RNA and Proteins

Molecular Biology

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 278-293

First online:

Protein splicing

  • P. L. StarokadomskyyAffiliated withInstitute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

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Protein splicing is a posttranslational process that results in excision of an internal protein region (intein) and ligation of its flanking sequences (exteins). As distinguished from other variants of protein processing, protein splicing does not require cofactors of enzymes. Protein splicing is catalyzed by an internal domain (so-called Hint domain) of the intein itself. The review considers the main regularities and molecular mechanisms of the process, as well as the functions of Hint domains in other protein families (Hh proteins, bacterial BIL domains, etc.). Studies of protein splicing are of importance from both theoretical and applied viewpoints. For instance, comparisons of the inteins found in different domains of life illustrate the role of horizontal transfer in intein spreading. A possible role of inteins in regulating several cell processes is discussed on the basis of recent data.

Key words

intein protein splicing Hint domain extein