Divergent Transcription: A Driving Force for New Gene Origination?
ABSTRACT The mammalian genome is extensively transcribed, a large fraction of which is divergent transcription from promoters and enhancers that is tightly coupled with active gene transcription. Here, we propose that divergent transcription may shape the evolution of the genome by new gene origination.
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ABSTRACT: Background Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been implicated in diverse biological processes. In contrast to extensive genomic annotation of lncRNA transcripts, far fewer have been characterized for subcellular localization and cell-to-cell variability. Addressing this requires systematic, direct visualization of lncRNAs in single cells at single-molecule resolution.ResultsWe use single-molecule RNA-FISH to systematically quantify and categorize the subcellular localization patterns of a representative set of 61 lncRNAs in three different cell types. Our survey yields high-resolution quantification and stringent validation of the number and spatial positions of these lncRNA, with an mRNA set for comparison. Using this highly quantitative image-based dataset, we observe a variety of subcellular localization patterns, ranging from bright sub-nuclear foci to almost exclusively cytoplasmic localization. We also find that the low abundance of lncRNAs observed from cell population measurements cannot be explained by high expression in a small subset of `jackpot¿ cells. Additionally, nuclear lncRNA foci dissolve during mitosis and become widely dispersed, suggesting these lncRNAs are not mitotic bookmarking factors. Moreover, we see that divergently transcribed lncRNAs do not always correlate with their cognate mRNA, nor do they have a characteristic localization pattern.Conclusions Our systematic, high-resolution survey of lncRNA localization reveals aspects of lncRNAs that are similar to mRNAs, such as cell-to-cell variability, but also several distinct properties. These characteristics may correspond to particular functional roles. Our study also provides a quantitative description of lncRNAs at the single-cell level and a universally applicable framework for future study and validation of lncRNAs.
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ABSTRACT: Early studies established that transcription initiates within an approximately 50bp DNA segment capable of nucleating the assembly of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and associated general transcription factors (GTFs) necessary for transcriptional initiation; this region is called a core promoter. Subsequent analyses identified a series of conserved DNA sequence elements, present in various combinations or not at all, in core promoters. Recent genome-wide analyses have provided further insights into the complexity of core promoter architecture and function. Here we review recent studies that delineate the active role of core promoters in the transcriptional regulation of diverse physiological systems. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Trends in Biochemical Sciences 02/2015; 40(3). DOI:10.1016/j.tibs.2015.01.007 · 13.52 Impact Factor
Article: Variations in brain DNA[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: It is assumed that DNA sequences are conserved in the diverse cell types present in a multicellular organism like the human being. Thus, in order to compare the sequences in the genome of DNA from different individuals, nucleic acid is commonly isolated from a single tissue. In this regard, blood cells are widely used for this purpose because of their availability. Thus blood DNA has been used to study genetic familiar diseases that affect other tissues and organs, such as the liver, heart, and brain. While this approach is valid for the identification of familial diseases in which mutations are present in parental germinal cells and, therefore, in all the cells of a given organism, it is not suitable to identify sporadic diseases in which mutations might occur in specific somatic cells. This review addresses somatic DNA variations in different tissues or cells (mainly in the brain) of single individuals and discusses whether the dogma of DNA invariance between cell types is indeed correct. We will also discuss how single nucleotide somatic variations arise, focusing on the presence of specific DNA mutations in the brain.