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BMC Mol Biol. 2002 Apr 18;3:4. Epub 2002 Apr 18.

Natural antisense RNA inhibits the expression of BCMA, a tumour necrosis factor receptor homologue.

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INSERM U131, Institut Paris-Sud sur les Cytokines, 32, rue des Carnets, 92140 Clamart, France.



BCMA (B-cell maturation) belongs to the tumour necrosis factor receptor gene family, and is specifically expressed in mature B lymphocytes. Antisense BCMA RNA is produced by transcription from the same locus and has typical mRNA features, e.g, polyadenylation, splicing, Kozak consensus sequence and an ORF (p12). To investigate the function of antisense BCMA RNA, we expressed BCMA in cell lines, in the presence of antisense p12 or a mutant lacking the initiation ATG codon (p12-ATG).


Overexpression of both p12 and p12-ATG antisense BCMA resulted in a large decrease in the amount of BCMA protein produced, with no change in BCMA RNA levels, indicating that BCMA expression is regulated by antisense BCMA RNA at the translational level. We have also observed slight adenosine modifications, suggestive of the activity of a double-stranded RNA-specific adenosine deaminase.


These data suggest that antisense BCMA may operate under physiological conditions using similar antisense-mediated control mechanisms, to inhibit the expression of the BCMA gene.


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