Oral Presentation 16th Asian Conference on Transcription 2019

The transcriptional and co-transcriptional mechanisms that regulate novel exon acquisition. (1157)

Robert Weatheritt 1
  1. Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia
The long introns of mammals are pools of evolutionary potential due to the multiplicity of sequences that permit the acquisition of novel exons. However, the permissibility of genes to this type of acquisition and its influence on the evolution of cell regulation is poorly understood. Here, we observe that human genes are highly permissive to the inclusion of novel exonic regions permitting the emergence of novel regulatory features. Our analysis reveals the potential for novel exon acquisition to occur in over 30% of evaluated human genes. Regulatory processes including the rate of splicing efficiency and RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) elongation control this process by modulating the "window of opportunity" for spliceosomal recognition. Our work demonstrates that the inclusion of repeat-associated novel intronic regions is a tightly controlled process capable of expanding the regulatory capacity of cells.