Ageing research reviews 2017 04 26() pii 10.1016/j.arr.2017.04.004
Alternative splicing is a co-transcriptional process, which allows for the production of multiple transcripts from a single gene and is emerging as an important control point for gene expression. Alternatively expressed isoforms often have antagonistic function and differential temporal or spatial expression patterns, yielding enormous plasticity and adaptability to cells and increasing their ability to respond to environmental challenge. The regulation of alternative splicing is critical for numerous cellular functions in both pathological and physiological conditions, and deregulated alternative splicing is a key feature of common chronic diseases. Isoform choice is controlled by a battery of splicing regulatory proteins, which include the serine arginine rich (SRSF) proteins and the heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) classes of genes. These important splicing regulators have been implicated in age-related disease, and in the ageing process itself. This review will outline the important contribution of splicing regulator proteins to ageing and age-related disease.