Evolution of exon-intron structure and alternative splicing in fruit flies and malarial mosquito genomes

Dmitry B. Malko, Vsevolod J. Makeev, Andrey A. Mironov, Mikhail S. Gelfand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Comparative analysis of alternative splicing of orthologous genes from fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila pseudoobscura) and mosquito (Anopheles gambiae) demonstrated that both in the fruit fly genes and in fruit fly-mosquito comparisons, constitutive exons and splicing sites are more conserved than alternative ones. While >97% of constitutive D. melanogaster exons are conserved in D. pseudoobscura, only ∼80% of alternative exons are conserved. Similarly, 77% of constitutive fruit fly exons are conserved in the mosquito genes, compared with <50% of alternative exons. Internal alternatives are more conserved than terminal ones. Retained introns are the least conserved, alternative acceptor sites are slightly more conserved than donor sites, and mutually exclusive exons are almost as conserved as constitutive exons. Cassette and mutually exclusive exons experience almost no intron insertions. We also observed cases of interconversion of various elementary alternatives, e.g., transformation of cassette exons into alternative sites. These results agree with the observations made earlier in human-mouse comparisons and demonstrate that the phenomenon of relatively low conservation of alternatively spliced regions may be universal, as it has been observed in different taxonomic groups (mammals and insects) and at various evolutionary distances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-509
Number of pages5
JournalGenome Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


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