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
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.
group-II introns, internal gene duplication, intronization, spliceosomal introns
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-208475DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esp062OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-208475DiVA: diva2:776878