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What is the role of alternative splicing in gene expression?

Alternative splicing allows for multiple protein isoforms to be produced from a single gene.

Alternative splicing is a process in which different combinations of exons within a pre-mRNA molecule are spliced together, resulting in different protein isoforms being produced from a single gene. This process is regulated by a variety of factors, including splice site recognition, RNA-binding proteins, and epigenetic modifications.

The resulting protein isoforms can have different functions, localizations, and interactions with other molecules in the cell. This allows for a greater diversity of protein functions to be produced from a limited number of genes, increasing the complexity and adaptability of biological systems.

However, alternative splicing can also lead to disease if it is disrupted. Mutations in splice sites or regulatory factors can result in aberrant splicing and the production of non-functional or harmful protein isoforms. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms and regulation of alternative splicing is important for both basic research and clinical applications.

Overall, alternative splicing plays a crucial role in gene expression by allowing for the production of multiple protein isoforms with different functions and properties from a single gene.

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