Background: SMRT and NCoR are corepressor paralogs that help mediate transcriptional repression by a variety of transcription factors, including the nuclear hormone receptors. The functions of both corepressors are extensively diversified in mice by alternative mRNA splicing, generating a series of protein variants that differ in different tissues and that exert different, even diametrically opposite, biochemical and biological effects from one another. Results: We report here that the alternative splicing previously reported for SMRT appears to be a relatively recent evolutionary phenomenon, with only one of these previously identified sites utilized in a teleost fish and a limited additional number of the additional known sites utilized in a bird, reptile, and marsupial. In contrast, extensive SMRT alternative splicing at these sites was detected among the placental mammals. The alternative splicing of NCoR previously identified in mice (and shown to regulate lipid and carbohydrate metabolism) is likely to have arisen separately and after that of SMRT, and includes an example of convergent evolution. Conclusions: We propose that the functions of both SMRT and NCoR have been diversified by alternative splicing during evolution to allow customization for different purposes in different tissues and different species.
- mRNA splicing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics