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Reference: Ma P and Xia X (2011) Factors affecting splicing strength of yeast genes. Comp Funct Genomics 2011:212146

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Abstract

Accurate and efficient splicing is of crucial importance for highly-transcribed intron-containing genes (ICGs) in rapidly replicating unicellular eukaryotes such as the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We characterize the 5' and 3' splice sites (ss) by position weight matrix scores (PWMSs), which is the highest for the consensus sequence and the lowest for splice sites differing most from the consensus sequence and used PWMS as a proxy for splicing strength. HAC1, which is known to be spliced by a nonspliceosomal mechanism, has the most negative PWMS for both its 5' ss and 3' ss. Several genes under strong splicing regulation and requiring additional splicing factors for their splicing also have small or negative PWMS values. Splicing strength is higher for highly transcribed ICGs than for lowly transcribed ICGs and higher for transcripts that bind strongly to spliceosomes than those that bind weakly. The 3' splice site features a prominent poly-U tract before the 3'AG. Our results suggest the potential of using PWMS as a screening tool for ICGs that are either spliced by a nonspliceosome mechanism or under strong splicing regulation in yeast and other fungal species.

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Journal Article
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Ma P, Xia X
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