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Exon shuffling

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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Exon shuffling can lead to a common domain being found in a variety of proteins.

This shuffling around of mobile elements is thought to have had a profound influence on the evolution of genomes of multicellular organisms.

figure of how exon shuffling can lead to a common element in many different proteins

Via Non-Viral Retrotransposon

With non-viral retrotransposons, if a LINE has a weak poly(A) signal, then sometimes transcription will continue and include an adjacent 3' gene (eventually terminating at that gene's strong poly(A) signal).

ORF2 then reverse-transcribes the RNA transcript of the LINE and gene, eventually inserting the gene at a new location along with the SINE in a phenomenon known as exon shuffling.

figure of exon shuffling via transposons

Via interspersed element crossover

Exon shuffling can occur via double crossover between interspersed repeats.
figure of exon shuffling via interspersed element crossover

Via DNA Transposons

exon shuffling via dna transposons