Expansion of the eukaryotic proteome by alternative splicing

Nature. 2010 Jan 28;463(7280):457-63. doi: 10.1038/nature08909.


The collection of components required to carry out the intricate processes involved in generating and maintaining a living, breathing and, sometimes, thinking organism is staggeringly complex. Where do all of the parts come from? Early estimates stated that about 100,000 genes would be required to make up a mammal; however, the actual number is less than one-quarter of that, barely four times the number of genes in budding yeast. It is now clear that the 'missing' information is in large part provided by alternative splicing, the process by which multiple different functional messenger RNAs, and therefore proteins, can be synthesized from a single gene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Computational Biology
  • Eukaryota / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Humans
  • Proteome / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • Proteome
  • RNA, Messenger