Difference Between Exons and Introns

Exons are termed as nucleic acid sequences represented in the RNA molecule. Introns are the nucleotide sequences found within the genes that are removed through RNA splicing. In other words, exons are coding areas, whereas, introns are non-coding areas. Introns and exons were discovered by Richard Roberts and Phillip Sharp, respectively. The intron sequences change frequently with time, whereas, the exon sequences are highly conserved.

Read on to explore the major difference between exons and introns.

Difference between Introns and Exons

Following are the important difference between introns and exons:

Introns Exons
Found in Eukaryotes only Found in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes
Non-coding areas of the DNA Coding areas of the DNA
Introns are the transcribed part of the nucleotide sequence in an mRNA and are known to carry the non-coding part for the proteins Exons are the transcribed part of the nucleotide sequence in mRNA that is responsible for the protein synthesis.
The sequence of the introns changes frequently over time. In other words, they are less conserved Exons are highly conserved
DNA bases found in between exons DNA bases that are translated to mRNA
Even after the mRNA splicing, introns continue to remain in the nucleus When mature mRNA is produced, exons move to the cytoplasm from the nucleus

Also Read: RNA Interference

What are Introns?

Introns are intervening sequences between two exons found in eukaryotes. They do not directly code for proteins. They are removed before the mRNA forms proteins. Therefore, these introns undergo the process of splicing.

Introns are the non-coding parts of the nucleotides and are not highly conserved. therefore, it is essential to remove introns to prevent the formation of incorrect proteins.

What are Exons?

Exons are the coding sequences that code for amino acid sequence of the protein. The exons are transcribed into mature mRNA after post-transcriptional modification. These are highly conserved sequences, i.e., they do not change frequently with time.

From the listed difference, we can conclude that the main difference between exons and introns is their function in the genome.

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