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RNA. 2012 Jun;18(6):1142-53. doi: 10.1261/rna.030510.111. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

Meiosis-induced alterations in transcript architecture and noncoding RNA expression in S. cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.


Changes in transcript architecture can have powerful effects on protein expression. Regulation of the transcriptome is often dramatically revealed during dynamic conditions such as development. To examine changes in transcript architecture we analyzed the expression and transcript boundaries of protein-coding and noncoding RNAs over the developmental process of meiosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Custom-designed, high-resolution tiling arrays were used to define the time-resolved transcriptome of cells undergoing meiosis and sporulation. These arrays were specifically designed for the S. cerevisiae strain SK1 that sporulates with high efficiency and synchrony. In addition, new methods were created to define transcript boundaries and to identify dynamic changes in transcript expression and architecture over time. Of 8407 total segments, 699 (8.3%) were identified by our algorithm as regions containing potential transcript architecture changes. Our analyses reveal extensive changes to both the coding and noncoding transcriptome, including altered 5' ends, 3' ends, and splice sites. Additionally, 3910 (46.5%) unannotated expressed segments were identified. Interestingly, subsets of unannotated RNAs are located across from introns (anti-introns) or across from the junction between two genes (anti-intergenic junctions). Many of these unannotated RNAs are abundant and exhibit sporulation-specific changes in expression patterns. All work, including heat maps of the tiling array, annotation for the SK1 strain, and phastCONS conservation analysis, is available at Our high-resolution transcriptome analyses reveal that coding and noncoding transcript architectures are exceptionally dynamic in S. cerevisiae and suggest a vast array of novel transcriptional and post-transcriptional control mechanisms that are activated upon meiosis and sporulation.

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