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Bioessays. 2004 Aug;26(8):833-43.

Mouse-centric comparative transcriptomics of protein coding and non-coding RNAs.

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Laboratory for Genome Exploration Research Group, RIKEN Genomic Sciences Center, RIKEN Yokohama Institute, Kanagawa, Japan.


The largest transcriptome reported so far comprises 60,770 mouse full-length cDNA clones, and is an effective reference data set for comparative transcriptomics. The number of mouse cDNAs identified greatly exceeds the number of genes predicted from the sequenced human and mouse genomes. This is largely because of extensive alternative splicing and the presence of many non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), which are difficult to predict from genomic sequences. Notably, ncRNAs are a major component of the transcriptomes of higher organisms, and many sense-antisense pairs have been identified. The ncRNAs function in a range of regulatory mechanisms for gene expression and other biological processes. They might also have contributed to the increased functional diversification of genomes during evolution. In this review, we discuss aspects of the transcriptome of various organisms in relation to the mouse data, in order to shed light on the regulatory mechanisms and physiological significance of these abundant RNAs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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