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Trends Genet. 2005 Apr;21(4):203-7.

Human antisense genes have unusually short introns: evidence for selection for rapid transcription.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, MC2115, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. jchen@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu


We suggest that small introns are favored in genes requiring a minimal response time ('nimble' genes), and that antisense genes might be prime candidates for such nimble genes. In this article, we show that antisense genes have significantly shorter introns than all other gene categories, which supports our proposal that the short introns of antisense genes might be functionally important and integrally related to their potential role in efficient gene regulation.

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