Investigation of cell fate decision in Schizosaccharomyces pombe by ncRNA annotation and statistical analyses

  • Danny Bitton (Contributor)
  • Agnes Grallert (Contributor)
  • Paul J. Scutt (Contributor)
  • Tim Yates (Contributor)
  • Yaoyong Li (Contributor)
  • James R. Bradford (Contributor)
  • Y. Hey (Contributor)
  • S. D. Pepper (Contributor)
  • Iain Hagan (Contributor)
  • Crispin Miller (Contributor)



Studies in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe (S. pombe) have done much to inform the view of heterochromatin and its control by the RNA interference (RNAi) machinery. Using cDNA synthesised from poly(A)-enriched RNA samples, numerous novel ncRNA loci were discovered, and the 50 and 30 ends of many other genes were refined in previous studies. Although some of these transcripts may encode novel proteins the function of the majority is yet to be determined. The authors have used strand-specific deep sequencing of RNA, irrespective of poly(A) status, to reveal a highly structured antisense programme that modulates gene expression to dictate cell fate decisions during sexual differentiation. They show that an extensive and elaborate array of ncRNA production accompanies sexual differentiation in the fission yeast S. pombe. Experimental manipulation suggests that these transcripts specifically regulate the function of the target genes.

Supplement to: Bitton, DA et al. (2011): Programmed fluctuations in sense/antisense transcript ratios drive sexual differentiation in S. pombe. Molecular Systems Biology, 7
Date made available1 Jan 2012

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