Trans splicing in trypanosomes--archaism or adaptation?

Trends Genet. 1989 Jul;5(7):204-8. doi: 10.1016/0168-9525(89)90082-6.


In trypanosomes, a single transcription unit usually covers several protein-coding genes. The primary transcript is cut up by trans-splicing and polyadenylation machineries to generate individual mature mRNAs. All nuclear mRNAs acquire the same capped 39 nucleotide sequence at their 5' end as a consequence of the trans-splicing event. Trans splicing is used in the synthesis of some mRNAs in nematodes and chloroplasts. These unusual systems are clearly related to cis-splicing systems, but it remains an intriguing question whether they are merely exotic offshoots of cis splicing or archaic remnants of cis-splicing progenitors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Biological*
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • RNA Splicing*
  • Trypanosoma / genetics*
  • Trypanosoma / metabolism