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Open reading frames provide a rich pool of potential natural antisense transcripts in fungal genomes

Nucleic Acids Research
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1093/nar/gki804
  • Article
  • Biology


Natural antisense transcripts are reported from all kingdoms of life and several recent reports of genomewide screens indicate that they are widely distributed. These transcripts seem to be involved in various biological functions and may govern the expression of their respective sense partner. Very little, however, is known about the degree of evolutionary conservation of antisense transcripts. Furthermore, none of the earlier analyses has studied whether antisense relationships are solely dual or involved in more complex relationships. Here we present a systematic screen for cis- and trans-located antisense transcripts based on open reading frames (ORFs) from five fungal species. The relative number of ORFs involved in antisense relationships varies greatly between the five species. In addition, other significant differences are found between the species, such as the mean length of the antisense region. The majority of trans-located antisense transcripts is found to be involved in complex relationships, resulting in highly connected networks. The analysis of the degree of evolutionary conservation of antisense transcripts shows that most antisense transcripts have no ortholog in any other species. An annotation of antisense transcripts based on Gene Ontology directs to common terms and shows that proteins of genes involved in antisense relationships preferentially localize to the nucleus with common functions in the regulation or maintenance of nucleic acids.

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