Split genes and RNA splicing

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Science  20 Apr 1979:
Vol. 204, Issue 4390, pp. 264-271
DOI: 10.1126/science.373120


A number of genes in higher organisms and in their viruses appear to be split. That is, they have "nonsense" stretches of DNA interspersed within the sense DNA. The cell produces a full RNA transcript of this DNA, nonsense and all, and then appears to splice out the nonsense sequences before sending the RNA to the cytoplasm. In this article what is known about these intervening sequences and about the processing of the RNA is outlined. Also discussed is their possible use and how they might have arisen in evolution.