(Intrinsically Disordered) Splice Variants in the Proteome: Implications for Novel Drug Discovery

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Alternative splicing, Drug target, Intrinsic disorder, Intrinsically disordered protein, Posttranslational modification, Protein binding, Protein–protein interaction, Splice variant

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In higher eukaryotes, proteomes are typically larger than corresponding genomes mostly due to alternative spicing (AS) which is affecting more than 86 % of human genes. Tissue specificity of many proteins is often determined by the AS of pre-mRNAs that generates multiple proteins from a single gene. Aberrations in AS are found in numerous human diseases. This article shows that AS expanded the classic “one-gene–one-protein” paradigm to the “one-gene–many-proteins” concept. AS is intimately associated with protein intrinsic disorder. There is a tight connection between the altered AS of some key intrinsically disordered proteins and pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. The development of drugs for splice variants is a challenging endeavor. AS has tremendous influence on the applicability of several drugs developed to affect functions typically attributed to the ordered parts of disease-related proteins. Although there are several means for the differential targeting of splice variants, new approaches are obviously needed. It is expected that better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying modulation of biological activities of numerous spliced variants will be achieved and new drug design approaches for proteins with multiple splice variants will be developed.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Genes & Genomics, v. 38, p. 577-594