Exons: The parts of a transcript of a split GENE remaining after the INTRONS are removed. They are spliced together to become a MESSENGER RNA or other functional RNA.Alternative Splicing: A process whereby multiple RNA transcripts are generated from a single gene. Alternative splicing involves the splicing together of other possible sets of EXONS during the processing of some, but not all, transcripts of the gene. Thus a particular exon may be connected to any one of several alternative exons to form a mature RNA. The alternative forms of mature MESSENGER RNA produce PROTEIN ISOFORMS in which one part of the isoforms is common while the other parts are different.Introns: Sequences of DNA in the genes that are located between the EXONS. They are transcribed along with the exons but are removed from the primary gene transcript by RNA SPLICING to leave mature RNA. Some introns code for separate genes.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.RNA Splicing: The ultimate exclusion of nonsense sequences or intervening sequences (introns) before the final RNA transcript is sent to the cytoplasm.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.RNA Splice Sites: Nucleotide sequences located at the ends of EXONS and recognized in pre-messenger RNA by SPLICEOSOMES. They are joined during the RNA SPLICING reaction, forming the junctions between exons.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.DNA Mutational Analysis: Biochemical identification of mutational changes in a nucleotide sequence.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Polymerase Chain Reaction: In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.RNA Precursors: RNA transcripts of the DNA that are in some unfinished stage of post-transcriptional processing (RNA PROCESSING, POST-TRANSCRIPTIONAL) required for function. RNA precursors may undergo several steps of RNA SPLICING during which the phosphodiester bonds at exon-intron boundaries are cleaved and the introns are excised. Consequently a new bond is formed between the ends of the exons. Resulting mature RNAs can then be used; for example, mature mRNA (RNA, MESSENGER) is used as a template for protein production.Pedigree: The record of descent or ancestry, particularly of a particular condition or trait, indicating individual family members, their relationships, and their status with respect to the trait or condition.Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational: Variation in a population's DNA sequence that is detected by determining alterations in the conformation of denatured DNA fragments. Denatured DNA fragments are allowed to renature under conditions that prevent the formation of double-stranded DNA and allow secondary structure to form in single stranded fragments. These fragments are then run through polyacrylamide gels to detect variations in the secondary structure that is manifested as an alteration in migration through the gels.DNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).Protein Isoforms: Different forms of a protein that may be produced from different GENES, or from the same gene by ALTERNATIVE SPLICING.DNA, Complementary: Single-stranded complementary DNA synthesized from an RNA template by the action of RNA-dependent DNA polymerase. cDNA (i.e., complementary DNA, not circular DNA, not C-DNA) is used in a variety of molecular cloning experiments as well as serving as a specific hybridization probe.Sequence Deletion: Deletion of sequences of nucleic acids from the genetic material of an individual.Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid: The sequential correspondence of nucleotides in one nucleic acid molecule with those of another nucleic acid molecule. Sequence homology is an indication of the genetic relatedness of different organisms and gene function.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.Sequence Analysis, DNA: A multistage process that includes cloning, physical mapping, subcloning, determination of the DNA SEQUENCE, and information analysis.Genes: A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms.Point Mutation: A mutation caused by the substitution of one nucleotide for another. This results in the DNA molecule having a change in a single base pair.Promoter Regions, Genetic: DNA sequences which are recognized (directly or indirectly) and bound by a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase during the initiation of transcription. Highly conserved sequences within the promoter include the Pribnow box in bacteria and the TATA BOX in eukaryotes.Restriction Mapping: Use of restriction endonucleases to analyze and generate a physical map of genomes, genes, or other segments of DNA.DNA Primers: Short sequences (generally about 10 base pairs) of DNA that are complementary to sequences of messenger RNA and allow reverse transcriptases to start copying the adjacent sequences of mRNA. Primers are used extensively in genetic and molecular biology techniques.Chromosome Mapping: Any method used for determining the location of and relative distances between genes on a chromosome.Codon, Nonsense: An amino acid-specifying codon that has been converted to a stop codon (CODON, TERMINATOR) by mutation. Its occurance is abnormal causing premature termination of protein translation and results in production of truncated and non-functional proteins. A nonsense mutation is one that converts an amino acid-specific codon to a stop codon.Frameshift Mutation: A type of mutation in which a number of NUCLEOTIDES deleted from or inserted into a protein coding sequence is not divisible by three, thereby causing an alteration in the READING FRAMES of the entire coding sequence downstream of the mutation. These mutations may be induced by certain types of MUTAGENS or may occur spontaneously.Sequence Alignment: The arrangement of two or more amino acid or base sequences from an organism or organisms in such a way as to align areas of the sequences sharing common properties. The degree of relatedness or homology between the sequences is predicted computationally or statistically based on weights assigned to the elements aligned between the sequences. This in turn can serve as a potential indicator of the genetic relatedness between the organisms.Alleles: Variant forms of the same gene, occupying the same locus on homologous CHROMOSOMES, and governing the variants in production of the same gene product.Mutation, Missense: A mutation in which a codon is mutated to one directing the incorporation of a different amino acid. This substitution may result in an inactive or unstable product. (From A Dictionary of Genetics, King & Stansfield, 5th ed)Blotting, Southern: A method (first developed by E.M. Southern) for detection of DNA that has been electrophoretically separated and immobilized by blotting on nitrocellulose or other type of paper or nylon membrane followed by hybridization with labeled NUCLEIC ACID PROBES.Dystrophin: A muscle protein localized in surface membranes which is the product of the Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy gene. Individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy usually lack dystrophin completely while those with Becker muscular dystrophy have dystrophin of an altered size. It shares features with other cytoskeletal proteins such as SPECTRIN and alpha-actinin but the precise function of dystrophin is not clear. One possible role might be to preserve the integrity and alignment of the plasma membrane to the myofibrils during muscle contraction and relaxation. MW 400 kDa.Polymorphism, Genetic: The regular and simultaneous occurrence in a single interbreeding population of two or more discontinuous genotypes. The concept includes differences in genotypes ranging in size from a single nucleotide site (POLYMORPHISM, SINGLE NUCLEOTIDE) to large nucleotide sequences visible at a chromosomal level.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Sequence Homology, Amino Acid: The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.Genomic Library: A form of GENE LIBRARY containing the complete DNA sequences present in the genome of a given organism. It contrasts with a cDNA library which contains only sequences utilized in protein coding (lacking introns).Gene Deletion: A genetic rearrangement through loss of segments of DNA or RNA, bringing sequences which are normally separated into close proximity. This deletion may be detected using cytogenetic techniques and can also be inferred from the phenotype, indicating a deletion at one specific locus.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.