Lecture Overview

In the first part of her talk, Dr. Moore explains that eukaryotic pre-mRNA contains long stretches of non-protein coding sequences interspersed with protein coding regions. By recognizing specific sequences, cellular machinery splices out the non-coding introns leaving just the protein-coding exons in mRNA. Although at first glance this may seem like a wasteful process, it is splicing that facilitates the evolution of new genes, and alternative splicing that allows a limited number of genes to produce a large number of proteins.

Moore goes on to describe the cellular splicing machine, the spliceosome, in greater detail in Part 2. She lists the components of the spliceosome and where each works in the spliceosome cycle. Moore also explains how the innovative use of fluorescent protein tags and total internal reflection microscopy has allowed her and her colleagues to better understand the ordered assembly and function of the complex splicing machine.

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