The prevalence of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) and natural antisense transcripts (NATs) has been reported in a variety of organisms. While a consensus has yet to be reached on their global importance, an increasing number of examples have been shown to be functional, regulating gene expression at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level.
Here, researchers at the University of Manchester use RNA sequencing data from the ABI SOLiD platform to identify lncRNA and NATs obtained from samples of the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa grown under different light and temperature conditions. They identify 939 novel lncRNAs, of which 477 are antisense to annotated genes. Across the whole dataset, the extent of overlap between sense and antisense transcripts is large: 371 sense/antisense transcripts are complementary over 500 nts or more and 236 overlap by more than 1000 nts. Most prevalent are 3′ end overlaps between convergently transcribed sense/antisense pairs, but examples of divergently transcribed pairs and nested transcripts are also present.
- Arthanari Y, Heintzen C, Griffiths-Jones S, Crosthwaite SK (2014) Natural Antisense Transcripts and Long Non-Coding RNA in Neurospora crassa. PLoS ONE 9(3), e91353. [article]