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Endogenous Mechanisms for the Origins of Spliceosomal Introns
2009 (English)In: Journal of Heredity, ISSN 0022-1503, E-ISSN 1465-7333, Vol. 100, no 5, 591-596 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Over 30 years since their discovery, the origin of spliceosomal introns remains uncertain. One nearly universally accepted hypothesis maintains that spliceosomal introns originated from self-splicing group-II introns that invaded the uninterrupted genes of the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) and proliferated by “insertion” events. Although this is a possible explanation for the original presence of introns and splicing machinery, the emphasis on a high number of insertion events in the genome of the LECA neglects a considerable body of empirical evidence showing that spliceosomal introns can simply arise from coding or, more generally, nonintronic sequences within genes. After presenting a concise overview of some of the most common hypotheses and mechanisms for intron origin, we propose two further hypotheses that are broadly based on central cellular processes: 1) internal gene duplication and 2) the response to aberrant and fortuitously spliced transcripts. These two nonmutually exclusive hypotheses provide a powerful way to explain the establishment of spliceosomal introns in eukaryotes without invoking an exogenous source.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 100, no 5, 591-596 p.
Keyword [en]
group-II introns, internal gene duplication, intronization, spliceosomal introns
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-208475DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esp062OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-208475DiVA: diva2:776878
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2013-10-01 Last updated: 2015-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Scofield, Douglas
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