Nowadays understanding alternative splicing is one of the greatest challenges in biology, because it is a genetic process much more important than thought at the time of its discovery. In this paper, we explain the approach of using the different available databases and software tools to start a large scale investigation of alternative splice forms. To collect information about alternative splicing we investigated known data in the databases using different computational methods. The investigations proceeded from the genomic sequence data to structural protein data. Then, we interpreted those data to find the relationship between alternative splice forms and protein function and structure. We found some interesting features of alternative splicing which are presented here. We discuss the results of one chosen example. They concern the coverage quality of the protein sequence of a known structure, an EST analysis, the validation of splice variants, the determination of the alternative splice type, and finally the link between alternative splicing and disease.

Contact: ina.koch@molgen.mpg.de