Coupling transcription and alternative splicing

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;623:175-89. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-77374-2_11.


Alternative splicing regulation not only depends on the interaction of splicing factors with splicing enhancers and silencers in the pre-mRNA, but also on the coupling between transcription and splicing. This coupling is possible because splicing is often cotranscriptional and promoter identity and occupation may affect alternative splicing. We discuss here the different mechanisms by which transcription regulates alternative splicing. These include the recruitment of splicing factors to the transcribing polymerase and "kinetic coupling", which involves changes in the rate of transcriptional elongation that in turn affect the timing in which splice sites are presented to the splicing machinery. The recruitment mechanism may depend on the particular features of the carboxyl terminal domain of RNA polymerase II, whereas kinetic coupling seems to be linked to how changes in chromatin structure and other factors affect transcription elongation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Humans
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology*


  • Chromatin
  • RNA Polymerase II