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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The state of long non-coding RNA biology.

Transcriptomic studies have demonstrated that the vast majority of the genomes of mammals and other complex organisms is expressed in highly dynamic and cell-specific patterns to produce large numbers of intergenic, antisense and intronic long non-protein-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Despite well characterized examples, their scaling with developmental complexity, and many demonstrations of their association with cellular processes, development and diseases, lncRNAs are still to be widely accepted as major players in gene regulation. This may reflect an underappreciation of the extent and precision of the epigenetic control of differentiation and development, where lncRNAs appear to have a central role, likely as…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Universal alternative splicing of noncoding exons.

The human transcriptome is so large, diverse, and dynamic that, even after a decade of investigation by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), we have yet to resolve its true dimensions. RNA-seq suffers from an expression-dependent bias that impedes characterization of low-abundance transcripts. We performed targeted single-molecule and short-read RNA-seq to survey the transcriptional landscape of a single human chromosome (Hsa21) at unprecedented resolution. Our analysis reaches the lower limits of the transcriptome, identifying a fundamental distinction between protein-coding and noncoding gene content: almost every noncoding exon undergoes alternative splicing, producing a seemingly limitless variety of isoforms. Analysis of syntenic regions of the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Identification of a novel fusion transcript between human relaxin-1 (RLN1) and human relaxin-2 (RLN2) in prostate cancer.

Simultaneous expression of highly homologous RLN1 and RLN2 genes in prostate impairs their accurate delineation. We used PacBio SMRT sequencing and RNA-Seq in LNCaP cells in order to dissect the expression of RLN1 and RLN2 variants. We identified a novel fusion transcript comprising the RLN1 and RLN2 genes and found evidence of its expression in the normal and prostate cancer tissues. The RLN1-RLN2 fusion putatively encodes RLN2 isoform with the deleted secretory signal peptide. The identification of the fusion transcript provided information to determine unique RLN1-RLN2 fusion and RLN1 regions. The RLN1-RLN2 fusion was co-expressed with RLN1 in LNCaP cells,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Draft genome assembly of the invasive cane toad, Rhinella marina.

The cane toad (Rhinella marina formerly Bufo marinus) is a species native to Central and South America that has spread across many regions of the globe. Cane toads are known for their rapid adaptation and deleterious impacts on native fauna in invaded regions. However, despite an iconic status, there are major gaps in our understanding of cane toad genetics. The availability of a genome would help to close these gaps and accelerate cane toad research.We report a draft genome assembly for R. marina, the first of its kind for the Bufonidae family. We used a combination of long-read Pacific Biosciences…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Representing genetic variation with synthetic DNA standards.

The identification of genetic variation with next-generation sequencing is confounded by the complexity of the human genome sequence and by biases that arise during library preparation, sequencing and analysis. We have developed a set of synthetic DNA standards, termed ‘sequins’, that emulate human genetic features and constitute qualitative and quantitative spike-in controls for genome sequencing. Sequencing reads derived from sequins align exclusively to an artificial in silico reference chromosome, rather than the human reference genome, which allows them them to be partitioned for parallel analysis. Here we use this approach to represent common and clinically relevant genetic variation, ranging from…

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