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The Landscape of C. elegans 3′UTRs

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

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A New Look at Old Data

Although the full genome of Caenorhabditis elegans has been available for over 10 years, only a portion of the full-length messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and their expression through development has been analyzed. By combining multiple methods, involving a careful reannotation of existing data sets, sequencing of poly-A captured RNAs from multiple developmental stages, as well as cloning and deep sequencing of a subset of genes, Mangone et al. (p. 432, published online 3 June) defined ∼26,000 distinct mRNA three-prime untranslated regions (3′UTRs) for ∼85% of the protein-coding genes. Most C. elegans genes have more than one 3′UTR, arising through different mechanisms including trans-splicing–coupled cleavage and polyadenylation. The work highlights the importance of the 3'UTRs in the regulation of mRNA stability and translation.