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protein trans-splicing

Erich Schwarz emsch at
Mon Feb 19 14:49:09 PST 2001

On Mon, 19 Feb 2001, Harold Drabkin wrote:

> I think that the point of the GO would be to describe the components 
> involved in the process, but not the targets; so, one would have 
> terms to describe the enzymes involved in trans-splicing,splicing, 
> but not every single instance of transcripts that get spliced, etc. ?

    Mike's already commented, but here's my understanding.

    1. GO itself tries to characterize abstract potentials of gene
products, independent of (though inspired by) actual gene products
in the real world.  In GO itself, protein splicing would matter in
two ways:

    1A. In itself.  I.e., you'd need molecular function and
biological process terms that specifically described enzymes
required for protein trans-splicing.

    1B. In de novo potentialities.  I.e., to the degree that
trans-splicing of proteins (gene products) generated, in passing,
novel molecular functions and biological processes that the
preexisting GO hadn't, for whatever reason, addressed.

    2. Gene associations (assignments of specific gene products to
GO nodes) are a distinct issue from the structure of GO itself.  
Trans-splicing can bestow biological function and biochemical
activity on a gene product that the gene product would not have
otherwise, and, if so, this should be reflected in the table of gene
associations for a given organism.

--Erich Schwarz

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