hnRNP proteins and splicing control

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;623:123-47. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-77374-2_8.


Proteins of the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoparticles (hnRNP) family form a structurally diverse group of RNA binding proteins implicated in various functions in metazoans. Here we discuss recent advances supporting a role for these proteins in precursor-messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing. Heterogeneous nuclear RNP proteins can repress splicing by directly antagonizing the recognition of splice sites, or can interfere with the binding of proteins bound to enhancers. Recently, hnRNP proteins have been shown to hinder communication between factors bound to different splice sites. Conversely, several reports have described a positive role for some hnRNP proteins in pre-mRNA splicing. Moreover, cooperative interactions between bound hnRNP proteins may encourage splicing between specific pairs of splice sites while simultaneously hampering other combinations. Thus, hnRNP proteins utilize a variety of strategies to control splice site selection in a manner that is important for both alternative and constitutive pre-mRNA splicing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoproteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • RNA Precursors / genetics*
  • RNA Precursors / metabolism
  • RNA Splicing / genetics*
  • Spliceosomes / physiology


  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoproteins
  • RNA Precursors