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I'm a computer scientist who is trying to understand alternative splicing. As the title says, I'm here to ask you if, from a biological point of view, elementary/basic alternative splicing events (such as exon skipping, alternative 3'/5' splice site...) can be combined into more complex alternative splicing events. If it is possible, how common is it?

Just to clarify my question, let A->B->C be a transcript made up by three exons (A, B and C). Biologically, is it possible to obtain a new transcript A'->C in which exon B has been skipped (exon skipping event) and exon A has been "cut" at a different splice site producing A' (for instance, alternative 5' splice site event)? Can I obtain also A->C' (exon skipping of B and alternative 3' splice site of C)? Another example could be the following one. Le A->B->-C->D be a transcript. Can I obtain a transcript A'->B'->D?

From a combinatorial point of view, I can combine all the events and all the exons in many different ways but from a biological point of view, are all the possible combinations plausible?

If so, can you please point me to some articles describing how alternative splicing events can be combined?

Thank you and sorry if this has been asked and answered already (but I didn't find anything regarding it).

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a good question. I cannot see any biological mechanistic reason why the combination you suggest could not occur, but unfortunately I cannot provide you with an example. The literature on the subject looks very complex (e.g. see nature.com/nbt/journal/v22/n5/pdf/nbt964.pdf), so you really need help from someone in the field. $\endgroup$ – David Jun 23 '17 at 21:50

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