Protein Abundance Control by Non-coding Antisense Transcription

Cell Rep. 2016 Jun 21;15(12):2625-36. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.05.043. Epub 2016 Jun 9.


Stable unannotated transcripts (SUTs), some of which overlap protein-coding genes in antisense direction, are a class of non-coding RNAs. While case studies have reported important regulatory roles for several of such RNAs, their general impact on protein abundance regulation of the overlapping gene is not known. To test this, we employed seamless gene manipulation to repress antisense SUTs of 162 yeast genes by using a unidirectional transcriptional terminator and a GFP tag. We found that the mere presence of antisense SUTs was not sufficient to influence protein abundance, that observed effects of antisense SUTs correlated with sense transcript start site overlap, and that the effects were generally weak and led to reduced protein levels. Antisense regulated genes showed increased H3K4 di- and trimethylation and had slightly lower than expected noise levels. Our results suggest that the functionality of antisense RNAs has gene and condition-specific components.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Gene Library
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Methylation
  • Microscopy
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Antisense / genetics*
  • RNA, Antisense / metabolism
  • RNA, Fungal / genetics*
  • RNA, Fungal / metabolism
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics*
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Transcription Initiation Site
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Histones
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Antisense
  • RNA, Fungal
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • Lysine