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Bacterial antisense RNAs are mainly the product of transcriptional noise

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Item Type:Article
Title:Bacterial antisense RNAs are mainly the product of transcriptional noise
Creators Name:Llorens-Rico, V. and Cano, J. and Kamminga, T. and Gil, R. and Latorre, A. and Chen, W.H. and Bork, P. and Glass, J.I. and Serrano, L. and Lluch-Senar, M.
Abstract:cis-Encoded antisense RNAs (asRNAs) are widespread along bacterial transcriptomes. However, the role of most of these RNAs remains unknown, and there is an ongoing discussion as to what extent these transcripts are the result of transcriptional noise. We show, by comparative transcriptomics of 20 bacterial species and one chloroplast, that the number of asRNAs is exponentially dependent on the genomic AT content and that expression of asRNA at low levels exerts little impact in terms of energy consumption. A transcription model simulating mRNA and asRNA production indicates that the asRNA regulatory effect is only observed above certain expression thresholds, substantially higher than physiological transcript levels. These predictions were verified experimentally by overexpressing nine different asRNAs in Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Our results suggest that most of the antisense transcripts found in bacteria are the consequence of transcriptional noise, arising at spurious promoters throughout the genome.
Keywords:RNA, Bacterial Antisense RNAs
Source:Science Advances
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
Page Range:e1501363
Date:4 March 2016
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1501363
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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