Researchers report in the online edition of PNAS this week that they have discovered nearly 30 alternative splicing regulators in Drosophila—nearly triple the number previously known—using a novel RNA interference (RNAi) screen.

"Most people in the splicing regulation field, including myself, have thought that splicing is regulated by RNA binding proteins that are not components of the spliceosome and that they do so by binding to the RNA where they either enhance or prevent the spliceosome from recognizing the regulated exon. The implications of our findings are that alternative splicing does not need to be regulated by these auxiliary proteins," author Brenton Graveley at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington told The Scientist. "This does not mean that splicing is not regulated by auxiliary splicing factors, but rather seems to be a previously unrealized mechanism by which splicing can be regulated."

Alternative splicing, which generates...

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