Natural Antisense Transcripts within Pseudogenes: an EST Survey
Enrique M. Muro and Miguel A. Andrade
from: Non-coding RNAs and Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression: Drivers of Natural Selection (Edited by: Kevin V. Morris). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2012)
Pseudogenes are genome loci that look like genes but have sequences apparently prevented to produce any functional product due to genetic defects. However, recent advances in the field of molecular biology urge the revisiting of this definition. In this chapter we will discuss some of those advances. There is experimental and computational evidence of some biological function arising from pseudogene transcription but this evidence is not easy to find. Accordingly, not that many studies have been published on the topic. It seems that if there is pseudogene transcript functionality, it arises in certain tissues, and in certain conditions, with much more specificity than gene expression. Some of this complexity relates to the fact that this function involves non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), a molecular entity for which novel tools and biological paradigms are still being worked out. A particular type of ncRNAs are Natural Antisense Transcripts (NATs) and these have a special relevance for the study of pseudogene functionality for reasons that we will discuss read more ...