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Introns everywhere

William Wells

Genome Biology 2000, 1:spotlight-20000504-01  doi:10.1186/gb-spotlight-20000504-01

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:4 May 2000

© 2000 BioMed Central Ltd

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Self-splicing group II introns can home to the correct place in their host gene by reverse splicing into DNA. In the 27 April Nature, Cousineau et al. show that a bacterial group II intron can also jump into unrelated genes by reverse splicing into an unrelated mRNA, followed by reverse transcription and then recombination (Nature 2000, 404:1018-1021). Moving by reverse splicing ensures that forward splicing will occur at a reasonable frequency, so the host gene's function remains intact. During the period when introns were spreading, cells probably evolved their own splicing machinery both to speed up splicing and to inhibit further intron spreading.


  1. Retrohoming of a bacterial group II intron: mobility via complete reverse splicing, independent of homologous DNA recombination.

    PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  2. [] webcite

    A link to an article on Introns in Nature