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It is subjected to a large number of variations, collectively regrouped under the term of alternative mRNA splicing, which occurs, on average, 6 to 8 times per pre-mRNA molecule.
Consequently, many more proteins may be encoded from a single gene, which may satisfy a physiological need, or mark a pathological adaptation.
The identification of mutations in sequences required for splicing, both constitutive and alternative, or for their control, has permitted to determine the causes of qualitative or quantitative variations in transcript levels associated with inherited diseases or cancer development.
A number of molecular approaches have been undertaken to try to compensate for the effect of deleterious splicing mutations and to restore, at least in part, sufficient amounts of either the normal or a surrogate transcript. These include overexpression of splicing proteins, improvement of their activity by post-translational modification, splice-site increased or decreased usage, and RNAmediated trans-splicing. Using such approaches, phenotypic improvements have been obtained in animal models, carrying new hopes for the development of therapeutic strategies aimed at correcting both inherited and acquired diseases that involve pre-mRNA splicing defects.
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Translation of "épissage alternatif" in English
Alternative splicing and tumoral progression - D. Auboeuf