Comparison of splice sites in mammals and chicken.

TitleComparison of splice sites in mammals and chicken.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsAbril JF, Castelo R, Guigó R
JournalGenome Res.
Date PublishedJan

We have carried out an initial analysis of the dynamics of the recent evolution of the splice-sites sequences on a large collection of human, rodent (mouse and rat), and chicken introns. Our results indicate that the sequences of splice sites are largely homogeneous within tetrapoda. We have also found that orthologous splice signals between human and rodents and within rodents are more conserved than unrelated splice sites, but the additional conservation can be explained mostly by background intron conservation. In contrast, additional conservation over background is detectable in orthologous mammalian and chicken splice sites. Our results also indicate that the U2 and U12 intron classes seem to have evolved independently since the split of mammals and birds; we have not been able to find a convincing case of interconversion between these two classes in our collections of orthologous introns. Similarly, we have not found a single case of switching between AT-AC and GT-AG subtypes within U12 introns, suggesting that this event has been a rare occurrence in recent evolutionary times. Switching between GT-AG and the noncanonical GC-AG U2 subtypes, on the contrary, does not appear to be unusual; in particular, T to C mutations appear to be relatively well tolerated in GT-AG introns with very strong donor sites.