Exons and Introns. Chesley Leslin. Steps in Production Proteins. exons: the sequences in the DNA molecule that code for the amino acid sequences of corresponding proteins. intron: the DNA sequence in a eukaryotic gene that is not translated into a protein. Transcription
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Phe Leu Ile Thr Tyr Cys Arg
Degenerate genetic code*….what?
We are interested in the evolution of the intron/exon structure of genes. Are the introns ancient structures, used to assemble the first genes four billion years ago? Or are they more recent acquisitions, used for exon shuffling in recently evolved proteins? Our work ranges from theoretical estimates for the size of the universe of exons to theoretical arguments that the introns are very old and that exons are related to folding subunits of proteins. We are studying the assembling of protein shapes from modular substructures.