Genome Diversity Center

at the Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa

(Since August 2000)
Head: Edward N. Trifonov

Why Gene Splicing?

There are several ideas attempting to explain why the genes are spliced.
W. Gilbert (1978) suggested that the gene splicing serves exon shuffling and recombination.
E. Zuckerkandl (1981) believes that the introns are intruduced in order to seperate physically two otherwise conflicting messages - protein coding and chromatin organization.
We believe that the gene splicing is necessary for alternative gene splicing,
to introduce occasionaly pieces of "random" sequences from introns into exons.
This would allow to fully explore protein sequence space.

Relevant references:

Kogan, S., Trifonov, E. N., Gene splice sites correlate with nucleosome positions, Gene 352, 57-62 (2005)

Trifonov, E. N., Evolution of the code and the earliest proteins.
Reconstruction from present-day sequences. Biophysics 47, 581-586 (2002)

Trifonov, E. N., Denisov, D. A., Makhoul, C., Interacting sequence patterns.
Math. Modelling and Sci. Computing 9, 24-29 (1998)

Denisov, D. A., Shpigelman, E. S., Trifonov, E. N.,
Protective nucleosome centering at splice sites as suggested by sequence-directed mapping of the nucleosomes.
Gene 205, 145-149 (1997)

Trifonov, E. N., Gene splicing: spatial separation of overlapping messages.
Computers Chem. 17, 27-31 (1993)

Trifonov, E. N., Informational structure of genetic sequences and nature of gene splicing.
In "Advances in Biomolecular Simulations. AIP Conference Proceedings 239"
(Eds. R. Lavery, J.-L. Rivail and J. Smith), AIP press, New York, 1991, pp. 329-338

Beckmann, J. S., Trifonov, E. N., Splice junctions follow a 205-base ladder.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 88, 2380-2383 (1991)

Beckmann, J. S., Brendel, V., Trifonov, E. N., Intervening sequences exhibit distinct vocabulary.
J. Biomolec. Str. and Dynamics 4, 391-400 (1986)

Trifonov, E. N., Imperfect complementarity and RNA structure.
J. Biosci. 8, Suppl., 781-790 (1985)

Trifonov, E. N., Construction of an algorithm for locating splicing junctions.
CODATA Bull., 56, 21-26 (1984)
Also reprinted in:
"The Role of Data in Scientific Progress", (Ed. P. S. Glaeser), North Holland, Amsterdam, 1985, pp. 119-124.