Extracellular matrix proteins are a diverse family of secreted proteins and glycoproteins that are responsible for a variety of critical functions in different tissues. A large number of multiexon genes encode these proteins of the extracellular matrix. Over the last few years, it has become evident that the processing of the pre-mRNA from several of these genes involves alternative splicing. This review summarizes the known examples of alternative splicing in genes coding for the extracellular matrix and attempts to relate the increase in coding diversity generated by alternate exon usage to the function(s) of individual extracellular matrix proteins.
- alternate exon usage
- coding diversity
- extracellular matrix proteins.