Alternative Splicing of Pre-mRNA in the Control of Immune Activity

Genes (Basel). 2021 Apr 15;12(4):574. doi: 10.3390/genes12040574.


The human immune response is a complex process that responds to numerous exogenous antigens in preventing infection by microorganisms, as well as to endogenous components in the surveillance of tumors and autoimmune diseases, and a great number of molecules are necessary to carry the functional complexity of immune activity. Alternative splicing of pre-mRNA plays an important role in immune cell development and regulation of immune activity through yielding diverse transcriptional isoforms to supplement the function of limited genes associated with the immune reaction. In addition, multiple factors have been identified as being involved in the control of alternative splicing at the cis, trans, or co-transcriptional level, and the aberrant splicing of RNA leads to the abnormal modulation of immune activity in infections, immune diseases, and tumors. In this review, we summarize the recent discoveries on the generation of immune-associated alternative splice variants, clinical disorders, and possible regulatory mechanisms. We also discuss the immune responses to the neoantigens produced by alternative splicing, and finally, we issue some alternative splicing and immunity correlated questions based on our knowledge.

Keywords: alternative splicing; immune activity; non-coding RNA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Immunity*
  • RNA Precursors / genetics*
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics


  • RNA Precursors
  • RNA, Untranslated