Alternative splicing: a pivotal step between eukaryotic transcription and translation

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Mar;14(3):153-65. doi: 10.1038/nrm3525. Epub 2013 Feb 6.


Alternative splicing was discovered simultaneously with splicing over three decades ago. Since then, an enormous body of evidence has demonstrated the prevalence of alternative splicing in multicellular eukaryotes, its key roles in determining tissue- and species-specific differentiation patterns, the multiple post- and co-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that control it, and its causal role in hereditary disease and cancer. The emerging evidence places alternative splicing in a central position in the flow of eukaryotic genetic information, between transcription and translation, in that it can respond not only to various signalling pathways that target the splicing machinery but also to transcription factors and chromatin structure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing*
  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Eukaryota / genetics
  • Humans
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA Precursors / genetics
  • Signal Transduction* / genetics
  • Spliceosomes / genetics
  • Spliceosomes / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Chromatin
  • RNA Precursors
  • Transcription Factors