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Genes 2018, 9(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9010040

Transcriptional-Readthrough RNAs Reflect the Phenomenon of “A Gene Contains Gene(s)” or “Gene(s) within a Gene” in the Human Genome, and Thus Are Not Chimeric RNAs

1
Key Lab of Endemic and Ethnic Diseases of the Ministry of Education of China in Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang 550004, Guizhou, China
2
Department of Biochemistry, China Three Gorges University, Yichang City 443002, Hubei, China
3
Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, Austin, MN 55912, USA
4
Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, 435 E. River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
5
School of Clinical Laboratory Science, Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang 550004, Guizhou, China
6
Department of Pathology, Guizhou Medical University Hospital, Guiyang 550004, Guizhou, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 29 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 January 2018 / Published: 16 January 2018
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Abstract

Tens of thousands of chimeric RNAs, i.e., RNAs with sequences of two genes, have been identified in human cells. Most of them are formed by two neighboring genes on the same chromosome and are considered to be derived via transcriptional readthrough, but a true readthrough event still awaits more evidence and trans-splicing that joins two transcripts together remains as a possible mechanism. We regard those genomic loci that are transcriptionally read through as unannotated genes, because their transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulations are the same as those of already-annotated genes, including fusion genes formed due to genetic alterations. Therefore, readthrough RNAs and fusion-gene-derived RNAs are not chimeras. Only those two-gene RNAs formed at the RNA level, likely via trans-splicing, without corresponding genes as genomic parents, should be regarded as authentic chimeric RNAs. However, since in human cells, procedural and mechanistic details of trans-splicing have never been disclosed, we doubt the existence of trans-splicing. Therefore, there are probably no authentic chimeras in humans, after readthrough and fusion-gene derived RNAs are all put back into the group of ordinary RNAs. Therefore, it should be further determined whether in human cells all two-neighboring-gene RNAs are derived from transcriptional readthrough and whether trans-splicing truly exists. View Full-Text
Keywords: chimeric RNA; fusion gene; transcriptional readthrough; cis-splicing; trans-splicing; reverse transcription; polymerase chain reactions chimeric RNA; fusion gene; transcriptional readthrough; cis-splicing; trans-splicing; reverse transcription; polymerase chain reactions
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He, Y.; Yuan, C.; Chen, L.; Lei, M.; Zellmer, L.; Huang, H.; Liao, D.J. Transcriptional-Readthrough RNAs Reflect the Phenomenon of “A Gene Contains Gene(s)” or “Gene(s) within a Gene” in the Human Genome, and Thus Are Not Chimeric RNAs. Genes 2018, 9, 40.

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