Antisense RNAs paper published in Genome Research
Dr Aditi Kanhere of the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Systems, Molecular & Integrative Biology at the University of Liverpool. Dr Kanhere currently leads a cross-disciplinary group which works on the interface of computational biology and wet-lab approaches to understand principles of non-coding RNA biology and epigenetics. Her research group is also interested in understanding the role of non-coding RNAs in drug responses.
In collaboration with researchers at RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, Japan, Dr Kanhere’s group has recently shown that a type of non-coding RNAs that are transcribed in the opposite direction to protein-coding genes play an important role in vertebrate development. Their analysis indicates that these natural antisense transcripts or NATs can be divided into two major classes based on their co-expression patterns with respect to the overlapping protein-coding genes. Group-1 NATs have characteristics similar to maternally deposited RNAs in that their levels decrease as development progresses. Group-1 NAT levels are negatively correlated with that of overlapping sense-strand protein-coding genes. Group-2 NATs, on the other hand, are coexpressed with overlapping protein-coding genes. In contrast to group-1, which is enriched in genes involved in developmental pathways, group-2 protein-coding genes are enriched in housekeeping functions.
This work is published in Genome Research.