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Genes Dev. 2016 Mar 1;30(5):594-609. doi: 10.1101/gad.276931.115.

Diverse and pervasive subcellular distributions for both coding and long noncoding RNAs.

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The Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E1, Canada; Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E1, Canada;
The Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E1, Canada;
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada.


In a previous analysis of 2300 mRNAs via whole-mount fluorescent in situ hybridization in cellularizing Drosophila embryos, we found that 70% of the transcripts exhibited some form of subcellular localization. To see whether this prevalence is unique to early Drosophila embryos, we examined ∼8000 transcripts over the full course of embryogenesis and ∼800 transcripts in late third instar larval tissues. The numbers and varieties of new subcellular localization patterns are both striking and revealing. In the much larger cells of the third instar larva, virtually all transcripts observed showed subcellular localization in at least one tissue. We also examined the prevalence and variety of localization mechanisms for >100 long noncoding RNAs. All of these were also found to be expressed and subcellularly localized. Thus, subcellular RNA localization appears to be the norm rather than the exception for both coding and noncoding RNAs. These results, which have been annotated and made available on a recompiled database, provide a rich and unique resource for functional gene analyses, some examples of which are provided.


Drosophila; in situ hybridization; lncRNA; localization; mRNA; subcellular

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