Genetic depletion reveals an essential role for an SR protein splicing factor in vertebrate cells

Bioessays. 1997 Mar;19(3):189-92. doi: 10.1002/bies.950190302.


SR proteins are essential for the splicing of messenger RNA precursors in vitro, where they also alter splice site selection in a concentration-dependent manner. Although experiments involving overexpression or dominant mutations have confirmed that these proteins can influence RNA processing decisions in vivo, similar results with loss-of-function mutations have been lacking. Now, a system for genetic depletion of the chicken B cell line DT40 has revealed that the SR protein ASF/SF2 (alternative splicing factor/splicing factor 2) is essential for viability in these cells(1). This study opens the way for a complete functional dissection of this protein, and other SR proteins, in vivo.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*
  • RNA Splicing / physiology*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Serine-Arginine Splicing Factors
  • Vertebrates / genetics*


  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Serine-Arginine Splicing Factors