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Biological functions of natural antisense transcripts

Andreas Werner

Author Affiliations

RNA Interest Group, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH, UK

BMC Biology 2013, 11:31  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-11-31

Published: 12 April 2013


In theory, the human genome is large enough to keep its roughly 20,000 genes well separated. In practice, genes are clustered; even more puzzling, in many cases both DNA strands of a protein coding gene are transcribed. The resulting natural antisense transcripts can be a blessing and curse, as many appreciate, or simply transcriptional trash, as others believe. Widespread evolutionary conservation, as recently demonstrated, is a good indicator for potential biological functions of natural antisense transcripts.

See research article: webcite