Rapidly regulated genes are intron poor

Trends Genet. 2008 Aug;24(8):375-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2008.05.006. Epub 2008 Jun 27.


We show that genes with rapidly changing expression levels in response to stress contain significantly lower intron densities in yeasts, thale cress and mice. Therefore, we propose that introns can delay regulatory responses and are selected against in genes whose transcripts require rapid adjustment for survival of environmental challenges. These findings could provide an explanation for the apparent extensive intron loss during the evolution of some eukaryotic lineages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Introns*
  • Mice
  • Models, Genetic
  • RNA Splicing
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Yeasts / genetics