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Human-specific antisense transcripts induced by the insertion of transposable element

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Antisense transcripts can influence the sense partner gene function by modifying the transcriptional and/or posttranscriptional regulation processes. Here, we report the identification of 13 cases of human-specific antisense transcripts induced by transposable element insertions from the analysis of primate genome alignment and human transcriptome data. The original sources of the insert included L1, Alu, SVA and human endogenous retrovirus (HERV). In the majority of the cases, insertion of a transposable element served as a promoter and drove transcription of the adjacent genomic segment, creating a novel antisense transcriptional unit (for examples, RNF144A, SYNE2, CAMCK4 and LSAMP). In the remaining cases, an existing antisense transcript was modified upon insertion; the insert supplied a promoter (ABCA9), an internal exon (LHFPL3 and DSG1) or a terminal exon (TEX11). We propose that creation of human-specific antisense transcripts may have altered the partner gene function and consequently may have played a role in the acquisition of various human-specific traits.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Life Science (BK21 Program) and Research Center for Biomolecules and Biosystems, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 156-756, Korea

Publication date: July 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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