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Expression profiling of antisense transcripts on DNA arrays

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andreas Werner, Dr Colin Miles, Dr Heiko Peters


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The majority of mouse genes are estimated to undergo bidirectional transcription; however, their tissue-specific distribution patterns and physiological significance are largely unknown. This is in part due to the lack of methodology to routinely assess the expression of natural antisense transcripts (NATs) on a large scale. Here we tested whether commercial DNA arrays can be used to monitor antisense transcription in mouse kidney and brain. We took advantage of the reversely annotated oligonucleotides on the U74 mouse genome array from Affymetrix that hybridize to NATs overlapping with the sense transcript in the area of the probe set. In RNA samples from mouse kidney and brain, 11.9% and 10.1%, respectively, of 5,652 potential NATs returned positive and about half of the antisense RNAs were detected in both tissues, which was similar to the fraction of sense transcripts expressed in both tissues. Notably, we found that the majority of NATs are related to the sense transcriptome since corresponding sense transcripts were detected for 92.5% (kidney) and 74.5% (brain) of the detected antisense RNAs. Antisense RNA transcription was confirmed by real-time PCR and included additional RNA samples from heart, thymus, and liver. The randomly selected transcripts showed tissue specific expression patterns and varying sense/antisense ratios. The results indicate that antisense transcriptomes are tissue specific, and although pairing of sense/antisense transcripts are known to result in rapid degradation, our data provide proof of principle that the sensitivity of commercial DNA arrays is sufficient to assess NATs in total RNA of whole organs. Copyright © 2007 the American Physiological Society.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Werner A, Schmutzler G, Carlile M, Miles CG, Peters H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Physiological Genomics

Year: 2007

Volume: 28

Issue: 3

Pages: 294-300

Print publication date: 01/02/2007

ISSN (print): 1094-8341

ISSN (electronic): 1531-2267

Publisher: American Physiological Society


DOI: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00127.2006

PubMed id: 17105753


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