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Open Access Research article

Naturally occurring antisense RNA of histone H2a in mouse cultured cell lines

Hiromi Nishida*, Yasuhiro Tomaru, Yuko Oho and Yoshihide Hayashizaki

Author Affiliations

Laboratory for Genome Exploration Research Group, RIKEN Genomic Sciences Center (GSC), RIKEN Yokohama Institute, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan

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BMC Genetics 2005, 6:23  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-6-23

Published: 14 May 2005



An antisense transcript of histone H2a that has no significant protein-coding region has been cloned from a mouse full-length cDNA library. In the present study, we evaluated this transcript by using RT-PCR and compared the expression patterns of the sense and antisense transcripts by using quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR).


This antisense RNA was expressed in three mouse cell lines. We call it ASH2a. ASH2a includes not only the complementary sequence of the transcript of Hist2h2aa2 (a replication-dependent histone H2a gene), but also that of the promoter of Hist2h2aa2. The upstream genomic sequence of the transcription start site of the ASH2a-coding gene (ASH2a) lacks both CCAAT and TATA boxes. This absence suggests that the regulation of ASH2a is different from that of the replication-dependent histone H2a genes. Findings from qRT-PCR indicated that the expression pattern of ASH2a was different from that of Hist2h2aa2. Expression of Hist2h2aa2 peaked at 2 to 4 h during S-phase, but that of ASH2a peaked at 1 h.


We showed the existence of ASH2a, a histone H2a antisense RNA, in mouse cultured cells. The expression pattern of ASH2a is different from that of the sense RNA.