Data_Sheet_8_Identification of Natural Antisense Transcripts in Mouse Brain and Their Association With Autism Spectrum Disorder Risk Genes.XLSX (11.98 kB)
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Data_Sheet_8_Identification of Natural Antisense Transcripts in Mouse Brain and Their Association With Autism Spectrum Disorder Risk Genes.XLSX

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posted on 25.02.2021, 06:23 by Baran Koç, Geoffrey Fucile, Roland Schmucki, Nicolas Giroud, Tobias Bergauer, Benjamin J. Hall

Genome-wide sequencing technologies have greatly contributed to our understanding of the genetic basis of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Interestingly, a number of ASD-related genes express natural antisense transcripts (NATs). In some cases, these NATs have been shown to play a regulatory role in sense strand gene expression and thus contribute to brain function. However, a detailed study examining the transcriptional relationship between ASD-related genes and their NAT partners is lacking. We performed strand-specific, deep RNA sequencing to profile expression of sense and antisense reads with a focus on 100 ASD-related genes in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and striatum across mouse post-natal development (P7, P14, and P56). Using de novo transcriptome assembly, we generated a comprehensive long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) transcriptome. We conducted BLAST analyses to compare the resultant transcripts with the human genome and identified transcripts with high sequence similarity and coverage. We assembled 32861 de novo antisense transcripts mapped to 12182 genes, of which 1018 are annotated by Ensembl as lncRNA. We validated the expression of a subset of selected ASD-related transcripts by PCR, including Syngap1 and Cntnap2. Our analyses revealed that more than 70% (72/100) of the examined ASD-related genes have one or more expressed antisense transcripts, suggesting more ASD-related genes than previously thought could be subject to NAT-mediated regulation in mice. We found that expression levels of antisense contigs were mostly positively correlated with their cognate coding sense strand RNA transcripts across developmental age. A small fraction of the examined transcripts showed brain region specific enrichment, indicating possible circuit-specific roles. Our BLAST analyses identified 110 of 271 ASD-related de novo transcripts with >90% identity to the human genome at >90% coverage. These findings, which include an assembled de novo antisense transcriptome, contribute to the understanding of NAT regulation of ASD-related genes in mice and can guide NAT-mediated gene regulation strategies in preclinical investigations toward the ultimate goal of developing novel therapeutic targets for ASD.

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