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MBio. 2010 May 18;1(1). pii: e00024-10. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00024-10.

Widespread antisense transcription in Escherichia coli.

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Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York, USA.


The vast majority of annotated transcripts in bacteria are mRNAs. Here we identify ~1,000 antisense transcripts in the model bacterium Escherichia coli. We propose that these transcripts are generated by promiscuous transcription initiation within genes and that many of them regulate expression of the overlapping gene.

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