Showing posts from November 15, 2009


A few words on the posts labeled with "paper-a-day": Every day, I'll try to write about one paper I read that day. I mainly do this because writing about a paper helps me understand and remember its contents better. And maybe someone out on the interwebs gets something out of these summaries, too.

P.S.: I renamed the category to "paper-a-week", for obvious reasons.

Readings: "Alternative trans-splicing: a novel mode of pre-mRNA processing" by Horiuchi et al

Reading Horiuchi et al: Alternative trans-splicing: a novel mode of pre-mRNA processing
Biology of the Cell, Volume 98, Issue 2, 2006

Horiuchi's paper summarizes a number of findings concerning the subject of trans-splicing.
Trans-splicing is a mechanism that naturally occurs in cells. It has also been experimentally used to correct genetic defects in mice, so it is both an interesting natural phenomenon and a possible avenue of investigation for therapeutic applications.

Splicing, inside a cell, is one of the numerous steps from DNA to RNA to protein. Splicing operates on premature mRNA (pre-mRNA for short), from which it excises introns and joins the remaining exons back together. Splicing comes in two varieties: cis and trans. Cis-splicing joins exons within a single pre-mRNA molecule, while trans-splicing joins exons from different pre-mRNA molecules. Trans-splicing seems to be rare compared to cis-splicing, but it has been documented for…