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The Landscape of C. elegans 3′UTRs

Science  23 Jul 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5990, pp. 432-435
DOI: 10.1126/science.1191244

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Abstract

Three-prime untranslated regions (3′UTRs) of metazoan messenger RNAs (mRNAs) contain numerous regulatory elements, yet remain largely uncharacterized. Using polyA capture, 3′ rapid amplification of complementary DNA (cDNA) ends, full-length cDNAs, and RNA-seq, we defined ~26,000 distinct 3′UTRs in Caenorhabditis elegans for ~85% of the 18,328 experimentally supported protein-coding genes and revised ~40% of gene models. Alternative 3′UTR isoforms are frequent, often differentially expressed during development. Average 3′UTR length decreases with animal age. Surprisingly, no polyadenylation signal (PAS) was detected for 13% of polyadenylation sites, predominantly among shorter alternative isoforms. Trans-spliced (versus non–trans-spliced) mRNAs possess longer 3′UTRs and frequently contain no PAS or variant PAS. We identified conserved 3′UTR motifs, isoform-specific predicted microRNA target sites, and polyadenylation of most histone genes. Our data reveal a rich complexity of 3′UTRs, both genome-wide and throughout development.

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