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Characterization of Transcription Termination-Associated RNAs: New Insights into their Biogenesis, Tailing, and Expression in Primary Tumors.

Laudadio, Ilaria; Formichetti, Sara; Gioiosa, Silvia; Klironomos, Filippos; Rajewsky, Nikolaus; Macino, Giuseppe; Carissimi, Claudia; Fulci, Valerio.
Int J Genomics ; 2018: 1243858, 2018.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29854718
Next-generation sequencing has uncovered novel classes of small RNAs (sRNAs) in eukaryotes, in addition to the well-known miRNAs, siRNAs, and piRNAs. In particular, sRNA species arise from transcription start sites (TSSs) and the transcription termination sites (TTSs) of genes. However, a detailed characterization of these new classes of sRNAs is still lacking. Here, we present a comprehensive study of sRNAs derived from TTSs of expressed genes (TTSa-RNAs) in human cell lines and primary tissues. Taking advantage of sRNA-sequencing, we show that TTSa-RNAs are present in the nuclei of human cells, are loaded onto both AGO1 and AGO2, and their biogenesis does not require DICER and AGO2 endonucleolytic activity. TTSa-RNAs display a strong bias against a G residue in the first position at 5' end, a known feature of AGO-bound sRNAs, and a peculiar oligoA tail at 3' end. AGO-bound TTSa-RNAs derive from genes involved in cell cycle progression regulation and DNA integrity checkpoints. Finally, we provide evidence that TTSa-RNAs can be detected by sRNA-Seq in primary human tissue, and their expression increases in tumor samples as compared to nontumor tissues, suggesting that in the future, TTSa-RNAs might be explored as biomarker for diagnosis or prognosis of human malignancies.