Navigation Links
Researchers rein in regulatory RNAs

A team of scientists led by Dr. Kuniya Abe from the RIKEN BioResource Center in Japan has performed one of the most comprehensive genome-wide experimental analyses of sense-antisense transcripts to date. Their findings are published in the April issue of the journal Genome Research.

Sense-antisense transcripts, or SATs, are pairs of RNA molecules generated from opposite DNA strands at the same locus. The number of SATs identified in the past several years has grown substantially, and they are now believed to comprise at least 8% of human genes. Many SAT pairs have been implicated in various stages of gene regulation, including transcription, mRNA processing, splicing, stability, transport, and translation. Various examples of such overlapping genes have been documented in all life forms ?from viruses and prokaryotes to plants and animals.

To date, most studies on SAT pairs have utilized purely in silico approaches; very few have experimentally validated the existence of overlapping RNA molecules in vivo. With this in mind, Dr. Hidenori Kiyosawa, the lead author on the paper, set out to confirm the presence of SATs in a variety of mouse tissue types and cell cultures, as well as to identify common characteristics of these unique transcripts.

Employing a custom-made microarray chip designed to detect strand-specific expression of 1947 SAT pairs, the researchers discovered that most of the SATs were widely expressed in mouse brain, heart, and testis, as well as in mouse embryonic stem cells and fibroblasts. While some SATs were expressed at a consistent level in all cells and tissues tested, others exhibited marked tissue-specific expression patterns.

Upon close examination of several SAT pairs, Abe's group found that the transcripts shared several striking characteristics. Northern blot hybridization analyses of six randomly chosen SAT pairs revealed that the SAT loci generated multiple transcripts of various sizes, in contrast to a sing le transcript that is expected under the traditional one gene-one transcript model. Furthermore, the SATs tended to be poly(A)-negative and enriched in the nucleus, which strongly suggests a functional role for these transcripts in gene regulation.

Abe and Kiyosawa also evaluated four Arabidopsis SAT pairs and demonstrated that these molecular characteristics were largely conserved in plants.

"Conventional belief in molecular biology suggests that poly(A)+ mRNAs are major mediators in flows of genetic information," Abe explains. "However, the information obtained from this study implies that some classes of poly(A)-negative nuclear RNA may have important biological functions."

Among these functions may be the regulation of gene expression on a domain level, such as that which has been documented for several imprinted loci. Antisense transcripts have been shown to alter the methylation status of the overlapping partner gene. SATs might also trigger posttranscriptional gene regulation via RNA interference (RNAi) by virtue of their ability to form double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) molecules.

A large proportion of these antisense RNAs represent non-coding RNAs. Thus, the researchers expect that these results will lead to a better understanding of roles of non-coding RNAs in gene regulation.


Source:Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Related biology news :

1. Researchers discover way to make cells in the eye sensitive to light
2. Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones
3. Researchers Uncover Key Step In Manufacture of Memory Protein
4. Researchers reveal the infectious impact of salmon farms on wild salmon
5. Researchers identify target for cancer drugs
6. Researchers discover molecule that causes secondary stroke
7. Researchers find missing genes of ancient organism
8. Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes
9. Researchers add new tool to tumor-treatment arsenal
10. UF Researchers Map Bacterial Proteins That Cause Tooth Loss
11. VCU Researchers Identify Networks Of Genes Responding To Alcohol In The Brain
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/9/2015)... 09, 2015 ... the "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market ... --> ) has announced the ... Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to their ... ( ) has announced the addition ...
(Date:10/29/2015)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce that it has been ... one of only three finalists for a 2015 ... Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph ... explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business ... The Internet of Healthy Things . ... smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, ... care delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor,s ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... --> --> ... by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive prenatal testing ... 17.5% during the period between 2014 and 2022. The ... Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 ... to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn by 2022. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In harsh industrial ... points for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where leaking process media ... of retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate extreme process conditions. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... LOS ANGELES , Nov. 24, 2015 ... a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and ... Marban , Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to ... December 1, 2015 at 10:50 a.m. EST, at The ... York City . . ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... Whitehouse Laboratories is pleased to announce that it has completed construction ... dedicated to basic USP 61, USP 62 and USP 51 testing specific to raw ... and micro testing performed by one supplier. Management has formally announced that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: