Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Splice-site pairing is an intrinsically high fidelity process


The extensive alternative splicing in higher eukaryotes has initiated a debate whether alternative mRNA isoforms are generated by an inaccurate spliceosome or are the consequence of highly degenerate splice sites within the human genome. Here, we established a quantitative assay to evaluate the accuracy of splice-site pairing by determining the number of incorrect exon-skipping events made from constitutively spliced pre-mRNA transcripts. We demonstrate that the spliceosome pairs exons with an astonishingly high degree of accuracy that may be limited by the quality of pre-mRNAs generated by RNA pol II. The error rate of exon pairing is increased by the effects of the neurodegenerative disorder spinal muscular atrophy because of reduced levels of Survival of Motor Neuron, a master assembler of spliceosomal components. We conclude that all multi-intron-containing genes are alternatively spliced and that the reduction of SMN results in a general splicing defect that is mediated through alterations in the fidelity of splice-site pairing.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View