Natural antisense transcripts, originally considered as transcriptional noises arising from so-called “junk DNA″, are recently recognized as important modulators for gene regulation. They are prevalent in nearly all realms of life and have been found to modulate gene expression positively or negatively. By affecting almost all stages of gene expression range from pre-transcriptional, transcriptional and post-transcriptional to translation, NATs are fundamentally involved in various biological processes. However, compared to increasing huge data from transcriptional analysis especially high-throughput sequencing technologies (such as RNA-seq), limited functional NATs (around 70) are so far reported, which hinder our advanced comprehensive understanding for this field. Hence, efficient strategies for identifying NATs are urgently desired. In this review, we discussed the current strategies for identifying NATs, with a focus on the advantages, disadvantages, and applications of methods isolating functional NATs. Moreover, publicly available databases for NATs were also discussed.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Long noncoding RNA
- Natural antisense transcripts