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Comparison of splice sites reveals that long noncoding RNAs are evolutionarily well conserved

 
: Nitsche, Anne; Rose, Dominic; Fasold, Mario; Reiche, Kristin; Stadler, Peter F.

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RNA 21 (2015), Nr.5, S.801-812
ISSN: 1355-8382
ISSN: 1469-9001
Englisch
Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Fraunhofer IZI ()
conservation; Evolution; evolutionary plasticity; IncRNA; long noncoding RNAs; multiple sequence alignments; splice sites

Abstract
Large-scale RNA sequencing has revealed a large number of long mRNA-like transcripts (lncRNAs) that do not code for proteins. The evolutionary history of these lncRNAs has been notoriously hard to study systematically due to their low level of sequence conservation that precludes comprehensive homology-based surveys and makes them nearly impossible to align. An increasing number of special cases, however, has been shown to be at least as old as the vertebrate lineage. Here we use the conservation of splice sites to trace the evolution of lncRNAs. We show that >85% of the human GENCODE lncRNAs were already present at the divergence of placental mammals and many hundreds of these RNAs date back even further. Nevertheless, we observe a fast turnover of intron/exon structures. We conclude that lncRNA genes are evolutionary ancient components of vertebrate genomes that show an unexpected and unprecedented evolutionary plasticity. We offer a public web service (http://splicemap.bioinf.unileipzig.de) that allows to retrieve sets of orthologous splice sites and to produce overview maps of evolutionarily conserved splice sites for visualization and further analysis. An electronic supplement containing the ncRNA data sets used in this study is available at http://www.bioinf.uni-leipzig.de/publications/supplements/12-001.

: http://publica.fraunhofer.de/dokumente/N-341528.html