: a mechanism in which different combinations of exons are joined together during the final stages of transcription so that more than one messenger RNA is produced from a single gene
— called also
- In complex genes, alternative splicing can generate dozens or even hundreds of different mRNA isoforms from a single transcript.
- —Vivien Marx, Genomics & Proteomics, May 2004
Alternative splicing produces different messenger RNAs especially through the removal of one or more exons. Since each messenger RNA produced forms a different protein product, this mechanism enables a gene to encode multiple proteins that are structurally and functionally distinct.