Neuroscience Perspectives| Volume 54, ISSUE 8, P771-776, October 15, 2003

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Alternative splicing in the nervous system: an emerging source of diversity and regulation

  • Christopher J Lee
    Address reprint requests to Dr. Christopher J. Lee, Boyer Hall, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
    , Molecular Biology Institute, UCLA Center for Bioinformatics, Center for Genomics and Proteomics, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Kris Irizarry
    Molecular Biology Institute, UCLA Center for Bioinformatics, Center for Genomics and Proteomics, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California,USA
    Search for articles by this author


      Alternative splicing is emerging as a major mechanism of functional regulation in the human genome. Previously considered to be an unusual event, it has been detected by many genomics studies in 40%–60% of human genes. Moreover, it appears to be of central importance for neuronal genes and other genes involved in “information processing” functions. In this review, we will summarize alternative splicing’s effects on mRNA transcripts, protein products, biological function, and human disease, focusing on genes of neuropsychiatric interest. We will also describe the latest experimental methods and database resources that can help neuroscientists make use of alternative splicing in their own research.


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