The complex processes of mRNA transcription and splicing were traditionally studied in isolation. In vitro studies showed that splicing could occur independently of transcription and the perceived wisdom was that, to a large extent, it probably did. However, there is now abundant evidence for functional interactions between transcription and splicing, with important consequences for splicing regulation. In the present paper, we summarize the evidence that transcription affects splicing and vice versa, and the more recent indications of epigenetic effects on splicing, through chromatin modifications. We end by discussing the potential for a systems biology approach to obtain better insight into how these processes affect each other.

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