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The functions of natural antisense transcripts

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andreas Werner


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NATs (natural antisense transcripts) are widespread in eukaryotic genomes. Experimental evidence indicates that sense and antisense transcripts interact, suggesting a role for NATs in the regulation of gene expression. On the other hand, the transcription of a gene locus in both orientations and RNA hybrid formation can also lead to transcriptional interference, trigger an immune response or induce gene silencing. Tissue-specific expression of NATs and the compartmentalization of cells ensure that the regulatory impact of NATs prevails. Consequently, NATs are now acknowledged as important modulators of gene expression. New mechanisms of action and important biological roles of NATs keep emerging, making regulatory RNAs an exciting and quickly moving area of research.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wight M, Werner A

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Essays in Biochemistry

Year: 2013

Volume: 54

Pages: 91-102

ISSN (print): 0071-1365

ISSN (electronic): 1744-1358


DOI: 10.1042/BSE0540091