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BMC Genomics. 2005 Jun 16;6:93.

Evidence for abundant transcription of non-coding regions in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome.

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Compugen Ltd., 72 Pinchas Rosen St., Tel-Aviv 69512, Israel.



Recent studies in a growing number of organisms have yielded accumulating evidence that a significant portion of the non-coding region in the genome is transcribed. We address this issue in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


Taking into account the absence of a significantly large yeast EST database, we use microarray expression data collected for genomic regions erroneously believed to be coding to study the expression pattern of non-coding regions in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome. We find that at least 164 out of 589 (28%) such regions are expressed under specific biological conditions. In particular, looking at the probes that are located opposing other known genes at the same genomic locus, we find that 88 out of 341 (26%) of these genes support antisense transcription. The expression patterns of these antisense genes are positively correlated. We validate these results using RT-PCR on a sample of 6 non-coding transcripts.


1. The yeast genome is transcribed on a scale larger than previously assumed. 2. Correlated transcription of antisense genes is abundant in the yeast genome. 3. Antisense genes in yeast are non-coding.

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