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IUBMB Life. 2008 Dec;60(12):775-81. doi: 10.1002/iub.121.

Unexpected complexity of the budding yeast transcriptome.

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  • 1Department of Computational Biology, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa 277-8561, Japan.


The genome of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was sequenced over a decade ago and has been annotated to encode approximately 6,000 genes. However, recent high throughput studies using tiling array hybridization and cDNA sequencing have revealed an unexpectedly large number of previously undescribed transcripts. They largely lack protein-coding capacity and are transcribed from both strands of intragenic and intergenic regions in the genome. Accordingly, pervasive transcription leading to a plethora of noncoding RNAs, which was first revealed for mammalian genomes to attract intense attentions, is likely an intrinsic feature of eukaryotic genomes. Although it is not clear what fraction of these transcription events are functional, some were shown to induce transcriptional interference or histone modifications to regulate gene expression. The budding yeast may serve as an excellent model to study pervasive transcription and noncoding RNAs.

(c) 2008 IUBMB.

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