Two mammalian genes transcribed from opposite strands of the same DNA locus

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Science  20 Mar 1987:
Vol. 235, Issue 4795, pp. 1514-1517
DOI: 10.1126/science.3547652


This report describes the characterization of a genomic locus in the rat that encodes overlapping genes occupying both strands of the same piece of DNA. One gene (strand) encodes gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). A second gene, SH, is transcribed from the other DNA strand to produce RNA of undefined function. The RNAs transcribed from each DNA strand are spliced and polyadenylated, and share significant exon domains. GnRH is expressed in the central nervous system while SH transcripts are present in the heart. Thus, the genome of a mammalian organism encodes two distinct genes by using both strands of the same DNA.