In vivo visualization of alternative splicing
The February 1 cover of G&D features an unprecedented use of fluorescent proteins to visualize developmentally regulated alternative mRNA splicing in a living organism.
Dr. Hidehito Kuroyanagi and colleagues at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University engineered a transgenic alternative splicing reporter system to monitor the developmentally regulated switching of let-2 alternative splicing in live C. elegans worms.
The splicing of let-2 changes during the lifetime of the worm: Embryos and early larvae express exon 9, while adult worms express exon 10. By linking exons 9 and 10 with differently colored fluorescent proteins (green and red, respectively).
Drs. Kuroyanagi & Hagiwara's team was able to visually monitor let-2 splicing patterns during the life of an individual worm.
“The reporter system enables experimental analysis of regulation mechanisms underlying the developmental or cell-type-specific profiles of alternative splicing in living organisms.
We are coming to realize that the molecular mechanisms of alternative splicing are highly conserved throughout metazoan evolution,” explains Dr. Kuroyanagi.
Heather Cosel | EurekAlert!
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