryotic proteins can be alternatively spliced. Several lines of evidence suggest that alternative mRNA splicing results in small changes in protein structure and is likely to fine-tune the function and specificity of the affected protein. However, knowledge of how alternative splicing regulates cellular processes on the molecular level is still limited. It is only recently that structures of alternatively spliced proteins have been solved. These studies have shown that alternative splicing affects the structure not only in the vicinity of the splice site but also at long distance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing*
  • Catalysis
  • Enzymes / chemistry*
  • Enzymes / genetics
  • Enzymes / metabolism*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Molecular Conformation*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Enzymes
  • RNA, Messenger