Antisense transcription in plants: a systematic review and an update on cis-NATs of sugarcane

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Initially, natural antisense transcripts (NATs, natRNAs, or asRNAs) were considered repressors; however, their functions in gene regulation are diverse. Positive, negative, or neutral correlations to the cognate gene expression have been noted. Although the first studies were published about 50 years ago, there is still much to be investigated regarding antisense transcripts in plants. A systematic review of scientific publications available in the Web of Science databases was conducted to contextualize how the studying of antisense transcripts has been addressed. Studies were classified considering three categories: “Natural antisense” (208), artificial antisense used in “Genetic Engineering” (797), or “Natural antisense and Genetic Engineering”-related publications (96). A similar string was used for a systematic search in the NCBI Gene database. Of the 1132 antisense sequences found for plants, only 0.8% were cited in PubMed and had antisense information confirmed. This value was the lowest when compared to fungi (2.9%), bacteria (2.3%), and mice (54.1%). Finally, we present an update for the cis-NATs identified in Saccharum spp. Of the 1413 antisense transcripts found in different experiments, 25 showed concordant expressions, 22 were discordant, 1264 did not correlate with the cognate genes, and 102 presented variable results depending on the experiment.
Santini L, Yoshida L, Oliveira KD, Lembke CG, Diniz AL, Cantelli GC, et al. Antisense transcription in plants: a systematic review and an update on cis-NATs of sugarcane. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Oct; 23(19):11603. doi:10.3390/ijms231911603.
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